Markets were flat for the last week. The DOW is poised to either breakout to the upside of a large triangle formation, or perhaps drop precipitously. I'm not a bear these days, I'm pretty sure it goes to the upside this coming week or so. I don't have a lot to say this week because I'm flying back to Green Bay to watch the Packers-Eagles game. I'd meant to write a bunch about Russia, but that will have to wait a little while. That's OK, Russia will still be around in a few weeks.
Crude oil dropped to $73, well below the $75 everyone thought Saudi Arabia was targeting. Who are they after? US frackers? Russia? Both? Either way the drop in gasoline prices is roughly the equivalent of giving US consumers an $80 billion tax cut. Some claim that low oil prices are here to stay for an extended period, like a decade.
A criminal gang in China has sold almost 100 metric tons of toxic tofu onto the local Shanghai market. They added the industrial bleaching agent rongalite to make dried tofu sticks brighter and chewier. Rongalite is banned in food production as it can lead to cancer. The local Qilu Evening News newspaper said the gang had bags of rongalite powder stacked against the walls of the factory. "The factory floor was filthy and there was a choking odor in the premises. Workers were busy making tofu with utensils that were covered in dirt," police official Zhang Qinchao told the paper. Why do you care? China is inserting themselves into our food supply - nearly all our honey and all our vitamins now come from China, for example. They don't care about their own children, what would ever make us think they care about us?
UBS, HSBC, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland and JPMorgan Chase were fined a total of $3.4 billion by the US and UK governments for price fixing and manipulating foreign currency exchanges.
Europe's businesses are proving less and less competitive - that is, the chance that they'll be hiring in the near future is very poor. The total profits of European businesses is falling from a high a few years ago of about 40% of world earnings to about 23% and dropping.
Must see science TV. The world rotating as seen from the stars.