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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:14 AM
Original message
STOCK MARKET WATCH, Friday 10 March
Friday March 10, 2006

COUNTING THE DAYS
DAYS REMAINING IN THE * REGIME 1046 DAYS
DAYS SINCE DEMOCRACY DIED (12/12/00) 1905 DAYS
WHERE'S OSAMA BIN-LADEN? 1605 DAYS
DAYS SINCE ENRON COLLAPSE = 1566
Number of Enron Execs in handcuffs = 19
ENRON EXECS CONVICTED = 3
Other Arrests of Execs = 54


U.S. FUTURES & MARKETS INDICATORS
NASDAQ FUTURES-----------------------------S&P FUTURES




AT THE CLOSING BELL WHEN BUSH TOOK OFFICE on January 22, 2001
Dow - 10,578.24
Nasdaq - 2,757.91
S&P 500 - 1,342.90
Oil - $27.69/bbl
Gold - $266.70/oz.


AT THE CLOSING BELL ON March 9, 2006

Dow... 10,972.28 -33.46 (-0.30%)
Nasdaq... 2,249.72 -17.74 (-0.78%)
S&P 500... 1,272.23 -6.24 (-0.49%)
30-Year Bond 4.72% -0.01 (-0.13%)
10-Yr Bond... 4.73% -0.00 (-0.08%)
Gold future... 547.00 +2.70 (+0.49%)






GOLD, EURO, YEN, Dollars and Loonie


PIEHOLE ALERT

Heads Up!
Preliminary info on appearances by Bush & Co. throughout the country. Details & links are added as they become available so check back. And if you know more, are organizing something, or would like to, contact actionpost@legitgov.org

For information on protests and other actions Citizens For Legitimate Government






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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. WrapUp by Martin Goldberg
WALL OF LEGITIMATE WORRY

The major indices are showing technical weakness. In the meantime, the crowd has been lulled asleep by the last 2 years where it would have been premature to take bearish positions against the stock market. Seemingly every time the market moved toward an intermediate term important technical support level or key moving average, a sharp rally provided the market with a save. The market has also been relatively resilient from bad news and there has been no shortage of it. This has served to put many traders asleep. The action of the market itself seems to be the most meaningful cause of the market action. This is known as momentum.

With the markets upward bias, seasonality and wives tales have been a good play from the bullish side and poor for bearish use. Examples follow. Remember the success of playing the year-end rallies but the failure of a New Year swoon in 06? Sell in May and go away? Bearish wives tale, will not work. Three (interest rate hikes) steps and a stumble? Bearish rule. Forget it Wont work. Santa Claus rally? Bullish. Works every time!

-cut-

So what is different this time? I will outline some of the factors contributing to the case for a short term end of this momentum driven market and a resumption of the secular bear market.
1. Technical Analysis. Never has the public been so involved in the technical aspects of the stock market. If the Nasdaq bubble has taught the public anything, it is the apparent usefulness of technical analysis. While the wild speculation in technology stocks of the 1990s was driven largely on absurd profit projections, todays wild speculation is largely technically driven. Moving averages and momentum are household words as illustrated by many commercials focusing on technical tools. If you listen to main stream Bloomberg radio for a half-hour, you are likely to hear a commercial for a school where you can change your life by learning to trade. Similarly, a Sunday channel surf around the basic cable is likely to reveal a tape set that can be purchased to teach you how to trade options for profit and fun. Although these examples are on the lunatic fringe, it does point to technical analysis as a growing and popular tool. Some professionals appear to be increasingly emphasizing technical analysis in their decision making process and investing in a manner that is not characteristic with their fundamental views. Think Cisco. While this is now a good way to make a point or two here or there in this trading range environment, are the true risks being considered appropriately? One of key components of technical analysis is the stop loss to limit the amount of money one can lose in a single position.


more...

http://www.financialsense.com/Market/wrapup.htm
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:20 AM
Response to Original message
2. Today's Reports

8:30 AM Average Workweek Feb
Briefing Forecast 33.8
Market Expects 33.8
Prior 33.8

8:30 AM Hourly Earnings Feb
Briefing Forecast 0.3%
Market Expects 0.3%
Prior 0.4%

8:30 AM Nonfarm Payrolls Feb
Briefing Forecast 190K
Market Expects 210K
Prior 193K

8:30 AM Unemployment Rate Feb
Briefing Forecast 4.8%
Market Expects 4.7%
Prior 4.7%

10:00 AM Wholesale Inventories Jan
Briefing Forecast 0.5%
Market Expects 0.5%
Prior 1.0%

2:00 PM Treasury Budget Feb
Briefing Forecast -$120.0B
Market Expects -$118.0B
Prior -$113.9B
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
26. 8:30 Reports in:
8:30 AM ET 3/10/06 U.S. FEB. UNEMPLOYMENT 7.2 MILLION VS. 7 MILLION JAN.

8:30 AM ET 3/10/06 U.S. FEB. TOTAL HOURS WORKED FALLS 0.1%

8:30 AM ET 3/10/06 U.S. FEB. SERVICES PAYROLLS RISE 198,000

8:30 AM ET 3/10/06 U.S. FEB. CONSTRUCTION PAYROLLS RISE 41,000

8:30 AM ET 3/10/06 U.S. FEB. MANUFACTURING PAYROLLS FALL 1,000

8:30 AM ET 3/10/06 U.S. FEB. LABOR PARTICIPATION RATE 66.1% VS. 66.0% JAN.

8:30 AM ET 3/10/06 U.S. DEC., JAN. PAYROLLS REVISED DOWN 18,000

8:30 AM ET 3/10/06 U.S. FEB. AVERAGE WORKWEEK FALLS TO 33.7 HOURS VS. 33.8 JAN.

8:30 AM ET 3/10/06 U.S. FEB. AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS RISE 0.3% AS EXPECTED

8:30 AM ET 3/10/06 U.S. FEB. JOBLESS RATE RISES TO 4.8% VS. 4.7% EXPECTED

8:30 AM ET 3/10/06 U.S. FEB. NONFARM PAYROLLS RISE 243,000 VS. 206,000 EXPECTED
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #26
31. U.S. payrolls grow by 243,000 Jobless rate rises to 4.8% in February
http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Despite unfavorable weather, U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by a better-than-expected 243,000 in February, the Labor Department said Friday.

The jobless rate ticked back to 4.8% in February from a five-year low of 4.7% in January. The number of unemployed people rose by 153,000 to 7.2 million.

The labor force participation rate rose to 66.1% from 66.0%.

The 243,000 increase in payrolls was slightly above the 206,000 expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. Economists say the labor market is fundamentally sound.

Payroll growth in December and January was revised lower by a total of 18,000. January's gain was cut from 193,000 to 170,000.

