Theology runs afoul of reality in economics, too.
Warning Label: Greece needs to get 95% of its private creditors to accept an unacceptable deal before it can get the €130bn bail-out. If it fails, but gets 66% to agree to the enormous haircut, then Greece can retroactively enforce “collective action clauses” which would impose the restructuring on all of the private creditors. If neither event occurs (which seems likely), welcome to the Twilight Zone.
Incomes Rise: In 2010,the income of the top 1% grew by 11.6%. The income of the rest of us grew 0.2%. Ah, the recovery.
Warning Bells: Citing falling export orders, China lowered its 2012 GDP target to 7.5%. India, the world's second largest cotton producer, has banned all cotton exports. No reason was given, but it is seen as an attempt to lower prices for Indian manufacturers. It will, of course, drive up world prices. In the US, the good news was that January's factory orders fell less than expected. Business activity in the Eurozone contracted in February.
She Made Me Do It: Limbaugh says the liberals made him do it.
Pot/Kettles: Analysts at Deutsche Bank say that since 1999 experts “consistently underestimate” the forward price of Brent oil by an average of 27%. If they are consistently wrong again this year, Brent may end the year at $135. More or less.
Sluts and Hussies: Wisconsin Republicans want a law condemning “non-martial parenthood” and
making being a single mother a Class B felony defining unmarried parents as “a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.” Over 30% of Wisconsin parents are single.
Provenance: The administration is going to argue that it got the right to kill US citizens from the US Congress. Where Congress got this authority is unclear.
Musical Chairs: China's domestic oil production has peaked and 70-80% of its oilfields are declining. China imported 1.9 mbd in 2002, 5.0 mbd in 2010 – a 12%/year growth rate. China and India combined will have net imports approaching 12 mbd, up from 5 mbd in 2005. At that time the available net exports from all producing nations will have dropped from 45.5 mbd (2005) to 40 mbd. And the price... pick a number.
Cabal: A small private group of brokers (and traders) with no oversight and no transparency set, some say manipulate, the Libor rates that affect the price of $350 trillion worth of securities and loans around the world. What could go wrong?
Either/Or: It turns out that when they ship American jobs overseas, they end up where the bosses put 12 workers in 10 x 12 foot dorm rooms, six to a shift. Our CEOs tell us that China is business friendly and Chinese workers are more efficient. What they mean is that China has no pretense of democracy and that the there are closer to slaves. International corporations call the exploitation of human beings "competitive advantage" and tell us that we all benefit because it is cheaper to make things in developing countries. They have jobs and we have cell phones and no one has any dignity.
Clarification: Drilling everywhere – offshore, onshore, under your house and in the Alaskan arctic – would have little impact on the price of gasoline in the US over then next couple of years. Even after 10 years of all-out drilling, the change in the price of US gasoline would be about 10 cents a gallon. Politicians who claim otherwise are being dishonest.