Hypocrisy is a prerequisite for election to public office. Most politicians are over-qualified.
The Paper Chase: GMAC is turning out to be the poster child for the poor paperwork brigade. It has halted all of its evictions and foreclosures in 23 states because it cannot prove it hold the mortgages and has decided to stop making fraudulent affidavits claiming that it does. But remember, this is GMAC, not the Lone Ranger.
Coffee, Tea, or Fees: Charging more while providing less service has led airline profits to their highest level since 2002. Time to check under that goose again for more of those golden eggs. Got change for the toilet?
Rating Those Savings: It appears that all that belt tightening, saving and paying down mortgages and credit cards wasn't really happening. The $610 in “deleveraging” turns out to be mostly - $588 billion of it – lenders charging off bad debts.
It's A Start: The misleading headline reports that “Housing Starts Way Stronger than Expected.” Not quite; apartment construction was up – 32% - but the core single-family home data was a lackluster 4.3% rebound from last months 6.7% decline, which isn't going to put a lot of people back to work.
Health Care, Reformed: Beginning this week "insurers can no longer deny coverage for children under age 19 because of pre-existing conditions. Checkups, immunizations and other basic preventive health care will become free for many people with health coverage. If you get seriously sick, the insurance company can't cancel your coverage because you forgot to tell them about the hangnail removed five years ago. Lifetime coverage limits disappear, and annual coverage limits start to fade away. There's a stronger appeals process for when insurance companies deny care." When will this anti-capitalist, self-serving do-goodism end? When we let the Republicans back in.
The Tide: If you lose your job you are more likely to drop out of the labor market than to find another job. Since January of 2009 more people have dropped out of the labor market than have gotten new jobs. The great majority are, of course, still out there looking. See the graph.
Confidence: Putin is confident that the gas pipeline linking Russia directly to Germany will go ahead despite Polish objections. The Poles need Russian gas.
Yellow Fever: China and Japan are becoming quite serious about their South China Sea dispute, and China made it very clear it wasn't something the US should meddle with. China's concern is not limited to exploiting the natural gas resources beneath the sea, but is a power play against the US through its proxy, Japan.
Coincidences: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have agreed to build the long-delayed trans-regional gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. You know, the one the invasion of Afghanistan had nothing to do with. It will run through Kandahar province, where the US Army has just set up shop in force.
Porn O'Graph: House about those exciting new houses?