I continue to have great confidence that the authorities will succeed in ending the Great Run of '08, and jumpstarting credit. However, there was no progress this week, and financial markets are a shambles not worth talking about. The Main Street economy downshifted in August, entering a still-steepening decline, but ... but, amazing strength remains and positive developments are baked into nearby cake. In newest distress, consumer credit outstanding in August fell by the largest margin since the data began in 1943 -- declining by denial and cost, not a shortage of need. Then, good news: Claims for unemployment insurance fell by 20,000 last week, and pending sales of homes jumped 5 percent, foreclosure resales flying off the shelf. In better news on the way, consumers are a few weeks from $2.70 gasoline (wholesale gas broke two bucks yesterday, oil down 40 percent to $80/bbl, natural gas by 55 percent). In fact, the price you're paying for almost everything will begin to ...
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