US raw steel production last week rose 0.9 percent from the previous week as mills operated at an annual capability utilization rate (acur) of 78.1 percent. In the corresponding week last year mills operated at an ACUR of 70.4 percent. Thus far this year mils have operated at an ACUR of 77.2 percent down a fraction from the same time frame last year when the ACUR was 77.0 percent.

A re-cap from a couple of speakers at the Metals Service Center Institute’s annual Economic Summit

Daniel North/Euler Hermes Economics is forecasting “cautious optimism” over the next year with

continuing weak growth and lots of risks. Global growth in 2013 will end up around 2.4% with 3.1% growth in 2014 with most of the global growth coming from emerging markets, China and India.”

Much of Europe appears to be just out of recession but negative growth is still severe in some countries due to their debt crises.

Growth in the United States will end up being an anemic 1.6% in 2013 and the forecast for next year is an improved; though still lackluster, 2.7%, due in part to our debt crisis and structural unemployment.”

Economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, William A. Strauss believes

sluggish growth in the US economy will likely persist in the coming year, although brighter signs are ahead… The economy has been expanding, and when you think about what’s been happening in the US, it’s sort of good news and bad news. The good news is the US economy is the strongest economy in the world. The bad news is that it only grew at 1.6 percent in the second quarter, well below the 2-2.25 percent trend… While the economy looks poised to grow, rates remain lackluster. This year the economy will grow at around 2.25-2.50 percent, he said, with growth expected to exceed 3 percent in 2014.

The plateauing in the industrial sector has also been a concern. While it led the recovery in the first three years after the recession, Strauss said that it’s been flat recently. Looking at the most recent data, year on year growth has been 2 percent while manufacturing has historically grown by around 3 percent.”

There you have it; two economists, two different views. My view: We will not enjoy robust economic growth in the United States with the over-burdensome tax and regulation policies which continue to hamstring business, entrepreneurs and investors. I just received a blurb from the Wall Street Journal which reports “The Republican party is gaining a public opinion edge on several key issues ahead of the 2014 elections, as Americans question President Barack Obama’s leadership (rather, lack of leadership. RB) on Syria and worry about the country’s overall direction, a new WSJ/NBC News poll shows.”

Republicans are now rated higher than Democrats on handling the economy and foreign policy, and the GOP’s lead has strengthened on several other issues including dealing with the federal deficit and ensuring a strong national defense.”

Well, it’s about time the American people begin to realize and admit to themselves that the current administration’s agenda of tax and spend, leading from behind, decimating the military, increasing entitlements, operating the government with no budget ( I could go on) has done nothing positive but has instead, hurt the country and the citizens who live in it. Let’s thank God for the electoral process. It is incumbent on us to throw these charlatans out of office….. in about 13 months. Historically, the people of this country are typically center right in their thinking. Over the past five years this administration’s policies have pushed us so far to the left the ship is about to roll over and sink. I don’t want this for my children or my grandchildren; it is NOT the American way. You know it and I know it.


What a demonstration of inept decision making we have witnessed out of Washington this week. It is obvious the president is making decisions based on the political ramifications heading in to the 2014 mid-term elections. He makes a decision to attack, then rescinds it, he asks for the approval of Congress, and then says he doesn’t need it (a truth). Secretary of State Kerry makes a verbal gaff regarding the chemical weapons and the presidents says it was he who had spoken with Putin at the G-20 summit about having Assad turn his chemical weapons cache over to the UN (he is never accountable and yet he is always the hero-in his mind). Now we have Russia (who is arming Syria) taking “control” of the situation. They have made us look like fools to the world.

Get this, from a Wall Street Journal news alert earlier today:

A secretive military unit at the center of the Assad regime’s chemical weapons program has been moving stocks of poison gases and munitions to as many as 50 sites to make them harder for the US to track, according to American and Middle Eastern officials.”

The movements of chemical weapons by Syria’s elite Unit 450 could complicate any US bombing campaign in Syria over its alleged chemical attacks, officials said. It also raises questions about implementation of a Russian proposal that calls for the regime to surrender control of its stockpile, they said.”

So, who didn’t know this would happen? We are going to attack, but “in a limited fashion” and no one will get hurt. Oh, wait, I am going to “seek Congressional approval” to do that. Oh wait, they are on vacation and won’t be back for a couple weeks. Ok, we’ll wait for them to come back to Washington. Did the president think Assad would not move to hide these weapons? Hell, they were given to him by Saddam Hussein who also used them on his own people. There is a legacy there…. So, we continue to tell our enemies what we are going to do, how we are going to do it, when we are going to do it and where we are going to do it. That’s just plain stupid (in my view).

“And that’s the way it is…”

Have yourselves a great weekend,
God Bless America