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Confusing signs..

May 12th, 2009 · No Comments

he markets have rallied strongly from their lows, but we’re not terribly convinced yet. The jobless are still increasing by more than half a million a month, we’re not convinced the banks are alive (let alone kicking), and where increasing demand (apart from public spending) is going to come from, well..

A vast array of opinions can be found..

Some positive:

  • The longest U.S. recession since the Great Depression may have ended last month, according to Barry Knapp, a strategist at Barclays Capital. [Bloomberg]
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said he’s encouraged by U.S. banks’ plans to raise capital after government stress tests and indicated firms need to conduct further internal exams to identify other risks [Bloomberg]

But more pretty bad news:

  • China’s export slump worsened in April, making it harder for the government to revive the world’s third-biggest economy. Overseas sales declined 22.6 percent from a year earlier, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Imports fell 23 percent. [Bloomberg]
  • Equities aren’t a “great place to be” for the next two to three years because prospects haven’t changed even after a nine-week rally, investor Jim Rogers said. “The market in the U.S. went up very powerfully for nine weeks in a row so of course it’s time for a correction,” Rogers, 66, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television
  • A new Dr. Doom?? Our current global economic crisis is “vastly worse” than the dark days of the 1930s, says financial author Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Why? Because global economies are more interdependent than they were during The Great Depression, according to Taleb [Moneynews]

When in doubt side with Krugman is what fellow economist Brad DeLong has argued. So what does Krugman argue, well, that’s not very encouraging either:

  • The United States risks a Japan-style lost decade of growth if it does not take aggressive action to stimulate its economy and clean up its banking system, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said on Monday. “We’re doing half-measures that help the economy limp along without fully recovering, and we’re having measures that help the banks survive without really thriving,” Krugman said. [Moneynews]

We have a feeling the rally has ended for the markets in general, but there are exceptions, of course. We’ll think InterOil in particular will enter a very exciting time, both this week and in the next couple of months.

Tags: IOC · The Markets