WASHINGTON Factory jobs disappeared. Inflation soared. Unemployment climbed to alarming levels. The hungry lined up at soup kitchens.
* OPEC Output Cuts Unlikely (Neil King Jr, Wall Street Journal)
OPEC ministers will have at least one thing to crow about when they meet next Sunday in Vienna: Their sharp production cuts in recent months have helped put a floor under oil prices.
* U.S. Headed For Longest Post-War Recession (CBS News)
U.S. Headed For Longest Post-War Recession While Unemployment, GDP Are Not As Bad As 1981-82, Economic Pain More Widespread
* Zimbabwe premier: Car crash was an accident (Angus Shaw)
Zimbabwe’s prime minister said Monday he did not suspect foul play in the car crash that killed his wife and injured him, telling mourners “it is painful for us but we have to look forward.”Morgan Tsvangirai, wearing dark glasses over a swollen eye, addressed a crowd outside his home in Zimbabwe’s capital after receiving medical treatment in neighboring Botswana.Zimbabwe’s long hi…
* Not so Maastricht (The Financial Times)
Too strictly interpreted, the Maastricht convergence criteria the rules for eurozone membership can begin to look like a suicide pact. The European Unions newest members are nevertheless required to satisfy them, since they promised on entering the EU that they would eventually join the euro. Unfortunately, the rules keep worthy countries out and lead to policies that are bad for the count…
* Is spending the answer? (Rep Ron Paul, Journal-Spectator)
This week, Congress and the administration once again showed their lack of economic understanding, as they ramped up spending to record levels. On the surface, maybe it does look to some like the economic crisis is a liquidity problem, that the economy is in trouble because money is not changing hands at the pace it once did in the boom years. They believe that to get back to a booming economy …
* Gold prices fall as dollar strengthens (Sara Lepro)
Gold prices are retreating as the dollar rises and the turmoil continues on Wall Street. Oil prices are up, while agriculture futures are mostly lower.The dollar’s rise against the euro and the British pound is hampering gold, which is often used as a hedge against inflation when the dollar is weak. In addition to monetary forces, gold prices have followed the equities markets, declining…
* Ch�vez steps up nationalisation drive (Benedict Mander, The Financial Times)
Hugo Ch�vez was on Thursday locked in battles with Cargill, the worlds largest trader of agricultural commodities, and Venezuelas biggest privately owned company, Polar, as he stepped up the nationalisation drive that has been a cornerstone of his 10-year rule.
* ‘Fell off a Cliff’? Even This Guy’s Concerned (Josh Funk)
Billionaire Warren Buffett remains confident that America’s best days are ahead, but he says the nation likely will face higher unemployment and eventually inflation because of the current economic crisis. Buffett said the nation’s leaders need to emphasize a consistent message, and they should support President Barack Obama’s efforts to repair the economy because fear is dominating Americans’ …
* Buffett Says Economy Has Fallen Off a Cliff (Wall Street Journal)
The degree of the economic downturn of the last year is surprising even to Warren Buffett , often called the worlds best investor.