Horses' Mouth: Obama has warned Putin that, ‘There will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine’ And boy should he know about costs... $4 to $6 trillion so far for our visits to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Experimental Study: The EPA wants to find out how much damage the unrestricted dumping of waste water - about 9 billion gallons of the poisonous stuff a year - from a dozen fracked off-shore oil wells will do to the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. There wasn't time, in the rush for profits, to conduct any environmental impact studies, but the results will come floating in, belly up, pretty soon.
Slimmed Down: The nation's GDP growth for 4Q2013 has been cut to 2.4% from the previous guesstimate of 3.2%. Twenty percent of US homes with a mortgage – about 10 million houses - are still underwater. Overall household wealth is still 14% less than back in 2006's good old days. US retailers report that 2013's fourth quarter was as bad as any in the last 6 years. And the stock markets go marching along to the tune of “What’s good for American corporations isn’t necessarily good for Americans.”
Revised Edition: The Supremes have edited the Fourth Amendment to read: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall be needed if the cops have already removed the people from the house, in which case anything goes.”
Gold Standard: The record of daily gold price fixes for years and years “are strongly indicative” that the daily London gold fix was... fixed. Barclays, Deutschebank, HSBC, Société Générale and Bank of Nova Scotia “may have manipulated” the price of gold. Why should gold be any different than interest rates or foreign exchange rates? Apologies will be forthcoming, prosecutions will not.
Down Is The New Up: Housing's Index of Pending Sales increased an statistically insignificant 0.1% m/m in January and was down 9.0% y/y. The NAR blamed the poor performance on the weather, which kept the snowy Northeast to a 2.3% gain while inflicting a 17.5% y/y decline on the sunny West. Hey, they're salesmen, facts don't matter, just commissions.
Ante Up: eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar has given about half a million dollars to help the US in its effort to overthrow the Ukrainian government. US AID provided $270,000 of your tax dollars to the effort. How much more was done in secret?
The Parting Shot: