Saturday, July 31, 2010

SAR #10212

Given the limits to perpetual growth, when do we hit the wall?

Gangbusted:  US GDP grew (?) at an annual rate of 2.4% last quarter and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 1.6%.  Not bad for a bunch of people who are out of work.

Calling Dibs:  China is claiming “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea, pushing back against the US attempting to exert influence over disputes in the area, which includes the worlds busiest shipping lanes.

Static:  Weekly initial unemployment claims remain in the 450,000 range for another week.  For those that don't understand the numbers, here's a chart.

Enough, Already:  BP's new leader says it is “time to scale back” cleanup efforts, before they cost him his job, too.  But he insists BP will “make things right.”

Schizoid Tendencies:  Why, when housing is in the tank and homeowners are massively unemployed and the real economy sucks, are stock markets rising?  Well, firing all those workers lowered the labor costs, which raised the profits of the big companies.  Plus most stock market activity is just robots trading among themselves.

Equal Footing:  For every dollar spent on those non-competitive renewable energy projects, the US gives $12 to big oil and coal.  Wonder how the sunshine boys would do with an extra $557 billion a year.

Two For One:  The quickest way to slow the melting of Arctic sea ice is to stop dropping soot on it.  Black soot warms quickly in the sun, even in the far north.  And the way to stop the soot is to stop burning coal, which would have the added benefit of reducing CO2 belching into the atmosphere.

Many Happy Returns:  Fannie had to refund $19 billion to those who bought Fannie's MBS that contained mortgages that failed.  Where else can you buy a bond with a money-back guarantee?

Crop Subsidies:  Iran has announced it will pay people to have babies, so the Islamic Republic of Iran can increase its population.  How do you say “cannon fodder” in Farsi?

How Big is Big?  Morgan Stanley says housing's shadow inventory exceeds 7 million and will take 4 years to clear, Capital Economics says it will be 5.5 million by the end of 2011, Barclays votes for 4.7 with a peak this summer and S&P says however many there are, they represent $480 billion in blown loans.

Eggs, Early:  Tom Price (R, GA), is so sure the GOP is going to win big this fall that he wants to do away with the “lame duck” House session after the elections in order to keep the Dems from passing any more laws.

Porn O'Graph:  Nah, energy costs don't affect the economy..


Rick said...

For another graph that highlights how this recession is different, I made a comparison of how industrial capacity changed after recessions started.

I assume this is connected to the abandonment of the manufacturing base in the US.

Data Here

- Rick

Dink said...

"Plus most stock market activity is just robots trading among themselves."

"Wonder how the sunshine boys would do with an extra $557 billion a year."

You speak the truth. The horrible, horrible truth.

OSR said...

Was there ever any doubt that BP was the tail that was wagging the dog? Not in my mind, I was a buying fool when BP hit $28/share.