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Mon Mar 19, 2012, 07:33 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Tuesday, 20 March 2012


STOCK MARKET WATCH, Tuesday, 20 March 2012


SMW for 19 March 2012

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 19 March 2012

Dow Jones 13,239.13 +6.51 (0.05%)
S&P 500 1,409.75 +5.58 (0.40%)
Nasdaq 3,078.32 +23.06 (0.75%)


10 Year 2.37% +0.10 (4.41%)
30 Year 3.48% +0.09 (2.65%)









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
2/2/12 David Higgs and Salmaan Siddiqui, Credit Suisse, plead guilty to conspiracy involving valuation of MBS
3/6/12 Allen Stanford, former Caribbean billionaire and general schmuck, convicted on 13 of 14 counts in $2.2B Ponzi scheme, faces 20+ years in prison









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.



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

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 07:35 PM

1. Choices

I also liked this one

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 09:47 PM

2. You sure get some nasty cartoons

Still, nothing is as nasty as the truth.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 10:40 PM

3. When I was a child

I got very few compliments. For anything. So I not only have low self-esteem and very little self-confidence, but I never learned how to gracefully accept compliments.

But I try, I really do.

And so my response to your subject line is:


Thank you! I appreciate that!



We live in nasty times.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 11:18 PM

4. Well, then, Everybody: Compliment Tansy Gold

We have to give her some practice!

I'll start: Tansy, you are the best person I've never met in person!

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:17 AM

5. Tansy is my hero!

She's never afraid to call 'em as she sees 'em.
Thank you, TG!

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Response to hamerfan (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:50 PM

71. That's what I think, too. She calls 'em as she sees 'em.

We need more people like her in this world.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 05:38 AM

9. Mistress Tansy has Teh Fabulous!

which might mean we are vaguely related.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:01 AM

21. .....


Once again, my keyboard is saved by the "absolutely NO liquids in the office" rule!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #21)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 12:37 PM

62. You have always struck me as a smart, savvy woman

with excellent survival skills, who does not take shit off of anyone.

All qualities I admire very much.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:37 AM

54. Tansy Gold.....

The person I would gratefully play second fiddle to as a vice presidential candidate and one of the smartest people I know in most rooms.

I kept it humble for you

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:33 AM

17. Poor Mdme Gold

She just ain't been the same since that house fell on her sister....Watch out for flying monkeys.

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Response to Po_d Mainiac (Reply #17)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:49 AM

19. Thank you!

I appreciate that!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:40 AM

29. Keep 'em coming!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:03 AM

33. If you insist...

Last edited Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:45 AM - Edit history (1)

Any woman who would pay good money for some guy's stones is not to be triffiled with.

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Response to westerebus (Reply #33)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:41 AM

55. It's not that she buys the stones....

but she has the brass to mount them too. really

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Response to AnneD (Reply #55)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:57 AM

57. Another "jem" to the collection.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:28 AM

51. Thanks for starting the SMW, and awesome toons!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 05:10 AM

6. China says conditions ripe to liberalise interest rates

BEIJING: The head of China's central bank said conditions are ripe for Beijing to liberalise interest rates, which would boost domestic consumption as the nation's exports are hit by weaker overseas demand.

Beijing has cut the nation's growth target for 2012 as its export-driven economy slows, and a key policy focus this year will be on expanding demand at home...

...China's central bank currently sets interest rates -- which banks have to adhere to -- but policy makers control the way they can channel and allocate capital.

Analysts say this has led to imbalances in the economy, with savers getting small returns on deposits and corporate entities able to borrow at low rates and invest in projects they might not otherwise have engaged in.

The interest rate regime "artificially suppresses consumption and artificially boosts production. If you want to boost consumption, you should reverse that," said Patrick Chovanec, a professor at Tsinghua University.

/... http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_business/view/1190131/1/.html

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:20 AM

13. Stocks, Commodities Drop as China Growth Slows

China, the world’s biggest energy consumer and steelmaker, is raising fuel prices for the second time in less than six weeks. The nation’s vehicle sales may miss industry forecasts this year as economic growth slows, an official from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. U.S. housing starts probably gained 0.1 percent last month, reaching a three- month high, economists said before a report later today.

“There will be some sort of slowdown coming out of China and the Asian economies,” said Tim Price, who helps oversee more than $1.5 billion of assets at PFP Group LLP in London. “It can definitely take the heat out of the commodities markets.”

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) fell 1 percent as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Daimler AG slid more than 3.5 percent, leading a gauge of automakers to the biggest drop in two weeks...

...The drop in S&P 500 (SPX) futures indicated the U.S. equities gauge will decline from the highest level since May 2008.

