There is a small but important distinction between the return on capital and the return of capital.
Democracy Inaction: A watered-down law mandating background checks for all gun purchases passed the senate 54-46 but will not become law because Harry Reid died't have the guts to abolish minority rule.
Oops: In 2010, economists Reinhart and Rogoff published a paper proving that whenever a country's public-debt-to-GDP ratio exceeded 90%, the country's economic output plummeted. This formed the most frequently cited justification for the austerity inflicted on the Greeks, Portuguese, Spanish and Cypriots. And Americans. Too bad the study was seriously flawed and the data, when corrected, shows no such decline – in fact the GDP growth rate when the ratio is over 90 averages 2.2%. Unless austerity is imposed; then things go to hell in a handbasket. Note: R&R acknowledge that the data was corrupted, but maintain that they arrived at the right conclusions anyway. Forward, men.
A Lovely Day In The Recovery, Not: DOW -.0.9A%, S&P 500 -1.4%, NASAQ -1.8%, Gold -1.09%, WTI Oil -2.22%, 10-year Treasuries at 1.67% and Apple -5.3%. The DAX is at 4-month lows, European car sales fell 10% in March – making it 18 consecutive monthly declines - Germany car sales plummeted 17%, France's 16%.
Silent Auction: Philadelphia is having a closed door meeting with “investors” to discuss “building the city's future” by auctioning off t
he Liberty Bell, the city's gas works, the international airport and other assets. Some are complaining that the school system isn't on the auction block. Yet.
Not Even Close: The International Energy Agency's executive director says that “[T]he target of keeping the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius this century is slipping out of reach.” The folks over at the IEA need a new calendar – 2ºC slipped out of reach several years ago.
P. Gamble Wimpy: P&G says it will gladly lend you money so you can scrape by until they get around to paying their bills. They are nearly doubling the time they will take to pay suppliers, but are willing to set you up with their loan sharks. It is expected to 'free up' $2 billion for P&G at the expense of small companies who have no option but to suck it up.
Can't Win For Losing: The IMF, which has pushed austerity as a cure-all during the Current Unpleasantness, is now criticizing the patient for taking the medicine. They offer no particular rational for this about-face, but now see that austerity has prolonged suffering with little improvement in the economy. The IMF ought to declare intellectual bankruptcy.
No Comment: Two US drones slammed into either a Pakistani house or a Taliban training camp – opinions vary – killing at least five people, who either were or were not militants. US drone attacks have killed about 3,500 Pakistanis, at least 880 of them civilians, including nearly 200 children.
Keeping Score: Please explain what a CEO can possibly do that is worth more than 350 times what his employees are doing. And while you're at it, explain why the shareholders can't find someone who will do whatever it is for only 100 times the average workers pay.
Just the Toe: The US is sending its first 200 troops to Jordan “to boost the Jordanian armed forces in light of the deteriorating situation in Syria.” Either these guys are supermen, or this is just the beginning.
Partial Credit: New Hampshire's Peter Hansen (Reptile) seems to think it is cute to refer to women as 'vaginas' and defended this by pointing out that women do, in fact, have vaginas, the prick.
The Parting Shot:
Wild Hyacinth, Camassia sillodes