God bless our troops, especially the snipers.*
Bad Moon Rising: There is a strong but generally unappreciated link between austerity and civil unrest (anti‐government demonstrations, riots, assassinations, general strikes and attempted revolutions.) . Given that we are entering an Age of Austerity, this should be of more than passing interest. Austerity may or may not be good economics, but it is godawful political science.
Good Deeds: “Capitalism is not an abstract idea. It is an economic system with a distinct set of underlying principles that must exist in order for the system to work. One of these principles is equal justice... Justice must be blind so that both parties — whether weak or powerful — can assume that an agreement between them will be equally enforced by the courts.” It would be nice if outright fraud were prosecuted once in a while, too.
Factory Facts: The decline in US manufacturing is worse than you imagined, because only 56% of the folks working at the factory actually make stuff – that comes to 4.5% of all US jobs. The rest of the people at the mill are in management, finance, sales, office administration and so on.
Record Records: Fifteen-year mortgages are at an all-time low of 3.11%, 30-years, at 3.98%, are nearly there.
Technique: The Republicans – the free market people – are mad at the Fed because it doesn't intervene in the markets the way they would prefer. The Fed has been trying to create a stable economic environment, but that's not what the Republicans want. Between now and the elections they want aggregate demand to shrink and unemployment to rise – to tank the economy so they can blame Obama. And no, this is not the best of all possible worlds.
Say/Do: Generally, those who talk the most about future generations are those who plan to sacrifice our children's future for short-term profits or passing political gain. Exhibits for the prosecution: The Ryan budget. Governor Christie of New Jersey. The Wars. Repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Harassment: Having puffed up their chests after proudly demanding that the unemployed be humiliated with drug tests to access their legally due unemployment benefits, and the poor forced to acknowledge their dependency on the rich by peeing in a cup to get their crumbs, Iowa Republicans have come up with this: A bill that would let former spouses force their ex-wives to take drug tests in order to get child support payments. It's called the Vindictive Spouse Enabling Act.
For-Profit Spying: Defense contractors in the electronic intercept and data mining business are pushing a cyber security bill that will give intelligence agencies broad powers to hire those same contractors to do things that the government can't legally do itself.
Time Flies: Spain, Portugal and Italy are spiraling into recession, their descent spurred on by well meant but disastrous austerity measures. The eurozone appears on the verge of unraveling. Soros says: “the crisis has entered what may be a less volatile, but potentially more lethal phase.” and El-Erian, says “the problems in Europe are getting bigger.” Will more free 'liquidity' manage to kick the can a bit further down the way?
Goodnight Moon: Dow Theory Letters' Richard Russell is bullish. But just on gold and guns, otherwise, not so much. But he's entertaining when he goes on about new monetary systems and new governmental systems and chaos and riots and stocking up on peanut butter.
*Seen on the back of a Confederate flag waving pick-up.