Borders are the history of violence made visible on our maps.
Headline Hopes: Sales of existing houses increased nearly 11% in October y/y, with a matching 11% increase in median price. This is eight consecutive months of y/y increases in home prices, which last occurred in 2005-2006. So why don't I feel reborn?
Just Sayin' If the 1%ers had their way, wouldn't we all be Gazans?
On The Homes Front: Nearly every metric in Spain is going the wrong way at present, housing, bank loans, independence campaigns. In Italy, new industrial orders dropped 12.8% y/y and 4.8% m/m, and the voters no longer support technocrat Mario Monti. The British want to leave the EU, France is now spelled with just two As, and Greece keeps bubbling away on the back burner.
Scheduling: We're not going to run out of oil; we're going to run out of affordable oil. Known reserves will last about 40 years at today's rate of use, but the middle classes in China and India are tired of bicycles. And those 'known reserves' are self-reported by some countries with motives to be less than forthcoming. Yes, 'some' means Saudi Arabia, first among equals. And when the IEA predicts an increase in oil production from 84 mbd today to 97 mbd in 2035, the increase is all in "natural gas liquids and unconventional sources", not conventional oil. And they are not the same things.
Cracks In The Wall: A majority of the English would favor a British exit from the European Union, which may give a more weight to London's calls for significant changes in the system.
Probabilities: Manufacturing is coming back in the US, manufacturing jobs aren’t
Datapoint: Less than 4% of the very rich are entrepreneurs. The rest passively collect their income from bonds, stocks, and real estate rather than from starting companies and creating jobs.
Step Right Up: Just when you thought the GOP might be willing to join the real world, Marco Rubio is running around pretending to believe the world was actually created in seven days, under the impression that makes him attractive as a presidential contender four years from now. One hopes the Republicans can do better.
Enough, Already: In some stores, when you walk past a mannequin, you're the dummy.
Just So Story: Which is sadder, that the US wants immunity for its troops for crimes they commit in Afghanistan after 2014, or that the US plans to have troops in Afghanistan after 2014?
Quoted: “There are, let’s face it, some people in our political life who pine for the days when minorities and women knew their place, gays stayed firmly in the closet and congressmen asked, “Are you now or have you ever been?” The rest of us, however, are very glad those days are gone.”
Recipe Exchange: Step by step, how private equity cooked Hostess' goose. Hint, it's not what you put in, but what you take out that makes Twinkies so rich.
Porn O'Graph: Rear window.
The Parting Shot: