Wealth is an illusion.. with the permanence of fog.
Sentimental Journey: The markets keep falling. It is amusing to listen to the rationales attached, when the true explanation of all market moves is either greed or fear. Markets go up or down depending on which prevails.
Sideshow: While everyone was watching Societe Generale deny all the rumors in the main ring, Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second- largest bank, reported a 93% drop in quarterly profits due to losses on their Greek bonds.
Bunker Mentality: Apparently Obama is avoiding any job creation initiative because his political handlers do not think Congress would pass an effective bill so they have chosen not to try. Instead they will go along with the Republicans and pretend that the long term government debt is the current economic threat. They hope to spin a few minor victories on spending cuts into electoral victory - amid the economic ruins of the country. They are, in sad fact, the dream team.
Abstract: A quick survey from the Weimar Republic to modern day Greece and Great Britain suggests that fiscal austerity, politically motivated violence and social upheaval go hand in hand.
Reality Check: Federal taxes, at 14.8% of GDP, are the lowest level they have been in over 60 years, down a tad from 2009 & 2010's 14.9%. The post-war average is 18.5%. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.” Someone else noted that you get what you pay for...
Smallpox: An Amazon tribe that had had no previous contact with modern civilization may not have survived its first brush with the 21st Century – a group of drug smugglers.
Credit, Where Credit Is Due: Now that the Tea Party has had a few moments to bask in the illusory warmth of an glowing economic future achieved by spending cuts alone, it is time to turn to the real question: Who will pay to fix the things that have been broken by thirty years of trickle-down free-market foolishness? Not who should – we all know they'll manage to escape – but who will?
Tanks for the Memories: Syrian military forces backed by tanks and APCs have occupied several villages near the Turkish border in their continuing attempt to crush protests and protesters. Heads of state are in full hand-ringing mode and harsh condemnations are expected.
Crumbs: The number of Americans receiving food stamps has increased over 40% in the last two years.
Two If By Sea: Fish caught 55 km (30 miles) from Fukushima contain radioactive cesium at levels that far exceed the allowable limits for human consumption.
Porn O'Graph: US exceptionalism, child poverty edition.