Life is a crossword puzzle with multiple solutions.
A More Perfect Union: Frau Merkel insists that Europe must move towards political union, with “closer political ties and tighter budget rules”. She did not mention the word 'democratic' in her speech, nor mention voting. Her speech is seen as “a warm-up for the big quantum leap” toward a two-track Europe – the haves and the have-nots.
Talking Points: The Bureau of Labor Statistics rports that in 3Q2010 only 0.4% of jobs lostg were lost due to government regulation. About 35% of layoffs were due to lack of demand (ie, customers had no money). Shhh. Don't tell the wannabees.
Symbol: As the last Americans slunk out the gates of Camp Victory as it was turned over to the Iraqis, they took Saddam's toilet with them. Victory, with a 27 mile perimeter, was the largest of the 505 bases the US military had contractors build for them. The toilet is made of stainless steel and cost the US about a trillion dollars all told. So now you know what we got out of the war.
Please Explicate: Why should I be excited that there is a new payment app that will turn
spending shopping into a “seamless payment experience”.
Unanimity: Fitch Ratings joined S&P and Moody's in downgrading Hungary's sovereign debt to junk level. Hungary rejected all bids at an auction of 12-month Treasury bills worth 40 billion forint ($186 million) after getting bids for only 22.8 billion forint. The concern is not for Hungary, but for neighboring Austria whose banks have a $226 billion exposure to the debt of former Soviet bloc countries. If Austrian banks fail, then... So it begins.
Sit Down And Shut Up: Senior US Senator John McCain has rebuked the Republican wannabees who came out in favor of waterboarding, bluntly calling it “torture.”
Good Odds: In Chapel Hill, NC, a desperate group of
terrorists protesters who wanted to put an abandoned used car lot into socially beneficial use such as a soup kitchen, free clinic or library were overwhelmed and subdued by 25 armed members of the local SWAT team. The offense cited was using “large banners to obscure the windows of the [defunct] business.”
Low Expectations: In an article praising the continuing German economic miracle comes this line “Germany's robust job market—unemployment is 7%—is creating a...” At which point you begin to question the miracle part of the German economy. 'Better than' is not the same as 'Good'.
Pyrrhic victory: : Markets briefly rallied when Italy sold €3 billion in 5-year bonds at 6.29% interest. Why? Is it likely that Italy can afford to pay more than 4 times as much to borrow as Germany does? In a shrinking economy? While paying reparations to France and Germany?
Technique: Homebuilder D.R.Horton says it expects to make higher profits on the same sales volume next year
by building shoddier houses.
Brother Can You Spare a Dime? Italian bank UniCredit reported it has to raise $10.3 billion to meet EU capital requirements due to in write-downs on bad investments. It will also cut 5,000 jobs and sharply curtail its lending.
Belt and Suspenders: Smallpox was eradicated in the wild decades ago and now only exists in biowarfare labs in the US and Russia. The US has $1 billion worth of a proven vaccine that works when give within 4 days of exposure. That's enough for the US population and lots left over for friends, all at $3 a dose. So why is the US buying 1.7 million doses of an unproven vaccine at $255 a shot on a non-bid contract? Clue: The vaccine is made by Siga Tech, Democratic Daddy Warbucks R.O. Perelman, proprietor.
I Like To Watch: To avoid problems with Iraqi officials, the US has repositioned the drones used to help Turkey keep track of Kurdish rebels, moving them from what used to be American bases in Iraq to airfields in Turkey.
OPEC Math: Kuwait bragged that its output reached 3.067 mbd last week. Its OPEC quota is 2.2 mbd, and OPEC happily acknowledges that Kuwait produced 2.612 mbd in October. Quotas? We don't heed no stinking quotas.