Sometimes things are exactly what they seem.
On Reflection: It really should not come as a shock to discover that the US economy contracted at a 6.1% rate in the first quarter of the year. Nor should it be shocking that some folks are picking out one tiny uptick in consumer spending as a straw on which to base a market rally. Caution, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.
The Epidemic: Seven police officers were assassinated in one hour in Tijuana, as the Mexican epidemic of drug violence continues with no cure in sight.
Dickens, or Here, Piggy,Piggy: From Geneva, WHO chief Margaret Chan says "It really is all of humanity that is under threat," while in New York "Stocks Soar To Highest Level Since Early February".
Perspective: Let's just pause a moment and ask ourselves if we really, really think a one party state is a Good Idea. We need at least two parties, just not necessarily the two we have. Maybe three or four - but as Krugman says, only after we get universal single payer healthcare.
Behind the Curtain: The Summers/Geithner PIPP is being sold as a way to bail out the banks but it is actually designed to bail out the hedge funds. Just as bailing out AIG was really aimed at AIG's counterparties, the PPIP is a way to help the hedge funds buy up
toxic assets legacy loans for pennies with the risk going to the taxpayer.
Hard Data: Ever wonder what scientists mean when say global warming is coming and that it is dangerous? When they say we have to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions? Try this: No one can burn oil, gas or coal in their homes, cars or factories after 2024. Worst case, indeed.
Enough, Already: Unemployment rates rose in all of the nation's largest metropolitan areas for the third straight month in March.
Standard Standards: AmEx wants to extend an invitation to you to
become continue to be a cardmember. All you have to do is send them certified copies of your state and federal tax returns for the last five years. Really.
Little Miss Sunshine, Incorporated: GDP is horrific today, but don't fret. "The worst of the contraction is past," and "we'll see positive growth very soon."
Stop the Presses: Paul Volcker says" The Federal Reserve is going beyond the traditional role of central banks here or abroad. At some point it's reasonable to ask should this particular institution, with its independence very well protected, be allocating so much of what is essentially government money."
But Wait: Only 23% of voters now identify themselves as Republicans. But then, only 30% called themselves Republicans in 2004 when Bush was re-elected.
Correction: If you continue to be befuddled by the money Washington is handing over to the bankers, let Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) explain it to you: "(Banks) frankly own the place."