The hiring in February had to overcome a shift from a very warm January to a more normal February. The month also brought a heavy snowstorm to the East Coast at the beginning of the week the government surveys households and businesses for the jobs report.

...more...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:46 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. Skyrocketing new job growth *and* unemployment goes up.
interesting.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #31
74. A little more detail and minor analysis >>>
41,000 new jobs were in construction. Is there a BLS breakdown by region? I wonder how many of the jobs are from the temporary surge in construction along the Gulf Coast?

Also, 38,000 of the new jobs were PUBLIC SECTOR (Government) jobs.


That leaves 164,000 new jobs which is about at the equilibrium point.


Then we look at wages and see a 0.3% increase in wages. However, January's CPI went up 0.7% and I suspect Feb. will be close (lower, but close).
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #74
92. And wait 'till you see the _revised_ numbers... n/t
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:22 AM
Response to Original message
3. Oil Prices Rise As Gasoline Futures Rally
SINGAPORE - Crude oil prices rose in Asian trading on Friday following a sharp rally in gasoline futures and fresh violence in Nigeria.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange increased 6 cents to $60.53 a barrel, midafternoon in Singapore. Gasoline rose 1.29 cents to $1.7330 a gallon while heating oil rose slipped fractionally to $1.7192 a gallon. Natural gas rose 4.9 cents to $6.650 per 1,000 cubic feet.

-cut-

On Thursday, gasoline futures staged a rally on expectations that gasoline inventories would be drawn down as refineries in the United States reduce output while undergoing spring maintenance.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that commercial gasoline stocks fell 1.1 million barrels to 224.8 million barrels last week as refiners lowered utilization by 2.2 percentage points to a relatively low 83 percent of operating capacity.

more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. NY gold settles higher in bargain-hunting bounce
NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) - U.S. gold futures climbed from three-week lows on buying by speculators and consumers on Thursday, recovering after a 1.8 percent drop previously, with added help from U.S. economic data and firm crude oil.

As renewed bargain hunting lifted the precious complex, silver also rose but held below the psychological $10-an-ounce mark in late trade, while platinum and palladium also rose.

April delivery gold on the New York Mercantile Exchange's COMEX division finished $2.70 higher, or up 0.5 percent, at $547 an ounce, after trading between $540.70 and $551.30.

Purchases by the trade at cheaper prices and speculative short covering combined to boost gold, dealers said, after Wednesday's fall to a three-week low below $540, but the market pared its gains by the close.

Some investors also turned to gold amid continued unease about tensions over Iran and following news of a higher U.S. trade deficit and as crude oil prices bounced above $60 a barrel, market sources said.

"Pockets of long liquidation have since returned but the speed of gold's rally suggests not only is this week's correction a little overdone but that investors are still extremely uncertain about the future," said James Moore, an analyst with TheBullionDesk.com. Moore said high oil costs and geopolitical tension will continue to attract investors toward classic safe haven assets, like gold, even as there were concerns about potentially rising interest rates worldwide maybe weighing on the market.

Iran vowed on Thursday not to compromise in its nuclear dispute with the West, while U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Iran was probably the No. 1 challenge for Washington. Rice said it would be a major threat to U.S. Middle East interests if Iran acquired atomic bombs. Iran says its nuclear program is only for civilian use.

On Wednesday, many commodities including metals were slammed by fund selling on fears about rising interest rates in the United States, Europe and Japan perhaps helping shift investment interest to other asset classes. Some analysts warned that gold, the metals and commodities broadly could be in a tricky spot within that environment.
...

Spot gold was last quoted at $545.60/546.50 an ounce, up from Wednesday's late quote in New York at $542.60/3.60. Thursday's afternoon fix in London by bullion dealers was at $550.10.

COMEX May silver rose 12.5 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $9.97 an ounce, in a range of $9.765 and $10.09. Previously, it had shed 5.5 percent in value since Friday, when it hit a 22-year peak of $10.33 on trader hopes of a U.S. silver-backed investment vehicle coming to market. Spot silver fetched $9.96/9.99 an ounce from Wednesday's New York closing quote at $9.84/87. The fix was at $9.875.

NYMEX April platinum gained $11.30 to $1,021.30 an ounce. Spot platinum was worth $1,016/1020. Thinly traded June palladium rose 3.9 percent or $11.10 to $292.55 an ounce. Spot palladium climbed to $285/289. ...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:15 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. Gold price slides as market sees downside
http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=3149702

Tokyo - Gold fell in Asian trade on Friday as charts some traders use to predict prices indicate that further declines may be likely. Gold for immediate delivery fell for the first month in four in February and has dropped 2.8 percent this month so far.

It may decline further from a 25-year high of $575.35 an ounce, said investor Puru Saxena. "A sharp correction is likely over the next few days" as
the bullion's gains in the past few months were overdone, Saxena, chief executive officer of Puru Saxena, said from Hong Kong in a televised interview.

Gold for immediate delivery fell as much as 95 cents, or
0.2 percent, to $545.10 an ounce. The metal traded at $545.27 at 2.37pm Singapore time. The metal rose 22 percent between November and January.

"The gold price will drop down to about $480 to $485 before this correction is over," Saxena said. "That would be a fantastic buying opportunity for the long-term investor" as the metal's bull run may continue for another decade, he said.

Gold futures for April delivery fell as much as $1.90, or 0.4 percent, to $545.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. They traded at $546.60 at 2.36pm Singapore time. ...more...
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #20
39. I have a question, please
I usually read and not post - but I don't understand something, can you help me?

What specific stocks are these articles talking about? There are brokers, mining operations, reserves, etc. types of companies in the GOLD market. What do they refer to?

Thank you.

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RawMaterials Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #39
44. In general they talk about the Price of gold
this effects all the different companies, as an investor you can look at physical gold that you can hold, or the gold ETF witch track the price of gold, or companies either big or small that might or might not produce gold.

this should help you out

http://www.zealllc.com/2002/gold101.htm

:hi:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #20
40. Ewww, a blue-light special coming up? I've noticed that lately when
gold has a correction it never seems to make it quite as low as the pundits predict. I'll be surprised if it ends up even making it down to $490.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #40
100. Absolutely.
:rofl:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #20
96. Sell-off could mean end of bull run (Bwahahaha!)
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/453d354c-b029-11da-a142-000077...

The energy and metals sell-off at the start of the week, triggered by a rise in bond yields, stirred talk that the commodities bull run of recent years may be faltering as the spectre of further rate rises causes growth to slow and reduces demand for raw materials.

By Wednesday afternoon, oil prices had fallen more than seven per cent on the week.

Over the same time, copper, which has led the base metals rally over the past three years, was down more than five per cent, aluminium slid almost eight per cent, and gold declined five per cent.

The sell-off was partly triggered by US and German 10-year bond yields climbing 15 to 20 basis points since the start of March.

This unnerved investors, who started to factor in the prospect of further increases in interest rates on the economy.

snip>

John Reade, precious metals analyst at UBS, said low interest rates in the Group of Seven economies had historically heralded periods of strong prices in commodities, especially in base metals. :rofl:

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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
22. Metals: Copper volatile, analysts see rocky ride ahead
LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - Copper slipped in European trade on Friday, resuming a recent fall from record highs, and analysts said metals could be in for a rocky ride for the foreseeable future. Sentiment towards metals, which had soared to peaks on a fund-driven buying spree, has become brittle. Investors, who until recently had seen commodities as a one-way bet, are becoming more cautious.

"Some players are getting caught out on a regular basis by being bullish at the top of a trading range and bearish at the bottom," Calyon banking group analyst Maqsood Ahmed said. "The term 'topped and tailed' comes to mind but looking beyond this we have to ask ourselves is this it, and are the glory days over, or is it just another profit taking/liquidation session that we are going through."

The benchmark three-month London Metal Exchange (LME) copper contract <MCU3> drifted lower after a volatile week which has seen prices fall six percent from a three-week high of $4,985 a tonne last Friday to a low of $4,675 on Wednesday. At 1117 GMT, copper stood at $4,780/$4,790 down 0.6 percent from Thursday's London kerb close of $4,810.

"Until these markets settle down into more consistent trading patterns, we are going to see continued volatility," a trader said.

ENERGY, INFLATION DRIVING FACTORS

Analysts said energy prices and inflation data are becoming increasingly important factors in the metals market, and generally are bearish.
...

"Crude oil is really driving the market and we have had a lot of negative crude oil news recently. There has been a huge build in stocks which is bearish," Sempra Metals economist John Kemp said. "Geopolitical uncertainties are supporting prices. The war of words between the United States and Iran intensified and a referral to the Security Council looks inevitable," he said. But Kemp noted that increasingly strained relations between Washington and Tehran over Iran's nuclear programme had failed to lift crude prices significantly.

U.S. light crude for April <CLc1> was up 18 cents at $60.65 a barrel by 0859 GMT, after rising 45 cents on Thursday. London Brent crude <LCOc1> traded 19 cents higher at $61.25 a barrel. ...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:27 AM
Response to Original message
4. Nikkei ends up 0.49%, weaker machine orders limit gains
TOKYO (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average ended up 0.49 percent on Friday as the Bank of Japan's decision to end its ultra-easy credit policy underscored optimism about the economic recovery, but data showing weaker-than-expected machinery orders limited gains. ... Japan's core private-sector machinery orders, a key gauge of corporate capital spending, fell 6.2 percent in January from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis, slightly worse than economists' forecasts of a 5.4 percent decline. "There was some anticipation that the number might be positive, lifting some machinery stocks, but when the actual figure came in, those shares fell," said Yasuo Yabe, director of sales at Meiwa Securities.

The Nikkei climbed 78.72 points to 16,115.63. For the week it rose 2.9 percent, its best weekly performance since the last week of January. The broader TOPIX index was up 0.38 percent at 1,647.27.

Yabe said the market appears to be in transition to a new financial environment as the Bank of Japan shifts its monetary policy stance, tilting toward credit tightening. "I think investors will likely shift their focus from bonds to stocks...but I just don't know when we will move on to the next stage," he said. Toru Kitani, senior investment manager at Sompo Japan Asset Management, said the Bank of Japan's policy shift, announced on Thursday, may help the stock market. "It may have a positive effect, urging companies to raise money earlier and move up their capital investment plans," he said.

In the machinery sector, Fanuc Ltd. fell 0.6 percent to 9,920 yen, while Komatsu Ltd. briefly shed some earlier gains after the data but ended up 3.2 percent at 1,998 yen.

Property stocks gained ground on anticipation that government land price data, expected later this month, may show improvement. Japan's biggest property developer Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd. was up 1.8 percent to 2,595 yen and No. 2 Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd. gained 1.4 percent to 2,545 yen.
...

Volume was the highest in more than a month, with 2.4 billion shares changing hands on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Advancers beat decliners 1,016 to 572. ...more...


KYODO_ ... The Tokyo stock market opened lower, sending the benchmark Nikkei briefly below the 16,000 line in line with overnight declines in U.S. shares. But once an initial bout of selling ran its course, the market reversed course, lifting the Nikkei higher a day after it logged this year's third-largest gain of 409.42 points. ...

Optimism over the course of Tokyo stocks was fanned as the BOJ vowed to effectively maintain the zero-interest-rate policy for the time being by holding the unsecured overnight call money rate at near zero, brokers said. "There was a sense of relief that stocks are likely to continue benefiting from the zero-rate policy while the economy is on a recovery track," Nishi said.

Also supporting the day's rise was that the U.S. dollar rose to the 118 yen level and that the market calmly digested Friday's fixing of special quotations for settling index futures and options contracts, brokers said. ...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Japan's Jan. machinery orders down 6.2%, up 9.8% on year
(Kyodo) Japan's core private-sector machinery orders fell a seasonally adjusted 6.2 percent in January from the previous month to 1,059.4 billion yen for the first fall in four months, the government said Friday. But the government left its assessment that core machinery orders are on a rising trend unchanged from the previous month, as the drop in January followed growth in large-lot orders in December. "We maintained the assessment because core machinery orders grew backed by large-lot orders such as semiconductor-manufacturing equipment in December, while there were no large-lot orders in January," an official of the Cabinet Office said. The official also said the core machinery orders have been moving at high levels, topping 1 trillion yen for the fourth straight month.
...

The figure represents an unadjusted 9.8 percent increase from a year earlier, marking the eighth consecutive monthly increase, the Cabinet Office said.
...

By sector, orders from the chemicals industry dropped 35.9 percent and those from the auto industry 12.2 percent due following surges in December. However, orders from petrochemical product makers jumped 188.2 percent. Orders from nonmanufacturers lost 8.1 percent from a year earlier, posting the first drop in four months.

Private-sector machinery orders are considered a leading indicator of corporate capital spending six to nine months ahead. The core orders exclude those for ships and orders from electric power companies as they tend to vary widely due to their large size. ...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. JGBs fall on uncertainty over when BOJ lifts rates
TOKYO, March 10 (Reuters) - Japanese government bonds fell on Friday as investors remained wary about when the Bank of Japan will stop keeping interest rates near zero, despite the central bank saying it will hold them at that level when it ended its ultra-easy monetary policy the previous day.

Shorter-dated bonds rose earlier in the session on relief-buying as yields had already risen to levels where they were before the BOJ implemented the "quantitative easing" policy of flooding the banking system with excess cash five years ago.
...

The benchmark 10-year futures contract fell half a point later in the session as selling accelerated after technical levels were broken, options expiry, and uncertainty about the BOJ's next big step -- ending the zero interest rate policy. The plunge in futures spread to shorter-dated bonds, which had outperformed longer sectors during most of the session.

