This too shall pass, faster than you might imagine.
Superficial: Taking his cue from the failed and failing in Europe – and their IMF/Bankster masters, not to mention the GOP and Goldman Sacs - President Obama, in a transparently cynical gesture, proposed a two-year freeze of the salaries of all civilian federal workers – about 2 million workers. The proposal, which must be approved by Congress, will save the equivalent of a handful of drone attacks on weddings in Pakistan, take the US another step further in the global 'race to the bottom' in wages by setting a standard Big Business will eagerly match, and save $7 billion over two years. That's all of 0.1% of federal spending. By the way, how are Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal etc. doing with that austerity thing?
If/Then: If an increase in oil consumption indicates an increase in economic activity, then we're in luck. In September, US oil demand was up nearly 5% y/y.
Place Your Bets: After the next warm-up bout between the politicians and the bankers – in Portugal – the main match will play out in Spain. My money's on the bankers.
Motive, Means, Opportunity: A bomb in Tehran killed one Iranian nuclear scientist and wounded another. Hmm. Qui bono?
Spot Spotted: A sizable portion of the 4 million barrels of BP's oil that went astray last summer has ended up in globs on the ocean floor – not harmlessly dispersed as the upbeat would have you believe.
Heresy: David Stockman, Reagan's budget director, says that the two pillars of current GOP theology – that tax cuts for the richest are necessary and that tax cuts will miraculously pay for themselves – are hokum. He claimed that the latest Bush administration had destroyed “the last vestige of fiscal responsibility that we had in the Republican Party.”
Worst Case Worser: Once upon a time, two years ago, there was hope that eventual climate warming might be limited to 2º C by 2100. Now it is routinely accepted that a rise of 4º C (7.2º F) is inevitable by 2060. A legacy for my grandaughters.
Quoted: “My only fear in life, when it comes to money, is what’s happening in the United States of America. The American dream is dead for the majority of America. The middle class has disappeared. We have a highway to poverty and no roads coming out.” Suzi Orman, financial guru.
Porn O'Graph: Building the bulge.