If, Then, Maybe: Merrill Lynch sees oil approaching $100 a barrel towards the end of 2010, if the recession ends and if the global economy grows at a 4.2% rate. This assumes, also, that the dollar falls further. Well, one out of three's a start.
Hard Winter: Funding for local support agencies is decreasing just in time to create shortfalls in their ability to help the unemployed pay their heating bills this winter. A decline in some heating fuel prices is more than offset by the increase in families suffering from lost jobs and long-term unemployment.
Where There's Fire, There's Smoke: After months of indifference to China's hinting about a new reserve currency, an un-sourced tale about the Gulf oil states joining in secret talks with Russia, Japan and France to replace the US Dollar with a basket of their currencies in trading oil certainly drew a chorus of loud denials. Nope, nothing to see here. Move along.
Forward Peaking: When the economy eventually crawls out of the current hole, the current lack of investment will guarantee short supplies and rapidly rising prices for commodities in general and petroleum in particular. You read it here, again.
Double, then Nothing: Scientists say that a 3.6ºF (2ºC) rise in global temperature is the maximum tolerable if we are to avert catastrophic climate change. They also say that 6.3ºF (3.5ºC) rise is guaranteed even if the politicians' mendacious promises to reduce carbon emissions were kept – which they won't be.
Seperate Realities: Nouriel Roubini has noticed that the real economy is not recovering, and that the world of finance has run off to some deluded version of the future. This, he suggests, will not end well.
Try This At Home: Sit on the floor, lean over and see how far beyond your toes you can reach. Seems to have something to do with arterial flexibility and more is better.
Trapped: Here's the problem. The New York Fed has long since been captured by Wall Street, so the Fed's worries about its independence are a tad disingeneous. Not to put too fine a point on things, but their financial lords do not want to have the political hacks ruining a good thing – they've got their own pet central bank and want to keep it that way.
First of Three? Apartment vacancies have hit a 30 year high; can commercial office space and retail real estate be far behind? And vacancies lead to lower rents. Sounds a lot like a deflationary spiral, doesn't it?
Headline: Aquacalypse Now - The End of Fish. It's just what you think it is. A depressing account of how the usual suspects have decimated fish stocks and poisoned the oceans. Things like: “In the past 50 years, we have reduced the populations of large commercial fish, such as bluefin tuna, cod, and other favorites, by a staggering 90 percent.” You, by the way, are one of those 'usual suspects'.
Cookie Jar: The bankers are no longer satisfied with reasonable earnings, low but solid, such as they were earning on ETFs. So they came up with a series of ETFs based on derivatives of the underlying commodities. Then they hedged the derivatives. And traded options on the hedged derivatives. And the bankers deserve higher fees for managing these exotica, right? What could possibly go wrong?
Outsourcing: India's coal monopoly expects to soon finalize acquisition of a coal mine in Australia. It is also seeking to buy or sign long-term contracts with coal mines in the US, South Africa, Indonesia and Australia.
Proofreading: The Conservative Bible Project is editing the Bible to remove God's liberal bias. Out goes forgiveness and turning the other cheek, in with profiteering and commerce in the Temple. Father forgive them, for they are a bunch of kooks.
Opinions: For months Bernanke has been assuring everyone that the Fed will continue the easy money policies for as long as they are needed and then, at the very last moment before hyperinflation starts, quickly wean the economy from government support. Roubini says he can't do it. The coming deflationary spiral will make this speculation quaintly academic.
Porn O'Graph: Longer and deeper...the unemployment mantra.