(Click on pic to see her vibrate like a banged gong.)
I don't want to be alarmist. But I'll admit, it's getting to be a habit.
You may have heard that the price of a barrel of crude oil went over $90 for a hot minute on Thursday, but then fell to a "mere" $88.50 by Friday, finishing lower for the first time in the week. As I understand it, these are the prices for six month contracts. The gas we use right now was made from crude oil that sold at about $65 a barrel. The rule of thumb is a gallon of gas will cost about 1/20 of the price of a barrel of crude. We could easily be looking at $4.50 a gallon for gas by the spring in the U.S. Also, it's fair to say that oil is to industrialized economies what water is to living organisms. This will have an effect on the worldwide economy, not just on Americans.
Then there's news on a more local level. This story on the SF Gate website (home on the internet of the San Francisco Chronicle) from Friday gives the September sales numbers for existing homes. This was the worst September in 20 years.
How long have they been keeping this statistic? 20 years. Imagine that.
The drop is a 44.8% decrease from this time last year. It's a 34% decrease from August. The big problem is that "jumbo loans" are drying up. A jumbo loan is any loan over $417,000.
The median price of a home that sold is $670,000. This means you get a jumbo loan or you put down a BOATLOAD OF CASH.
The housing market in the San Francisco Bay Area has been nuts for at least 20 years. There needed to be a correction. I don't have the data for the rest of the country, but even taking all that into account...
Holy Shucking Fit!
Anyone who tells you the economy is strong when you kind of feel like it's getting tougher to get by causes the famous old problem first stated by Groucho Marx: "Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?"
Your eyes aren't lying. The economy is in trouble and headed for more.
Now playing: Chris Isaak - Things Go Wrong
Friday watercolor: Horizontal Orange
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