Our decision makers think they are doing the right thing.
One From Column A: The business booster press is heralding “ New Home Sales Surge.” But hidden in the data is this: they surged ony because the previous month's sales were the lowest on record – and had been revised down sharply. June's were the second lowest on record and the average new home price slid another 1.4%, so let's keep the noise down until we see how low it goes upon revision. Maybe we should just kiss the American Dream goodbye.
One Born Every Minute: You know you are being suckered when someone railing about ending the Bush give-aways for the rich calls the federal inheritance tax “the death tax” and then misstates its parameters.
Trick Question: Which is the bigger threat: Terrorism or Wall Street Bonuses?
A Dollar Saved: As cities run short on funds, some are telling their EMT/Paramedics to use “workarounds” and “alternate protocols” to replace expensive medications the cities can no longer afford. Here, bite on this bullet.
Heresy: In the bad old days – when I was young – there were no credit cards. You couldn’t spend money you didn’t have just to buy things you wanted but couldn’t afford. Then the miracle of credit card debt enslavement came along and it became easy to spend several years income before you earned it. Looking back, maybe if governments couldn’t finance deficits by issuing debt, life would be a bit harder, but not nearly as hard as it's going to be.
Nutshell: “The Federal Reserve provided most of the money for new mortgages in the United States last year, effectively lending more than $1 trillion to American homeowners.” Their next big trick will be getting rid of all that bad paper.
State of Play: GM, although bankrupt and a ward of the US Treasury, is using a few billion in cash to buy up an outfit that specializes in loans to the credit-unworthy. This one stinks so much that Fitch says it cannot even say if it is a plus or minus. Hard to tell which is more pathetic, an auto maker who has to sell its cars to people who cannot afford them, or a rating agency that's afraid to rate the transaction.
Rhetorical Question: Is the CIA beyond redemption?
More Hogwash: According to the Employment Policies Institute, over 100,000 teenagers are unemployed this summer due to the increase of the minimum wage to $7.25. The bad economy had nothing to do with it. Oh, yeah, EPI is
a front group for sponsored by the restaurant and hotel industries.
Here's The Plan: Republicans know that fiscal disaster is inevitable - especially if they were to return to power and continue their program of tax cuts for the rich under the bankrupt but attractive myth of supply-side economics. So they have no interest nor incentive to do anything remotely useful. The Democrats should realize this, stop trying to curry GOP favor, and rule without expecting any cooperation. But it ain't gonna happen.
Theology: According to the book of Jobs, God's name is “i”...
Whistling Past the Cemetary: Little Timmy thinks that private investors can, should and will take over stimulus duties from the government – which may or may not be a prelude to some sort of tax-break legislation or just a call to patriotic duty. But capitalists make investments when they see a chance for profits and a world full of overcapacity and negligible demand does not seem encouraging.
Factoid: U.S. cities and states may need more than $1 trillion of federal assistance in the next three years to stave off financial failure. That's after they lay off the firemen and stop collecting the garbage..
Parse This One: “The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. plans to issue securities backed by about $500 million of home mortgages acquired from failed banks.” Wanna buy a cow that gives no milk, a race car without an engine?
Porn O'Graph: The Dead Seas.