Words Of A Feather: According to the Fed's Yellen, everything is rosy except “the labor force participation rate is lower than most estimates of its trend, and wage growth remains sluggish, suggesting that some cyclical weakness persists.”
Say / Do: “The United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal.” US State Department spokesman Jen Psaki, 2/13/15, ignoring 70 years of evidence to the contrary.
Farceing Forward: The current (still current, actually) EU/IMF/ECB vs Greece plan remains hoping that something will happen in the next few months that will allow them to once more kick the can down the road. They should be working on drawing up a plan that would make a Greek default and exit from the eurozone as painless as possible. Instead all concerned will continue to pretend that Greece can pay back the massive debt and rescue the German, French and Italian banks, earning their way out of perpetual servitude. Ain't gonna happen.
All In Favor Say Huh?: Canada's Prime Minister wants fast passage of an anti-terror bill – no discussion, no disclosure of what the bill contains, just a quick 'yes' is all that's required. Or permitted. PM Harper said it was essential to pass the bill quickly in order to ensure
Over There: Between 2009 and 2013, McDonald's ducked paying over €1 billion in European taxes. They're lovin' it; European authorities, not so much.
Friends & Leavers: Former US ally and president of Yemen Ali Saleh made off with at least $32 billion and maybe as much as $60 billion when he fled the country. Newly leaked documents show that the US's new best Egyptian Friends Forever ordered security forces to machine-gun down protesters in order to protect democracy for the generals.
Another Ally: In Recep Erdoğan's Turkey (and make no mistake, it is his) you can go to jail for two years for insulting Recep, you can be arrested for investigating any of his many crimes and misdemeanors, even if it is your job to do so. And don't even think about mentioning the genocide of Turkey's Armenian population a hundred years ago.
Drumroll: The Pentagon is dispatching “a small number of troops” to Ukraine, supposedly to teach combat medicine. The UK is sending troops to teach Ukrainian forces to do something or other. France said it would not stand idly by and let the Russians attack the Ukrainian port of Mariupol. Cyprus has signed a military alliance with Russia, while a bunch of idiots in Estonia thought it was a good idea to parade newly arrived US military equipment a mere 300 yards from the Russian border. And on a serious note, a dozen A-10 Warthogs – designed to kill Soviet tanks back when there still were Soviets, have returned to Germany
One More Shoe: After seven years, Morgan Stanley has agreed to pay $2.6 billion to finally “settle” investigations into the games it played with MBS back in the day. A year ago they paid $1.25 billion for selling 'faulty' (read fraudulent) MBS to Fanny and Freddie and another $275 million to the SEC for other crooked dealings. No members of Morgan Stanley have to admit any personal wrongdoing and most certainly no one is going to jail. This adds to the nearly $40 billion that has now been extracted from the fine folks on Wall Street for MBS shenanigans. Goldman Sachs is next up.
Enough Said: Michele Bachmann wants Americans to be terrified of malls … Republicans propose declaring Idaho a ‘Christian state’... Kansas Republicans want to criminalize teaching about sex...