Stagflation is Here

War—after all, what is it that the people get? Why—widows, taxes, wooden legs and debt. Samuel B. Pettengill “Armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. James Madison, 4th U.S. President (April 20, 1795) “Let me issue and control a nation’s currency and I […]

The Mortgage Mogul and His Victims

As banks, money markets and stock exchanges convulse over a sinking American economy, we see the folks sprawled at the bottom of the smoking rubble — debt-crushed American consumers. It is they whose reckless or trusting natures enriched so many, at least for a while, and whose troubled loans have sent markets into panic. But […]

Adding to the List of Worries, Signs That Inflation Is Bubbling Up

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM Published: December 15, 2007 Economists and central bankers have worried for months that soaring food and energy costs could lead to higher inflation, but investors had shrugged off those concerns, preferring to focus on the slowdown in growth.”In the Fed’s mind, inflation never really left the picture,” the chief economist at […]

Why China’s Bubble Economy Could Go Into Freefall

Bloomberg reports that, “China urged local governments to set up an early warning system to ensure sufficient oil supplies at filling stations, which face shortages across the nation.” China faces chronic energy shortages and the social and political instability those shortages foster with the population. Do you get the feeling the communists in Beijing are […]

$100 Oil May Mean Recession as U.S. Economy Hits `Danger Zone’

By Simon Kennedy and Joe Richter Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) — Rising fuel prices that businesses and consumers took in stride earlier this year may now be near the point of pushing the weakened U.S. economy into recession. “We are in a danger zone,” says Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight Inc. and a former […]

Biofuels ‘crime against humanity’

By Grant Ferrett BBC News Food prices have risen as more land is used to produce biofuels A United Nations expert has condemned the growing use of crops to produce biofuels as a replacement for petrol as a crime against humanity. The UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, said he feared […]

Goldman Sachs Escaped Subprime Collapse by Selling Subprime Bonds Short

Phew! That was close. For a moment there, it looked like the collapse of the subprime mortgage market was going to wipe billions off financial earnings for years to come. The bad debts were stacked up like poisoned berries gathered by a poison-crazed squirrel during the housing bubble of 2003-2006. Going bad – fast – […]

Foreclosures, Inflation to Wipe Out Credit Debt Burden for US Economy

Let’s see…the Dow rose 77 points on Friday. Oil hit a new record – at above US$85 a barrel. But we always try to look beyond to news to figure out what is going on. Despite the problems in housing, most Americans are feeling pretty fat and sassy. Living standards – at least, by the […]

Why the US Central Bank Wants to Create Inflation, Destroy US Dollar

It’s the end of the world as we know it…and we feel fine! India is booming. China is booming. The latest news from the Middle Kingdom tells us that its trade surplus is rising at a 56% annual rate. Heck, even Argentina is booming. Its economy has been growing about three times faster than the […]

Millions of Americans in Economic Battle to Make Ends Meet

The Bush recovery has been good for Wall Street, but not Main Street. The economic recovery that began in 2001 has brought slow job growth, limited wage gains, and continued rising inequality. While families at the top of the income ladder have seen their incomes rise faster than inflation, those in the middle and bottom […]

US Housing Crisis: Why Real Estate is Always a Wasting Asset

Meanwhile, speaking of housing, there are a lot of long faces among house sellers this morning. According to the weekend news, the story just becomes more and more depressing. “American Dream turns to a Nightmare,” begins the report in the Arizona press. (A modest suggestion to financial journalists: find a better headline. We’ve read that […]

Sub-prime crisis: Is it over?

When the sub-prime crisis rocked world markets on July 27, New Zealand’s sharemarket followed the same dismal path as Wall Street. It sank almost 10 per cent in less than a month. But the NZX-50 index stopped just short of a fresh closing high on Tuesday and overseas markets have also recovered. The sorry episode […]

Brakes go on – big dive in house sales

But Barfoot’s director Peter Thompson said last month was the quietest September since 2000. High interest rates, school holidays – which started late last month – and people travelling to the Rugby World Cup were all to blame. “At the upper end of the market, many potential vendors are overseas following the World Cup action […]

Inflation and the Federal Reserve

by Richard C. Cook Global Research, October 2, 2007 No term in the “dismal science” of economics is more misunderstood than “inflation.” The word means “rising prices,” but is used at different times by different people to describe totally different phenomena. The most predominant type of inflation is natural and occurs as raw materials are […]

