Interesting Inflation News Links (February 19, 2009)

* TAXES: States problem is spending, not revenue (News Tribune)

Being a small business owner as well, I agree with Dan Neils complaint about B&O taxes being unfairly levied. They are essentially an income tax on the self-employed and businesses. But his argument for moving towards Oregons taxing system misses several points.

* Roubini: End of the laissez faire Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism? (The Financial Times)

Nouriel Roubini of RGE Monitor (aka prophetic doomsayer extraordinaire) is known for his gloomy outlooks, but his latest missive seems somewhat gloomier than most.

* Wholesale inflation take biggest jump in 6 months

WASHINGTON Inflation at the wholesale level surged unexpectedly in January, reflecting sharply higher prices for gasoline and other energy products.

* 30-year fixed mortgage rates drop to near 5%

McLEAN, Va. Rates on 30-year-fixed mortgages fell this week, declining along with bonds yields amid easing concerns over inflation due to the still-slowing economy, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

* Dow closes to lowest level in six years (Richard C. Gross, Washington Times)

Wall Street nosedived Thursday because of worries about the future of banks and mixed economic reports that included increasing unemployment and a surprising surge in inflation, with the Dow closing at its lowest level since the previous bear market in October 2002.

* Phila.-area gas stuck in the $2 zone

The average gas price has gotten stuck in the $2 zone in Philadelphia and its four surrounding counties, with a gallon of regular no-lead maintaining the price it hit yesterday, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

* Oil above $35 amid grim economic news

VIENNA — Markets shrugged off a steady barrage of grim U.S. economic news to push oil prices above $35 a barrel Thursday, with a drop in the dollar encouraging investors to buy crude.

* Judge Strips Class-Action Status from ‘Vista Capable’ Case (Gregg Keizer, CIO)

Computerworld A federal judge today stripped class-action status from the ” Vista Capable ” lawsuit that has plagued Microsoft Corp. for nearly two years, but will allow the plaintiffs to continue to sue the company separately.

* Nearly 5 million are getting unemployment benefits (Martin Crutsinger)

Ashley Vogt of Columbus, Ohio, who flew to New York for this job fair, speaks with Marvin Anderson, representing Aflac insurance at a National Career Fairs job fair at the Radisson Martinique On Broadway Hotel Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009. The Labor Department said Thursday, new applications for benefits totaled 627,000 last week, the same as the previous week. But that was still more than the 620,0…

* Florida prisoners feeling recession’s effect on their plates (Sacramento Bee)

Three times a day, the inmates at Madison Correctional Institution discover what a budget deficit tastes like.

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