"If you don’t like women, killing a few is of no concern." Helen
Stall Speed: Wholesale inventories dropped -0.5% m/m in May, on top of a revision to -0.1% in April. Smacks of recovery, right? Then Barclay’s revised its GDP forecast for 2013Q2 GDP from a paltry 1% to a miniscule 0.4%. Chinese economic data is someplace between weak and disastrous, as exports shrank 3.1% in June. Shrank, as in did less business, especially with Europe (down 8.3%) and the US (down 5.4%) y/y.
Swirling: President Obama “has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues” to the Stasi. Especially those who “desire to help the underdog.”
Two, Non-Tangoing: House Republicans have resolved their differences with the Senate over the Immigration Bill by agreeing not to consider it. Not to discuss it, not to vote on it. Just make it invisible, treating the bill the same way they want to treat the immigrants. They only thing they want to consider is more money spent on border fences and more guns for more agents to shoot the tired, the poor, the huddled masses...
Sermon: Inequality is real, it’s personal, it’s expensive and it was created by the rich for the rich. None of this happened by accident. We allowed it to happen. But it can be fixed, so let's fix it.
Co-opted: It seems the Egyptian military thought they could pretend to support the revolutionary views in the streets while sneaking back into the same degree of control of the nation they enjoyed under Mubarak. It also seems they miscalculated, as the youth in the square are denouncing the puppet-president's “constitutional principles” as another dictatorial grab by elements that do not represent them. Not getting the message, the military continued its war on the Muslim Brotherhood, ordering the arrest of its leader in an attempt to close down the campaign to reinstate Morsi.
Gift Wrapped: VA Gov McDonnell, a Republican, has accepted at least $120,000 cash from a company trying to do business with the state. He says this money, which was routed through various family members, is simply a series of gifts and not a bribe. As gifts this would technically be legal under VA law, but as bribes - not so much.
Prix Fixe: Apple has been found guilty of conspiring to fix the price of electronic books. It was designed in California, just like the ads say.
Mirror Image: The Canadian government has decided that a multi-billion dollar 40% expansion of Shell's Alberta tar sands project would cause significant damage to the ecosystem, do irreparable damage to wetlands, exceed science-based environmental limits for impacts to air quality, and that the company's plans for cleaning up the damage are insufficient, so they approved the project. Elsewhere in Canada, the National Reserch Council's president announced that “Scientific discovery is not valuable unless it has commercial value.” Any questions?
Death Spiral: Italy was running into debt troubles, so (with the usual suspects hovering) strong austerity measures were imposed, which (just as in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland) caused the economy to tank and government revenues to fall and expenditures to rise and even more debt to pile up. Stop me if you've heard this one... Italy's economy is the thrid largest in the eurozone and ninth in the world and will be missed.
Down To The Sea, In Slips: Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority, noting that TEPCO has failed to identify the leak responsible for the spike in radioactive readings in Fukushima groundwater, said it “strongly suspected that highly concentrated contaminated waste water has leaked to the ground and has spread to the sea."
Porn O'Graph: What goes up must come down, naturally.
The Parting Shot:
False Dandelion, Pyrrhopappus carolinias.