2008 July

2nd Qtr US GDP Report

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, US gross domestic product – the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States – accelerated in the latest quarter, to a 1.9% annualized pace. The number, reported by the Commerce Department, was slightly below expectations, as economists had expected a .. read more

On July 31st, 2008, posted in: Markets by

Initial Jobless Claims

The number of people filing for first time unemployment benefits rose sharply in the week ending July 26th, according to the US Department of Labor. Claims jumped 44,000, to 448,000, way above expectations. Economists were expecting 398,000 new claims for the week. Today’s reading is the highest reading since April 2003. Having witnessed extremely volatile .. read more

On July 31st, 2008, posted in: Markets by

I’m Mad as Hell and I’ll Have to Stay that Way

In 1976, Howard Beale, a character in the movie Network, urged Americans to get up, go to their windows, open them and yell out, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” The preamble to Beale’s speech chronicles the problems of the 1970s: inflation, a falling dollar, unemployment, environmental degradation and .. read more

On July 29th, 2008, posted in: Economy by

Will Speculators Get Credit for Driving Down Oil Prices?

A lot of economically illiterate people have blamed speculators for driving up oil prices. Will they now thank speculators for driving prices down? Crude Oil Long Change Short Change Large Speculator 198,019 -11,994 201,659 14,028 Commercial Hedger 641,265 -28,870 626,528 -60,219 Small Trader 55,452 -39,045 66,549 -33,718 Speculators can go short as well as long. .. read more

On July 29th, 2008, posted in: Economy by

Scientific Consensus on Global Warming? Maybe Not…

The number of scientist questioning the thesis that CO2 is the cause of global warming continues to grow. Considering the economic consequences of the plans for reducing CO2 emissions, it is time we had a serious debate about this. Up until now, the debate has been one sided and anyone who dared to question the .. read more

On July 25th, 2008, posted in: Economy by

Existing Home Sales

The US housing market continued its downward slide into June, as resales of homes and condos fell 2.6% for the month. Sales fell from a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.98 million in May to 4.86 million in June. It is at its lowest level in 10 years. The number was well below expectations, as .. read more

On July 24th, 2008, posted in: Markets by

Initial Jobless Claims

The number of people filing for first time unemployment benefits rose sharply in the week ending July 19th, according to the US Department of Labor. Claims jumped 34,000, to 406,000, way above expectations. Economists were expecting 380,000 new claims for the week. Today’s reading is the highest reading since late March. Having witnessed extremely volatile .. read more

On July 24th, 2008, posted in: Markets by

Thank You Congress, May I have Another?!!

The House of Representatives passed the The American Housing and Foreclosure Prevention Act and President Bush will apparently sign it into law. Congratulations, taxpayer! You’ve just been stuck with the bill for bailing out not only “homeowners” who bought something they couldn’t afford, but also the institutions that loaned them the money to make the .. read more

On July 24th, 2008, posted in: Economy by