This is not the garden of Eden.
The Little Engine That Couldn't: The Bank for International settlements reports that global bank lending – that which drives the economies of the world – fell $360 billion in Q3 2009. A year of continued credit contraction has cut global lending by $3 trillion. We're talking about real money, as Ev Dirksen used to say.
If You Want To Dance, Dance: The doyen of the Senate, Robert Byrd (D-WV), thinks that if the Republicans want to filibuster, well and good. But they should be forced to filibuster, to stand in the well of the Senate and talk and talk and talk, shutting down all other business, for as long as they can or as long as the public will put up with it. Not bringing legislation to the floor because the GOP claims they'll filibuster lets them off too easy.
The Rack: Continental,
claiming they were inspired by the John Yoo memos, has begun charging extra for legroom, with the fee depending on how long your legs area and how long the flight is and whether or not you're ready to confess. Quick survey: How many of you have at least considered not taking a vacation because it meant you'd have to fly?
Simpleton Math: The Rule of 72 says that if you divide 72 by the growth rate – say 20% a month - of something – say Chinese real estate – you can determine how long it will take – 4 months - for that something to double. Remember, the basic factors in real estate are location, location, location and a bigger fool.
Golden Years: Seventy percent of those over 60 up say they cannot retire because they did not put away enough (or any) money over the last 40 years and the kids are too broke to help out. Besides, they like working at Walmart, or they're Irish. It's just as well, daytime TV sucks.
Scale: A frothy and cheerful account of how natural gas from shale is going to save the world ignored the impact of the cost of all this new technology on the end product and displayed the gains on a “Natural Gas Hockey Stick” graph. But if you look at the graph closely (or go to the source data) it turns out that the “surge” was only an increase of about 3.8% per year. What's up the other sleeve?
Lowest Common Denominator: When they say “IMF loan” think “US taxpayers...”
The Closer: Fresh from his quixotic attacks on the unemployed, Senator Bunning (R-KY) has now decided to prevent those who want to work from getting a job. Specifically he has replaced Senator Shelby (R-AL) in putting a blanket hold on all pending administration nominees – regardless of the position. Shelby did it to get more pork projects for Alabama. Bunning seems to be doing it just because he can.
Six Words, Max: The challenge is to write your life story in six words.
Nuke 'em: Can't miss. The first new nuke power plant in 30 years or so is a sure thing – Uncle Sam is going to underwrite the financing and Georgia customers will pay for the power from the plant before tit's built. Heck of a deal.
Lost in Translation: “Sovereign CDS spreads are of limited relevance to sovereign risk, especially for those countries able to service debt in their own sovereign currencies.” What Mr Stheeman of the UK Debt Management Office meant was “We can print as much as we like.”
'We Won't', They Said: The US Supreme Court refused Tuesday to block a Washington DC law permitting same-sex marriages, saying the mater should be resolved in the lower courts. It won't be, but lawyers for both sides need the work. After sufficent billable hours, it'll come back to them and then they'll reject it.
Shades of Gray: There's another round of IPCC bashing going around on the mistaken impression that the IPCC report was a scientific document. The IPCC report had to meet the political goals and desires of 100% of its member countries. It is not science in any sense, much less good science. Science is reported in peer-reviewed scientific journals, not multi-governemental approved Sunday supplements.
The Daily Petard: Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) says unemployment benefits lure people into not looking for work - “it is a disincentive for them to seek new work.” Life of Riley and all.