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Last week’s employment numbers






As with the GDP numbers last week, the employment numbers were very dubious indeed. The headline number was still a loss of 20,000 jobs. However, the detail point to likely revisions much beyond that number when more exact data have been compiled in the future. Four SectorsFrom Mish Shedlock’s blog, one can see 4 sectors of the U.S. economy of […]

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Last week’s GDP numbers






This weekend I received a disturbing newsletter from John Mauldin, provacatively entitled ” Lies and Other Statistics,” that dissected the GDP numbers where the headline number was +0.6%. Digging into the detail reveals a completely different picture altogether. We are in recessionIt is in the best interest of the U.S. Federal Government to paint a positive picture. The GDP numbers […]

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News Round-Up: 05 May 2008






Updated continuously throughout the day Markets Why we can’t cruise past a recession – Bill Fleckenstein: MSN Money (05/05/2008) Buffett Says Bond Insurers Don’t Deserve AAA Rating – Bloomberg (05/04/2008)Downgrades Show Storm Isn’t Over – WSJ ($)(05/03/2008) Credit crisis shows that banks need wise men not wide boys – Roger Bootle: The Telegraph (05/05/2008) Wall Street CEO Chorus Is Singing […]

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News Round-Up: 04 May 2008






MarketsBuffett says risk of financial meltdown has declined (MarketWatch, 5/3/2008)Warren Buffett: big is bad for banks (Times Online, 5/4/2008)US-Bankchef: Krise nicht ausgestanden (Die Welt, 5/4/2008) IrelandMortgage lending growth hits 16-year low (Independent Ireland, 5/1/2008)Prices drop in business sector for first time in five years (Independent Ireland, 5/1/2008) SpainHomes razed by Spain stun foreigners as slump deepens (Independent Ireland, 5/1/2008) UKHedge […]

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Ireland, Spain, Canada and Germany scrutiny






As I have mentioned in previous posts, the housing bubble was an international phenomenon. As a result, the U.S. subprime meltdown is indeed spreading beyond this limited sector. In the US, expect Alt-A and prime mortgages to feel the pain as the economy suffers recession. However, I would like to turn the focus to areas beyond the US. The markets […]

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Biofuels






I caught an interesting letter to the editor at the New York Times. We really need to think about which alternative energy sources we use and this letter highlights the fact. Re “Bring On the Right Biofuels,” by Roger Cohen (column, The New York Times on the Web, April 24): Biofuels contribute to deforestation and global warming regardless of which […]

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European House Prices are slowing






While we all expected house prices to slow and even fall in bubble markets like Ireland, the UK and Spain, it comes as news to me that prices are slowing in Germany as well. I was just in Germany this past month, and while there were economic concerns, the atmosphere felt entirely different than it does in a place like the US.






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The UK is ground zero in the credit crisis






Recently, I have started to shift my focus out of the U.S. and abroad as the subprime crisis has become a global credit crisis. The myth of global de-coupling (assumption that other economies could thrive without the help of the American consumer) is being dispelled daily. Countries to watch are Canada, Mexico, China, India, Spain, Ireland and the UK. But, […]

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Gas Tax Breaks






I am wading into this debate over whether or not the U.S. government should temporarily suspend the federal tax on gasoline this summer. I come down on the side against the tax break. Here’s why?In a post about Windfall taxes on Tuesday, I nixed the idea saying: John McCain and Hillary Clinton are suggesting we declare a tax holiday for […]

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News Round-Up: 2 May 2008






Updated throughout the day US U.S. Loses 20,000 Jobs in April; Unemployment Rate Falls to 5% (Bloomberg, 5/2/2008) Dollar Reserve Status Is Tale of Fading Glory (Bloomberg, 5/2/2008)Bank of America May Not Guarantee Countrywide’s Debt (Bloomberg, 5/2/2008)Homeowners Convert to Costlier Fixed-Rate Mortgages Amid ARM-Twisted Fears (Bloomberg, 5/2/2008)Bernanke-Geithner `Rogue Operation’ Spurs Further Bailout Calls (Bloomberg, 5/2/2008)The Federal Reserve is making inflation […]

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News Round-up






Updated throughout the day USCorrection: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims up 35,000 (U.S. Government, 5/1/2008)Unemployment Benefit Rolls Climb to 4-Year High (Bloomberg, 5/1/2008)Recession’s here, economist Kasriel says (Wilmette Life, 5/1/2008)New York Faces $5.1 Billion Budget Gap as `Worst Yet to Come’ (Bloomberg, 5/1/2008)Home Depot to close 15 stores and lay off 1,300 (Times of London, 5/1/2008)Mobius Sees Fed Rates at 1%, […]

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Drilling for oil






Today, I read an article by Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post advising that the U.S. allow drilling for oil in previous no-go drilling zones because the cost of oil is rising. Originally, I agreed with his assessment. Today, I have grave doubts whether drilling in environmentally sensitive areas is a good idea. What caught my eye in what Samuelson […]

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