How does taking money from my children and giving it to my neighbor's banker help anyone but the banker?
Short Form: Sales of existing houses were up 10% in October, m/m. At a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.1 million units is far above the long term norm of 4.5 to 5 million houses, and a reflection of purchases prompted by tax credits. Exciting, but essentially just a measure of new debt, not economic activity. These houses already existed and trading ownership does little to stimulate the economy.
Suck It Up: “The bad news on jobs is no longer a surprise to investors and history has shown that past jobless recoveries were dealt with fine by most major asset classes.” They were not, however dealt with quite so finely by the unemployed.
Balance of Trade: China gets 10% GDP growth, America gets 10% unemployment.
Science: You should not “believe” in global climate change based on newspaper reports. Read some books, plural, books that have footnotes and explanations of where the data came from and how it fits with other research and what conclusions can be supported by the data. Then you can intelligently form an opinion. You are not allowed to “not believe in” global climate change in bulk. The data behind the current theory is published in literally tens of thousands of peer-reviewed public documents: research reports, studies, letters, public conferences. You are allowed to take each and every one of these tens of thousands of data sets and replicate the research and show that it was wrong, in error, or even fudged. And then you publish your report – if it can stand peer review. Then you take up the next data set and try again. You disprove science by doing better science, not stealing emails.
Books Report: As those of us who stop in to read their magazines and drink their coffee have known since early summer, Borders is on the verge of bankruptcy. I've got $19.86 left on my gift card, so I'll stop in later this week.
Bad Movie: A killer fungus is attacking and killing over 350 amphibian species. The WHO suggests border agents screen arriving amphibians for signs of the disease. I am not as upset as I should be.
Follow Me, Men: The leaders of America's corporations have been dumping their stock in their own companies faster and faster as the Dow rises. Last week they dumped $1.39 billion but bought only $166 million of their own company's stock. Raising funds for their holiday shopping, y'think?
Spot Quiz: Why is the dollar worthless. a) There are too many of them. b) Promises, promises. c) It is backed by Fannie and Freddie and Ginnie Mae's bonds which are backed by subsidized housing and delinquent mortgages.
The Nays Have It: By a vote of 31 to 6 the Australian Senate has rejected Peak Oil. Guess they didn't see Road Warrior.
Phantom of the Markets: Dr. Shiller, he of the Animal Spirits, now wonders if the equity market recovery is all in our heads, a self-fulfilling fantasy. Perhaps; it certainly is a fantasy of some kind.
Bailouts Are US: For the third time in 16 years the US airline industry needs to be “saved” after racking up $58.5 billion in losses by following a series of obviously flawed business plans. It might help if they could talk TSA into easing off a bit on the harassment.
Hands-Off: While the Feds have been giving money to Wall Street (purportedly to create jobs) and are talking about a new stimulus to more directly do so, State governments – for lack of the money Washington gave Wall Street – are laying off ever more people.
Street Smart: The IMF says that the public in most advanced economies would not accept additional bailouts of the banks and that any such attempt “would threaten democracy.”
Blowing Bubbles: The Fed's zero-interest zero-risk money dispenser allows banks to improve their balance sheets on the cheap and forces investors into risky assets. The direct (but inverse) correlation between the dollar and equities suggests banks, funds and investors are borrowing cheap dollars and chasing assets. But a bubble's a bubble and we really need a bubble
Porn O'Graph: The globe's got a fever.