Some psychopaths end up in jail, others lead corporations, many enter politics.
Growth Spurt: The US economy grew at a reported 2.8% annualized pace in the fourth quarter, but 1.94% of the upside was attributable to a rise in inventory restocking and another 0.3% came from the auto sector (based on low/no-interest six year loans), which means the rest of the economy grew at a 0.5% pace, even with a fair number of folks spending their mortgage payment money on big screen TVs.
Game Theory: Iran is considering a law immediately halting all oil exports to the European Union, which will hurt the Europeans a great deal and Iran not so much since China, India and Japan are quite ready to pickup the .8 mbd that doesn't go to Europe. Let those who don't want none have memories of not having had any.
Trivia: Anyone whose holdings are as large and widespread as Romney's are is bound to overlook odds and ends when toting up his income. Especially if it involves 11 different funds held in tax havens like the Cayman Island. He didn't list them on his tax forms because – dummy – they're held in the Caymans to avoid having to list them on his tax form. His campaign maintains that the income generated by the 23 non-listed funds and partnerships is inadvertent, inconsequential and “trivial”.
Ante Up: Indiana will require that union members pay “dues” for those who chose not to join the union while they freeload and enjoy the benefits gained by the union. Existing law already requires a union represent all of the workers at a plant, so this law is simply an attempt to cut union membership by making it more expensive than it needs to be.
Wholly Mackerel: Jack mackerel, a fish rich in oily protein that is a staple in Africa, is being fished to extinction. No, not to feed the poor, but to be ground up and fed to swine and pen-raised salmon.
Mein Kampf: Germany is pushing to make Greece relinquish control over its budget policy to European (that is, German) institutions as a precondition for any further bailout money - along with steep cuts in defense and health spending, 'reform' (deep cuts) in pensions, and replacing only 1 out of 5 departing civil servants. This is no different than invading the country and putting one’s own puppet government in place, without the messy 'invading' part.
Price Tags: Global warming is a massive fraud perpetrated by tens of thousands of scientists who hope to gain greater funding, in cooperation with tens of thousands of pretend environmentalists bent on controlling every part of our daily life. Or so the Wall Street Journal claims.
Into The Abyss: A year into a cure-all austerity programme, the UK economy is growing at a heart-warming minus 0.8%. Perhaps someone should let US austerity advocates of austerity in on the news.
In The Abstract: Reduced oil consumption leads to lower economic growth and less capacity for debt. Lower debt levels lead to debt defaults, reduced credit,and falling home prices. If world oil supply remains level, as it has since 2005, continuing recession in OECD countries is probable as emerging markets consume a greater share of the available oil.