Oil fell for the first time in three days in New York, retreating 0.9 percent to $107.10 a barrel. Silver dropped 2.1 percent to $32.265 an ounce and gold slid 1.2 percent to $1,647.80 an ounce...

/... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-20/asian-stocks-fall-after-china-raises-fuel-prices-oil-retreats.html

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 05:17 AM

7. Britain braced for more austerity in budget

LONDON: Britain unveils an annual budget on Wednesday that is likely to build on the coalition government's deficit-slashing austerity strategy, while also seeking to grow a recession-threatened economy... Although Britain is at risk of further recession amid anaemic economic growth at home, and debt troubles in key trading partner the eurozone, Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne is expected to maintain a policy of huge cuts to state spending...

...Fitch last week lowered Britain's long-term outlook to "negative" from "stable," blaming the "very limited fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic shock," but confirmed its AAA credit rating due to the government's austerity policies. The Treasury welcomed Fitch's assessment, despite the negative outlook. "This is a reminder of why it is essential Britain sticks to its plans to deal with its debts," a spokesman said. "This is a just another warning to anyone who believes there can be deficit-financed giveaways in (the) budget."

Britain's Conservative-Liberal Democrat government, which won power in 2010, has since implemented huge public spending cuts and tax hikes to slash a record deficit inherited from the previous Labour administration.

The coalition is eager to preserve Britain's valuable AAA credit rating, that keeps state borrowing costs low, and avoid a Greek-style sovereign debt crisis.

Ahead of Wednesday's budget, British media reported that Osborne would use fresh austerity measures to offset a plan to cut income tax for the highest earners - from 50 percent to 40 percent... Treasury sources have meanwhile confirmed that Osborne would launch plans in the budget to issue state bonds, or gilts, lasting 100 years or longer, as the government seeks to lock in historically low interest rates.

/... http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business/view/1190001/1/.html

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:40 AM

11. Subprime Revives in U.K. as Apollo Collects on Debt: Mortgages

Subprime mortgages that helped fuel the U.K. housing boom are making a comeback in the bond market even with Prime Minister David Cameron cutting spending by the most since World War II and the jobless rate at a 16-year high...

...Apollo and the bondholders are betting homeowners will make debt payments as the Bank of England holds rates at a record-low 0.5 percent, while economic growth slows and property prices fall in most of the country. Investors are seeking riskier, higher-yielding securities in Europe and the U.S. after the European Central bank extended more than 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) of loans to banks to avert a credit crunch.

“Even second-row asset-backed bonds like non-conforming are starting to become interesting for investors with huge amounts of cash available in the market,” said Alexander Fagenzer, a fund manager at Union Investment GmbH in Frankfurt which oversees 120 billion euros. “Losses on non-conforming mortgages have been mild so far” and “even though it may get worse, a senior portion is a safe place to bet on that market.”

Banks create residential mortgage-backed bonds by packaging home loans into securities of varying risk and return that are sold to muppets investors...

... Non-conforming lending, which includes stated income loans in which homeowners weren’t required to document their earnings, has largely dried up. Home prices have retreated 11.6 percent since the U.K. market peaked in November 2007, with the biggest declines, of 20 percent, in the northwest of England, Savills estimated. Prices nationally are forecast to decline 2 percent in 2012, Savills said in a February report.
Forecasted Losses

That’s not dissuading investors from buying mortgage bonds as they grow more confident that the debt is priced to withstand potential declines.

/More detail at link... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-20/subprime-revives-in-u-k-as-apollo-collects-on-debt-mortgages.html

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 12:55 PM

65. what could possibly go wrong?

"more confident that the debt is priced to withstand potential declines. "

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #65)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:03 PM

69. That's not investing....

that's gambling!

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:31 AM

16. U.K. Inflation Stays Above BOE Limit on Alcohol, Food: Economy

U.K. inflation slowed less than economists forecast in February as higher alcohol and food costs helped keep consumer-price gains above the Bank of England’s upper limit. Consumer prices rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier, the least since November 2010, compared with 3.6 percent in January, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. The median estimate of 36 economists was for a reading of 3.3 percent last month, according to a Bloomberg News survey...

...The largest downward effect on the 12-month inflation rate in February was from housing and household services, the statistics office said. The largest upward effect came from tobacco and alcohol.

Prices for spirits rose 2.6 percent in February from January, compared with a decline of 5.8 percent in the same month in 2011. The ONS said retailers’byfc discounting of alcohol in different months creates volatility in the price changes for these products. Vegetable prices rose 3.3 percent on the month, while soft drinks increased 4.3 percent.

