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Jan 03 2011

What is Science?

Monday Business Edition

I have a Liberal Arts background, a History Major (also Methodist) like George Walker Bush.

And shucks, my discipline has no predictive nature at all-

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted, it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence. This is the condition of children and barbarians, in which instinct has learned nothing from experience. – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905

The hard sciences tend to rely on replicable independent observations supporting a predictive theory that can be tested by experiment.

You know, facts.

The social sciences have the luxury of being mostly observational.  If you’re honest.

Economics pretends to be a hard science, but it’s really just a bunch of assumptions represented symbolically so it can be disguised as Math.  It’s really as fuzzy as Philosophy.

Not so much a science as an argument.

Which brings me to this recent piece-

Academic Economists to Consider Ethics Code

By SEWELL CHAN, The New York Times

Published: December 30, 2010

Academic economists, particularly those active in policy debates in Washington and Wall Street, are facing greater scrutiny of their outside activities these days. Faced with a run of criticism, including a popular movie, leaders of the American Economic Association, the world’s largest professional society for economists, founded in 1885, are considering a step that most other professions took a long time ago – adopting a code of ethical standards.

The proposal, which has not been announced to the public or to the association’s 17,000 members, is partly a response to “Inside Job,” a documentary film released in October that excoriates leading academic economists for their ties to Wall Street as consultants, advisers or corporate directors.



Mr. Lucas added: “What disciplines economics, like any science, is whether your work can be replicated. It either stands up or it doesn’t. Your motivations and whatnot are secondary.”

Since economics emerged as a modern discipline in the late 19th century, its practitioners have resisted formal ethical codes, said George F. DeMartino, an economist at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.



A recent paper (.pdf) by Gerald Epstein and Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, found that many financial economists who weighed in on the Wall Street overhaul signed into law in July did not prominently disclose potential conflicts of interest.

Frauds and charletans.  Confidence men and bunco artists.

When will we replicate the results enough?

Business News below.

From Yahoo News Business

1 US diplomats pushed Boeing deals: cables

AFP

Mon Jan 3, 1:10 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US diplomats have on several occasions intervened to convince foreign governments to buy aircraft from Boeing rather than its European rival Airbus, newly released diplomatic cables show.

The cables, obtained by the New York Times from the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, document several incidents in which diplomats were involved in haggling over the billion-dollar deals seen as key to US economic growth.

One cable describes Saudi King Abdullah responding favorably to a personal request from then-president George W. Bush in 2006 that he buy as many as 43 Boeing jets for Saudi Arabian Airlines and another 13 for the royal fleet.

2 Macau gaming revenue hits record in 2010

by Peter Brieger, AFP

26 mins ago

HONG KONG (AFP) – Casinos in Macau cashed in a record 23.5 billion US dollars last year, according to official figures on Monday which analysts said trumps the Las Vegas Strip by about four times.

The huge figures are a 57.8 percent increase over 2009, cementing the city as the world’s biggest gaming hub, thanks largely to the millions of mainland Chinese punters who descend on the former Portuguese colony each year.

But the governments in China and Macau are growing more worried about the impact of vast sums of money flowing into the city’s economy and they have already imposed several restrictions to stop it running out of control.

3 Spanish downturn ends immigrants’ dream of better life

by Elisa Santafe, AFP

Sun Jan 2, 5:39 pm ET

MADRID (AFP) – After losing her job as a maid several months ago, 26-year-old Magaly Baez is preparing to return to Paraguay with her husband, an unemployed waiter, and their nine-month-old baby.

“The plan had been to stay in Spain, bring over our children and obtain residency papers,” she said as she left a government-run soup kitchen set up by the regional government of Madrid specifically for immigrants.

Spanish visa rules deny renewal requests if immigrants become unemployed and fail to make social security payments. So without jobs the couple are no longer living legally in Spain, putting an end to their hopes of having their three other children to join them in the country.

4 European debt crisis a boon for British blogger

by Daniel Silva, AFP

Sun Jan 2, 5:10 pm ET

LES ESCUALES, Spain (AFP) – When British economist Edward Hugh set up a blog that repeatedly predicted the euro could not survive, few people took notice. Not any more.

With the European single currency facing its greatest challenge since it entered into general circulation in 2002 in the wake of the bailouts of eurozone members Greece and Ireland, his posts are now read by thousands of bankers, financial analysts and other policymakers around the world.

The 62-year-old is regularly invited to speak at economic conferences across the continent and the International Monetary Fund asked him to fly to Madrid in April to give his input on the state of the Spanish economy.

5 Organic farming blooms in Serbia

by Stephanie van den Berg, AFP

2 hrs 59 mins ago

BELGRADE (AFP) – Standing in her greenhouse in gumboots, Zorana Gajic jokes that she used to think “food grew in supermarkets” but now experiments on how to mix crops to ensure optimum use of her “organic” soil.

A path next to the greenhouse leads to an orchard with plum and cherry trees, melon patches in between and a flock of sheep grazing peacefully throughout.

“I came to this via my husband, otherwise I would still think food was grown in supermarkets,” Zorana, a lawyer who works for the World Bank and the Serbian government, told AFP.

6 Spain holds Europe’s fate in its hands in 2011: analysts

by David Williams, AFP

Sun Jan 2, 5:24 pm ET

MADRID (AFP) – For financial markets the doomsday scenario in 2011 starts with Spain buckling under its debt and unleashing a Europe-wide crisis that dwarfs anything seen so far in Greece or Ireland.

Financial analysts disagree on the likelihood of such a Spanish sovereign debt crisis but they agree the risk is real and that existing European and international rescue mechanisms would be unable to cope.

In part to avert just such an outcome, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist government is slashing spending to lower the public deficit from 11.1 percent in 2009 to 3.0 percent in 2013.

7 Merkel must get Germans to back sound EU

by William Ickes, AFP

Sun Jan 2, 1:56 am ET

FRANKFURT (AFP) – The debt crisis has strengthened Germany’s hand in Europe, but Chancellor Angela Merkel will have a tough time convincing voters that leadership might also mean digging deep for additional aid.

“So far, people do not see the costs that might be associated with what politicians have agreed to, namely some nation states underwriting the debt of others,” Barclays Capital economist Thorsten Polleit told AFP.

“It is an open question whether the crisis is over or whether we are just in the eye of the storm.”

8 Estonia rings in 2011 as 17th eurozone member

by Anneli Reigas, AFP

Sat Jan 1, 11:58 am ET

TALLINN (AFP) – Estonia woke up to both a New Year and a new currency Saturday as it became the first ex-Soviet state to adopt the euro at midnight and the 17th member of the eurozone, a bloc plagued by debt woes.

As a spectacular fireworks show lit up the sky over Tallinn, the 2004 EU entrant — which broke free from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991 — bade a reluctant farewell to its kroon, adopted in 1992 to replace the Soviet ruble.

At the stroke of midnight, Estonia’s centre-right Prime Minister Andrus Ansip symbolically withdrew a crisp new euro banknote from a bank machine at the national opera as onlookers braved subzero temperatures.

9 Bolivian president rescinds decree that raised fuel prices

by Raul Burgoa, AFP

Sat Jan 1, 1:21 pm ET

LA PAZ (AFP) – Faced with spreading civil unrest, Bolivian President Evo Morales late Friday rescinded a government decree that significantly raised fuel prices and provoked violent protests that left 15 people injured.

Vice President Alvaro Garcia issued the decree on Sunday removing subsidies that keep fuel prices artificially low but cost the Bolivian government an estimated 380 million dollars per year.

As a result fuel prices went up by as much as 83 percent in the sharpest increases since 1991.

10 GM’s turnaround now fully in Akerson’s hands

by Joe Szczesny, AFP

Sat Jan 1, 12:32 pm ET

DETROIT, Michigan (AFP) – The future of General Motors is now firmly in the hands of Dan Akerson, who on Saturday expanded his role to become both chairman and chief executive officer of the iconic American carmaker.

Akerson replaced Ed Whitacre as chief executive in September, but the straight-talking Texan who came out of retirement to lead GM through a government-backed bankruptcy and back to profitability remained chairman until the end of the year.

Akerson has built on Whitacre’s success, leading GM through a 23.1-billion-dollar initial stock offering — the largest in history.

11 Tablets galore on tap at major CES gadget fest

by Glenn Chapman, AFP

Sat Jan 1, 11:57 am ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Tablet computers will lead a host of “smart” gadgets in the Nevada desert this week at a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) spotlighting slick new devices on the horizon.

