Prices change. Get used to it.
Vanishing Point: With the Extended Benefits program's end and the last 5,223 unemployed folks kicked to the curb, 1.03 million have been removed from the number of wastrels drawing subsistence money. When the larger Emergency Unemployment Compensation program ends at the end of the year, another 2.4 million idlers will lose their incentive not to work. The number of Americans receiving jobless benefits has fallen by 4.3 million during the past two years, and by January first that number will have shrunk by another 3.5 million without any of them getting a job.
Pigging Out: The percentage of disposable income spent on eating-out has fallen sharply in the last 2 months – the largest decline since Lehman days. This can't be good.
There Will Be A Slight Pause: The Federalies have decided that stealing a billion dollars of customer money was not a crime, just the result of “chaos and porous risk controls” at MF Global. The Twinkie defense for banksters.
The End Is Near: Cash-for-gold business in Lisbon are closing because Portuguese who had any gold have already sold it. Portugal’s gold exports have increased by more than 500% over the last 2 years.
Perspective: It's not that Jon Corzine is going to start a hedge fund that bothers me, it's that he's not going to start it from a jail cell.
Simple Truths: The object of the Romney/Ryan plan is to end Medicare as an effective program and to allow tens of millions go hungry, suffer and quietly die – without food stamps and without health insurance. Emphasis on the quietly - they've got to learn their place.
Brand New Numbness: The Labor Department reported that unemployment claims were essentially unchanged at 366,000. The Census Bureau reported that new housing starts fell 1.1% m/m but were 21.5% up y/y, but permits for new houses rose 4.5%. Blah, blah, blah.
Short Version: Spain's goose is cooked. Recipe inside.
Gateway Drugs: Police have identified making chalk drawings on public sidewalks as an early indication of anti-social terrorist impulses and will be arresting people possessing chalk at the upcoming national conventions. It is, they have found, very easy to progress from chalk drawing to taking pictures of public buildings, which leads to immediate arrest and interrogation.
Denominational Affairs: Priced in euros, Brent crude has reached a new all-time high. Regardless of the (mostly hypothetical) reasons given for the price, the increasing cost of petroleum will not do struggling European economies any favors.
Tin Ear: The Mitten says he can't understand why people keep asking about his taxes, saying that he finds it “to be very small minded...”
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: A lady in Chester Township, PA faces a $600 a day fine for feeding up to 60 needy kids a day in her home (she's funded by the PA Education Department and the Philadelphia Archdiocese) because she needs a variance. It costs a non-refundable $1,000 to apply for the needed permit. The township said it wasn't about the money, but it's about the money.
The Parting Shot:
Collinsonia canadensis. Touchdown!