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shambles – noun 1. a place of great disorder 2. a place where animals are brought to be slaughtered 3. any place of slaughter or carnage
Perusing the headlines today you’d think that the entire world economic, financial and political systems were at risk.
Oh, wait, they are.
- Consumer Confidence Hits Two and a Half Year Low Consumer confidence unexpectedly dropped to its lowest level in two-and-a-half years in October as consumers fretted about job and income prospects.The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 39.8 from a upwardly revised 46.4 the month before. It was the lowest level since March 2009. Economists had expected the index to rise to 46.0, according to a Reuters poll. September was originally reported as 45.4. [Via: Reuters] [Editor’s note: They didn’t see it coming. Again. These are the same people who are telling us we’ve been in recovery for 18 months.]
- Home Prices Fall More Than Forecast
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped more than forecast in August, highlighting one of the obstacles facing the economic recovery in its third year. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 3.8 percent from August 2010, the group said today in New York. The median forecast of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 3.5 percent decline. [Via: Yahoo] [Editor’s Note: Another surprise. How…..surprising.]
- Home prices rise for 5th straight month Home prices continued a winning streak in August, the fifth straight month of price gains, but remain lower on a year-over-year basis. [Via: CNN] [Editor’s Note: We’re not sure what to think anymore. All the spin has us dizzy.]
- European EconFin Council Meeting Cancelled Officials tell Brussels Blog the so-called ‘Ecofin’ council meeting is now likely off, and in a letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg prime minister who chairs the group of 17 eurozone finance ministers, Rostowski makes it appear the cancellation is due to a failure to agree on outstanding issues. [Via: The Daily Crux] [Editor’s Note: Wasn’t there supposed to be a solution to Europe’s debt crisis two years ago? For today, it looks like we’re at yet another impasse. Tomorrow we should have it all figured out though.]
- Banks Clash With Lawmakers on Greek Rescue Banks are pushing back against European leaders on the size of losses they are ready to accept on Greek bonds as officials struggle to rescue the debt-laden country while avoiding a default. [Via: Bloomberg]
[Editor’s note: Greece? So the austerity and the previous bailout deals and billions in capital infusions didn’t work? And now, God forbid, the banks will have to take losses of 60% on their investments? Don’t worry, there is certainly a plan in the works, or at least, there’s a plan to get together about putting together a plan.]
- U.S. Taking $1T From China While Aiding Country, Too? China is one of the biggest economies in the world and grew at more than 9 percent over the last year. It also has loaned more than $1 trillion to the U.S. to fund its deficit-spending.But at the same time, the U.S. sends foreign aid to China, which lawmakers of all stripes say is just plain nuts. [Via: Fox News] [Editor’s note: It’s a bizarro world, but nuts is the new normal. Wait, did they just say we borrowed $1 trillion? Pocket change for the HOTUS (Helicopter of the United States) piloted by Ben Bernanke.]
- France says EU Summit Failure Could Tip the European Continent into Unknown Territory “We are living in crucial times. If the summit is a failure, this could tip the European continent into unknown territory,” the sources from the ruling UMP party quoted the prime minister as saying during the meeting. His remarks came as Europe’s leaders scrambled Tuesday to convince banks to take massive losses on Greece’s debt, and shield Italy from falling victim to the crisis, on the eve of a decisive summit. [Via: MSN] [Editor’s note: Fear mongers….”crucial times” …”unknown territory”…”massive losses”…. these doomers will never quit. LOL.]
- U.S. Stocks Fall on Data Stocks extended losses after consumer confidence unexpectedly slumped in October to the lowest level since March 2009, when the U.S. economy was in a recession, as Americans' outlooks for employment and incomes soured. Separate data showed that home prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped more than forecast in August, highlighting one of the obstacles facing the economic recovery in its third year….U.S. stocks fell, halting a three-day rally, as United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) and 3M Co. (MMM) slumped after reporting results…
[Via: Bloomberg] [Editor’s Note: UPS, 3M, Netlflix, et. al. have issues with earnings… Europe is in trouble…consumer confidence dropped… home prices are falling year over year… and stocks are dropping why? This doesn’t make sense… None at all.]
- Gold Rallies to Daily High On Fresh Safe-Haven Demand Comex gold futures have rallied to their daily highs on fresh safe-haven buying interest following news that a Euro zone finance ministers meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been canceled. However, reports said the general EU summit meeting for Wednesday is still on. [Via: Kitco] [Editor’s Note: Why would people be buying gold if it isn’t backed by anything?!?!?!]
We have this funny feeling that something’s not right.
Maybe it’s the 24 hours news cycle. But, even that just proves that the system is in such disorder right now that no one really knows what is happening or what we can expect.
Uncertainty, confusion, volatility, disorder and incompetence pervade the economic, financial, political and social systems of the world. This has been the case since 2008 with nothing but platitudes and conjecture jerry-rigging it together.
Reprinted from SHTF Plan.
Mac Slavo [send him mail] is a small business owner and independent investor.