via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.
Economic stabilization plan in U.S. to
now focus on housing sector
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or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.
I continue to travel throughout the
U.S. and can see the pained and near shell-shocked looks on many as they
try to understand and deal with the plunging U.S. and world economy. Some
-- Bleak economic news gets bleaker.
Dismal U.S. unemployment numbers were released this morning, including
a very large and bearish revision to job losses -- the U.S. economy has
lost more than 1.2 million jobs in the last three months alone following
revisions to Sept. and Oct. that showed even steeper job cuts than first
reported. An official recognition earlier this week that the U.S. entered
recession in Dec. 2007 is leading many to think U.S. economy watchers
do not know what they are doing. There is growing concern in China about
its economic outlook and fears of unrest. U.S. and world equity markets
continue to plunge. Americans and others around the world are shell-shocked
from a virtual economic war of wounds.
-- What it means. Even
lower energy prices ahead (with some predicting $25 per barrel for the
lows) and plunging fertilizer prices by next spring, which if realized
could and likely will impact the U.S.corn and soybean acreage battle.
Stepped-up stimulus plans are on the drawing board by the U.S., Europe
and other countries desperate to at least stabilize conditions but unable
to date to do so. U.S. meat producers fret about a dramatically slumping
world economy and what it could do to export sales. Key to the world economy
is China -- if its economic growth drops below 8 percent, an ugly situation
-- Biggest help ahead: aid for the U.S.
housing sector. The Federal Reserve and Treasury Dept.
are working on several ways to lower long-term interest rates, at least
for new home buyers and perhaps giving existing homeowners a chance to
refinance at levels most never expected a few months ago. That could eventually
stabilize the housing sector and begin to right a very troubled and key
portion of the U.S. economy.
Bottom line: The U.S. and
world better have leaders that can and will step up and work together.
This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or
retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.