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Mon Jan 16, 2012, 07:43 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH - Tuesday, 17 January 2012


STOCK MARKET WATCH, Tuesday, 17 January 2012


SMW for 16 January 2012

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 13 January 2012

Dow Jones 12,422.06 -48.96 (-0.39%)
S&P 500 1,289.09 -6.41 (-0.49%)
Nasdaq 2,710.67 -14.03 (-0.51%)


10 Year 1.86% -0.02 (-1.06%)
30 Year 2.91% -0.02 (-0.68%)











Market Conditions During Trading Hours






Euro, Yen, Loonie, Silver and Gold
















Handy Links - Government Issues:

LegitGov
Open Government
Earmark Database
USA spending.gov





Financial Sector Officials Convicted since 1/20/09 =
12










This thread contains opinions and observations. Individuals may post their experiences, inferences and opinions on this thread. However, it should not be construed as advice. It is unethical (and probably illegal) for financial recommendations to be given here.


78 replies, 7488 views

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Reply STOCK MARKET WATCH - Tuesday, 17 January 2012 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 OP
Demeter Jan 2012 #1
Roland99 Jan 2012 #47
Roland99 Jan 2012 #64
Demeter Jan 2012 #2
Demeter Jan 2012 #3
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2012 #57
Demeter Jan 2012 #4
jtuck004 Jan 2012 #11
newfie11 Jan 2012 #17
Demeter Jan 2012 #18
jtuck004 Jan 2012 #68
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 #75
Po_d Mainiac Jan 2012 #46
Demeter Jan 2012 #5
Demeter Jan 2012 #6
Demeter Jan 2012 #7
Demeter Jan 2012 #8
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 #9
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2012 #58
xchrom Jan 2012 #13
westerebus Jan 2012 #10
xchrom Jan 2012 #12
xchrom Jan 2012 #14
xchrom Jan 2012 #15
Ghost Dog Jan 2012 #16
Demeter Jan 2012 #19
DemReadingDU Jan 2012 #30
xchrom Jan 2012 #20
Demeter Jan 2012 #21
Demeter Jan 2012 #22
Demeter Jan 2012 #23
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2012 #59
Demeter Jan 2012 #72
Demeter Jan 2012 #24
Demeter Jan 2012 #25
Demeter Jan 2012 #26
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 #40
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2012 #61
Demeter Jan 2012 #27
Demeter Jan 2012 #28
Demeter Jan 2012 #34
Demeter Jan 2012 #35
Demeter Jan 2012 #37
Demeter Jan 2012 #52
Demeter Jan 2012 #38
Demeter Jan 2012 #39
Demeter Jan 2012 #29
Demeter Jan 2012 #31
Demeter Jan 2012 #32
Demeter Jan 2012 #33
Loge23 Jan 2012 #55
Fuddnik Jan 2012 #71
Demeter Jan 2012 #73
Demeter Jan 2012 #36
xchrom Jan 2012 #41
xchrom Jan 2012 #42
xchrom Jan 2012 #43
xchrom Jan 2012 #44
xchrom Jan 2012 #45
Roland99 Jan 2012 #48
xchrom Jan 2012 #49
DemReadingDU Jan 2012 #50
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2012 #62
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 #78
Demeter Jan 2012 #51
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2012 #63
Ghost Dog Jan 2012 #66
Demeter Jan 2012 #74
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2012 #76
Demeter Jan 2012 #53
Demeter Jan 2012 #54
Ghost Dog Jan 2012 #56
AnneD Jan 2012 #60
Ghost Dog Jan 2012 #67
AnneD Jan 2012 #69
xchrom Jan 2012 #65
Demeter Jan 2012 #70
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 #77

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:33 PM

1. Today's Reports

Date_______ET___Release_____________For____________Actual____Forecast____Consensus___Prior_____Revised From

Jan 17____08:30 Empire Manufacturing Jan________________________10.0_______10.0_______9.5


Read more: http://www.briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/#ixzz1jg8vLTzX

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Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 08:34 AM

47. January Empire State index jumps to 13.5

WHEEEEEEE

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Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 12:14 PM

64. Baltic Dry Index Slumps To Lowest Since January 2009

Baltic Dry Index Slumps To Lowest Since January 2009
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/baltic-dry-index-slumps-lowest-january-2009


The apparently critical-when-its-going-up-but-ignore-it-when-it-is-falling index of the cost of dry bulk goods transportation has 'crashed' in the last few weeks to its lowest level since January 2009 (back below 1000 according to today's levels). Whether this is seasonal output differences or weather impacts, it seems clear that lower steel output in China and a decline in European imports is having its impact on global trade. The index has fallen for 19 days in a row, down almost 50%, its largest drop since the harrowing period of Q4 2008.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:34 PM

2. Monti seeks German help on borrowing costs


Italy’s prime minister has pleaded for Germany and other creditor countries to do more to help lower his country’s borrowing costs. Speaking just before S&P downgraded the rating of the EFSF bail-out fund, Mario Monti warned there would be a “powerful backlash” among voters in the eurozone’s struggling periphery if their neighbours did not come to Italy's aid

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/KC2844/IILGAU/YGZ3O/L93NTJ/JELWVG/1G/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=16

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:43 PM

3. How Did We Get So Indebted and What Can We Do About It?

http://www.alternet.org/story/153779/how_did_we_get_so_indebted_and_what_can_we_do_about_it_?page=entire

...even when we suffer the sometimes cruel and unusual detriments of borrowing, we have little to no realistic impetus to stop. But it wasn’t always this way. In fact before the 20thcentury, debt was a taboo, feared, shameful, and kept in the shadows. So what events and institutions brought debt from its meager beginnings to its central role in American life?

In his new book, “Borrow: The American Way of Debt,” Cornell professor Louis Hyman writes, in essence, a biography of American debt. He traces debt through American history: from the late 19th century, when unpaid dues meant public ignominy, to the 1920s, when the auto industry changed the face of borrowing to the mortgage fallouts that led the Great Depression to the invention of the credit card as we now know it, all the way to the current shambles of our national economic livelihood. Along the way we meet characters like the Henry Ford, the xenophobic inventor of the Model T whose scorn for the liberal age of borrowing got the best of him, and Lower East Side grocery clerk Joseph Miraglia, whose miraculous $10,000 spending spree in 1965 made history as one of America’s heftiest credit card blunders....

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:35 AM

57. I was raised to think being in debt was horrible.

With the exception of buying a house....
So never have had any debt, not even for a car.
Until the early 2000-sies I really had no idea so many people were so deep in debt as a lifestyle.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:47 PM

4. The Foreclosure Crisis: A Government in Denial

http://www.truth-out.org/foreclosure-crisis-government-denial/1326733170

The Federal Reserve sent a warning shot that housing is the greatest threat to the economy. The government should take note... Today, an estimated 29 percent of all homes with mortgages are underwater. In addition, at least one respected analyst estimates that a total of 14 million homes will be foreclosed on from 2007 to the end of the crisis. This represents a hard-to-imagine one in every four mortgages. With foreclosures increasing, there is now such a looming imbalance of supply and demand that, as the Fed notes, further decreases in home prices are likely. Some believe home price reductions of another 20 percent are likely. This would, in all likelihood, have disastrous consequences on at least three fronts — and ripple effects that are impossible to predict.

First, so many homeowners would be so far underwater that massive walkaways would be likely. The negative impact on consumer spending of such price declines would almost certainly lead to a vicious cycle of more job losses, leading to further walkaways by struggling consumers.

Second, the mortgage securities market would be in chaos. Nonperforming loans would lead to the forced recognition that bank capital (based on the value of mortgages in bank portfolios) is weak or insufficient.

Third, it is almost impossible to imagine foreclosures on the massive scale anticipated without dire social consequences or even some form of social unrest. As Peggy Noonan has observed, the real meaning of Occupy Wall Street is that this is just the beginning of the protests we are likely to see. “OWS is an expression of American discontent, and others will follow,” she predicts. Protests and social unrest are particularly likely if people feel they are unfairly losing their homes to support irresponsible, law-breaking institutions that have successfully disregarded the fundamental rules of capitalism and good citizenship. Mechanisms to avoid this possibility are one of the central issues I address in my forthcoming book, Making Capitalism Work for the 99%: A Manifesto.

What is shocking is the almost total lack of attention the administration has paid to suffering homeowners. It’s hard for me (and apparently Chairman Bernanke) to understand how the administration can possibly hope to revitalize the economy without seriously addressing the overhang of consumer housing debt. Moreover, the failure to address the risk this poses for a broader economic catastrophe borders on the inexcusable. If President Obama is serious about saving the middle class and reducing income inequality, the administration needs to be far more aggressive in developing policies to keep homeowners as homeowners. As I have written before, this was one of FDR’s central goals in the New Deal. Detailed proposals for addressing this extraordinary risk do exist. However, they will require a determined effort. There are solutions, but they are not simple. What is most important right now is that we recognize we are in a lifeboat that will not reach land. We need to focus on implementing a meaningful solution to the problem. A clock is ticking and Washington needs to acknowledge that a witching hour is approaching.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 05:46 AM

11. "If President Obama is serious about saving the middle class and reducing income inequality..."




You really should put a "If you are drinking milk, please stop before reading this line" warning in the subject.

If there had been serious consideration the administration would have shown it when they took office at a time when we were losing 700,000 jobs a month instead of burning all the polictical capital to make greedy bastards at insurance companies much, much richer. Now we are facing near certain catastsrophic failure, and being fed a steady diet of hope and platitutes. Doesn't sound like anyone is serious about doing anything other than kicking the can down the road, and really hoping it doesn't explode when they are the ones kicking it.

thanks for the link...






