Saturday, January 19, 2008

Notes on the Economy|Part 2|Melissa...

I think it is always important to note that when looking at one day's performance we should take it with a grain of salt until we can confirm its biasness towards the overall direction of the economy. That being said let us look at some news today:
British shares in worst fall since Sept. 11 attacks FTSE 100 index drops 323 points as miners and banks weigh
The U.K. FTSE 100 index (UK:UKX: news, chart, profile) declined 5.5%, or 323.5 points, to 5,578.20, led by financials including the Royal Bank of Scotland (UK:RBS: news, chart, profile) , which dropped 8.2%, and mining giant BHP Billiton (UK:BLT) which fell 8.7%.
I do note it is interesting that their market took the biggest dive on what happened in the USA more than even their 7/7 and airline threats. It was also noted that other European Markets were down sharply with Economic fears cuff Asia; India, Hong Kong slide Recession fears spark heavy selling; Japan, China, South Korea also slump. And from the last link this interesting quote:
"The decoupling between the U.S. and Asian economies is still in progress. Though the U.S. growth rate has been declining, the growth of exports from Asia is steadily growing in double digits," said Yuihama.
I hear people talk about this supposed decoupling but we live in a global economy now and it is unlikely that any of the actors are going to suddenly be isolationist or enact autarkic policies as Jagdish explains how they fail miserably on all counts. If it worked then Cuba and North Korea would be the richest countries in the world. But I should still try to find out the exact way that some people are using this phrase and I am sure it is different than the common misperception of it is. Which brings me to a conversation that Loganthor and Melissa are having at Thom's.
Melissa:
Looks like the Europeans are NOT too impressed with Bush's tax package either.

Loganthor:
Not that I care what they think.

Just out of curiosity.... anybody in UK have any plan of their own on how to fix the US economy?

Melissa:
Why would they care about fixing the US economy in the UK, they have their own problems.

I believe what is happening in the UK, is that they are trying to remove themselves from US association, and move more towards stronger European unity. My own feeling is, is that they are not too far off from converting to the euro, of course that will be the kiss of death for the USD.

(Boy, I miss Ron, he could add so much to this conversation.)

If we are too stupid to figure it out ourselves, than I dare say we deserve the economic mess we are in.

Watch the US markets tomorrow, should be interesting (glad I don't have anything in this market at the moment).
Thanks Melissa for the kind words, but maybe this is for the better. I got tired of ren's BS and living under different set of rules. Now I no longer have to abide by rule 10 or any rule for that matter that the fascist Thom can devise.

As far as being impressed, we in the USA are not here to impress them. We have to do what is prudent in what we do. The US was just criticized for lowering interest rates that could lead to the exchange rate going against the US dollar and increasing inflation in the US. So like usual we will not be able to satisfy the naysayers or nihilists. But as I noted before in Random Notes on the Economy, I like the use of fiscal stimulus and monetary policy working together to avert a possible recession. It must be noted that Fiscal Policy has lost much of its ability to control the economy since of a more open economy now, but it would be good that both economic arms of the Government work in the same direction. But maybe this is not enough considering that we are probably constrained since we have gone to the well too many times and ran up too much of a bill to continue to only use Fiscal stimulus to an economy without also using the brakes when it is needed also. (Meaning raising taxes or revenues when the economy becomes overheated-especially with respect to sectors.)

But I can say without a doubt the EU and UK is concerned about the US economy and they have followed these goals for a long time. Including in 1987 when the US dollar fell by 40% (85-86), Europe quickly stepped in and with various nations prevented further declines.

Lastly, I am not sure why Melissa does not understand certain things that I have emphasized to her but she still holds some views about currencies that run against any knowledge of the subject. Even if the UK adopts the Euro it will really mean not much to the US Dollar. Maybe a slight reduction of reserves of dollars since they can rely more heavily on the central banks of Europe to overcome any shortfall in currencies. But this process of adopting the Euro is not just a flick of the switch and nothing has even hinted they are ready to have a hard peg to the Euro anytime soon. I already had linked to creation of monetary unions on my final exam.

Ultimately, yes Tuesday could be an interesting day in the market. But we do have another round of worldwide markets before the US opens up tomorrow morning. And another thread at Thom's is a link to the Canadian news talking about the Canadian market in: TSX plunges more than 600 points.
Weighing on the benchmark Canadian stock index on Monday was a big drop in the price of oil. The price for light sweet crude oil for February delivery was down $1.95 US a barrel at $88.62 US a barrel.

Gold prices also plunged $19.50 to $862.20 US an ounce.
Well what may be bad for Canadians may actually be good for the USA. And on a positive note, if the USA slows down growth then I guess we will be consuming less hydro-carbons.

Anyway, take care Melissa. I did want to ask if you are going to own a home in London or rent?

PS: Sue provided the following link at BBC concerning Global shares tumble on US fears.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, said the global economic situation was "serious" and that all countries in the world were suffering in the wake of a slowdown in US growth.
Well so much for being disconnected from the US markets.
The state of the US economy is crucial for many of Europe's and Asia's biggest companies because it is one of their biggest export markets.
Yes, not likely to be completely independent of the US ripples at least for the foreseeable future.
*******************************
Well now we are into the Tuesday market performances we have the following article: Asian stocks extends losses into a second day.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slumped 6.2% to 22,347.02 in the early minutes, after tumbling 5.5% in the previous session. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index plummeted 8.1% to 12,440.57.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average tumbled 3.9% to 12,800.90, while the broader Topix index skidded 3.5% to 1,248.61. Earlier in the day, the Nikkei dropped as low as 12,674.57 -- its lowest level since September 2005.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 extended losses into the 12th straight session, slumping 5% to 5,303.70 and New Zealand's NZX 50 index lost 2.6% at 3,553.20, while South Korea's Kospi shed 3.9% at 1,617.23.
China's Shanghai Composite, which fell more than 5% in the previous session, sank 2.6% to 4,783.42, while Taiwan's Weighted index tumbled 5.6% to 7,658.71.


OK, now Indian news has hit the wires as in: India's Sensex tumbles 11.5% in early minutes, trade halted

Misc:
U.S. jobless rate jumps to 5% as payrolls grow 18,000
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The unemployment rate shot up to 5% in December as job growth stalled, a sign that the U.S. economic slump has spread to the labor market. U.S. seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls rose by 18,000 in December, the weakest job growth since August 2003, according to a survey of thousands of businesses. Job growth was revised up by a total of 10,000 in November and October. Economists were expecting payrolls to increase about 58,000 in December. Private-sector payrolls fell by 13,000, the biggest decline in more than four years. A separate survey of households showed employment plunging by 436,000, marking the biggest decline in five years. The number of unemployed adults rose by 474,000, pushing the unemployment rate up to 5.0% from 4.7%.

Jobless rate jumps to 5% as payroll growth stalls December nonfarm payrolls rise 18,000, weakest gain in more than four years

Flipped out Even as teens shun work force, job opportunities await

Links to Thom's:
Canadian Stock Markets Down 500pts.

(Boy, I miss Ron, he could add so much to this conversation.)

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