Economics and Investing:

RBS sent us this from The New York Times: G.M. and Chrysler Pensions Underfunded by $17 Billion. (As Senator Everett Dirksen once famously said: “A billion here, and a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talkin’ about real money!”)

Reader M.Q. suggested this article: Should the U.S. Sell Its Gold? [JWR’s comment: Our gold reserve (the ostensible “backing” for the US Dollar–although US dollars are no longer redeemable for specie), if currently liquidated would fetch only $288 billion. There are an estimated $829 billion paper (printed) dollars in circulation, with more than half of those dollars held outside the US. But there are also TENS OF TRILLIONS of electronic dollars out there, as ledger entries. This illustrates why I prefer the genuine article. (Tangible wealth, not empty promises.) The US Dollar has become a pitiful joke. It is only tradition, familiarity, and good will that keep it from sinking to the level of its real value per square inch, which I estimate is somewhere between that of wall paper and toilet paper.]

Government stimuli like ‘narcotics’ for economy, Marta says

The latest installment of the Friday Follies: Myrtle Beach bank seized by FDIC

Items from The Economatrix:

Is Platinum the New Gold?

William Endahl: US Economy Will Not Recover for at Least 15 Years

Bernanke: Joblessness, Foreclosures Pose Hurdles