Go Away: Sometimes it is hard to remember that it's a free country. Today, for instance. It is difficult not to wish that 'Liberal' columnist Richard Cohen and the Washington Post should both be sent to a small island somewhere”. My gag reflex is working just fine.
Petty Cash: J&J, which just got through forking over $9 billion for doing Bad Things , will now be shelling out more than $4 billion to make thousands of defective hip implants go away. Don't worry, the business plan sets aside money for these kinds of inconveniences.
Friendly Fire: Remember the smugness with which America and Israel let it be known that they had created a vicious piece of malware called Stuxnet and Stuxnet had disrupted Iran's nuclear reactors? What if it didn't stop there? What if Stuxnet's creators forgot to put a kill switch into the program? What if Stuxnet now threatens nuclear reactors around the world and even the computers in the International Space Station? Do you think “Oops” and “Sorry about that.” will make everything okay?
Fruit of the Poisonous Tree: Fiscal austerity probably subtracted 1.5% to 2.0% from GDP growth in 2013, and the foolish government shutdown probably subtracted a little more. All in the name of growth. Just the name.
Bum's Rush: Now it's the NYTimes shilling for the TPP, urging Obama to deliver the country to the tender mercies of international corporations, claiming that “it is time for the administration to cut some deals, crack some heads and open up those Asian markets.” Except the Asian markets are already open and have been for years. What TPP will do is undermine the sovereign protections offered to US citizens.
Handicappping: The money quote: "All colleges have the goal of admitting the best students they possibly can at the best price they possibly can.” They want good students, sure, but they prefer good prospects who want them, too. And they check to see how you rank them (specifically on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) before they rank you. And maybe, just maybe, how much aid you are offered may depend on how highly you rank the institution making the offer. So, does she like me and is she easy?
Letting The Air Out: QE was supposed to be a short-term program to prop up assets enough to get a little expansionary inflation going. It has turned out not to be short-term and not to get much expansionary inflation going, either. It has kept attention away from the deflation in the real economy – seen the price of oil lately? The US monetary base is now 450% higher than 5 years ago and not a bit of inflation anywhere. There's a message in there and it has nothing to do with economic growth, the recovery or any real support for 'tapering' down the ongoing level of QE. The longer this goes on, the longer it will have to go on. Welcome to the QE trap or, as it'll be called later on, the Long March Backward.
Porn O'Graph: Squint. Down there at the end, that's the recovery.
The Parting Shot: