It's not a lack of demand that's hurting the economy, it's a lack of a way to pay for that demand.
Fear and Loathing: Ontario, wanting the world's overlords to feel secure and smug, secretly changed the law to permit (or encourage, reports vary) police to arrest people without cause, to search them and hold them for two months if they do not stay 15 feet away from any police line or fence while protesting. Interesting how much fear our betters seem to have of the citizenry.
Run, Hide: The ECRI Leading Economic Index, now at an annualized -6.9%, is predicting the onset of another severe recession starting about Labor Day.
"The lady doth protest too much." Fannie Mae is aghast at the number of mortgage holders who might do the rational thing and walk away from their ridiculously overpriced mortgages. Never mind that it is the intelligent thing to do if you have a non-recourse loan that is underwater. Never mind that it is a business decision made daily by Wall Street. The government – and don't kid yourself, Fannie and Freddie and FHA are the government – wants you to feel morally obligated to be docile and keep paying. Why would anyone take investment advice from an outfit that loses a few billion dollars every month? Shame, shame. On them, not you.
Warm-Up: Some think it is beginning to dawn on Bernanke that it might, in fact, be time to get the helicopters warmed up. Either to drop more dollars on Wall Street or to whisk him away to some secret hideout to ride out the storm – opinions vary.
Skin Deep: During the day, hordes of BP temps wander up and down the beach, plucking tarballs from the pretty white sand. Once the tourists, cameras and temps quit for the day, Mother Nature keeps right on dumping oil on the beach and covering it up. BP has forbidden the crews to dig into the sand and pick up the oil there – only the cosmetics matter. At some point a real cleanup will have to be undertaken, just don’t think BP’s doing it now.
Clip and Save: Forbes claims that “regime change” in Iran will lead to a stable Middle East, cheaper oil, and “utterly transform the world.” Right after the radiation levels drop a bit.
Away from the Center Ring: While the paying customers are busy watching the BP circus act in the Gulf, Cairn Energy is getting ready to start drilling a deepwater exploratory well in 'Iceberg Alley' off Greenland. What could possibly go wrong?
Cornucopia, Postponed: Welcome to Lake Wobegon, one of the many cities in Wisconsin – and around the nation – that will be seriously in deficit in the next few years and be unable to provide things like sanitation, education, road maintenance and police... an Ayn Rand utopia.