The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 20

Confidence is (Relatively) High

The latest Gallup data released just this morning showed that, after moving into positive territory for the first time since prior to the Great Recession, Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy remained positive for a second straight week.

Actually, the index fell last week, from +2 to +1, but let’s not quibble about that.

An improving job market (albeit without the wage gains), falling energy prices, and U.S. stock indexes that remain near all-time highs were key factors behind the improved outlook as more than half of the poll’s respondents commented “everything is awesome”.

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Tuesday Morning Links

MUST READS
Brent crude oil falls to new five-year low – BBC
Brent falls more, Saudi Arabian king issues speech – Reuters
Global stocks fall for second day amid oil, Greece worries – AP
Gold Advances as Flight to Safety Spurs Run – Bloomberg
Greece vs Europe: who will blink first? – Telegraph
Euro Countries Take Tough Line Toward Greece – NY Times
Oilfield Writedowns Loom as Crude Slump Guts Drilling Values – Bloomberg
The showdown between Canadian and Saudi oil producers on the Gulf Coast – FP
Plummeting oil price casts shadow over fracking’s future – Guardian
Bitstamp exchange hacked, $5M worth of bitcoin stolen – ZDNet
Whining Harvard Professors Discover Obamacare – Bloomberg
Twelve Lessons for 2015 – Cassidy, New Yorker

MARKETS/INVESTING
Oil falls further, but stocks stabilize after Asia losses – AP
A bear market in stocks just became more likely – MarketWatch
RBC’s Golub: Stocks Will Rise for 2-3 Years, Despite Fed Tightening – Money News
One-Way Dollar Wagers Losing Allure for Strategists – Bloomberg
Citigroup: ‘Peak Pessimism’ at Hand for Oil Services Stocks – Barron’s
Bonds Rally Around World With Global Yields at Record-Low 1.28% – Bloomberg
Gold climbs to 3-week high as investors seek safety – Reuters
Where will gold end 2015 – $1,000, $1,325 or maybe $2,500? – Mineweb
Baby Steps for Gold: Two Days of Gains After Two Years of Declines -Barron’s
Barclays: Gold To Come ‘Under Significant Pressure’ In 2015 – Kitco

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
American consumers are more upbeat – Washington Post
What a Stronger Dollar Means for the Economy – NY Times
U.S. small-business borrowing fell in November: PayNet – Reuters
Eurozone’s big economies increasingly drag on the region – AP
Euro Area Menaced by Relapse Risk as ECB Weighs Action – Bloomberg
Canadians Are Turning Sour On The Housing Market – Huffington Post Canada
Plunging oil could chip away at million-dollar housing market – Houston Chronicle
San Francisco’s Housing Market to Remain Steadfastly Bonkers in 2015 – Curbed
Goldman Thinks JPMorgan Is Too Big, But Not Too Big to Fail – Bloomberg
Rank and Vile – Slate

 

One Pixel Moon Map

From Josh Worth via this item at Mining.com comes what is, by far, the most interesting infographic of the new year (but only after you click on it):

I just love this stuff and I think it’s fair to say that most people have absolutely no concept of space or time outside of their own life experience. This serves as another timely reminder of just how insignificant we homo sapiens are in the scheme of things.

Monday Morning Links

MUST READS
Oil Extends Decline From 5 1/2-Year Low – Businessweek
Greek euro exit would be ‘Lehman Brothers squared’ – MarketWatch
Germany believes euro zone could cope with Greece exit – Reuters
Samaras Warns of Euro Exit Risk as Greek Campaign Starts – Bloomberg
As Gas Prices Drop in the U.S., Gas Taxes Will Likely Rise – Fiscal Times
Did the U.S. and the Saudis Conspire to Push Down Oil Prices? – CounterPunch
Global Central Banking in 2015, a First Quarter Update for 25 Economies – WSJ
Prince Reprise: If You No Longer Hear The Music, Take The Blue Pill – Contra Corner
Pills for Cognitive Dissonance in a Speculative Bubble – Hussman Funds
Being Poor Is Getting Scarier in the U.S. – Bloomberg
2015 will be a make-or-break year for Bitcoin – Vox
Oil, Power and Psychopaths – Automatic Earth

MARKETS/INVESTING
Euro sinks to 9-year low over Greece jitters, stocks higher – AP
Euro falls as speculation grows about ECB easing – MarketWatch
Bears Missing in S&P 500 Forecasts as Stocks Get ETF Cash – Bloomberg
Jeffrey Gundlach’s Surprising Forecast for 2015 – Barron’s
Shanghai stocks rally to close at five-year high – MarketWatch
Treasuries Fall Before Forecast to Show Jobs Market Expands – Bloomberg
Gold up on Chinese buying, weak shares but dollar strength weighs – Reuters
Yearly Shanghai Silver Volume Transcends COMEX Again – BullionStreet
China 2014 gold consumption only down 3% – Mineweb
India gets serious about anti-gold policy – Gold Chat

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Sayonara Global Economy – Washington’s Blog
How easy money has cracked the global economy – MarketWatch
German Savers Brace for $2.3 Trillion ECB Question on QE – Businessweek
Macau Suffers Worst Year for Casinos Amid China Crackdown – Bloomberg
As real estate investing fades, the Chinese jump into stocks – Sober Look
Young Home Buyers Return in U.S. as Economy Accelerates – Bloomberg
Texas tops Calif. in ranking as most overvalued housing market – OC Register
Five Things To Watch In The US Housing Market In 2015 – WSJ
Wow, They Really Are Tapering – Dollar Collapse
Saving the Fed from Itself – National Affairs

 
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