Turns out Taleb's swan wasn't really black, just covered in oil.
How High Is Up? $12.5 billion in clean-up and fines and lawsuits, plus a crash in BP stock, an off-shore drilling “pause”, unemployment along the Gulf Coast except for giving birds baths, plus a fishing ban, and then another downward leg in the collapse of the economy.
Market Farces: Wonder how many houses would be sold in the US, and at what price, if Fannie and Freddie didn't underwrite 96.5% of all mortgages and FHA insure most of them? Close your eyes and try to imagine what would happen to the 'free market' in housing and banking without these artificial props. For entities supposedly on a diet, they sure seem to be putting on weight.
Tomato/Tomate: All Arizona teachers will be frisked to see if they are carrying accents, especially those dreaded Spanish accents. If you don't speak perfect Amerikun you can't teach in Arizona.
Prevention: Despite what you are going to hear on FOX and talk radio, Obama's socialist drilling program did not cause the oil spill. And the right can't insist that the government let private enterprise solve all our problems and then turn around and insist that the government didn't clean up after the capitalists quickly enough. Well, they can and will, but they shouldn't.
Ubiquity: There are shocking revelations that the wealthy in Greece do not pay their share of the tax burden. Why this is a shock, and why it is limited to Greece is a mystery.
One World: “Bankers of the world, unite!” The president of the European Central Bank wants to establish a central global regulatory agency to insure that the bankers can continue to rob the poor without interference from local governmental agencies. The idea is worded to suggest that reining in the financiers is the goal, but we all know better than that.
Take-Home Quiz: How long is 'long'? If the question was 'How long can the Fed keep rates at zero?' the answer is a) years, b) until unemployment falls to 8%, c) until the cows come home, or d) all of the above.
Why Drill There? The public has been misled into thinking that offshore drilling will lead to energy independence (it won't), cheaper fuel prices (it won't), or some sort of lessening of global warming (it won't). What it will do is make oil companies richer and every now and then spread oil along the coastline and generating never-ending lawsuits.
Wishes/Curses: Whichever party gets its wish and wins the British elections will have the satisfaction of being in power when it all goes to hell in a handbasket. They will get the blame for the suffering to come and be a forgotten party for the next twenty years. Same here.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell: The DOJ investigations into crimes at Goldman Sachs can easily slip out of control and incriminate some of those actually responsible.
Bell, Tolling: Countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy have been living beyond their means for years, and masking the extent of their debts. Just like the U.S. Now the fiat money ponzi scheme has collapsed and these countries face severe downward adjustments in wages, social services, lifestyle and government programs, with higher interest rates and significant increases in taxation. Just like the U.S. If you think this cannot happen here, think again.
A Thousand Words and More: Pictures.