“It could have been worse.” is not particularly comforting.
Halt! Who Goes There? BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan have restricted access to some of their money market funds following the ECB's lowering of interest rates. Goldman says the European financial market is in “uncharted territory'. Is there an echo in here?
Let Us Count The Ways: Libor is neither the beginning nor the end of criminal behavior by the big banks. There has been: Bid-rigging fraud against local governments. Laundering money for drug cartels. Manipulating markets. Hiding their losses. Stealing billions of dollars from pension funds. Committing pervasive fraud both in initiating mortgages and foreclosing them. Pledging the same mortgage multiple times. Promoting investments they knew were terrible and betting against their clients. And subverting our economy, our democracy, and our government.
In Another Country, Long Ago and Far Away: In a better America, Mitt Romney would be running for president on the strength of his major achievement as governor of Massachusetts: a health reform. Or Obamacare, as it's known today.
Red Sails In The Sunset: China has a huge fleet of coastal ships that ordinarily are kept busy hauling coal and iron ore. Of late they are not doing so much domestic hauling and are seeking loads in places like Indonesia. Many more are just lying idle at Chinese ports. Wonder what this could possibly mean, Martha?
Pretty Please: A judge has ordered JPMorgan to explain why -other than a bogus attorney-client privilege claim – they should not turn over the 25 internal emails documenting their manipulation of electricity markets in California and the Midwest, other than the fact that they would document their manipulation of electricity markets in California and the Midwest.
Yes, But... Is ObamaCare a tax on the middle class? No, not if you get your health insurance through your job. No, not if you are on Medicare. No, not if you are on Medicaid. No, not if you already are paying for your own health insurance (but your premium will probably come down a bit). That takes care of about 80% of all of you – the ones who already have health insurance. If you are one of the 50 million who don't have insurance, you are probably a single parent with two kids and make around $35,000. Your penalty for not having health insurance is about $1,400 – but you'll receive a premium credit and the very most you'll have to pay is about $2,200 – for a policy that would ordinarily cost $12,000. Some tax.
Subsidy: Drilling trucks have caused an estimated $2 billion in damage to Texas roads, which the fracking companies will not have to pay. The Texas taxpayer (and the federal taxpayers) will pay. Another gift to the energy industry for ruining the commons.
The Electorate: Told that Romney supports the Ryan budget that would end Medicare while lowering taxes on the richest Americans, self-identified Republican voters refused to believe it.
Shocked, But Just A Little: Angelo Mozilo's Countrywide Financial offered discount loans to “dozens” of congressmen and their staffers to 'influence' legislation. A Congressional report says Angelo was able to “affect dozens of pieces of legislation.” How this differs from everyday lobbyists' buying Congressmen was not immediately clear.
Porn O'Graph: How long? Well, that's too long, partner.
The Parting Shot: