Golden Oldie: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
What Did He Know & When Did He "No." It? A newly released letter suggest that both this Pope and the previous one knew about priests abusing children and did nothing to stop it. The letter was from the head of a Roman Catholic order tasked with treating pedophilic priests. Think on that a moment, the Catholic hierarchy knew the problem was widespread enough to require a separate organization to treat the priests (before reassigning them to fresh pastures), yet did nothing for the children.
Train Spotting: Last week railroad freight traffic reached its highest level since November 2008. Container traffic was up 12% y/y, but still 5% below 2008 levels. The increase probably wasn't all due to hauling unsold Toyotas around since factory orders have also taken a sudden upward turn.
Joe Friday: GOP House Leader John Boehner warned there would be “16,000 new IRS agents to make sure that everyone buys the health insurance...” Ron Paul (R. TX) agreed and added that all 16,500 of these non-existent new IRS agents will be “armed”. Not a word of it is true.
Just Saying No: Sarah Palin has removed herself from the guest list for a Republican National Committee fundraiser being held in New Orleans. Too bad, her multi-zippered costume would have fit right in with both the crowd and the place.
Little Dutch Boy? Here's another grim prediction of CRE-based bank failures. With luck this will turn out to be the Swine Flu of 2010.
Asked and Answered: Is there any reason why homes today should be worth twice as much as in 1996? Nope. (Check out the graphs, especially #3!) Either you believe that, eventually, home prices will revert back to their relative historical norm because people can only pay so much of their monthly income for housing - or you believe that this time really is different. (Hint, read Reinhart & Rogoff.)
Now It Can Be Told: Funny thing, turns out Bush’s entire wiretapping program was illegal. Ditto renditions, indefinite confinement, and torture. Just because we let Bush get away with it doesn’t make it right that Obama carries on.
Second Thoughts? In the last century, of the 14 times the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 12-month rate-of-change has exceeded 40%, 11 of them have been followed by significant 'corrections'. It is over 40% now, which is why the subject came up.
Laissez le bon temps rouler! At the end of 2009, consumer debt stopped shrinking, and so far this year credit-card balances are on the rise again. Consumer spending is picking up – even though they are unemployed, underwater, and can't pay the bill. Been there, done that.
Takes One.... Afghan President Hamid Karzai alleges that Peter Galbraith, then deputy head of the UN mission to Afghanistan organized massive fraud during the election last year,
making it harder than necessary for Karzai to steal the presidency. Mr. Galbraith was fired from his Afghan post after he complained that the UN was not doing enough to combat fraud in the election.
Real American Story: Sara Palin, half-term quitter as Alaska's governor, has found a way to star on a TV interview show without actually interviewing anyone. Silly us, we thought that “hosting” an interview show might actually involve talking to the guests.
More Bigger Fools: At $75 a share (37 times earnings), Netflix is valued at $4 billion. Yet its 2009 net income was just $116 million. No dividend, a future tied to the US Postal System, so where's the upside?
Ill Wind: Amid the denialist's delirium over the National Snow and Ice Data Center's announcement that the extent of Arctic ice is approaching normal in terms of area coverage (apparently an artifact caused by wind patterns), they do not follow up with Dr Meier's explication: “This has very little implication for what will happen this summer, or for the long-term trends, since the Bering Sea ice is thin and will melt completely well before the peak summer season. “
Porn O'Graph: Conventional home loan hockey stick.