"The selling reflects concerns among market players about the BOJ's next move, which is raising interest rates," said Naomi Hasegawa, a senior fixed income strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities.
...

The benchmark June futures <0#JGB:> contract ended the day session down 0.44 point at 134.60, hovering near a 19-month low. The benchmark 10-year cash bond <0#JPTSY=JBTC> yield jumped five basis points to 1.655 percent, creeping towards a 1-1/2-year high of 1.690 percent hit last week on expectations of an eventual rate rise. The five-year yield <0#JPTSY=JBTC> rose three basis points to 1.065 percent despite a decent result of a 2 trillion yen ($17 billion) auction with a coupon of 1.1 percent, the highest since a 1.2 percent coupon on the November 2000 issue.
...

The unsecured overnight call rate traded in a 0.001-0.005 percent range, in line with market expectations and reflecting the start of a smooth transition into a period of post-quantitative easing. The benchmark used by commercial banks to lend funds to one another ended trading on Thursday at a weighted average of 0.002 percent. ...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. Bourses open soft, awaiting US jobs data
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 05:30 AM by EuroObserver
Swiss SMI down -0.32% at 7835.54 in Zurich 09:02:42 CET
CAC 40 opens down -0.4% at 4,989.6 in Paris 09:06 CET
Xetra Dax 30 opens down -0.4% at 5,711.4 in Frankfurt 09:05 CET
FTSE 100 opens down -0.3% at 5,839.2 in London 08:04 GMT
DJ EURO STOXX50 down -0.35% at 3,744.65 in Frankfurt 09:14 CET
FTSE EUROTOP down -0.19% at 2,859.69 in London 08:14 GMT


European shares open lower ahead of U.S. jobs data
Fri Mar 10, 2006 08:45 GMT PARIS, March 10 (Reuters) - European shares eased on Friday, tracking losses on Wall Street, with investors wary ahead of U.S. jobs data later in the day.

Anglo American (AAL.L: Quote, Profile, Research) led losers in the mining sector, falling 2 percent, while technology stocks were weaker following the sixth straight day of losses on the Nasdaq Composite Index as Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) shares slid 3 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of leading European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,341.8, after closing 0.8 percent higher at 1,343.2 points on Thursday.

Economists polled by Reuters forecast a 210,000 rise in U.S. nonfarm payrolls for February, a sign of steady U.S. employment growth that may add to inflation fears. "This reading is likely to dominate the economic calendar today and suggestions that the labour market is expanding too quickly will add weight to calls for further rate hikes to keep inflation in check -- something that stands to weigh on stocks in general," said Matthew Buckland, trader at CMC Markets.

Across Europe, London's FTSE 100 <.FTSE> lost 0.1 percent, while Paris's CAC 40 <.FCHI> and Frankfurt's DAX <.GDAXI> were both down around 0.2 percent.

Oil prices edged up, consolidating above $60 a barrel after a recovery in U.S. gasoline and continued worries over supply disruptions in major producing countries. U.S. light crude for April <CLc1> was up 0.3 percent at $60.67 a barrel, adding to Thursday's gains. ...more, detail...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. HSBC taps long-end bond demand with 40-year issue
LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research), Europe's biggest bank, sold 600 million pounds ($1.04 billion) of 40-year bonds on Thursday that tapped into the huge demand among British pension funds for long-dated debt that matches their liabilities. Huge demand for these assets has led to an inverted gilt yield curve -- where long-maturity bonds yield less than short maturities -- and sparked calls from investors for the Debt Management Office to issue fresh long-dated debt, including a new 40-year gilt.
...

"The dynamic is one that works for issuers and investors," said Adam Bothamley of HSBC's financial institutions syndicate desk.

With long-end yields at 50-year lows and the gilt curve inverted, financing is attractive for borrowers, and Thursday's deal features a 4.75 percent coupon that matches the lowest ever achieved for HSBC lower tier II paper in sterling, he said.

"From an investor perspective, there is a desperate need for assets to match liabilities," Bothamley said. ...more...
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OrangeCountyDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #10
27. Is This How They're Going To Do It?
They're going to continue the debt ridden fantasy that is the world economy, by going to 40 and 50 year loans? That way if you're having trouble making payments under your 30 year mortgage, just refinance and do it over 40/50 years.

I think this is great news! Now I can go out and buy that million dollar house I've always wanted, and I can have it paid off by the time I'm 90. With all the social security I should be getting in around 25 years, that won't be a problem.
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RawMaterials Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:22 AM
Original message
Then when your 90
you re-fi into a reversible mortgage, then the bank pays you till you die, great retirement system they are working on isnt it.

:mad:
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. German inflation still above 2%
(BBC) German inflation remained above 2% in February, the target level set by the European Central Bank. Consumer prices were flat at 2.1% on an annual basis although, month-on-month, they rose 0.4% from January.

In better news for the German economy, the country's monthly trade surplus widened to 12.5bn euros (8.5bn) in January from 9.2bn euros in December. Exports rose 3.3% to 68.6bn euros, evidence of a general economic upturn, while imports rose 3% to 56.1bn euros.

There have been mixed indicators about the strength of Germany's economic recovery in recent weeks. While business confidence is at a five-year high and unemployment has fallen in 10 out of the last 11 months, consumer spending remains weak. ...source...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #5
17. Kroes threatens to break up EU power giants
(FT) Brussels warned Europes unreformed energy giants on Thursday that their days were numbered, as the European Commission launched an onslaught on monopolistic utilities and the politicians who protect them.

Neelie Kroes, the EUs top antitrust official, said she was inclined to break up companies that controlled both the supply and distribution of energy, thus blocking rivals from entering the market. Meanwhile, Charlie McCreevy, the EUs internal market commissioner, said he would not stand idly by while politicians moved to defend national champions from takeovers by foreign competitors. Does anybody really think that I am going to turn a blind eye to the cosy old-boy networks between politicians and managers of companies? he asked in a speech in London. If they do, they are living in a fools paradise.

The joint attack suggests the Commission is preparing for a confrontation with countries such as France and Spain, which have tried to frustrate cross-border takeovers of their national energy companies. It comes the day after Jos Manuel Barroso, Commission president, unveiled a green paper to promote a genuine pan-European energy market of 450m people the second largest in the world after the US.

Ms Kroes told an energy law conference in Brussels: Bundling of generation, supply, pipelines, grids and distribution seems to be at the heart of the current market failure. Personally, I find full structural unbundling quite tempting.

Britain split its pipeline network from British Gas nearly a decade ago, granting equal access to rivals including big European utilities such as Eon and EDF. ...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
18. New UK law to end retirement at 65
(BBC) Employers will be banned from forcing workers to retire before the age of 65 under new age discrimination laws outlined by the government. Under the plans, all forms of direct and indirect age discrimination will be outlawed from October.

