Truthfully, weren't you surprised? How about relieved?
Unclear On The Concept: Rand Paul (Clueless-KY) says that just because the Supreme Court rules a law to be constitutional does not mean that the law is constitutional.
Statistically Speaking: The GDP, PCE and Initial Claims numbers were blandly unchanged, dashing immediate hopes for additional QE. The actual numbers are irrelevant; no fuel, no fire.
Confusion Reigns: EU leaders have decided to “commit to a growth pact” by promising to come up with $120 billion “to promote growth”. That doesn't include the $120 billion Spanish banks need,
nor more than about $4.27 in new money. Or does it? We'll know soon because they'll finalize a plan to save the euro by the end of the year. It wasn't clear whether they meant the plan would be ready by the end of the year, or the euro would be saved by then. Oh, yeah. It's the plan. Saving the euro will take a while longer.
What Number Comes Next? $2 billion, $4 billion, $9 billion, $__ billion.
Basics: “It's a bedrock principle of our era: Companies should be run for the sole purpose of increasing their stock prices, or returning "value" to shareholders, the ultimate owners.” That's so mid-20th Century – everybody knows that corporations are run solely for the benefit of senior management.
Words To The Wise: According to PM Rajoy, “Spain cannot afford to finance itself for long at current rates,” Germany's unemployment rate increased (to 6.8%) for the third month in a row, and GDP in Britain fell 0.3% in 1Q2012 after falling 0.4% in 4Q2011.
Obligations: The banking association made up of the banks that manipulated LIBOR for fun & profit are shocked that they got caught.
Things That Are Not Crime: This week we learned that taking customer money to pay your taxes is not a crime. Manipulating the prices of stocks and bonds is not a crime, and that manipulating LIBOR, the world's key interest rate, is not a crime. But then, not a single bank that enabled Madoff's Ponzi scheme (and should have known he was bent) has given a single client a single cent, nor have Madoff's “consolidators” been jailed. Nor have any Wall Streeters taken a perp walk for mortgage-related securities fraud. And certainly several gentlemen involved in various parts of the MFGlobal affair should be on extended vacations... We are a nation of laws, unenforced laws.
The Parting Shot: