We fear inflation because we are unable to imagine deflation.
Golden Oldie: The IMF is concerned that most of the G7 countries will have debt/GDP ratios over 100% by 2014. The real concern is that rising debt along with rising costs for pensions and healthcare will make it impossible for the governments to reduce their budget deficits (and thus the stimulus effect of government spending) in a weakened economy. Raising taxes to reduce the debt would draw even more resources out of weakened economies. “Reform” of pension and health entitlements – and in the US, cutting back on defense spending – are the one true path, according to the IMF. Same old same old.
You Can Be Too Thin: Because a higher proportion of ice in the Arctic is “first year” ice – ice that is thinner and more susceptible to warming – 2009's volume of Arctic Ice was the lowest in over 8,000 years.
Plot Summary: Americans are clueless about retirement. Workers expect to be able to retire... somehow, and have no concept of how unfunded their pension systems are and how unrealistic their expectations are.
Scary Words: The right is decrying the “15 New Taxes The Democrats Just Foisted On The American People.” Foisted? Assumes facts not in evidence. Passing a tax bill by public vote is not 'foisted'. Some people (not Republicans) think that raising money via taxes to pay for social goods like healthcare, defense etc. is a good idea. It seems like a good idea to tax those who try to disguise income as heath care premiums, or those who use Health Savings Accounts to fund vacations. Taxing substandard for-profit hospitals is a good way to get their attention. Even taxing the rich a tiny bit more than the poor is more popular at my house than bailing out Wall Street.
Asked & Answered: Does GDP understate the depth of the recession? Are there bears in the woods?
Bigger Fools: The only way to justify a non-dividend paying stock at a $225 a share – which equates to a market capitalization of over $200 billion - is a deeply held religious conviction that next week and next month and next year someone else will think that while it does not pay dividends it is somehow worth a lot more than $225 a share, because they're pretty sure there's a bigger fool around the corner.
Quoted: “The choice will be clear: families or banks.” Elizabeth Warren, on financial reform.
Porn O'Graph: Nothing for something.