While the plans have been broadly welcomed, lawyers have warned they may lead to a rash of employment tribunals. Legal experts are concerned the law may affect redundancy pay and the minimum wage which both vary according to age. According to experts, when similar legislation was introduced in Ireland, related court cases increased by 19%, while in the US there was a 40% rise.

Nicola Dandrige, head of equality at trade union law firm Thomsons said there were "large areas of uncertainty" about how the new regulations will be applied. That could continue until we have a clear steer from the courts of how the laws operate," she added. ...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #5
19. Labour reforms expose rift in French government
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 07:09 AM by EuroObserver
(FT) Nicolas Sarkozy, France's interior minister, is distancing himself from Dominique de Villepin, prime minister, in the battle over unpopular labour reforms, as tensions rise between the two main rivals on the right for next year's presidential elections. Mr Sarkozy, head of the centre-right UMP, has publicly supported the labour reforms. But since big demonstrations against the reforms this week, several of his allies have called for it to be watered down or abandoned, exposing a growing rift between the government's top two ministers.

Mr de Villepin's popularity has slumped since the public turned against his idea of loosening France's rigid labour law with a more flexible employment contract for people aged under 26.
...

Mr de Villepin has staked his reputation on the reform, designed to cut France's crippling youth unemployment, with more than 22 per cent of people aged 18 to 25 seeking jobs. But he has been accused of "institutionalising instability" for young people.

Franois Hollande, Socialist party leader, issued a "solemn" appeal to President Jacques Chirac to "suspend" the new contract and "find a new formula".

The law containing the new contract was given final parliamentary approval by the Senate on Thursday, but it faces a challenge by the opposition Socialist party in the constitutional court that will delay its launch by another week. ...more...

French society still knows very well how to mobilize when it knows what it (doesn't) want.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
45. Europe turns positive after US payrolls data surprise
(FT) European equities turned higher following surprisingly strong US non-farm payrolls data on Friday, as investors shrugged off inflationary fears to focus on the wider implications for the global economy. By mid afternoon, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.2 per cent to 1,345.20, while Frankfurts Xetra Dax gained 0.3 per cent to 5,746.34. In Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.6 per cent to 5,035.92 and Londons FTSE 100 climbed 0.1 per cent to 5,862.5. Wall Street futures indicated opening gains for cash stocks on Friday after the data, which showed 243,000 new jobs were created in the US in February. Although the headline number was higher than expected, some economists suggested that the increase was weather related and that growth at this pace was unlikely to continue. ...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #5
84. So, "healthy U.S. economy" gave bourses some rudder...
Swiss SMI closed up +1.40% at 7970.64 in Zurich
CAC 40 closed up +1.23% at 5,069.27 in Paris
Xetra DAX closed up +1.27% at 5,804.92 in Frankfurt
FTSE-100 closed up +0.89 at 5,907.90 in London
FTSE EUROTOP closed up +0.87 at 2,890.23 in London
DJ EURO STOXX50 closed up +1.08% at 3,798.46 in Frankfurt


UK's FTSE closes above 5,900, spurred by Wall St
LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index reversed early losses on Friday to close above 5,900 points for the first time since June 2001, tracking Wall Street gains as investors warmed to stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data.

The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> closed 52 points, or 0.9 percent, higher at 5,907.9 points, having fallen as low as 5,838.2 points prior to the jobs data which depicted a healthy U.S. economy which could expand even as interest rates rise.

The UK index was also boosted by bid speculation with airports operator BAA (BAA.L: Quote, Profile, Research) gaining 5 percent on expectations of an imminent bid from a consortium led by Spanish construction group Ferrovial (FER.MC: Quote, Profile, Research). ...source...

European shares end week on a high after payrolls
LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - European shares closed sharply higher on Friday having been rudderless before jobs data showed the U.S. economy was in bullish health but did not fuel fears it could overheat.

Merger news and speculation boosted the European banking sector to add to the gains, with rumours continuing to circulate about Capitalia (CPTA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) and, separately, Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research).

Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> closed 0.75 percent higher at 1,353.24 with Germany's DAX <.GDAXI> and France's CAC 40 <.FCHI> jumping around 1.2 percent. ...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #84
86. Europe Govt. Bonds, currencies "running scared of rate hikes"?
LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - British gilts and short sterling came under heavy selling pressure on Friday, tracking Bunds and Treasuries down after stronger-than-expected U.S. payrolls data sent investors running scared of rate hikes. ...more...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:30 AM
Response to Original message
6. worth reposting: U.S. Trade Deficit Reaches Record $68.5B
WASHINGTON - Rising oil prices and Americans' seemingly insatiable appetite for foreign goods from Chinese clothing to French wine and Japanese cars sent the U.S. trade deficit to another record.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the deficit jumped to $68.5 billion in January, 5.3 percent more than in December. Analysts had expected the trade gap to worsen, given the surge in world oil prices, but the increase caught them by surprise.

"We shopped the world's markets until we dropped," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors. "We bought a lot more of everything, including capital and consumer goods, foods and motor vehicles."

Analysts said that unless demand for imported goods slows, the U.S. could produce a record annual deficit for the fifth year in a row, topping last year's imbalance of $723.6 billion.

more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
58. Save More! Save Less! (Roach)
http://www.morganstanley.com/GEFdata/digests/20060309-t...

snip>

The numbers leave little doubt as to the extraordinary contrast between the two economies. Last year China saved about half of its gross domestic product, or some $1.1 trillion. At the same time, the US saved only 13% of its national income, or $1.6 trillion. That's right, the US, whose economy is six times the size of China's, can't manage to save twice as much money.

And that's just looking at national averages that include saving by consumers, businesses, and governments. The contrast is even starker at the household level a personal saving rate in China of about 30% of household income, compared with a US rate that dipped into negative territory last year (-0.4% of after-tax household income).

These are extreme readings by any standard. The US hasn't pushed its personal saving rate this far into negative territory since 1933, in the depths of the Depression. And the Chinese rate is higher than it has been at any point in the past 28 years, since its modern reforms began. Similar extremes show up in the consumption shares of the two economies the mirror image of trends in personal saving rates. US consumption has held at a record 71% of GDP since early 2002, while Chinese consumption appears to have slipped to a record low of about 50% of GDP in 2005.

snip>

The US saving shortfall is equally stressful. American consumers have mistaken bubble-like appreciation of their homes for saving. Facing anemic growth in labor incomes real compensation paid out by the private sector has lagged behind the norm of past business cycles by more than $360 billion they have turned to debt-financed equity extraction from their homes in order to keep consuming. And the binge has reached record highs in terms of both the amount consumers owe as a share of their incomes and the interest expenses they incur to service those obligations.

more...

