Loose Ends (10)

• Seven almonds? Seven?? Lightly salted? This, the New York Times tells us this morning, is the snack Obama allows himself at the White House in the evening. I know successful politicians need to be very disciplined (except for Bill Clinton), but this is ridiculous. You’d think Obama would at least go for skinned olives instead. And doesn’t Obama know that each almond grown in California (where most come from) take a bazillion gallons of water each that ought to be going to the Delta smelt instead?

• This is what’s wrong with America:

The Food and Drug Administration warned this week that Americans shouldn’t eat cookie dough or other raw batters, even if it’s egg-free, due to the risk of contracting E. coli .

First of all, eating cookie dough is the birthright of all Americans. It’s in the Constitution somewhere, in one of the “emanations and penumbras” about the centrality of hot dogs. Second, you really wonder how the human race survived and evolved at all without the FDA supervising our diets and eliminating all risks.

Haven’t they got something better to do?

• It’s not just Piers Morgan. Now Paul Krugman is having a stopped-clock moment, over Brexit of all things:

I’m not trying to defend Brexit. But I worry that the urge to condemn it has led to a lowering of intellectual standards.

And let me also say that the narrative of disaster is coloring some (not all) financial reporting. On the whole, the market reaction looks pretty muted to me. It’s not just stocks: European bond spreads are about where they were a month ago. True, globally, rates are considerably lower; but we aren’t seeing the kind of financial disruption so widely predicted. Yet headlines about turmoil are everywhere.

Could I be wrong about all of this? Of course! But everyone really should ask where the consensus about Brexit macro is coming from.


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