With the arrival of the hard month of February, it seems

that the weather patterns serve as a worthy barometer of

economic and (and some) financial market trends. Though

not 'new' news, the G7 economies have fallen off a cliff,

as the economic data continues to disappoint in a big way.

The unravelling in the global economy has been so virulent

that it has even caused the IMF to significantly lower their

expectations for global growth for 2009 to just 0.5%. Advanced economies are predicted to fall by 2% in 2009, while emerging markets that are used to growth well in excess of 5% are poised to grow only 3% this year. It seems that as we usher in the Chinese New Year, which is the Year of the Ox, the global recession is likely to be just as stubborn as its namesake.