The Republican wannabes all hope Barnum was right.
River City: The Tea Party wing of the GOP in the House intend to use the debate over the renewal of the payroll tax extension to make outrageous demands and drive negotiations to and perhaps beyond the deadline to shut down the government - not because they think they can win, but because they want to swagger home claiming they held to their principles. In the end the adults will take care of things, assuming there are any left in Washington.
Cut and Run: Peter Schiff says that only Ron Paul can Save America. We must be in more trouble than I thought.
Idle Hands: Unemployment among young adults has reached 49% in Spain, 45% in Greece; adult labor force participation in the US has fallen to depression levels at 64%. What's more likely, that the disaffected will spend the day at the beach or following a charismatic leader?
If I Had A Hammer: Romney says that he'll "crack down on China". Maybe he got one of those multi-tools for Christmas.
Talking Out Of School: Olivier Rech, former oil expert for the International Energy Agency, says that petroleum supplies will tighten in the years following 2015, as demand grows and non-OPEC production declines 2.5 to 5% per year. A similar, or steeper, decline in OPEC production is likely, as OPEC's claimed spare production capacity turns out to be mythical. Alternative fuels will not save us, he says, for we are already approaching the upper limit for production of first-generation biofuels and are unlikely to achieve significant production of second generation biofuels for 25 years, and then probably less than 2.5 mbd, which will hardly matter.
Stuff, Rolling Downhill: Bank of America is getting desperate. How desperate? They are calling small business loans, giving their customers a month to come up with the balance of the loan, or have it refinanced at 12%.
Construction Zone: Construction spending unexpectedly rose 1.2% in November, but is still running 2.5% below 2010's pace.
Day Late, Dollar Short: Romney, ignoring what Bernanke's been up to, asserts that “the US must take care of its own crisis, and won’t give a dollar to save Europe.” But then, he also said '“Germany, France, Italy all have the resources to pay back their debts, solve the confidence crisis, invest and start growing again, ideally through a real market economy,” which is pure gibberish.
Indisposed: Remember, the US is still a consumer economy. And the consumer's disposable income has not changed (in real terms) in over five years.
Rolling, Over? This year the G-7 nations have to roll over $7.3 trillion in bonds and come up with over $588 billion in interest payments. International corporations need to roll over nearly $1 trillion during 2012. What's in your wallet?
Instant Replay: “I don’t single out on any group of people, that’s one thing I don’t do,” says Rick Santorum. But he also said, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.”
Names? Name Names! "Drug companies" paid at least 12 Indian doctors in Madhya Pradesh to conduct trials of drugs for sexual dysfunction on 233 unsuspecting youths.
Clearance Sale: Germany says the latest round of discussions with Greece have come to an end, but declined to say if they ended with an agreement to suggest (?) that private creditors accept a 75% markdown, marked down from the voluntary 50% dictated earlier.
Chicken/Egg: The NY Times observed that austerity now reigns as the eurozone crisis deepens, as though the one had little to do with the other.
Porn O'Graph: Your home is an investment. A bad one.