Wall Street cares about Wall Street, not Greece.
Haul Of Famers: BofA, Citi & JPMorgan join Goldman Sachs in going lossless on every business day for the entire first quarter. Borrowing from Uncle at 0.25% and lending it back to Uncle at 2.5% or so, combined with betting against your clients and rigging the markets seems to be a workable business plan.
Katie Bar The Door: According to the New York Fed's latest chart there's almost zero chance of a U.S. recession now. This from the folks who missed the housing bubble and credit crash.
Fear Itself: The whole point of constitutional history from the Magna Carta on has been to protect the citizenry from the capricious whims of the Sheriff of Nottingham. That was the point of the Fifth Amendment, and that is the purpose of the Miranda decision – to keep the cops from beating confessions out of the accused. Why are we having this discussion again?
Not a Glitch, A Feature: The girl in the tight dress knows she's in a tight dress. She planned it that way. Likewise Fannie and Freddie are not surprised at their ongoing losses, nor are their sponsors. They are losing money because they are supposed to be losing money. They are transferring losses directly from the investment banks to the taxpayer - $145 billion so far. Think of it as the TARP bailout of the banks under another name.
First Clue? The guys with offices on the Pentagon's E-Ring are beginning to have doubts about General McChrystal's plan for our Afghan Adventure. Beginning?
A race to the bottom... Schwarzenegger is warning that if the Federal Government doesn't rush to the rescue, then by January he'll have to eliminate entire welfare programs, including the main one that provides cash and job assistance to families below the poverty line. I suspect he was talking more to Washington than California.
Trees in a Far Off Forest: The average sales price of commercial/ residential property in Beijing fell 9.6% last week (w/w) and is down 31% m/m.
Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been A Scientist? Over 250 members of the National Academy of Sciences – including 11 Nobelists – have pointed out that climate change denial is mainly an artifice promoted by special interests, and that no alternative theory credibly satisfies the evidence. You haven't heard of their letter because the mainstream media declined to print it. Ah, the profit motive.
Asked and Answered: Are Democrats Plotting To Steal Your 401(K)? No. They would like to protect you from the fast-talking guys on Wall Street . Their solution – annuities all-around – isn't the best investment advice I've heard lately either.
Explication: Rush Limbaugh attacked Elena Kagan because she “idolizes, Justice Marshall, who said the Constitution as originally drafted and conceived was 'defective'...” But Justice Marshall went on to say it was defective because it permitted slavery and did not guarantee women's suffrage. The whole quote, please.
Tax Burden: Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels. Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950. This ignores Social Security and Medicare taxes. but is more or less true. Makes complaining about high taxes kind of mendacious.
Happy Anniversary: Glacier National Park turns 100 this year. Visit soon, it probably won't make it to 110.
What Happened? Faced with explaining The Big Dip, the best the masters of the universe could do was to say that someone had given the markets the finger. The real reason the market crashed is simple: for a panicked 15-20 minutes, people stopped buying stocks. About time some sense crept in.