Bedfellows: The Republican National Committee has passed a resolution condemning the NSA and its programs.
The Easy Stuff: Natural gas jumped nearly 12% last week, closing at its highest rate since 2010. What happened to the “shale gas revolution”? It was mostly hype based on ignoring the financial and geologic truths about fracking: shale gas wells have sharp decline rates, and producers must drill new wells constantly. Not enough new wells are now being drilled to replace those that are rapidly depleting. The only shale gas area that is not in decline is the Marcellus. The revolution has been postponed.
Water Is Wet: Turns out the NSA is also engaged in "industrial espionage". Well, corporations are people too, right?
Asked & Answered: "Why are US corporate profits so high? Because wages are so low."
One And Out: Rand Paul says "...we have to say ‘enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount... we're not going to give her any more money.” Paul would have communities or families be responsible for preventing unplanned or unwanted pregnancies - just like my mom tried to do. Unsucessfully.
Straight Face Award: Is Austerity Working in Greece? And the answer is: Is austerity working anywhere?
One Way Street: HSBC converted many of its accounts to one-way vehicles, where you can put as much money in as often as you wish, but you can't get it out without their permission. While processing your request, HSBC will try to come up with enough cash to cover your withdrawal. They describe it as a feature, preventing you from doing something silly with your money. That Lloyds' ATMs stopped dispensing cash at the same time is merely coincidental. They say.
Pivot Point: A year ago, Blackrock's Larry Fink announced that risk in the investment markets “doesn't matter”. Today he says there is “ way too much optimism”. Change happens.
The Dalits: Bayer says that their new cancer drug, which is particularly effective on late-stage kidney and liver cancer “was not developed for Indians,” but “for western patients who can afford it.” The drug costs $90,000 a year in the US and $69,000 per year in India. Last March an Indian court granted a local company a license to produce the drug for just 3% of Bayer's price. Never fear, this is the sort of ruling that Bayer will be able to overturn under terms of the TPP, and get paid for lost profits, too.
Without Comment: The Arizona GOP has censured John McCain for his liberal record.
Night Sweats: Venture capitalist Tom Perkins says that the top 1% are treated like “Jews in Nazi Germany”, and that he is more than a little afraid that the little people are going to rise up and force people like him into camps. He's always been an optimist.
Crime Doesn't Pay? JPMorgan, which paid $20 billion in fines and reparations for fraud and "misrepresentations" last year, has given Jamie Dimon a 74% pay raise.
The Parting Shot: