Honor is something you lose but once.
Precisely: The administration is spreading the word that GM may need "surgical" bankruptcy - a quick restructuring so its image and (more importantly) its sales are not permanently erased. I'm dubious; I remember "surgical" air strikes...
Sheep: In early 2008 mutual funds in the aggregate had a worth of $6.5 trillion. Today they have fallen to $3.4 trillion, but only 2% of that decline was from net redemptions. That suggests that Mr./Mrs. Public are still sitting there, frozen in the headlights.
Another View: TrimTabs, which tracks daily income tax withholding data, says the US lost over 700,000 jobs in March, while incomes dropped 4.5% y/y. The US savings rate was about 0.9%, not the 4.2% reported by the government's BEA.
Robotic Bull: Israel is doubling its force of drone D9 armored bulldozers. During the recent leveling of the Gaza strip, the "Black Thunder" bulldozers proved exceptionally useful in clearing roads of mines and towns of houses.
Plan A & Plan B: Washington's hopes and dreams rest on two sets of cavalry riding over the hill, just in the nick of time: China - to buy up all the trillions and trillions of debt the Treasury has to peddle without paying any interest, and the US Consumer - to buy up everything else, on credit. Put your ear to the ground and tell me what you hear.
Debt Star: The IMF now sees global toxic debt losses exceeding $4 trillion by 4Q2010, nearly $3 trillion of that US-originated derivatives. This is an increase of over $1 trillion in expected losses since their January 2009 report.
Mortgage, What Mortgage? New reports claim 1/3rd of all mortgage-backed securities may not be connected to a physical mortgage. Sure, they're producing cash flow now. They're connected to a household, some household . But in foreclosure, the corpus is the the actual document. Accept no substitute.
True, True: "Three of the least respected, least admired figures in contemporary American politics are Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove." But competition's picking up.
Piece of Cake: Obama wants to reinstate the inheritance tax at 45% on estates of more than $3.5 million, $7 million for a couple. The Republicans - and 10 deluded Democrats - want it raised to $10 million and 35%. I say split the difference. Set the cap at $10 million and take 90% of everything over that.
Doing the Ray-Ray: General Raymond Odierno, who yesterday said the US would have to stay in Iraq until the Iraqis like the US better, today said the decision on withdrawing US troops from Iraq's cities by the June 30th deadline would be made by Prime Minister al-Maliki, with US military advice. Ever meet an insurance agent who thought you were over-insured?
Beginning/Ends & Vice Versa: Kudlow and Laffer know we're past the bottom and on the way to Happyland, fueled by cheap money! Except cheap money is how we got here. Banks are profitable! Yeah, sitting on a half-trillion of taxpayer dollars they should be doing well. But don't start the dance when much of the economy's productive capacity is idle, consumers are afraid for their jobs, and unemployment is still rising.
Ratigan Reports: Dylan Ratigan, formerly of CNBC, explained his departure by saying that the story he was following was not just a financial one, but a story of "systemic policy failures that have rendered a catastrophe the likes of which we've really never seen... This is a story of this country, and this country's system of making laws..." And we wish him godspeed in telling the story.