And perhaps for the rest of us, too.6:04 PM, Jan 6, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The ZeroHedge headline nails it:
Worst Start To A Year Ever, Stocks Down 5 Days In A Row
And the New York Times elaborates:
Stocks continued to retreat from their recent record highs on Tuesday, weighed down by an ongoing plunge in the price of oil. Bonds rallied as investors bought the safest assets, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note back below 2 percent for the first time in three months.
The moves suggest that investors have little confidence the economy in the United States will continue to grow at the 5 percent annual pace reached in the final quarter of last year. As a consequence, company earnings will suffer. The reason behind the gloomy prognosis is a slowdown in growth elsewhere in world, particularly Europe.
The precipitous fall in the price of oil is good news for individuals but may auger bad news when viewed in the aggregate. Oil is a commodity, after all, and in an economic slowdown, commodity prices fall.
In a severe contraction, they fall and fall.
2:29 PM, Dec 29, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
We’re hearing from all over just how good things are – and are becoming ever more so – and how on top of the game the president is. There is that 5 percent GDP growth last quarter and an unemployment rate that has dropped below 6 percent (the bar has, obviously, been lowered) and the stock market is burning it up.
7:35 AM, Dec 27, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
An estimated 90 million of us will drive 50 miles or more during this holiday season, and recent years’ gnashings of teeth at the pump are being replaced with smiles. The price of gasoline is down 36 percent since April, to a national average of around $2.40 per gallon, with some cities reporting prices of below $2.
2:43 PM, Dec 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As if the plunging price of oil were not enough to doom the market for electric and hybrid automobiles, there is this from ABC News:
10:19 AM, Dec 10, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
They had a good run, those oil rich countries that formed a cartel back in 1973 and called it OPEC.
2:29 PM, Dec 5, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Charles Lane speculates on just what collapsing oil prices will mean for Russia and Vladimir Putin’s grip on power. This depends, Lane writes:
12:00 AM, Oct 11, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Anyone who doubts that the deployment of the technologies we have come to call fracking constitutes a revolution should consider this. U.S. oil production has soared by 70 percent in the past six years. American refineries have cut in half their imports from the OPEC cartel, setting off a scramble by those countries to find new markets.
2:04 PM, Oct 8, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Seems Canada is tired of waiting – and waiting – for a decision on the Keystone pipeline and has come up with an alternate plan for moving the oil to market.
5:42 PM, Jul 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Representative Peter Welch (Democrat, Vermont and, by the way, my representative) has announced that he is in favor of raising the tax on gasoline. He has a safe seat and, anyway, in Vermont it isn’t politically dangerous to propose a tax increase, especially if it can be somehow made into a positive for jobs and infrastructure and a negative for automobiles and oil companies. Vermont is eagerly anticipating the arrival of cars that are powered by wind.
Get them where they drive.9:24 AM, Jul 7, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Washington needs more money and if it doesn’t get it, your morning commute will become:
a) more expensive
5:02 PM, May 21, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It is an uncomfortable fact that several European countries depend on Russia for energy and the situation in Ukraine has jeopardized that arrangement.
10:40 AM, Apr 19, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The news that the administration would like kept quiet, and which it therefore announced in the afternoon, on Good Friday is that it has:
12:12 PM, Apr 2, 2014 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Travelling from Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to Mostar, a city almost midway toward Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Coast, one drives through a stunningly-beautiful landscape of mountains, forests, and rivers. On a recent trip, however, I observed a surprising sight: four gas stations owned by Gazprom, the Russian energy giant.