Debt peonage: A concept you
should will become familiar with.
Among Friends: Bank of America got “a gift from Tim Geithner” with Fannie and Freddie settling the GSE's “put-back” demands at a penny on the dollar. Bank of America paid a 'premium', $1.28 billion, to Freddie Mac to resolve $1 billion in claims. But that also covers any and all claims on another $127 billion in dodgy Countrywide loans. How will BofA be able to pay another round of big bonuses if the government doesn't help them out?
Beyond Repair: Instead of squandering trillions on pointless wars and bailouts for the rich we could have been investing in our future, our children's future, our country's infrastructure. Instead we're broke and our infrastructure is broken. We are fast becoming another country.
Happy Motoring: GM happily reported that December sales were up 8%. They did not much play up the fact that the 8% increase in sales was perched on a 32% increase in dealer inventories. No reasonable offer refused.
Smaller Huge: The GOP is now pledging to cut the federal budget by a 'huge' $100 billion. That is marked down from the $200 billion in cuts they went on about after the election. Doesn't much matter which figure they cite, they haven't the foggiest notion of how to actually do it.
Buy & Hold: Americans have returned to value investing, buying stocks for the long run, with the average time a stock is held has increasing from 20 to 22 seconds.
Prospecting: The good news is that 24% of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2011. The bad news is that only 24% of employers plan to hire full time employees and a tiny 13% plan to hire part-timers. The remaining 63% of businesses have put up “Not Hiring” sign for the year.
Splash! Did you hear about the Petraeus Water Park in Baghdad? Another million bucks well spent on winning hearts and minds.
Wadeing In: Cardinal Scalia claims that the 14th Amendment doesn't guarantee protection against discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation and that 'Roe v. Wade' is “a total absurdity.” Scalia, a
troglodyte constitutional "originalist" , said it would be constitutional to pass laws discriminating against women.
The Joke's on You: They say the recession is over. It can't be, because the Great Whatever was not a recession. It was, and is, a depression.
Geography Quiz: Where in Hell is Haiti? Exactly.
Lost at Sea: For a fifth straight year the world's production of oil – conventional petroleum from traditional oil wells, aka crude and condensate – will not exceed the 73.7 mbd produced in 2005. The North Sea's output has dropped 25% (a million barrels a day) in the last 2 years. Canada had yet another year of producing about 2.6 mbd – much of it expensively mined from tar sands. Puzzling how the rising price of oil doesn't elicit more supply. Wonder why.
Total Eclipse: The chance of an American getting killed by a terrorist remains miniscule, their chance of dying from lack of timely medical attention is significant. So naturally the US embraces a world-wide single-payer military system.
Gulp Stream: Scientists have found evidence of a "drastic" shift in North Atlantic currents. The cold Labrador Current's influence on the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream has declined, changing the nature of the North Atlantic Oscillation, thus contributing to the recent harsh European winters and severe summer droughts.
Porn O'Graph: Over the top, now down the other side?