The economic world assumes growth will continue forever.
Piper, Paying: Does Euro need Greece more than Greece needs Euro? Yes.
Once More Time: Barclays sees banks moving houses through foreclosure to REO status at an accelerating rate and expects that the increasing supply of REO will far exceed the demand for REO properties, triggering another decline in house prices.
Piece of Cake: All European leaders have to do this week is agree on how big a haircut Greek bondholders must take, convince them to take it, find a way to make most of the bondholders' loss go away, recapitalize nearly every bank on the continent, get Greece to sell off the rest of its patrimony and convince both the European taxpayers and the Greek populace that they are having a good time. Right. Meanwhile the yield on 1-year Greek bonds is at 170% and climbing. Truth: Greece will default. All the blather is just Europe buying time to shift the losses to the peasantry. The recession is on schedule.
Punishment: Portugal was (unrealistically) told to cut its budget deficit from 9.6% last year to 5.9% this. Despite a series of tax hikes and pay and welfare cuts they are not going to even come close. So the people have been told there will be increasing austerity, pay cuts, and tax hikes. The government is confiscating pension funds, stopping civil servants' bonuses and vacation pay, and making “very substantial” cuts to health care and education. Take notes, they may come in handy.
Yuan from Column A: Not only do more Americans lack access to adequate food and health care than at the peak of the Great Recession, as a percentage of the population, three times as many Americans, as a percentage of the population, have problems feeding their families than do the Chinese.
Illustrated Dictionary: Terror and tyranny in a police state. Let the games begin.
Intimations: Financial industry profits went from 8% of the US economy in 1948 to 45% in 2002 and have continued to grow. Not bad for a bunch of paper-pushers whose job is supposed to be helping people who make things make things. This enormous diversion of profit from the productive economy to the financiers happened simultaneously with the destruction of US manufacturing, the death of collective bargaining, higher chronic unemployment, debt slavery, and Monday Night Football.
Them: Wannabe Rick Santorum says that single mothers are the base of the Democratic Party and that building “two parent families, you eliminate that desire for government.” Wannabe Herman Cain says that there should be no abortion “under any circumstances”, “no exceptions for rape and incest”. He also says that “liberals want to destroy this country... it is their mission.”
Red Queen in the Oil Patch: Saudi Arabia's domestic demand for petroleum will double over the next 15 years, from 3.4 mbd today to 8.3 mbd. The Saudi's produce just over 9.2 mbd today. As the IEA says, “Oil demand is set to increase.” Supply, not so much.
No Loitering: Soon your local shopping center will track you via your cell phone. They will when and how often you shop, where you go in the mall, where you pause, what shops you go into and for how long. The will even know, within a few feet, which displays you stop at and which you don't. Leave the phone in the car.
Marketwise: Are those newly hired, high-price CEO's worth what they're paid. No.
Just Sayin': In the first week of January 2012, half a million unemployed workers will exhaust their benefits. By Valentine's day, there will be over 2.2 million long term unemployed who have exhausted their benefits. Thanks to Republican's puritanical preference for punishing the unemployed, after January 1st the unemployed will receive payments for a maximum of 6 months, after which they go on the slag heap.
True Grit: Rather than increase taxes by $3.25 a person a year, Texas Republicans have refused to undertake projects to help provide water over the coming decades. It will be philosophically far more satisfying to suffer drought than suffer taxes.
Porn O'Graphs: Who got what, when? (Hint, it wasn't you and it was a lot.)