Posted by howard in nyc
libya, egypt, bahrain, algeria, tunisia for starters. s korea (bank runs), china (raging inflation and an economic balloon bout to burst), india (raging food prices), greece riots, iceland and ireland still broke, germany coming to their senses and saying no more bailouts, those two little wars in iraq/afghanistan, and of course pakistan and iran. who knows where the next crisis will erupt.
plenty to keep american minds off the little problems getting worse and worse here. while the cheerleaders in the administration lie about how things are getting better, and all the talking heads on cnbs reaffirm.
but somehow, housing prices fell the last couple of months. fell a lot. unemployment numbers keep being fudged, but even the fake numbers are dismal. weekly unemployment claims fall 22k to only 395,000--whoopie!
here is an unfudged number that matters a lot. a barrel of oil from oklahoma/gulf coast/mexico--$96. a barrel of higher quality oil from the old world--$115. so, a gallon of gasoline will be >$4 as soon as they change the signs.
how is that gonna effect economic expansion?
the next big lie is that the economic stall, which is baked in the cake at this point, will be because of high oil prices, caused by them crazy egyptians and libyans. heh. bull fucking shit.
the price of oil has been rising steadily as long as the ben bernanck has been printing up cash and handing it out. sure, libya gets credit for the last several dollars. but before benghazi fell to the rebels, before dude in tunisia immolated himself and triggered these food/freedom riots, oil was in the $90 range. plenty high enough to stifle economic activity.
but no, commodity prices soaring as a direct result of ben's quantitative easing will not be recognized by the american public. shit, the front page of the wall street journal said this the other day--made the connection between food prices and the wave of revolution in the arab world. but the lie of blaming the crazy brown skinned folks for the oil shock of 2011--who could've known???--will be swallowed in between outrage about the oppression of the wisconsin teachers union and wonder over lindsey lohan/charlie sheen/american idol/glee.
so much stuff going on, with so many dramatic pictures from north africa, the next cracks in the edifice may go unnoticed for quite a while. even if the stock market begins the next fall/crash, which is as inevitable as anything in the natural world.
man, this shit has been going on for three years now. the economy is completely fucked; a thin facade of recovery, unpersuasive to anyone paying attention, will be failing soon. a couple of trillion dollars of deficit spending and money printing went a lot farther than i thought possible, giving a two year extension of the illusion of recovery. but that will be coming to an end soon. accelerated by expensive oil.