Pop Go The Weasels: The market has another ten percent to go before the correction gets renamed. The Dow is negative for the year after stocks suffered their worst week in three years. The other indexes are similarly depressed and depressing. Oil is down. Gold and silver had their best week in months. Move along, nothing to worry about. It's just a correction. So far.
Noted: Your e-book is snitching on you.
Ebola Room: For some hysterical perspective, the great flu epidemic of 1918 killed 75 million people worldwide, out of a population of 1.8 billion. To equal that percentage of deaths, Ebola will have to kill about 300 million. So far it's done in about 4,000. Take a deep breath and stand in the line over there.
Public's Enemy Number One: Growth around the world has been lackluster at best – even as the QE I, II, III, etc. inflated US asset markets – and the IMF warns that tougher times may be at hand. The eurozone is given at least a 40% chance of slipping into its third recession in 6 years. Germany is seen as the primary villain in the ongoing Euro-disaster, with the acolytes of austerity throughout Europe and the US in strong supporting roles. An unstable eurozone could topple the world economy with or without the ongoing slow motion melt-down in the US.
Political Science: Georgia's Republican Governor Nathan Deal has assured the voters that water kills the Ebola virus. Apparently Georgia is becoming a science-free state like North Carolina where public schools are now teaching that old time 7-day creationism.
Social Insecurity: Just as employers today judge applicants by their Facebook pages, in the future banks may use social network analysis to judge your creditworthiness. Birds of a feather...
The Old Fashioned Way: Seems that the super-technical NSA has been relying on actual human agents to gain physical access to the “sensitive systems” of foreign countries and American companies. George Smiley would approve.
Leaderslip: The US Army War College has revoked Senator John Walsh's master's degree because the Montana Democrat plagiarized a required research paper. Back on the Atlantic Seaboard, it seems Democratic Senator Mark Warner offered various
Capitalismimo: Marriott has been fined for jamming guests' wi-fi and soaking them as much as $1,000 to access the hotel's system. ATT has to pay back over $100 million to customers they billed for made-up services. An Idaho school district cut employee hours to 27.5 a week in order to get out of paying for their health insurance. Wal-Mart, too, is cutting health benefits from 30,000 part-time employees and seems to be working toward an end to employer-based health insurance. I'm all for doing away with the tie between employment and health insurance, but let's get a single-payer universal coverage in place first.
Tell-Tale Heart: Why is the quality of the restaurant experience declining? Yes, Starboard Value is set on ruining most things, but that's not what we meant. No, don't Google the answer – because that is part of the answer.
Porn O'Graph: Honey, I shrank the labor force.
Footnote: Add the following speculation to the weekend edition of this blog: It is now alleged that a secret deal was made between the US and Saudi Arabia in which the Saudis would, in return for more effort on the part of the US to overthrow Syria's Assad, drive down the international price of oil in order to give Mr. Putin his comeuppance. Maybe so, but it seems unlikely – the Saudis are no longer alone at the top of the production heap, need the money, and are happily funding ISIS and the other Syrian rebels.