The assumed effect of austerity programs is an abrupt increase in virtue among the lower classes.
Quiz: What countries would object to an international agreement that would prevent them from having a current account surplus in excess of 4% of their GDP? A) Those with such surpluses. B) Those which aspire to such surpluses. C) Germany and Brazil and Japan. D) All of the above.
This Just In: Fox News has decided that feeding hungry children destroys American families.
Mission Accomplished: The Supreme Court has succeeded in privatizing US elections. Anyone rich enough - emphasis on the “one” and “rich” – can start a group and dump unlimited money into campaigns to support their chosen candidate as long as they do not “coordinate” with the candidate. One dollar, one vote.
Simpleton Math: According to JP Morgan, about $2 trillion of the $6 trillion in MBS are likely to default, at a cost of $1.1 trillion. Everyone involved – borrowers, lenders, mortgage brokers, mortgage servicers, MBS originators, MBS holders, title insurers, MBS rating agencies, Fannie & Freddie and Mrs. Fletcher from down the block – will try to sue everyone else while begging Uncle Sam for a handout. A new circus.
Gotta Be True: “Vending Machine Sells Live Crabs”
Foreclosure Forecast: Absent government intervention to stop foreclosures, over 11 million borrowers will lose their houses. That's one in five people with a mortgage, about 10% of the population – another 33 million on top of those already foreclosed on, plus the economically homeless. How long can this keep on?
Define 'Accidentally': Google acknowledges that it had inadvertently gathered information from private wireless networks via its “Street View” mapping – stuff like emails and passwords. But only in a few dozen countries. And only inadvertently.
Franchising: America is quite literally for sale, at rock-bottom prices, and it's being bought up by foreigners with lots of money, using very careful paperwork so we cannot find out who our colonizers are. Assigned reading.
Beyond Hope: The anti-abortion group, Susan B. Anthony List, doesn't understand why it isn't allowed to use lies in its campaign against Democratic congressmen.
Ageless Warfare: Another 'let's scare the youngsters' article on Social Security, gleefully reporting that those born in the 1980's stand only a 13% chance of getting their full benefits – if there are no changes in current law. And how likely do you think that is? And the only solutions suggested are an increase in payroll taxes and/or an increase in retirement age. One wonders why the obvious solution – taxing all income instead of excusing the rich – wasn't mentioned. And it ends with this whopper: “Laws and tax policy that favor one ... group over all others have no chance of acceptance.”
Buck Rogers: “US firm to ship Alaskan water to Middle East via Mumbai.” And the containers will be recyclable.
Your End of the Boat is Sinking: Foreclosed properties sell at deep discounts and drag down the prices of nearby houses. The economic penalty paid by those owning the nearby houses is a huge cost imposed on them by the banking industry. In the last decade banks have effectively gutted the US housing market for their personal profit and continue to do to the detriment of wholly innocent and non-involved homeowners. It would seem to fall under the reckless endangerment laws.