Confidence is earned, not printed.
Definition Dependent: The economically measured thing called a recovery may be underway. The emotional thing called a recession will be around for a long while. “At this rate, we wouldn’t reach anything that feels like full employment until well into the second Palin administration.”
Addition and Subtraction: Profits have plummeted – 47%, 51%, 58%, even 68% - at the big oil companies. In that US demand has dropped only about 750,000 barrels a day, doesn't the earnings data suggest the US market is not the biggest player anymore?
Corporate Citizenship: Just because their paid-for ratings of bonds and businesses have backfired on gullible investors who thought they were dealing with storied oracles doesn't mean S&P, Moody's or Fitch have to apologize. After all, they are corporations just exercising their free speech rights when they sell (or re-sell) their opinions.
GDP Thoughts: Regardless of how the various components of the GDP rise were obtained, many/most of the indicators of a recessionary end are positive, with the major exception of unemployment. This may not be the real thing, but at least it's beginning to taste like recovery-lite.
Revised Revisions: Moody's is concerned that housing prices will not bottom for another year and that home owners (and banks) will experience significantly higher foreclosure rates. This will prompt them to lower the rating on mortgage bonds that have already been through several downgrades. Sort of the Windows 7 of RMBS ratings.
Global Warming Science Wrong! Scientists have “significantly underestimated” the effect of methane on global warming. They had not been accounting for methane's interaction with tiny airborne particles. So good news, science corrects itself, just as advertised. And bad news, global warming gets a bit more serious, just as feared.
Slim Pickings? Chinese banks are putting $1.5 billion into a 36,000-acre West Texas wind farm. Has a vague ring to it. They must have one heck of an extension cord.
Equal Protection: A court has ruled that police must have a reason before they kill you. Not a good reason, just something they can articulate later, like cursing the officer for tasering you the first time. But tasers are harmless, so when police kill citizens with them, it's obviously accidental. Or you provoked them by not laying quietly on the pavement.
Asked & Answered: "Are Those $250 Social Security Checks Just Pandering to Seniors?" Yeah, so?
Fewer Good Men: Obama changed his mind (and promise?) and signed a bill blocking release of additional torture photos, under the theory that the Freedom of Information Act does not cover things the government doesn't want known. Another Lieberman moment.
Accuracy: The headline read 'The Fed overpaid Wall Street by $13 billion." Note that it did not say “accidentally overpaid”. The NY Fed said it had no choice but to make AIG reimburse the full amount of what it owed to
the big banks. Goldman Sachs
End of a Tradition: If you can't hide your cash, bearer bonds, gold, stolen paintings and other ill-gotten and untaxed wealth secretly away in a Swiss Bank, why have a Swiss Bank account?
Plot Summary: Federal Reserve's game plan for ending the current mess: reflate, by all available means. It's worked so well in the past.
Porn O'Graph: Business isn't going to grow new jobs if it doesn't grow.