Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Busy econ day

  1. We're waiting for the Fed to say something about interest rates.
  2. Commodity traders "realized profits" yesterday (read: "commodity prices fell a little yesterday"), perhaps to do something while they wait for the Fed's decision. Will the "low US interest rates have lead to speculation on commodities" crowd have more or less ammo if prices bounce back up/ the Fed does something different than cutting 25 basis points? (Full disclosure: for whatever it's worth, I'm part of the bubble-crowd. For a brief, but comprehensive discussion of the different explanations for the rise in commodity prices, see here. The bubble crowd tries to distinguish the continuous, fundamentals-led growth of the last few years from the vertiginous phenomenon of the last few months.)
  3. Growing business inventories kept the US's GDP from contracting (it grew by 0.6% in the first quarter). While this is obviously better than a falling GDP, could there a less encouraging reason (looking forward) to have avoided the fall?
  4. Thanks to Hillary Clinton, the mainstream media is awakening to the idea (ripped from McCain in a deepening of her mind-bogglingly bizarro attempt to contrast herself from Obama in the primaries by looking more and more... Republican?) of the gas-tax holiday. Can there a more idiotic, nonsensical policy proposal this campaign? Even Robert Reich's against it! The founder of the Pigou Club (and no Obama fan himself) says "Score one for Obama."
  5. We're still waiting for Ben...

1 comment:

Luis said...

I think the comment system might be borked! It ate my witty comment about the foolishness of the gas tax holiday. In any case I think we can all agree that should not get any traction, but...