A model is a metaphor with numbers.
Democratic Demon: Ireland says it must ask its citizens before committing to the EU fiscal compact. If turning over national fiscal sovereignty to Brussels is depends on the citizens of 17 nations approving the idea, it is not going to happen. Only 12 of the 17 need approve, but then it would only apply to those who said “yea', which means when Ireland (or anyone else, say Portugal or Spain) needs another helping of austerity tinged bailout, it won't get one.
Wrap It To Go: Orders for durable goods fell 4% in January; excluding defense orders, new orders were down 4.5%. Strange weather we're having.
Following The Script: According to Pfizer's annual report “a number of European governments and government agencies” are paying (or not paying) for their pharmaceuticals with script. The countries include Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain, for a total of “about $15 billion.
From The Head Down: In 1994Philadelphia Cardinal Bevilacqua ordered all copies of a memo identifying 35 priests in the Archdiocese as pedophiles destroyed and thereafter denied that that the church had conspired to conceal clerical sex abuse. He kept his own copy, which was discovered after his death last year. How many Hail Mary's is this gonna take?
Flashback: Will the American withdrawal from Afghanistan more closely resemble the Russian experience in 1988, or the fall of Saigon? Or will it quietly but quickly fade away in a version of the retreat from Baghdad?
Auch Auf Deutsch: The German version of the BLS reported that there were officially 3,081,706 unemployed persons in Germany while 5,394,064 were drawing unemployment compensation. Nice work, if you can't get it.
Just In Case-Shiller:All three S&P/Case-Shiller indices for the quarter ended December 2011 were at new lows, with the composite falling 3.8% during the quarter.
Psychopaths Are Us: While only 1% of the general public are psychopaths, on Wall Street at least 10% are. Experience suggests this is a conservative estimate.
Another Straw: The FHA is raising its mortgage insurance premiums from 1% of the mortgage amount to 1.75%. It's only another $5 a month, and can be painlessly rolled into the monthly payment.
Imagination At Work: The US corporate tax rate is 35%. General Electric, which paid nothing in federal taxes in 2010, paid only 2.3% in taxes on its $81 billion in profits over the last decade.
Porn O'Graph: Dunning noticed.