Economics Update

We have bad news on income and spending. If you go to the link it says that they are both up slightly, 0.3% and 0.4% respectively, but this is less than inflation, which means that it is a real drop.

We also have oil at or near all time highs, and the dollar at or near all time lows.

We have a new estimate of total losses among financial firms from the meltdown, $600 billion. I think that they are off by at least one zero.

Insurance is continuing to unwind in a most unpleasant manner.

MBIA is not doing much in the way of business, because bond issuers don’t trust them to be solvent in the future.

Perhaps of more concern is that this is beginning to effect the reinsurance market, with Swiss Reinsurance Company posting an 87% drop in profits.

If this market goes south, it takes most of the insurance market with it.

Of course, we have the Fed shoveling out more money to the investors. It will auction off another $60 billion in March.

I don’t even want to think what the money supply is doing right now.

The credit crunch is also interfering with things like reorganizations, with Delphi unable to find the loans necessary for it to reorg under bankruptcy.

Finally, earnings fell across the market, with the S&P 500 companies’ earnings falling 4.2%, as opposed to the 10% increase forcast at the beginning of 2007.

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