Monday, February 21, 2011

Rising Risks Roundup

This weekend has been an eventful one for the world geopolitically and this week will see further events which shape the stage.  The riots in Libya and continued unrest throughout the Middle East had a dramatic affect on futures markets today as the regular markets were closed.

Libya News - NYTimes

Middle East news - Al Jazeera

The events in Libya are obviously in flux and getting hard news out of the country is difficult so the rumors and actual news will be mixed together and hard to clarify.

The affect on the markets today (Monday) was dramatic:

Crude oil up 6+% to 91

While the rioting is getting the headlines the trouble in the Eurozone continues its slow burn. Ireland is holding elections this week and the party currently in power is predicted to be handily spanked in the polls.  The mood in Ireland is not good and there is some talk of repudiating the guarantee of the government honoring all senior bank. 

Meanwhile Portugal debt continues to drop in price. The 10 year is at 7.45% tonight  

This cannot go on forever.  The recent German elections sent a clear message that Germans are tired of paying for other people's problems.  

Tomorrows markets will be very interesting to watch. Oil prices are getting to a point where they are seriously hitting the consumer's pocketbook and another spike in oil (like the one in 2008) could seriously stress the already weak US consumer.  I'm not evening mentioning China and their continued raising of interest rates / reserve ratios.  That's for another time.

Further reading:
High oil prices hit US consumer:

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