What did you do today that warrants memorializing on Facebook?
Miss-closure: The Fed, like a modest stripper, has refused to take it all off. Dodd-Frank requires it disclose who got how much from the Fed's goodie bag, and what they pledged as collateral. The Fed says it can't release the specific collateral items because it might well cause a run on the banks if the public knew just how crappy the pledged assets really were.
A World Turned Upside Down: The current hysteria over US deficits is just that, hysteria. The market for long term US treasuries is strong, there is no evidence that supports the claim that cutting the deficit will automatically expand GDP, impartial CBO studies suggest the alarm has exaggerated. The real threats to the US economy are the finance/banking behemoths, the health and health insurance industries, and the hopelessly wasteful military industrial complex. To target Social Security, which is in no serious danger of shortfall for decades, is disingenuous at best. A program of public stimulus to the real economy through public investment in infrastructure development and repair, combined with a single-payer national health system and a severe trimming of the bloated defense budget would go a long ways toward reviving the economy and thus lowering the deficits. Before you agree to be led, ask to see the map.
Clue: Children with autism are far more likely to have damage and oxidative stress in their mitochondria – the cell's energy producer.
Good/Bad News: For the capitalists, the BLS has good news: Labor productivity increased in 3Q10 at an annual rate of 2.3%. For labor, the BLS has bad news: You are producing more and being paid less, while taking even more jobs away from your fellow workers.
Accidental Truth: Antrel Rolle was wrong when he compared professional football players to soldiers returning from war. He meant gladiators...
Missteps: Those chickens Iraq has been counting are at best premature. Just released data show a continuing decline in production, from 61.3 million barrels in December 2009 to 55.4 million barrels in August 2010 – a 9.5% decline, which does not speak well of their plan to increase production from 2.5 mbd to 12 mbd in the next 6 years.
Revolutionary Idea: The GOP goal is to reduce the tax burden of the rich as much as possible while giving them the vast majority of the benefits of citizenship. Hard to remember the US was founded on the idea of No Taxation Without Representation, not the reverse.
People vs Profits: The FTC is leaning towards abandoning net neutrality in favor of letting Internet providers gouge users for as much as possible. Profits won.
Now It Can Be Told: It Really Was About Bailing Out The Rich (and Hedge Funds).
Endgame: Ireland and Spain are moving into step two of the shock doctrine program, offering up airports, electrical systems, natural gas systems, and even national lotteries to the privatization gods.
Pawn Shop: During what should come to be known as the Great Bamboozlement, when the Treasury was handing out alphabetized money, banks (and others) were made to put up collateral for the loans they received. And there's the rub. Bank America put up as much as $185 billion in face-value securities to secure a $15 billion loan. Goldman Sachs put up $25 billion in theoretical assets to borrow $2 billion. And so on. What sort of trash were they using for collateral and how did they manage to tuck them back into their balance sheets at 100%?
Cough: Hold up your hand. Is your index finger longer than your ring finger? If so you are less likely to develop prostate cancer. The report didn't say left hand or right.
Advent: Perhaps a good Christmas Consuming Season is upon us. Costco sales are up 9%, Macy's rose 6%, The Limited was up 10%, Target reported a 5.5% increase in sales and The Gap was up 4%. Thank the women of my family, patriots one and all.
Points For A Compass Rose: There are several competing views of the way forward. Some thing business as usual will get us there. Some think we'll follow the petroleum production curve slowly down while we find alternative fuels to save the day. Others say we are in for a rapid drop in all the fossil fuels, followed by a rapid drop in our economies. A few ignore the limits of growth and the resource limits and smugly await a hot tub future. The problem is that we think we know all the variables, and we don't.
Porn O'Graph: Oil dancing with GDP.