What value does the health insurance industry add to health or health-care?
One World: The WTO has ruled that the US can't ban the import of cigarettes targeted at children because it hurts the profits of those who would benefit from harming our kids. It's all about profits. How did we ever give control of our country and our lives to the merchants?
Freedom to Chose: Gasoline prices bring out the punditry. Some cite “the behavior of the market” and say prices have peaked. Others say that if we don't attack Iran prices will decline. Some point to deliveries to wholesalers – which are at an 11 year low – and say that prices have peaked. That’s below last month’s projection of 8.67 million. The US Energy Department says that gasoline will climb about 24 cents more before the summer is over. It cost me $15 to drive to the mall today; gonna stop doing that.
It's Only Natural: From a peak at $15.78 in Q4 2005, natural gas has fallen to under $2.00. At this rate a lot of those planning how to spend their fracking royalty checks best dial it down a notch.
Padded Bras & Botox: Steakhouses first jab thousands of tiny needles into your steak (or pound it with MSG), then drown it with melted butter – sure it's tender, but how much of it is the cow and how much the kitchen?
Lies, Damned Lies & Mitt: Romney's claim that Obama has been waging a war on women is (1) based on the President's insisting that women should get decent health care, (2) lying with statistics, or (3) lying.
Run, don't walk:Stock market outflows indicate that the retail investor is “no longer the dumb money” and is pulling his money out of the market and putting it into Treasuries. In that the retail investor is nearly always wrong, this is the best news for the market all week.
Bedtime Reading: Super-bear Gary Shilling is predicting the S&P will fall 40% or more this year. But he says “the US is the best of the bad lot". He's long treasuries, short stocks, short commodities and long the dollar. He's also a bit long in ego.