Many things work wonderfully until they don't.
Austerity, An Example: 230,000 long term unemployed lost their meager unemployment 'benefits' this weekend, because the United States Congress cannot get its act together long enough to address the problem of joblessness. The Democrats will wring their hands and the Republicans will count it a great victory. How tossing these folks under the bus is going to improve the economy was not immediately clear.
Pattern Crimes: Paul Krugman looking beyond a Greek departure from the euro - “very possibly next month” - expects the following consequences rather quickly thereafter: Huge runs on Spanish and Italian banks leading to currency controls and bans on cross-border transfers, as well as strict limits on cash withdrawals (this prediction is enough to start the run and withdrawals). The ECB will be forced to step in and prop up the banks. Then all eyes turn to Germany which must either underwrite Spain and accept higher inflation, or accept the end of the euro. “And we’re talking about months, not years...” He may be wrong, but I wouldn't step on his cape.
Big Bucks: Three non-Jamie Dimon "top executives" are expected to resign for their part - if any - in the $2 billion trading loss. Mr. Dimon will be sad to see them go. Jamie, himself, gets paid to take the credit, not the blame.
Operant Conditioning: To ride Chicago's Metra – any part of the system - during the NATO Summit you may only carry one briefcase; no luggage, packages, backpacks pocket knives, food or liquids, including coffee. Several stations will simply be closed. There will be bomb sniffing dogs, TSA clowns with wands
and snipers in secret locations. Don't bother to try to drive, roads will be closed, no parking allowed, survivors will be relocated to detention camps. Passports will be optional, but some form of picture ID and the phone number of a good lawyer are recommended.
If We Told You, We'd Have To Kill You: If you find out that NSA has been gathering information on you via Google, you will become an enemy of the people for infringing on the nation's “information assurance mission.”
Suicide, It Seems, Is Not Painless: German' most populous state told Frau Merkel that austerity was not nearly as popular as she hoped - and dealt her designated heir a hearty blow, too. How long can the politicians and the media, and most of the economists, keep ignoring the obvious: One currency requires one country. And Herr Schäuble is undoubtedly correct, “We can only achieve a political union if we have a crisis.” Let's hope he has something a little less energetic than the Civil War. If the people of Europe want to keep the Euro, they'll have to become EUROpeans.
Teaching Point: The Koch brothers, through their Americans For Prosperity outlet, are stepping up their attack on Obama for his support of clean energy. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), (also funded by Koch money) has drafted bills to overturn state laws promoting wind energy. To quote their spokesperson, "The American way is to use more and pay less. That's the American way,"
Debt by Degree: Why do they charge so much for something that is not worth the cost? Get that college education, they say. You need it to get a good job, they say. 94% of you will have to go into debt to get a degree that half of you will never use. The odds are your starting salary ($27,000 on average) won't let you repay the debt ($23,000 and growing) - and it's a con.
And Your Point Would Be? The American public overwhelmingly favors deep cuts in all phases of military spending - 20% or more of the current budget would be fine with the great majority. Congressmen, needing defense contractor money to get re-elected, are unlikely to heed the call.
Momentum Headlines said “Spain to force banks to set aside €30 billion.” A couple of things: Spanish banks don’t have €30 billion in assets worth setting aside, and if they did it would increase their coverage of probable losses from 53% to 56%. Let's not get too excited, housing losses will run to €650 billion - loans for which the Spanish banks have made….no provision.
Porn O'Graph: It's good to be