Culled from the Police Reports page of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle come the best of the Bozeman police reports from the last week along with some items from the Sheriff’s Office.

More reports of late night drunks stumbling around town and ending up in all sorts of  places they shouldn’t be will probably be the norm for the rest of the summer since summers are short around here and people certainly won’t be stumbling around at 2 AM in a few more months. Aggressive and odd door-to-door salesmen (in recent weeks, the two characteristics sometimes being combined) are an ongoing problem in the area (as is late-night public intoxication/urination) and … yes … the peacocks are still in town.

  • Door-to-door vacuum salesmen were warned for being aggressive.
  • During the night a drunken man stumbled into a stranger’s house on Koch Street and fell asleep on the couch. The owners of the home found him snoring on the couch at 4:15 a.m. and called the police. Officers came to wake him up and the man went home.
  • A customer at Yellowstone Gateway Sports in Four Corners pointed an unloaded handgun at an employee when he didn’t get what he wanted in a pistol trade in. The complaint is under investigation.

I don’t know the first thing about News Corp executive Rebekah Brooks, but, after watching her palling around with Rupert Murdoch over the last week or so, she was really starting to creep me out (along with much of the Western world, I would guess). It’s probably a good thing she resigned today, according to this report at Reuters.

If that photo doesn’t send a chill down your spine when contemplating what the media has become, it should… She would probably bite my head off for writing this if she could…

The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index plunged to its lowest level since March 2009, down from 71.5 in June to just 63.8 in the first of two readings in July, as a faltering economy, weakening labor market, and the ongoing debate over the debt ceiling and spending cuts sapped the confidence of Americans.

Interestingly, the last time the mood of the consumer was this sour, the S&P500 stock index was below 800, more than 42 percent below its current level.

Though the July drop pales in comparison to the 10 point plunge in March (just as gasoline prices were beginning to soar) and the 12.7 point free-fall in October 2008, it was one of the biggest monthly declines in the last decade. The current  conditions index fell from 82.0 in June to 76.3 in July and the expectations index dropped nine points, from 64.8 to 55.8.

Unlike earlier in the year, rising inflation expectations played no role in the overall decline as the one-year outlook for consumer prices fell from 3.8 percent to 3.4 percent and the five year inflation forecast dipped from 3.0 percent to 2.8 percent.

The Labor Department reported that consumer prices fell in June for the first time in a year, down 0.2 percent last month due to tumbling gasoline and heating oil prices, but annual inflation rose from 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent.

So-called “core” inflation (excluding food and energy) rose by 0.3 percent for the second month in a row. While the year-over-year rate now stands at 1.6 percent, the highest in 17 months, lately it has been rising much faster than Federal Reserve economists would like – an annualized rate of 3.2 percent over the last three months and 2.6 percent over the last six months, largely a result of soaring apparel prices and the rising cost of rent.

S&P warns of US rating downgrade – BBC
Europe’s banks brace for health test failures – Reuters
Stress Tests Compromised by Greek Non-Default – Bloomberg
Return of the Gold Standard as world order unravels – Telegraph
Worried About Debt Limit? The Bond Market Isn’t – Baum, Bloomberg
If U.S. defaults on debt: How to protect your investments – USA Today
Bernanke Damps Bond Buying Prospects Amid Criticism – Bloomberg
Yes, You Really Can Cut Your Way to Prosperity – The American
Minnesota Ends Its Budget Crisis, at Heavy Cost – Time
Getting to Crazy – Krugman, NY Times
Curbing systemic inflation – China Daily

Oil above $95 after Bernanke comments – AP
Gold undermined by Bernanke, firm dollar – Reuters
Central Banks’ First-Half Gold Buying Surpasses 2010 Total – Reuters
Stocks Could Lose 35% if Euro Crisis Worsens: Report – CNBC
The impact of a Chinese hard landing on silver prices – Mineweb
Gold $1,600? There’s a Reason They Call It Gold Fever – MoneyWatch
China bullion investments seen slowing down in 2011 – Commodity Online
Debt struggle creates “bullish cocktail” for gold – Mineweb

Struck with seasonal eye allergies that have kept me away from the computer in recent days, I’ve listened to more than enough news and commentary about the debt ceiling negotiations to have developed a real sympathy for the jobless. Hopefully, at least a few elected officials involved in the current debate will join their ranks next year.