Last time, the Germans didn't use accountants.
Depends on What The Definition of Is Is: President Obama says he doesn't have to politely ask “May I?” for his war in Libya because “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops.” Besides, the Pentagon is paying for the un-war with spare change left over from its lunch money, so no appropriation is needed and so the House doesn't get to have an opinion.
Empire Falls: The NY Fed's Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed indicators of business conditions falling 20 points into negative territory, reflecting a serious drop in general business conditions, shipments, new orders and employment.
Dominos: Greece is insolvent and cannot, now or in the foreseeable future, pay its debts. The Greek default will seriously compromise if not outright bankrupt many major European banks. The European countries that still have some credit and credibility will be very hard pressed to prop up their banks. US banks (and hedge funds) will not be immune and the euro is likely to vanish in its current form. And that's just the financial part of this mess. The riots have already started in Greece and are well along in the planning stages in Spain, Portugal and...
Ah, That's The Problem: “...all of the big names surrounding economic policy are no longer economists but lawyers and people associated with Wall Street.”
Coal Miner's Daughter: China has more than doubled its coal consumption in the last decade. The global transition back to coal is fully on course, with a veritable second Age of Coal now on the horizon, which is getting harder to see through the haze.
As High As An Elephant's Eye... Republicans, ever alert to find ways to cut the budget, have quietly maneuvered to prevent reductions in federal farm subsidies. Instead, compensating cuts were made in domestic and international food aid programs. The Senate, not to be outdone, refused to end the
completely idiotic $5 billion tax subsidy to the ethanol industry. And these folks are going to reduce the deficit?
Trees/Forest: Deforestation in the Amazon increased from 103 sq km in April/May of 2010 to 593 sq km this year. Most of the rainforest is being cut in order to expand the soybean crop. Let me know when the last tree is cut – we'll hold a memorial.
Early Worm: Early indications based on regional MLS sales suggests that existing house sales were down 5% in May, m/m and down 15% y/y.
Longer Time Plans: Chairman Mullen of the Joint Chiefs says that while a few troops are being withdrawn, the US “is not leaving” Afghanistan. Sorry Admiral, but we will leave. The question is when and under how much pressure.
It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A Politician! Spanish legislators in Catalonia have resorted to police helicopters to reach the regional parliament without facing demonstrators protesting proposed austerity measures.