“The ‘mouths of babes’ are not restricted to children. Michael Yon.
Negative Nattering: About $2.5 trillion of US homes are underwater – 20% of all households. In that about half of US houses have no mortgage, that means about 40% of all mortgages are in negative territory. The aggregate shortfall is $771 billion, with over 4 million folks owing 50% more on their houses than they are worth. An explanation why these folks are still paying on their millstones would be appreciated.
Good News First: The price of crude oil is expected to fall, because the economy is expected to fall even more. Happy motoring.
Early and Often: Various economists – 57 of 'em – predict the unemployment rate for July will be reported (later this week) as 9.6%, up slightly from June, mostly due to the rapid decrease in Census employment. Caution – this is just the first bunch of guesses leading up to the actual, massaged data and these are economists talking.
Warm & Fuzzy: BP, Exxon, and others have formed a joint venture to drill for oil and natural gas in the Beaufort Sea. The Beaufort Sea? Think Prudhoe Bay and the North Slippery Slope.
Turning Point: “Greenspan Says Decline in U.S. Home Prices Might Bring Return of Recession” Given his track record, now's the time to buy.
Script Revision: Iraq says 535 people were killed and 1,043 wounded in July. The US Army says only 222 were killed and less than 800 wounded. Who do you think has a better chance of counting the civilian dead and wounded? Why?
First A, Then B: Before we can fall back into a “double dip” recession, don't we have to get out of the first one?
Location, Location, Location: Unilever is putting GPS tags in its detergents in order to better track who their customers are, and where. If it's worthwhile for a soap company to track their customers, how much effort will (and do) governments go through to monitor their citizens?
On Target: Reports say that US forces in Afghanistan have begun to focus on killing insurgent leaders. Petraeus is revising that chapter of his 'hearts and minds' manual.
Gather 'Round: Enough countries have now signed the UN ban on cluster bombs to make it international law. The US, the largest maker and seller (and user) of arms world-wide has refused to sign the ban, claiming
it prefers to send AID missions to provide crutches for the limbless kids... a ban would hurt it's ability to defend various dictators the country.
Headline Only: “Trucking industry confirms the economy is slowing down.” Who asked them to butt in?
Math Problem: British scientists report that the surface of Greenland's ice sheet at their base camp lowered six meters in a month – as in melted away. How much is that in feet?
Good Question: Why is that that even though we know there is no valid reason to continue our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we can't come up with a good reason for ending them? Who benefits, who profits?