If you want to help out Third World farm workers, ignore the "Wake up the World" campaign. Don't have a "fair trade" breakfast -- or anything else. The "fair trade" label is a crock.
Legions of patriotic Americans look for "made in USA" stickers before buying products, out of a desire to support the country's economy.
It's how the 42nd president ended an address in The White House extolling the virtues of homeownership. He gave the speech in 1995, a year like most before it and several since, when US politicians were more than happy to talk about the housing market.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2308:]]By John Mauldin
I am back from Rob Arnott's conference in Laguna Beach, and I must confess that if I had attended it before I wrote last week's e-letter I might have had lower odds on the US political class solving the debt crisis, absent a real economic crisis forcing them to. There were several presentations that made the problems quite clear. It remains a tough issue.
This week's Outside the Box is a recent white paper by Rob, where he argues that the traditional way we look at GDP is flawed, because it overstates what is happening in the real, private part of the economy, which is the productive part. Government spending is either money collected from the private sector in the form of taxes or borrowed money that future generations must repay. While not likely to become a mainstream economic view, this is very useful for our own thinking about what constitutes productivity and investments. This is a short but powerful piece from one of America's most honored economic writers.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2296:]]By Nick Barisheff
As we near the end of the first quarter of 2011, the potential for a widening of the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East has pushed oil prices past the $100 mark. Long before the riots began, commodity prices had risen to uncomfortable levels, having soared over 30 percent in a matter of months.
Currency creation by emerging market central banks was, and is, a major factor behind the rise in oil prices. Egypt's M2 money supply, for example, rose 13.3 percent during 2010, while China's M2 money supply increased by 17 percent and India's M3 money supply increased by 15 percent. When currency creation outpaces GDP growth, too many artificially created rupees and yuan and pounds and euros chase too few goods, and price inflation results (Figure 1).
By Guy Lerner
While the main indicators barely budged week over the week, components used to construct these indicators are starting to head towards extremes.
The U.S. middle class is being shredded, ripped apart and systematically wiped out. If you doubt this, just check out the statistics. The American Dream is being transformed into an absolute nightmare
Growth in the food stamp program appeared to reach a plateau in February — with 14.3% of the population relying on the safety net program.
The number of claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, pushed up by auto-plant shutdowns and other unusual events that seasonal variations failed to take into account, the Labor Department said.
The world’s central banks are all considering whether it is time to end the ultra-loose monetary policies that have helped the global economy recover from the financial crisis but one strategist believes the tighter monetary policy can only lead to recession, and a severe recession at that.