Late night tab dump:
- Healthcare. Is California a bellwether for the nation again? From the LA Times: “The state’s uninsured population jumped to 8.2 million in 2009, up from 6.4 million in 2007….Among those over age 18, nearly 1 in 3 had no insurance for all or part of 2009, the UCLA researchers found. The ranks of uninsured children also grew.”
- The Middle East. Gen. David Petraeus recently dispatched a team to the Pentagon to carry a message: lack of progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is endangering American troops. “The 33-slide, 45-minute PowerPoint briefing stunned Mullen. The briefers reported that there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel, that CENTCOM’s mostly Arab constituency was losing faith in American promises….The Mullen briefing and Petraeus’s request hit the White House like a bombshell.”
- Debt Bomb. We all know about the coming wave of option ARM resets and commercial real estate defaults. But in 2012 a huge pile of junk bonds are going to come due too. “With huge bills about to hit corporations and the federal government around the same time, the worry is that some companies will have trouble getting new loans, spurring defaults and a wave of bankruptcies….Even Moody’s, which is known for its sober public statements, is sounding the alarm. ‘An avalanche is brewing in 2012 and beyond if companies don’t get out in front of this,’ said Kevin Cassidy, a senior credit officer at Moody’s….The result is a potential financial doomsday, or what bond analysts call a maturity wall. From $21 billion due this year, junk bonds are set to mature at a rate of $155 billion in 2012, $212 billion in 2013 and $338 billion in 2014.”
And in other news, Federal Express says that my new computer will arrive tomorrow. Hooray! Or maybe not. If I disappear from the intertubes but you hear lots of swearing and broken crockery from the general direction of the Pacific Ocean, you’ll know that things aren’t going so well.