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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:12 AM

17. +1

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:23 AM

18. Seriously

And if banksters think that putting Romney in charge will keep the good times for them rolling over the 99%...they don't know that freedom means nothing left to lose.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 02:23 PM

68. Thinking that someone could vote for the rotted produce that masquerades

as Republican Presidential Candidates and EXPECT anything more than a deepening of the inequities would be akin to dementia, I'm thinking.

Until someone has the political courage to stand up and help a county which actually LIKES to sit and watch American Idol to recognize that the sand is shifting beneath their feet and that they are the only ones that can stop it, we will continue divesting ourselves of what meager wealth we have. One day we should hit a bottom level, but I think that is at least 5 years off for perhaps a couple hundred million people. Unfortunately our country is run by and for the other hundred million, so I don't see anything that will stop that.

Too bad, because that is all wasted time during which their losses will grow, and the longer it takes, the poorer and less secure we become, barring some new invention in energy, or perhaps medicine, that creates REALLY BIG solutions.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 05:10 PM

75. Never ever ever

have liquids anywhere near DU

Solids are okay. Well, soft solids. Not rocks.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 08:34 AM

46. So housing/real estate poses a systemic risk

And who is supposed to be minding the store regarding systemic risk?

FROM WIKI

Preventing asset bubblesThe board of directors of each Federal Reserve Bank District also has regulatory and supervisory responsibilities. For example, a member bank (private bank) is not permitted to give out too many loans to people who cannot pay them back. This is because too many defaults on loans will lead to a bank run. If the board of directors has judged that a member bank is performing or behaving poorly, it will report this to the Board of Governors. This policy is described in United States Code:

Each Federal reserve bank shall keep itself informed of the general character and amount of the loans and investments of its member banks with a view to ascertaining whether undue use is being made of bank credit for the speculative carrying of or trading in securities, real estate, or commodities, or for any other purpose inconsistent with the maintenance of sound credit conditions; and, in determining whether to grant or refuse advances, rediscounts, or other credit accommodations, the Federal reserve bank shall give consideration to such information. The chairman of the Federal reserve bank shall report to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System any such undue use of bank credit by any member bank, together with his recommendation. Whenever, in the judgment of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, any member bank is making such undue use of bank credit, the Board may, in its discretion, after reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing, suspend such bank from the use of the credit facilities of the Federal Reserve System and may terminate such suspension or may renew it from time to time.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:51 PM

5. The Straits of America by: Nouriel Roubini

http://www.truth-out.org/straits-america/1326732829


New York - Macroeconomic indicators for the United States have been better than expected for the last few months. Job creation has picked up. Indicators for manufacturing and services have improved moderately. Even the housing industry has shown some signs of life. And consumption growth has been relatively resilient. But, despite the favorable data, US economic growth will remain weak and below trend throughout 2012. Why is all the recent economic good news not to be believed?
First, US consumers remain income-challenged, wealth-challenged, and debt-constrained. Disposable income has been growing modestly – despite real-wage stagnation – mostly as a result of tax cuts and transfer payments. This is not sustainable: eventually, transfer payments will have to be reduced and taxes raised to reduce the fiscal deficit. Recent consumption data are already weakening relative to a couple of months ago, marked by holiday retail sales that were merely passable.

At the same time, US job growth is still too mediocre to make a dent in the overall unemployment rate and on labor income. The US needs to create at least 150,000 jobs per month on a consistent basis just to stabilize the unemployment rate. More than 40% of the unemployed are now long-term unemployed, which reduces their chances of ever regaining a decent job. Indeed, firms are still trying to find ways to slash labor costs...Rising income inequality will also constrain consumption growth, as income shares shift from those with a higher marginal propensity to spend (workers and the less wealthy) to those with a higher marginal propensity to save (corporate firms and wealthy households)....Moreover, the recent bounce in investment spending (and housing) will end, with bleak prospects for 2012, as tax benefits expire, firms wait out so-called “tail risks” (low-probability, high-impact events), and insufficient final demand holds down capacity-utilization rates. And most capital spending will continue to be devoted to labor-saving technologies, again implying limited job creation.

At the same time, even after six years of a housing recession, the sector is comatose. With demand for new homes having fallen by 80% relative to the peak, the downward price adjustment is likely to continue in 2012 as the supply of new and existing homes continues to exceed demand. Up to 40% of households with a mortgage – 20 million – could end up with negative equity in their homes. Thus, the vicious cycle of foreclosures and lower prices is likely to continue – and, with so many households severely credit-constrained, consumer confidence, while improving, will remain weak....Given the bearish outlook for US economic growth, the Fed can be expected to engage in another round of quantitative easing. But the Fed also faces political constraints, and will do too little, and move too late, to help the economy significantly. Moreover, a vocal minority on the Fed’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee is against further easing. In any case, monetary policy can address only liquidity problems – and banks are flush with excess reserves. Most importantly, the US – and many other advanced economies – remains in the early stages of a deleveraging cycle. A recession caused by too much debt and leverage (first in the private sector, and then on public balance sheets) will require a long period of spending less and saving more. This year will be no different, as public-sector deleveraging has barely started.

Finally, there are those tail risks that make investors, corporations, and consumers hyper-cautious: the eurozone, where debt restructurings – or worse, breakup – are risks of systemic consequence; the outcome of the US presidential election; geo-political risks such as the Arab Spring, military confrontation with Iran, instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, North Korea’s succession, and the leadership transition in China; and the consequences of a global economic slowdown. Given all of these large and small risks, businesses, consumers, and investors have a strong incentive to wait and do little. The problem, of course, is that when enough people wait and don’t act, they heighten the very risks that they are trying to avoid.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:57 PM

6. 7 Things Poor Voters Want Rich Candidates to Know

http://www.loop21.com/politics/7-things-poor-voters-want-rich-candidates-know?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theloop21+%28TheLoop21.com+Comprehensive+Feed%29

1) If you were born wealthy, you have not earned everything you have through “hard work.”

2) If you have married into wealth, you have not earned everything you have through “hard work.”*

3) America is not an “equal playing field.”

4) Besides being born rich, or marrying rich, the only other way to really have a shot at significantly improving your class status in America is to be genetically or intellectually extraordinary…and most of us aren’t.

5) If you are wealthy and have called in a favor, or made a “donation” to get your already wealthy son or daughter a job they don’t need and didn’t earn, or a college admissions slot they didn’t earn, congratulations, you have increased the number of poor Americans.

6) Most poor people are lazy. WRONG.

7) But you are very RIGHT about one thing. Those of us who aren’t wealthy are envious. VERY envious. We should be. Most wealthy people who are miles ahead of the rest of us started miles ahead the day they were born. Why shouldn’t the rest of us be envious? That doesn’t mean we dislike the wealthy. In fact, some of my best friends are wealthy—and I say that without a trace of sarcasm. But, they are willing to acknowledge that they began their journey miles ahead of most and therefore while some of them may balk at their tax rate, they are extremely generous to those who have less than they do, because they realize, as the saying goes, “But for the grace of God go I.”

It would be nice if more of the privileged demonstrated this level of self-awareness—and not just when a poor person supporting them for president reminds them on the campaign trail that poor people who are doing the right thing, but still struggling to pay their light bills, exist.

Keli Goff is Loop 21's Senior Contributor. Learn more about her at KeliGoff.com

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 10:01 PM

7. Big Banks Have Picked Their Candidate, and It’s Romney By Andrew Dunn

http://www.nationofchange.org/big-banks-have-picked-their-candidate-and-it-s-romney-1326733554

The country's biggest banks are overwhelmingly supporting Mitt Romney's bid for the Republican presidential nomination, an analysis of federal campaign contributions shows. Employees at the five largest U.S. banks by assets, including Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., had given Romney about $600,000 through the first three quarters of 2011, according to the most recent filings available from the Federal Election Commission. The second-largest recipient of bank employee contributions, President Barack Obama, had far less, about $200,000, the analysis showed. The Republican presidential hopeful with the second-highest total, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, dropped out of the race in mid-August. Romney received more from employees of those top five banks than all the other candidates combined, helping make the former Massachusetts governor the best-financed candidate in the Republican nomination battle, which is heating up in South Carolina ahead of Saturday's primary. The contributions are the tip of what observers say will be the most expensive presidential race on record, and the first in which corporations are not limited in what they can spend.

Big banks have long been among the top givers to political campaigns. Part of what's behind this year's spending is the debate over regulating the financial sector, which is driving money to Republican candidates for president and Congress. Charlotte-based Bank of America's employees and PACs have given more than $1 million to candidates for president and Congress this cycle, according to the latest data from the research group Center for Responsive Politics. That's half of what peer Goldman Sachs has donated so far. The commercial banking industry as a whole has donated more than $10 million, the center's data show. The entire finance, insurance and real estate sector is the top political giver this election cycle, with more than $135 million so far. "The financial sector at large is continuing to be the largest sector in terms of campaign contributions and trying to influence policy through political money," said David Donnelly, national campaigns director at Public Campaign, an organization that pushes for campaign reform. "Even as the economy is not doing so well, campaign contributions from the banking sector seem to be increasing."

To be sure, more money could flow to Obama and Democratic congressional candidates once the hard-fought GOP presidential primary is over. But at this point, Republicans have the edge in donations from bankers. Donations from commercial bank employees and PACs to Republican candidates for president and Congress made up 68 percent of the total so far. Should that pattern continue, it would mark the most skewed to one party the spending has been in more than two decades. For all of the 2008 cycle, bankers gave 52 percent of their money to Republicans. The donations have occurred amid debate over banking regulations and the implementation - or possible ultimate repeal - of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed in summer 2010. Its provisions range from capping the swipe fees banks can charge merchants on debit card transactions to creation of a new regulatory agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Banks also were on pace to spend more than ever before on lobbying to try to weaken or repeal those regulations through the first three quarters of 2011.

