Both for me personally, and for our global economy (although lately the economy seems consistently insane, so perhaps “insane” is the “new normal”…?).
Today, probably due to my own personal insanity this week, which I will explain in a moment, I feel driven to present you with 10 reasons why I believe the entire world has gone completely insane this week. (See, it’s not just me! Honest!).
Personally, though, this week is a killer. It’s the last week before we leave to spend 3 months in Michigan so I’m frantically racing around trying to get all of our last-minute appointments and chores done before we go, and it seems as if every time I cross one item off of my list another 12 items appear!
It’s also only three half-days of school for the Kung Fu Kids (instead of 5 full days as usual) and even these half days are busy with parental participation—each class has its own end-of-year party, and it’s not something you can miss.
You see, “party” isn’t really the correct word—it’s a ceremony, performance, and “party” all rolled up into one big event. (Or in my case, two events, as I have two daughters in school).
These year-end ceremonies are a big deal…(who knew?).
I didn’t realize this, but apparently today’s children “graduate” from Kindergarten, and even my sweet little nursery-schooler had a special end-of-year ceremony where she received a certificate for completing nursery school, performed a special song and dance routine for us parents, and presented us with a bunch of special gifts and artwork she had made throughout the year.
And today is my kindergartener’s graduation ceremony and party, but…
At her annual “well-child” exam (which proves how much the universe just loves irony…) we learned that she has…wait for it…strep throat.
This was a surprise, as she has no fever, no sore throat, and just a small rash on her chest, but they did the magical throat swab and voila, strep. So she is home until noon at which time she will have been on antibiotics for 24-hours and can then attend her graduation ceremony. Whew.
But wait, there’s more…(I’m starting to feel like one of those infomercials!)
Yep, just when you start to think things can’t possibly become any crazier, they invariably do.
In fact, I could go on and on about my own personal craziness this week (believe me, I’ve barely scratched the surface here), but you are probably more interested in what’s going on in the global economy right now and why I think that is so crazy (particularly since this has been an exceptionally eventful week!).
So let me get right to it…here are my Top Ten reasons why I believe the world is going crazy:
10. European Banks Preparing To Boycott Big Three Rating Agencies (Zero Hedge)
This is somewhat analogous to “boycotting” your teacher when he decides to give you a bad grade—tempting, yes, but…crazy!
9. American Families Are Poorer Than in 1989 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
In the “crazy-sad” category, despite years of booms (most notably the Internet boom and housing boom) and the dawn of absolutely miraculous technologies (the cellular phone, the Internet, amazing new cancer treatments, and much more), American households have lost 40% of their net worth on average from 2007 – 2010, and in fact are poorer than we were in 1989. You can read the full report from the Federal Reserve here.
8. Spanish 10-year bonds are at 6.75%…after the so-called €100 billion bailout last weekend (Wall St. Journal)
Actually perhaps this isn’t so crazy after all…maybe the world is finally waking to the fact that solving a debt problem with more debt isn’t the smartest solution?
7. Credit Agricole Preparing to Leave Greece (Wall St. Journal)
A major French bank has just announced its plans to depart Greece in advance of the upcoming Greek elections this Sunday.
Again, perhaps not so crazy…but crazy that it’s come this far.
6. Europe’s fourth-largest economy and the world’s 13th largest economy has just been downgraded to one level above “junk” status, to Baa3, by Moody’s. (Bloomberg)
This is insane…and yet not, all at the same time.
(It is, after all, quite reflective of their balance sheet, and perhaps even a bit optimistic!)
This was a Pew Research Center study that surveyed people from 21 countries, and China won out over the U.S.
Technically, the U.S. is still the world’s largest economy, but China is number two (having ousted Japan) and is also the world’s biggest exporter, having overtaken Germany.
4. Oil price could plunge to $50 this year, says Credit Suisse (UK Telegraph)
Like Porter Stansberry argued earlier at the Casey Conference, apparently the price of oil could drop significantly this year.
Why is this crazy?
Well, the crazier the global economy gets, the less crazy this actually seems, particularly if we have another 2008 debacle (crude oil was over $100 for most of 2008 until the very end of September, when it began plummeting and was cut in half by mid-November of that same year…ouch).
3. Greeks pulling €800m a day from banks (UK Telegraph)
The fact that Greeks are pulling their money from their banks is actually the sanest thing that I’ve written today. However, what is crazy again here is the fact that we have come to this point.
2. Italy Struggles to Break Out of Downward spiral (German Spiegel)
What is so crazy about this is that I’ve traveled to Italy several times in recent years and have never seen anything like this, especially in fashionable Milan. Unfortunately, this also belongs in the crazy-sad category.
1. Goldman Sachs Hires Single Morally Decent Human Being To Work In Separate, Enclosed Cubicle (The Onion)
LOL. Well, OK, you caught me—this last one’s from The Onion. ☺ (For those of you not familiar with it, it’s a famous U.S. satiric newspaper, and quite hilarious).
I could use a bit of hilarity and levity this week (I bet we all could), and this article doesn’t disappoint… of all of the articles I linked to today I highly recommend you click through to this one and have a good laugh!
Trust me, it’s worth it.
As we roll into the end of an eventful week (heck, it’s only Wednesday), I can only imagine what the next few days might bring.
Aside from my own insanity, we have the crucial Greek elections this Sunday and the Federal Reserve’s June 20th meeting next week to contend with.
Heaven help us!
What do you think the craziest thing is that’s happened this week? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments!
To your financial success,
— Kung Fu Girl
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