The difference between barbarians and Wall Street is scale.
Reminder: “We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression… The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way… The third is freedom from want… The fourth is freedom from fear…” Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Pray we remember.
Can You Hear Me Now? Just as we were getting used to the idea that governments can't keep secrets from determined hackers, we learn that they can't keep cell phones from people they have locked up in cells, either.
The Dating Game: The US counter-insurgency campaign in Afghanistan to succeed, it needs a stable, well-liked and dependable local partner in Kabul Honesty is not a requirement, but docility is. Karzai, for his part, can't decide whether he wants the Taliban or the Americans to take him to the dance.
Old News: The Vatican Bank “allowed clergy to act as front for Mafia”. Nice to see they don’t discriminate at the collection plate.
It's Different This Time: Banks are offering credit cards to higher risk borrowers again, claiming that this time it is not so risky because they are using new and better guidelines – like customers' Facebook pages and Google searches – to determine creditworthiness... and charging ever higher fees and interest rates.
Wholly Mackerel: Iceland and the Faroe Islands have seriously disturbed both Great Britain and the EU and this time it has nothing to do with banks. Iceland and the Faroes have set their own quotas for the mackerel harvest, far in excess of the numbers desired by GB and the EU. Just like in the bank confrontation of a couple of years ago, threats of retaliatory actions are expected.
One Size Fits All: Just ask any economist. Better yet, ask four or five...
Candide: Wall Street, the politicians, and the MSM keep claiming that everything is getting better, every day, in every way. Except. “Saving” turns out to be lower debt due to write-offs. Improving employment data turns out to be more and more people leaving the labor pool. The “upturn” is an economy where 7 million fewer people worked than a couple of years ago. And with fewer people working shorter hours at lower wages somehow retail sales are up. Repeat after me: “The economy is recovering, retail is doing well...
Size Matters: A few days ago Glenn Beck claimed that ten percent of Muslims are terrorists. There are about 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. General Petraeus needs reinforcements if he's going to take on 150 million terrorists and Ahmed Karzai at the same time.