CES attendance in Las Vegas should top the 126,000 figure from the annual event last January and the roster of exhibitors has climbed 2,000 to 2,700.

Internet software will fuse with televisions, cars and even household appliances at CES, where an army of tablets will be unleashed to challenge Apple’s winning iPads.

12 Britain set for rocky economic ride in 2011

by Ben Perry, AFP

Sat Jan 1, 11:37 pm ET

LONDON (AFP) – An austere tax increase, huge cuts in state spending and rising unemployment are all set to be unleashed on Britain in 2011, risking widespread strike action by disgruntled workers.

The Conservative-Liberal coalition led by Prime Minister David Cameron insists on the need to tighten government spending to quickly slash the country’s record public deficit inherited from the previous administration.

“The national interest dictates that we do the right thing, which is to act, not the easy thing, which would be to delay,” Cameron said in his New Year’s message.

13 Hungary, under fire over media law, takes over EU presidency

by Geza Molnar, AFP

Fri Dec 31, 6:38 pm ET

BUDAPEST (AFP) – Hungary took the helm of the European Union on Saturday even as a new law which sparked concern about media freedom in the country came into force in the teeth of fierce opposition.

The challenges currently facing the 27-nation bloc are daunting enough: the eurozone debt crisis, the integration of the Roma minority, and tough negotiations over the EU’s long-term budget.

But — as the German government put it recently — Hungary “will have a particular responsibility for the image of the whole union in the world” as it raises hackles both at home and abroad with a series of controversial reforms.

14 Asia factory output powers ahead but inflation worries

By Tony Munroe, Reuters

2 hrs 15 mins ago

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Asian factory output powered ahead in December to underline emerging markets’ lead in the global recovery although data showed an increasing inflation threat in the region even as growth is tepid in developed economies.

Purchasing managers’ indexes in both China and India fell but also showed that the pace of factory output was still expanding solidly. The sectors in both countries have been growing for close to two years.

South Korea’s factories posted their strongest growth in December in seven months.

15 Hyundai, Kia eye 10 percent 2011 sales rise after strong Dec

By Hyunjoo Jin, Reuters

Mon Jan 3, 2:40 am ET

SEOUL (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor Group (005380.KS) and its affiliate Kia Motors (000270.KS) aim to boost vehicle sales by 10 percent this year after robust December sales, as the sector shows a gradual recovery, led by China and the United States. Hyundai Motor shares rose 2 percent on Monday, while shares in Kia Motors jumped 3.75 percent in a broader market (.KS11) up 0.9 percent, with Hyundai expected to outperform other car makers this year.

Hyundai, the world’s No.5 auto maker along with Kia, is expected to outperform its peers and gain more market share, driven by new models and its strength in compact cars.

“Hyundai will post lower volume growth this year, but still outperform the market. Hyundai does not want to be another Toyota which was hit by quality issues following fast volume expansion,” Lee Sang-hyun, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said.

16 Hangover or after-party for stocks?

By Edward Krudy, Reuters

Sun Jan 2, 11:30 am ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A bout of profit taking seems likely early in the new year after the S&P 500 ended its best December in almost two decades, but stocks may have further to run at the start of 2011.

Technical indicators are pointing to a strained market, though recently stocks have been maintaining the momentum of late 2010.

The potential is certainly there for shares to derail this week with some important economic reports due. A repeat of last month’s disappointing U.S. jobs number could spark a sell-off.

17 CES gadget fest sizzle fizzles

By Gabriel Madway, Reuters

Sun Jan 2, 6:04 pm ET

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Some 125,000 attendees descending on the annual tech gadget confab in Las Vegas this week can be forgiven for feeling as if they have traveled back in time.

Once the premier showcase of consumer technology’s cutting edge, in recent years the Consumer Electronics Show has wallowed in the shadow of the one company that never attends: Apple Inc. The iPad maker famously snatched the spotlight from the show in 2007 when it unveiled the first iPhone at a rival convention. This year, the specter of a new iPad awaits.

Still, legions of executives, journalists and geeks will make the annual pilgrimage to the Nevada desert’s glittering oasis to pore over what they did last year: fancier televisions and tablets.

18 Intel woos Hollywood studios with new microchip

By Noel Randewich, Reuters

Mon Jan 3, 12:20 am ET

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Intel Corp’s new microchips, touted as its biggest-ever leap in processing power, include built-in content protection to make it safer for Hollywood studios to offer premium movies to consumers over their personal computers.

Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros Digital Distribution and other studios plan to offer high-definition movies to consumers whose computers use the chips, code-named Sandy Bridge, at the same time as they are released on DVD, Mooly Eden, Intel’s vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, told Reuters last week.

“We have been able to develop an end-to-end solution that will allow the premium content to be streamed to (computers with Sandy Bridge chips)”, Eden said in an interview. “We are striking all the deals with the (studios and content distributors) to make it available.”

19 Russian 2010 oil output hits post-Soviet record

By Vladimir Soldatkin, Reuters

Sun Jan 2, 6:54 am ET

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian oil output rose by 2.2 percent in 2010 to a record 10.1 million barrels per day (505.193 million tonnes) as higher prices prompted the world’s top oil exporter to ramp up production at its greenfield sites.

The growth in crude production surprised many analysts, who had expected 1.1 percent on average, when polled just before the start of 2010.

Energy Ministry data on Sunday showed the country extracted 10.145 million barrels per day last year, a record since the collapse of the Soviet Union, up from 9.93 million bpd in 2009 and 9.78 million bpd in 2008.

20 Fiat Autos goes solo, spins off industrial unit

By COLLEEN BARRY, AP Business Writer

20 mins ago

MILAN – Fiat split its industrial vehicle business from its automaking unit on Monday, unwinding two vastly divergent businesses with the goal of creating a global automative company with Chrysler LLC.

As Fiat Industrial began its trading life as an independent entity, opening at euro9 ($12.03) on the Milan Stock Exchange, Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne anticipated his next moves, saying that Fiat could take a majority stake in Chrysler this year.

“I think it is possible, I don’t know whether it is likely, but it is possible that we go over the 50 percent if Chrysler decides to go to the market in 2011,” Marchionne told reporters at the stock exchange. “There will be an advantage if that happens.”

21 Apple’s absence to be felt at CES gadget show

By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer

Mon Jan 3, 12:02 am ET

What do you call it when you have 120,000 people and an elephant in the room?

The International Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off this week in Las Vegas.

The elephant is Apple Inc. It won’t be at the show this year, but its tablet computer, the iPad, is the most important new product for an industry that needs to once again excite consumers. Sales of the iPad have been strong since its April debut, and the whole industry is now trying to mimic Apple’s success.

22 Cleaner tractors get cool reception from farmers

By DINESH RAMDE, Associated Press

Mon Jan 3, 3:18 am ET

MILWAUKEE – Farm equipment manufacturers are rolling out cleaner tractors to meet stricter new federal air regulations, but many in the industry say the challenge will be getting farmers to put the high-priced models into fields during hard economic times.

The rules that went into effect Saturday apply to tractors, construction vehicles and other so-called nonroad equipment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the vehicles are major sources of particulate-matter emissions – the stuff that makes smoke black and air difficult to breathe.

Federal air standards have been tightening since the mid-1990s. The 2011 regulations are the latest step, requiring that diesel engines built starting this year produce even fewer of the nitrous oxides that can cause acid rain.

23 Singapore looks to tourism, casinos to fuel growth

By ALEX KENNEDY, Associated Press

24 mins ago

SINGAPORE – Wear red if you want to win at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands casino, but sport white to boost your luck at rival Resorts World Sentosa.

So says feng shui expert Danny Cheong, who has seen demand for his skills soar thanks to last year’s opening of the city-state’s first two casino resorts.

“Before I would occasionally get clients who asked for help with playing the horses or the lottery,” said Cheong, a 50-year-old Singaporean trained in Hong Kong. “Now everybody wants advice about the casinos.”

24 APNewsBreak: ND oil patch may double production

By JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press

Sun Jan 2, 3:30 pm ET

BISMARCK, N.D. – Government and industry officials believe North Dakota’s oil patch contains more than twice the amount of oil previously estimated and that the state’s already record crude production will double within the decade.

If the forecast is correct, North Dakota could leapfrog in a few years from the fourth-biggest oil producing state to No. 2, trailing only Texas.

“It’s a pretty rosy picture,” said Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources. “We have a huge amount of drilling still in front of us.”

25 ‘Coupon generation’ wields consumer power in China

By CHI-CHI ZHANG, Associated Press

Mon Jan 3, 12:00 am ET

BEIJING – Ding Can is obsessed with bargains. Her purse is crammed with more than 30 shopper discount cards and dozens of coupons. Her apartment is packed with freebies, from cosmetic samples to key chains. She often lines up before dawn for tickets to discounted movies.

