There are bigger forces than governments.
Mumbled Numbers: The S&P Case-Shiller Index shows that average house prices increased 1.6% m/m. Much of that increase was due to seasonal factors, absent which the increase was 0.4%, which is an annualized 5% rate. That probably will not continue. This is the lowest the slowest sequential increase in the past 5 months. At the current rate of decline, we may see falling prices this fall. The real story is that people don't seem to care. Besides, the housing market is far too small – a mere 2% of the economy – to make a difference.
Editorial Correction: Save the Children reports that Syrian children are being abducted, imprisoned and tortured and calls for these atrocities "
to be better documented." to be stopped.
Rose Is Rose: The US has more than 10,000 weaponized drones, a large number of which terrorize the civilian population of Waziristan every day. Every night. As many as six drones will circle over one location, often for 24 hours a day. Waiting. And the people on the ground can hear them, see them. Every day. Every night. They never know when death will slam into them from the sky, but they know it could. Perhaps it will not kill them, today. Or their children, tonight.
Since You Asked: Is climate change hell inevitable? Yes, if hell is a 4ºC rise in global temperature - because we are human.
Austerity Uber Alles: Angela is back on the soapbox, insisting that if you take Germany's money you are going to have to take Germany's advice. She said it more politely, but that's the essence.
Datapoints: More than a million Class of 2008 college graduates are living with mom and dad. Nearly 21 million 18 to 30 year-olds live with their parents. Canadian new home sales dropped 64% in August. Government changes to mortgages and home equity loans are blamed. The economic collapse in Greece continues. Unemployment is at 24.4% and increasing by 1% a month. About 30% of all businesses in Athens have closed – and nearly 50% in some areas. There's no economic life and thus no economic life to tax and thus no tax revenue. Spain's tax collections fell 4.6% in August, y/y, while government spending rose 8.9%. The nation's budget deficit rose to 4.77% of GDP from last year's 3.81%. Austerity rules!
Clarification: Paul Ryan acknowledges that he would “end Medicare as we know it.” Any questions?
Reality Check: In Valencia, Spain, the pharmacies have no pharmaceuticals. Quite why is a long and involved tale about boom and bust and economic blindness plus a real estate bubble bursting and the fall in tax revenues followed by austerity programs that further drove down the economy and tax revenues. But in the very real end, pharmacies have no pharmaceuticals because they, at least, have to pay their bills.
The Parting Shot: