The Real Reason Why Obama Wants to Lift Sanctions on Iran

“It is essential to recognize that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program, nor does it possess a nuclear weapon. On February 26, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Ayatollah Khomenei, the supreme leader of Iran, ended his country’s nuclear weapons program in 2003 and “as far as we know, he’s not made the decision to go for a nuclear weapon.” This repeats the “high-confidence” judgement of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) that was first made in November 2007.”

The Many Failures of the CPI Consumer Price Index

Austrians oppose the whole notion of trying to accurately measure “inflation” which mainstream economists see as a general rise in prices. (Austrians view inflation as a politically engineered increase in the money supply.)
A few years ago, mainstream economists like Paul Krugman chastised the Austrians for the lack of anticipated price inflation in the economy. However, their mistake was a fixation on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If you looked around at other prices in the economy you could see higher prices in just about every other market, such as commodities, oil, gold, producer goods, real estate, and stocks.

Why Deflation is Unlikely

Financial markets are becoming aware that the US economy is stalling, so investors increasingly take the view that with demand likely to stagnate or even fall, prices for goods and services will soften. This is already threatening to be the situation in a number of other advanced nations, with negative interest rates to combat it becoming commonplace. For this reason, gold and silver priced in dollars are expected by many traders to drift lower.

What Does The Strong U.S. Dollar Mean For The Economy?

The Fed no longer keeps promises of being “patient”. The March’s FOMC statement was, however, interpreted as dovish, which caused the plunge in the U.S. dollar. Nevertheless, the renewed expectations of the interest rate hike (caused by some Fed officials’ hawkish statements or stronger economic data in the second quarter due to low base in the first quarter) may cause the U.S. dollar to rally further, which could harm the emerging markets and unwind the carry trade. It is then high time we explain the consequences of the possible next bull in the greenback for the global economy.

Labour Leads in Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam Seat, Latest Ashcroft Opinion Poll

The latest Lord Ashcroft opinion poll for Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam constituency shows that Labour has managed to maintain a slender lead over the Lib Dem Leader as Nick Clegg fights a ferocious battle to prevent losing his seat to the Labour candidate Oliver Coppard, which if lost would scupper any hopes for a continuation of the Tory led Coalition as without Nick Clegg the left of centre Lib Dems with veer towards the Labour party even if it would result in messy outcome that involves the Scottish Nationalists.

Is the Fed about to Ignite the Stock Market Sell in May and Go Away Trade?

First and foremost most fed meetings are positive for the stock market. The fed usually gives the market what it wants and the markets keep going up and away. The last fed meeting stocks rallied after the fed successfully jaw boned the dollar into submission. Since then stocks have rallied and are encountering major resistance at the top end of their trading ranges.

Why The US Should Worry About Oil Sector Jobs

Outside of individual’s holding oil stocks, damage to the economy from the fall in oil has been pretty minimal so far. Indeed, the price cut in home heating oil and gasoline has probably outweighed the damage from lower oil prices… so far. Unfortunately, this situation may not last.

Analysts are starting to look beyond the boost to the economy from low oil prices and see the damage that is being done by worker layoffs, slowing business, and falling home prices in oil producing states. Indeed, one recent estimate suggested that up to four jobs could ultimately disappear for every one job lost in the oil sector.

Tesla Could Be Changing The Dynamics Of Global Energy

Tesla’s announcement last week about creating a new line of batteries for use by businesses, consumers, and the electrical grid at large is a game-changer for the industry. Currently, when individuals or companies need back-up power, they usually rely on generators. Effective battery storage for large amounts of energy would be a game changer in that it would enable a separation of generation and use of energy produced through clean fuels like solar and wind power.

Bill Gross on Pimco Hiring Bernanke and Fed Interest Rate Hike 2015

Bill Gross of Janus Capital spoke with Bloomberg Television’s Erik Schatzker about today’s Federal Open Market Committee statement and the outlook for Federal Reserve policy, global bond markets and Pacific Investment Management Co.’s move to hire former Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke as an adviser.

On Pimco hiring Bernanke, Gross said: “Obviously it’s a public relations effort….To be able to hook up with Ben Bernanke, I think it is. And that was one of the reasons why we did it with Alan Greenspan [when I was at Pimco], but we found out that there were some very positive benefits to it as well.”

GDP…Germany… Corporate Earnings….Froth Again…And The Fed…….

A busy day. Lots and lots of bad news hit the market since last night. There were some really poor earnings reports from the likes of Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN), Panera Bread Company (PNRA), Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS), Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (BWLD), Twitter, Inc. (TWTR), United States Steel Corp. (X) to name just a few. I mean some major league slaughters here. All saying business is bad and getting worse. Like I said, there were many, many more than just those. Enough bad reports from everywhere, it seemed, to kill the market.

Putin: Czar Of Natural Gas, Crude Oil, Uranium & GOLD

Well-known Moscow journalist Dmitry Kalinichenko expressed it well:  “Very few people understand what Putin is doing at the moment. And almost no one understands what he will do in the future.  No matter how strange it may seem, but right now, Putin is selling Russian oil and gas only for physical gold.”
Nonetheless, the above comments provide valuable insights into what President Putin’s plan is most likely to be…and how it will eventually and materially benefit the Russian economy.

BEA Reports Weak U.S. 1st Quarter 2015 GDP Growth at 0.25%

In their first estimate of the US GDP for the first quarter of 2015, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the economy was growing at a +0.25% annualized rate, down sharply (-1.97%) from the +2.22% growth rate recorded for the prior quarter. And according to the “real final sales of domestic product” (BEA’s very own “bottom line” for the economy), the economy actually shrank during the quarter, contracting at about a half percent (-0.49%) annualized rate, down -2.81% from last quarter’s +2.32%. The difference between the headline number and “final sales” is inventory growth, which is excluded from the “bottom line” figure.

Cash Payments – Prove You’re Not a Terrorist

Jeff Thomas writes: Recently, France decided to crack down on those people who make cash payments and withdrawals and who hold small bank accounts. The reason given was, not surprisingly, to “fight terrorism,” the handy catchall justification for any new restriction governments wish to impose on their citizens. French Finance Minister Michel Sapin stated at the time, “[T]errorism feeds on fraud, money laundering, and petty trafficking.”

Why Investors Should Avoid IBM

Michael A. Robinson writes:
Over the last two years we’ve talked many times about how to make money on high-tech stocks.
Nearly all of our talks have focused on finding winners that offer a lot of upside. As I’ve been telling you, the road to wealth is paved by tech.
But that doesn’t mean you can blindly invest in just any tech stock. To ensure that you make money in the long run, you must avoid losses in the short run.