The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 18

This story at The Nation about Baltimore’s economic ills that have led to this city being the country’s latest hotspot on police conduct and inequality points to a Pew Research poll from a couple of years ago that provides the following take on how vastly different household assets and debts are between blacks and whites in the U.S.

Note that these are averages, not medians, and the latter would show a much more accurate picture of the “typical” black or white American.

Nonetheless, the asset-to-debt ratios and the components of each offer compelling evidence of just how broad the economic/financial divide currently is between races.

Monday Morning Links

Why Baltimore Burns – The Nation
David Brooks Is Not Buying Your Excuses, Poor People – NY Magazine
Who’ll pay the milkman when Greece runs out of cash? – Economic Times
Greek Jobless Legacy Adds to Danger for Tsipras as Funds Dwindle – Bloomberg
‘Warning lights’ flash over Greece and France as manufacturing stumbles – Telegraph
Poverty edging into 2016 presidential race amid city unrest – AP
Buffett Says Minimum Wage Increase Isn’t Answer to Income Gulf – Bloomberg
The Dollar Joins the Currency Wars – Roubini, Project Syndicate
Economic Policy Turned Inside Out – Roach, Project Syndicate
Two Point Three Sigmas Above the Norm – Hussman Funds
Quasi-Capitalism and Crowded Trades – CBB
‘Inequality Is a Choice’ – NY Times
A Sense of an Ending – Gross, Janus

Stock Futures gain ahead of factory orders – MarketWatch
Takeover Fuel Begins to Flow as S&P 500 Bull Run Makes History – Bloomberg
Oil hits 2015 high as traders look beyond ample current supply – Reuters
Study reveals valuable purpose of naked short selling – NY Post
Here’s how a stock market sounds when the bubble bursts – MarketWatch
Gold rebounds from 6-week low but dollar recovery caps gains – Reuters
Russia is hoarding gold; you should worry – Washington Times
China’s SGE gold flows still at high level – 51t last week – Mineweb
Silver – Four Years Later – Silver Seek

GDP Number Signaled A Healthy Economic Boom – RCM
5 Tufts students go on hunger strike over janitor layoffs – AP
Price rise slows eurozone factories – BBC
Venezuela to nationalise food distribution – News24
China PMI shows biggest drop in factory activity in a year – Reuters
Singapore Wants Kids to Skip College: Good Luck With That – Bloomberg
Win or lose, Cameron’s political career hangs by a thread – Reuters
The Most Overvalued Housing Market In The World – Zero Hedge
Taylor on Bernanke on Monetary Rules – WSJ
Bernanke’s Rebuttal – WSJ


Meals on Wheels in British Columbia

Here’s one bear that is apparently quite hungry after hibernating all winter and, perhaps, awaking a little earlier than usual due to a warm winter in British Columbia (hat tip AJ).

I wouldn’t be surprised if this was photoshopped as the cyclist appears to be under-dressed and it seems pretty cold still for a bear to come out of hibernation and already be this active.

Nonetheless, an interesting image and a good reminder that bears can run pretty fast.

The Fed/Dollar/Oil Menage a Trois

More evidence of the outsized impact that traders have on the financial world and, as a result, the lives of billions of people on the planet, comes via recent developments in the U.S. economy, signals from the Fed, the trade-weighted dollar, and energy prices.

Yesterday’s stinker of a GDP report and the recent central bank caution about raising interest rates compelled traders to hit the sell button on their U.S. dollar positions and the greenback went tumbling from its recent perch, a trend that seems likely to continue.

Of course, energy traders saw the falling dollar and hit the buy button on oil futures so, now, all of a sudden bottom-calling for  crude oil prices is back in fashion.

Obviously, there are other important factors involved in the 50 percent plunge in oil prices since last summer (i.e., shale oil, Saudi policy), but the 25 percent strengthening of the U.S. currency was a big factor as commodity traders are like Pavlov’s dogs when it comes to the value of the world’s reserve currency relative to its freely traded rivals.

© 2010-2011 The Mess That Greenspan Made