The Port of Los Angeles says its container volume is way down from a year ago. I think Americans are too broke to buy imported stuff and our Asian pals are too broke to buy our stuff. This indicator will of course have to be aggregated with other port traffic from around the country to mean anything. Maybe it means little if Great Lakes shipping traffic is picking up.
The US and Europe are starting to explore a free trade deal. No way is such a deal going to be consummated before the next financial crisis hits. Why policy elites would spend their precious time on this rather than financial reform is beyond me. This policy effort has a surprising amount of inertia given that the US has been without a Secretary of Commerce for a year.
Don't look now, but China is bailing out its commercial banks. I have had nothing to do with Chinese stocks for some time because I knew something like this was coming. Did someone in Beijing open a fortune cookie with a message about having busted banks in their future? Chinese pensioners and annuity owners are going to experience a revolutionary level of anger when these forced investments don't pan out.
The Administration now reveals it's time for Ben to leave the Fed. Helicopter Ben's enthusiasm for fulfilling his hyperinflationary PhD thesis is cooling faster than the Chinese economy. This hint has been choreographed with other hints to reassure the markets that the heir apparent, Janet Yellen, will continue present policy. The designated patsy will reap the final fruit of the Bernanke Fed's monetary stimulus policy.
Iran's election results will not change Iran. Ignore lip service to internal reform and re-engagement with the world. The ayatollahs set policy for the elected figureheads. The world price of oil can still be held hostage by an Iranian miscalculation in the Strait of Hormuz. I still think Persian women are hot provided they don't wear burqas.