Thursday, September 27, 2012

Today's links

1--Oil consumption down, oil price

The American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. petroleum deliveries were down to 18.6 million barrels per day. While this represents a 2.8 increase from the previous month, it reflects a 4.3 decline from the same period last year and marks a 15-year low for the month. Petroleum deliveries are an indication of market demand and the API's chief economist, John Felmy, said levels for August are indicative of a lacklustre economy.

"Given the nation’s weak employment situation, it’s no surprise petroleum demand was off," he said in a statement. "Contraction in the manufacturing sector probably also reflects the slipping numbers."

The U.S. rate of unemployment has stayed above 8 percent for 43 consecutive months, the longest period since World War II.

2--Philly Fed signals recession, Reuters

3--The impending war with Iran, WSWS

4--Is it moral to vote for Obama?, crokked timber

5--Massive Rallies in Venezuela Support Hugo Chavez’s Re-election, Venezuelanalysis

6--Fed Easing Only Helped Stocks, Not Economy, Trim Tabs

7--10-year Treasuries to fall to record 1.35%, Bloomberg (video)

8--2nd Quarter GDP revised down to 1.3%, Reuters

9--Durable Goods Orders Sink Even as Jobless Claims Fall, CNBC

10--Home sales fall in Calif, OC Housing News

Ever since Bill (calculated risk) called the bottom early this year, he has suffered from a confirmation bias. He interprets every news story bullishly. He could start writing copy for the NAHB or the NAr. His bottom call may prove prescient, but his attachment to that bottom call has created a confirmation bias that is seriously clouding his judgment. He is no longer impartial...

Sales will not improve until the inventory returns.
Distressed housing market data:
– The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – compared with total sales grew to its largest level in four years. The share of equity sales in August increased to 62.2 percent, up from 59.5 percent in July. Equity sales made up 51.7 percent of all sales in August 2011.
– The share of REO sales statewide contracted further in August, while the share of short sales crept up slightly. The combined share of all distressed property sales fell to 37.8 percent in August, down from 40.5 percent in July and down from 48.3 percent in August 2011.
What looks like improvement on the distresses sales front is an illusion. The lack of distresses sales is not due to a lack of distressed loans that need to be processed..

11--Stresses in China's manufacturing sector point to further economic slowdown, sober look

12--Uh oh. Afghanistan going down the tubes, antiwar

Adding to the pessimism is a just-released reportby one of the most astute observers of the U.S. war, Gilles Dorronsoro, an Afghanistan expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), who, among other things, predicts that the regime in Kabul“will most probably collapse in a few years” given current trends.
“Political fragmentation, whether in the form of militias or the establishment of sanctuaries in the north, is laying the ground work for a long civil war” that is likely to be fueled by competition among regional powers, according to his report, which also joined the call by a growing number of experts for Washington to open negotiations with the Taliban as soon as possible.
Indeed, a series of setbacks just this month have renewed questions about even the short-term viability of the U.S.-led strategy to keep the Taliban at bay while bolstering the central government enough to persuade key elements of the insurgency to negotiate rather than fight on.
In recent days, some of the most die-hard Republican supporters of U.S. intervention have suggested throwing in the towel early, particularly in view of the growing number of fatal “insider” attacks —51 so far this year — by uniformed Afghan personnel against U.S. and coalition trainers and soldiers.
The latest attacks prompted U.S. commanders to sharply curb joint operations by coalition and Afghan forces pending a massive re-vetting of the latter for possible Taliban sympathies

13--What’s So Special About Special Ops?, William Lind, antiwar

14--Ahmadinejad Condemns Israel’s ‘Continued Threats’ of War, antiwar

“The current abysmal situations of the world are due mainly to the wrong leadership of the world who have entrusted themselves to the devil,” he said, adding that allowing five countries to have veto power at the UN Security Council is “in no way acceptable.”...

Unilateralism, application of double standards, and imposition of wars, instability and occupation to ensure economic interests and expand dominance over sensitive centers of the world have served to be the order of the day,” he said. “Arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent.”

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