The death spiral for the oil age has begun.
Remember the Alamo: "The Treasury secretary, who oversees the IRS, didn't pay all his taxes. Neither did five other top nominees for the Obama administration, or their spouses."
Consumers Don't Take Hint: Dr. Ben and Tiny Tim have applied massive injections of money into the financial system, yet the consumers over in the real economy - a term that should suggest something - continue to not consume and not borrow and not to spend. Silly idiots are paying off debt. Didn't they get the memo? Maybe we should quit trying to save insolvent banks and make some effort to save the customer.
The End is Dear: The cheap water era is ending in California, as increases in price fail to increase supply. You'd think the stuff was limited, like oil.
Shortcut: Go read Ilargi's intro at today's Automatic Earth, so I don't have to repeat it here.
Propaganda Alert! The Heartland Institute, a global climate change denialist group, has issued a press release denying global climate change. This is not news, it is not science. But it will play both on TV news, especially FOX.
Since Forever: US industrial production has fallen 13.3% since the recession began in 12/07. This is the largest percentage decline since VE Day, back when the US had industries.
Most Likely to Suceed: To prevent the worst possible result from our current carbon emissions/global warming actions we must greatly reduce economic activity, reduce the average per-person carbon footprint of all 7 billion of us to that of an African villager, and reverse the positive feedback loops we have set in motion. The only one we've even started is the reduction in economic activity. Thus, absent those steps, none of the rest of which will ever happen, the best we can hope for is a 10-15ºF rise in US temperatures, five plus feet of sea level rise, the US Southwest a permanent Dust Bowl, and acidic seas bereft of life. That's the best we can hope for.
Grinding to a Halt: Mortgage applications fell a seasonally adjusted 11% last week, even as prices continued to fall and mortgage rates dropped.
Asked & Answered: "Are the good times really over?" Yes.
Make Haste: We are going to run out of things - things like oil, wood, water. Maybe doom isn't around the corner, but neither are substitutes for oil, wood, and water. But if we don't find replacements for these things before they're gone, what word will we use to describe what happens next?
Milestone/Millstone: In February, China reduced its holdings of US debt by $13 billion. Has China decided to stop buying US assets? Or are they broke and just can't? Either way, down's down.
Discuss: The Fed is printing money to cushion the economy's crash. More money, less production leads to higher prices for the fewer goods. Can Bernanke catch the falling knife? Pick either the affirmative or the negative and submit a coherent rant. Usual prizes.
Sick 'em: The US spends more than twice as much on healthcare per-person than any civilized country. The French not only have a superior healthcare system, they spend more on social programs than the US does - from universal childcare to tuition-free higher education. And they get good results. They just don't pay 30% of the costs to insurance companies for doing unnecessary paperwork. Sacrebleu.
Porn O'Graph: What April 15th buys.