Eloquence trumps evidence.
God & Country: Seymour Hersh, with a long record of inconvenient investigative coups, is now reporting that a secret group of Christian nutcases has taken over much of the US military and have, in effect, “overthrown the American government” and replaced it with a fraternity of Crusading Knights Templar. Hope he includes the nuts at Colorado Springs.
Ignorance is Bliss: The outlook for the economy does not support the market's current valuation. There is a (nicely recited) very long list of domestic and global economic issues that point to problems ahead, while the technical measures indicate a significant market decrease awaits. But the market promises more, more, and ever more; thus we dance. It is now abundantly clear that it will take a crisis far larger than 2008 to teach the necessary lesson.
Let the Good Times Roll: “Employment won't get back to where it was. Maybe we're talking 10, 15, or 20 years to get to the really good days again.”
One Out of Two: Several states are facing budgetary gaps serious enough that they must either receive outside help or be permitted some form of bankruptcy. The GOP controlled House is not going to provide any funding and is loath to let them enter a bankruptcy that would harm investors. Their plan will be to authorize states to renege on contractual promises to retirees and unions, yet require bondholders to be made whole. In short, kill the unions.
The Real Deficit: About 60% of Americans want the government to cut taxes without cutting any spending.
What's Love Got To Do With It? Representative Edward Markey (D-MA) wants an Treasury Secretary Geithner to investigate the BP/Rosneft stock swap. Mr. Geithner could begin by explaining to Mr. Markey that BP is a British company and Rosneft a Russian one and that neither of them had to ask 'May I'.
Protesting Too Much? Another day, another hysterical attack on Meredith Whitney. The loudest of those the denying the possibility of a “massive wave” of municipal defaults seem to have skin in the game.
Devil/Details: If the US were to embrace “Drill, baby, drill.” as an energy policy, the main result would be an emptying of reserves that much quicker, followed by a total dependency on foreign oil by about 2030.
True Facts: “The fiscal stimulus packages put in place in 2009-10 required most countries to run budget deficits... Treasuries issued new public debt - totaling $5.5 trillion since 2008 - to pay for the additional expenditures. To keep interest rates low, many central banks monetized that debt, injecting large sums of money into the economies. Central banks will face the difficult task of containing inflation without raising interest rates so high they snuff out further growth.” CIA World Fact Book, 2010.
Gap Coverage: Dr. Peter Höppe of Munich Re says that “For me the most convincing piece of evidence that global warming has been contributing already to more and more intense weather related natural catastrophes is the fact that while we find a steep increase in the number of loss relevant weather events (about tripling in the last 30 years) we only find a slight increase in geophysical (earthquake, volcano, tsunami) events.”
Irony: JPMorgan handles food stamp debit cards in 26 states, child support debit cards in 15 states, and unemployment insurance debit cards in 7 states. If you have a problem with your debit card you just call the JPMorgan service center. In India.