The Bill: Wall Street – Congress accepted the provision Citi wrote - has put you on the hook for yet another bailout when their reckless gambling wrecks the economy once again. Currently they're holding about $303 trillion in 'financial derivatives', but don't worry too much, they won't all go bad at once. Will they?
Reminder: "Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all the wealth of the world was originally purchased." Adam Smith
Dominoes? Since last April, prices have fallen in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Portugal, Greece and the Baltic states, as well as in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria outside the euro bloc. Deflation looms; French core inflation fell to -0.2%c (with energy stripped out) in November y/y, the first time it has turned negative since modern data began. Deflation generally leads to social unrest as recessions deepen.
Democracy: The 46 Democrats in the new Senate gathered a total of 67.8 million votes, while the 54 Republicans received 47.1 million. Majority rules.
What Goes Around: The Democrats used 'reconciliation' to pass Obamacare. Reconciliation is a budget maneuver that prohibits filibustering federal budget bills in the Senate and amounts to full-on partisan warfare. Come January the Republicans will have a 54 vote majority in the Senate and complete control of the House and you can bet they're ready to send any number of distasteful things to the White House.
Clause And Effect: Spaniards took to the streets to protest an anti-protest bill enacted by the government.
To What End? Over the past 25 years, the economy has grown 83% (adjusted for inflation) and corporate profits have doubled while workers hourly production has also doubled, but the average US family income hasn't increased at all. Zero percent.
Doggy In the Window: If, as Richard Bruce Cheney claims, torture is a medical procedure that works, why'd we stop?
Diagnosis: Which troubles you more, the Senate report on the CIA's torture, the fact that what you know is the 10% of the full 6,000 page, heavily redacted report they thought you could stomach, or that no one has asked what Special Ops and the military were doing to prisoners at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Diego Garcia and any number of firebases around the world ever since Viet Nam's Phoenix program?
Classic Capitalism: Goldman Sachs sees profits to be made from poverty in China.
Under The Bed: Inflation – that monster purportedly lurking under the QE bed – doesn't seem to scare US bond investors, who have driven the rate on 5-year Treasuries to 1.3%. Always before such a low rate of expected inflation has “ been associated with a decline in US equity prices. There have been no exceptions.”
Claws and Affect: Reportedly morale at the CIA has been 'deeply hurt' by the revelations in the Senate torture report.
Porn O'Graphic: Glass houses.