In a speech to Arab leaders at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on Friday, September 28, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlighted the economic casualties of intrusive regulations, contending that less government involvement in the economy is necessary because “too many people still can’t find jobs” in countries like Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia.
The hyperbole surrounding the White House's announcement yesterday of much higher fuel economy mandates is in sharp contrast to what consumers really want.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to give his annual Jackson Hole speech on August 31 while the world waits in anticipation. They are likely to be disappointed.
In past years, the invitation-only event hosted by the Kansas City Fed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has been an opportunity for Bernanke to suggest future Fed policy actions. In 2010 he said that a second round of stimulus — called QE2 for Quantitative Easing Round Two — was likely, and in November the Fed began its purchase of another $600 billion of long-term debt securities.
Since then little has changed: Unemployment remains significantly above eight percent, the housing market remains largely moribund, gross domestic product remains barely positive, and consumer confidence is waning.
In what analysts say is another indication that the economy will get worse in the not-too-distant future, recent filings by billionaire financier George Soros show he dumped virtually all his holdings in major financial companies like JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup. His multi-billion-dollar U.S. fund also loaded up on gold, with the portfolio now holding more than $130 million worth of the precious metal.
Meanwhile, other experts like legendary investor Jim Rogers are warning of "financial Armageddon" as governments and central banks continue to print and spend currency they don't have. Some economic analysts even believe food and energy systems could collapse along with the economy in an unprecedented global calamity unknown in human history.
The prices that Americans pay for gas at the pump may reach an all-time high this summer. The average price is $3.70 per gallon, which is an increase of 30 cents since July and the climb in price from July to August was 9 percent. The increase is particularly concerning because a reduction in global demand, caused by a persistent world-wide recession, has kept demand for gas relatively low. Some have predicted that the price of gas will reach $3.90 per gallon before Labor Day. Gas prices have risen each month for seven straight months this year.