The stock market is not the economy, the consumer is.
NASCAR Economics: Congress is gearing up to extend and expand the house-buyer- bribery-and-speculator-enabling act, tying it to an extension of unemployment benefits. What goes around, goes around again. Doesn't get us anywhere but the crash will be spectacular.
The Great Wall of Silence: China has stopped publishing data on it's petroleum stockpiles. This closes the only public source of data on Chinese crude and fuel stockpiles, which will hamper oil traders and speculators trying to guess the real level of Chinese demand. Some suspect China fears that if the level of its demand were known, it would drive up the price China has to pay to meet its ever growing thirst.
The Other Shoe: There's lot of discussion of the possible/probable horrors of the decline of the oil age, but not much talk about what happens when coal is either outlawed or runs out. What happens is the end of electricity, which will make the end of oil look like a day in the park.
Name that Tune: Onward dumb fat re-e-cruits, read this if you can; most of you are fail-ing, a shame upon the land...
Tab A, Slot B: As revenues for all levels of government fell, their spending needs continued to rise. Pension fund losses mandate larger contributions from government agencies. The gap was papered over through borrowing. Now the
piper bondholders have to be paid and the cupboard is bare. Municipal bonds issued by the insolvent are not good investments.
Old News: The primary motive for US involvement in central Asia, especially the war in Afghanistan is the desire to gain access to huge natural gas reserves in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan via a trans-Afghanistan pipeline that would avoid both Iran and Russia. “If you look at the deployment of US forces in Afghanistan, you'll see that US forces are positioned to guard the pipeline route.”
Are We There Yet? The Hadley Centre anticipates an average 4°C (7°F) rise by 2055. The places that really mater. In terms of global climate change feedbacks – the ice caps, the glaciers and the methane-rich permafrost areas will be melting, and the Amazon rainforest burns. The last time CO2 were as high as today, oceans were abut 100 feet higher. That's where we're headed.
An American Trait: Wall Street has the uncanny ability to figure out what people with money want to hear, and then tell them exactly that. Over and over. And they invest, sure (and assured) that this time it'll be different.
Bears in the Woods: The IEA is expected to say that it expects a “substantial” decrease in future global oil demand. Good news for trips to the pump, really bad news for trying to keep your job. Nearly every dollar of GDP in the developed world is rooted in fossil fuels, much of it petroleum. On the other hand, some say oil prices will continue to rise because conventional oil production has not increased since 2005, thus prices will rise as demand increases.
Media Coverage: I know how much the health care reform bill will cost over the next 10 years, I have no idea what impact the bill will actually have on my health care.
Assassinations R US: A US military think tank argues the government should set up a dedicated group of “manhunters” to hunt down and kill “terrorists, jihadists, drug dealers, pirates and other enemies of the state.” Join me in weeping for us.
Cause/Effect: The dollar weakens and oil rises. Or is it the other way around? The dollar rises and the market dips. Or vice versa. A Goldman analyst says “oil drives the dollar down and the weakened dollar drives metals and soft commodities up.” Nearly half of the US current account deficit is caused by paying for oil, this outpouring of dollars weakens their value.
Porn O'Graph: Land of the Setting Sun.