And what does Roach propose for an answer - a consumption tax. Oh yeah, we're already being taxed by inflation, we'll be hit even harder by that tax as the buck plummets in value and Stephen wants to tax us some more. Just how is that going to help remedy the issue that this has become a consumer-driven economy? :eyes:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #6
71. Galloping along at $100 billion a year!!!
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0310/p01s03-usec.html

America's trade deficit has been setting records with such frequency that it seems almost tiresome to hear it again: Another month, another $68.5 billion.

But the gap between what America imports and what it exports is growing so rapidly and relentlessly that it is provoking new concern about how long the world's largest economy can play borrower and consumer to the world.

The issue may take on new urgency in a congressional election year, stoked by news Thursday that the trade deficit hit a new high in January. The monthly record is attributed to a surge in goods from fast-rising China, a tide of imports affecting the beleaguered US auto industry, and an exodus of dollars going to pay for OPEC oil. The huge trade imbalance was top of mind with US lawmakers recently, when they quizzed incoming Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about their economic concerns.

Though America's trade deficit has been growing by about $100 billion annually - hitting $726 billion last year - that doesn't necessarily mean a sober day of reckoning is drawing near.

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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:32 AM
Response to Original message
9. U.S. Consumer Confidence Drops, Poll Shows
WASHINGTON - Consumer confidence dropped in early March as people fretted about the economy's performance and their own financial fate in the months ahead.

The RBC CASH Index, based on results from the international polling firm Ipsos, showed confidence at 86.2 in early March.

That was down considerably from February's reading of 96.1 a 16-month high. But it was in the ballpark with consumers' feelings about economic conditions in March of last year, when the index stood at 84.2.

"Consumers aren't knocking the cover off the ball. Their confidence isn't a grand slam, but they aren't striking out, either," said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research.

more...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:35 AM
Response to Original message
11. Angst grows over end of 'easy money' policies
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Japan's shift away from its ultra-loose monetary policy is the latest in a series of central bank moves creating jitters in financial markets but which may mean a healthier global economy, analysts say.

-cut-

In the US, the yield on the benchmark 10-year bond has jumped nearly half a percentage point to 4.74 percent this week -- the highest in nearly two years -- after reaching a low of 4.33 percent in January.

-cut-

The European Central Bank has hinted after two quarter-point rate hikes that it may not be finished, and the Bank of Japan Thursday ended its policy of flooding the market with liquidity, suggesting a move up from its zero-rate policy.

"The BoJ did warn that the changes would occur over a period of several months and as a result rates are not likely to rise for some time, but the market will take the change in policy as a turning point for Japan," said Jon Gencher, analyst at BMO Nesbitt Burns.

more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. U.S. stocks slip, gold, dollar and oil rebound (yesterday, projections)
NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks declined on Thursday, with the Nasdaq falling for a sixth straight day, while the dollar, gold and oil all rose. U.S. Treasury debt prices were near flat as dealers braced for a possible strong rise in Friday's monthly payrolls report.

The Bank of Japan's decision to abandon the super-loose monetary policy it has kept for five years was expected to eventually boost demand for yen-based assets. But traders said it could be some time before that happens and the dollar rebounded against the yen.

U.S. crude oil futures rose as Iran maintained a tough stance on its nuclear program and amid more violence by Nigerian militants seeking to disrupt their nation's oil industry. Crude for April delivery <CLJ6> gained 45 cents to settle at $60.47 per barrel, in New York.

Lingering concerns about the potential fallout from rising interest rates on corporate profits weighed on the broader stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> ended down 33.46 points, or 0.30 percent, at 10,972.28. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 6.24 points, or 0.49 percent, at 1,272.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 17.74 points, or 0.78 percent, at 2,249.72.
...

Investors were cautious ahead of Friday's payrolls report. The U.S. Labor Department's report on U.S. jobs growth in February, due early on Friday, will give important clues on the economy's growth and wage-related inflation, factors likely to influence the Fed's decisions about interest-rate increases, analysts said.

Economists polled by Reuters expect U.S. nonfarm payrolls added 210,000 jobs in February, a sign of steady U.S. job growth that could add to inflation fears. In January, nonfarm payrolls added 193,000 jobs.

"It may be a little bit of a buyers' strike ... if we do get a strong (payroll) report tomorrow, it suggests the Fed is going to have to be more aggressive," said Jeff Kleintop, chief investment strategist at PNC Advisors.
...

Markets see Japan's move as a preliminary step toward an interest-rate rise later this year. Japanese rate hikes would start to erode the dollar's interest-rate advantage over the yen to yield-seeking global investors -- a prospect that had boosted the yen in Asian trade overnight.
...

U.S. gold futures climbed back from three-week lows. COMEX April delivery gold <GCJ6> rose $2.70, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $547 an ounce. ...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:41 AM
Response to Original message
14. Ports row could spark anti-US backlash: business leaders
10/03/2006 03h19 WASHINGTON (AFP) - The firestorm whipped up in Congress around an Arab state-owned company's aborted takeover of US ports risks hurting US businesses overseas, especially in the Middle East, commentators warned.
...

Speaking on the CNBC network, Hussein Ibish of the Foundation for Arab-American Leadership said the UAE government and DP World had been forced to submit to "demagogues and populists". Combined with the CNOOC affair, he said "it is a worrying trend and you have to wonder how long you can ask people to hold huge amounts of dollars without being able to invest in hard assets in the United States".

The withdrawal of DP World, which did not divulge the prospective US buyer of the ports, spares Bush's blushes for now. But it does nothing at all for confidence in the US economy, the US Chamber of Commerce warned. "We do have a concern about the potential for retaliation in the trade space," Bruce Josten, the Chamber's executive vice president for government affairs, told AFP. Stressing that 30 percent of the US economy is driven by international trade, he said: "The concern from where I sit is glaringly obvious: the US on a worldwide basis has the most to lose. Retaliation precipitated by Congress will not only harm US employers but employees as well. If we start losing markets, you're going to see shuttering of plants. People are going to lose their jobs."

Boeing Co. is one of the US companies with most to lose should governments in the Middle East react adversely to the DP World imbroglio. In November, the aviation giant won a mammoth order worth nearly 10 billion dollars from the UAE's flagship airline Emirates for 42 777 long-haul aircraft.

Last year US companies exported goods worth 8.5 billion dollars to the UAE, making the small country of 2.5 million people a bigger export market for the United States than India or Spain.

US Trade Representative Rob Portman said the DP World row sent a potentially bad signal at a time when the administration is vying to prise open foreign markets at the World Trade Organisation. "I do think it is time for us to take a breath, and to talk about what this is all about: talk about the importance of us finding that balance ... between national security and being open to investment," he said on CNBC.

