What’s next? A crash, of course. Ah, but when?
Kabuki: Papandreou has formed a “unity” government and stepped down – or not. But there will be little or no unity. The coalition government will last long enough to do what they are told by Merkozy (backed by the US/IMF), then will be kicked out by the Greeks in an election come spring. It is all theater and it is all scripted and it puts the whole thing off a few months. More or less the same script will be followed in Italy, as Berlusconi – kicking and screaming - gets shown the door. During the performance please pretend you do not see the IMF stage managers wandering around the set. The third act ends with the eruo and most of the players mortally wounded, strains of Wagner in the background.
Let's You and Him Fight: The air is saturated with “secret intelligence reports” that suggest Iran – with a little help from its friends - “is on the threshold” of developing “nuclear capability”. So a one or more of the usual suspects – Israel, the US, the US and Israel, Israel and the UK, all of the above - youjpick 'em – is going to launch a secret, surprise attack on Iran, any day now. Old news, heard it all before.
Cutting the Pie: Politics used to be about how the economic pie got shared, today it is about who gets to suffer the most as the economy limps on and on and the GOP sets about cutting spending with the enthusiastic help of most bought-and-paid-for Democrats. The conservative political agenda focuses on deep cuts in social programs – not only those that go to help the poor, who are disproportionally black and Hispanic, but to the middle class who depend more and more on unemployment benefits and look forward to support from Social Security and Medicare. We are no longer all in this together. It is us against them, and they are still winning.
Everybody Does It: A former NYPD detective defended his actions by claiming that it is common practice for NYPD narcs to plant drugs on people in order to meet arrest quotas.
Boxed In: The Asia/Europe route is the second busiest for containerized freight, and shippers are losing $141 on each container they haul – because the fuel cost that much more than they can charge their customers.
Half-Measures: Ohio voters look set to dump a Republican anti-union law. Okay, but they'd be better off dumping the Republicans.
Dead Heat: There are 131.5 million non-farm workers in the US. Each month the BLS measures the rise and fall in that number, which typically changes by +/- 100,000 or so. That is less than 1% of the workforce. Last month the change was 0.08%. That's pronounced “Eight one-hundredths of one percent”. The number is so much a guesstimate that August, for example, was revised from a flat zero – no job growth – to an addition of 104,000 jobs. It could just as well have been a decrease of 104,000 jobs for all the attention that was paid to the revision. That's old news.
Amen Corner: “It's not how rich we are, it's how equal we are.” Sounds good; define 'we', define 'equal' and, of course, define 'rich'.
Clever, Clever: A couple of weeks before going belly up, an increasing number of MF Global customers asked for their money back. Instead of wiring them their money – the standard practice for a decade or more – Jon Corzine's company cut physical checks and sent them via regular mail. By the time they arrived and migrated through the banking system, they bounced. Theft by snail mail. It's not just MF Global that is bankrupt.
Spade, "Spade": “The only way to save our economy is to let the corrupt, pathological and flawed financial system implode.” Charles Hugh Smith.
Porn O'Graph:Supply and demand....