"We've seen a massive shift from Obama to the Republican candidates on the part of the financial industry," said Carmen Balber of Consumer Watchdog, a California nonprofit that advocates for taxpayers and consumers. "Obviously, part of that has to do with a competitive primary. But we've definitely seen the financial services industry publicly chastise the president for going after financial reform." (THAT'S GRATITUDE FOR YOU!) Romney has vowed to repeal Dodd-Frank, though he has said there are certain parts of it he supports, such as regulating complex financial instruments called derivatives. It's not just his policy on regulation that draws bankers to him, observers say. As the former head of Bain Capital, another top financial industry political donor, he comes from their world. Romney says his business acumen is one reason he's best suited to lead the country. "Romney really is the candidate of Wall Street," Donnelly said. "He's the most comfortable in the board rooms of any of those."

MORE

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 10:06 PM

8. Men's Earnings Haven't Just Stagnated Over Past 40 Years--They've Fallen

http://www.alternet.org/story/153774/men%27s_earnings_haven%27t_just_stagnated_over_past_40_years--they%27ve_fallen?page=entire

A new report shows that full-time male workers in the United States were making less in real, that is, inflation-adjusted, dollars in 2009 than they were in 1969....MORE

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Response to Demeter (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 10:44 PM

9. I would imagine that if you factored in loss of benefits

such as defined benefit pension plans, health insurance, and so on, it's fallen even further in terms of disposable income.



wankers

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:46 AM

58. Then add in the INCREASED tax deductions....

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Response to Demeter (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 05:59 AM

13. good find. nt

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 10:50 PM

10. I think he's got the wrong finger up?

just sayin...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 05:58 AM

12. gads -- it'ss 5:57 in the morning - & i've been up for awhile.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:00 AM

14. Airbus takes record orders in 2011, beating Boeing

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_AIRBUS_ORDERS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-01-17-04-56-00

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) -- Airbus took in a record number of orders for new commercial aircraft last year as strong demand for its revamped single-aisle plane helped it best fierce U.S. rival Boeing Co. in the race for orders for the fourth year running.

The European jet maker said Tuesday that it took in 1,419 net new orders in 2011, worth $140 billion, well above Boeing's total of 805 aircraft. That topped the previous record of 1,413 net orders recorded by Boeing in 2007.

Airbus also delivered 534 aircraft last year, up from 510 a year earlier and keeping the title of world's biggest jet maker that it has held since 2003. Boeing delivered 477 aircraft in 2011.

Airbus targets around 570 jet deliveries this year including about 30 of its A380 super jumbo, the world's largest commercial jet.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:05 AM

15. Chinese growth gives markets a boost

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/W/WORLD_MARKETS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-01-17-05-46-07

LONDON (AP) -- Robust growth in China helped stock markets rally strongly Tuesday as investor fears of an abrupt slowdown in the world's second-largest economy were eased.

With Europe seemingly heading back into recession and the U.S. still to convince that it's economy is improving, China is important to shore up the global economy as well as sentiment, especially at a time when many investors are openly fretting about a potentially-devasting Greek debt default that could prompt further turmoil in financial markets.

Government figures showed that the slowdown in Chinese growth in the final quarter of 2011 was not as big as had been feared. Though the drop to 8.9 percent represented the lowest rate in two and a half years, the markets had been expecting a bigger decline to 8.7 percent.

"Equity markets are giving a positive reception to the latest set of Chinese economic data which shows that the economy is managing to avoid a hard landing despite background concerns of local government debt and banks' loan exposure to a previously overheated real estate sector," said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:06 AM

16. January 16 2012: Quo Vadis, Britannia? (Automatic Earth + LEAP/E2020)

Ilargi: There is a relative silence in the international financial press when it comes to Britain. The economic situation of continental Europe gets almost all the attention. Every now and then someone in France or Germany states that Britain, too, should be downgraded, like when S&P cut the ratings of 9 European countries, but such statements attract hardly any interest at all. This might not be overly wise, though...





... The magnitude of the blow suffered by the UK economy since the beginning of the financial crisis is very considerably minimized by not presenting it in terms of a common international yardstick. Gauged by decline in GDP, using a common international purchasing measure, dollars, no other economy in the world has shrunk even remotely as much as the UK...
/... http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2012/01/january-16-2012-quo-vadis-britannia.html

See also:

... And QE3 will play a determining role in the world’s great geopolitical swing in 2012 because this year will, in particular, see the last attempts of the world’s dominant powers of before-the-crisis to maintain their global power, whether it be in strategic, economic or financial matters. When we use the term “last” we want to stress that after 2012 their power will be weakened too much to still be able to claim maintaining this privileged situation. The recent S&P downgrade of the majority of the Euroland countries is a typical example of these last chance attempts: pushed by Wall Street and the City, and because of their insatiable financing needs (6), the United States and United Kingdom have arrived at the point of engaging in open financial warfare with their last allies, the Europeans. It’s geopolitical suicide because this attitude obliges Euroland to reinforce and integrate still more and whilst dissociating itself from the United States and United Kingdom; whilst the vast majority of the Eurozone leaders and the populations have finally understood that there really was a transatlantic and cross-Channel war being conducted against them (7)...

/... http://www.leap2020.eu/GEAB-N-61-is-available-Global-Systemic-Crisis-2012-The-year-of-the-world-s-great-geopolitical-swing_a8770.html

Edit (after a little searching), eg:

German conservative advises UK downgrade

KIEL, Germany | Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:38pm GMT (Reuters) - A senior German lawmaker Friday accused ratings agency Standard and Poor's of playing politics, saying the U.S. agency should also downgrade Britain if it downgrades France as expected.

Michael Fuchs, deputy leader of the parliamentary group for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, said S&P had a distorted view of the euro zone and that downgrades of its member states were politically motivated.

"This step is out of order," he told Reuters on the sidelines of a party meeting, in reference to reports S&P would cut the ratings of several euro zone states later in the day.

"Standard and Poor's must stop playing politics... why doesn't it act on the highly indebted United States or highly indebted Britain?" he said, pointing out that Britain has higher public debt and deficits than France...

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/01/13/uk-germany-ratings-britain-idUKTRE80C1UA20120113


(I'll be heading up to UK, by the looks of events, on an extended research road-trip during this bleak midwinter. Will maybe post notes).

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:29 AM

19. Thanks for the comparative economics data

Last edited Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:04 AM - Edit history (1)

Too few people are looking at this information at all. I truly doubt that even the heads of state know what to look for. Instead they scurry around, trying to satisfy banksters. They've never connected the meaning of banksters to Danegeld, and how the Vikings drained their victims.

Happy New Year, GD! Good to see you!

THAT GEAB REPORT IS practically giddy with hope!

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:58 AM

30. Looking forward to your notes about the UK

Looking at those graphs, it's amazing the financial Ponzi in UK hasn't already imploded.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:29 AM

20. Oil climbs above $100 in Asia amid Iran tensions

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OIL_PRICES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-01-17-03-25-33

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Oil climbed above $100 a barrel Tuesday in Asia after Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter of the commodity, indicated it thinks prices should be maintained around that level.

Benchmark crude for February delivery was up $1.94 at $100.63 a barrel at midday Kuala Lumpur time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The oil market in the U.S. was closed on Monday for a holiday.

Oil prices rose after Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told CNN that Saudi Arabia wanted to stabilize prices at $100 a barrel this year and was ready to pump more oil if needed, said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore.

But the minister's comments also raised new tension as Iran has warned Gulf nations not to make up any shortfall due to U.S.-led sanctions that are hampering its crude exports, Shum said. Iran has warned it would respond to an embargo by shutting the Strait of Hormuz which is used to transport about a fifth of the world's oil.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:38 AM

21. The Essentials for the Necessary Transition to a Renewable Energy Economy

http://www.alternet.org/story/153704/the_essentials_for_the_necessary_transition_to_a_renewable_energy_economy?page=entire

Unless we want to be indentured to an energy-military-financial complex, we need to build a new infrastructure for renewable energy. Fossil fuels are going to disappear, whether we like it or not. Petroleum, natural gas, and coal are becoming scarcer, harder to extract and a greater danger to the global climate. If we proceed with business-as-usual, energy companies will take advantage of increasing scarcity to dominate the world economy by vacuuming up more money from the 99%. They will be able to ally with military and financial institutions to construct an energy-military-financial complex that could eventually reduce most of the rest of us to a form of debt peonage. On the other hand, if we could possibly elect a government that does what governments do best – build infrastructure – we can avoid a world of global warming and economic collapse by building enough wind farms, solar panels, and geothermal systems to power our economy and ignite a sustainable, broad-based period of economic growth. Of course, this will require a sea-change in the direction of the political system, along the lines of the Occupy movement, but there is too much at stake to throw up our hands in despair....The unfolding energy drama presents progressives with several dilemmas. Some are suspicious that oil scarcity can be used as a ruse by the oil companies and speculators to spike prices. Roger Altman recently argued that a larger supply of fossil fuels will lead to less international tension. More generally, progressives sometimes fear that advocating for less oil use will be seen by the public as an attack on the American Dream of a car in every garage and a single family home for every family. But in addition to problems of scarcity and extraction, fossil fuels are bringing us towards extremely dangerous climate change. We need to have some answers or else the Right will simply keep up with the chant of “Drill baby drill.” It's time to counter with, “Build, build, build!"

Dirty fuels Create an Unsustainable economy

The question of the future of the supply of fossil fuels is not an easy one to answer. Oil producing nations, for instance, are not at all transparent about their supplies. Technologies constantly change, and so do environmental hazards. However, if we look at the current state of fossil fuel industries, it should be clear that we are in trouble.


