The line between citizen, subject and terrorist is growing finer.
Helping Hand: European authorities fear that China may have been less than altruistic in buying up Spain and Portugal's debt. What if, they ask, the purpose was to push up the euro against the yuan and gain advantage for their exports? Well, China wouldn't be the Lone Ranger on that stage.
Look Ma! No Hands : According to Bernanke, the US economy will grow 3 or 4% in 2011, with no one hiring nobody.
On the Up & Up: After November's retail sales improving 1.2% M/M, December's 0.5% seems anemic, yet it was up 7.9% from December 2009. Retail sales are up 13.5% from the bottom, and just above the pre-recession peak. Better than a sharp stick in the eye.
Oh, By the Way: Goldman Sachs explained today that when they reported $8.5 billion in losses on investments in stocks and bonds back in 2008, it really meant $13.5 billion. This was (a) a misstatement (b) an oversight (c) done to hide losses (d) a bald-faced lie (e) business as usual for God's own investment bank.
Dumb: 'Does a Bad Job Market Lead to More Discrimination?' Yes, why do you ask?
Dumber: Has The Fed Lit Inflation Fuse? Again, why do you ask?
True Confessions: The IEA, agreeing with the US EIA, says that increasing oil prices could slow or reverse the global economic recovery and bring on another recession, explaining that “most of the major economic downturns in the United States, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region since the 1970s have been preceded by sudden increases in crude oil prices.”
Forewarned Is Depressing: The US Energy Department says retail gasoline prices could top $4 per gallon and diesel prices may rise 14% this year, which should be cause for alarm for consumers who have already seen a steady climb in fuel prices.
Hat's Off: The EPA has 'withdrawn' a federal water permit for a mammoth mountain top removal project, Arch Coal's Spruce No. 1. The EPA found the mine “would use destructive and unsustainable mining practices that jeopardize the health of Appalachian communities and clean water on which they depend." Expect a Republican/Business backlash, joined by the Democratic politicians from the area, all crying about lost jobs (and profits).
Davy Crock: Tennessee Tea Partiers want textbooks to portray the Founding Fathers owning slaves and our nation's genocidal campaign against Native Americans in a positive, uplifting way.
Close Shave: A new report reveals that in late 2008 the FDIC was ready to close Citigroup because it was not able to meet its liquidity requirements. A hasty government “intervention based as much on gut instinct and fear of the unknown as on objective criteria" saved the day. And what did we get from the Citigroup bailout?
Down and Out: Banks have walked away from nearly 1,900 foreclosed houses in Chicago, leaving them to the tender mercies of the weather and the streets. Often the foreclosure process is deliberately left incomplete so the banks can evade responsible for upkeep and taxes.
For Your Own Good: Republican led states are handing out tax breaks to corporations while raising taxes on ordinary citizens. Why this is reported as news is a mystery.