From the previous month, consumer prices rose 0.6 percent in February, exceeding the median forecast of a 0.4 percent gain in a Bloomberg News survey of 31 economists...

...Retail-price inflation, a measure used in wage negotiations, slowed to 3.7 percent in February from 3.9 percent, the lowest rate since February 2010. The retail-price index excluding mortgage-interest payments rose an annual 3.8 percent, down from 4 percent.

While inflation is cooling, it’s still outpacing wage growth, squeezing consumers. Total pay growth slowed to 1.4 percent in the three months through January from 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, data last week showed. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has said his annual budget tomorrow will include changes “for lifting low-income people out of tax.”

The economy shrank 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter, its first contraction in a year, while unemployment is at the highest in 16 years.

/... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-20/asian-stocks-fall-after-china-raises-fuel-prices-oil-retreats.html

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 12:40 PM

63. So tjhe low income folks get shafted once again

"to offset a plan to cut income tax for the highest earners"

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 05:37 AM

8. ALL RIGHT! WHICH ONE OF YOU IS DOING A RAIN DANCE!?11

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Response to xchrom (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:38 AM

42. Me.

But, I missed.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #42)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:46 AM

45. LOL! Well you sent it here!

Rattled around so hard - it bothered the dogs.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #45)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:24 AM

49. Sorry,

I was aiming for my neighborhood.

I've been watering the garden every other day. And, no rain in sight.

But, I do have some small tomatoes and peppers popping out. Broccoli florets should be any day now.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #49)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:52 AM

56. My rose bushes will be in full leaf in another week...in MARCH

Maybe the world ended and we didn't notice?

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Response to Demeter (Reply #56)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:57 PM

72. My late father grew roses in west central Michigan near The Lake.

He'd still have the cornstalks-and-leaves anti-frost insullation on his bushes at this point, because the last frost usually came some time in April.

I think that the world weather as we knew it has ended.

I hope that there's not some surprise reversal in the temp which would damage your bushes. Roses are so beautiful.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #72)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 04:30 PM

75. They are in a partly enclosed, sunny spot and next to the wall

But even so, this is ridiculous.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #75)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:01 PM

76. What will summer bring?

Flurries or heat waves beyond belief. The latter would be good for UP tourism, the former for Florida.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #76)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:35 PM

77. Locusts, plagues, pestilence and Tebow!

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #77)

Wed Mar 21, 2012, 01:30 AM

78. Perhaps even a rain shower of frogs?

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:01 AM

10. Solitary Witchcraft: Ostara (Vernal Equinox)

http://gemsong.hubpages.com/hub/Solitary-Witchcraft-Ostara



Spring Is Here

It is called the Spring (Vernal) Equinox. It is the time of the year when day and night are nearly equal in length. When the sun crosses the true celestial equator from south to north. And so we celebrate the first day of spring. It is the time of year that pagans and neopagans celebrate as one of the eight major holidays/sabbats of the wiccan calendar and it is one of the four that fall on solar event.

The Vernal Equinox has many names and it all depends on what Tradition you follow. There is no single 'right' name regardless of what some may think. Ostara is only one of many names that are used to honor this day. Some authors indicate that Ostara might be linked to the name Eostre the Saxon Lunar Goddess of fertility. Her sacred animal is the rabbit which may or may not have led to the myths about the Easter bunny along with eggs which are a sign of fertility. For the sake of this article I prefer to use the term Ostara for the holiday and how I celebrate it.

Ostara is the time of rebirth and renewal on my wiccan calendar. I celebrate it as a festival of spring in which the Goddess in her guise as the Maiden rises from her place a rest. We give thanks for her blessing and look forward to the upcoming growing season. The God is now mature and begins his courting of the Maiden.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:11 AM

12. Swiss Banks, Economy Beseiged?

... The pursuit of UBS by U.S. tax authorities has opened floodgates to attacks on other Swiss banks that threaten to tear down the bastion of secrecy. UBS and Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), the country’s second-largest lender, also are facing stricter capital and liquidity rules forcing them to shrink more and faster than international rivals.

“It’s a really historical moment,” Tobias Straumann, a lecturer in economic history at Zurich University, said in a phone interview. “It’s the first time that we have an open discussion on both of the issues. We had two external shocks: one economic and one political.”
Switzerland Bleeding

The blows already are bleeding through to the economy. The banking industry’s contribution to economic output in the country shrank to 6.7 percent in 2010 from 8.7 percent in 2007, according to Swiss Bankers Association data. That’s still a bigger share of gross domestic product from banks than in the U.K. or the U.S. More than 40 percent of that comes from wealth management, making it the industry’s most important business.