  • 1) Natural gas. Natural gas production is being kept alive by the development of hyrdrofracturing technology, or “fracking." As AlterNet has reported, an official with New York State stated that fracking will contaminate water supplies. His is only the most recent statement of a widespread concern about the dangers of this new practice. France has temporarily banned fracking, and New York State is considering how to proceed, but one would hope that the possibility of making New York City uninhabitable because of contaminated water would focus minds considerably...Beyond environmental concerns, the corporate hype surrounding fracking as a “game changer” is false. Even the Energy Information Administration, generally a cheerleader for the industry, predicts that with fracking American natural gas production will increase by only 31 per cent by 2035. That increase probably won’t even cover growth of the economy, and even so there is talk of exporting natural gas, which will decrease the amount available for domestic use even further. The problem is one that is endemic to the current fossil fuel industry – the conventional methods of extraction are leading to precipitous drops in production as fields are sucked dry, so extreme extraction is the only route left.

  • 2) Oil. The environmental situation is at least as bad in the case of petroleum production, as we saw in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Despite industry trumpeting of new technological breakthroughs, the underlying fact is this: oil companies would not be oil-fracking, drilling multi-mile pipes underwater, exploring the Arctic and cooking tar sands if they could do what they did for the first 100 years of the oil age -- drill into pressurized deposits of oil that are conveniently situated below solid, dry, accessible land. The energy gained compared to the energy needed to discover oil has collapsed from 1200 to 5 in the last 100 years. By contrast, wind energy now returns 25 times the energy needed to provide it. Despite all of the new oil extraction techniques, global production of petroleum has stagnated since about 2005. This plateau in production is referred to as “peak oil” by activists who are concerned about how a civilization that requires oil for its transportation needs will survive if the supply should start to shrink precipitously. As scarcity leads to higher gasoline prices, economies stop growing, which leads to less demand for gasoline and then, temporarily, lower prices, until demand lifts the price again, and the cycle repeats itself. Meanwhile, in a desperate attempt to stave off the inevitable, societies encourage dirtier and dirtier methods of extraction. Nigeria, a major oil exporter, illustrates this irony. The problem of peak oil is exacerbated by the decrease in exportable production, because big exporters like Nigeria and Saudi Arabia keep using more oil for their own use. When the Nigerian government tried to eliminate gasoline subsidies, riots ensued, a process that has repeated itself throughout the oil-producing nations, thus decreasing the amount of oil available for oil importers. This rioting occurred at the same time that Nigeria’s oil rich delta experienced a terrible oil spill, an area that endures an Exxon-Valdez-sized spill every year. The Canadian tar sands may be the worst of all fossil fuel disasters, not only because thousands of miles of forest and large deposits of water are destroyed, but because the extra carbon emitted from these formations may mean “game over” for the climate, to use eminent climatologist James Hansen’s phrase. The reason Hansen is so worried about the tar sands is because his scenario for avoiding the worst of global warming is to stop using coal, but only if oil production peaks and declines, as peak oil activists predict. If more, dirtier oil flows, then you could shut down all the coal plants and the biosphere would still be in big trouble.

  • 3) Coal. Coal use, at least in the U.S., is indeed declining , although not fast enough – and it is still increasing rapidly in China. But even coal is experiencing supply problems, as China has to import 40 percent of its supplies. The data on coal is even less reliable than the data for petroleum, but some experts have predicted a peak in production as early as 2020. Meanwhile, coal, like oil and increasingly natural gas, continues to wreak death and destruction on its environment.

  • 4) Nukes and biofuels. Uranium is not a fossil fuel, but it is a fuel, as are biofuels, which also have very negative consequences for the environment. Fukushima may have begun to sound a death knell of the nuclear power industry. Even the French nuclear industry, which generates 80% of France’s electricity, has had to lay off employees because contracts to build nuclear power plants have been cancelled. It is becoming clear that biofuels usually cause more damage than benefits, by replacing food production, encouraging deforestation, and increasing pollution. The challenge for humanity is to stop using fuels and to only use renewable sources of energy from the sun, wind, and earth.

    Transitioning to a renewable energy society


For progressives, the fossil fuel crisis provides a great opportunity for equitable, sustainable economic growth. Since energy impacts all sections of society, all parts of the economy must become more just in order to solve the problem. Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of petroleum. While it would be much easier if Sammy and Susie Suburban could wake up in the future and drive their electric cars in just the same way they drive their oil-powered ones, this scenario seems very unlikely. The best way to reduce and eliminate the use of petroleum is to increase the density of town, suburban, and city centers, so that people can choose to walk, bike, or take electric trains such as subways and light rail, and so that slow, low-range actually-existing electric vehicles can cover the shorter distances needed. To make dense city centers attractive, however, a good educational system is required. As the current candidate for Senate in Massachussets, Elizabeth Warren, has argued, much of the expansion of the suburbs and the increased expenditure of family income has occurred in order to live in a good school district. Thus, because of the interconnected nature of the modern economy, it might turn out that the single most important way to solve the energy crisis is to improve urban schools!

The technology now exists to supply all the electricity we need by constructing wind farms, solar panels, and energy-efficient buildings. If progressives want to argue for the positive benefits of government, then they can advocate for a multi-trillion dollar program of government-led new energy infrastructure, which would employ tens of millions of people and rebuild the key to our economic prosperity, our manufacturing base. It is exactly because the energy, military, and financial elites will benefit from fossil fuel scarcity that progressives need to tackle the problem head on. In rebuilding the infrastructure, the economic fortunes of the 99 percent can be revived as well.

*************************************************************************************

Jon Rynn is the author of the book Manufacturing Green Prosperity: The power to rebuild the American middle class, available from Praeger Press. He holds a Ph.D. in political science and is a Visiting Scholar at the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems. In the spring he will be participating in a global teach-in (globalteachin.com), incorporating these and other issues.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:41 AM

22. Time Is On Our Side: The Survival of Social Security by: Dean Baker

http://www.truth-out.org/time-our-side-survival-social-security/1326733784

As we approach budget time we can look forward to another burst of handwringing by the Washington elites, who will once again tell us about the need to cut Social Security and Medicare. News stories and opinion columns will be filled with solemn pronouncements about how these programs must be curtailed before they drive the nation to bankruptcy.

We can look forward to that famously deceptive graph showing how the cost of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are projected to soar as a share of the economy over the next two or three decades. Those with good eyes will notice that it is the cost of Medicare and Medicaid that are soaring, not Social Security.

This is primarily due to the projected explosion of private sector health care costs, not the impact of aging on the cost of the programs. That would lead honest people to focus on the need to get U.S. health care costs in line with costs in every other country in the world, but no one ever said that the Washington elites were honest.

But this is old hat. We know that the elites tell stories to advance their agenda. What is worth noting – and celebrating – is that thus far they have failed.

They have been pushing this line for the last twenty years, yet during this period there have been no substantial cuts to either Social Security or Medicare. This is a great victory for the vast majority of the country, the 99 percent, over the One Percent.

This fact is truly an impressive accomplishment. It is not only the Republicans who want to cut these programs; top leaders in the Democratic Party have repeatedly indicated their willingness to cut these programs.

President Clinton was all set to go along with a plan that would have reduced the annual cost of living adjustment for Social Security by as much as 1.1 percentage points. Had he gotten his way back in 1997, many seniors would be getting checks that are more than 10 percent smaller today. This sort of cut could have been devastating for people struggling to survive in the wreckage created by the incredible economic mismanagement of the last 15 years.

More recently, President Obama indicated his willingness to support an increase in the age of eligibility for Medicare and a cut of 0.3 percentage points in the annual cost of living adjustment for Social Security. These cuts would be a great hardship to tens of millions of near retirees who have seen much or all of their wealth destroyed by the collapse of the housing bubble.

In addition to those openly advocating cuts to these programs, Washington is also filled with a large number of “good cops.” These are people who ostensibly support these programs. The good cops tell us that we are better off taking a deal in the long-run, because otherwise the bad guys will come back with even more powerful ammunition and push through larger cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

No one can know the motives among this group of good cops, but the fact is that they have repeatedly been proven wrong. If we had taken their advice back in the 90s, seniors today would already be receiving much lower benefits.

And, there is no reason to think that once cuts were put in place that the elites won’t come back for more. After all, those of us who remember the 2000 presidential race know that any improvement in the budget situation is an argument for more tax cuts. And tax cuts will inevitably mean that we will have more pressure in the future for budget cuts.

The other important part of the argument for delay is the demographic fact that we hear repeated endlessly. The country is aging. The huge baby boom cohort is reaching the eligibility ages for Social Security and Medicare.
This means that the percentage of the electorate directly affected by these programs is rising every year. As hard as it was to make cuts in these 15 years ago, it will be much harder in 2014 or 2016, when the percentage of the adult population eligible for Social Security will be almost 20 percent larger. Better yet, if we can delay to 2020 the Social Security eligible population will be close to 30 percent larger as a share of the adult population.

With older people voting in much higher ratios than young people, there are not likely to be many politicians anxious to support cuts to the programs they depend upon. And, contrary to the stories of the Washington elite, the support of seniors for these programs is not driven by greed. It is driven by the fact that they recognize the importance of these programs in their own lives. They want to ensure that their children and grandchildren will enjoy the same security in their own age.

The moral of this story is that we should celebrate the work of hundreds of thousands of people across the country who have blocked the Washington elite to cut Social Security and Medicare. And remember, the future is on our side.

***************************************************************************************

This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

******************************************************************************************

DEAN BAKER
Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC.

He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. His blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting.

