Once we get rid of the environment, business will really flourish.
Crooks and Thieves: Of course they are hooligans and criminals – everything is so hunky dory in Mr. Cameron's England that it just must be a bunch of degenerates. No, not his government – the unemployed youth of London. His answer: plastic bullets, water cannon and troops on the streets. Sure the police warned that the austerity regime would cause “social tensions” and “widespread disorder”, but what did they know, they weren't economists.
Statistic: More than 20% of American children live in poverty. They are the most impoverished age group in the nation.
Toe/Water: The latest balloon to come floating out of the West Wing suggested that Uncle Sam could become the nation's largest landlord by renting out Federally owned foreclosed houses. What the housing market really needs is another few layers of complexity riddled with corruption and graft. Which problem are they going to solve? Whose problem?
Pot/Kettle: The US has asked China to explain why it needs an aircraft carrier. Probably for the same reason the US has eleven of them and is building two more.
Vox Populi: 23 recent polls show that – by an average of 65% to 30% - the American public wants tax increases as part of the deficit reduction process. That's nice, but it does not matter. The GOP no-taxes agenda has been out of step with the public for 15 years or more, but public opinion, like unemployment, foreclosure and the economic struggles of the average voter, does not matter to the Republican Party.
My Friend: Mitt Romney assured his 'friends' at the Iowa State Fair that he would not raise taxes on corporations in order to save Social Security and Medicare because “corporations are people,” too.
Experimental Data:Greece reports that cutting the government's budget and imposing the IMF/EU mandated austerity measures has resulted in a 16.6% unemployment rate – an increase of 36% y/y.
Under/Over: The initial number for new unemployment claims was 395,000 – the first time it has been under 400,000 in 18 weeks (although this one will be adjusted upwards, too). The June trade gap was $53 billion, a 6% increase and way above the experts' expectation of $48 billion. Almost one-third of all houses sold in June were “distressed properties” on which the bank took less that the loan balance in payment. 6.5 million mortgages were delinquent or in foreclosure in June.
Take That!The CME raised the margin requirements on gold trades by 22%, resulting in a 1.8% drop in its price. They also raised the margin requirement on US Treasuries, another speculative investment.
On The Cuff: A broken AC or a car with engine problems would drive 64% of Americans to the pawn shop, a payday loan shark, or – last resort - a cash advance on a credit card to come up with $1,000 to fix things.
Choice, Really Choice: When he ran for governor, Rick Scott went around Florida scaring old folks by telling them that “Obamacare” would take away people's ability to chose their own doctors. This was not true, of course. Now that he is governor he has taken away state employees right to chose – the state will offer them only one HMO and the choice is take it or leave it. The governor pays $30 a month for his health insurance.
Chaos Theory: The Dow was -512, then +61, then – 632, up 429 followed by down 520 on Wednesday and closed Thursday a positive 423. Even my '57 Chevy never shimmied that much.