Capital Account -- 12/20/11

Japan's government will purchase F-35's from Lockheed Martin as its new air-defense fighter. The US is pleased. Meanwhile, Japan reportedly mulls buying chinese debt to improve ties with the country. So which shows more love and scores more diplomatic points? Buying debt or buying weapons? Soft power or hard power…or both? Also, the bipolar markets that we live in rallied today, reportedly as eurozone tensions ease. How's this for easing? Greece's deficit will reportedly pass 10 percent of GDP. Government officials have decided to stop paying tax returns and suppliers to deal with it. At what point should this debt be considered odious debt – immoral – and would greek people be within their rights to have it forgiven? And we've seen a laundry list of GOP presidential debates…we show you a sot from the most recent. You thought you were watching for laughs or to size up the race depending on your political persuasion…little did you know you were doing due diligence! Get ready folks, a Chicago derivatives exchange aims to be the first regulated US market to let you bet and cash in on the next president! And back to the debt for a minute, something we talk about a lot, the federal reserve has released rules relating to a number of dodd frank requirements…as well as basel III's higher capital requirements for systemically important institutions (I.e. TBTF). Yesterday, rumblings of this were reportedly what sent financial stocks tumbling, but what does the massive growth in financial sector debt over the decades play in all of this? To answer our questions on all of this, including America's housing market and the move from owernship to rental, is economist and professor Steve Keen, author of Debunking Economics and publisher of the very popular Debtwatch at