We have lost our way.
Fat Lady, Singing: According to Time "More Quickly Than It Began, The Banking Crisis Is Over." They have the decency to note: "What is left is a reclamation job that will probably take years to complete, will still have a taxpayer price tag of over $1 trillion."
Boogeyman: Henry Blodget has raised "The End Of Social Security" from the dead, once again. Because Social Security tax income may - may, mind you - dip to a very low level of surplus. And then, Badabing!, no more Social Security. Run, Hide, Panic. For God's sake Don't Think! For example, don't think that when this event comes along, as it will some day, all we'll do is raise level of the tax so that all income is taxed. Problem solved. Ah, but then no chance to loot the peasantry either...
Sure Thing! Corporate America's newest sure thing - buy a politician. In the last 10 years Wall Street spent $5 billion on lobbyists and campaign contributions and got back $12.8 trillion in loans, grants and guarantees. How's your 401k doing?
Down by the Station: US railroad freight traffic was down 20% this week, y/y.
Consider This: Hope and Belief have crashed. Unemployment is soaring. Consumer spending is down, savings up. Production is down. Trade is way down. Profits are down. And you think the market rally is real?
Remember Them: DoD says there are 21 surviving POWs from the first Gulf War and about 560 surviving Vietnam POWs. However, the VA is paying benefits to 286 Gulf War POWs and 966 from Vietnam. Makes a good story.
Wish I'd Said: "If things continue on as they are, despite all the stimulus and fine rhetoric, the madness will once again be unleashed on the earth, and the people will wonder from whence it came, as they do each time it rises from the same sources and ravages civilization: unbridled greed, malinvestment, and corruption. "
Haste/Waste: The panicked rush by Paulson and Bernanke to Do Something led to 25% of the TARP money being wasted, so says the special inspector general.
Aptly Yclept: Pakistani officials report that there have been 60 cross-border attacks by American drones since January 2006; 10 hit the intended target, killing 14 al-Qaeda. The other 50 strikes have killed 687 Pakistani civilian non-combatants. The Americans aptly call their missiles Predators.
Proportion: At least 24 million barrels of oil is stored on tankers at sea. That's a tad more than the US uses in one day.
Names, Gimme Names: Joe McCarthy used to wave papers about and claim that there were 47 Communists in the State Department. Nowadays various shills keep crying out that pay and bonus restrictions are driving highly talented executives out of high finance. What talent? What're they gonna do, manage a Starbucks?
Nest Egg: In 1945, mortgage debt was $18.6 billion, equity was $97.5 billion. Now it's debt $10.5 trillion, equity $8.5 trillion. 24% of mortgage holders are underwater. Somebody broke the piggy bank.
Theme? In the early 19th Century, Harvard turned out more Unitarian ministers than any other school. Today it's budding economists.
Funny Money: The US budget deficit for the first 6 months of the FY is $957 billion, three times more than last year and well ahead of the pace required to reach the (conservatively) projected $1.8 trillion (over 12% of US GDP). Tax receipts for the same period are 28% lower than last year. March corporate taxes totaled $3.39 billion, down 90% from $32.57 a year earlier. The US needs to raise about $5 trillion this year. Check under the sofa cushions.
Porn O'Graph: Global Industrial Production, no biggie.