Economics and Investing:

Greg C. mentioned some commentary by Howard Rich: The United Fiefdoms of America. “For the first time ever, federal aid – not property, sales or income tax – is the top revenue source for state budgets, the paper reported.”

GG flagged this by Karl Denninger: Nothing Suggests We’re Anywhere Near the Bottom

CJB suggested this article: Social security to run out of money

And, in a disturbing echo, GG suggested this: Medicare already in the red

Items from The Economatrix:

Social Security and Medicare Worsens (since yesterday’s article) “The trust funds — which exist in paper form in a filing cabinet in Parkersburg, West Virginia — are bonds that are backed by the government’s “full faith and credit” but not by any actual assets. That money has been spent over the years to fund other parts of government. To redeem the trust fund bonds, the government would have to borrow in public debt markets or raise taxes.”

Oil Hits $60 on Global Recovery Hopes

April Foreclosures Rise 32%
More than 342,000 people received at least one foreclosure notice.

Gasoline Prices Jump in California and US

Breathing Easier After Bank Stress Tests? You Shouldn’t
Here are a couple of quotes from the article: “Largely unnoticed in last week’s government report on the condition of the nation’s biggest banks was the disclosure that five of them, topped by Bank of America, could lose $99 billion from the kinds of exotic bets that sank the global economy.” and, “The banks’ financial reports to regulators for the quarter ending March 31 also tell a potentially ominous story about their holdings of derivatives, instruments whose value is tied to an underlying asset, such as a pool of subprime mortgages. Seventeen of the 19 largest banks reported that, in the event of an economic catastrophe, they face combined derivatives losses exceeding $568 billion.”

Is Anyone Minding the Store at the Fed

Treasury Wants More Oversight of Derivatives

UBS Suggests Gold Could Go to $2,500

Credit Card Companies Piling on Fees, Raising Rates Ahead of New Federal Rules

Dollar Rally Will End, Rogers Says; May Short Stocks

Stocks Drop More than 2% on Economy Worries

Home Prices Drop Most on Record Per Quarter Dropped 14%

Soda Tax Weighed to Pay for Healthcare

Trade Deficit Widens in March to $27.6 Billion

Citi: $45 Billion Goes to Loans