Thursday, March 5, 2009

Good News Fugue

The Associated Press has issued a report noting that recent unemployment figures in the US show signs of good news. It turns out that reported new unemployment claims last week aren't as high as they were expected to be. The experts had expected 650,000 new claims instead there were only (their word) 639,000. The previous week the number had been 670,000. So in this upside down world 639.000 making their first application for benefits in one week is a good number.
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I keep hunting for good news and there is none. Interest rates are as near zero as possible, central banks are printing money and handing it out to the perpetrators of this chaos and much to the experts amazement there is no confidence in the system, The stock market is down, the Dow is around 6700 and if anyone thinks there is anything good to report about anything anywhere, they are keeping it to themselves.
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GM appears likely to go bankrupt and no one has a clue what exactly that means, nor how many people will lose their jobs throughout the auto industries. China is admitting openly it is struggling with hundreds of thousands laid off and civil "unrest" fully expected...Meanwhile the US announces plans to increase efforts in Afghanistan (too late, too late the phalarope!) as Pakistan starts to slide down the throat of the Taliban and Iran seems to be the selected target for the next war, doubtless the one designed to lift us out of a state of Depression.
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Even the speculation that the price of a barrel of oil could slide to $25 seems a way of saying nothing good. Crude oil is literally stored to the rafters in refineries, storage tanks and oil tankers. Its' a sign that no one is burning oil to produce anything. Industrial output isn't putting out.
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And yet Spring Break is upon us, Highway One is crowded and Key West appears to be humming with people, crowds and lines. Clearly it's a tough job breaking the drug of shopping as discount retailers across the US report an increase in sales as early supplies of spring goods reach the stores and consumers desperate to learn how to save hit the stores to relieve the pain of shopping withdrawal.
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Global Research out of Montreal has published an analysis of the current Obama Administration policies suggesting all efforts are aimed at empowering the powerful and disestablishing the institutions of the State aimed at supporting the majority of the population, using public funds to feed the private banks that have created this economic massacre. That makes depressing reading. The hunt for good news is like the Biblical search for a few good men in Sodom and Gomorrah.

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