When will peak oil denial peak?
Bill of Particulars: The average American has been designated a potential enemy of the state, America itself has become the battlefield, and the Constitution must be destroyed in order to save it. Interesting times.
Self-Help: Italy is going to give the IMF €23.5 for the IMF to give to Italy to help lower its debt burden... or something like that.
Quod Erat Demonstratum: Judge Louis D. Brandeis observed “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.” He was right, as Washington and Wall Street continue to prove. As we go about trying to even the playing field, we should keep in mind that it is the after-tax fairness of the economy that is the arbiter, not various tax rates. The rich do not overly trouble me, hungry children sleeping in broken-down cars do. We can have the one without the other.
Usual Suspects: By age 23 at least 1 out of 3 young Americans will have been arrested, up from 1 out of 5 forty years ago. "There's more arresting going on now," was the explanation.
Dogs/Fleas: Hanging out with your BFFs on Facebook could hurt your credit score and drive up the interest rates you have to pay if they are a bunch of deadbeats. NSA isn't the only outfit mining your Facebook trail, financial institutions are using the crumbs you strew about using Facebook, Twitter, the Internet and cell phones. And they can gather info they cannot legally ask you for. One micro-lender even requires access to your Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo, and Windows Live logons as part of the loan application, and they will tell your friends you are a deadbeat if you start missing payments. Do you have to give them access to your social accounts? No, but they don't have to give you access to their money, either.
First Shoe: Prices for new houses in Beijing fell 35% in November from October. Pop went the weasel?
Rock/Hard Place: Banks (and mutual funds and hedge funds and so on) are shedding assets, not because they want to, but rather because they have to. But when a bank has to have a fire sale, no one wants to buy the shoddy goods that prompted the crisis and no one wants to pay full price for the good stuff, knowing the bank has to sell at nearly any price.
The American Way: DHS has determined that paying with cash is suspicious. “If a person insists on paying for cash and refuses to show a credit card, that's suspicious behavior.”
I Know What You Did: Without reciting the long list of electronic data collected on you every day, just remember, it is never erased. Never, even when they tell you it was. The government can not only track you in real time, it can walk the cat back and track you retroactively. This isn't news, but maybe you hadn't thought about it because you haven't done anything wrong. But any day now Congress may start passing retroactive bills...
For Example: If the assets of an average bank in the US were to decline just 8%, all of that bank's capital would be wiped out. But for the total US household debt – now equal to one year's total GDP – to return to historic levels, over $4 trillion would have to be written off, which would doom the banks.
Draining the Swamp: Make a list of the problems facing the world – population, global warming, the slow and steady decline in petroleum, debt/deflation, and the global economic slowdown. Which one is most important? Which one must we solve first? No one cares to address the population question and all the rest require large investments that will not be available until the economy picks up and the economy can't pick up until.... Round and round...
Idle Hands: UK Prime Minister David Cameron, having time on his hands now that he is no longer advising Sarkozy on financial matters, says that Great Britain should stand up for its Christian values to help counter the general “moral collapse”. Might as well, doesn't stand for much else these days.