Shaky US house prices and German ills hit markets

Ashley Seager, Andrew Clark and Marianne Barriaux in Paris Wednesday September 26, 2007 The Guardian Financial markets on both sides of the Atlantic took fright yesterday at economic data showing weakness in the US and Germany as investors fretted about banks’ balance sheets in the wake of the Northern Rock fiasco.The FTSE 100 share index […]

Bacon and eggs served on toast to cost more

By Neal Wallace   Consumers already reeling from sharp milk and butter price rises are in for another shock as the cost of bread, bacon and eggs follow suit. Bread manufacturers are expected to increase the price of bread by up to 20 per cent before Christmas and will not rule out another price rise […]

Credit Crisis Worse Than Long-Term Capital Management Collapse in ’98

Posted by Marc Faber on Sep 20th, 2007 Unlike all the Wall Street strategists who compare the current credit crisis to the credit crisis of 1998 (Long Term Capital Management), I believe that the ongoing credit problems will be far worse and of a longer-term nature. This will make it difficult for the market to […]

Interest rate increases have ‘gone too far’

The Reserve Bank has “definitely overdone” interest rate rises this year and should slash the rates in line with Australia, economic forecasting group Berl says. Instead of being on “perpetual inflation alert”, rates should be lowered to encourage investment, productivity improvements or business expansion, Berl says. “The psychotic fear of inflation is clouding the need […]

Prepare for prolonged turmoil, says US Treasury Secretary

From The Times September 18, 2007 Suzy Jagger and Gabriel Rozenberg Investors should brace themselves for a prolonged period of market turmoil, Henry Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary, said yesterday as he held emergency meetings with the Chancellor and the French Finance Minister. Mr Paulson flew to London to discuss the financial crisis with Alistair […]

Rising Commodity Prices More Bad News for US Dollar

Posted by Dan Denning on Sep 14th, 2007 The moves in oil, gold, and even wheat are all telling us something. First, they’re telling us that the U.S. dollar is headed for the black pit of currency hell, where poorly managed fiat currencies go to suffer and die. And here’s a question for you: how […]

Investors to blame for not assessing the risks

The United States is not the only nation confronting a household debt crisis. We, too, have a subprime lending market and it is managed by our collective bag of finance companies. The collective sum of savings at risk in this sector is reported to be $16 billion. Put another way, that’s nearly a third of […]

Failing banks, toxic bonds and mortgage laundering

The Triumph of Structured Finance By Mike Whitney  The entire global financial structure is becoming uncontrollable in crucial ways that its nominal leaders never expected, and instability is its hallmark. The scope and operation of international financial markets, their “architecture”, as establishment experts describe it, has evolved haphazardly and its regulation is inefficient — indeed, […]

Greenspan on 60 Minutes: It was all Bush’s fault

By Mike Whitney 09/17/07 “ICH” — – Alan Greenspan’s appearance on 60 Minutes was preceded with all the pomp and ceremony of a royal wedding. The public relations blitz dragged out for a whole week. What profound truisms would the elusive former-fed master divulge to the News Magazine’s withered-coquette, Leslie Stahl? Would he produce his […]

Greenspan: era of low inflation is over

Graeme Wearden and Ashley Seager Monday September 17, 2007 Guardian Unlimited Photograph: AP   Britain faces the prospect of falling house prices and rising inflation within a few years, according to Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve.In a series of interviews to promote his memoirs, the respected US economist warned that the […]

Cullen planned $1 billion in tax cuts

The Government planned to deliver $1 billion in personal tax cuts at the last budget, but shelved the plan due to fears it would fuel inflation, official papers show. The papers, issued under the Official Information Act, show the Government last year considered a package of personal tax cuts that would have equalled the $1 […]

Fed to meet for US rate decision

The Federal Reserve is preparing to meet to decide whether US interest rates should be reduced from 5.25%. Most analysts believe the Fed will cut rates to try and prevent a housing market downturn and the credit crunch from severely denting the economy. By making money cheaper to borrow, people would spend and invest more, […]

Families feel pinch as basic costs rise

By PAUL EASTON – The Dominion Post | Tuesday, 18 September 2007AdvertisementHouseholds are being squeezed by price increases on basic foods and petrol, even before higher power prices and a sliding Kiwi dollar begin to take effect. Budgeting agencies fear the increase in staple food prices, including butter’s 23 per cent increase yesterday and milk’s […]