Thursday, October 24, 2013

SAR #13927

Because We Can: Germany wants an "immediate and comprehensive explanation’ of US spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. As an East German, she understands that point of view.

Recovery 4.07: The dollar is at two-year lows against the euro after weak US jobs data reinforced expectations the Fed will keep its easy-money policy intact well into 2014. The FHFA's August house price index rose only 0.3% m/m, way below expectations. Caterpillar's 3Q results sucked, with earnings missing projections by 13%, a 17% decline y/y, with 75% of the drop coming from the manufacture of mining and extraction equipment. They now expect to miss their full year profit target by at least 15%.

Without Comment: Alan Greenspan (the man who couldn't see the housing bubble) says stocks are "relatively low" and heading upward. I certainly hope he goes all-in.

Another Point Of View: Reality in the Middle East in no way resembles the fairyland found in US MSM. The essential fight is between Shia and Sunni, and in real terms that means a struggle for dominance between Saudi Arabia on one side and Dubai and the UAE on the other. Saudi Arabia supports the Syrian rebels and is angry the US does not act more forcibly (and is fast approaching a serious diplomatic rift over this and the US softening towards Iran). Dubai is financing Assad in Syria along with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere while the Saudis much prefer the military dictatorship. And on it goes. The US sometimes thinks it is about oil, but it is not. It is about dreams of empire, and even the Turks are caught up in it.

On The Western Front: Following up on his earlier cautionary tales about the European banking system, ECB head Draghi says – in an attempt to keep a little credibility - "banks do need to fail". Either Spanish banks and Greek banks would serve as object lessons.

Deep In The Heart Of: Texas' new voter ID law could easily disenfranchise nearly half of the state's female voters, which is the Republican's intent in light of the Wendy revolution. 
But the Cupboard Was Dry... US Energy independence sounds good Too bad it's not going to happen. Here's a current factoid: The EIA reports that the latest 4-week average for US production of oil (crude + condensate; which is the definition of oil) was 7.6 million barrels a day, while refinery runs used 15.8 million barrels daily. The 8.2 million barrel a day difference is made up of imports. Shale oil is not the salvation: in order for shale to simply maintain the current level of crude oil production – half our needs – the country woud require the equivalent of 10 new Bakken plays over the next ten years. And there are not 10 more to be had. Data for natural gas is even weaker. Half-a-glass is only full in very dim light.

Sad But True: The Senate Intelligence Committee and a lead CIA lawyer have acknowledged that the torture undertaken by the Agency was unnecessary, but Bush and Cheney thought it was good fun.

Correction: About all those drones on the federal payroll, those bloodsuckers who keep the National Parks open and the CDC running... turns out that Federal employment is at a 47 year low. Don't tell Rand Paul, it'd ruin his day. On second thought, tell him.

Starting Over: A few hapless nations are debating whether to create two giant Antarctic ocean sanctuaries. Why don't we the people, through the UN, designate the whole world a sanctuary and then, item by item, depredation by depredation, issue permits specifying the amount of rape and despoilation permitted within tightly specified areas and with specifically described tools and processes before any exploitation of our children's children's inheritance is permitted ever again.

Porn O'Graph: The longer you don't have a job, the longer you don't have a job.

The Parting Shot:
 Big Brother is everywhere; in this case it's the Amsterdam Library.

1 comment:

TulsaTime said...

Imperial delusions is a very good read. I think the US has lost a lot in the area of nuance, especially over the Bush years. The military domination over the State department pushes the country back into the land where there are no shades of grey anymore, just black&white. I think Arab cultures are very sensitive to degrees, otherwise you just come off looking like stupid white people. Peak energy is also diluting the Saudi power equation, and they will have a hard time adjusting to a dimmed influence.