It's eerie out there. A lot of potentially bad news continues to bubble up, but reaction to it is muted at best. This fine, as far as I am concerned. The longer we can keep the current world system alive, the more time we have to prepare.
I still strongly believe a storm is coming, but here's hoping we have several months before it truly descends into something orders of magnitude beyond a few food riots and foreclosed homes.
What? Me Worry?
And, just what Iraq needs - more potential disarray is coming, because unless a deal is worked out, on May 13 about 70 percent of Iraq's mobile telephone network will cease to operate.
Russia and Georgia may got at it as Russia sends extra troops to Georgian rebel region. We've followed the Georgia-Russia story since last year (click here for a selection of posts). There is potential for real problems if Abkhazia and South Ossetia decide to secede (there's that darn separatists meme again). Violence that close to the BTC Pipeline will NOT be good for petroleum prices.
A trillion here, a trillion there and pretty soon, you are talking about the kind of money that will plunge the U.S. into a devastating economic correction that will result in a country vastly different than the one you live in today as a Washington think tank is warning that housing prices are falling at an accelerating level, destroying wealth at a pace that will cost the average homeowner $85,000 in lost wealth this year alone.
The U.S. debt situation grows worse by the day.
The Embers of the Coming Conflagration
And the above are just snapshots that indicate a world political and economic system fraught with tension.
I don't suggest obsessing over the various potential flashpoints - be it war with Iran (still unlikely in my opinion, the blowback would just be too terrible), massive government debt and deficit, a cratering housing and lending market and the collapsing cease-fire in Iraq between the JAM and U.S. forces.
Stay aware of the data, have potential scenarios in your head on how you would deal with some of the more likely of the unlikely scenarios, such as war with Iran constricting petroleum supplies or a failure of a major bank in the U.S. that causes a ripple effect leading to things like runs on ATMs and banks.
We are in the early innings of a world in tremendous flux. Remain aware, but don't despair.