He received his Ph.D in economics from the University of Michigan.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:45 AM

23. Travel Humor


I have been in many places, but I have never been in Cahoots. Apparently you
can't go there alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport. You have to be
driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my family, friends
and those where I have worked.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump and I am not too
much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go and I try not to visit
there too often.

I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense. It really gets the
adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart. At my age I need all of the
stimuli I can get. Now if I can just avoid getting in Continent.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #23)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:50 AM

59. I would like to be in Decision less often.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #59)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 03:30 PM

72. hear, hear!

Me too.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:48 AM

24. Morgan Stanley caps cash bonus at $125,000



The bulk of its bankers’ compensation will be spread over more than two years in the latest sign of the lower levels and changed structure of Wall Street pay

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/2SRI11/C4FL36/LSLXF/VL66YJ/FK3MDI/QR/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=17

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:49 AM

25. GM urged to shift Chevrolet output

General Motors urged to shift more production to Europe in effort to restore the unit’s profitability

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/2SRI11/C4FL36/LSLXF/VL66YJ/NJGIR3/QR/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=17

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:50 AM

26. Stanford clients still await justice (CLIENTS? HOW ABOUT---VICTIMS?)


The man charged with running a $7bn Ponzi scheme is facing a jury next week, but the length of the recovery process is irritating his customers

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/2SRI11/C4FL36/LSLXF/VL66YJ/C4RAWE/QR/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=17

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Response to Demeter (Reply #26)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 08:09 AM

40. It's a shame we don't have tee shirts or at least nice big buttons

Last edited Tue Jan 17, 2012, 12:07 PM - Edit history (1)

with pics of Sir Allen before and after and "YOU'RE NEXT!" to wear every time we go to the bank, any bank.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #40)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:55 AM

61. Hey..there's a money making idea!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:51 AM

27. An end to GM crop development for Europe


BASF, the German chemical group, is to relocate its genetically modified plant development to the US

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/A1TNOO/EX3HL6/WH2F8/XH00ER/PF6QN6/OS/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=17

GEE, THANKS MERKEL. YOU'RE A GM PEACH

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:52 AM

28. S&P downgrades eurozone bail-out fund



EFSF credit rating is cut from AAA to AA+, potentially constraining its ability to contain the region’s debt crisis

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/XYEWFF/2OKQSD/9MEOW/ZGVV9M/2OXH03/D5/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=17

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Response to Demeter (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:17 AM

34. ECB’s Draghi Questions Role of Ratings Companies After S&P Downgrades

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-16/draghi-says-europe-should-rely-less-on-assessments-of-ratings-companies.html

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said investors largely priced in the euro-area sovereign downgrades from Standard & Poor’s and questioned the importance of ratings companies.

“I will never comment on ratings as such, but certainly one needs to ask how important are these ratings for the marketplace overall, for investors?” Draghi said late yesterday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. “It seems to a great extent markets have anticipated these ratings changes and priced them in. We should learn to do without ratings, or at least we should learn to assess creditworthiness” with less reliance on the ratings companies, he said.

S&P stripped France and Austria of their top ratings on Jan. 13 and cut seven other euro countries in a move that left Germany with the bloc’s only stable AAA grade. In an echo of the rally in Treasuries following S&P’s lowering of the U.S. sovereign rating in August, investors shrugged off the judgment on Europe, with France’s borrowing costs dropping at its latest debt sale.

France sold 1.895 billion euros ($2.4 billion) of one-year notes yesterday at a yield of 0.406 percent, down from 0.454 percent on Jan. 9. The Treasury sold a total of 8.59 billion euros in bills, including three and six-month paper. Yields fell on both.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:21 AM

35. S&P downgrades euro zone rescue fund

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/17/us-eurozone-idUSTRE80E0RN20120117

U.S. rating agency Standard & Poor's cut its credit rating of the euro zone's EFSF rescue fund on Monday, and Greece was under pressure to break a deadlock in debt swap talks if it is to avoid an unruly default. French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said there was no need to shore up the European Financial Stability Facility after S&P downgraded it by one notch to AA+ from triple-A, echoing the view of Germany, the only major euro zone member to retain a top-notch credit rating. S&P said in a statement the decision was all but inevitable following identical cuts three days earlier to the creditworthiness of France and Austria, two of the EFSF's guarantors...

Financial markets, which had fallen after the mass downgrades of euro zone members on Friday, showed little reaction to the latest blow -- which had been expected -- and Japan, a major buyer of EFSF bonds, said they remained an "attractive" investment.

A growing number of experts, including a Standard & Poor's official, warned that a Greek default was on the cards, after Greece's talks with creditors broke down on Friday. Greece was under growing pressure to secure a last-ditch agreement with its private creditors to accept voluntary losses on their holdings of Greek bonds. Athens risks going bankrupt when 14.5 billion euros of bond redemptions fall due in late March. Without a private sector bond swap involving a voluntary writedown, a 130 billion euro second international bailout for Greece could fall apart. The talks with creditor banks broke down because of different views on what interest rate is acceptable, the head of the group leading private sector talks said. Charles Dallara, managing director of the Institute of International Financial, said the banks were "very surprised" at the stance taken by some officials representing both governments and multilateral institutions, without naming them.

The EFSF was set up by the 17 governments that share the European single currency in May 2010 and has so far been used to provide emergency loans to Ireland and Portugal. It is also expected to contribute to a second bailout of Greece. The fund has an effective lending capacity of 440 billion euros, which depends on guarantees, mainly from the euro zone's AAA countries, only four of which now remain: Germany, Luxembourg, Finland and the Netherlands.

MORE BLATHER

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Response to Demeter (Reply #35)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:33 AM

37. S&P versus ECB

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2012/01/sp-versus-ecb/


Last night we saw the first salvo in a long war between the rating agencies and the ECB’s emergency action to prevent total European financial melt-down. The ECB came out on top, with France selling 1.9 billion euros of one-year notes today at a yield of 0.406 percent, down from 0.454 percent. The European equities market received the news well and jumped on the result. Given the recent sub-3 year issuance results this wasn’t really a surprise, but it did provide some much needed good news.

Although the market appears to have taken the downgrade of France in its stride, the junking of Portugal is a different matter. The Portuguese 10yr yield jumped 15.6% overnight. This result isn’t an immediate issue given the fact that the country is already on life support, but the result is likely to be yet another hit to the banking sector, specifically German and Spanish banks from the looks of recent data:



It would appear that Portugal is slowly slipping in the direction of Greece. The latest report from the country’s central bank certainly isn’t happy reading:

The forecasts released Tuesday by the Portuguese central bank are the gloomiest to date and predict a worrying contraction for the Portuguese economy: 2012 should register a 3.1% contraction from the 2.2% forecast just three months ago. The scenario is described in the Bank of Portugal’s winter bulletin released today as ”an unprecedented contraction of the Portuguese economic activity“, brought on by austerity measures and the growing uncertainty surrounding the crisis in the eurozone.

The Portuguese central bank forecasts a 3.1% contraction in 2012 and a virtual stagnation in 2013, when the country’s economy should grow just 0.3%. However, the forecasts for 2011 were revised slightly upward, to 1.6% from last October’s forecast of a 1.9% fall.

Internal demand, the main driver of next year’s contraction, also registered a significant worsening in the central bank’s winter bulletin. The Bank of Portugal is now expecting a 6.5% fall from the 4.8% contraction forecast for 2012, as the country is in the grip of a huge austerity drive which has brought on an overall increase in prices, tax hikes, and cuts to wages and benefits as part of the government’s policies, as it strives to comply with the €78bn bailout agreement signed with the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission, in 2011.


Yields on Spanish and Italian bonds hardly moved overnight suggesting that the ECB’s SMP program was once again busy. The ECB was very active last week with €3.77bn in sovereign purchases, up from €1.1bn the week before. That is the highest level of activity for 3 months and I see no reason to suggest that pace will slow.

After the market closed S&P released yet another well-choreographed salvo on Europe with the downgrade of the EFSF:

The European Financial Stability Facility lost its top credit rating at Standard & Poor’s after the rating company downgraded France and Austria.

The rating was lowered to AA+ from AAA, S&P said in a statement today. It had said on Dec. 6 that the loss of an AAA rating by any one of the EFSF’s guarantor nations may lead to the facility being downgraded.

“The EFSF’s obligations are no longer fully supported either by guarantees from EFSF members rated AAA by S&P, or by AAA rated securities,” the company said. “Credit enhancements sufficient to offset what we view as the reduced creditworthiness of guarantors are currently not in place.”

S&P removed the ratings on the facility from CreditWatch with negative implications, it also said.


And then the return fire from the ECB:

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on Monday downplayed the importance of ratings agencies after Standard & Poor’s mass downgrade of eurozone countries, saying markets had priced in the action.

“I think what we should do is to learn either to do without them or with them but to a much more limited way than we do today,” said Draghi, in his capacity as head of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB).

“To a great extent, markets anticipated these ratings changes and priced their assets as if these ratings had already been issued,” said Draghi, speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.


There is no doubt that these ratings were already priced in by the markets. There have been rumours circulating about the downgrade of France for over a month and even the French finance minister had stated that it would be a miracle if France was able to keep the top rating. What I don’t think has been priced in by the markets, as I discussed yesterday, is S&P’s negative outlook based on the continuation of the current policies. As far a I can tell, the response from the European leadership thus far has been to re-state their commitment to the “fiscal compact” with a few addition motherhood statements about “focussing on growth”. The problem is that most of what S&P warned about in their ratings assessment is the exact plan Europe currently has for itself.

