Apparently you can major in fraud at most B-schools.
Markdown: While officials sitting in offices in the Middle East keep punching numbers into their computers and increasing their nation's oil reserves, the USGS went and drilled a bunch of holes and discovered that of the 10.6 billion barrels of oil previously thought to be held in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, less than 10% actually are there. Can't wait for them to check out ANWR.
Public Service Announcement: As a public service during this last week of election adds, we'd like to remind you that in the last 2 years, nothing has been "nationalized" except banker's losses, the Employee Free Choice Act emasculated unions, health-care reform was based on the Republican model, Big Pharma got richer off the prescription deal in Medicare, all the loopholes for business will work – ask Google, and much of the stimulus money went to tax cuts and bib banks, not ACORN.
Sizzle vs. Steak: JD Powers says that, despite the advertisements, in 10 years only 7.3% of passenger cars sold globally will be hybrids or plug-ins. The rest will still burn gasoline, if they can afford it.
Nutshell: Data shows that the unemployed are not spending much and that the upper crust doesn't see the problem.
Research Paper: There's a lot of talk about needing an educated work force, more college graduates, etc. etc. The assumptions are that those who graduate college make more money, the more graduates we have (making more money) the more the economy will grow. Is there any actual evidence that either of these is true? How many people at the local Grab & Run have been to college? At least 17 million people with college degrees are working places that do not require a bachelors. “Do you want fries with that?”
Belaboring the Obvious: Researchers have discovered that the Supreme Court favors business these days.
Shortfall: The Republican thirst to slay the budget is going to run up against reality. Cutting $100 billion from the federal budget’s discretionary ledger amounts to cutting 21% of every 'discretionary'[ item: medical research, student loans, agricultural programs, health and human services, the National Cancer Institute.... And so on. But it makes a good sound bite.
Colors: The administration prevented the Fed from joining its homies (a group of 20 big banks) in asking the Supreme Court to block taxpayers from finding out which banks received taxpayer money. The Fed's theory is that just because it's the taxpayers' money doesn't mean they should know how it was spent.
All In the Family: After pledging their undying love and eternal faithfulness to the task of soothing trade tensions, the G-20's finance chiefs have returned home and begun “acting to slow gains in their currencies” by weakening them to gain competitive advantage. I've had one-night stands that lasted longer.
Goal? The administration and the banks want nothing, not even perjury and fraud, to slow down the foreclosure flood, as though the market needed more distressed housing on the market. It does not. The current “elevated inventory” is sufficient to depress existing home prices and increase their sales at the expense of new construction (which actually benefits the economy). There were 24,000 new houses sold in September, down from the previous record low of 28k back in 1981.
On A Roll: Kimberly-Clark says they've found a way to do away with the 17 billion pasteboard tubes produced annually in the US to hold toilet paper. They claim this will save over 150 million pounds of trash. They did not say how much cash this will save them, nor did they say anything about how much paper was saved when they reduced the width of rolls a while back, while keeping the price the same.