2011 July 06 | timiacono.com

Another Reason Not to Live in Phoenix…

Apparently they had a little sandstorm down in Phoenix the other day, the video below looking more like a computer generated animation rather than anything most Americans are accustomed to seeing on anything other than a movie screen. Though quite large, this is not that unusual in an area where strong winds and blowing dust are common this time of year.

There are a couple of time-lapse versions here, all pretty amazing to watch.

Analysts See Higher Gold Prices

From last week… Don’t know how I managed to show up on this list and whether or not I actually wrote what it indicates, but, in this update of 90 gold price forecasts at Resource Investor, I guess $5,000 in five or six years doesn’t sound so far fetched anymore.

This updates an article published a by ResourceInvestor.com last summer when 72 analysts foresaw parabolic gold.

Of the 133 analysts who have now gone public in maintaining that gold will eventually go to a parabolic peak price of $2,500/ozt.+ before the bubble bursts, 90 – yes 90 – currently maintain that gold will reach at least $5,000 per ozt. Take a look here at who is projecting what, by when.

33 Analysts Believe Gold Price Could Go As High As $5,000

David Rosenberg $5,000
James West $5,000
Doug Casey $5,000
Peter Cooper $5,000
Robert McEwen $5,000 (by 2012-2014)
Peter Krauth $5,000
Tim Iacono $5,000 (by 2017)
Christopher Wyke $5,000
Frank Barbera $5,000
John Lee $5,000

Yes, round numbers are nice and $5,000 is certainly a nice round one, as is the company that I’m in with that forecast – Rosenberg, Casey, McEwen…

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Why Ask Economists About Risk?

You have to wonder why, after the disastrous performance by economists in assessing risk just a few years ago when it was clear to many non-economists that the whole housing / credit market bubbles were going to end badly, the mainstream financial media continues to ask the dismal set what they fear most these days. But, they do.

This CNN/Money report indicates European sovereign debt and high oil prices top their list, so, it’s a pretty safe bet that the cause of the next financial crisis will be something else.

U.S. policymakers are racing to reach an agreement before the debt ceiling is breached. But the biggest risks to the U.S. economy are mostly out of their hands.

CNNMoney surveyed 27 economists and asked them to choose from a list of possible threats facing the economy. What scares them most? A sovereign debt default by a European country such as Greece. More than half of those surveyed ranked it as one of their top two concerns, with 10 choosing it as their number one worry.

“A Europe debt default could cause financial crises as large as the 2008 one due to financial system interconnections,” said Bill Watkins, executive director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting.

Another oil price shock, which most likely would come from further political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, is their next biggest worry.

If there was a similar poll back in the middle of the last decade, it sure would be nice to have a look at what this group was thinking back then as, with only a few exceptions, economists were mostly just marveling at what a wonderful financial world it was where everyone was getting wealthy through rising asset prices and Wall Street was booming.

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A California State Bank?

Spotted over at Patrick.net, at first this appeared to be some sort of a parody about how the California economy could (temporarily) benefit if it had a bank that could simply print money like the Federal Reserve does in Washington, but, apparently, this is a very real effort in the state legislature to create a state bank for California.

Of course, comparisons to North Dakota are inherently unfair since they’ve had an energy boom there for a few years now, though, recent negative press coverage of the shale gas industry may cut that a little short.

Wednesday Morning Links

MUST READS
China Raises Rates to Counter Inflation – Bloomberg
Portuguese downgrade darkens euro zone rescue hopes – Reuters
European money market funds are hemorrhaging – FT Alphaville
Portugal downgrade hits European bank shares – Guardian
Ratings agencies criticised by European Commission – BBC
Job Gains in Private Sector Are Illusory for U.S. – Bloomberg
Hedge fund giants are coming up small this year – Reuters
Seeking Alpha To Pay Its Bloggers $1.2M This Year – PaidContent
Stockman Calls Out Both Parties on ‘Failed Fiscal Policy’ – WSJ
Ten reasons why we are doomed to repeat 2008 – MarketWatch
The economic recovery turns 2 — feel better? – MSNBC
On the way to a new gold standard? – Mineweb

MARKETS/INVESTING
Oil below $97 amid strong emerging market demand – AP
Comex Gold Rallies on Bargain Hunting, Safe-Haven Demand – Kitco
Gasoline prices are near their bottom, for now, analysts say – LA Times
Bank of Canada: Speculators not to blame for oil spike – Financial Post
Daytraders Account For 90% Of Volume In Crude, Gold, Silver – Zero Hedge
Natural Gas is Not the Fuel of the Future – new deal 2.0
Eric Sprott – Paper Markets Are A Joke – Chris Martenson
QE2’s end could mean rockier road for gold – Mineweb
Chutes and Ladders – Hussman Funds

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Challenger report: More job cuts ahead – CNN/Money
Muddling along might have to be enough for now – LA Times
Easing Headwinds Mean Smoother Sailing in Second Half – WSJ
Credit Card Borrowing Up, Nation Relies On Plastic – HuffPost
Greek Finance Minister Moves From Crisis to Crisis – NY Times
No stopping ECB rate hike, economists say – MarketWatch
The fear of contagion in Europe – voxue
China’s Easing Measures Create Property Glut – CNBC
Foreign buyers lifting U.S. home sales – USA Today
Are Home Prices Heading Back to Normal? – WSJ
Bullard Slams Fed Focus on Core Prices Again – Nasdaq
Treasury secretary’s overdue exit – NY Post

 
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