Friday, August 30, 2013
Naiveté does not make the world a better place.
No Exit: 'Sexed up' or not 'sexed up'? Has Obama made the case for beating up Assad? The British Parliament says no, as does Rumsfeld (who knows about such things) and both Congress and the American Publichave doubts. As does China. Putin has sent two Russian warships to the eastern Mediterranean, just in case. Israel, for some reason, wants the war, and is backed by secret sources in the secret intelligence business. Go ahead, make my day.
Pivot Point: AG Holder now says that the feds will concentrate their anti-marijuana efforts on those with ties to criminal organizations, the trafficking to children and transporting the weed across state lines – in states where pot has been legalized. Not to be outdone, the Treasury and IRS say that they'll recognize same-sex marriages for federal tax purposes, no matter where the legally-married gays now live. The R's ain't gonna like either of these.
Clip & Save: "At the risk of being called a crackpot again, I repeat my forecasts of 450 for the S&P, sub-1% US 10y yields and gold above $10,000." Albert Edwards of Societe Generale,
Raining On The Parade: Has the shale bubble burst? Burst? Bubble? What bubble? We're gonna be rich I tell you, rich. Don't tell me that shale gas is going to be limited and that the high financial and human cost of fracking mean that energy forever needs to be revised to energy for a few years. Don't want to hear it. Depletion? Hell, just drill baby drill. What do you mean all the good spots have already been drilled... or that the gas you're getting won't pay for drilling the holes... or that your liability insurance for ruining all those water wells is getting too expensive...
The Untouchables: Only 47% of 55-64 year-olds who lose their jobs get another one, and that only after about 46 weeks. And of those who do manage to get hired make about 18% less than they did before the pink slip came along.
Breadcrumbs: One Darryl Woods, then CEO of a bank in Missouri, has admitted in court to using $ 381,487 of TARP funds his bank received to buy himself a house in Florida. “Using”. That's different than stealing, right?
Best Friends Forever: If one of your Facebook friends gets in financial trouble, unfriend him. Immediately. Data miners are starting to build profiles of you that include your contacts with deadbeats, on the theory that it takes one to know one. Social connection with poor credit risks will, under their scheme, make you a poor credit risk, too. No, it doesn't work the other way around.
One Size Fits Some: US banks banked $42.2 billion in profits in the second quarter of the year. The average worker hasn't had a raise in real terms since 1979, official unemployment is at 7.4%, and there are over 4 million long-term unemployed – mostly 55 and older.
Datapoint: Real median household income is now 7.2% below its January 2000 level. Virtually every economic group (except the 1%, of course) "has been adversely affected, almost every group is worse off now than it was four years ago,” So much for the much celebrated US economic recovery.
Handyman Hint: Ethanol is bad for lawn mowers and other small gasoline engines. If there's not a station near you that sells non-ethanol gasoline, go out of your way to find one. If you must use the stuff, buy it in small amounts - and don't store it over the winter.
The Parting Shot:
Hairy milk pea, Galactia volubilis ?
Note: SAR is taking a few days off and postings may be erratic until mid-September.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:30 AM