The losses are still there, and they've grown.
It's All Greek to US: Number six on the debt/GDP ratio list is the United States, not that far behind Greece and headed to the same sort of struggle to even begin to get back in balance. Worse are the individual states – and not just California - New Jersey took the spotlight away from Nevada by announcing a “fiscal emergency” and cutting $475 million from schools, $62 million from higher education and $12 million from hospitals – all together a $1.6 billion freeze - amid the usual blah-blah about “move efficient and effective....”
Click Your Heels: China reports that its electricity consumption increased 40% y/y in January. Magical.
Speed Bump: The Congressional Oversight Panel says that in 2011 “every American will be affected” as US banks stand to lose $200 to $300 billion on commercial real estate loans. Nearly half the $1.4 trillion in CRE loans falling due in 2010-2014 are currently underwater, endangering 3,000 small US banks.
Past / Prologue: The Obama administration wants to push Bush era monitoring of cell phones onto firmer legal grounds – not that there's been any letup in monitoring you.
Pace Yourself: The difference between inflating our way out – where the dollar becomes worth less (and eventually worthless), and sovereign default – where the dollar becomes worth less (or worthless) overnight, is timing. Safe, as in the dollar is a 'safe haven' depends on a great deal of self-deception, what Coleridge called “the willing suspension of disbelief.”
The Best Medicine: Jon Stewart's 7 minute skewering of the GOP's “It's a trap! It's a trap!” response to an offer of a public discussion with the president on healthcare is worth the attention. Take notes. If you're old enough to remember the negotiations about the shape of the negotiating table back in the Vietnam era, you'll feel right at home.
Perfectly Safe: It has been determined that a mud volcano in Indonesia that has pumped out 100,000 tons of mud a day for nine months, covering 3 square miles to a depth of 65 feet, is the result of drilling for gas. But 'fracking' in the Marcellus Shale is perfectly safe. So far.
Quoted: “The present is a tunnel between the past and the future. It might be more or less lit and we think we know our immediate direction and route. Otherwise what is going on outside is beyond our most frantic efforts.” - Demetrius
Cost of Unemployment: Unemployment cost the US about $150 billion last year. But that's just the beginning, because the long-term unemployed are likely never to return to their former income levels. And these costs fall primarily on the poor and the unschooled. The increase in long term unemployment will widen the chasm between the haves and the have nots, to the detriment of the political health of the nation.
Veto! EU lawmakers have refused US demands they let NSA “share” European banking data and insisted that EU standards of privacy be maintained.
Almost There: One in eight (12.4%) stores in the town centers of British cities have closed during this downturn – making many streets look like abandoned American malls. In some smaller towns the percentage of closed shops reaches 25%. Let's hope they're not leading the way.
Mother Hubbard: US corporations have stuffed $1.18 trillion in cash into their cupboards. Companies don't spend money on expansion (or even re-hiring) unless they think there's profit to be made.
Porn O'Graph: Them that has, gets.