Her yen for savings isn’t out of necessity. The 32-year-old software testing engineer is relatively well off. She says, simply, “I’ve never come across a good deal I didn’t like.”

More than a craze, discount shopping is becoming a way of life for young Chinese. Known as the “coupon generation,” they are changing the way business is done in the world’s second largest economy.

26 Spending showdowns will test new Congress leaders

By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press

Sat Jan 1, 7:08 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Two early showdowns on spending and debt will signal whether the new Congress can find common ground despite its partisan divisions or whether it’s destined for gridlock and brinkmanship that could threaten the nation’s economic health.

Not all of the bickering in the 112th Congress that convenes Wednesday will be between Republicans and Democrats. House Republicans, back in power after four years in the minority, will include numerous freshmen whose unyielding stands on the deficit, in particular, could severely test soon-to-be Speaker John Boehner’s ability to bridge differences and pass major bills.

His first big challenge will come in February, when Congress must pass a huge spending bill to keep the government running. Many House Republicans – veterans and newcomers alike – have pledged to cut discretionary domestic spending by up to $100 billion.

27 Fans relieved to be able to watch Outback Bowl

By DANA WOLLMAN, AP Business Writer

Sat Jan 1, 5:47 pm ET

NEW YORK – College football fans were elated that they could stay home to watch the Florida Gators play the Penn State Nittany Lions in Saturday’s Outback Bowl, after Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. and two cable TV companies agreed to extend contract talks for two more weeks.

Hunt Valley, Md.-based Sinclair and the two cable providers – Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks – have been locked in an acrimonious tug-of-war over the fees that the cable companies pay to air programs from 33 of Sinclair’s television stations. Their previous contract was scheduled to expire at midnight Friday. If the companies hadn’t reached a temporary two-week extension late Friday night, local Sinclair stations – including affiliates of NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox – would have been dropped from channel lineups for roughly 4 million Time Warner customers and an unknown number of Bright House subscribers.

Chip Corbin, a Penn State alumnus in Ohio, had planned to go to a sports bar to watch the Outback Bowl if his ABC affiliate had blacked out. Sports bars typically subscribe to satellite services, which are unaffected by the Sinclair dispute.

28 Baltic state of Estonia adopts the euro

By JARI TANNER and GARY PEACH, Associated Press

Fri Dec 31, 8:11 pm ET

TALLINN, Estonia – The Baltic state of Estonia early Saturday became the 17th European Union member to adopt the joint European currency, the euro.

The small nation’s decision to change from the Estonian kroon to the euro was the final step in a two decade-long effort to integrate its economy with Europe after it achieved independence in 1991. It is the first former Soviet republic to join the single currency club.

Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip was the first person in the country of 1.3 million to withdraw euro notes from a cash machine specially installed for the midnight changeover at the opera house in central Tallinn.

29 Bonds’ dramatic year sets stage for higher rates

By Janna Herron, AP Business Writer

Fri Dec 31, 5:59 pm ET

NEW YORK – It was a dramatic ride for bonds and the mortgage market in 2010 as an economic crisis in Europe and wonky concepts like “quantitative easing” helped push down yields to levels not seen since the 1950s.

The new year may be just as eventful, but one where higher rates are likely.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to a yearly high of just under 4 percent in April and then plunged as low as 2.38 percent in October. That contributed to a historic drop in mortgage rates that brought 30-year fixed-rate loans to a low of 4.17 percent early in November.

30 US dollar seen rising in 2011 after rough 2010

By Paul Wiseman and Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writers

Fri Dec 31, 5:42 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Never mind the lackluster economy, the huge trade deficit or the government’s piles of debt: The U.S. dollar is still expected to outperform most of the world’s major currencies next year.

“By all rights, the dollar should be declining in value, but it’s not,” says Eswar Prasad, economics professor at Cornell University. “For the dollar to decline in value, you must have currencies on the other side that will” rise.

Bad as things are in the United States, they look worse in Europe and Japan, making the yen, the euro and the British pound riskier bets in 2011. A notable exception is the Chinese yuan, which is likely to rise next year as Beijing fights inflation.

