Trojans: At least 90% of EU/ECB/IMF bailout funds went to northern European banks which had foolishly lent money to Greeks when they clearly should have known better. They got the idea from the US TARP bailouts of the guilty. It's interesting how workers who insist on being human (“resist being modernized” and “have not earned the right to be saved.”) keep frustrating economists pretending to be important.
Short Course: Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president. The US is sharply and nearly irrevocably divided into what will become His and Hers, and Hers, the Democratic voting bloc, is a bit larger. Turn off the TV, join a book club, travel, teach your goldfish new tricks – whatever. Just don't spend the next year and a half pretending that all the campaign coverage is important. It won't be. Entertaining, certainly, and fodder for stand-up comedians, but not important.
Let The Good Times Roll: Goldman Sachs is telling its clients to grab what they can now because the party is almost over.
MSG: Chinese export and import data were essentially a disaster, especially exports – which fell 15% y/y. Analysts blamed it on the Chinese Lunar New Year. That, or the snow in Boston.
Back Street Drivers: Congressional Republicans have no intention of giving Obama the authority he needs to fight the Islamic State because, in their view, the President's plan is not viscous nor bloody enough to do the job. The armchair warriors, not a one of whom has faced anything worse than an upset spouse, want legislation that would require non-stop bombing and cruise missile attacks until nothing higher than an anthill remains outside Israel in the Middle East. They will designate all males over 12 as combatants and everyone else as unfortunate but required collateral damage as a few hundred thousand soldiers an a half million contract murders kill everything that moves. Victory will be ours! Amen and so on.
Efficiency: TX state representative Molly White (Realist – Belton) instructs her staff not to give appointments to constituents who do not agree with her – she's too busy banning gay marriage and enforcing the Biblical right not to serve the public to be bothered, and it would just be a waste of her time.
Cleared Conscience: A Walmart pharmacist in Georgia has been using his legal right to overrule a woman's physician and refuse to fill a prescription for her apparently because his god wanted to punish her for miscarrying. “ couldn’t think of a valid reason why you would need this prescription,” she was told.
Profit Prophets: House Republicans have introduced a “resolution of disapproval” which would overturn the FCC net neutrality regulations and open the way for Charter, Comcast, Verizon, ATT, and all the rest to charge you whatever they want for whatever level of service they want to let you have, while charging content providers different rates for different service – all in the service of ever higher profits for ever poorer service. It's a Republican thing. Besides, research has shown that access to unlimited data is bad for customers.
Napkin Math: The Carsbad, CA desalinataion project is nearing completion. The $1 billion project will provide enough water for 300,000 San Diego residents. It will only take about 60 more such plants to provide enough water for the 19 million residents of metropolitan Los Angeles.
Planning Ahead: “We’ll always need maids and gardeners.” The belief, popular and widespread among economists and certain politicians, that income inequality can be fixed by more education “is even more wrong than you thought.”
Lyrical: It never rains in sunny California.
Porn O'Graph: For want of a nail...