For most people, Friday’s just the day before the weekend. But in the Wall Street Daily Nation, it’s the day we ditch the longwinded analysis and let some graphics talk for us.
After all, a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, right?
This week, we’re serving up some jarring images on taxes, oil prices and the never-ending debt crisis in the eurozone.
Take a look and be sure to let us know what you think!
Taxmageddon, Here We Come!
Earlier in the week, I opined on the looming dividend tax hike if Congress sits on its hands, which it likes to do. But that’s only one facet of the potential tax hikes.
There are so many looming tax hikes that The New York Times’ David Leonhardt says we’re headed for “Taxmageddon.” Exaggeration? Hardly.
As this chart from Strategas Research shows, the size of the potential increases dwarfs any other previous tax hike. The 3.5% potential drag on GDP is bigger than the last six tax hikes combined!
Bottom line: Unless Congress wants to send our fragile economy into a death spiral, this is one time they need to act… quickly! I’m not holding my breath, though.
An Oil Gusher
I know that oil is still stubbornly trading above $100 per barrel. And in turn, the pain at the gas pump continues, as my colleague, Jason Simpkins, revealed earlier this week.
What’s most alarming, though, is that prices remain high in the face of record crude oil inventories.
Since I last reported on this situation on March 9, U.S. crude oil inventories continue to climb. In fact, we’ve witnessed four straight weeks of increases. Historically speaking, we’re way above the averages.
Bottom line: Either everyone’s oblivious to this supply buffer. Or they’re convinced it’s still not enough to absorb the shock to the oil market should an armed conflict with Iran erupt. I’m a betting man and odds are it’s the latter.
Bring on the Bailout for Spain
It used to be poor, poor Greece. Now we might as well direct our sympathies toward Spain.
As this chart from Reuters’ Scott Barber reveals, Spain’s banking system is overrun with bad loans. More so than at any other point since 1994.
At the same time, its economy is sucking wind and unemployment is rocketing higher.
Bottom line: It’s hard to pay your debts when you’re out of work. And it’s hard to find a job when the economy’s in the tank. Against such a backdrop, I hate to say it, but Spain’s going to need a bailout, too!
That’s it for today. Before you sign off, though, do us a favor. Let us know what you think about this weekly column – or any of our recent work at Wall Street Daily – by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, leaving a comment on our website, or catching us on Facebook or Google+.
Ahead of the tape,