Browse by Tags

The Room

Blog Subscription Form

  • Email Notifications
    Go

Have You Seen This?

Have You Seen This?

  • The Room – 02/20/2009

    We’re going to be flying low and fast in this weekly scan of the landscape in the quest for items that are 'important,' as opposed to 'merely interesting.' At the top of the list of what we would consider important is the increasing likelihood that the wheels are about to come off the global economy. And, worse, fly through the air and wipe out any number of innocent bystanders. (By now, you and the other readers of our services should already be safely in the duck-and-cover position.) It is becoming clear that more than just our subscribers are beginning to understand the depth, severity, and nature of this crisis: as I begin writing this morning, gold has rebounded to just a few ticks away from the $1,000 mark. By the time I am finished today, we could see that mark taken out. More on that topic later, but first......
  • The Room - 10/24/2008

    I have woken in the pre-dawn to find our direst predictions coming true, with global stock markets taking yet another pounding and U.S. stock futures limit down. Serving as a proxy for the mindset now gripping governments around the world, French President Sarkozy has announced that the French government will, henceforth, buy shares in important French companies in an attempt to prop them up. 'We will intervene massively whenever a strategic enterprise needs our money,' said Sarkozy, a supposed economic conservative, as he pounded the table on behalf of nationalizing industry. The New Age of big government is upon us. Armed with Harry Potter-like magical monetary wands, they are wildly conjuring a deluge of money from thin air to bind the free market and keep it from facilitating the resolution of economic and investment dislocations created over decades. Bud Conrad tells me he is having a hard time adding up all the fiat money that has been committed to the battle for economic - and, by extension, political - survival over the past couple of months. The numbers rolling off the lips of officialdumb have progressed well past the hundreds of millions, or even hundreds of billions, and have now reached the trillions. In that theme, the Fed announced this week that it would drop over half a trillion - $540 billion, to be exact - on the purchase of suspect commercial paper now clogging the portfolios of 'safe harbor' money market funds. Given that there is a total of $3.4 trillion of your money resting in those very same funds, the commitment of $540 billion - about 16% of the total - should be taken as an indicator of just how bad the problem really is....
  • The Room 8/22/08

    Summer weather, at least that of the preferable sort, has finally returned to the corner of the globe where your correspondent sits listening, too loudly, to Michael Franti's Yell Fire!. For those of you unfamiliar with Franti and his band Spearhead, his genre is what might be termed "Revolution Rock"... as in taking it to "the man." While I don't agree with many of his lyrics, which skew far left, I do like the music and his thematic focus on peace and, paradoxically, burning things down. Regrettably, in his view the rebuilding would be of a socialist paradise. It is, of course, deeply ingrained in human nature to want everything wrapped up in a nice utopian package. Problems arise, however, because one person's idea of utopia is another's idea of hell. And, inevitably, even utopia's champions awaken one morning in full agreement that their vision was hell... just ask Robespierre or Trotsky. In the end, no one gets their utopia because the entire notion is merely a dangerous fiction that, in the attempt, leads only to the disenfranchisement of one group or groups in favor of another. And, in time, of everyone....
  • The Bursting Commodities Bubble

    A steadily growing drumbeat is sounding throughout financial mediadom; a major commodities blowout is in the cards. The most widely quoted reason is a U.S. recession that will sympathetically pop the commodity bubble. It seems to me that these views are intertwined with a changed perception of how the economy works. A new paradigm if you will. People used to pay homage to the notion of a business cycle, a somewhat predictable and even stately progression of economic growth leading to excess, followed by a corrective recession. After which the cycle would begin anew....
  • The Room 4/14/08

    Written: April 11, 2008 Dear Readers, No question about it, we humans like to keep things simple. And no wonder; if the world is anything, it is chaotic. And so we look for our philosophy in un-taxing nuggets, the sort, perhaps, that might grace the back...
  • The Room 3/24/08

    Dear Reader , It used to be of no little pride in the small New England town where Casey Research is headquartered that school went forward, no matter the weather. Hail, 8-foot-high snow drifts, ice rain and, should they have occurred hereabouts (which...
  • The Room 3/17/08

    Dear Reader , You don't need me to tell you, but the $1,000 mark is the latest to fall beneath gold's mighty rise. Even so, as a benchmark, the number $1,000 is meaningless. It represents no new high in the inflation-adjusted prices that count...
  • The Room 3/3/08

    Dear Readers, It's getting to the point where even the most determined optimist is having a hard time finding a good reason to roll out of bed. Among just the smattering of news that crossed the lens this week... Producer prices rose 7.4 percent in...