Switzerland is the biggest manager of offshore wealth in the world, with about a 27 percent share, according to the Boston Consulting Group’s 2011 Global Wealth report. Clients from Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and France make up about 42 percent of all offshore wealth managed in the country, the report said.

Should Switzerland abolish banking secrecy, it could risk losing as much as 700 billion francs ($768 billion) in the worst case, or about half of all money managed by Swiss banks on behalf of private clients not domiciled in the country, said Teodoro Cocca, a professor of wealth management at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. Such a shock would be enough to put the country into a recession, according to a study by Banu Simmons-Sueer at Zurich-based KOF Swiss Economic Institute....

/Much detail at link... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-19/swiss-secrecy-besieged-makes-banks-fret-world-money-lure-fading.html

To where would much of this (1%-ers) "private wealth" flow? Why, to the so-far (of course) un-beseiged British-run offshore tax havens such as those in the Caribbean and the Channel Isles...

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:05 AM

46. There has been some pressure on these other havens from the US

and maybe other nations...

If you want to really hide wealth these days, one of the Stans might be your best choice. Of course, a fool and his money are soon parted...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:24 AM

14. How The Warm Weather Has Been Damaging The Economy

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-warm-weather-is-damaging-the-economy-2012-3

A popular line this year has been: Any improvement in the economy has been a mirage, since it's all the result of warm weather.

There are a few problems with this line of thinking.

The first is that economic activity is economic activity. A sale is a sale and so on.

But beyond that, the data just doesn't bear out that the idea that the economy is distorted and enjuiced.

For example, construction employment (one of those areas where you'd expect to see weather-related gains) actually stalled out in February, at least according to the last BLS report.

What's more, we can point to areas where the warm weather is clearly harming things, such as industrial production/capacity utilization data.

The year over year losses in industrial production at electric and gas utilities is currently worse than during the recession.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:44 AM

18. Maple production fell off a cliff this year

We're off about 20-30% locally, and it doesn't sound like other states are doing any better.


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Response to Po_d Mainiac (Reply #18)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:51 AM

20. Wow. That much?

I mean you expect an impact & it delivers a wallop.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #20)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:50 AM

30. Last year the run didn't start till mid March

This year, we're probably done.

The trees are already showing red tops, (budding) and once that happens, color it finis.

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Response to Po_d Mainiac (Reply #30)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:55 AM

32. budding already? -- we live in interesting times.

we've been getting thunderstorms like it's summer time -- monsoon like storms.

i'm not from here -- but the people i know who are say the weather has been strange.

every one seems to have their gardens started already.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #32)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:14 AM

38. 1987 was a similar sap season

That year I set taps out the 3rd week in February and a couple neighbors laughed at me. (if you tap too early, the tree will seal off the scar)

That same year, we had a 500 year rain event on April 1st..Fucked stuff up big time.
http://www.skowhegan.org/news/default.asp?a_id=169

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Response to Po_d Mainiac (Reply #38)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:22 AM

40. omg -- that is amazing.

the pictures of the flooding are scary.

on another note -- the pictures look like from a time farther back than 1987.
how used to digital images i've become.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #40)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 11:25 AM

59. Wickenburg, Arizona 2005

The bridge across the Hassayampa River in Wickenburg was replaced a few years ago. This is a photo of the "old" bridge being demolished in 2009, I think.



Normally, the Hassayampa is dry as a bone, but as the description under that photo says:

As bridges go, it was not spectacular in any sense: It was not an architectural “statement”; but it did its job reliably, surviving even the flood of February, 2005, which caused major damage along Jack Burden Road.

My husband and I were doing an art show in Wickenburg the week-end of the February 2005 flood. Our usual route through the mountains was closed because of flooding, so we had to drive through town and were among the last vehicles to cross the bridge before it was closed due to fears that it might not survive. I was standing about 20 feet from the water's edge when I took this picture:

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Response to Po_d Mainiac (Reply #38)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:08 AM

47. That was a hot summer in NH in 1987

The younger Kid had the good sense to be born between heat waves in July...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #47)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:32 AM

52. So much happens so quickly, the years fly by like days


Maybe it is all these senior moments that I can't remember the weather


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Response to Demeter (Reply #47)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 01:58 PM

68. In 1980 we had 69 days.....

of record breaking heat. This was broken when we had a record 70 days last year. While it was hot in 1980, we did not have the drought like we did this last year. Brother already has crops in the ground and the pond is up to 1/2 of what it was last year. We think some fish may have survived so he is trying to keep the ducks off the pond. Calves and cow have survived and we have a bumper crop of chicks. SIL gave me 4&1/2 dozen fresh eggs. That should get me through to May when I can come up there again. The girls are in full laying mode.

