Actions still seem to have consequences.
It's The Economy, Stupid: "It was a house of cards and it collapsed in the most destructive, worst crisis that we’ve seen since the Great Depression," "And sometimes people forget the magnitude of it. Sometimes I forget.” That's okay, Barak, Mitt's gonna remind you from time to time.
That Old Familiar Tune: French President-elect Francois Hollande is suggesting that Sarkozy's government underestimated the country's budget problems, that things are much worse than he suspected, but that this new data “does not necessarily mean” that he'll have to renege on his promises. Not necessarily.
About That Austerity: Greek unemployment increased by 42% in the last year. In a nation of 11 million, only 3.78 million have jobs and 1.1 million are unemployed – 21.7%.
Jim Hansen: “Global warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening. If we were to burn the oil in Canada's vast tar sand reserves, and f continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies it will be game over for the climate... the disintegration of the ice sheets would accelerate out of control. Sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities. Global temperatures would become intolerable.” Any questions?
How Much Is Too Much? If the natural-gas companies continue producing at the current rate, all the storage reservoirs in America will be full by autumn. With nowhere left to put the stuff, won't the marginal price be zero?
Smart Alec: Under ALEC's umbrella, legislators from 15 states will sit down with leaders of the nation's oil and gas industry to find out how they can help these struggling entrepreneurs evade onerous regulations and taxation. Specifically they will learn how to craft significant loopholes in any renewable energy legislation so as to benefit good old oil and gas. Actually it's not a matter of learning so much as it is simply taking home the printouts of the legislation ALEC has written for them. The five biggest oil companies reported $135 billion in profit last year.
The Night The Lights Went Out: Spain can no longer afford to light its streets and highways. This is what the beginning of the gradual descent into chaos would look like, if there were enough light to see it.
Individual Merit: In 2008 a nice young man decided to set up a private equity fund; his mom was one of the first investors. Some of his dad's friends chipped in. Even though he had no experience, within two years, in the depths of the recession, he had raised $244 million for his fledgling fund. Tagg Romney insists that the fact that his dad was running for President had nothing to do with his success.
Too Much Is Just Enough: The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis says that 8% is as low as unemployment can go without triggering inflation – that from now on, 8% unemployment is the new “full employment”. Is he a speaking for himself, or is this a trial balloon?
Where The Wild Plastics Are: Over the last 40 years plastic fragments floating in the north-east Pacific Ocean has increased a hundred fold. Not 100% more, a hundred times more. For plastics, there is no “away”. Fish, gobbling roughly 12,000 to 24,000 tons per year, are part of an ongoing experiment that will probably not end well.
Barney, Frankly: “JPMorgan Chase, entirely without any help from the government has lost, in this one set of transactions, five times the amount they claim financial regulation is costing them.”