Time Out: The Cypriot parliament said no, so for now no one knows what'll happen but it's pretty unanimous that whatever comes next won't be pretty. That it will squash Cyprus is inevitable. Whether it will make much difference to Bonn or Brussels is another story.
Gutless Wonders: Democrats have betrayed not only Newton's dead children but those who will be killed next time and the time after – whenever some nut grabs an assault rifle and a 25 shot clip and heads off to kindergarten. The balance between dead children and gun nuts is very delicate, according to Harry Reid, but in the end the NRA and wild-eyed fear of the government win.
It Begins: The Russian Cypriot depositors may be loathsome folks, but dumb they are not; their billions (about 15 billion euro, minimum) will be gone as soon as their lawyers draw up the demands. This will, of course, destroy the Cypriot banks, which the confiscations were supposed to save, and without the financial sector, all Cyprus has is a few goats and two olive trees.
Easing Does It: The big danger is not the rate at which the Fed's balance sheet has grown – currently at $85 billion a month and approaching $3.1 trillion. Nope, the going up is just fine. If the Fed ever tries to reduce that by a couple of trillion dollars, selling those assets off best be done gently. Very, very gently. Most likely they'll just bribe the banks with higher interest rates on their reserves (and excess reserves), keeping the cash out of the consumer's pocketbooks. Ah, but then there's the higher interest rate goblin...
Follow the Money: House Democrats, ahem, Democrats, I say Democrats, are signing on to bills that would “expressly allow bailouts of our largest Wall Street banks,” and “impede legislation aimed at forcing the banks to break up.” They are also backing bills to deregulate derivatives (which are pretty much regulation free anyway). Vox populi and all that.
Unchanged Monotony: "Ryan’s budget is intended to do nothing less than fundamentally transform the relationship between Americans and their government. That, and not deficit reduction, is its real point, as it has been Ryan’s real point throughout his career." Ezra Klein
Executive Privilege: Last year the US Supreme Court ruled that a warrant or court order is required before the police can attach a GPS tracking device to a private vehicle. The Obama administration has over-ruled Mr. Chief Justice & Team and says no such paperwork is needed. Constitution? We don't
got need no Constitution.
Sauce/Ganders: Turns out that a lot of those members of congress and members of business round tables running around worrying about The Debt and Living Within Our Means are members of the 'do as I say not as I do' brigade. Like the rest of us.
Curb Your Enthusiasm: The smarties who have gobbled up tens of thousands of houses in order to rent them out and rake in the dough while the price of the houses skyrockets had not planned on 50% occupancy rates. And these clever buggers also didn't understand that the people who got pushed out of their houses are not going to be able to rush in and buy another one next week. And that pretty much those who buy a house sell one, too. What drives demand for more housing and drives prices skyward is called household formation – which unemployed and underemployed folks don't rush into. Oh, and another departure from the business plan: rental prices are falling. Too many rental houses, y'know.
Bully's 'R' Republican: Now it's Louisiana’s Senator Vitter that is putting a 'hold' on an Obama nominee for nor particular reason other than to show off. Vitter says it's because of Secretary of Labor nominee Thomas Perez's “spotty work related to the New Black Panther case.” Real spotty. As in Perez was not involved in the case at all. Reform? Can I get a second for reform?.
The Parting Shot:
Wedgeleaf Whitlow Grass, Draba cuneifolia.