The Tinkerbell Rally: ECB President Draghi said “"Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough." The markets believed him, although the statement is patently ridiculous. If the ECB, or the IMF, or the EU leadership had “whatever it takes”, why haven't they at least displayed a bit of ankle? A latter note suggested Draghi meant “after the ESM is funded”, which would be mid-September. Morgan Stanley summed it up this way: “Europe will get worse.”
Scoreboard: Unemployment initial claims dropped to 353,000, continuing the +/- 30,000 bounce. The government reported that June's durable goods orders fell 1.1% without transportation orders, and were up 1.6% when orders for aircraft are included. Pending home sales also declined – 1.4% m/m.
It's A Start: The former CEO of Anglo Irish Bank has been arrested in Dublin and charged with fraud. Two of his former senior executives were charged with the same 16 fraud counts. This would be more encouraging had he not been released on a paltry €1,000 bond.
Accessing Access: Both the Obama and the Romney campaign offices tell reporters (sic) what statements they can quote and attribute by name. The so-called reporters go along, for fear of losing access. What good access does under these constraints is a mystery.
And Then He Said: Former Special Inspector General for TARP, Neil Barofsky, has been telling stories out of school of late and capped it by opining that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner should lose his job and be handcuffed... Geithner continues to maintain that the government does not now and did not ever know about the role US banks played in rigging the Libor rates for years. Or encourage them.
Playing Solitaire: Republicans in the House voted to freeze all “significant regulatory action” until the US unemployment rate falls to 6.0%
or the first day of never, whichever comes first. As an added attraction, parts of the bill would make it particularly difficult for the SEC and the CFTC to operate. There is, of course, no chance whatsoever of this actually becoming law, but it'll give the GOPers bragging points come election season.
Calories Do Count: Scientists studying a hunter-gather people, the Hadza of Tanzania, have concluded that while their level of physical activity is much higher than Westerners, their metabolic rate was not significantly different. In other words, while exercise is good for you and important to your health, it is calories that count when it comes to weight. We are obese because we eat too much.
Clarification: The Mitten said – erroneously – that the weapons used in the Aurora shootings had been illegally purchased. This is not true, the weapons and the ammunition had been legally obtained. Obviously, what Romney meant to say was that buying such weapons should be illegal.
Non-Starter: Following Michelle Bachmann's anti-Muslim paranoid fantasies, one of Romney's “top advisers”, John Bolton.... Sorry, I stopped reading when they began to quote Bolton.
Hypothetical, Hopefully: If Romney wins in November by a margin smaller than the number of disenfranchised elderly, young and minority voters who couldn’t cast ballots because the photo-identification laws enacted by Republican governors and legislators kept them from the polls, would that be better or worse than Bush's 1 vote margin in 2000?
The Parting Shot: