The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


June 24, 2014

Storms clouds on the horizon

It’s summertime and the living is easy

What is not to like?

The snow and cold are gone, the contraction of gross domestic product during the first quarter and both are just a remote memory. The U.S. stock markets continue to set new all-time highs, the volatility index (fear index) has been well below average, bond yields have trended lower since the first of the year and the tapering of the Fed’s bond purchases have not disrupted markets. Unemployment is moving lower, jobless claims are bouncing at 7 year lows, inflation appears to be contained and projections of domestic economic growth for the second half are well ahead of the dismal first quarter.

Life is good, what could go wrong?

Maybe we can start with the low-hanging fruit of matters of concern, mainly geo-political risks. The prime candidates are Ukraine and Syria, not that either are economically significant on their own, but for their broader risks to regional order and implications. There also is Iraq and its impact on global oil prices. Oil has climbed higher on world markets over the past several weeks as Iraq has very large proven reserves and if its production should be shut down, it would greatly reduce the slack in excess oil production capacity. The tension in the South China Sea between China and its neighbors over potential energy fields could reverberate in international trade.

Of more direct economic impact are efforts by China to rein in its “shadow banking” system of private lending and its overheated real-estate market. It is also attempting to pivot its focus from export-driven development to that for domestic consumption. This has been referred to as engineering a soft landing to cool off its economy and to date this appears to be the case. Europe is working in somewhat the opposite direction, adding stimulus to the euro region to avoid deflation and spur economic expansion. Euro area bond markets have calmed down from events of the past several years and inflationary pressures in core euro markets are very weak.

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  • Holly Youngquist Friends of the Library book sale is underway

    Friends of the Library Book Sale is open now. The sale is open to all until 8 p.m. today and on Friday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Finally, Saturday, Aug. 2, is box day. From 9 a.m. to  3 p.m., books will sell at $3 per box.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cremation service helped pet owner in her time of need

    I wanted to share some positive news about a business located in Clinton that I’m guessing most residents aren’t aware even exists. It’s Northridge Pet Cremation on Main Avenue and for me they were recently a godsend.

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A Cappella choir concert was a success

    The CHS A Cappella reunion was great. It was real great to hear so many good voices of so many former choir members.

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time to boost social security

    It's time for Congress to act so that Social Security benefits can finally start to keep pace with the cost of living.

    July 31, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo


With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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