Calves are at a premium now, so many farmers had to get rid of stock last year. A neighbor's young bull likes to jump the fence to brother's pasture. He is a Holstein-too bad he isn't a Jersey. He has one young Holstein cow ready to breed so maybe.....

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Response to xchrom (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:24 AM

41. Some cities savoring the flavor of winter's salty savings

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/mild-winter-led-to-millions-in-savings-on-salt-and-ot-1346574.html


Area governments saved well over a million dollars during the mild winter because they seldom used road salt and were able cut down on overtime pay for street maintenance personnel.





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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:30 AM

15. Martin Wolf: There Is Only One Thing Standing Between The Economy And Recession

http://www.businessinsider.com/martin-wolf-massive-fiscal-deficits-are-saving-the-us-and-uk-2012-3

There's not much separating the U.S. and U.K. economies—perhaps even the global economy—from a slump right now, writes respected economic commentator Martin Wolf writes in the FT today.

Contrary to analysts clamoring for austerity and more fiscal tightening, he believes that massive fiscal deficits might actually be the only thing keeping the economy afloat right now:

The massive fiscal deficits being run by the UK and US are not, on this evidence, crowding anybody out of the market. It is far more plausible that these deficits stand between these economies – possibly even the world economy – and a slump. They are the least bad way available to offset the massive excess savings of the private and foreign sectors in these economies. The only alternative would be strongly negative long-term real interest rates.

The subject of his somber column is ultra-low interest rates:

We can then clearly see that the last 27 years breaks down into three clear sub-periods: from January 1985 to January 1998, the real interest rate averaged 3.7 per cent; from January 1998 to August 2007, it averaged 2.1 per cent; and then since August 2007, when the financial crisis began, it has fallen steadily, to below zero, with a brief interruption during the period of high panic from October to December 2008.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:04 AM

22. Deaths spotlight Taiwan's 'overwork' culture

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16834258

Working hard is ingrained in Taiwanese society. But recent deaths attributed to overwork are leading people to question the culture for the first time.

The deaths of nearly 50 workers last year were blamed on working more overtime than allowed by law. This figure was as much as four times higher than the previous year, according to the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA).

There have been many high-profile cases over the past two years. They include:

* Hsu Shao-pin, 29, an engineer at Nanya Technology, who worked 99 hours of overtime monthly, six months before he died. His parents found him slumped over his desk at home in 2010. He had died from a heart attack.
* Chiang Ding-kuo, 29, a security guard for Chien Hsiang Security Service, suffered a stroke while working in 2010. In the nine years before he died, he worked 288 to 300 hours a month.
* Hsieh Ming-hung, 30, an engineer for smartphone maker HTC, died in his dormitory in February. He worked an average of 68 hours of overtime monthly.

Investigators tasked by the government to look into what caused deaths related to overwork found that the victims generally had congenital conditions, especially heart problems. They also had high-risk factors, such as being overweight and being a smoker, which had been aggravated by too much work.

Many of them were in their late 20s to 40s.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:32 AM

23. Today's Reports

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #23)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:32 AM

24. (Housing) Permits at highest level since October 2008

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #23)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:32 AM

25. Housing starts 34.7% higher compared to year ago

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #23)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:33 AM

26. U.S. housing permits climb 5.1% to 717,000

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #23)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:33 AM

27. February U.S. housing starts fall 1.1% to 698,000 (JAN revised up to 706k)

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:39 AM

28. Energy giants Statoil and Exxon target East African gas

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/17224226

The balmy waters of the Indian Ocean, close to East Africa, are a long way from the cold and notoriously stormy North Sea, but Tanzania could soon be profitable territory for Statoil of Norway.

Statoil and its American partner Exxon Mobil have made the biggest offshore discovery yet of gas reserves off the coast of Tanzania.

The Zafarani field, which both companies hope will be bigger than first estimates suggest, is close to the region off the coast of Mozambique, where even bigger deposits of gas are being developed by Anadarko and ENI.

"This is the biggest discovery made outside Norway by Statoil ever," a delighted Statoil vice president, Tim Dodson, tells the BBC.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:51 AM

31. How Much Longer Can Transaction Tax Be Delayed?

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,822186,00.html

When European Union Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta meets with representatives of the financial industry, he likes to confront them with impressive numbers. Two-thirds of all Europeans support finally imposing a tax on the people who caused the financial crisis, he says. "We owe it to our citizens to deliver results."

