Tuesday, December 31, 2013

SAR #13364

If you believe the moon is made of cheese, does it really matter what kind?

NSAtiness: Not only does the NSA listen to your phone calls, read your emails and monitor your intenet use, they've got a whole 'nother bunch of tricks. Like intercepting computers on their way to customers, inserting spyware and then putting them back in the delivery system. Making custom-made cables and USB sticks that steal your data. Modifying cellphones so that the NSA can remotely turn on the cameras and microphones. The report didn't mention doing the same to TV sets, but... NSA describes these activities as “enabling NSA to keep everyone, everywhere, under surveillance all the time defend the nation and its allies.”

The Undead: Higher unemployment keeps wage growth down, and helps boost profit margins and earnings. What's not to like about 7%?

Drip, Drip Drip: Wells Fargo has joined the crowd in settling up with Fannie Mae for the fraudulent MBS paper they passed back before it all fell apart. The $591 million settlement was to “to resolve repurchase requests on certain loans.” Wells joins BofA (411.6 billion), Citi ($968 million), and JPMorgan ($670 million) in paying up without admitting any wrongdoing. These settlements are just those made with Fannie; the banks have also ponied up to Freddie Mac and FHFA – but did nothing wrong, it was just a misunderstanding.

Investment Reminder: It's 2014 and 1.3 million folks are no longer acting as a direct conduit between the Treasury and the economy.

The Beatings Go On: In 2012 the top 10% in the US got the largest share of US income since 1917. The real median income of college-educated men over 24 has fallen 10% since 2007. Only half the women and 60% of men who had three or more years in at a job that they lost in 2009 – 2011 got another job by the end of 2012. The economy is recovering.

Excellent Question: "Does anyone who matters in economics realize how expensive being poor is?"

Touchdown! Remember, along about half-time at the Superbowl, that the average ticket price is above $4000 - and that the NFL is a tax-exempt non-profit outfit. Just ask Jerry "Non-Profit" Jones.

Equality: To much concern in the Duck Dukedom, a gay couple will be married while on a float in the Rose Parade on New Year's, about as reasonable as the hetros who get hitched underwater or jumping out of planes. At least they're not getting married in a church.

Porn O'Grpah: Labor force farce.

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