I expected the apocalypse would be more dramatic.
A Bridge Too Far: Germany's Chancellor Merkel is strongly disabusing any and all of the idea that the European Union will bail out of Greece.
Roadmap: The dreary fact of life in hard times: If you don’t tell people the truth, they'll turn against you down the line; if you do tell them, they'll turn against you right away. And that's how we got here.
Joneses: Yacht sales are up 50%, and they're buying $4,000 3-D TVs to go in the staterooms. Some sectors recovered quicker than others.
Starting Somewhere: The FHLB is suing Dewy, Cheatham & Howe (aka Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Countrywide & co-defendants) for lying about the dead fish they'd wrapped up in MBS. Fannie and Freddie are set to go after another bunch of 'em, too. What a marvelous class-action suit this could be: all the greedy investors on one side and all the greedy banksters on the other and lawyers, lawyers, lawyers.
Friday's Night Special: On Friday the FDIC shut down 7 banks with a total of $3.3 billion in assets and $3.1 in deposits, at a cost to the FDIC of $1.28 billion.
Box of Chocolates: According to China's Commerce Minister, its trade surplus fell 34% in 2009 and “I personally expect that China could possibly have a trade deficit in March." He didn’t say March of which year.
Rose Colored Glasses Off: Take a good look at what our war machine is doing in your name. The latest is the murder of two pregnant women and a teenage girl in their home, where they were celebrating the naming of a newborn child. Two others died several hours later, having been refused medical care.
Heads/Tails: The difference between Massachusetts' Romney-care and Obama-care is... Romney?
Cautionary Tale: “All of our revenue is completely consumed by entitlements. Every dollar we spend on the military, homeland security, transportation, education and research is borrowed." And half of that comes from foreign sources, which bothers Erskine Bowles, co-chair of the US deficit reduction commission.
Belaboring The Obvious: The United states no longer controls the price of oil on world markets. Hint: Hasn't since the 1970's.
Financial Innovation: All you need to know: Collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) have caused $542 billion in losses at financial institutions since the beginning of the credit crisis – about half their total losses.
A&A: Can climate skeptics be convinced they are wrong? No, because it is not about logic or the facts, but about their fears and insecurity.
No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service: Gamblers pretending to be investors should not be allowed to buy CDS on trades they are not a party to. If you have no insurable risk in the transaction, (or if the transaction never existed) betting on whether or not it will fail is simply gambling and should be done in the alley.
Can't Buy Me Love: Nor happiness either. The rich, it seems, are not that much different than us – it's just that the things they think will bring them happiness cost more than the things we think will bring us happiness, and we are all fooling ourselves.
Hoja's Donkey: Profits are still being squeezed out of workers' incomes, which has yet to lead to a recovery in customer purchasing power. Just as Hoja's donkey died just as it was learning to get by on no food at all, US companies are going to pare payrolls down until their workers start buying again.