Friday, January 13, 2012

SAR #12013

Mitt's persistence suggests Republican voters are not crazy after all.

Recess: The EU, understanding that a the last thing the euro needs is further economic contraction brought on by soaring oil prices, wants to delay implementing the Iranian oil embargo by six months. Which is wildly optimistic time table.

Dead Man Walking: Sears has lost its access to the credit financing that bridges the span between paying for inventory and selling the inventory. This is the step immediately before suppliers demand cash on delivery, which is the precursor to bankruptcy filling. K-Mart is also rumored to be consulting bankruptcy advisors. Save up for the blue-light specials.

Or Else: The European Union has given Hungary "a final warning" that it would start legal action (?) unless the current government reversed its march toward single-party dictatorship.

Present At The Creation: TransCanada & the GOP are back, zombielike, insisting that the Keystone pipeline project will create 20,000 American jobs. It will, but only if hiring a guy in December and not firing him until January counts as creating 2 jobs. And if you can count jobs created in Canada – about a third of the purported 20,000 - as 'American', and can count jobs that have already been finished (mostly in Canada) as jobs that the pipeline will create. And you certainly don't want to acknowledge the jobs the pipeline will destroy in the US. And these are all transitory, temporary jobs. The pipeline will create, at best, a couple of hundred permanent jobs. Parts is parts.

Occam's Razor: Why do well-off people shoplift? The standard answer is a bunch of psychobabble about depression, lack of control, getting even for perceived slights and so on. Maybe it's simply who they really are when nobody's watching.

What Big Teeth You Have, Grandma: The IMF says it will give further help to Greece only if it can convince its bondholders to take even larger haircuts. Germany says it will give further help to Greece only if it meets conditions that no Greek government can accede to and survive. But then, who said Germany and the IMF have much interest in Greece's survival?

Take a Pew: The wealthy should not dismiss the #Occupy movement lightly. Recent research confirms that two-thirds of Americans believe there are serious conflicts between the rich and the poor in the country. Even those making over $67,000 a year agree, as do 55% of Republicans. Another sign that the American myth is evaporating.

Why Don't They Eat Cake? Europe's leaders seem puzzled that the euro crisis hasn't gone away. They don't seem to understand that demand-reducing austerity measures reduce economic activity, that those who have their pensions cut or lose their jobs don't have any money, so they can't spend and so the economy stalls and tax revenues dive. Seems like a simple concept, but perhaps it doesn't translate well. Eventually these same leaders will be stunned when angry voters throw out the EU/IMF appointed governments.

Silly Question: Are drones watching you? Better question: Whose drones are watching you?

Stopped Clock: Mitt Romney thinks that class warfare in the US is based on the envy the 99% of us feel for the "millionaires and billionaires and executives and Wall Street." Keep it up folks, we're starting to get through to them.

End Run: Republicans are reportedly planning to use the commerce clause of the Constitution as their authority to approve the Keystone XL pipeline without Presidential involvement. Don't they know the Constitution doesn't apply anymore?

Cheer Up: Over 46 million Americans live in poverty, and things are likely to get worse before they get better. If they ever do. While the recession is technically over TM, the cuts in social support payments and the poor wages of available jobs will continue to force families into poverty for several more years, as the long-term unemployed discover that the jobs they once had no longer exist.

Porn O'Graph: I can get it for you retail.

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