Monday, March 23, 2009

Oil update

This is very similar to what is happening to copper prices. Animal spirits are stirring. Stocks are up about 20% in the past two weeks. The global economy is not going down a black hole. Obama has suffered materially from a series of gaffes. He's making it up as he goes. He is being exposed as an amateur. I read the transcript of his 60 Minutes interview and was amazed. He's laughing and making jokes about how the world economy is teetering on the brink, and his interviewer asks, "are you punch-drunk?"

Whatever is bad for Obama at this point is good for the markets, since it means his chances of successfully pushing his mega-spending, big-government, higher-tax agenda are diminishing. It's even better to see that economic activity is not continuing to decline, and may even be picking up, as this chart suggests. I've been saying that the worst of the economic news hit around the end of last year, and that still looks like a good call.

8 comments:

prophets said...

"making it up as he goes" is a bit extreme. the PPIP is a step in the right direction.

there is conservative/libertarian, constructive criticism of the obama plans and then the rush limbaugh draconian view of everything he does.

you seem more like the latter than the former.

Bernard said...

Regardless of the movements in the markets, I am increasingly uncomfortable with the reality that corporations, namely financials, run this country, and the fact that we no longer have a society where accountability is even remotely valued.

It is alarming the intricacies that our Treasury, Fed, and Congress have with corporate America but is plainly evident who the beneficiaries are, have been, and will be in the future.

As I read Voltaire's Bastards, I wonder when the end will come and what it will look like.

The current crisis is definitely not the end; it is more like the apex of a power struggle that is reshaping civilization, as we once knew it. However, this reshaping has been happening for the past 50 to 100 years and it is not our economy teetering on the brink of disaster, it is our society…

As a positive person in general, it pains me to face these truths but I can hardly ignore them any longer.

Donny Baseball said...

Prophets-
No, I would definitely agree with "making it up as he goes". Most of our problems were known months prior to BO taking office and the plans to address them should have been ready before the election. The toxic asset plan and ideas on mark-to-market accounting were circulating in finance circles since late last year. (BTW, this is not Obama's or even Geithner's plan - this plan was spoon fed to the admin by financial industry leaders that have had it ready for months.) Most Fed watchers agree that Bernanke let loose the hounds b/c zero help was coming out of the Administration. Energy policy has also been a disaster, the cap and trade program is not what the energy industry was expecting/supporting and they feel baited and switched. The DoE just completed an auction of rights to drill in the GoM and it was pretty much a disaster compared to last year. Ken Salazar tried to spin positively but the industry folks said clearly, 'we are on the sidelines b/c we are getting hammered with bad policy'. Foreign relations have been comical. And have you watched this guy Gibbs? He makes McClellan look like Bill Clinton. This is not partisan driven. Students of history know that sometimes through accidents of circumstances we wind up with the worst leadership for the task at hand. These situations are easily recognizable the more familiar you are with history. We are there today.

The Therapist Is In said...

This is a must read from Rolling Stone, The Big Takeover... see link below

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/26793903/the_big_takeover

prophets said...

you're right donny, with 60 days into office, BO should have the largest financial disaster in 100 years solved, a comprehensive energy policy, restructured all the auto companies, fixed our nation's health care problem, and resolved iraq/guantanmo/afghanistan... cuz it's all just so obvious how to deal with each and every issue.

just snap your fingers and poof, problem solved.

Donny Baseball said...

prophets-
I don't think it is appropriate for us to use Scott's blog to debate b/t us endlessly, so let me just say that I don't agree that this is the biggest problem in 100 years and yes I think the solutions to this problem were relatively easy months ago, but the Bush administration and now this administration have bungled it to the point where it is now harder to fix than it should have been. This administration though, aside from bungling like its predecessor, is needlessly adding headwinds to recovery.

CDLIC said...

Prophets,

I also agree with Scott that Obama is "making it up as he goes".

When one does not understand basic cause and effect in the area of economic and human action --as Obama and ‘team’ clearly do not, it can be likened to an individual attempting to build an air craft without understanding the principles of flight; in doing so they will end up wasting time, money and resources, and, in the end, crash, taking with them those that had no choice but to go along for the ride.

This is truly a sad, sad time for Society.

CDLIC

PS. I do not vote. I look upon ALL politicians as impediments to the economic well being of the individual and the progress of Civilization: some are just less destructive than others.

Eldon Mast said...

A good call indeed. No doubt the worst is behind us...

Objectively, I think you are way too hard on Obama.

You may not like his economic policies (but you and I know, you'll need some time to assess their outcome), but his marketing tactics are nothing short of genius. (and no doubt not made up on the fly)

Thanks for all the great pics. Glad to hear you are enjoying the food.