It is not the government's debt. It's yours.
Plastics: Consumer credit fell at an annual rate of 5.5% during February. Non-revolving credit (cars, houses, boats and such) declined at a 1.5% rate while revolving credit (credit cards) plunged at a 13% rate. Mrs. Robinson is not using her plastic.
How High? This High? The head of BofA's REO office says that the bank expects to increase its foreclosures from 7,500 a month nationally now to 45,000 a month by December.
Proof of Life: If you sell things you don't own you are either a thief or an investment banker – if that 'thing' is gold and silver. If you then charge fees for storing the non-existent gold and silver, you are Morgan Stanley.
Economizing: Around the US there are 7.4 million houses with delinquent loans which means there are 7.4 million families that are not paying their mortgage or any rent. On average they will not pay any housing expenses for at least 400 days. If you didn't have to pay $10,000 or $12,000 or more for housing this year, you, too, could be part of the consumer spending resurgence.
Process: The Obama White House has authorized the extra-judicial murder of Anwar al-Awlaki, a native born US citizen, apparently by the CIA or other US assassins. Imam al-Awlaki has never been charged with a crime.
Lost & Found: Glacier National Park has lost two more glaciers
and is offering a reward for their safe return.
Drip, Drip, Drip: To peak oil and global climate change, business now have to take peak water into consideration. Sustainability experts say that our current levels of water use – and water is used in every manufacturing process – are not sustainable. Expect higher prices as supplies become tighter. Blame it on the speculators.
Card Shops & Brass Toads: Strip mall vacancies have reached 10.8% and mall vacancies are right behind them at 8.9%. Good time to get a deal on a prime location, because there's a recovery underway!
More Is Better: Russia, the world's second largest petroleum producer, has agreed to pay Venezuela $1 billion for access to some of the largest oil fields outside the Middle East. What do they know that you should – or is it just Putin and Chavez jerking our chain?
Cash or Good Check: Freddie Mac, through it's REO disposal arm HomeSteps, is teaming with New Vista, a firm that targets minorities and first-time house buyers, to auction off the worst of the foreclosed units Freddie owns in Las Vegas and California's Inland Empire. Just in time to be taken advantage of before the $8,000 first time buyer tax credit expires.
Left Hand: While the right hand (Freddie Mac) is trying to get folks to buy REO houses, the administration's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative Plan has doubled the incentives to borrowers, servicers, investors and second lien holders to push short sales through the system and get those freeloaders out on the street.
Sixteen Tons: There are over 220 bulk-ore ships at Australian coal terminals at Hay Point, waiting to load coal – mainly coking coal for use in making steel – to feed China's demand. But at the same time, China is idling hundreds of small steel mills because of over-capacity.
Imitation: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, dropping all pretense, has appointed an oil executive and an ex-Goldman Sachs executive as cabinet ministers.
Candide: Don't fret about the economy, peak oil or the prospect of another 3 billion hungry humans - according to David (Pangloss) Brooks, this is the best of all possible worlds. Or, as Alfred E. Neuman put it, “What, me worry?”
Blackened History Month: In Virginia, GOP Governor McDonnell has brought back the ever popular Confederate History Month which celebrates the the civil war without mentioning slavery because slavery “was not a significant part of Virginia's history”.
Porn O'Graph: Climbing Mount Sisyphus.