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Jobless claims were out today. They came in at 395,000. Sure it’s below the all important 400K number, but is it really? Probably not. Last week’s 400K turned into 402,000 this week. This week will probably be bumped up, too, making it the 19th week above 400K. Oddly, the report didn’t include thousands of FAA employees who were fired last week. Doesn’t matter, because most of us don’t believe these numbers anymore anyhow.
The trade deficit number came in at 53.1 billion vs. the expected 48 billion. That’s quite a big jump even from May’s 50 billion. Some analysts see a link between the high trade deficit and GDP. A surge this big could indicate that the revised GDP number for the second quarter could be in the negative. Hello, recession! Or as I think, depression.
Europe continues to have troubles. The Economist had dubbed Europe “Acropolis Now” when the Greek problem first arose and it seems to be even more appropriate as Italy, Spain and France join the troubled countries.
Gold watchers are projecting it could hit $3,300 an ounce in the next few years. Would anyone be surprised?
With all this volatility (incidentally, two of the top ten drops in the Dow have come in this week and it isn’t even Friday yet) some are calling for Congress and the president to skip their vacations. Not sure about that. The government has already meddled enough. Tyler Durden of ZeroHedgeblog references economist Nassim Taleb. “In bettting the farm to mop up a facade of financial stability, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Government have doomed the entire system to collapse.” Taleb explains, “the very art of suppressing fluctuations renders systems extremely prone to large scale disruption.” He has had some vindication of his Black Swan theory, interesting to google if you have the time.
Meanwhile back at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue they’re still not getting it. Listen to Press Secretary Jay Carney answer a question from Wall Street Journal reporter Laura Meckler.
And here’s one of their solutions: Let the government decide how much money you should have:
As Legal Insurrection blogger William Jacobson said, “We’re in a rudderless boat without a captain.”