Sunday, April 6, 2008

SAR #8098

Our economists and free-marketeers have failed so abysmally
that the only thing that may save capitalism is socialism.

ELM: Confirming Jeffrey J. Brown's Export Land Model of oil depletion, Lehman Brothers reports that the Persian Gulf states' soaring domestic petroleum demand will decrease their exports by as much a one million barrels a day this summer. Don't worry, the Fed will bail us out...

Savings: The average cost of raising a child to 18 in the USA, $200,000. The average cost of a vasectomy, $500.

Three To Go: While major US airlines were announcing fuel-based price hikes this week, ATA, Aloha Airlines and Skybus declared bankruptcy and quit operations. Maybe Kunstler's new novel isn't fiction.

Jingle Mail: A year ago the Mortgage Bankers Association agreed to buy a $100 million building in DC as its headquarters. Since then financing rates have gone up, their membership is down and they've yet to find a single tenant. No problem, real estate is always a good investment. Except when it isn't.

He Said He Said: The attacks on the Green Zone last week were the work of the Iranian Quds Force. Or so news reports said other news reports said General Petraeu's said he had evidence to that effect. Or so usually reliable sources said.

Basics: Gold! Wheat! Even rice! Now even base metals are so precious that thieves rip copper piping from foreclosed houses in California, and lead roofs from British churches.

Money/Mouth: Billionaire Jim Rogers is so sure that China will be the world's next super-power, replacing America as the planet's unofficial leader, that his daughter has always had a Chinese nanny, and he insists she learn to speak Mandarin.

Dollar Late, Day Short: Environmental and political leaders claim that a "market-based" approach - through Cap and Trade' and 'carbon capture'- is the way to address global warming. Data show a continuing steep rise in global emissions and a decline in energy efficiency. No matter what is politically arrived at as a "solution", scientists say "it will be too little and come too late." Homer says "Big Duh."

Buyer's Remorse: Before our unprovoked invasion of Iraq we were assured it would be paid for by the Iraqi oil revenues. Then we were told it would be $10 to $15 billion. Then $60 billion. Now the Pentagon acknowledges $650 billion. But the real costs - including all the crippled soldiers and paying interest on Bush's ever-increasing debts - now exceeds $3,000,000,000,000. That's $3 trillion. Your share will be $10,000.

Something's Fishy: Next week, the US government is expected to ban all salmon fishing - affecting Chinook and also the coho salmon - off a 1,200-mile stretch of the west coast of the US for the 2008 season. Strange I should have to learn this from the BBC.

The Police: 'Radio frequency identification' (RFID) is on its way to an internal passport near you. Driver's licenses (already in WA state), passports, credit cards, car keys, and even clothing can be equipped with these tiny tiny chips that have an identifying numbers that can be tracked from a distance - say from Chertoff's office. No plans have been disclosed concerning implants to monitor Every Breath You Take.

Three for Three : Prime Minister Gordon Brown says the current credit/financial problems will lead to a "the biggest global economic restructuring since the Industrial Revolution." He also thinks we need to do something about global warming, and wants the Brits out of Iraq. He didn't get Bush's memo.

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