Mario Draghi may consider the rating agencies to be irrelevant but the big swing in the Portuguese yields suggest many others don’t share his view and the problem for the European banks is that , at this stage, neither does the ECB’s operating procedure:

Italian banks need additional collateral to obtain funding after the country’s credit rating was cut by Standard & Poor’s and the London Clearing House raised its margin calls on Italian bonds, Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) said.

“These points are negative for the Italian banks, for the pressure on their sovereign holdings and on interbanking funding,” Paola Sabbione, a Milan-based analyst at Deutsche Bank, said in a note to investors. “A larger collateral is now required to obtain the same ECB funding.”


Although markets had already anticipated the moves by the rating agencies, I am very doubtful they have priced in what is happening in Greece.

Greece sent senior officials to Washington on Monday for meetings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it raced against the clock to break a deadlock in debt swap talks that has prompted new fears of an unruly default.

Barely a month after an injection of bailout funds helped avert bankruptcy, Greece is back at the centre of the eurozone crisis as fears of a default and a subsequent eurozone exit overshadow a mass credit downgrade of eurozone countries.

Athens needs a deal with the private sector within days to avoid going bankrupt when €14.5bn of bond redemptions fall due in late March. But talks with its creditor banks broke down without an agreement on Friday.



Charles Dallara, head of the Institute of International Finance who represents Greece’s private creditors, told the Financial Times an agreement in principle was needed by the end of this week if it was to be finalised in time for the March bond redemptions. He said the Greeks were not the problem.

“All the European heads of state said they wanted a deal with a 50% (haircut) and a voluntary agreement,” Dallara was quoted as saying. “Some of their own collaborators are not following that decision.”

After initial optimism last week that a deal was near, negotiations stalled on Friday over the interest rate Greece must pay on new bonds it offers.

One banking source said official sector creditors had asked for a coupon of less than 4%, irking banks for whom it would have meant losses of over 75% on the bonds.

A second source said the banks were ready to strike a deal if they reached common ground with the EU, IMF and ECB.


German and French officials have now been called in to help break the deadlock between parties. The disagreement appears to be focussed on what coupon will be paid on a 30 year bond and also the involvement of non-private parties. Greece faces a €14.4bn redemption payment in March and needs to have the second bailout programme in place to avoid a default. I have long stated that Greece will eventually default. Even if this deal does get through and Greece eventually gets yet another bailout I doubt it will be too long before Greece is back at the negotiating table asking once again for additional funds. Supposedly Greece has just 45 days to avoid default....

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Response to Demeter (Reply #35)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 10:42 AM

52. S&P Downgrades Europe Rescue Fund NAKED CAPITALISM

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/01/sp-downgrades-europe-rescue-fund.html

This site and many others deemed the European rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Fund, to be unworkable (among other things, the device of having troubled countries on the hook to finance their own rescues seemed absurd). But it’s one thing to have informed critics view this contraption with skepticism, quite another for a ratings agency to ding it formally.

US investors can still treat the EFSF as AAA based on Moody’s and Fitch AAA ratings. But who with an operating brain cell would buy bonds that are so clearly exposed to downgrade risk?

This means that the ECB will have to monetize periphery country debt in a more direct manner that it has been willing to heretofore to keep them afloat.

The Wall Street Journal has just released a news alert, there is no accompanying story yet on its site:

Standard and Poor’s downgraded its credit rating on Europe’s rescue fund one notch to double-A-plus from triple-A, following its decision last Friday to lower ratings on a number of euro-zone states.

S&P said it could cut the rating on the European Financial Stability Facility further if member states’ creditworthiness is further eroded amid the euro zone’s prolonged crisis.

The two other large ratings firms, Moody’s and Fitch, still rate the EFSF at triple-A.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:35 AM

38. Europe Bailout Fund Says It Has Enough Cash to Deal With Sovereign Crisis

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-16/s-p-cuts-efs-facility-to-aa-from-aaa.html

European officials said the euro region’s temporary bailout facility has enough funds to deal with the sovereign debt crisis after losing its top credit rating at Standard & Poor’s.

“The EFSF has sufficient means to fulfil its commitments under current and potential future adjustment programs,” said Klaus Regling, chief executive officer of the European Financial Stability Facility, said in an e-mail late yesterday. S&P cut its rating on the EFSF to AA+ from AAA. The first test of the cut will come at 12 p.m. in Brussels when the EFSF sells bills.

The EFSF, designed to fund rescue packages for Greece, Ireland and Portugal partially with bond sales, owed its AAA rating to guarantees from its sponsoring nations. Two of those sovereigns, France and Austria, were cut on Jan. 13 to AA+ from AAA by S&P, which also downgraded seven other euro countries.

“The EFSF’s obligations are no longer fully supported either by guarantees from EFSF members rated AAA by S&P, or by AAA rated securities,” S&P said. “Credit enhancements sufficient to offset what we view as the reduced creditworthiness of guarantors are currently not in place.”

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Response to Demeter (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:38 AM

39. Ever Since France Lost Its AAA Rating...

http://www.businessinsider.com/ever-since-france-lots-its-aaa-rating-2012-1?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+clusterstock+%28ClusterStock%29

Ever since France lost its AAA-rating... The spread between German and French 10-year debt has only shrunk.
Last week it was around 130 basis points.
Today, less than 120.

French-German 10-Year Spread.




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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:56 AM

29. Romney rules out future bank bail-outs


Republican presidential debate in South Carolina is dominated by arguments over bank rescues, political funding and fighting terrorism

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/XYEWFF/2OKQSD/9MEOW/ZGVV9M/VLANTR/D5/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=17

I'LL BET A LOT OF WINKING AND NUDGING WAS GOING ON AT THE TIME.....LUCKY NOBODY FELL OFF THE STAGE

&feature=related

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:02 AM

31. U.S. Steps Up S&P Inquiry MORTGAGE FRAUD

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203721704577156963813900028.html?mod=dist_smartbrief

Federal prosecutors are stepping up their probe of Standard & Poor's financial crisis-era ratings of troubled mortgage securities, according to former analysts questioned by prosecutors and another person familiar with the situation.

The probe is focusing on whether the firm's managers ignored its own standards when assessing the mortgage products in an effort to cater to banking clients eager to sell the securities, according to the former S&P analysts.

At least five former S&P analysts have been contacted by Justice Department officials in recent weeks as part of a civil inquiry into the McGraw-Hill Cos. unit, these people said...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:10 AM

32. Oil climbs above $100 in Asia amid Iran tensions

http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/oil_prices

Oil climbed above $100 a barrel Tuesday in Asia after Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter of the commodity, indicated it thinks prices should be maintained around that level...Oil prices rose after Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told CNN that Saudi Arabia wanted to stabilize prices at $100 a barrel this year and was ready to pump more oil if needed, said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore...But the minister's comments also raised new tension as Iran has warned Gulf nations not to make up any shortfall due to U.S.-led sanctions that are hampering its crude exports, Shum said. Iran has warned it would respond to an embargo by shutting the Strait of Hormuz which is used to transport about a fifth of the world's oil..."There is more upside to oil pricing primarily because of geopolitical supply side concerns," Shum said.

...Benchmark crude for February delivery was up $1.94 at $100.63 a barrel at midday Kuala Lumpur time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The oil market in the U.S. was closed on Monday for a holiday...In other energy trading, heating oil rose 5.8 cents to $3.09 per gallon and gasoline futures rose 5.3 cents to $2.79 per gallon. Natural gas fell 12.2 cents to $2.55 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #32)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:15 AM

33. Saudi says can pump more fast, favors $100 oil

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/16/us-saudi-oil-naimi-idUSTRE80F0SD20120116

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, said on Monday it can pump more oil at a moment's notice, the day after Iran warned Gulf oil producers not to compensate for any disruption to Iranian output. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, in an interview with CNN, said Riyadh could increase production by about 2 million barrels per day (bpd) "almost immediately...We can easily get up to 11.4, 11.8 (million barrels a day) almost immediately, in a few days," Naimi told CNN -- up from just under 10 million bpd now. "...all we need is to turn valves."...Naimi's remarks were aired after Iran said on Sunday its Gulf Arab should not lift output to make up for any shortfall from Iran in the event of oil sanctions on Tehran. "This spare capacity is to respond to emergencies worldwide, to respond to our customer demand, and that is really the focus. Our focus is not on who drops out from production, but who wants more," he said. The Saudi oil chief said it would take about 90 days to add a further 700,000 bpd and reach full capacity of 12.5 million barrels daily. Saudi Arabia is the only oil producer with significant spare capacity to replace any fall in supply from its regional rival Iran, which is under increasing pressure from the United States and Europe over its nuclear program...Tehran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the gateway for large volumes of crude from the Gulf, should it face an oil embargo. "I personally do not believe that the Strait, if it were shut, will be shut for any length of time," said Naimi. "I don't think all these pronouncements are helpful to the international oil market or to the price of oil. It's really disturbing."

Iranian oil supplies to Europe are set to fall this year when an European Union embargo, due to be agreed next week, is fully implemented in July. A new U.S. sanction on Iran's central bank means some of Iran's biggest customers in Asia may seek supplies from elsewhere. Iran said on Sunday that any such action by the Gulf countries "will not be perceived as friendly."
"Saudi Arabia pledging a replacement of Iran crude oil to other nations is a risk," said oil consultant Olivier Jakob of Petroconsultants. "Saudi Arabia is walking a thin line as it needs to re-assure the West without appearing as supporting Israel against Iran."...Naimi said that Saudi could easily increase sales to China, the world's second biggest oil importer and Iran's biggest customer. Saudi currently exports about 400 to 500,000 barrels daily to China, said Naimi. "So if were to be asked to provide additional 200 or 300 (thousand), it's not a big deal."

The Saudi oil minister said he favors an oil price of $100 per barrel, the first time Riyadh has identified an ideal crude price in more than three years. "Our wish and hope is we can stabilize this oil price and keep it at a level around $100," Naimi said.
He said the $100 barrel figure was for an average of crudes worldwide. "If we were able as producers and consumers to average $100, I think the world economy would be in better shape," he said. International benchmark Brent crude was valued at just over $111 a barrel on Monday. U.S. crude traded at $99.50 a barrel. Riyadh has not specified a preferred oil price since it said it favored $75 per barrel in November 2008. Oil prices have risen sharply since then and it is estimated that to balance its national budget Saudi requires an oil price of $90 a barrel.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #33)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:10 AM

55. Pigs back at the trough - $4 gas by Memorial Day?

Numerous reports have gas rising to the $4/gal. level perhaps by Memorial Day.
Yet, there is no discernable concern amongst the "experts" as to how devastating this rise will be to the already moribund "recovery".
Equally fascinating is the lack of attention to the inflationary effects that a sharp rise on gas cost could bring.

By now, many Americans have become used to the annual feed bag run by oil/gas bettors: gas surcharges are tacked on by deliverers, food costs rise, spending in other sectors tanks - it's now a ritual as everyone basically waits for the hogs to back off the chow once again.

Add in this year's folly: "global political concerns", and we have the stage set for the 2012 edition of "give us your money or else".

Of course any connection, perceived or otherwise, between oil company profits and "global political concerns" are strictly incidental!

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Response to Loge23 (Reply #55)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 03:20 PM

71. It's simply the Law of Supply and Demand.

You have a supply of money, and the petroleum industry demands it!

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Response to Loge23 (Reply #55)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 03:33 PM

73. We were getting there for New Years---$3.59

wankers

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:26 AM

36. UAE waives $5.8 billion of Iraq debt

http://gulfnews.com/news/region/iraq/uae-waives-5-8-billion-of-iraq-debt-1.967002

Abu Dhabi: The UAE has decided to waive Iraq's debt of $5.8 billion (Dh21.29 billion) and backs holding the next Arab summit in Baghdad, Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced. "An agreement will be signed soon to lay out the legal framework for waiving old Iraqi debt of $5.8 billion," Shaikh Abdullah told a joint news conference with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari.

On holding the next Arab summit in Baghdad, Shaikh Abdullah said there was a decision by Arab leaders to this effect. "The question is when this summit can be held in Iraq, so that that summit will be successful. We Arabs want to make sure the next summit will be a step forward and at the same time keep Iraq's right to host the summit." Zebari said the general secretariat of the Arab League will send a delegation to Iraq on January 23 to assess the situation there and the preparedness of Baghdad to hold such a summit.

There are security concerns as violence has surged across Iraq since the last American troops left the country, with a string of bombings that has left at least 150 people dead since the beginning of the year.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 08:17 AM

41. Economists’ ‘Inside Job’ Problem Begs More Than Disclosure: View

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-17/economists-inside-job-conflicts-beg-for-more-than-pay-disclosure-view.html



Economics, at its best, has a noble goal: Figure out what makes people better off and how we can have more of it. Its practitioners in academia need to do a more effective job of defending that ideal against private interests.

Academic economists have recently become the unaccustomed subjects of intense scrutiny. The 2010 documentary “Inside Job” drew public attention to the board seats, consulting gigs and sponsored research that tie many of them to Wall Street. They often failed to disclose such conflicts of interest in their research papers and public comments on topics such as financial reform -- omissions that could influence decisions affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.

At its annual meeting earlier this month, the American Economic Association took a step toward solving the disclosure problem. It adopted guidelines requiring economists, when making public comments or publishing papers in AEA journals, such as the American Economic Review, to detail any funding they have received from interested parties.

Universities and other research institutions should follow suit, and some already are. As employers, they have more power to turn guidelines into rules. And by adopting common standards, they can help academics avoid confusion over what needs to be reported.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 08:22 AM

42. Austerity ’Wrong’ Way to Fight EU Crisis: Stiglitz

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-17/austerity-wrong-way-to-fight-eu-crisis-stiglitz.html



The European push for fiscal austerity isn’t the way to fight the region’s sovereign-debt crisis and may hurt confidence, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said.

“Austerity as the solution is just wrong,” Stiglitz, a Columbia University economics professor, said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Hong Kong today. “There won’t be a return to confidence -- quite the contrary. So the direction Europe is going is unfortunately I think the wrong direction.”

European leaders have said they may complete a new rulebook for fiscal discipline by Jan. 30 as they try to contain a crisis that’s already forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal into bailouts. Standard & Poor’s stripped the European Financial Stability Facility, the region’s rescue fund, of its top credit rating yesterday after earlier downgrading France and Austria.

There could be a “very serious” downturn in Europe, which needs to bolster growth, Stiglitz said. The region’s leaders “don’t seem to get what needs to be done,” he said.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 08:25 AM

43. ‘Bloated’ London Banks Shrink in the City

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-17/-bloated-london-banks-shrink-in-the-city-as-europe-takes-aim.html

London’s Square Mile is shrinking faster than any financial center in the world.

Having fired more employees than in any other country last year, the capital’s banks are facing falling trading revenue, attacks from politicians to reduce pay and more job cuts. The U.K. government wants banks to split their consumer and investment banking units while European Union leaders are pushing to tax individual trades by the end of this year.

“We’re going to end up with a smaller, more focused financial sector,” said Michael Kirkwood, 64, former head of Citigroup Inc. (C)’s U.K. division, who began his career in the Square Mile in 1965. “The entire financial world became too bloated in the run up to the financial crisis, and London was excessively bloated.”

London, the world’s biggest center for foreign-exchange trading, cross-border bank lending and interest-rate derivatives, is being squeezed by both the impact of the European sovereign-debt crisis on demand for its services and politicians who blame financiers for bringing the world economy to the brink of collapse. Banks are responding to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s latest rules by exiting capital-intensive activities such as proprietary trading, putting at risk the U.K.’s biggest exporting industry and 12 percent of its tax receipts.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 08:28 AM

44. Stocks Rise as Commodities Gain After China GDP Report; Euro Strengthens

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-17/asian-stocks-rise-as-south-korean-won-gains-before-report-on-china-economy.html

Stocks (MXAP) rose and copper climbed to the highest in almost four months as China’s economic slowdown fueled speculation monetary policy will ease. The euro snapped a two-day decline as Spain’s borrowing costs fell at an auction and German investor confidence jumped the most on record.

The MSCI All-Country World Index (MXWD) added 0.9 percent at 8:05 a.m. in New York, with the Shanghai Composite Index climbing 4.2 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures advanced 0.7 percent. Copper rallied as much as 3.4 percent. The euro appreciated 1 percent to $1.2795 and Spain’s two-year note yield fell eight basis points. The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of credit-default swaps on 125 investment-grade rated companies sank 3.25 basis points to the lowest since Oct. 31.

Gross domestic product in China, the world’s second-largest economy, grew 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter, the slowest pace in more than two years, the statistics bureau said in Beijing. German confidence improved 32.2 points to minus 21.6, the ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim reported. Spain sold 4.88 billion euros ($6.2 billion) of bills, compared with the maximum 5 billion euros targeted, its first offering since S&P cut its credit rating by two steps last week.

“There’s a bias in China right now for more policy easing,” said Andrew Pease, Sydney-based chief investment strategist for the Asia-Pacific region at Russell Investment Group, which manages $150 billion. “We are hearing China’s senior leadership is very, very concerned about the outlook in Europe.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 08:32 AM

45. German Investor Confidence Jumps on Signs Crisis May Have Passed: Economy

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-17/german-investor-confidence-jumps-more-than-forecast-as-economy-stabilizes.html

German investor confidence jumped the most on record in January, prompting some economists to suggest that the worst of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis may have passed.

The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, surged to minus 21.6 from minus 53.8 in December, its second straight increase. The gain of 32.2 points is the biggest since ZEW started the index two decades ago. Economists forecast a reading of minus 49.4, the median of 39 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey shows.

“It seems the worst of the euro crisis is over,” said Michael Schroeder, head of ZEW’s financial markets department.

German business confidence unexpectedly rose for a second month in December and unemployment dropped, even as the debt crisis threatened to tip Europe’s largest economy into recession. The European Central Bank last month flooded the banking system with 489 billion euros ($623 billion) in three- year loans, easing concerns about a credit shortage and helping to shore up demand in Italian and Spanish bond auctions.


*** setting the stage for 'official expressions of SURPRISE'?

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Response to xchrom (Reply #45)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 08:36 AM

48. Oh, whew! So glad the worst is finally over!

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #48)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 08:40 AM

49. +1

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 09:16 AM

50. Second MF Global Unveiled As Canadian Regulator Accuses Barret Capital Of Commingling Client Funds


1/17/12 Second MF Global Unveiled As Canadian Regulator Accuses Barret Capital Of Commingling Client Funds

"One of Canada's investment regulators has accused Barret Capital Management, a firm specialized in futures and options on metals and other exchange-traded commodities, of using client money for its own purposes. The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada warned Monday that Barret clients are at risk due to the firm's "ongoing misappropriation of their money to fund losing trades and ongoing misinformation about the value and holdings in their accounts."

more...
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/second-mf-global-unveiled-canadian-regulator-accuses-barret-capital-commingling-client-funds

From Karl Denninger...


1/17/12 There Is NEVER Only One....

Remember, these are allegations at the present time, and as the article notes, they have not been proven.

Also remember that MF Global was just fine right up until it blew up.

As I said when the MF Global story broke, if there are no more MF Globals, trust in the system may survive. If, however, there are additional MF Globals......

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=200651


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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #50)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 12:01 PM

62. Wonder how many more are in the shadows........

There can't be ONLY these 2....

