One good month is not a trend.
Bunch'a Numbers: Global Manufacturing Update Indicates 80% Of The World Is Now In Contraction Lots of PMI stuff, too. From China (lowest in 3 years), to Italy ( which 'unexpectedly' fell) And of course Spain falls even further down the rabbit hole, trying to catch Greece, which is down there somewhere in the dark, while Germany's exports evaporate.
Datum: In real terms, the Case-Shiller National index of house prices is back to mid-1999 levels.
Devil/Details: Romney, in his acceptance speech, said that cutting military budget will “eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, and put our security at greater risk”, cutting Medicare by over $700 billion “will both hurt today’s seniors, and depress innovation – and jobs – in medicine” and “trillion-dollar deficits will slow our economy, restrain employment, and cause wages to stall.” So, deficit spending is bad, except for spending on the military and the medical-insurance cabal. So naturally, he's in favor of massive tax cuts for the rich.
Bug/Feature: A new survey found that the majority of new jobs pay low wages. Imagine.
Shhh! The attraction of 'structural unemployment' to so many political economists on the right is that if the problem is structural, then the government can't do anything about it – especially not stimulus spending to create jobs. Of course they (& Romney) ignore studies that show that stimulus did, and would, work.
Cartography: If Obama wins Florida, Romeny will have to win CO, IA, NV, NH, NC, VA, and WI. Place your bets...
In Summary: Dr. Bernanke says that things are bad, really bad, and getting worse, and the longer it goes on, the worse the damage to the economy (not to mention the citizenry). But not to worry, for the Fed is all powerful and has many tools it could use to minimize the damage and turn the economy around. Could, but not right now.
Jumping Off Cliffs: Sure, they say, Ryan and Romney have a problem with truth, facts and marathon running, but, they say, everyone does it; lies, that is. Well, no. Used to be that politicians would shade the facts, but making them up out of whole cloth, time after time, is not something we used to endorse.
Why Then, Why Not Now? Since Bush invaded Iraq, 4,500 US soldiers have died and another 32,000 have been wounded, so Iraq can freely decide, now, to help Iran avoid US oil sanctions. Why, having decided to abandon Afghanistan in 2014, after spending $444 billion and 1,500 American lives, why don't we do it now, leave. Today. Before another friendly Afghan kills another American. Yes, we beat Saddam, we beat the Taliban, decimated al Qeada, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people and cowed the American public. Famous victories all. Let's bring the troops home and give them a big parade – while they are still alive and in one piece.
Seconding The Motion: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu wants Tony Blair and George Bush “to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court” for “war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Nice, but hollow, gesture.
The Parting Shot: