At this point identifying the guilty is useless.
No Country for Old Men: Investors – that quaint bunch whose investment horizons extend a few years into the future, planning for things like retirement – have not done well in the last ten years. The S&P over that period has returned a minus 0.03% annually, total return, including dividends. And there is no reason to expect any different result over the next 5 years.
How Free is Free: The Supremes, noting that the appeal was not filed by a corporation, has declined to consider whether ordinary citizens can be kept from public events because of their bumper stickers.
Accent Marks: Investor Marc Faber sees interest rates beginning to increase by the end of the year and claims stocks will do better than government bonds as the Fed inflates a new credit bubble. Warren Buffett (as always, talking his book) agrees that the market may have reached an 'inflection point' where equities will perform better than bonds. Maybe so, but mark me dubious.
Water is Wet: Just as we suspected, people keep blowing themselves up just to embarrass the US. Research shows that most of the suicide attacks in the last 30 years were protests against military occupation, and we've done more of that than anyone else.
Tectonic Shift: China has replaced the US as the world's largest energy consumer, providing about half of the new, increasing demand for oil. While their per-capita energy use is still far below that of many industrialized nations, China has a lot of 'capita' and its energy use will continue to increase even while supplies decrease.
Plotline: Make a movie showing the disappearance of 80% of the animals and plants in the world's tropical forests. Hold it for release in 2100 as an historical documentary.
Leg Bone/Hip Bone: If no one is building houses, trees remain standing, sawmills stand idle, and fewer rail cars carry lumber and other forest products to market. And right now, after a brief period of increase, fewer rail cars are carrying lumber to market. It's what's known as a clue.
Class System: There are the employed, the unemployed, those working part-time because they can't find a full time job, those working far below their previous income level, 'those marginally attached' to the labor market, and 'discouraged workers'. When the unemployment rate is mentioned, you have to wonder which unemployment rate? The nominal 9.6%, the mostly true 17.1%, or some figure above 22% which would be the more or less real rate?
Porn O'Graph: There's population and there's jobs, and one grows much faster than the other.