Only In America: During the current snow emergency, NYC schools are staying open to make sure children are able to get something to eat.
Short Form: In them US, initial jobless claims were up 2.5% m/m and 3.6 million Americans workers are counted as the long-term unemployed (and Bloomberg thinks that cutting the minimum wage to $4 an hour will solve the problems...) US retail sales fell 0.4% m/m after December's 0.2% gain was revised to a 0.1% drop. The big banks have cut their prediction for US GDP 4Q growth from 3.0 to 2.2% in less than a month. The Italian government collapsed, Greek unemployment has reached 28% (and the under 25 rate is nearly 62%) and the French private sector is mired in an economic slump worse than the 2009 debacle. Naturally, stocks finished higher. Can't anybody here play this game?
Trading Secrets: Afraid it would lose face, and lawsuits, TEPCO delayed informing the government and the public of dangerously high radioactivity at Fukushima for five months.
The Enforcer: Bob Corker (Blackmailer, TN) told workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga that if they reject the UAW, Volkswagen will build another plant in TN. If they join the union, the new jobs will go to a plant in Mexico. That such threats are illegal does not bother the Senator, because he was trying to educate the workers, not intimidate them.
Don't Hold Your Breath: The IMF says that a revival of manufacturing in the US is not going to happen any time soon, or ever, saying that while domestic output will rise and the dollar will weaken, increasing US exports, “we find it unlikely for manufacturing to become a main engine of growth in the U.S.”
The Parting Shot: