Thanks For The Memories: Remember the US economic revival? Yeah, the one everyone was talking about last fall. Too bad the December trade balance report, with a $46.6 billion deficit, doesn't fit that story. This, and the weak December durable goods shipment data, means that it is likely that 4Q GDP will show sub-2% growth – which will make the jobs report look a little less convincing. In the absence of another bubble, we can expect un- and under-employment to be with us for quite some time.
Just Wondering: Eurozone crisis? What eurozone?
Smoke & Mirrors: Globally, debt – government, corporate, and personal – has increased by $57 trillion since the wheels came off back in 2008. Not to worry, we're good for it, except maybe China, which has a debt-to-GDP ratio higher than the US. What, me worry? Just because we went that far in hock and only got a T-shirt claiming the recovery will be along any day now?
Mighty Mouse: Maybe the Europeans will save us from the TTIP as they grow restive over the secrecy and disregard for democratic process shown by the European Commission in sucking up to international corporations. Seems likely that if the EU doesn't kick Greece out, it will singlehandedly save us from our betters. Could that explain Draghi and Merkle's indifference to Greece's pleadings?
The Trend Is Your Friend: During 2014, house prices increased 7.4%. At that rate your house will double in value in the next ten years. Buy a bigger house, retire early.
The Same Is More: The administration would like to put a stop to Medicare's paying a hospital more for a test or procedure than they pay for the same service at a doctor's office. Or at a hospital-owned doctor's office. Of course the R's will defend the right of the investor class to profit from sickness and suffering, so this'll go nowhere. One of these days we should do away with for-profit hospitals while we're instituting a national single-payer system.
Just Wondering: What if the “White House drone” had been carrying explosives. Or a bioweapon? What if it wasn't an accident, but was a terrorist test flight? What happens when ISIS flies a bunch of them into an airbase or ammo supply depot? Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my.
Click Your Heels: Kansas Republicans want to make it illegal for a college professor to criticize politicians (for which read Governor Brownback) in a newspaper column. Seem's some have been pointing out that
Porn O'Graph: Freeloaders.