Friday, January 20, 2012

SAR #12020

Someone is watching, someone is always watching.

Up + Down = Even: December's CPI was essentially flat. Energy costs declined enough to offset increases in nearly everything else. For the year, food prices have risen 4.7%, while gasoline prices increased 10%.

Offense/Defense: Yves makes a good argument that Madame Lagarde did not ask for more money because she thought the IMF would get another $500 million, but because it wouldn't and thus she'd be able to say “I tried... “

Trust, Inc. The Fed, having secretly sold $7 billion in crummy assets to Credit Suisse for an unknown amount said it had determined that "the winning bid represented good value for the public." How good a good value, we're not allowed to know.

Unclear On The Concept: The Republicans held a debate on abortion, with each candidate being asked to describe the punishment they would mete out to baby-killing doctors and the mothers who willingly participated in the murder of their unborn.

Roller Coaster: New unemployment claims were claimed to decrease 50,000 (12.5%) to 352,000. The experts expected 384,000.

A Nation of Laws: Newt Gingrich is again promising that he will faithfully execute all US laws that he agrees with. But he also promises to point out those instances where the Supreme Court has made errors and pay no attention to rulings he personally does not like. Earlier he threatened to arrest federal judges who didn't learn from their mistakes. Someone should tell Newt that promising to "faithfully execute the laws" doesn't mean killing them.

Unexpectedly #472: December housing starts fell 4.1%, while the experts agreed they would fall less than 1%. Of course in November the same report unexpectedly jumped 9.3%. As Artie Shaw used to say, "Verrry interesting."

If You're Doing Nothing Wrong... NYPD - with the DoD as interested observer - is planning to equip cops with x-ray vision glasses Terahertz Imaging Detection scanners to provide a fig leaf for their extensive and illegal 'stop-and-frisk' operations. The goal is to remove guns from the hands of citizens criminals. The device will only be used in “reasonably suspicious circumstances”, in which the Second and Forth Amendments do not apply.

Asked & Answered: Is it different this time? Historically, deliberate governmental decisions to adopt austerity programs have been followed by hard times. Define 'hard times'.

Can't Anybody Here Play This Game? Bloomberg had two stories following the release of the DOE Gasoline Inventory survey. The first read "Oil Extends Gain After DOE Reports Unexpected Decrease in Inventories." Soon thereafter there was, "Crude Futures Decline as Gasoline Inventories Increase to 10-Month High."

I Know This Much Is True: Romney's taxes put the lie to the GOP's constant "the rich are over-taxed" bullshit.,

Long/Short: Why will the Presidential rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline have no effect on the continued mining of Canadian tar sands? The long answer is "Peak Oil" and the short answer is "Profits".

Unopposed: To qualify as a GOP wannabe, the candidate must demonstrate a belief in things that are patently false. This has resulted in a field composed of those who are not very smart, those who are not rational and those who are simply cynical. Some have managed to combine more than one of these qualities.

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