Economics Update

It appears that credit is still easing, with the 3 month LIBOR (London interbank offered rates) falling.

The spread between LIBOR and Treasuries is still awful, but it’s a bit better, largely because the Treasuries are effectively 0% right now.

On the other hand, the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank’s Midwest factory index dropped to the lowest level in 12 years.

I’m a mechanical engineer, so I believe that manufacturing and services, and not banking, are the core activities of the economy, so I tend to believe the factory index more than LIBOR spreads.

In international currencies, Pound hit an all time low vs the Euro £0.9798:€1.000, nearly parity.

The experts are saying that they believe that the Pound will gain vs the Euro in the coming because the Bank of England won’t be lowering rates much more.

This makes sense. The BOE is already bumping up against zero interest rates.

The US dollar is down too, largely on concerns that the Gaza conflict will drive up oil prices and because the Fed’s zero target lending rate makes it a less attractive currency.

The conflict in Gaza has also driven oil up, though retail gasoline is near a 5-year low at $1.619/gal.

Yowza, I gots to buy me a Hummer!

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