State of the Union

Some of the risks listed at year end seem to be coming on line, including slower growth out of China, euro austerity keeping a lid on demand in the euro zone, and US fiscal balance too tight for anything more than very modest top line growth, given current credit conditions and the negative income effects of near 0 interest rate policy and QE.

With crude oil continuing to soften, and Brent looking to close the gap with WTI by falling more than WTI, the dollar continues to gain fundamental support as it becomes ‘harder to get’ overseas.

And falling gold and silver prices, along with most other commodities, are showing a world that is sensitive to those indicators that QE2 doesn’t look to have been at all inflationary, leaving many people with positions they otherwise would not have taken (long gold, silver, commodity currencies, and other implied ‘short dollar’ positions).

The risk here is that the dollar gets very strong, and commodities very weak, which can lead to a US equity correction as well as a strong bond rally, all contributing to a deflationary malaise, as the theme remains:

Because we believe we can be the next Greece, we continue to work to turn ourselves into the next Japan

Which includes a misguided national effort to export our way to prosperity, which is likely to be featured by the President tonight.