But his plans failed last Tuesday at a meeting of the 27 EU finance ministers. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, a strong advocate of the transaction tax, had unsuccessfully warned his counterparts, saying: "We are risking the legitimacy of the European model of democracy."

Speaking directly after Schäuble, Luxembourg Finance Minister Luc Frieden showed why the lobbyists, and not democracy, were going to win out on that day. "We have to think about the competitiveness of the financial industry," he said. The small country between the Mosel and Sauer Rivers earns 24 percent of its gross domestic product with banking products.

"There are many good reasons to exempt the investment industry from a tax on the financial sector," the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry had told the country's finance minister before the meeting. In addition to Luxembourg, the Maltese finance minister also voiced concerns. The banking system is the blood veins of the global economy and must be treated with caution, he said.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:04 AM

34. Undocumented Foreclosure Victim Deported After Protesting Illegal Foreclosure

http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/03/06/undocumented-foreclosure-victim-deported-after-protesting-illegal-foreclosure/

You’ve heard about borrowers getting kicked out of their homes, and you’ve heard about undocumented immigrants getting deported. Rarely do you hear the story that combines the two. Here is one of those stories.

The foreclosure defense group of Occupy Los Angeles brings us the story of Blanca Cardenas. Cardenas is undocumented with two US-born children and a US citizen husband, and has been in the country for over 15 years. She took out a mortgage eight years ago on a home in North Hollywood. For the past year, Cardenas has been fighting a foreclosure by Bank of America that she and other activists deemed illegal, due to fraudulent paperwork, as well as an imminent federal bankruptcy, which is supposed to forestall eviction. But the foreclosure went to auction, and an investor named Mehrdad Farahmand, representing a company called A to Z Development, purchased the property. Cardenas faced eviction.

Two weeks ago, Cardenas and some Occupy movement members protested the eviction with a direct action on her front lawn. Farahmand allegedly initiated a citizens arrest, prompting the LAPD to take Cardenas into custody (Occupy LA alleges that LAPD didn’t even have jurisdiction over an eviction of this type; the LA County Sheriff’s Department does). Then, they traced back Cardenas’ immigration status, and turned her over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Despite there being a standing order not to deport any undocumented immigrant who doesn’t have a criminal record, a week later, ICE deported Cardenas to Mexico, separating her from her two children, one of whom is 17 months old. Cardenas’ husband, Gerardo Quinones, said in a statement, “It’s been devastating since they took her. She was deported with nothing but the clothes on her, she didn’t have money or anything else. She had every right to fight for her home and believed the authorities would protect her.”

This is not the only instance of ICE going well beyond their stated priorities in deportations...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #34)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 12:52 PM

64. "an imminent federal bankruptcy"..?????????

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:08 AM

35. OCC Servicer Review Firm Also “Scrubs” Loan Files, Fabricates Documents

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/03/occ-servicer-review-firm-also-scrubs-loan-files-fabricate-documents.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29

Reader Lisa N. pointed me to a troubling October 2010 press release by SolomonEdwardsGroup, a company that describes itself as a “national financial services consulting and staffing firm” about its remediation services for “significant loan documentation problems.” Alert readers will recognize that this is shortly after the robosiging scandal broke.

Here are the key parts of the press release:

SEG’s teams can also be rapidly deployed across the U.S., to help banks and servicers “scrub” files and determine which foreclosures may have been tainted by incorrect loan documentation and processing issues such as robo-signing….

For instance on a recent engagement, SEG quickly deployed a 25-person team to review a single-family loan portfolio containing 5,000 loans and within six weeks brought the portfolio into compliance with investor guidelines. During another recent engagement, SEG successfully completed the same type of project involving 20,000 single-family loans tainted by fraud allegations.


Needless to say, this sounds consistent to the charges we’ve heard from borrower attorneys and have even seen at trial: that of “tah dah” documents appearing suddenly in court that solved all the problems with the evidence presented. A not that unusual case occurred last week, in Kings County, New York, where in HSBC v. Sene, when the lawyers for the bank tried submitting two notes (borrower IOUs), the second attempting to remedy problems raised by the first one, each presented as the original. The judge not only ruled against the foreclosure but referred the case to the district attorney and the state attorney general.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #35)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:10 AM

36. Why the Failure to Convey Notes and Make Assignments Properly is Such a Big Deal in Mortgage Securit

Why the Failure to Convey Notes and Make Assignments Properly is Such a Big Deal in Mortgage Securitizations

there is considerable evidence of a widespread, perhaps pervasive, failure among the parties to mortgage securitizations to adhere to the terms of the contracts that created these deals. Specifically, they were required to transfer the notes (the borrower IOU) through multiple parties and get them to the securitization trust by a specified date. This process was laborious because each time, the note had to be signed (the term of art is “endorsed”) and the mortgage assigned (which confusingly is the lien against the home, although both professionals and laypeople often refer to the note + the mortgage, which are actually two separate instruments, as the mortgage).

