Diaries

Corporate Debt: The Key Financial Vulnerability

The next financial crisis (there will always be a "next financial crisis" in capitalism) will not look like the last one. The reason is because working class consumers were mostly locked out of the credit markets from 2008 until recently.
The only exceptions for consumers were auto loans (which is too small of a market to cause a financial meltdown) and student loans (which is almost entirely backed by the federal government).

Luke Harding/Guardian-gate: the plot thickens (updated a bit)

For background, see snoopydawg’s exposé on the Guardian’s 'Paul Manafort Secretly Met With Julian Assange Multiple Times’ ‘gold-standard’ of yellow journalism.

World to Write Rulebook for Climate Action

Image: Kartowice, Poland (Wikipedia)

The annual world climate talks take place in Katowice, Poland, this week and next. For this year the goal is to come up with a rulebook for implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.

A major goal of that agreement, made in December three years ago, is to keep global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial average. As of last year, the planet stood at 1.0°C (1.8°F) warmer.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world's top authority on the subject, produced a report for use at the meeting. The report focuses on the 1.5°C goal.

Effects of Warming

Effects of warming as we go from present to 1.5°C warmer, and then to 2.0°C, include ever higher risks to society. From the IPCC report:

B.1. Climate models project robust differences in regional climate characteristics between present-day and global warming of 1.5°C, and between 1.5°C and 2°C (3.6°F). These differences include increases in: mean temperature in most land and ocean regions (high confidence), hot extremes in most inhabited regions (high confidence), heavy precipitation in several regions (medium confidence), and the probability of drought and precipitation deficits in some regions (medium confidence).

B.3. Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5°C and increase further with 2°C.

Bush's Death Symbolizes the State of this Union

Ah hell, I just wanted it to go by without reacting much. Fortunately I don't watch TV news (local or national) or political shows so I haven't been subjected to much of the official "state" version. But I do watch some sports and tonight on Monday Night Football, there it was, the moment of silence for "a great American hero". Everybody stood and obediently bowed their heads, the players included, while they thought of what exactly?

What the hell were they thinking?

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