This week we have seen a lot of conflicting stories on the economy: worries about an oil shock leading to a double dip recession and more deflation, a surprise increase in the Producer Price Index but only a slight increase in the Consumer Price Index. Unemployment claims went up, while retail sales were down while the Wall Street Journal says they went up. We examine what these could all mean this year, as my Muddle Through scenario faces some stiff winds. We also look at the long term implications of a recent study on healthcare costs in the US. For my large and growing international readership, this has implications for you as well.
25 posts tagged with “Oil”.
No sooner is my Muddle Through 2003 forecast out, than we get a barrage of data which gives cause for concern. Can we still Muddle Through with an increase in taxes (you read that right!), higher oil prices, more medical costs, and a slowing world economy? Is the Fed actually winning the War Against Deflation? We look at all that today, plus I answer a few critics of my forecast.
This week I have asked Greg Weldon, whom I frequently refer to, to give us a few examples of how seemingly different economic trends actually fit together, like pieces of a puzzle. If you can figure out how the puzzle pieces fit, you can develop ideas to profit from the picture they create. Greg is very good at seeing economic relationships and finding ways to make money from theme.
Every day, Greg gets up at 3 am and starts to work, so that by the time I come in, I usually have my first letter from him. He typically writes 3 investment letters each day, analyzing macro-economic trends and showing his clients how to profit from them. His clients are mostly hedge funds and large institutional traders who pay $400 per month. I find his analysis to be some of the most useful and on target letters I read anywhere.
Today we look at why oil prices are likely heading down, how brilliant economists come to the wrong conclusions and of course a few comments on the recent market action. Let's jump right in.
More Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics
Since I criticized the trade policies of President Bush last week, maybe I can work up enough nerve to critique a recent article by one of the more well-known economists in the country, Arthur Laffer, of Laffer Curve fame.
"Leningrad gets DAMNED cold in the winter, so bring it on, lay the price siege, and lets see who can outlast whom." For details see more below.
Lot's of news this week, especially in the oil patch. Kuwait tells us there is "no floor for oil prices." I smell a rat. Let's jump right in.