While in the early days of the securitization industry, in he 1980s, it appears these procedures were adhered to, there is considerable evidence that they broke down over time.

These deviations are serious because the agreements that govern these deals, called pooling and servicing agreements, were carefully crafted to satisfy a number of legal requirements, including securities law, local real estate law, tax law (REMIC, for Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit, set forth as part of the 1986 Tax Reform Act), the Uniform Commercial Code, and trust law.

The PSA requires the note (the borrower IOU) to be endorsed (just like a check, signed by one party over to the next), showing the full chain of title. The minimum conveyance chain in recent vintage transactions is A (originator) => B (sponsor) => C (depositor) => D (trust).

The correct conveyance of the note is crucial, since the mortgage, which is actually the lien (this is often a cause of confusion, since in lay usage, “mortgage” refers to the the note + the lien, when they are separate instruments), is a mere accessory to the note. The lien can be enforced only by the proper note holder (the legalese is “real party of interest”). The investors in the mortgage securitization relied upon certifications by the trustee for the trust at and post closing that the trust did indeed have the assets that the investors were told it possessed.

The PSA also very clearly provided for an unbroken chain of assignments and transfers though the parties (the A-B-C-D or more cited above). The use of intermediary parties between the originator and the trust, with a “true sale” occurring at each step, was intended to create FDIC and bankruptcy remoteness. The investors (who are called the certificate holders in the PSA) did not want a creditor of a bankrupt originator to be able to seize notes back out of the trust.

Some PSAs allowed for each party to endorse in blank (as in each owner simply had to have an authorized party sign it), but the note still had to have endorsements by all the parties in the conveyance chain, while others stipulated that each endorsement had to be to the next party in the chain. However per NY trust law (and New York law was chosen in the vast majority of cases to govern the trust), the final endorsement had to be to the trust, not in blank.

The last bit, and this is the source of considerable tsuris, is that all the notes had to be conveyed to the trust by a date certain, usually 90 days after the closing of the deal or after an aggregation period. Only very limited exceptions were permitted. The reason was to conform with REMIC rules. As indicated, the overwhelming majority of trusts elected New York law to govern the trust because it is very well settled. But New York trust law is also unforgiving. Trusts can operate only as stipulated; any move that deviates from its instructions in its governing documents is deemed to be a “void act” and has no legal force.

Law professors Anna Gelpern and Adam Levitin have described PSAs not just as prototypical rigid contracts, but as “Frankenstein contracts” and “social suicide pacts.” Normally, if there is a significant deviation from a contract, the parties can use waivers, sometimes with penalties if one party looks to have behaved badly, to remedy the breach. But the use of New York trusts, the REMIC requirement of passivity, plus the way the relationship among the parties was set up (bad incentives for the servicers, demotivated trustees because they are indemnified by the servicer and have no reason to watch out of the investors, formal consent requirements among dispersed investors, when they sometimes have conflicting interests) make changing the PSA well nigh impossible.

To put it more simply: if notes were not conveyed to the trust in the stipulated time frame, it means that someone other than the trust has the right to foreclose, presumably one of the parties earlier in the securitization chain. But no one is willing to admit that since it would mean that investors had been sold what Adam Levitin has called “non-mortage backed securities.” There is no clean way for a party earlier in the securitization chain to foreclose and transfer the proceeds to the trust. So the trust HAS to be the one to make the foreclosure, at least in the minds of everyone involved with these deals, whether it actually is the right party or not.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #36)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:20 AM

39. You know what they say about the coverup being worse than the crime?

A hell of a lot of people ought to be making out trusts to keep their families alive while they are in federal prison....

There's so much in this one posting at nakedcapitalism, it's appalling that Obama went ahead with the big Sleaze of a settlement.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #36)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:25 AM

50. It also means

That there are a shitload of securities that likely meet put-back clauses.

Can u say undercapitalization? I knew u could.

