Gold and silver keep bumping up against resistance in the face of renewed uncertainty in the markets. Talk yesterday of open disagreement between eurozone politicians and the IMF on the thorny subject of Greece caused angst among traders, with anti-austerity protests expected across Europe today.
Across the pond, new figures show the US government’s budget deficit for the month of October increased by 22% from a year earlier – the fourth largest October deficit ever. Washington’s penchant for ever-greater borrowing knows no bounds.
And of course, as we repeatedly emphasise, its long-term borrowing needs are even greater than official figures would have you believe – because of future welfare liabilities that are not counted towards this official number. Taking these into account and operating on the basis of the “Generally accepted accounting principles” (GAAP) that private companies must heed, John Williams of ShadowStats places the real 2012 deficit at $7.0 trillion.
Among the states, California tends to take the lion’s share of media attention when the subject is fiscal dysfunction. But though California has the largest population and economy of any state – and hence, the potential to turn into the biggest disaster – Illinois is probably the leader in this particular race to the bottom. Any form of bailout for such states would be hugely controversial, which will only add the pressure on the Federal Reserve to run the printing presses at full blast.
One might have expected the metals to get a sizable pickup yesterday, given the deficit news, problems in Europe
, and continuing evidence of relentless Chinese demand for gold (as well as Indian festival season buying). But the dollar continues to hang tough in the FX markets as a result of so-called “safe haven” bids.
The Dollar Index has risen everyday for the last week, up 0.06% to 81.08 yesterday. Budgets across America may be bleeding red, but people’s long-held belief in the supremacy of “King Dollar” is hard to change. Change it will, but for the moment, the illusion continues.
Thai Mango growers complain of low prices and fewer exports
Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, their mangoes are not being exported, due to fewer buyers, and their prices have plunged to between 10 and 20 baht per kilogram, depending on size.
Mango orchard owners in Thailand’s northern province of Phitsanuloke are seeking help from the provincial administration to promote the sale of their sweet fruit, particularly Barracuda Mango variety.(more…)
Covid-19 and food security: can emerging economies mitigate rising prices?
The Food Price Index, established by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to track monthly changes in international food prices, rose for the eighth consecutive month in January, primarily as a result of Covid-19.
An increase in food prices following the coronavirus pandemic has intensified concerns related to global food security. For emerging markets, this has further underlined the importance of regional cooperation and innovative solutions to help overcome the challenges.(more…)
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