President Barack Obama announced Thursday that his administration will investigate to see if fraud or manipulation in oil markets is behind the spike in gasoline prices.
McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD - News) forecast higher prices for beef, dairy and other items and said it would cautiously raise prices to keep attracting diners, who are grappling with higher grocery and gas bills.
The combination of rising gasoline prices and the steepest increase in the cost of food in a generation is threatening to push the US economy into a recession, according to Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners.
African nations are experiencing a surge in protests with Kenya and Uganda joining the fray. Wheat prices have surged more than 87% in Sudan; rice is up 30% in Chad and maize has risen 25% in Uganda, Somalia, Mozambique and Kenya.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2183:]]By Frank Holmes
China's GDP growth continued at a blistering pace during the first quarter of 2011, rising 9.7 percent from the previous year, according to economic data released today from the People's Bank of China. Once again this outpaced many forecasts -- even that of the Chinese government -- and reignited the discussion of China's overheating economy. While its robust growth may raise a few eyebrows, the economy isn't in danger of "red-lining."
Andy Rothman, from Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA) points out that the first quarter growth figures "[aren't] dangerously high given the GDP growth rate and strong income growth" in the country. After rising nearly 8 percent during 2010, inflation-adjusted urban incomes rose 7.1 percent during the first quarter, according to CLSA. Rural incomes grew at 14.3 percent, up from just under 11 percent in 2010.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2182:]]By Michael Pento
In the same vein as medieval physicians believed bloodletting would cure illness, modern snake-oil economists still perilously cling to their claim that rising wages and salaries are the cause of inflation. With my recent debates with these mainstream economists, I've heard the following: "without rising wages, where does the money come from to push prices higher?" I was tempted to respond, "where do the employers get the money to pay those higher wages?" But economists tend to get a little nasty when you make them feel stupid.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2168:]]By Adrian Ash
Who wants gold when silver looks to offer turbo-charged inflation protection instead...?
The Current Surge in bids to buy silver might seem dramatic, but it's more measured by far - to date, at least - than the true silver bubble of Sept. 1979 to Jan. 1980.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2161:]]By John Mauldin
Today we once again think about the inflation/deflation debate, turn our eyes to Europe and the very interesting election happening there this Sunday, and speculate a little about what could derail the US economy.
But first, a quick note to Conversations subscribers. We have just posted a new conversation I did with Rich Karlgaard (Forbes publisher) and Andy Kessler. A found it fascinating to talk with two rational optimists who live in Silicon Valley and have watched the scene there for a very long time. I will soon be doing two more Conversations, the first with Neil Howe (The Fourth Turning, and one of the most astute experts on demographics) and the second with Albert Edwards and Dylan Grice of the Global Economics desk at Societe Generale and two of my all-time favorite thinkers.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2155:]]By Jeb Handwerger
Regardless of whether a compromise is reached over the approaching lockdown of the United States ceiling and the raising of the debt, this impasse has momentous significance for holders of gold (SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)) and silver (iShares Silver Trust (SLV)). The serious weaknesses of our economic structure is exposing it as a paper tiger. Instead of seeking fiscal sanity, the inability of our leaders to agree on even the smallest of issues is reminiscent of the Roman Empire dealing out bread and circus to the masses when Rome could no longer afford the good times and the games.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2150:]]By Axel Merk & Kieran Osborne
We believe that continued U.S. dollar weakness may be a consequence of the diverging monetary approaches central banks are taking around the globe. While many international central banks have been on a tightening path, raising rates (i.e. central banks of: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Norway, Sweden, to name but a few), the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) has been conspicuous in its continued easing monetary policy stance. Indeed, while other central banks have been shrinking the size of their balance sheets, the U.S. Fed's balance sheet continues to expand on the back of ongoing quantitative easing policies.