Tail, Wagging: Newly minted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says that the Pentagon will not accept large cutbacks in military spending, debt deal be damned. His suggestion: Tax the rich and cut Social Security – or make way for the tanks.
A Pact of Wolves: Euroland is under siege by its members. Greece is already insolvent (its bailout package gives bondholders a 21% haircut). Ireland and Portugal are on life support but haven't defaulted yet. Spain and Italy are vying to be next to get German taxpayer money. Even Belgium and France are shuffling into line for handouts. The US, meanwhile, just passed the 100% mark in debt to GDP ratio.
Smoke and Mirrors: W. Spann LLC gave Mitt Romney's Super Pac $1 million. Then went out of business, having existed for only 60 days. Perfectly legal under the new Corporations Are People regime.
Succinctly: The real problem facing us under the Peak Oil banner is not a shortage of energy as much as an immense over-consumption of energy. “A longage of expectations.” We will be forced to revise our expectations and live within the limits imposed by declining availability and increasing cost of our fossil fuels. Lifestyles will be different – very different.
Parking Fee: If your mattress is overstuffed and you absolutely must stick some cash in a bank, stay away from putting $50 million or more into your account at Bank of New York Mellon – they are going to charge you for sitting on it. Three-month T-bills at 0.008% are actually a better investment. The next time someone points out that gold and silver do not pay interest, remember this story .
Mind, Boggled: To hell with the salmonella, just try to picture 36 million pounds of turkey, leftover.
This Little Piggy: When disease sweeps through the herd and kills off the little piggies, the hog farmer feels the pain. In Germany the DAX is off over 10% as fears of recession in the Bundesrepublik grow. Seems that if you live by exports and those who import your goods are going toes up, exports dwindle. And now Belgium is moving up in the failing state sweepstakes.
Curb Your Enthusiasm: The SEC is looking into reports that shale gas companies have been overstating their gas reserves.
Recipe: It is simple, if we do not address population growth, over-consumption of energy and other natural resources and the depletion of fresh waters, we will need to find at least 27 more planet Earths to loot by 2050.
Stuck: Unemployment claims again this week are weak – 400,000.
Choose Carefully: If you want to live nearly forever, forget the diets, the exercise, abstention and prayer. But choose your parents very, very carefully. It is all in the genes, and some of them have not been patented yet.
Hint: “This could turn out to be more than a mere market plunge.”
Conundrum: Congress passed a bunch of programs and instructed the Executive Branch to carry them out, then got upset because the programs exceeded the money on hand. Why would the Congress blame the Executive Branch for the shortage of funds, when tax bills originate in the House? Take wars, for example. If Congress had to fund a war before it could have a war, we'd have a damned sight fewer great adventures. If they had had to come up with the income to fund the Bush taxes or the Wall Street bailouts – before they spent the money - there'd have been less of that foolishness, too. This is not to say that investment in capital improvements shouldn't be financed by appropriate debt, but when it comes to throwing money away, Congress should have to have the money on hand. And it is Congress at fault here, not the President.