Recession Watch: Falling Commodity Prices to Hurt America

Economic indicators are like biosigns of a living organism. They signal changes in complex systems that we cannot directly say and don't well understand. The top rule is that rapid change in key indicators shows destabilizing forces at work, despite the complacency with which they're usually seen by economists. We see this in the on-going … Continue reading Recession Watch: Falling Commodity Prices to Hurt America

What’s causing the crash in oil prices? What happens next?

Summary: Again, as so many times since 2000, oil prices dominate the news and shake the financial system. As usual, the news mixes fact and conjecture, wisdom and nonsense. Here's an introduction to the basic facts, and a strong forecast about the future of oil prices. . Contents The big picture. How big are these … Continue reading What’s causing the crash in oil prices? What happens next?

The geopolitics of inflation, an introduction

Summary:  inflation is probably not what you think it is.  Especially today.  Note the comments for quotes about this from major economists.  To see how this applies to us today, go to Debt – the core problem of this financial crisis, which also explains how we got in this mess. . This essay sketches out in … Continue reading The geopolitics of inflation, an introduction

Higher food prices, riots, shortages – what is going on?

Summary:  Many factors are driving up food prices, but the elephant in the room is global inflation. This explains why prices are rising throughout the entire commodity complex (energy, industrial materials, precious metals, agriculture).  Plus brief discussions of biofuels, long cycles of food prices, the role of government policy, and the likelihood of resource wars. "Global Market Brief: Food … Continue reading Higher food prices, riots, shortages – what is going on?