Governments rest on the consent of their victims, too.
Devil/Details: The leaders of Germany and France have proposed the eurozone form a “true European economic government” led by the president of the EU and consisting of the leaders of the 17 eurozone nations. They also want a constitutional requirement for balanced budgets to be adopted by all the eurozone nations. A few details remain to be worked out.
In The News: The Mortgage Bankers' Association reports that applications for mortgages fell 9.1% last week. The market's volatility got noticed.
Politics, As Usual:How do you judge economic performance? Number of jobs? Number of unemployed? Employment/population ratio? Average wage? Pick the one that makes you look good, or him look bad. Tiebreaker: 44.7% of the US population has a job; 43.5% of Texans. It was 47% in Texas when Perry took over.
Echo? What Echo? A Shell platform off the Scottish coast has been leaking for over a week, but so far Shell has been less than forthcoming with information about the size, cause, and prognosis for the leak.
Question: Deficit this, deficit that, deficits everywhere and under the bed. How big is this deficit thingy? After all the numbers and assumptions and grinding of teeth and threatening to evict grandma from the nursing home, it turns out that the CBO assumption that makes the ten-year deficit a problem is the assumption that the Bush tax cuts never expire. If they end when they are supposed to under current law, presto-chango, no big deficit problem.
Up In Smoke: In July, China increased its coal imports by 36% y/y, to 17.5 million metric tons. How much is that in atmospheric CO2?
Ransom Note: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor vetoed Obama's plan for a major jobs program even before the plan had been announced. He insists that the Republicans stop any discussion of new stimulus spending. New tax breaks are fine, but any new spending will have to come at the expense of existing spending,
preferably from health care and social services.
Art Appreciation: In Long Beach, CA, the cops will arrest you if your vacation photos do not have any "apparent esthetic value." The officers have no specific training or guidelines, but will arrest you "based on their experience" if you are not engaging in"regular tourist behavior."
Leftovers:Saudi internal consumption of petroleum increased 15% y/y. Good thing their production is up by 17%.
Prospecting: Obama seems to think busing around the country saying 'we need more jobs' is going to get him re-elected. It won't. Actually creating jobs by hiring people to build infrastructure with the free money the world is begging us to take pretty much interest free, now that's an idea...
Faintly Praised: Rick Perry is George Bush “without the intelligence or the ethics.”
Maybe: Further economic deterioration, such as that anticipated to follow the budgetary cuts demanded by the Republicans, is likely to trigger higher unemployment and another fall in aggregate demand resulting in a recession which will trigger yet another leg down in housing and increase in foreclosures - which would increase banks balance sheet problems. But when they turn to Washington for further bailouts, the cupboard will be bare. Note the "is likely". Ditto for Europe.
Capitalism Explained: The meaner you are, the more money you make - $9,772 a year more.
Porn O'Graph: 'Crushing' illustrated.