Who will be next for a trip to the barber?
You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet:Egyptian President Mursi says that the protests against the Muslim Brotherhood have reached the point where "If I am forced to do what is required to protect this nation, then I will do it. And I fear that I might be on the verge of doing it." He did not elaborate, preferring to let the nation's imagination do his work for him.
Been More Or Less There, Done Pretty Much That: The US is once again feeding intelligence, money and weapons to a group of Muslim revolutionaries, this time in Syria. What could possibly go wrong?
Germany Rules: Perhaps the misery soon to be visited on Cyprus is a feature, not a bug. Perhaps the intent was, and is, to make it clear to all that the politics of the core states (for core, read Germany) is primary and the destruction of peripheral economies is... peripheral.
Record Breaking: According to the IMF, there have been 147 banking crises since 1970. In not a single one of them were loses inflicted on all depositors. Until now.
Consequences: the Fed is printing money but that money is going directly to the banks and the banks are simply parking most of it with the Fed as excess reserves – drawing risk-free interest. This does not stimulate the real economy, but does prop up the banks, which have not yet written down their bad assets, which they keep selling to the Fed at 100%. Guess who gets to eat that pudding. As long as the Fed's new money is tied up in excess reserves, inflation will be dormant. Dormant, not gone. But there is generally a lag between 'printing' money and the onset of inflation. A lag. It ain't the fall that gets you, it's the sudden stop at the end.
Don't Worry, Be Happy: The UK government, sitting on natural gas reserves in storage sufficient to last a day and a half, has told the public not to worry, there's enough to keep heating the castles.
Bad Moon Rising: The Republicans have suddenly realized that upper-class whites are dying off, being replaced by the lower ranking hoi-polloi. So to shore up their deteriorating brand acceptance they have started wooing the poor. The motivation, this being politics, is the urge to win votes, to retain/regain their power. Their desire to tend to the needs of the poor is not part of the equation. It's not part of the Democrats' either, but they are still coasting on Roosevelt and LBJ. It's more like Dillinger robbing the banks - that's where the
money is votes are.
Tomato Tamahto: For those of you playing along at home, researchers now say it was a comet, not a meteor that wiped the dinosaurs out. Check your insurance policies.
The Ins & Outs: Governor Rick Snyder, the former venture capitalist whose first priority in office was to slash business taxes, has now discovered that some taxes on some people are okay. To fix the state's potholed highways, he is nearly doubling gasoline taxes and hiking car registration fees by 60%. See, these are not 'taxes' they are 'user fees', justified by saying those who benefit (in this case from roads) should pay for them. Don't ya think the truckers are going to pass the costs on to everyone? And these
taxes fees will be “an investment” in infrastructure. Unlike, say, education and other public services, which are just a drag on the economy.
Love & Marriage: Demand for oil in the US reached 20 year lows as seasonal gasoline prices rose to record highs. We have all the oil we can afford.
Porn O'Graph: Winners and losers, or Fröhliche Tage.
The Parting Shot:
Calm, for now.