Oxymoron: European leaders.
Back To The Stables: The Greek bailout seems likely to happen. But it is not a bailout of Greece. Every euro will go to the banks that are Greek creditors (and a few crumbs to the private investors, who pretty much have to settle for a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo and hand-waving over newly issued bonds). For scraping up enough money to run the country and pretend to pay back the mountain of debt, Greece will have to collect 200% more taxes than it did last year, while the economy tanks. So, we're good, right?
On the Election Trail: JPMorgan expects all the quantitative easing liquidity to drive WTI crude to $120 a barrel just about the time Obama doesn't get re-elected.
Spanish Steps: Those who must be obeyed are telling Spain that "deficit have to be brought down sharply..." Preventive austerity, guaranteed to make Spain's deficit bigger, Spain's populace even more restive. The biggest problem is the government's effort to bail out the country's banksters whose incompetence and greed has run up a 175 billion euro pile of bad real estate bets. Remember Ireland?
Countdown: An audit suggests that 99% of foreclosures in San Francisco have irregularities in their paperwork, 84% have violations of the law, and so on. Who owns your house? Better yet, who owns the house you are thinking of buying? What is not made clear in discussions about the mortgage settlement and the MERS robo-signing and all the rest is this: No one knows who actually owns a house anymore – nor can we find out.
Changing Times: President Assad is confused. The US used to pat him on the back for the viciousness of his secret police in torturing the 'rendered'. Now the US is upset at him for trying the same thing on his own people.
See For Yourself: Will higher energy prices slam the economy and the market? Say goodnight, Gracie.
Shale Gas Fever: Shale gas is our latest energy fad. Remember the hydrogen economy? $2 billion and 8 years later we have a handful of fueling stations and 500 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. After thirty years of ethanol salvation at a cost of $20 billion, we convert 40% of the US corn crop into a second rate fuel that is 75% subsidized by the taxpayer. Here's the scoop on shale gas: The supposed 2,200 trillion cubic feet that would fuel the US for a century is, according to the Energy Information Agency, most likely about 10% of that - an 11 year supply. Plus it is not profitable now, nor in the foreseeable future.
Everything That Goes Up Together... Every major asset class is climbing the mountain of liquidity the central bankers keep printing, a phenomena that has been followed by double-digit market declines in 3 of the last 4 occurrences. How long can you hold your breath?
Porn O'Graph: Looks like up from here!