Did you immediately think of My Lai, too?
Fool Me Once... The IMF will contribute only 18 billion euros to the second Greek bailout fund. At 14%, this is a sharp reduction from the 27% it put towards the first bailout. It explained that it was “trying to manage a difficult balance between staying involved in the rescue package for Greece while limiting the risk to its own funds.”
Enigma: Bernanke & Company claim they keep giving cheap money to the banks so they could loan it to businesses to expand the recovery. Yet the Fed continues to pay 0.25% interest on the excess reserves the banks keep with the Fed - about $1.6 trillion. In short, the Fed is loaning money to the banks at close to zero interest and paying them 0.25% to not lend it out. This does two things: It acts as a government gift to the banks, and it keeps the money created by the Fed to keep the government running etc, from circulating in the economy and accelerating inflation.
Seeking Clarity: Surveys show that among women, Democrats lead Republics by 25 points. This speaks well of the ladies.
School Solution: Big money Texan Kyle Bass expects bad things to happen, so bad that while he was on the UT board he had the university take physical delivery of $1 billion in gold bullion. He's also buying up nickels because he expects the metal in them to soon be worth more than 5 cents apiece.
Anschluss: The first of the lawsuits seeking return of the money investors lost when Greece defaulted has been filed. There will be more. Things are looking up for the lawyers.
Except: The US net imports of crude oil fell 10% last year - a drop of 1 mbd - and now we import only 45% of our petroleum, down from 2008's 58%. The modest 120,000 barrel a day increase in domestic production y/y did not have much impact. The slowing economy was a far more important factor. It's just as well, the developing economies - think China and India - are outbidding the developed nations for oil, and have been since 2005. It is no longer all about us.
One Thing And Another: About half of Republicans in Alabama and Mississippi are convinced that President Obama is a Muslim, global warming is a hoax, evolution doesn't happen and so on.
No Need: Sanctimonious Santorum says that politicians should not use teleprompters, which probably works well for those with Bible-based, fact-free policies.
Whether Report: The bond swap that just docked private sector investors with 72% losses is not going to cure the problem of Greece's failing economy. Thanks to relentless austerity measures, Greece's GDP has shrunk about 20% since 2008, 25% of businesses in Athens and the Attica region have closed, the tourism industry (which was supposed to be the backbone of the recovery) is nose-diving. The standard of living is collapsing, to the point where half of the most common pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, are no longer available. There will be a further default, and Greece will leave the euro, at a date uncertain, but not far distant.
D Minus: February, usually the worst month for the Federal deficit because of tax refunds, set a record at $231.7 billion - the largest monthly shortfall on record – which may suggest something about the strength of the recovery.
Contagion: Canadian environmental groups say their government has created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion designed to silence dissent. Like you-know-who,next door.
Porn O'Graph: Running swiftly to stay in place.