It’s mid-August, about the time that people’s minds turn away from the beach and back to school and work. Somewhere in here, there will be attention paid to the election, too. The way things are right now is about all anyone will notice when they get back at it.
So let’s check back on a number of stories we’ve talked about here and see how they developed.
Olympics – This story many people paid attention to. The big news was how everyone dumped on NBC, as if delayed coverage was a new thing. That was far from their worst sin, however, showing us medal ceremonies featuring the Star Spangled Banner a zillion times and only a few other ones. But we did see great stuff all the same, such as Kirani James winning Grenada’s first ever medal (gold!) in the 400m. That was a good one to watch. Other nations picking up their first medals were Gabon, Guatemala, and Cyprus. Our medal count? Seriously, there was no prize for the most hardware – it’s not like we gained an island or something just for beating out China. Give it a rest.
Jobs – Obama now stands at a net 468k jobs created during his administration. That may seem pretty weak, and at 0.4% of the total jobs it’s not much to celebrate. But it is positive, and we haven’t heard much about jobs lately. It’s also bigger than the number created during GW Bush’s first term (164k) or second (144k) – but those number only highlight how this Depression has been going on for a very long time. How much will people hold Obama responsible for the situation? We are about to see.
Euro – Nothing is new in the Eurozone. Seriously. Nothing substantial has changed at all. Greece is still looking for more new loans, nevermind that they can’t pay back the old ones. Spain is still teetering but not falling. France may be weak and Germany is fed up (always a wurst case scenario). Next story!
Standard Chartered – The British bank that was accused of laundering $250B for Iran has agreed to pay a $340M fine and settle it. That probably gets auditor Deloitte off the hook yet again, too. It’s a record fine, but it puts it all behind them. They sort of admitted wrongdoing and will have internal auditors in place to make sure that it never happens again. This story turned out to be about as pathetic as things can be.
Heat – July was a record hot one across the US, and the drought worsened dramatically. But August so far is setting records for being cold, at least here in the middle part of the nation. The Jet Stream is still not functioning at all, which has to mean something for the winter ahead. Something tells me that this can’t be good, and that something is a Midwestern belief that somehow the worst is yet to come.
Knight Capital – The company that lost $440M to a “trading glitch” was apparently being investigated by the SEC to determine if there were sufficient safeguards in place to prevent, um, what happened. Can’t wait to read that report. The SEC is famous for not only closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, but for claiming that they were conducting an investigation into the status of the agrarian storage unit portal with regards to its status as an effective barrier to equine obviation of said device. So this is hardly new, but it’s funny.
IPOs – The big news is Groupon, which appears to be failing just 9 months after its big debut. It’s down 72% from the initial offering, a truly pathetic number. Facebook is down 46% from its initial price three months into its public journey, and the initial lock-up period expires on Saturday – that’s the day many insiders can finally unload their holdings. And that’s about it for the great Internet Bubble of ‘012.
So, is no news the same as good news? This summer, a lot of hot stories slowly petered off into nothing. Things should change as we move into the fall, if for no other reason than the pending NHL lockout just as the Wild picked up Parise and Suter. Oh, if you don’t care about hockey then nothing is going on at all. Nevermind. Anything I missed?