In a reasonably sane world no competent farmer would be poor.
Signifying Nothing: The Boehner brigade in the House can go on and on (and will) about repealing the health care act and gutting the EPA and investigating organic gardening and the damage climate science is doing to Big Coal's profits, but it is just a sideshow. The Democrats will not let this drivel pass in the Senate. It is all sound and fury.
More of Less and Less: Moody's says that Europe is the “weakest link” in the global economy and that even savage cuts in public spending will not save the “weaker peripheral eurozone nations” from defaulting on their debts. "The amount of austerity needed to correct Europe's imbalances may be politically unsustainable.” And Happy New Year to you, too.
Pick 'em: Protests intensified throughout _____ in response to increases in fuel prices. (Fill in the country of your choice, depending on what month it is.)
Stop and Think: Is Facebook really worth $50 billion? Goldman Sachs claims to think so. Ignoring, if possible, the bigger fool theory of investing, please figure out how much profit, and how much future profit growth in advertising revenue Facebook needs in order to pay dividends that would justify such a valuation. Thank goodness Goldman has an endless supply of bigger fools
Love & Marriage: A single currency works only if there is (a) a single country or (b) a single strong country and a coterie of little states willing to let the strong country dominate. Neither condition prevails in Europe. And then there's divorce.
Fortune Cookie for 2011: Inequality will grow, jobs will not. The price of everything will go up but the government will report no inflation. Wall Street will do well, you will not.
Be Prepared: Over 50 California cities have adopted crash-tax laws which permit the city to seek reimbursement for the costs of sending public emergency crews to accident scenes. If your insurance company will not pay (and they won't), the city can come after you (and they will).
Rhetorical Question: ‘How Did a Relatively Small Number of Subprime Loans Cause a Record Crisis?’ They didn't. It was 30 years of living beyond our means. It was greed throughout the real estate and financial systems that made the fraud possible. It was calculated and cynical deregulation that freed the thieves. But only in the very smallest of ways was it “a relatively small number of sub-prime loans.” But Mr. Black knew that.
Stage Directions: Oil and gasoline prices have risen to their highest levels in two years, and analysts say prices could shoot up dramatically this year as the thirst for
profits grows among Wall Street speculators fuel grows in the U.S. and around the world.
A Penny Saved: New York's new governor is seeking a one-year salary freeze for state workers as part of his plan to close a $9 billion budget gap. The freeze will save the state $200 million, leaving Andy needing to find only $8.8 billion more in cuts.
Queuing Behavior: Allstate, stuck with a lot of debt it bought from Countrywide, has sued Bank of America – Countrywide's current deep pockets – alleging that they were not told about the pig in the poke. Interesting how capitalists have forgotten Caveat Emptor.
Settlement: Bank of America is far too happy to announce paying Fannie and Freddie only $2.6 billion for
dumping selling them questionable mortgages. Bof A had earlier bought back about $11.4 billion in bad loans. The settlement “should help Bank of America” and is seen as “negative for FNM/FRE.” The taxpayer also gets screwed, but that was a given.
Bears In the Woods: Will Congress’s Tea Party class go native in Washington? Yes, they will and no, it's not an essay question.