“The U.S. cannot tolerate ‘any exercise of sovereignty’ that interferes with its global designs.” Noam Chomsky
Savior Sinking: While the Mediterraneans line up for bailouts, the economy they are all depending on – the German economy – is expected to only grow 1.1% next year after a paltry 0.9% this year. Austerity, imposed on the Mediterraneans by the Germans, has resulted in a steep decline in their ability to buy goods from Germany. What goes around...
Honor and Dignity: Republicans have managed to prevent passage of a jobs bill aimed at helping unemployed veterans, saying the national debt overrides the nation's debt. Only 5 Republicans voted in favor of helping the veterans become police officers and firefighters who would thereafter be dependent on the government.
Friends: Paul Ryan says that The Mitten "was obviously inarticulate.."
Making Friends: As a result of increased taxes required by the EU/ECB/IMF for those inadequate bailouts, Greek heating oil now caries an 80% 'special consumption tax', which – ironically but predictably – has priced heating their homes out of the range of ordinary Greeks. In pre-austerity Italy, nearly two-thirds of 18-29 year olds live with their parents. Tradition, or lack of jobs?
Convalescence: July's housing starts were revised downward 13,000 to 746,000 and August's were reported at 750,000, which – anticipating another downward revision - is not encouraging. Single-family starts were up 28,000 at 535,000, the highest level since the last time housing 'bottomed' in April 2010. Meanwhile, existing home sales 'jumped' 7.8% in August and median prices increased 9.5%, to their highest level since 2010, new data from the National Association of Realtors shows. The RecoveryTM marches on.
Ups and Downs: In July, Saudi Arabia's petroleum production fell to 9.8 million barrels a day – down 300,000 barrels a day – and exports – at 7.28 million barrels a day - fell 550,000 barrels a day. Extra credit: How long, at this rate, before Saudi Arabia is a net importer of petroleum?
Golly Gee... Widespread use of chemical herbicides in the US has encouraged genetically resistant “super-weeds” to emerge, costing US farmers millions of dollars in losses. Big surprise.
Me Too-ism: Those striking South African miners – some of whose co-workers were killed by police – have won a 22% wage increase. And now the other South African miners will want equality. And soon miners elsewhere. Everywhere. And prices?
Loss Leader: Spanish banks are reporting a 50-year record high 9.86% of their loans as non-performing. That's €172 billion of their assets down the drain. That's 17% of Spanish GDP (before austerity whittles their GDP asunder) up in smoke (well, up in houses, but that's the point). This is the same as US banks acknowledging $2.5 trillion in bad loans – which seems about right, if truth be told.
Guilty, Guilty, Guilty: The highest appellate court in Italy has upheld the guilty verdicts of 23 Americans (22 of them CIA agents) for kidnapping a terror suspect off the street in Milan in 2003 and 'rendering' him to Mubarak's Egypt to be tortured.
Forward! The St. Louis Federal Reserve suggests that the government should “do more to regulate predatory lending...” It also said that having the post office go back to the good old day and begin offering avings accounts to the small savers that the that big banks despise and nickle and dime to death.
Porn O'Graph: Free-loaders.
The Parting Shot: