“Things are in the saddle and ride mankind.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don't Bank On It: Bank stocks led the parade down the charts yesterday. Belgium's Dexia looks to be the first of the major European banks to win the bail-out race as Belgium and France rush to the rescue. Deutsche Bank is falling far short, and in the US BofA, Morgan Stanley, and Citi all were injured in the rush to the exits. So far not much has been heard from their former saviors – Treasury, the Fed and captive congresscritters. It's so quiet you have to wonder what they're cooking up now.
Silence Is Golden: The US media and communications providers continue to minimize the ever-widening 'Wall Street' protest – even China thinks its shameful. Next thing you know, the Egyptian military will chime in. Before you dismiss the 'Zuccottites', re-read Gulliver's Travels.
Another Political War: There was the War on Poverty, The War on Drugs, The War on Terrorism, and now we're getting ready for the War on Chinese Currency. We've not prevailed in any of these contests. The Chinese do not make us buy their products, the drug lords are filling a market demand, we stand on both sides of the income gulf, and they hate us for what we've done for 60 years and more. Pogo was right: “We have met the enemy... and he is us.”
Working Model: Russian oil production has increased 1.23% so far this year, while exports have dipped by 2.13%. A trick they learned from the Saudis.
Circling the Wagon:The Obama administration says that its Justice Department produced a document that said it was all right for the administration to kill some Americans without due process some of the time under some circumstances. Unfortunately the reasoning behind this conclusion is secret, so we'll have to take their word for it that their word is good. They could let you see it, but then they'd have to kill you. It says so in the memo.
Zoom, Zoom: Light vehicles sold at an annualized 1.31 million pace in September, up 11% y/y and up 8% m/m. July's construction spending was up 1.4% m/m and 0.9% y/y. Private construction also gained slightly, up 0.4% m/m. The Institute for Supply Management's PMI index was up a tad as was its employment index. Sure they're small, but if you catch enough you can fry 'em up and make a snack.
Signs of the Times: “Soon the poor will have nothing left to eat but the rich...”
Zombies: The GOP has declared Obama's jobs bill dead and are hacking it apart to see what they can save. So far they've found a donor card for a tax break for government contractors and the trade bills, but report that their surgeons were unable to save the payroll tax cuts. As Majority Leader Eric Cantor explained, Obama's “all or nothing approach is just unacceptable.” Mainly, of course, because the Republicans hold the patent on “my way or no way”.
Now They Tell Us: If temperatures if Ghana and the Ivory Coast warm 2.3ºC by 2050 – as predicted by climate scientists – it will be too warm to grow cocoa. It will devastate their economies and upset pampered ladies throughout the known world. And yes, they've thought of moving – trouble is there doesn't seem to be anywhere to move to.