“There are many ways of being right.” Kurt Vonegut.
Reality Check: Now that Facebook's had a day to settle, how much did you loose? And how much more before it comes to rest?
Is There An Echo In Here? Why is the Chinese commodity bubble popping? Because everyone was convinced prices would only go up, and they pledged/accepted the underlying assets as collateral at close to 100% LTV and then reality came along. As a result, many are are defaulting on their commodity orders while the shipments – coal, iron ore, copper base metals - are en route. Things seem to be slowing in the Middle Kingdom – so much so that copper ore is being stored in car parks and iron ore in granaries.
Business Model: JP Morgan has a record $1.13 trillion in deposits, but has found a way to lend out only 64% of it. The rest it's been playing with; win some, lose some.
Bubble, Bubble, Toil And Trouble: Scientists have identified about 150,000 methane 'seeps' in Alaska and Greenland, some over a kilometer across, venting methane into the atmosphere. These huge fountains are different from and in addition to previously known methane seeps from permafrost and the seabed. The Arctic is earth's fastest warming region, and as the warming continues the methane releases will increase; the warming will feed on itself and have a huge – previously unidentified - impact on global warming. Atmospheric methane concentrations are already at their highest level in 400,000 years.
Clip and Save: Paul Krugman says a Eurozone breakup is no biggie for the US; only 2% of US GDP is tied to exports to Europe and the financial damage would be slight because Bernanke “can throw enough money at the banking system to keep this thing from being a financial meltdown.”
The Party's Winding Down: Three years ago, Term-Loan-Guarantee-Program (a fully FDIC-backed entity) was created to allow banks to get ultra-cheap funding. By the end of June about $60 billion of TLGP 0.3% debt is due and must be repaid (ha) or refinanced at a 3.5% - 4% cost.
Marginalia: Qatar is currently producing crude oil at full capacity and is sticking with its OPEC quota.
Just Say No: The US Preventive Services Task Force, an independent group of evidence-based medical experts, says that men should no longer take routine PSA blood tests because the screening results in the overdiagnosis of and unnecessary treatment for prostate cancer which can leave men impotent and incontinent. Urologists – for whom PSA testing is an easy and continuous income stream – were
Christmas Countdown:Defense industry stocks are holding up quite well, considering they face significant budgetary cuts come December 31st. Is this simple denial, or are investors betting on the Republicans riding to the rescue?
Graduation Exercised: Robert Reich is telling the Class of '12 a few verities. First, half of you are not going to find a job of any sort. If and when you get a job, it won't pay enough for you to pay back your student loans. And because you've been students and have never worked, you can't draw unemployment. Congratulations.
The Parting Shot:
In wildness is the preservation of the world. Henry David Thoreau