Just a few random thoughts on the economy. There is now all this talk of the recession ending this year, "green shoots" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_shoots), etc. I find it hard to buy any of this. Take California's financial woes. They're the 9th largest economy in the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California#Economy), and they're asking the federal government for TARP money, after their attempts at budgetary reform failed last week. Does that sound like a recovery is just around the corner?
Also, look at the price of oil, which is heading to $70 a barrel (assuming it isn't there already). I notice that the price of oil rises and falls depending on whether the stock market rises or declines. What should terrify all of you, assuming that Peak Oil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil) is already here, is that if the economy does recover (or when it does), the price of oil will inevitably rise as a result of increased production, and the recovery will be halted as a result. So, in a PO future, I see the world economy in a continous rut, with an occasional false recovery that will have no clothes as a result of peak oil. There very well might not be enough oil left to sustain a strong recovery. I know this sounds scary, but just calling it as I see it. Please take my observations on the economy with a strong pinch of salt, as I am far from an economist. But entertain them just the same.