The market has spoken, and it is rigged. – Simon Johnson.
Game On! Silvio Berlusconi, one-time Italian prime minister before he was dismissed by the EU/ECB/IMF, says he will give actual Italians a chance to put him back in office.
Running of the Bears: Capital has been fleeing Spain at an annualized rate of 50% of the nation's GDP. Obviously the 100 billion euro “rescue” won't cover the damage - 990 billion euros might, but that's a non-starter. No one has the slightest idea where that sort of funding will come from, certainly not from more unemployment and higher taxes on a dying economy. Maybe they'll have another summit.
Slogan: Invest in the Cayman Islands, it’s the patriotic thing to do.
Humor: Here's an article that explains why America can look forward to a future of "energy abundance." Put the coffee down so you don't choke.
Black and Gray: Romney says he had "no role whatsoever in Bain management after '99." Yet he told the SEC he was, in 2000 & 2001, the Chairman, CEO and sole shareholder of Bain. Oh, and they paid him $100,000 a year for doing nothing.
Terse: Russell Wasendorf Sr., CEO of the now defunct futures brokerage firm Peregrine Financial, has been arrested by the FBI and charged with making false statements to the SEC (memo to Mitt). Wasendorf wrote a suicide note claiming “"I have been able to embezzle millions of dollars from customer accounts...” Prosecutors say the fraud began 20 years ago.
Asked & Answered: Is Spain following Greece down the garden path? No. While doing the same things (cutting wages and social spending while raising taxes), they've been promised that it'll work this time. Italy hopes so.
Teaching Point: A statistical technique gives valid results only if the underlying assumptions reflect reality. In other words, even in economics, garbage in leads to garbage out. So go ahead, assume a cow is a sphere. Just don't try to milk it.
Supply, Demand & Budgets: Even as US and European demand drops, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries continue to produce petroleum far above their quotas - not because the market wants their oil, but because their budgets need the money. There's 'peak oil' and then there's 'peak citizen demands'.
Reminder: Social Security is full funded until 2038 with no changes whatsoever.
The Things They Carried: Unemployment, declining wages, poverty, foreclosures, student debts, inequality, price inflation, cuts in public services and social safety nets, poor roads, failing infrastructure and global warming.
Just Wondering: How can you support circumcising young males under the rubric of “protecting religious freedom” and condemn female 'circumcision' as barbaric?
The Parting Shot: