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Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Analysis Topic: Economic Trends Analysis

The analysis published under this topic are as follows.

Economics

Saturday, February 24, 2007

US Federal Reserve Study points to 51.9% Chance of Recession this year / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: John_Mauldin

What are the odds of a recession? According to a recent Fed study, they may be 51.9%. Close enough to 50-50 for government work. We analyze this study, look at a few graphs which show a major disconnect between the housing market and the US manufacturing and services sectors, and then close with some comments on yet another proposed rule change. But let's start with a few housekeeping items.

The latter half of this letter will be written primarily to my colleagues in the financial services area, and to managers, entrepreneurs, and businesses who anticipate the need to raise capital in the future. There are some proposed rule changes at the NASD that will significantly limit the ability of a registered representative to communicate with clients about private offerings, ETFs, venture capital, DPPs, and other offerings. In some cases, it will effectively prohibit communication on the items. This is not just about hedge funds. I think these rule interpretations will have the unintended consequence of the potential to severely impact capital formation in this country. This is under the radar screen of 99% of my colleagues.

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Economics

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Positive Outlook for Euro-zone and German Economic Growth / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Victoria_Marklew

As generally expected, German business sentiment slipped a little further in February, with the Ifo research institute's business climate index dipping to 107.0 from 107.9 in January. As Ifo's economists pointed out, some fall was expected after the three percentage point hike in the VAT rate that took effect in January (taking it to 19%), and a slide of less than a point is hardly dramatic. Overall, the level remains well above the long-term average.

As generally expected, German business sentiment slipped a little further in February

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Economics

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Dangerous Central Bank Party - The World is Awash with Easy Money / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Money_and_Markets

Mardi Gras 2007 just wrapped up. The revelers have gone home. The garbage is being swept up. The Big Easy won't be hosting another one of its famous parties until next year …

But the world's central bankers? They aren't putting away the party beads or the booze. Instead, they're still doling out the easy money and saying, “Laissez les bon temps rouler!” (“Let the good times roll!”)

Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with a party. But there's also a time and place for a celebration. And in a moment, I'll tell you how the parade could careen out of control.

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Economics

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Is the US Federal Reserve finally losing its Inflation Credibility as Gold Soars / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Peter_Schiff

With Wednesday's data release that showed that the increase in “core” CPI in January was higher than expected, the price of gold soared by over $20 per ounce to just shy of $680 per ounce, a new nine-month high. As this is the reaction that most market watchers would have expected, it is not surprising that these movements failed to inspire much interest.

After all, gold is an inflation hedge, so any sign that inflation is worsening should be positive for gold prices. However, what is surprising is that this is one of the few recent occasions when the gold market has actually behaved logically in this regard. Could it be that some whiff of sanity has arrived on Wall Street?

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Economics

Friday, February 23, 2007

Economic Summits, China Trade War, and the Gold Bull Run / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Jim_Willie_CB

Numerous international events took place within the last month. The Economic Summit was held in Davos Switzerland. It convened a large collection of world renown economists, corporate chieftains, and some financial market kingpins. The G8 Meeting of finance ministers was held in Germany. Back home, USFed Chairman Bernanke issued a grave warning to the US Congress on the shattered US financial balance sheets. My commentary on money supply explosion comes next.

Lastly, the Chinese trade disputes have taken a big step toward outright trade war and protectionism. Few see how the trade war will affect gold yet. They will soon enough. Restricted trade flow always results in higher prices. It is always accompanied by a scramble for resources in today's context. This trade war will include a massive bidding war and staggering battles to build stockpiles of all critical commodities.

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Economics

Friday, February 23, 2007

US Housing Market Crash to result in the Second Great Depression / Economics / Economic Depression

By: Mike_Whitney

This week’s data on the sagging real estate market leaves no doubt that the housing bubble is quickly crashing to earth and that hard times are on the way. “The slump in home prices from the end of 2005 to the end of 2006 was the biggest year over year drop since the National Association of Realtors started keeping track in 1982.” (New York Times) The Commerce Dept announced that the construction of new homes fell in January by a whopping 14.3%. Prices fell in half of the nation’s major markets and “existing home sales declined in 40 states”. Arizona, Florida, California, and Virginia have seen precipitous drops in sales.

The Commerce Department also reported that “the number of vacant homes increased by 34% in 2006 to 2.1 million at the end of the year, nearly double the long-term vacancy rate.” (Marketwatch)

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Economics

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The New World Economy Part 2 - A Rejoinder to Mohamed El-Erian / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Douglas_V_Gnazzo

This is the second article in a series of three papers, which collectively comprise the complete rejoinder to Mr. Mohamed El-Erian's article: Complex Finance and the Brave New World Economy .

The same format used in the first paper will be utilized again. The article will be broken down into paragraphs, followed by a synopsis of the main points of each paragraph, and then comments. This focus on each individual paragraph separately, facilitates an easier understanding and discussion of the complex issues involved.

Once again I would like to emphasize that this rejoinder is to what was said - not to who said it. Mr. El-Erian is a great scholar recognized and respected around the world. This is not personal, it is simply business.

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Economics

Saturday, February 17, 2007

US Recession - Gold, Housing and the Inverted Yield Curve / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: John_Mauldin

I have often written about the high probability of a recession following an inverted yield curve (where short-term rates are higher than long-term rates), based upon research which suggests the yield curve is our most reliable indicator of future recessions.

I am often asked whether a yield curve causes a recession. The (very) short answer is no. But then what is the mechanism that makes it so reliable? Is it different this time? How can we believe that the economy has a few bumps in its future when things are just so darn good? We ponder these questions in today's letter, as well as peruse the "shocking" housing data released this morning, and look at a very interesting chart on gold.

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Economics

Friday, February 16, 2007

US Selling Assets for Consumption - BHP Bid for Alcoa / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Peter_Schiff

On Tuesday of this week we learned that in 2006 Americans racked up a record $763.6 Billion trade deficit, and that two Australian mining firms, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, were each contemplating $40 billion bids for U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa. Not only did Wall Street and the media fail to grasp the negative significance of each story, but they also failed to see the strong connection between the two.

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Economics

Monday, February 12, 2007

Tariffs against China will hurt the USA more than China / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Peter_Schiff

During recent testimony before the hostile Senate Banking Committee, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson sought to justify the Bush administration's China policy. Predictably, the unmoved senators responded with threats of tariffs should China continue to restrain the yuan, and warned of the negative consequences of restricted access to American consumers. Needless to say, China need not lose any sleep over this bombastic posturing.

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Economics

Thursday, February 08, 2007

US Federal Government Fails Audit - $54 trillion debt / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Money_and_Markets

Want a great reason to own gold? Then consider the following quote from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). I'm taking this from the agency's December report on the government's financial statements: “A significant number of material weaknesses related to financial systems, fundamental recordkeeping and financial reporting, and incomplete documentation continued to ... hinder the federal government from having reliable financial information to operate in an economical, efficient, and effective manner.”

The report goes on to say that the federal government cannot reliably report a significant portion of its assets, liabilities, costs, and other related information ...

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Economics

Monday, February 05, 2007

US Recession in 2007 - Third Leg of the Bear Market Likely / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Paul_Lamont

As our clients know, we have been forecasting a very hard recession over the next few years. At the beginning of 2006, our analysis was viewed with skepticism, but as more data comes in from the recent performance of the economy, our forecast is becoming more probable.

Debt
One of our main arguments has been that U.S. consumers are holding unsustainable levels of debt. The chart below from Ian Gordon, from The Long Wave Analyst shows private debt levels to GDP overlaid with his interpretation of the Kondratieff Wave. Without giving a lengthy description of the Kondratieff Wave, let us just say that as interest rates fall, investors are willing to take on more debt. Much of this credit is spent or used to fuel asset bubbles. Eventually bubbles exhaust themselves and deflate assets but debt is still owed. Participants must default on their debts causing loss of faith in financial institutions and subsequent depression. As you can see debt is now 300% of GNP, much higher than in 1929.

U.S. consumers are holding unsustainable levels of debt

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Economics

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Weak US Payrolls - Goldlilocks to Feel the Chill / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Ashraf_Laidi

Just as the term "Goldilocks" becomes the latest buzz in economic headlines, the real data are gradually leaning to the softer side, allowing Goldilocks to finally feel the cold as more seasonal temperatures start to erode the aberration from abnormally warm weather. But it is not all about weather. The FOMC has finally reduced its preoccupation with inflation at the same week when manufacturing indices dropped back into recessionary levels. The stronger than expected advanced Q4 GDP tells an incomplete tale on a quarter that is already behind us. Softer than expected payrolls and rising unemployment rate both merit closer scrutiny.

