200805.30
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Solving the World’s Biggest Problems

Ronald Bailey of Reason reports on the Copenhagen Consensus 2008 Conference. The Conference is run by Bjorn Lomborg who wrote The Skeptical Environmentalist. The Conference brings together 55 leading international economists to reach a consensus on how to address some of the world’s most difficult problems: More than 55 international economists, including 5 Nobel Laureates,…

200805.29
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Initial Jobless Claims

The number of people filing for first time unemployment benefits rose 4,000 in the week ending May 24th, to 372,000, according to the Labor Department. Economists were expecting 370,000 new claims for the week. Having witnessed extremely volatile measurements in the past few weeks, it is wise to consider the four-week moving average of initial…

200805.28
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Durable Goods Orders

Orders for durable goods declined 0.5% in April, much better than expected, as orders for electronics offset a sharp drop in transportation orders. Economists were expecting a decline of 2.8% for the month. It is the second straight monthly decline, but, because of the report, some economists were quickly questioning if the U.S. economy would…

200805.27
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Energy Independence

The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine has released a petition signed by over 31,000 scientists (over 9000 Ph.D.s) that states: We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm…

200805.27
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New Home Sales

New home sales rose for the first time in six months in April, jumping 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 526,000. The sales gain was a rebound from the sharp 11% drop in sales in March, to a seasonally adjusted 509,000 units, which was the lowest level in sales since April 1991. April’s…

200805.26
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Legislative Arrogance

The House of Representative recently passed a bill titled, “No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007″. This bill amends the Sherman Anti Trust Act to make oil producing and exporting cartels illegal. In other words, it gives the US the right to sue OPEC if they engage in the following conduct: `(a) In…

200805.23
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The Cost of Tariffs

Free trade is a tough sell to many people because those who are hurt by free trade are easily identifiable while the beneficiaries are widely dispersed. The opposite is true when we speak of tariffs. When a tariff is imposed, the beneficiaries are easily identifiable and those hurt are widely dispersed. Here’s a great example…

200805.23
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Oil and the Dollar

The rise in the price of oil has a lot to do with the fall in the value of the dollar: Certainly energy prices have risen, regardless of what currency you use. In Europe, the price of oil has risen by 50 euros in the past five-and-a-half years. It now stands at about 75 euros…

200805.22
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New Era?

The oil market is showing signs of bubble activity. Congress is holding hearings to determine who the bad guys are while ignoring the possibility that they may be part of the problem. The number of articles on peak oil is nearly endless. And now we’ve got articles about a “new era” in oil: From the…

200805.20
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Market Correction

The Dow Industrials are down over 200 points as I write this and one has to wonder if this means the recent rally is over. Based on recent sentiment readings, I think this was overdue and healthy. With bulls in the American Association of Individual Investors approaching the 50% level over the last two weeks,…