Thursday, December 8, 2011

SAR #11340

The real scandal isn’t that the banks got rescued,it is that we didn't.

Smoke, Mirror: When it heard the rumor that the Group of 20 nations were putting together $600 billion to rescue the euro, the stock market climbed rapidly. When the IMF said the story was a bunch of hooey, the enthusiasm ebbed and the market fell a little. But for a while there, the smartest people in the world believed that 20 broke and indebted nations could come up with $600 billion to rescue all of Europe - even though it would take $2 trillion to rescue just Italy.

Fine Print: Syrian President Assad says not only did he not order his military and security forces to crack down on civilian unrest, but that he could not have done so because "They are not my forces. They are military forces that belong to the government of Syria."

Bouncing Ball: OPEC says speculators are to blame for high oil prices and that there is no lack of supply for world markets, but that the world should leave Iran alone because it would be "very, very difficult to replace" Iran's exports. BP's CEO says that Middle East social unrest, supply worries, and increasing Asian demand have driving up prices. Saudi Arabia claims to be producing 9.9 to 10 mbd to meet demand, but independent data shows that that the Saudis have not increased production "for many years" and that its internal consumption has been rising rapidly, lowering the amount of oil it sells to the international markets. But Saudi Aramco's CEO says "we have adequate supplies" due to "unconventional resources." Deutche Bank observes that Saudi Arabia has halted its $100 billion expansion of production capabilities and estimates it now needs oil at $92 a barrel to break even because of greater social spending designed to keep the peace in the populace. As their production falls, internal consumption rises, and social unrest grows, they will need ever higher prices for their exports.

Drugs of the Irish: An Irish psychiatrist, citing widespread depression and increasing suicide among the general population, thinks the government should add lithium to the water supply. Just a maintenance dose, mind you, just to take the edge off.

Bad News & Worse: Scientists warn that the current promises to reduce carbon emissions will result in at least 3.5ºC of global warming - far in excess of the targeted 2ºC rise. But those promised reductions are not happening, and the current rate of increase in CO2 in the atmosphere promises a far more dangerous future with more than 4ºC warming by 2100. Progress towards more concrete and effective actions to curb dangerous global climate change is being blocked by the US, because what is necessary - cutting carbon emissions to40% below 1990 levels by mid-century if not sooner - would hurt the profits of politically important corporations. The US insists that all nations - even the most backward and least developed - must share "legal parity and responsibility for CO2 emission curtailment", and denies any significant financial responsibility rests with the US and other industrialized nations - just because they caused the problem.

Damned Data: A new study suggests that domestic projects such as improved education, universal health care and the development of clean energy would create at least twice as many jobs as spending the money invading countries and building bombs. Don't tell the Republicans.

Some of the Truth, Some of the Time:  The headline read “Payroll Gains Improve as U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops”, which was all true. Average wages went up 2 cents an hour and the unemployment rate dropped because a half-million former workers have used up their extended employment benefits and are officially non-workers.

Porn O'Graph: Counting the uncounted.

1 comment:

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re Drugs of the Irish - the doctor misspoke - the Texas studies compared naturally occurring levels of lithium, not intentionally added lithium. Nevertheless, it seems like it might be a good idea - we already put in fluoride for tooth decay. See