Hopes have become but unfulfilled disappointments.
Scavenger Hunt: While Apple/Foxconn have been pinned in the spotlight, they are not exceptional. There is no ethical smartphone. Nor an ethical flat-screen TV, personal computer, digital camera, digital tablet. None. But there's not much in the way of ethically made clothing or athletic shoes, either. Or fish. If it get's shipped here in a conex, pretty much it is manufactured in conditions you wouldn't put up with.. Yet.
A Lost Generation: About half of the young adults (16 – 29) in Spain are unemployed, as the EU/ECB/IMF austerity program grinds on. This will erode Spain's social fabric for years, putting an entire generation at the mercy of northern overlords. The young, without careers and homes and savings, will not be able to support the rapidly aging population – and the country's social safety net is being dismantled and shipped to Berlin and Paris.
Ask The Man Who Drives One: The administration has vowed not to change its strategy in Afghanistan. Okay, when did they get one?
Bottom Fishing: Forget the hype about the housing market looking up. There is little evidence to suggest that house prices will be increasing in the foreseeable future and quite a bit that suggests house prices have a long way to go before reaching bottom. The only thing about housing in the US that might have bottomed out is the business ethics of bankers and mortgage servicers.
Cow/Cabbage: "It is completely ironic that we would be experiencing one of the most powerful cyclical upswings in the stock market... when we are clearly coming off the poorest quarter for earnings... There is this pervasive view that the U.S. economy is in better shape because a 2.2% sliver of GDP called the housing market is showing nascent signs of recovery. What about the 70% called the consumer?...Let's keep in mind that the jump in crude [oil] prices has occurred even with the Saudis producing at its [sic] fastest clip in 30 years - underscoring how tight the backdrop is... Throw in rising gasoline prices and real incomes are in a squeeze, and there is precious little room for the personal savings rate to decline from current low levels." - David Rosenberg
Wet Water Alert: Research shows that the rich are more likely to cheat, break the law, steal candy from children and lie for financial gain. This is not really news. How did you think they got rich in the first place?
Be Prepared: Over 40% of Americans put preparing for a catastrophe ahead of saving for their retirement. Which pretty well guarantees that their retirements will become catastrophes.