#1. Long Odds on Economic Recovery (NY Times)
I'm not a big fan of the writer of this article, Herbert, but when even the NY Times is admitting the depth of the problems with the economy after trying to "prop it up" for so long that tells us something. The gist of this article is that the American consumer no longer has the buying power to bring on a real recovery. This affects the entire world as much of the economic growth of the last half-century have been based on purchasers in a few countries buying consumer items manufactured in lower socio-economic nations. Here's a telling quote: "The middle class is finally on its knees. Jobs are scarce and good jobs even scarcer. Government and corporate policies have been whacking working Americans every which way for the past three or four decades."
#2. Gold Reaches Record High
Certain survival "pundits" have been predicting huge price increases in Gold, and I've had this almost subconscious-level impression that they're probably correct. Is this the beginning? I can't tell for sure, but it is interesting that we're seeing this surge in conjunction with other indicators (such as the Yen, etc.) Gold is a bit rich for my budget, as it's too compact a store of value (Silver is a little better for our family on our income) but for some of you it might be a good time to re-assess your approach to gold.
#3. August Retail Sales Gains Ease New Recession Fears
I'd like to believe this is good news, and maybe it is. However, I've been alive long enough to know that every August there's a little bit of a retail "bump" from kids heading back to school so I'm not sure if this is significant or not. The comments below the article are worth reading.
#4. New Drug-resistant Superbugs Found in Three States
"An infectious-disease nightmare is unfolding: Bacteria that have been made resistant to nearly all antibiotics by an alarming new gene have sickened people in three states and are popping up all over the world, health officials reported Monday." This follows the reports from a month or so ago that Great Britain was reporting the same issue coming from India (and India denying it, of course). The overuse of antibiotics has been of concern to me for a long time, and I think this could be the harbinger of what's to come as far as infectious-disease crises of the future. Something to keep an eye on, for certain.
#5. US Border Agents in Firefight With Mexican Gang
I was wondering if and when we'd start to see something like this. I hope I'm wrong with this assessment, but it appears that it may just be a matter of time before the drug violence across the border begins to really spill over into the US. If you live in a border state, now is the time to really think through what you and your family would do if what we've been watching in Mexico were to begin occurring here in the States, as well as keeping up the pressure on your elected representatives to protect your state's borders.
#6. IMF Fears 'Explosion' of Social Unrest
I'm not a big fan of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) but I'm thinking they could be right on this one.
#7. Today's Sign that the Apocalypse is Upon Us: Apes Rampaging in the Streets
Just a little humor for the day. :) Bonus points if you notice that there's a little "tag" on the end of today's CMFSP episode from Planet of the Apes.