This sure doesn't look like Kansas.
South of the Border: Mexico's petroleum output fell 7.8% m/m in July and exports are down 20% YTD. Its mainstay, Cantarell, is down 41% y/y.
Cognoscenti: Word on the cocktail circuit is that Congress is going to give Obama an Internet “kill switch” to use in case of a national emergency. Such as a flu pandemic, or a bank holiday. Those in the best position to know seem to be bailing out.
Assaulting the Battery : About those electric cars. Why don't I feel relieved that we've got enough lithium to power 2 million cars by 2015. How many cares are sold every year? How many cars in the US fleet? Saved, we're saved?
The Sun Also Sets: Japanese exports to the US are now down 40% y/y and to China down 26%.
Combination Platter: At least one in four US banks is discovering that making bad loans leads to unprofitability. Who knew?
Down, On the Farm: American farm profits are forecast to fall 38% this year – just like the big hedge funds. But according to Tractor Man, nothin' from nothin' is nothin'.
Fools All : People with vast amounts of money invested in Cerberus Capital Management lost 24.5% of their vast amounts last year and now they want 71% of their money back immediately. If “immediately” translates into a sudden need to dump holdings and raise cash, things could get... awkward.
Failing Grade: The FDIC's quarterly report card shows that the Deposit Insurance Fund has fallen to $10.4 billion – 22 cents for every $100 of insured deposits.
Moving On Up: Venezuela, at 1.39 mbd, has moved into second place among suppliers to the US. Saudi Arabia fell to third (1.1 mbd) and Mexico to 4th with only 1.07 mbd. Canada remains the largest source of imported oil for the US.
Porn O'Graph: Deserts in the sea.
The Great Awakening: The bubbling of methane into the atmosphere from both the thawing Arctic permafrost and the dissolving of sub-sea methane hydrates continues to haunt scientists. Temperatures in Alaska, Canada and Siberia have risen more than 4.5ºF since 1970 – much faster than in lower latitudes. If the rate of change does not increase, the temperature will go up another 13ºF by 2100. If the methane hits a tripping point and massive amounts escape, “additional warming and unpredictable consequences” will take a decade or two.
Pukka Beads: Sea shell adornments go back 80,000 years, with finds located far enough inland to indicate rather extensive trade. Wonder what went the other way, and what the going rate was.
Help Wanted: Consuming is far more central to American life than citizenship. Americans are more likely to attempt to change society through their shopping – boycotts or patronage – than by contacting an elected official.
Porn O'Graph: Mine's bigger! Or at least a tie.