Antidote: Third quarter GDP grew, they say, by 2.8%. But the CBO says we are 6 percentage points below the GDP that a recovery would have generated. And that 2.8% is not repeatable, having been inflated about 0.7% by inventory stocking for sales that are not going to show up. At this rate the US will close the GDP output gap and return to full employment no later than 2028. The median household income in 2012 was below its 1997 level; the typical household has nothing to show for the last 15 years of" economic growth".
I'm Sorry, So Sorry: The man who supervised the Fed's program to buy $1.25 trillion in MBS in 12 months now claims to be sorry that the program did not make credit more available to the real economy. Instead, (warning, plot spoiler) Wall Street pocketed the cash.
Refreshing Clarity: Unlike all the Wall Street bankers who were responsible for the great financial collapse and have escaped prosecution, in Vietnam the “too big to jail” bankers are apparently just the right size to execute. Why didn't we think of that?
Temporary Help: The IEA says that shale oil (aka tight oil) is temporary phenomena destined to be short lived, peaking “around 2020”, after which the world will turn once more to the Middle East for oil. This agrees with an earlier US Energy Department report that indicated US 'tight oil' production would quickly taper off following 2020. Invest, but take the money and run.
Quote: “I’ve been in the Senate for nearly a year and believe as strongly as ever that the system is rigged for powerful interests and against working families.” Elizabet Warren (D-MA).
Nudge & Wink: The ECB is desperate to lower the value of the euro, having realized that only Germany has gotten rich selling to other eurozone countries and now all of the EU must maximize export earnings – thus the need for a cheaper euro. Just where the customers are going to come from was not immediately clear. Like other major central banks, it is expected that the ECB will begin an ambitious money printing program disguised as Quantitative Easing although called something else. If its “reflate or bust” for the euro, my money'd be on 'bust'.
Working For The Man: If your 401(k) charges you 1.2% (the industry average fee) and earns 7% (dream on), you'll end up with 40% less than an equivalent no-fee fund would return.
Assignment: The Middle East is not getting calmer. Much of the mischief in the area can be traced back to Saudi Arabia. Felix Imonti has an excellent backgrounder over at Naked Capitalism. Go read – there are several interesting tidbits to be found.
Bleak House: Prime Minister David Cameron, realizing that there has not yet been sufficient privation to unseat his government, insists that
Tread Carefully: Statins have been promoted to the status of one-a-day magic pills for nearly everyone. Statins do work for those who have already had a heart attack. For others, research has been less than as enthusiastic as the current PR push. Some studies showed that of those taking statins for 5 years 96% saw no benefit, 10% were harmed by muscle damage, and some developed diabetes. More than a dozen studies have shown that in an otherwise healthy person with no history or symptoms of heart disease, taking statins provides zero benefit. What is clearly beyond doubt is that statins have been blockbuster profit-makers for pharmaceutical companies. Magic elixer or scam? Do your own research.
Porn O'Graph: How much is a lot?
The Parting Shot: