All Together Now: Pro-Russian separatist movements are sprouting in Latvia and Estonia. Russia is also stirring things up in Moldavia. Catalonia wants to part from Spain, and the island of Sardinia wants Switzerland to adopt it. And Venice wants to become the Serene Republic once again.
The Neighborhood: New home sales fell 3.3% m/m in February, to an annualized pace of 440,000. January's 9.6% increase was cut to just a 3.2% rise m/m. Case-Shiller reported a 0.85% increase in existing home prices m/m in January.
Trade Secrets: The US government, after mendaciously praising Nelson Mandela once he was old and out of power, refuses to release any information about the role US intelligence played in his 1962 arrest, nor why he was kept on the terrorist watch list until long after he stepped down as South Africa's president. What, that's not in your history book?
Exhibit One: The Swedish government sponsored a conference at the Sheraton in Stockholm on discrimination against the Roma (Gypsies). The Swedish expert scheduled to present the main talk was unable to attend. She is Roma and the hotel would not let her into the meeting.
Writing Prompt: The Australian Attorney General says that “people have the right to be bigots.” Yes. But...
Market Mumbles: Financial blogger Henry Blodget sees stocks as being "so expensive that they will likely deliver crappy performance over the next decade. I also believe that there is a decent chance of a 40%-to-50% crash in the next couple of years. but he's not selling his stocks, not yet. Albert Edwards (Societe Generale) notes that "A decline in profits is inevitably followed by recession shortly thereafter.." And then says that profits have begun declining...
What Part Of This Makes Sense? A court in Sweden dismissed attempted rape charges against a man because the victim was a transsexual, not a biological woman.
Big Wheel Keeps On Turning: World Vision, one of the largest Christian charity organizations in the world, has announced it will hire legally married LGBT Christians.
Shale Game: Art Berman says shale is not a revolution; it’s a retirement party. All US shale gas production growth in areas except the Marcellus are flat or already in decline. There are lots of gas resources – after all, 'resources' are just guesses – but not that much that is commercially viable at current prices. Thus the shale gas boom is not sustainable except at higher prices. Many shale gas extraction companies are spending more than they are earning. Conventional gas accounts for almost 60% of US gas and it is declining at about 20% per year, while unconventional gas plays decline at more than 30% each year. The US needs to replace 19 billion cubic feet per day each year to maintain current production levels. That's almost four Barnett shale plays at full production each year, and economicaly produceable reserves to continue at these levels do not exist. When boosters say we will never run out, 'never' doesn't mean what you think it does.
Donation? What Donation? The
Here And There: At the current rate of “industrial accidents”, building the stadiums and such for the 2022 World Cup games in Qatar will kill more people than terrorists did on 9/11. But most of them are Nepalese or Indian laborers...
Porn O'Graph: In it to win it.
The Parting Shot: