Civil disobedience is contagious.
Handedness: On the one hand, the private sector continues to slowly add jobs, while on the other hand the government – at all levels – is rapidly downsizing. Who is getting the ax? Well, it's not the Pentagon – the defense sector added 39,000 jobs over the last two years, while the rest of the federal government laid off 43,000. State governments laid off 58,000. And local governments cut 469,000 jobs – including 249,000 teachers.
The Plan: What do these flaky protesters want? Oh, just to change America into a democracy.
Thus and So: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warns of retreat in Africa due to budget cuts – apparently the military has a bunch of little wars in the R&D phase that need the encouragement only money can buy. He also said that automatic spending cuts would be ‘mindless’ - showing that he understands the idea.
Tag Sale: S&P has put Spain on the markdown table. Make an offer.
More Of Less: Last year, municipal governments income fell 2.3%, the fifth consecutive yearly decline, while their budgetary costs – especially for workers' health care, but also for pensions and everything else, continued to rapidly increase. That's whey 72% of US cities are laying off workers this year, plus cutting social services and essential infrastructure repairs. Our cities are broke and are going to get even broker.
Our Gang: The US is sending about 100 “combat-equipped U.S. forces,” including special operations personnel, to central Africa to help
secure Uganda's resources for US corporations fight against Uganda’s renegade Lord’s Resistance Army.
Verity: If everyone cuts spending at the same time, everyone's income must fall. Someone's got to spend or the squirrel cage stops going 'round.
Seen This Movie Before: NPR is shocked to discover that defense contractors are turning to PR to save their slice of the pie. Why? Isn't defense contractor PR generally the largest item in a defense contract?
The Butler Didn't Do It: A careful examination by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas of the data available on the run-up in the price of oil to $145 a barrel in July 2008, concluded that evidence is consistent with oil-market fundamentals leading to increasing oil prices before the global recession, not the manipulations of evil speculators.
From A to B: The Green Revolution of the late 20th century took the world from 3 billion people to 7 billion. Before you tell me what a good thing this was, tell me how we are going to feed the next 3 or 4 billion.
Easier Said Than Done: Do those who blithely say that Greece's way out is to drop the euro and return to the drachma understand that all of the planning for such a move would have to be done in absolute secrecy, and the plan implemented nearly instantaneously less there be an massive capital flight from the country? IM me if you think it can be done. Or tweet it. Let us know via Facebook...
Bear With Me: Pimco's Bill Goss has mad a "super-long bet" on US Treasuries, implying that he thinks yeilds will fall even more - which won't happen if the economy picks up.
Don't Try This At Home: BofA and some Wall Street firms that have been fighting marking the bad paper they hold down to their real values (if any) are recording profits this quarter by marking their own debt down and booking the difference as income.
Porn O'Graph: Education pays...