Keeping Score: On January 1st, 1,300,000 American workers will lose their unemployment benefits. And over the next few months another 850,000 will join them at the soup kitchens. See, the Great Recession is over and the economy is doing super good and the stock market is setting new highs. Well, that last bit is true.
Compass Rose: "Investors are all playing the same dangerous game that depends on a near perpetual policy of cheap financing and artificially low interest rates in a desperate gamble to promote growth." and living with "the fear that zero-bound interest rates supporting Dow 16,000 stock prices will slowly lose momentum after the real economy fails to reach orbit." Bill Gross, PIMCO.
Rush To Alibi: Dallas cops who shoot someone - say an unarmed black teenager - will now be required to watch all available videos of the shooting and then given three days to make up their version of what happened. Or might have.
Planning Update: If you are a state, county or municipal employee depending on your government pension for retirement, get your resume in down at Walmart. Because a bankruptcy judge has ruled that Wall Street can take some or all of your pension if your employer goes belly up. Plan accordingly.
Strangelove: For about 20 years during the height of the Cold War, not only did all American nuclear missiles have the same launch code, but that code was 00000000. Factory default. Don't laugh, there is no reason to suspect that today's safeguards and today's leaders are any smarter.
Perspective: While Francis is trying to set a good example for the faithful, he's got a good deal of stable-cleaning to get after. Never mind the wealth, the second classery of women, forcing 14-year olds to bear rapists' children and so on, it'd be nice to see something done about the pedophiles and their facilitators. For example, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been hiding at least 33 child molesting priests for years. And Los Angeles' Cardinal Roger Mahony has been covering up pedophilic priests since 1986. When confronted with accusations, he refused to contact police and shipped the offenders out of state to preclude prosecution or – more importantly – bad PR and civil juddgements.
Asked & Answered: "Is it time to pull the plug on the EU?" No. On the euro, yes. Social cohesion has to come first. A common money requires a common political union. The euro was a noble but bad idea to begin with and is now way past its sell-by date. Peace in Europe, on the other hand, is still a Good Idea.
Future, Tense: According to the Irish Minister of Finance, future ECB/EU bailouts will include a “bail-in” of deposits in target banks. “Bail-in” is finance speak for “all your money are belong to us”. But the
Porn O'Graph: Bottom fishing?
The Parting Shot: