Friday, July 8, 2011

Proving a Negative

Again, the meme of "it could have been so much worse".  But it was not so much worse because it was, IMHO.

Let's take the "Major Spike in Oil Prices".  A major spike in oil prices DID happen.  At the bottom of the recession, oil fell to on the order of $30-$40 per barrel.  It peaked at over $100, fell slightly, but is on its way back up.  I'd call that a major spike (call me crazy).  The ONLY reason it is not higher is the slow economy.  And the Administration has made no real effort to improve the situation (releasing oil from the Strategic Reserve is not a "real" effort).

The Financial Panic in Europe has not happened....yet.  The Greek crisis still has the ability to sppread to the rest of Europe.  Do not count this one as "done".

Runaway Inflation is again something that has not happened only because the economy is slow.  If it heats up, expect inflation to do the same.  And food prices will not come down until two things happen:  energy prices fall and we stop mandating the use of our food supply for our fuel tanks.

I am not at all confident that the stock market is in a true uptick.  Maybe it is, but I have serious doubts.  Earnings are up slightly, but it is a short trip back into the tank with nearly 10% unemployed.

I do believe a "housing led depression" is no longer a potential scenario.  The market seems to have stabilized at some sort of bottom, but it is not rebounding much at all.  Had the feds allowed people to go to foreclosure, I believe we would be out of that part of the mess already as bargain hunters sucked up the bargains.

Read the article and make up your own mind.  On the way up?  Or stuck near the bottom?

1 comment:

Dad29 said...

Housing is not at bottom; it will go another 10-15% downward before stabilizing (local numbers may differ from national averages.)

The good news: if the Euro dumps, the USD becomes stronger, meaning price of oil in USD drops.

The situation is very tempting for contrarians who think that the economy will begin a more robust rebound soon.