"We're living in a totally artificial real estate economy." Robert Shiller
No Fracking Way, Man: Scientific findings show that wastewater injection as part of the fracking process was responsible for the 5.7 earthquake in Oklahoma in 2011, along with an 11-fold increase in seismic activity in the central US in recent years.
Now It Can Be Told: Data the ECB used to continue forcing austerity on Club Med countries was misinterpreted and actually not only showed that Germany has "been a major contributing factor to the crisis," but that "Senior economic policymakers in the European Union are either unaware of basic economic concepts or they are intentionally using misleading figures – to put it mildly – to force policymakers on to a course that suits their ideological preferences."
Brilliant: Fannie Mae and Freddi Mac have come up with a "new" way for delinquent borrowers to avoid foreclosure. They're going to let those who are 90 or more days delinquent pay less. No documentation required. Seems fair to me.
Supply & Demand: Why are natural gas prices climbing - from the mid $2.50 mark last summer to nearly $4.00 today - is the US is in the middle of a century-long shale gas revolution? Is there something amiss with the generally accepted propaganda?
Enlightening: Student loan write-offs increased more than 36% y/y in the first two months of 2013 as more and more college graduates fail to find jobs or are working as baristas and waiters. But loans to students continue to increase, even though the probability of the loans ever being repaid continues to diminish. Either the students or the banks need some remedial education.
Twilight Zone: Legislators in Kansas are likely to pass a bill requiring that people with infectious diseases (for which read HIV positive) be quarantined. It would be best to avoid Kansas, Toto.
Bird In Hand: China claims that in 2012 it discovered 1.54 billion tonnes of "crude oil deposits". Hooray! But only 270 million tonnes - 18% - of it can be recovered with existing technologies. Bummer.
Working For The Man: The ECB/EU/IMF has fired the head of the Bank of Cyprus - the country's largest lender, and a technocrat has been appointed to run the bank the way Brussels wants things done. What laws, if any, does the Troika have to follow?
Gag Me: Republicans are now claiming that marriage equality ‘is the new conservative position’ and that marriage, even between despicable homosexuals, is good for society. “I agree and I do love it when conservative and liberal ideologies converge on an issue, as they do so beautifully on this one,” claims former Sen. Larry Pressler (R-SD).
Making Haste, Slowly: CO2 emissions from burning coal in the US have dropped dramatically, while US exports of coal to places like China are increasing. Should the US take credit(blame?) for the American coal China burns? If not, why not?
The Pantry's Open: The House is considering new laws that would make Alaska "more competitive for investment dollars and increasing production. For which read tax breaks, giveaways and amnesty from environmental regulations. Why, if the US is becoming a major exporter of petroleum in the next few decades, do we need give the oilers even more loot?
It Is What It Is: Jim Greer, one-time Chair of the Florida GOP has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and 1 year of probation for money laundering and grand theft. Does that make him part of the 47% who are 'takers'?
Porn O'Graph: Pinpoint accuracy, more or less.
The Parting Shot:
Field Pansy, Viola rafinesquii