The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report was released this morning for last week. Claims fell 16,000 from an upward revision of the previous week, but the 4-week moving average remained unchanged. This marks the tenth week above the 400K level after dropping below 400K for seven of the previous nine weeks.
China has overtaken the U.S. as the world's top energy consumer.
In a dramatic about-face, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Monday that Germany will phase out nuclear power completely by 2022, shutting down its nine operational reactors and never restarting the seven reactors that were suspended in the wake of the nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Since we last visited on Rhodium, the news has been favorable for the future value of the metal. Deutsche Bank announced the creation of an ETC, Europe’s version of an ETF, for Rhodium. While that news is favorable, seems the market got a little ahead of the reality. The sharp upward move on the announcement has been reversed due to the general bearishness creeping into all markets.
Despite their many differences, the economies of China and the U.S. share a number of key traits: both are corrupt, rigged, crony-Capitalist, rely on phony statistics and propaganda and operate with two sets of rules: one for the Elites, and another for the masses.
According to the calendar, Summer doldrums should now be taking hold of the financial markets. Perhaps this year, though, those hot day blues might be replaced with greater than normal excitement. We know some interesting events might take place.
Today's release of the Producer Price Index (PPI) for May again reinforces the pattern of higher inflation. The year-over-year unadjusted producer price increase was the largest since September 2008:
The debate over the root causes of global imbalances is as fierce and as confused as ever. The confusion isn’t helped by the vast army of moralizers who like to contrast the hard work and thriftiness of households in high-savings countries with the laziness and binge-buying behavior of households in high-consuming countries.
Manipulation is the beating heart of Federal Reserve and Central State policies.The centrally planned economy has failed to respond as expected, and so the response is to put more cocaine-laced pellets in the feedbox and encourage the poor starved rat inside the cage to press the bar labeled "debt" to get another pellet of addiction and highly profitable enslavement.
Even with the decline in crude oil prices from recent highs we remain bullish on the energy sector. We think investors are grossly underestimating the impact the shut-in Libyan sweet crude oil production will have on energy markets this summer and fall.