Editorialists in the Wall Street Journal were already fulminating Thursday after a key House of Representatives committee voted by a huge margin to block the DP World deal. "Let's hope the world's investors conclude that this is a craven, one-time political surrender, rather than the start of an attempt to politicize every foreign investment in America that can be linked to 'national security'," it said. ...more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. Where was all of this concern when China's bid for Conoco was fought?
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 07:22 AM by 54anickel
Edit for clarity - it's early and I've just start my first cup. :hangover:
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. I noticed concern at the time in Europe.
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 07:26 AM by EuroObserver
It was considered a harbinger of things to come...

ed: Good morning! :hi:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #23
35. Good morning EuroObserver. Seems all that free-market talk has
become a bit of a Pandora's box these days. Let's see, what can be sold that doesn't somehow involve National Security?
Funny how no one was crying about the interest of National Security as jobs were being sold down the free-trade river. Don't get me wrong, I'm for global trade and all, when it's a fair trade that benefits the majority involved rather than an elite few. I'm always floored by free-traders that say, "yeah, well those people are damned happy to be making 10 cents an hour". Guess that's their idea of a rising tide. :eyes:
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #35
62. I can think...
of a lot of other things that float too..... :eyes:
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #14
28. Does Hussein Ibish know how he sounds?
"said the UAE government and DP World had been forced to submit to "demagogues and populists".

They threw in demagogues to make it sound better but what really gets to the UAE and DP is that they were forced to submit to the will of the people. The "populists" as you calls them are suppose to run this country Mr. Ibish. But of course a dictator or king is much easier.

Combined with the CNOOC affair, he said "it is a worrying trend and you have to wonder how long you can ask people to hold huge amounts of dollars without being able to invest in hard assets in the United States".

Not to be annoying, but keep your money and the US populists will manage. It may be difficult, but we have fought bigger issues.
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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #14
42. US exports more to UAE than to India?
That's interesting.

Last year US companies exported goods worth 8.5 billion dollars to the UAE, making the small country of 2.5 million people a bigger export market for the United States than India or Spain.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #42
52. Well, a pinch of salt: Dubai is an entrept for the whole region,
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 08:36 AM by EuroObserver
so many goods imported through Dubai (one emirate in UAE) will be sold on to customers elsewhere (rather like Liverpool, say, many years ago now, or Rotterdam today). Plus it's a regional financial center, like London today...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #14
50. Dubai ports debacle darkens Gulf investors' mood
Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:57 PM GMT DUBAI, March 10 (Reuters) - Gulf Arabs reacted bitterly on Friday to Dubai's decision to relinquish control of six U.S. ports, saying the political storm that forced the emirate's hand could provoke a backlash among regional investors.
...

"Do you think we are happy this morning? The mood is black, very, very black," said a senior official who was involved in the Dubai Ports deal.
...

"It doesn't matter whether it is a private investor or a public investor. This will affect investment," said Robert Springborg, director of the London Middle East Institute of the School of Oriental and African Studies.
...

The sheer volume of cash at stake makes that perception a matter of critical economic importance. Record oil prices are driving up the amount of Gulf money available for investment in foreign assets by about $130 billion a year -- about 16 percent of the external funding needed to cover the U.S. current account deficit.

The UAE economy minister warned last week that the Dubai Ports row could prompt other countries to divert funds away from the United States. A lot of that money is channelled through bodies linked to Gulf governments, which have been diversifying their holdings across geographies and asset classes since the oil boom began.

U.S. securities still account for the bulk of the identifiable investment from OPEC oil cartel states, but their share of investable OPEC funds has fallen compared to the last oil boom in the 1970s, according the Bank for International Settlements. The Dubai ports row has given Gulf investors another reason to keep diversifying their holdings away from the United States, the destination of choice during the 1970s oil boom, analysts said. ...more...
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #14
60. Morning Marketeers,
:donut: I've been thinking about this port deal. I don't know if I have become jaded/cynical, but the thought occured to me this morning. If this port has to be managed/owned by an American Co., what are the odds that Halliburton or Carlyle Group won't be too far behind. I might be cynical, but I wouldn't be surprised. :eyes:

We start Spring break this afternoon so my posting will be sporatic as I will be away from the computer the next week. I will be reading it as I am sure it will be an interesting month.

Happy hunting and watch out for the bears....
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #14
80. U.S., United Arab Emirates Postpone Free Trade Negotiations
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=aQd...

March 10 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. and United Arab Emirates put off plans to hold a fifth round of negotiations for a free- trade agreement this month, the U.S. trade office said.

``In order to get an agreement that both sides can successfully implement, we need additional time to prepare for the next round of negotiations,'' said Neena Moorjani, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office.

The talks, which had proceeded without controversy since they began in November 2004, were scheduled to resume this year when the planned acquisition of six U.S. ports by Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based DP World sparked outrage in Congress over the potential security risks. Dubai, the second-largest member of the UAE, was found by the U.S. to have been home to two of the Sept. 11 hijackers.

snip>

The UAE trade agreement was part of a drive by U.S. President George W. Bush to form an economic link between the U.S. and the Middle East. In addition to the UAE, the U.S. has completed negotiations with Oman, which could come up for a vote in Congress as early as this month, and a separate agreement with Bahrain that has already been ratified by lawmakers.

bit more...saying it has nothing to do with the ports deal.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #80
81. U.S., Malaysia to launch free-trade talks
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 11:35 AM by 54anickel
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1155AP_US_Malays...

WASHINGTON -- The United States and Malaysia announced Wednesday that they have agreed to begin negotiating a free trade deal to eliminate trade barriers between the two nations.

The decision was announced at a crowded Capitol Hill news conference attended by lawmakers from both political parties, marking an effort by the administration to build bipartisan support for its trade policies at a time when the country is running record trade deficits.

By selecting Malaysia for free trade negotiations, the administration chose a country that is already America's 10th largest trading partner with $44 billion in two-way trade. The administration announced last month that it planned to launch free trade negotiations with South Korea and free trade talks with Thailand, another economic power in the region, are already under way.

snip>

The administration is rushing to complete as many free trade agreements as it can before the July 2007 expiration of its authority to negotiate trade deals under special procedures requiring Congress to expedite its consideration of the deals.

snip>

Bush has aggressively pursued free trade deals, pushing the number of foreign countries with such agreements from four - Canada, Mexico, Israel and Jordan - when he took office, to 17 currently.

more...

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #80
82. India-GCC free trade pact likely by year-end
http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1645257,00020008...

India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are likely to finalise a free trade agreement (FTA) in goods by year-end, a senior official said on Wednesday.

"We hope to finalise the GCC-India FTA in goods by year-end though similar agreements in investment and services will take time as the GCC member countries are still to harmonise their rules in these two areas," said MVPC Sastry, joint secretary in the ministry of commerce and industry at a briefing ahead of the second GCC-India Industrial Conference at Muscat March 25-26.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates make up GCC.

Ahead of the Muscat meet, Sastry will lead an Indian technical team to Riyadh March 21-22 for talks with the GCC secretariat on the FTA.