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Response to Po_d Mainiac (Reply #50)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 01:17 PM

67. Plus, the "scrubbing firm" apparently thinks it can create faux "original notes"

"But you can’t “replace” a note; it’s an original, and you need to have the borrower’s signature for it to be binding, and I can guarantee no one is getting borrowers to sign replacement notes. "

Which means, besides all the other problems trusts have ( and the pension funds in those trusts)

only the borrower has the original paperwork.
The trusts are "empty" of everything that was supposed to pay money
AND
I understand that no note also means trusts have to pay taxes which were waived if the process had been legal.
( read that in Market Ticker some time ago)

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Response to Demeter (Reply #36)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 01:00 PM

66. The entire post, above, FINALLY

describes all the inter-connected issues with the mortgage fraud.
If I had a penny for every time someone on DU tried to argue that damaged titles were not a problem..I could pay off my mortgage.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #66)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:40 PM

70. Sorry I didn't post it when I found it

my computer and Firefox were acting up then, too.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:13 AM

37. Emigration – a beautiful mirage

http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/1654601-emigration-beautiful-mirage

Along with a lost generation of young people in low-paid and insecure jobs, the crisis is now pushing couples with families to seek work elsewhere in Europe. Unfortunately, arriving in foreign countries ill-prepared, not speaking the language and low on funds, they often end up in the streets.

“Silly emigration” is how Eduardo Dias, the representative of the Council of Portuguese Communities in Luxembourg, describes this new wave of Portuguese flowing into the Grand Duchy: couples between 35 and 50 years of age, arriving with children who are still minors, with no prospect of a guaranteed job, without speaking any of the local languages (French, German or Luxembourgish) and their only luggage the (mistaken) notion that finding a job will be easy.

This new and growing wave of Portuguese emigrants, adding to Portugal’s young graduates also trying their luck abroad, is overflowing elsewhere into Europe too: into England, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and, particularly sharply, into Switzerland. It was in Switzerland where the alarm was first sounded after Portuguese were found sleeping in the street in freezing winter temperatures. The general view is that the situation is not going to get better.

There is no shortage of statistics, and they all point in the same direction: more and more Portuguese are leaving the country. Late in 2011, the Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, José Cesário, acknowledged that this year alone between 100,000 and 120,000 Portuguese had departed. On EURES, the European Union’s job mobility portal, Portuguese applications more than doubled between 2008 and 2011. And in just two years, from 2008 to 2010, Portuguese consulates abroad have seen 324,000 migrants come in to register.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #37)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:40 AM

43. Another failure of the Common Market to live up to its advertising

That is incredibly appalling.

I guess the Europeans make Americans look smart and forward-thinking and philanthropic....


Everybody bought into the Euro, but nobody is willing to pay for it.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:45 AM

44. Triple-digit drop

Dow 13,126 -113 -0.85%
Nasdaq 3,053 -26 -0.84%
S&P 500 1,398 -12 -0.84%
GlobalDow 2,015 -23 -1.15%
Gold 1,647 -21 -1.24%
Oil 106.37 -1.72 -1.59%


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Response to Roland99 (Reply #44)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 11:04 AM

58. We won't worry until it hits four-digit free fall n/t

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:22 AM

48. I'm having a bad day

Two massive headaches (one is the Kid, the other is this computer) plus a real headache are getting in the way of daily life, and there's a board meeting tonight. I may not get back until tomorrow. Be strong and resolute, everybody!

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Response to Demeter (Reply #48)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:33 AM

53. hope you don't get my sinus issues either!

good luck

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Response to Demeter (Reply #48)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 12:08 PM

61. Hang in there miss Demeter - we're rooting for you! Nt

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 11:51 AM

60. Naimi says high oil prices ‘unjustified’

Saudi Arabia’s powerful oil minister Ali Naimi sought to cool overheating oil markets on Tuesday, saying high oil prices were “unjustified” and that the kingdom could boost its output by as much as 25 per cent if necessary

Read more >>
http://link.ft.com/r/19JYUU/FKHGUD/FDFZE/QN8RJJ/KQ0EFS/28/t?a1=2012&a2=3&a3=20

I'LL SAY THEY ARE. STILL, IT'S NOT A LACK OF SUPPLY, BUT A LACK OF MARKET REGULATION--THREATS TO FLOOD THE MARKET ARE UNLIKELY TO MOVE THE SPECULATORS' PLANS.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #60)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 03:14 PM

73. Yes, and how much of that oil can be moved to market through the Red Sea port, and not the Straits

of Hormuz.

Middle Eastern problems especially around the Persian Gulf, always bring in panicked actual users and tankers full of speculators, pushing up the spot price.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 04:27 PM

74. The Confidence Fairy Took the Day Off, It Seems

Maybe she has a migraine, too. they run in the family, but I am seldom afflicted. It feels like this spot on one side of my skull has been hammered. It's soft there--a suture? and painful. Unless I whacked it in my sleep. Anything is possible.


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