If the economy is “on track”, where's the track taking us?
Petraeus' Plan: “Money is one of the primary weapons used by warfighters to achieve successful mission results...” according the the US Army Center for Army Lessons Learned.
Pace Yourself: The breathless press excitedly scream that each of us now owes $43,000 as our part of the national debt. Okay, that part's right. But it is not all due this week. Over the next thirty years that works out to a more manageable $1,500 a year plus another $1,200 in interest (30 year treasuries pay about 2.7% these days). Not quite so scary. Unemployment lasting forever is a lot scarier to most of us.
New & Improved: Consumer Metrics Institute's 91-Day Trailing Index foresees a 5.25% drop in GDP & the stock market – not the 2.45% increase that is the official estimate. It'll be interesting to see how this works out, huh?
Briefing: Here's the “net neutrality' issue: The multi-tiered service (pay to play) would let the providers - ATT, Google, Verizon – decide which blogs and websites were rapidly available, which were slow to load, and which you simply cannot reach. It's called censorship for profit, with the people's rights challenging the corporations' profits. We've seen this movie before.
Commuter Special: The Beijing-Tibet expressway leading into Beijing is experiencing a 62 mile long traffic jam that has so far lasted 9 days. Surpassing the US in so many ways.
One More Time: Income disparities between rich and poor rise and fall with the rise and fall of financial regulation/deregulation and instability in the financial system. That's another way of saying that when times get tough, the rich make out like bandits. In 1928 the top 10% garnered 49% of total income. In 2007 it was... 49%. My, my. The rich get richer and the poor stay in their place, or else.
Warning: Whatever you do, do not put your money in the stock market – we're running out of bigger fools.
Road Closed: After being told for all our lives that home ownership was the path to the American Dream, now they're telling us we misunderstood them – our attempt to reach the American Dream through home ownership was designed to help the rich attain their dreams.
Match 'em: In 2009 there were 4,644 civilian deaths in Iraq (no, I don't know what 'civilian' means in this context). There were over 16,000 in Venezuela that year. Seems like there were nearly that many in Juarez last weekend. No, it's not all Caesar’s fault.
One Born Every Minute: People who have just bought houses believe house prices will rise 10% a year for the next decade. And they'll be rich....
Back of the Envelope: With all of the ho-ha about the small investor leaving stocks and buying bonds, I squinted at the graphic and deduced that in the last 4 years $300 billion has been “pulled out” of stocks, while $650 billion has been “poured into bonds”. I think there's a little less than meets the eye to this story.