ANTIESTABLISHMENTARIAN

Finance, Fuel Prices, Economics, Markets

As If You Didn’t Know

Well, here’s the proof from Zero Hedge.com (Read whole article here)

Gallup Consumer Spending Data Refutes Commerce Department January Retail Sales Announcement

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/12/2010 13:21 -0500

As if anyone needed more reasons to doubt the data coming out of our government. Earlier today the Commerce Department reported that January retail sales data came at a nice and bubbly 0.5% sequential increase, and an even nicer and bubblier 4.7% YoY. This presumably beat expectations which were looking for a sequential beat of 0.3%. Yet here comes the much more reliable Gallup data to throw some salt in yet another economic data fabrication. According to daily Gallup consumer polling, which due to its lack of proximity to the government propaganda complex is vastly more reliable, the January average data showed a decline of 5.8% over January 2009 and a whopping 16.3% decline over December. This is beginning to parallel the ever increasing divergence between the ABC consumer comfort index and the UMichigan index which lately seems to only track the average level of the S&P over the prior month.

The chart below shows the true consumer spending behavior of Americans.

The gallup methodology is much more accurate than anything that could possible come out of the Commerce Department with its infinite data “adjustments.”

If you’re in the business of selling stuff, now you know why sales aren’t so hot. The problem is not you, its our lovely government which seems incapable of telling the truth about ANYTHING.

Notice what the graph at left has to say about the notion of a recovery and a double-dip recession.  Do you see any recovery there? Ignore the spikes, those are holiday sales.

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February 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Tiny Greece Matters

Its true that the debt problems of the tiny Greek economy seems all out of proportion to the fears it has struck in the world markets. Friday saw a lot of people trying to downplay it, noting that the economies of Greece and Portugal are only 2% and 1% of EU GDP respectively. Even Jim Puplava was making that argument yesterday. But the shockwaves sent by the Dubai default, which was even smaller, are establishing a pattern here.

The size of the economies involved is not the issue. What lies behind it is the Domino Theory that involves the interconnectedness of a handful of world megabanks that not only hold those loans, but also have issued most of the CDS insurance on those bonds, as well as interest rate swaps such as JPMs over $70 trillion worth of interest rate derivatives.

Governments around the world with the US in the lead, are making the same many of the mistakes made during the Great Depression. To wit, raising taxes on a sinking economy while grossly manipulating markets. Sinking back into recession means declining tax revenues are very likely to push marginal nations such as the PIIGS over the edge and into default. European banks made most of those loans and hold the bonds. US banks insure them, along with interest rates. The raising of taxes almost guarantees that the world economy will slide back into recession (assuming one believes that we ever got out, which most don’t).

If this isn’t a perfect set up for a domino chain reaction of crisis, I don’t know what is. And add to all this the fact the insolvency not only of the mega banks, but now national governments, has been papered over. Not only has virtually none of the structural problems that caused the present state of affairs been repaired, these problems have been made far worse. This fact has been thoroughly revealed, discussed and ignored over the last two years.

The contagion in southern Europe poses a severe risk of an all-out financial plague breaking out. It threatens not only the Euro but the entire EU itself. Most bets are on the probability that the EU will have no choice but to bail out Greece and Portugal, which will only incite the remaining and larger PIIGS to come a-begging to the ECB. So, where does it stop? Were not talking about bailing out mere banks here but a half dozen nations, which could easily wreck the Euro and lead to an even greater currency crisis as the world’s second largest currency.

So what we have here is tiny Greece being akin to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand (who?) starting WWI when nobody even knew who the hell he was. The proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. And yet world banks and economies are so fragile that the current situation can be likened to a hemophiliac walking through a briar patch desperately try to avoid being scratched and bleeding to death. The probability of not getting scratched while picking blackberries is pretty slim.

February 6, 2010 Posted by | Economics | Leave a comment

LIARS

The US Federal Reserve is so conditioned to lying that they’re no longer aware of their own lies.  Here is the ultimate irony, proof of their lies contained within their own presentation. This comes in two parts, so first here are the words.

“The 2007-2009 recession is widely thought to have ended sometime last summer. How bad was this recession, and how quickly is the economy recovering? How does this recession and recovery compare to previous cycles?”

Now cometh the proof,

This is truly mind boggling. Their own graph shows the “recession” still deepening yet they would have us believe otherwise.

February 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Can’t Catch a Break

The beleaguered boating industry just can’t catch a break. Just when oil prices appear ready to start falling, they reverse and start heading higher. And yet despite falling from a recent high of $80 down to below $73, gasoline prices have not abated. Just in the last two days wholesale gas has risen 15 cents while oil has remained flat.

Year over year, gas is up over 33% on average. That’s not going to do anything good for the so-called recovery. Word is that all those tankers sitting idle storing oil is being rapidly sold off, bringing down inventories. Chances are that the oil price will soon start rising as well.

Lower oil prices got some help from the recent dollar rally which now appears to be stalling. And with the summer driving season coming up, it looks like we’ll be facing $3.00 gasoline again.

Meanwhile, in Venezuela Hugo Chavez is working diligently to destroy that nation and turn it into a socialist wasteland, having recently devalued its currency by 50% and throwing merchants in jail who try to raise prices. Destroying business seems to be his goal, and along with that goes his oil industry, the production of which is down 33% from last year. Chavez is quite simply a madman, and it would not be at all suprising to see that nation explode or implode, bringing its current 2.4 mbd production off line. Now wouldn’t that do wonders for the price of fuel?

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Oil Updates | , , , | Leave a comment