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #62)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:00 PM

78. Maybe it would be easier to count the ones who don't?

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 10:38 AM

51. Romney’s Bain Capital Owns Media Giant Broadcasting Limbaugh, Hannity

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/10547-romneys-bain-capital-owns-media-giant-broadcasting-limbaugh-hannity


Activists are expressing serious concerns that Mitt Romney’s private equity firm Bain Capital owns one of America’s largest media conglomerates, Clear Channel Communications, Inc., which broadcasts numerous popular talk-show hosts with incalculable influence in the 2012 GOP primary. Among the radio personalities syndicated by Clear Channel or aired on hundreds of stations it owns nationwide are Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and many others.

Because of the San Antonio-based media giant’s enormous influence — it is the largest owner of radio stations in the United States, and experts point out that it essentially owns what has come to be known as the conservative talk-radio industry — Romney critics, supporters of Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, Tea Party groups, and elections commentators are all raising the alarm. Some analysts are even calling for the firm to disclose the fact that Romney’s Bain Capital owns a station or syndicates a show whenever a media personality is reporting on the Republican presidential campaign.

Former Politico.com reporter Ben Smith, now the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, called out Rush Limbaugh on Thursday for defending Romney and Bain Capital without disclosing that his employer is owned by the candidate’s firm. “Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh has emerged as a key defender of Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, where — his Republican and Democratic critics charge — layoffs at companies Bain owned should be blamed on Romney,” noted Smith. “But Limbaugh hasn’t mentioned his own tie to the venture capital firm: Bain owns Clear Channel Communications, whose subsidiary inked a $400 million, eight-year syndication deal with Limbaugh in 2008.”

It turns out the talk-radio titan had actually revealed the connection later on in the show, and Smith updated his article to include that fact when he was made aware of it by readers. But the explosive story attracted more media interest in the subject nonetheless.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #51)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 12:09 PM

63. Do you mind if that is cross posted in GD???

Important story, would like a lot of eyeballs on it.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #63)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 01:29 PM

66. Oh, they're the latest incarnation of the billboard mob as well, I see...

(There are only so many prime sites to go round, limited supply and constant strong demand, you see, as a London-Irish friend once explained to me. Including during election times, I'd add).

Clear Channel Outdoor UK

Clear Channel Outdoor UK is the UK's leading outdoor advertising company, providing more than 70,000 advertising locations across its four main brands: Clear Channel Billboards, Clear Channel Adshel, Clear Channel Pinnacle and Taxi Media. Clear Channel Adshel is the UK’s leading supplier of 6-sheet advertisingwith 65% of the UK roadside 6-sheet market. Clear Channel Adshel offers advertising space at Sainsbury’s and Somerfield supermarkets and in over 80 UK shopping centres as well as advertising at music venues and universities. Clear Channel Billboards is the market leader in 96 sheet billboards and offers 48-sheet billboards across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Clear Channel Pinnacle offers higher-cost advertising on over 200 special high-profile sites such as London’s Cromwell Road and M4 Towers as well as banner advertising on sites including Fort Dunlop in Birmingham.

Clear Channel activities have often put it at odds with Local Authorities in the UK for erecting adverts without consent which is a criminal offence. The company has been convicted many times for such activities.

/... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clear_Channel_UK


Sophisticated operation:

Clear Channel, a global leader in media and entertainment, is using Isilon IQ and Isilon’s SyncIQ™ replication software to streamline its file-based storage, power the 24x7 operation of more than 1,100 radio station websites, replicate files between multiple data centers in North America and Europe for disaster recovery purposes and archive its corporate email.

/... http://www.isilon.com/customer/clear-channel-communications-inc

"Vertical" real-estate. And phones, internet via that real-estate... Hmm.

Clear Channel owns and operates approximately 1,500 broadcast transmission towers across the US. many of which are available for co-location by third parties such as cellular and PCS companies, wireless internet, fixed wireless, and other broadcasters.

/... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clear_Channel_Communications#Worldwide

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #63)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 03:34 PM

74. Post away

I had to go off to reality for a while...sorry. You can cross-post any article I put up. Personal remarks, no.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #74)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 05:25 PM

76. Appreciate that....

Natch I would never share anything personal...
(retired social worker here, we keep everything under our hats)

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 10:47 AM

53. Citi profit drops 11% on weak trading


Citigroup’s investment bank fell into a loss in the fourth quarter after sharp declines in trading revenue, contributing to an 11 per cent year-on-year decline in net income at the company.

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/P75VYY/B5RTBM/SUO9T/XH0280/IILIYQ/JY/t?a1=2012&a2=1&a3=17

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 10:48 AM

54. UP 100+ points! On this kind of news? That's perverse.

Outside it's 50F and raining on my snowdrops.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:32 AM

56. Bank of England Governor: "There ought to be a market for ratings"

... "There ought to be a market for ratings in the end and we want as much competition as possible so that we have a reputation that can be used."

...

"If you expect a market economy to work efficiently, it has to be seen to be fair and the rewards have to be seen to be understood."...

/... http://news.sky.com/home/business/article/16151052

Uh huh.


King holds fast on Bank supervision
By Chris Giles, FT Economics Editor

The Bank of England on Tuesday rejected the core recommendation of MPs for a powerful supervisory board to strengthen its accountability and governance structures, insisting such a body would “second guess the decisions of policymakers”.

In its long-awaited response to the Treasury select committee’s proposals to clip the wings of what MPs see as an over-mighty Bank, Sir Mervyn King, the governor, accepted a need for new accountability mechanisms in some areas, but firmly rejected a substantive overhaul of the Bank’s governance arrangements.

/... http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/7617ba52-4100-11e1-8c33-00144feab49a.html#axzz1jjah4WtU

Of course. He wants to be able to buy and sell the Bank of england's reputation, at the cronies' convenience, in some 'dark pool' coffeehouse gentlemens' club exclusive-membership-marketplace.

Vote Britain, indeed. - ref: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002177023 (Thanks, McGuire).

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:54 AM

60. Today's laugh of the day.......

Secrets of the 401(k) Millionaires

hose hoping to occupy Easy Street in retirement may want to follow the lead of the 0.2%: the topmost tiny fraction of savers who have managed to sock away more than $1 million in their 401(k)s.

That figure, based on data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, may depress those with sums closer to the median 401(k) balance of roughly $60,000 -- and for good reason. Even among employees 55 and up who have been contributing to the same 401(k) plan for more than 20 years, just 2% are estimated to have cracked the $1 million mark, says Jack VanDerhei, EBRI's research director.

To some, the other 98% of savers over 55 who haven't cracked $1 million show that the 401(k), the principal vehicle for American retirement savings, is at best inadequate, and at worst, a colossal failure. Even Ted Benna, the man credited with developing the first 401(k) plans out of an IRS tax loophole in 1981, now concedes that they've grown overly complex, with too many options, too high fees, and too many ways to cash out one's nest egg.

<snip>

Though many savers may be scarred by the past decade of lousy returns, getting to $1 million over the course of a 40-year career should be a manageable goal -- even for some lower-income employees, says Greg Burrows, vice president of Principal Financial. Someone who earns $35,000, saves 12 to 13%, including a company match, gets an annual raise of 3.5%, and annual returns of 7% would save a million dollars. And despite the current volatility, many may still do that, he says. "One thing you have to keep in mind, is that the 401(k) hasn't been around long enough for us to see people take full advantage of it over the course of an entire career."

Of course, those who earn big salaries are more likely to have big balances in their 401(k), says Mike Alfred, CEO of Brightscope, which monitors and rates retirement plans. And the recession not only wiped out many 401(k) balances, but its fallout has hampered saving -- particularly among the middle class, he says. "There are a lot of families who have to simply stop saving because of a job loss or major health-care issue," he says.

more.....

http://www.smartmoney.com/retirement/planning/secrets-of-the-401k-millionaires-1326152038448/?cid=djem_sm_WeekontheStreet_h



Seems like a lot of ifs to me...if you save 12-13%, if one gets a 3.5% raise every year and if you make an annual return of 7.5%. The only thing that has consistently got me that is my PM's that BTW is not in a 401K. The casino is rigged and those of us that pay attention have noticed. this is a .

They are trying to sucker you in again. I had the sig line for a along time by Will Rogers....The only way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #60)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 01:51 PM

67. Publisher is a Murdock outfit.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #67)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 03:13 PM

69. As Mr Celeste would say.....

the article was in the 'terlet paper' of record.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 12:38 PM

65. Analysis - Rescue fund downgrade raises pressure on euro zone

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/01/17/uk-eurozone-fund-idUKTRE80G1I820120117

(Reuters) - Political resistance is clashing with financial imperatives as the euro zone tries to strengthen its capacity to rescue debt-stricken member states after Europe's temporary bailout fund lost its top-notch credit rating.

Standard & Poor's downgrading of the European Financial Stability Facility to AA+ on Monday raised pressure on the 17-member currency area to end disputes holding up the launch of a permanent rescue fund, and to let both run alongside each other with full lending power from July.

The move cast doubt on whether the permanent 500 billion euro (415 billion pound) European Stability Mechanism will win a top S&P rating. The ESM will have a stronger structure than the EFSF, but both funds have the same shareholders - euro zone governments - nine of which were downgraded last week. France and Austria both lost their triple-A ratings.

EU paymaster Germany has rejected raising its contribution to either fund, which would require parliamentary approval. The Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg, which along with Berlin kept their triple-A status, also ruled out putting up more money.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 03:18 PM

70. An avalanche awaits





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Response to Demeter (Reply #70)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 05:27 PM

77. Didn't someone recently tell us. . . .

. . . . that bonds aren't loans?




TG

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