If you really, really want it to be true, it usually isn't.
Codetalkers: The IMF says it is “considering participating” in the European bailouts by providing the “leverage” to the EFSF, which is just another way of saying the Fed is going to saddle up and ride... the US taxpayer... to the rescue?
Receding Horizons: Consumers - burdened with lower wages, falling home equity, worries about unemployment, fear for the global economy, and pressured from rising prices - has a decidedly sour outlook on the near future, as reflected in the latest consumer confidence survey, which is at one of its lowest points on record. Frugality is not quite what the retailers were looking for this season.
Pig/Lipstick: Some are saying that the 3.8% y/y decline in house prices reflected in the latest Case-Shiller report is Good News because it was not worse. Not to rain on the parade, but this makes 14 out of 15 consecutive declines for the C/S index.
Map Reading: One of the hidden aspects of the new-and-improved HARP plan is that those bright new mortgages with the shiny new interest rates will be recourse loans. That means you can't walk away. That means that if you are forced to sell your underwater house, you will owe the bank – forever – the amount you cannot pay back. The debt will follow you to the grave. (Or until bankruptcy?) That's just one improvement. Another is that the FHFA will not force lenders to buy back fraudulent loans if “underwriting problems” surface at a later date.
Ignorance is Bliss: Citi has tried to answer the question: Can Europe ruin the world? Don't know, don't want to find out.
That's A Baby! When is someone going to look in the stroller and say that a 60% haircut on Greek bonds is a “credit event” and force the unwinding of trillions in Greek and other European sovereign bonds CDS?
Just In Time For Christmas: Corporations are lobbying hard for a “tax holiday” that would let them bring their overseas profits back to the US with little or no taxation. It would be a reward for their off-shoring jobs and dodging US taxes for years. The corporations claim this will permit them to create more jobs here. Pull the other one, it's got bells.
Last Words: The Economic Cycle Research Institute says the US is headed back into another recession. Worse, they say “there’s nothing that policy makers can do to head it off.”
Napalm in the Morning: Proving once again that statistics have a Democratic bias, the CBO reports that the incomes of the top 1% of the US population increased 275% between 1979 and 2007, the 60% in the middle saw their incomes grow nearly 40%, and the bottom 20% got an increase of less than 1% a year.
Hat Tip: Police and NY State troopers in Albany declined to enforce orders from the governor and the mayory to arrest #OccupyAlbany protesters because – in their view – arresting peaceful protesters would do far more harm than the protesters were causing. Cops in Oakland, CA, did not see things that way.
A Little Help, Please: Does the paradox of thrift – the idea that saving is a good thing for me to do but a bad thing for everyone to do – apply to all savings? Certainly if my 'saving' goes to pay off a debt, it is deflationary. But what if my 'saving' is in the form of investing in some productive enterprise? I'm not spending to encourage the economy, but my savings are being spent by the enterprise, which should have the same effect as my buying another salad spinner.
Porn O'Graph: Read 'em and weep.