They say the oil market has stabilized but the price is up again today, up 17% in the past week. Gas continues to climb, up 45 cents since last fall and expected to top out at somewhere north of $4.00, maybe $5. But for a reality check: we have a record inventory of gasoline on hand and consumption is still lack luster as we linger on the edge of another Great Depression. So much for the price being determined by supply and demand.
Some Wall Street bankers are warning that if oil hits $120 that the world economy will collapse. That’s possible, but what they are really concerned about is selling more derivatives as insurance against price spikes. They are perfectly willing to drive the panic to make a quick couple of billion. (remember, we have record inventories and Libya is only 1% of total world supply)
Consumer confidence is up, but that is just a survey. Real numbers are starting to come in and the GDP for last year has been revised downward significantly from 4.4% growth down to 4.1% for the fourth quarter. Those economists that get surveyed (the ones that are always wrong), they predicted the number would be revised up. Still this was the best growth since 2006 when the blunders of the Bush Administration were really starting to take hold.
Republicans are determined to drive down public worker wages. It’s likely they will succeed and this will be another large stone piled on the chest of the American economy. Continued outsourcing, systematic driving down of private sector wages, skyrocketing fuel prices, soaring prices of essential commodities and ever increasing looting by the kelptocracy, you could write a new chapter to the Art of War by Sun Tzu. Actually he did recommend weakening your enemy by trade if possible.
There are rumors that Governor Mubarak in Wisconsin is going to send in 400 state police to clear the Capitol building overnight Friday in advance of an expected 100,000 protesters Saturday. Nationwide, labor organizers hope to turn out a 1,000,000 solidarity protesters in all fifty states. Pizza orders have now come into that little pizza shop closest to the Capitol in Madison from 55 foreign countries including a research station on Antarctica. Pizza will overcome. www.prairie2.com