The List: An association of medical specialty boards has drawn up a list of 45 tests and procedures that should be either be discontinued or used much less often. But physicians report that they routinely order unneeded tests because they fear being sued.
Natural History: Pimco's Bill Gross explains that “central banks are where bad loans go to die”, and that without continued QE the financial markets will fall and the real economy falter and re-enter recession. Then the Bernanke will start up the presses again. Bill didn't say that last part, but he probably thought it.
Public Comment: About 30 of the 100 students protesting 400% tuition increase during a Santa Monica College board meeting were pepper sprayed as part of their education. On learning that a 4-year-old child had bee sprayed, the college president said “Santa Monica College regrets that a group of people chose to disrupt a public meeting in an unlawful manner.”
Big Wheels Keep On Turning... March US light vehicle sales were at a 14.37 SAAR pace, up 10% y/y but down 4.4% m/m. This was half a million units below the consensus forecast, yet is being seen as a Famous Victory.
Can You Spare A Dime? The IMF says the world economy is still fragile, its money and the conditions the money comes with are needed to make sure the recovery continues, but the cupboard is bare and the US and other developed nations need to up the ante. The IMF estimates it needs an additional $500 billion. Lots of luck with that.
It's The Water:SC Gov. Nikki Haley maintains that “women don't care about contraception.” Or at least the barefoot and pregnant ones in South Caroline don't. If you haven't already guessed, Nikki's an up-and-coming Republican star.
Unser Kampf: Germany plans to supervise European budget compliance through independent panels of experts to monitor fiscal policies in the member states. The budget commissioner would be empowered to implement and enforce EU regulations without anyone having the right to object.
Players/Program: The whole point of empires is to extract wealth from subjected nations and funnel it to the rich and powerful rulers. Before you start pointing at America's recent money-losing military adventures, stop and ask yourself if you are focusing on the right resources. Perhaps the fleecing of the bottom 90% of Americans by the 1%'ers was, and is, the whole point.
Lecture Note: According to a UMass economist, a national single-payer health care system would “provide superior health care” while saving “as much as $570 billion now wasted on administrative overhead and monopoly profits."
Political Biology According to Republicans, in Arizona life begins up to two weeks before conception.
Noted: Markets are not efficient, humans are not rational economic players, Buy & Hold is a poor investment strategy. The bottom line is The Bottom Line and you must still sell your way to a profit, you cannot manage your way to a profit. The investment/asset management business is a business focused on fees, not clients.
Send in the Clowns: Lead elements of a US Marine deployment to the outskirts of Darwin, Australia have successfully secured a beachhead. Some 2,500 additional leathernecks will eventually join them in what is described as "a rotational presence". Both the US and the Aussies insist this is "not a permanent US base." They'll go home eventually, so it's not permanent. Sure, they'll be replaced by others, what's your point?
Porn O'Graph: Drowning the state.