31 Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf post small December sales

By SHARON SILKE CARTY, AP Auto Writer

Fri Dec 31, 9:31 am ET

DETROIT – This was the year General Motors Co. and Nissan made good on their promise to bring mass-produced electric cars to the market. But don’t count on seeing one in traffic soon. Sales so far have been microscopic and they’re likely to stay that way for some time because of limited supplies.

GM sold between 250 and 350 Chevy Volts this month and Nissan’s sales totaled less than 10 Leaf sedans in the past two weeks. Production for both is slowly ramping up.

It will be well into 2012 before both the Volt and Leaf are available nationwide. And if you’re interested in buying one, you’ll need to get behind the 50,000 people already on waiting lists.

32 Tea off: India’s farmers say climate changing brew

By WASBIR HUSSAIN, Associated Press

Fri Dec 31, 3:29 pm ET

GAUHATI, India – In this humid, lush region where an important part of the world’s breakfast is born, the evidence of climate change is – literally – a weak tea.

Growers in tropical Assam state, India’s main tea growing region, say rising temperatures have led not only to a drop in production but to subtle, unwelcome changes in the flavor of their brews.

The area in northeastern India is the source of some of the finest black and British-style teas. Assam teas are notable for their heartiness, strength and body, and are often sold as “breakfast” teas.

33 Big changes possible for Atlantic City in 2011

By WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press

Sun Jan 2, 7:12 pm ET

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Atlantic City could see major changes in 2011 that could help the nation’s second-largest gambling market come back to life after stalling and struggling for four years.

By the end of the year, construction could be under way on two new casinos, gamblers could be allowed to place bets online and voters will have weighed in on whether they want New Jersey to offer legalized sports betting.

A new state-run tourism district is expected to be up and running, taking responsibility for making the area around the casinos and boardwalk safer, cleaner and better-run. The 11 casinos themselves could be subject to much less regulation and oversight by the state.

34 Mortgage lenders now advertising as crisis solvers

By JACOB ADELMAN, Associated Press

Fri Dec 31, 4:17 pm ET

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. – PacWest Funding’s CEO watched in late 2007 as rival mortgage brokerages, banks and collaborators collapsed under the weight of the declining housing market.

Fearing his company would be next, Curtis Melone restructured his business to offer what he felt people needed most: help with their crushing mortgage debt.

Melone re-christened his company Green Credit Solutions, a loan modification firm dedicated to aiding people facing rapidly ballooning payments on loans many of them couldn’t afford in the first place.

Figures on government spending and debt

Associated Press

Fri Dec 31, 6:27 pm ET

Figures on government spending and debt…  The government’s fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

Total public debt subject to limit Dec. 30 13,819,636,000,000
Statutory debt limit 14,294,000,000,000
Total public debt outstanding Dec. 30 13,871,130,000,000
Operating balance Dec. 30 273,904,000,000
Interest fiscal year 2011 through November 36,831,000,000
Interest fiscal year 2010 through November 35,889,000,000
Deficit fiscal year 2011 through November 290,826,000,000
Deficit fiscal year 2010 through November 296,650,000,000
Receipts fiscal year 2011 through November 294,912,000,000
Receipts fiscal year 2010 through November 268,857,000,000
Outlays fiscal year 2011 through November 585,738,000,000
Outlays fiscal year 2010 through November 565,507,000,000
Gold assets in November 11,041,000,000

Can you eat gold?

8 comments

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  1. ek hornbeck
  2. Cold Blue Steel

    in years and I can’t say that I miss it. It long ago became an overcrowded, pointless event that was kept alive by endless peddlers of junk electronics.

  3. BobbyK

    A: Bread lines.

  4. BobbyK

    diplomatic pressure put on Spain to suspend war crimes investigations and the 6 Spain holds Europe’s fate in its hands in 2011: analysts

    “The fate of the European Union seems to depend critically on Spain,” said Paolo Mameli, analyst at Italy’s Banca Imi.

    Any bailout for Portugal would be entirely manageable with the European mechanism set up in May, he said.

    “However, an effective speculative attack on Spain would be a different matter,” Mameli said, arguing that funds available would be insufficient for a bailout.

    Seems Spain is in the news quite a bit. hmmm

  5. Translator, aka Dr. David W. Smith

    of mixed betwixt two titles.

    Science is the process of using facts that can be verified time after time to prove or disprove an idea.

    Warmest regards,

    Doc.

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