“What's good for GM is good for America” used to be just a slogan. It might even have been true.
Missremberinged: A former had of the British House Intelligence committee and the current home shadow secretary both say that Bush's claim that information from waterboarding torture saved British lives is less than accurate.
Follow Me! Germany's Finance Minister says the US should emulate Germany and increase its exports, decrease its imports. Good idea. We could begin by not buying any more BMWs.
Humor: The AP has discovered that the US may not leave Iraq at the end of 2011 after all. But it requires “a functioning Iraqi government” to ask for the invaders to stay, and Iraq hasn't had a functioning government in quite some time.
Horse/Water: For the last couple of years the Fed has been pumping money into the banks, hoping to entice them to make more loans. Two things – the banks can invest in US risk free Treasuries and few of the banks one-time customers either want to borrow money, or could meet the banks new standards. Don't tell Ben, it'd upset his whole day.
Two to Tango: One way to lower the unemployment rate is to have more people drop out of the workforce. Good news, unemployment is declining. Guess what: People are dropping out of the labor market in droves.
Here Come da Judge: GOP Representative Issa, the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, plans to hold “seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks.” But he promises not to wage partisan attacks even though Obama is “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.” Fair and impartial, like FOX.
Reality Check: The real unemployment rate is probably well over 20% if one ignores all the BLS gimmicks.
Nothing Down: Earlier reports suggested that the $492.6 billion in deleveraging by consumers was pretty well accounted for by the $476 billion in bank write offs. Now the NY Fed reports that the 2000 – 2007 annual average consumer borrowing of $330 billion has turned into a $150 billion annual reduction in debt. That's $500 billion a year less in consumer spending. There go a few stocking stuffers.
Teaching Points: There are 11.5 million homeowners in default (not the 4 million usually cited) and facing eventual foreclosure. Even prime mortgages are facing an 18% default rate. If these 11.5 million default, few US banks will be solvent. Can you say “principal writedown”? Neither can the banks.
Porn O'Graph: Optimism, yet to be found or developed.