One more time: you cannot borrow your way out of debt.
Giving, Thanks: As estimates of the Irish bailout climb through €200 billion, the average Irish household will owe about £3,000 in extra taxes, while the bailout funds go to global banks in Germany, France, and eventually to Goldman Sachs. The Irish get wage cuts, social service cuts, VAT increases, and unchanged corporate taxes. Any questions?
Seconds? There were 407,000 new unemployment claims this week, bringing the 4 week moving average to 436,000 – the lowest it's been since August 2008. 'Please, sir, I want some more.'
Sign Lanaguage: A bill before the Australian Parliament would require government approval before a foreign interest can take control of farmland. For 'foreign' read 'Chinese'.
Over the River and Through: The average house in foreclosure is 492 days delinquent. Over 20% of mortgage loans that are over two years delinquent are not yet in foreclosure. Some 9.20% of all mortgages are delinquent and 3.92% more are already in the foreclosure process – that's 13.2% of all mortgaged homes (4 million) that are circling the drain. October's new house sales were down 8.1% m/m, to an annualized 283,000.
Day Late, Dollar Short: CNN wants to know if the US is on the path to permanent war. On the path?
Tab A in Slot B: Research shows that older workers who desperately need jobs and have a very difficult time finding them are more willing to work for peanuts than cocky youngsters who are still free-loading off mom and dad. Imagine.
Way-Back Machine: Major firms are arguing that they need a two-tier wage system to help bridge the recession. What they really want is to permanently drive down wages by hiring cheap help and getting rid of older, better paid workers. Big business is essentially trying to abolish unions, returning workers to their pre 1920 dependence on the largess of the boss. There will be far more than just two tears.
Silly Question: Is the stock market rigged? Depends on how you define 'rigged'.
Anti-Reformation: In an attempt to intimidate Elizabeth Warren as she sets up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Republicans have sent the inspectors general at the Treasury and Federal Reserve letters suggesting they exert “rigorous” oversight on her activities. The object, of course, is to prevent – as far as possible – the Consumer Agency from being effective, an example of the GOP using non-legislative pressure to prevent implementation of legislation they opposed.
Word/Wise: A 5 year study suggests that at least 18% of patients are harmed by hospitals, and the the trend is not getting any better.
Winter of Discontent: Much of the unhappiness with the Affordable Care Act is that it did not really reform health care – that's what 35% of the electorate say. The 33% who want to repeal the act tend to be white men over 40 who make more than $50,000 annually. There was no data on what percentage of these men had walked off and left a wife and kids to fend for themselves.
Pull the Other One: Bush still maintains there were legitimate reasons to invade Iraq, and that torturing people was necessary and legal.
Pelham 123: Ms. Napolitano says that terrorists will keep trying, so ever stricter security standards will be necessary. She said that screening passengers using trains and subways and buses and car pool lanes will be phased in so we can all feel safe.
IMF vs Children: In case you haven't noticed, its the children that lose and the IMF's bankers that win. Always. Save the banks at the cost of the people. Always.
Final Notice: Americans have been taught to live on their credit cards, carrying huge balances for years. Now elderly Americans are doing just that, running up credit card debt not just for for health care, but for vacations and ordinary expenses. And they have no intention of paying of their debt. If they planned ahead and got a reverse mortgage and run down all their assets, the credit card companies will really get stiffed. Seems appropriate.