“It is a scandal of modern American politics that a vital program presently needing no change at all, as far as solvency goes, is widely believed to be on a path to bankruptcy.” C. A. Rotwang
Earthquake: The IMF, having insisted for years that austerity was the True Path, now says that governments have underestimated the damage done the economy by austerity measures. Not to mention the damage done to society and to the well being of the governments that took the IMF's advice. Mirror? There's no mirror in here.
Now You Know: “We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.” Mitt Romney, a man for all the people -who make over $10 million a year – isn't aware of the Harvard study showing “that nearly 45,000 people died in the United States each year largely because they did not have insurance.”
Balloon Launch? Federal Reserve governor Daniel Tarullo says that the government should set a limit on banks' non-deposit liabilities, which is where Goldman and friends get most of their funding.
Rose/Rose: Congressional Budget Office data confirms that the current US budget deficits “stem overwhelmingly from the economic downturn, the tax cuts first enacted under President Bush, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," and that future budgetary shortfalls largely stem from the Bush-era tax cuts.
So cutting Social Security and Medicare is inevitable.
When You're Right, You're Right: The plane Turkey forced down yesterday turned out to be carrying Russian-made military equipment.
Money Talks: Munich Re – the world's largest reinsurance firm – says that climate change is driving the increase in natural disasters, with the greatest increase occurring in North America. They predict you ain't seen nothing yet. These people may not know about the science but they certainly can count the costs.
Hobbies: “Eventually–in another two generations, perhaps–organized religion will wither down to a minority preference which is looked upon with mild embarrassment, like Civil War reenacting.”
Footnoted: The Labor Department reported that initial unemployment claims were down 30,000 from last week – nearly 10% ! However, they note, “one large state didn't report some quarterly figures.” Cue the conspiracy theorists.
It's Not Over 'til It's Over: An oil sheen, three miles long and a thousand yards, made up of oil that “correlates” in chemical signature to that from BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster, has been found in the Gulf. It does not pose a threat to US coastal areas. Yet.
Stirring the Pot: The St Louis Fed has put out a paper suggesting that patents be abolished altogether, arguing that the current system does more to hinder than to promote innovation – which was the whole point of the system to start with.
Irreversible: In the last couple of hundred years we have increased the acidity of the oceans by 30% as the seas absorbed 500 billion tons of CO2 that our fires threw into the atmosphere. Scientists fear that within the next 100 years “the oceans will become hot, sour, and breathless.”
Markdowns: Ireland, finally, is about to do something right after years of repeatedly doing the absolutely wrong thing about the financial crisis. They are going to legislate encouragement for their banks (and in Ireland, they are their banks) to “substantially cut the amount that borrowers owe on their mortgages”, thus preventing a massive wave of foreclosures and forcing banks to recognize their
bad judgment losses.
The Parting Shot: