The experiment continues.
Shuffle: The Fed has decided to “maintain their holdings of securities” by reinvesting its MBS income in long-term Treasuries. Like kissing your sister or treading water, it suggests a certain uncertainty about what they were doing.
Definitions: We are now in the process of trying a boy who, six years ago at age 15, threw a grenade during a firefight in Afghanistan. We are using the testimony tortured out of another prisoner to condemn the youth. The worst of the worst, indeed.
The Rich are Different: Personal income in most of the nation's cities declined during 2009, while the rich got richer.
Pathos: Like a wayward husband blaming his spouse for his transgressions, the White House has lashed out the left for not understanding Obama's need to abandon his principles, ignore his vows and cuddle up to corporations and the right.
Disgusting: The Republicans claim “no state bailouts should be contemplated until the wages and pensions of public sector employees are brought into line.” Let's see, about half of these state and local employees are teachers, who have not only a BA but generally are required to continue to take on-going education. Many of the rest are police and firemen, who do things like risk their lives and save others. So these better educated employees and these brave folks who serve and protect are overpaid? On whose scale?
They Said, They Heard: The BLS reports that “nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 0.9 percent annual rate during the second quarter.” The financial press heard “labor wages are increasing”. I suspect corporations cut wage costs more than was sustainable and had to relent a bit.
The REO Truth: Fannie, Freddie and the FHA together own 236,338 houses, up 74% from last year. Good thing the recession's over and housing's looking up.
Welcome to The Third World: In America, income inequality is soaring, states are cutting once-essential services like schools, fire and police services, public transportation and road maintenance and street lighting. Many corporations pay no taxes while sales taxes burden the poor. Infrastructure is decaying, bridges and dams are unsafe. Unemployment hovers near 10% and is unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future. The housing crisis has barely begun. Wall Street takes 40% of corporate profits. Public health deteriorates while health costs soar. And corporations now own the political arena.
Roadsign: A report claims that a 100% year-over-year rise in oil prices is a prelude to recession. And yes, you guessed it, oil prices are now up 100% year-over-year.
It Couldn't Happen Here: Citing the run-up in corn prices, China's National Development and Reform Commission wants to ban using corn to make ethanol fuel. In the US, which burns about 25% of its corn crop in cars, the run up in the price of corn is seen as a boon to farmers. Consumer demand is not much affected because most of the rest of the US crop goes to enlarging the nation's obesity problem through HFCS hidden in processed foods.
Clip and Save: Saudi Aramco has again claimed that there are plentiful reserves yet to be tapped and even more yet to be found.
The Silly Season: We laughed when they locked up Galileo. We knew Darwin was a monkey's uncle. And climate change – an obvious conspiracy by over-educated college professors looking for some spare income. Now the righteous right has figured out that Einstein was a fraud and that relativity was just a hoax played on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It's almost worth keeping these idiots around for their amusement value. Almost.
Damned If & If Not: New Jersey was going to use oysters to filter toxins out of the water, but decided not to because while the oysters are very good at filtering the toxins out, they store them in their flesh and folks in New Jersey are apparently not smart enough to follow directions.