The weeks seem longer lately.
Tweedle Brothers: According to Bernanke, the good news is the economy is improving. The bad news is that the economy is not improving very much, employment won't improve for years and the consumer is spending more than he's making. Overall the booming economic recovery may add as much as 1.6% to GDP this year.
Where Did You Get That Idea, HAL? Security experts, worried that computer criminals have sold their skills to terrorists, are publicly wondering when a “catastrophic” cyber attack will descend on the interconnected world. The biggest fear is for the pattern provided by the Stuxnet worm – thought to have been constructed by the US and Israel and set loose on Iran's nuclear infrastructure - will be turned on it's creators.
Storm Warning: Unless the European Central Bank begins acting like a central bank and props up Italy in a massive way by becoming the lender of last resort, the game will be over. Greece will be a side-show compared to the potential damage Italy's €1.9 trillion in public debt could do.
Cry, the Beloved Country: Before the crucial House vote to reaffirm “In God We Trust” as the nation's motto.
“Billions and billions in debt” was the runner up. Lamar Smith (R-TX) pointed out ““There are few things Congress could do that would be more important...” and Trent Franks (R-AZ) said that if the motto were not reaffirmed, “there is no longer any reason for us to gather here in this place.” Well, except for passing the tax breaks and such the corporations had already paid for. No one mentioned that a record 45.8 million Americans were receiving food stamps.
“Unexpectedly” Germany is losing some of its shine. Unemployment 'jumped' by 10,000 last month and the jobless rate crept up to 7.0% - terrific compared to many, but not quite in the “economic miracle” department. It's sub-50 PMI report suggests decline, not growth. Better than Italy, but that's a low hurdle.
Occupy Foreclosure: The #Occupy Foreclosure movement is a latecomer. With houses in foreclosure averaging 624 days, banks prefer to keep borrowers in houses in high REO areas so they and not the bank are responsible for taxes. Maybe a deal could be worked out between the two.
Quote: “When the history is finally written, it’s likely all of this tumult – beginning with the Arab Spring – will be remembered as the opening salvo in a wave of negotiations over the dissolution of the American Empire.”
The End Is Dear: Pundits now predict that the 2012 election may hinge on whether the Reaganite 'government is evil and tax cuts for the rich are good' mantra has been replaced by a perceived need for the government to step in and save the
rich middle class. Here's hoping that Reagan's long and destructive shadow finally passes away.
Covering First Base: Health and Human Services guidelines require that insurance providers cover women’s preventative services — which includes everything from birth control to breast exams — free of charge. Joe Pitts (R-PA) says this is a “coercive actions to force people to abandon their religious principles,” by requiring “every single person in this country to pay for services that they may morally oppose.” There is nothing in HHS guidelines that says providers cannot offer policies that do not cover these services, just that they have to offer policies that do.
Daddy Took the T-Bird Away: Emma Sugarman, head of US capital for BNP Parabas explains that here will be more hedge fund closures this year because hudge funds aren't fun places to work anymore.
Visit Detroit, See the Future: America's number one export is waste paper. Trash. The deliberate deindustrialization of the US is nearly complete. For simple profit tens of thousands of factories and millions of jobs were sent overseas In return we have gotten $9.99 shirts and $7.98 salad spinners. Technology? Nearly 1.5 billion cell phones were sold last year, none of them were made in America. We have built the largest debt bubble in history to slake our thirst for the good life that we had not earned and could not afford. When will the rest of the world get tired of carrying us?