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Economics

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The USA is Driving towards National Bankruptcy / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Dr_Martenson

I have a question for you. Let's say you're driving down the road, at night, along a busy highway, 10 miles from the next exit, and the oil warning light suddenly blinks on. What do you do? Are you the sort that pulls over or keeps on driving? If you're the sort that keeps on driving, upset mainly because you don't have any black tape to put over that pesky red light, then you might as well stop reading right now because we're about to pull over.

First a set of definitions; when liabilities exceed assets by an amount that cannot be serviced by any conceivable future revenue stream, then one is said to be ‘insolvent'. When current cash flow cannot service current debt payments, then we say an entity is technically bankrupt. And finally, when a debt payment is missed, then a default has occurred, the entity is actually bankrupt and all sorts of legal machinery kicks into high gear.

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Economics

Thursday, February 01, 2007

How Central Bankers are Stealing Your Money - Money Supply Inflation / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Money_and_Markets

You've heard me say it many times before: Without a gold standard, central bankers are free to print money and credit like crazy to inflate their economies … avoid recessions … and to pay off governmental debts.

The problem with this is that it's always done at your expense! Central bankers don't suffer the consequences. Neither do those in the government. But you sure do!

The purchasing power of your currency declines …

Your cost of living rises …

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Economics

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Dismal Science of Phony Money: A Rejoinder / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Douglas_V_Gnazzo

John Maynard Keynes was a champion of the elite money changers, an intelligentsia proponent of the dismal science of phony money - a hired gun. Keynes did not get much right regarding monetary theory, however, in one of his more lucid moments he hit the mark when he stated: "Lenin was right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose." [2] Read full article... Read full article...

 


Economics

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Central Bankers Warn of an Impending US Fiscal Crisis - Feds Bernanke, ECB's Trichet / Economics / Analysis & Strategy

By: Dr_Martenson

This past week, Ben Bernanke warned the US Congress that our nation faces a ‘fiscal crisis' if the out of control spending habits of Washington aren't soon curbed.   I suspect he used the word ‘curbed' quite deliberately as the politicians starting back at him probably looked like a row of dogs listening to white noise.  Can't you just picture it?  A bunch of congressional heads all tilted to the side with studious expressions on their faces, but a stylized question mark floating in a little text balloon over each of their heads?

Central Bankers Warn of an Impending US Fiscal Crisis - Feds Bernanke, ECB's Trichet

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Economics

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Parabolic Money Supply Growth - The End of Money / Economics / Money Supply

By: Dr_Martenson

The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.
~Dr. Albert Bartlett

While it was operating well, our monetary system was a great system, one that fostered incredible technological innovation and advances in standards of living. But every system has its pros and its cons and our monetary system has a doozy of a flaw.

It is run by humans. 

Oh, wait, that's a valid complaint but not the one I was looking for.

Here it is: Our monetary system must continually expand, forever.

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Economics

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Liquidity to drive global Bull Markets in 2007 / Economics / Liquidity Bubble

By: Clif_Droke

It may not be apparent yet, but the story of the next six months will be the improvement in monetary liquidity and the subsequent bull market in stocks that accompanies it.

The previous two years were notable for the decline in monetary liquidity as shown in the Federal Reserve money supply statistics.  It almost seemed that the Fed wanted to bring the economy to the very brink of recession before priming the credit pump once again at the last possible minute. The Fed very nearly succeeded in bringing about a recession but thankfully this threat has now been averted. Listening to some mainstream economists and financial analysts talk, one gets the impression that the threat of a further economic slowdown is still a very real one.  But such is not the case, a point we'll try to make in this commentary.  Indeed, monetary liquidity hasn't looked this good in years.

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Economics

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State of the Union - THE UNITED STATES IS INSOLVENT / Economics / US Debt

By: Dr_Martenson

Prepare to be shocked.

The US is insolvent. There is simply no way for our national bills to be paid under current levels of taxation and promised benefits. Our federal deficits alone now total more than 400% of GDP.

That is the conclusion of a recent Treasury/OMB report entitled Financial Report of the United States Government that was quietly slipped out on a Friday (12/15/06), deep in the holiday season, with little fanfare. Sometimes I wonder why the Treasury Department doesn't just pay somebody to come in at 4:30 am Christmas morning to release the report. Additionally, I've yet to read a single account of this report in any of the major news media outlets but that is another matter.

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