When you see “credit” think “debt”.
Human Nature 101: Just as the American public wants Washington to cut the deficit and balance the budget without new taxes and without cutting Social Security, Medicare, Defense spending or much else, they want to be safe when they fly. Safe, but not inconvenienced. Search the other guy.
Present, Tense: Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have any interest in actually governing, and the Tea Party folks haven't a clue as to how it might be done. All of which is just as well because at this juncture it may be a lost cause. With every passing day, America is coming more ungovernable .
Ponder This: Portugal's biggest creditor is Spain.
Speaking Up: "Today the Irish Government sold its citizens into debt slavery by agreeing to guarantee stupid loans made by German, British, and US banks. Those loans fueled one of the biggest property bubbles in the world.” (This is exactly what happened in the US, too, with taxpayers footing an enormous bill for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the TBTF banks and AIG.) German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the banks and bondholders should pay for the bailouts, which were caused by their bad investments and general greed. I'm with Angie, who may be getting her way.
Lot 49: Barron’s reports that the banks that palmed off over $2 trillion in MBS bonds may have to pay as much as $134 billion in 'put-backs'. Others think $134 billion is just the opening bid.
Bureaucracy: All new cars sold in the US must have an EPA fuel economy label. But the EPA hasn't yet figured out how to determine 'fuel economy' for all-electric cars. So GM dealers can't sell the Chevy Volt because...
Quoted: “...our nation is in much worse shape, much closer to a political breakdown, than most people realize.” The real tragedy is the number of people in Washington who are looking forward to it.
Bookmark This One: The Best of The Oil Drum 2005-2010
Burp: After months in the doldrums, declining 3 to 4% each month, commercial property prices rebounded a bit, rising 4.3$ y/y in September. A few high-ticket sales drove up the indexes. Apartment buildings have led the pack, rising nearly 16% in Q3 from the previous year. Retail properties have fallen about 12% in the same period. People who lose their houses become renters, not customers.
Difference: How does a rescue by the IMF differ from a rescue by the EMS? The EMS are there to help people.
Operation Iraqi Freedom: The Iraqi government has run out of money to fund widows' benefits, pay for farm crops and other programs for the poor. It can barely pay the elected lawmakers their $180,000 each and keep the bribes flowing. George Bush always claimed we were going to bring democracy to Iraq, and we have. American democracy, where the rich get to stand at the head of the line.
Revisionism: After spending several decades as an essential nutrient required for good health, chromium has been retired after studies showed it had no nutritional value whatsoever.
Cohorts and Contemporaries: Unemployment for 20 – 24 year olds is 15.2%. In the US today only half of those with BA degrees are working in jobs that require a 4 year degree. The banks require they keep paying on their student loans, so that brings a little certainty to their lives.
Mr. Potato Head: The US launched an enormous 'secret' satellite Sunday. Analysts suspect that it is another giant electronic ear sending everything it can scoop up back to NSA.