Don't tell everything you know.
Dance Card: The struggle over the budget is not either/or, it is a three-way race with the third entrant getting no respect. “What I see is a three-way tussle among the rich, the not very rich and the not rich at all over who should pay the costs of balancing the budget” – that is the Republicans vs the Democrats vs the People, and the People aren't being asked to dance – just to pay the band.
Sarcasm On: “Have you heard the good news? Big banks are making more money than we thought.” No, nothing to be seen here. Back away from that pile of second mortgages.
Something Else to Worry About: Trading in Goldman Sachs Sigma X (don't ask), is said to have predicted the vultures descent on Italy – three weeks before the troubles started. Now Sigma X trading indicates that the UK may be next in line.
There's Something Happening Here: While our attention drawn has been drawn to the fight over the deficit and social welfare spending, the bankers have continued to to steal the country out from under us.
Believe More, Harder! Republican governors are admitting they are in over their heads and need the Almighty's help in solving the serious problems they promised to take care of if elected. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma has joinEd Texas' Gov. Goodhair (who has heard the 'call' to the presidency) who threw up his hands and said "it's time for us to just hand it over to God and say, 'God, You’re going to have to fix this.'" and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal who didn't understand that BP had an in with the Almighty.
Snidely Whiplash: As I've long thought – ever since I divorced one – MBAs are at the root of
all evil our problems.
Acting: According to FOX, Sara Palin's “Undefeated” opened strong this weekend, playing to “packed theaters” and raking in $75,000. The theaters were packed all right - with people going to see the new Harry Potter film, which drew $168,550,000.
Apples to Oranges:OPEC reports that Venezuela, at 296.5 billion barrels, now has a larger oil reserve than Saudi Arabia. But much of Venezuela's is in the Orinoco Tar Sands and much of Saudi Arabia's (mostly heavy, sour crude) is a number pulled out of thin air in 1982 and has remained essentially unchanged since. What actual data shows is that the combined net exports from the two have dropped from 11.4 mbd in 2005 to 8.9 mbd last year. And while their net exports continue to decline by about a half-million barrels a year, their combined rate on internal consumption is increasing at about 10% a year. What they may have in the ground and what they are producing this year are not nearly as important as how much they are exporting. And that is decreasing.
Congressional Herring: A balanced budget amendment may or may not be a workable idea, depending on the definition of 'balanced' and 'budget'.
Antigonish: Rogoff & Reinhardt point out that “At some point even advanced economies hit a ceiling where the pressure of rising borrowing costs forces policymakers to increase tax rates and cut government spending.” Maybe so, but 10-year Treasuries at 2.9% is still as cheap as it comes. Interest on the debt (as a % of GDP) is now about half what it was when Newt tried to shut down the government back in 1995.
Headline! Headline! The Head Of The World's Biggest Hedge Fund Sees "Economic Collapse" Due To Money Printing By Early 2013.
Sharp Stick/Eye: Republicans do not care that Richard Cordray and not Elizabeth Warren has been selected to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans have promised to block any nomination until a way is found to make sure that no regulation of the financial markets will occur and most certainly no one will be allowed to go around protecting consumers.
Preaching to the Choir: Ron Paul, stepping down from Congress, proclaims: “We Need To Stop Allowing Secretive Banking Cartels To Endlessly Enslave Us". He also said some bad things about the Fed, again.
Porn O'Graph: Pick several from column 'A'...