We prattle on about deleveraging as though we know what it is.
Faint Praise: The steepest rise in food prices in 36 years was greeted with the usual mantra, “Underlying inflation is contained.” The producer-price index was up 1.6% from the prior month and 5.6% y/y. Most of that increase was due to a sharp rise in vegetable costs, which increased nearly 50 percent. In that inflation is everywhere except at the Fed - at least for the stuff people actually need - what they meant to say was “Under lying, inflation is contained.”
Special Delivery: Saudi and Bahrainian 'defense forces' continue to complete the delivery of US made bullets to the citizens of Bahrain – all part of the US petroleum security plan. The Pentagon says there's lots more where they came from.
Emphasis: Reports claim the US stock market's strong decline was due to concern over Japan's nuclear crisis. The rapid increase in producer prices and the dramatic fall in housing starts were not sexy enough.
Chickens, Roosting: The young people who overthrew Mubarak have refused to let Secretary Clinton take credit for their courage.
Resistance: Correctly reading both the mood of his people and the intentions of the IMF, Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates said he would not ask for an international financial 'rescue' because that would be signing away the country's sovereignty. The country's only hope of escaping the IMF's clutches is even more cuts to health and welfare budgets, which are strongly opposed in the country. But today's reception to Portugal's auction of €1 billion in 12-month bills – with a 4.33% yield - led Moody's to downgrade the country's debt two steps, to A3. Look for Portugal to be
repossessed bailed out any day.
Succinct: Housing starts fell 22.5% in February, to their lowest rate since 1984; building permits have fallen to the lowest level on record.
Net, Net: Senator Franken explains the Republican version on “net neutrality” quite well: Big corporations need the right to destroy the internet as we know it so they can make lots of money while ending the disturbing freedom and equality it now provides. In its place the big guys will institute a tariff system that will let the monied pay for faster speeds and priority access, leaving everyone else – that's you – behind, paying more and getting less. Sound familiar?
Unclear on the Concept: Palin ays the President has deliberately driven up the price of gasoline
in order to tank the economy and ruin his chances of re-election.
On Letting Old Folks Starve and Veterans Suffer: All “social justice” programs involve the use of force “to acquire one’s desires — not to earn desirable goods by rational thought and action, production and voluntary exchange, but to go in there and forcibly take goods from those who can supply them” and give them to lazy worthless parasites who cannot fend for themselves.
Required Reading: The Panic Virus (Mnoonkin) and Deadly Choices (Offit) explain the roots of the absurd anti-vaccine movement and the dangers it poses to all of us.
Memorize: If Social Security is just part of the federal budget, with no trust fund of its own, then it is part of the federal budget: there can’t be a Social Security crisis. All you can have is a general budget crisis. And unless the Congress votes not to honor US Treasury bonds, Social Security is sound. This is all an effort by the burglars (Congress and Wall Street) to blame the victims for their thefts.
Hide the Valuables! The Fed's Open Market Committee says “that the economic recovery is on a firmer footing, and overall conditions in the labor market appear to be improving.” Firmer than what?
Porn O'Graph: Crumbs.