"This will be the first round of technical negotiations with the GCC secretariat and we hope to be able to work closely on FTA in goods and resolve issues like greater market access and removal of non-tariff barriers both for Indian goods to the region and the GCC goods to India," said Sastry.

Hilal bin Hammed Al Hasani, director general of Oman's ministry of commerce and industry said the FTA would greatly help boost flow of investments besides trade.

more...

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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:50 AM
Response to Original message
16. Stocks set for firmer start, payrolls eyed
LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. shares are indicated higher on Friday, with focus on February U.S. payrolls data, which will give signs on the economy's growth and wage-related inflation and determine the outlook for interest rates.

-cut-

By 1100 GMT, Dow Jones futures were up 0.12 percent, indicating a slightly higher market opening.

Financial markets are primed for another month of steady U.S. jobs growth in February, but the key focus is on whether the report will increase concerns about inflation, which might indicate how much further U.S. interest rates will rise.

more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #16
24. GLOBAL MARKETS-Markets stall ahead of U.S. job data
Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:16 AM GMT LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - Financial markets stalled ahead of U.S. jobs data on Friday, awaiting clues on how much further the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates, while moves by the Bank of Japan to slowly tighten credit boosted Asian stocks.

The dollar held steady while euro zone government bond futures and European shares were also flat, with investors reluctant to take positions prior to U.S. non-farm payrolls data at 1330 GMT. ...more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
25. World gains 102 more billionaires
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3712924.html

NEW YORK As emerging stock markets surged during the past year, 102 wealthy people around the world won a much-coveted title along with their stellar gains they all became billionaires. But tepid returns in the United States ate into the fortunes of some of the richest Americans, including the founding family of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The number of billionaires around the world rose by 102 to a record 793 over the past year, and their combined wealth grew 18 percent to $2.6 trillion, according to Forbes magazine's 2006 rankings of the world's richest people.

Forbes editor Luisa Kroll noted that Russia's stock market jumped 108 percent between February 2005 and February 2006, while India's market rose by more than 54 percent during the same period. Brazil "was another bright star" with a market gain of 38 percent, she said.

Kroll said the changes on the list weren't driven by U.S. investments.

more...

Guess that explains the recent explosion in emerging market funds. I had been thinking about moving some money into one that's relatively new - perhaps now might not be the best time. The doors are starting to look rather crowded.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
29. daily dollar watch
http://quotes.ino.com/chart/?s=NYBOT_DX

Last trade 90.71 Change -0.08 (-0.09%)

Dollar Storm Is Brewing

http://www.dailyfx.com/story/dailyfx_reports/daily_tech...

EUR/USD – Euro bulls continued to keep the pair above the 1.1900 figure as price action remained subdued after EUR/USD stalled above 1.1864, a level marked by the 23.6 Fib of the 1.2588-1.1639 USD rally. As dollar bulls resume their advance and once again push the pair lower, a move below 1.1864 level, will most likely see EUR/USD head lower and target euro bids around 1.1778, a level marked by the December 30 daily low, and with sustained momentum most likely seeing the EUR/USD decline toward 1.1704, a level defended by the December 7 daily low. A further collapse of the euro’s bids will most likely see the pair decline toward 1.1639, a level established by the 2005 Low, and acts as a gateway toward the next psychologically important 1.1500 handle. Indicators are favoring dollar bulls with both negative momentum indicator and negative MACD trading below the zero line, while neutral oscillators give either side enough room to maneuver.

<snip>

USD/JPY – Japanese Yen longs failed to keep the pair below 1118.00 figure as greenback longs remained in charge of the price action. As dollar longs continue with counteroffensive, a further move on the part of the greenback longs will most likely see the USD/JPY head higher and with a move above the 118.00-119.00 zone target the yen offers around 119.36, a level defended by the February 3 daily high. A sustained upside momentum on the part of the greenback bulls will most likely see the dollar bulls push the pair toward the psychologically important 120.00 handle and with confirmed breakout seeing dollar bulls target 120.46, a level marked by the December 13 daily high. A further advance on the part of the dollar trader will most likely see the Japanese yen longs retreat toward 121.39, a level defended by the 2005 High. Indicators are favoring Japanese yen longs with both negative momentum indicator and MACD treading below the zero line, while neutral oscillators give either side enough room to maneuver.

...more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #29
56. Watch on Sterling, Swiss Franc:


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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #29
67. Dollar hits 2006 highs after solid US Feb jobs
Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:15 PM GMT NEW YORK, March 10 (Reuters) - The dollar hit 2006 highs against a basket of major currencies on Friday, after a solid U.S. February employment report sent currency and fixed income investors betting the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rate hikes beyond previous expectations.

In the aftermath of the jobs report, fed funds futures showed roughly a one in four chance of the fed funds target rate rising to 5.25 percent by June from the current 4.5 percent, up from a one in ten chance before the report.

The dollar index <.DXY> rose to around 91.16, its highest level for the year so far, while the dollar hit one-month highs against the yen.
...

"There is a pretty good sized shift in the fed funds futures curve. There is a lot of talk in the market about the Fed going to 5.25 percent now," which is boosting the dollar, said Greg Anderson, director of foreign exchange strategy with ABN Amro in Chicago. "The payrolls report took a lot of risk aversion out of the market so people are going back into their favorite trades and one of them is long dollars," Anderson said. Going "long" a currency is effectively a bet that it will strengthen.

Mid-morning in New York, the euro <EUR=> fell to session lows around $1.1861 according to Reuters data from around $1.1920 shortly before the report and down about 0.4 percent from levels late on Thursday in New York. Against the yen <JPY=> the dollar rose to one-month highs around 119.13 yen, from around 118.35 yen shortly before the report and up 0.8 percent from Thursday in New York.

"You saw some very good dollar bids after the number. The report is very dollar positive, very interest rate positive," said Brian Taylor, chief foreign exchange dealer with Manufacturers and Traders Bank in Buffalo, New York.
...

Market participants were raising their expectations for Fed rate hikes to contain inflation mainly because of the 0.3 percent rise in U.S. average hourly earnings in February, said Anderson. But he added: "That is where I am a little puzzled because I don't think the report was that strong."
...

Central bank governors from the Group of 10 developed and emerging markets are meeting in Basel, Switzerland on Sunday and Monday. ...more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #29
79. Monetary Hara-Kiri
http://www.321gold.com/editorials/schiff/schiff031006.h...

Today's trivial action by the BOJ has the media proclaiming an official truce in Japan's war against deflation. However, waging a war against falling consumer prices is the policy equivalent of committing monetary hara-kiri. Far from being the menace they are portrayed to be, falling consumer prices, often incorrectly referred to as deflation, are in reality the natural and beneficial results of rising productivity inherent in a free market economy. They result in real increases in the value of wages and savings, and therefore lead to rising standards of living.

There is no doubt that Japan has suffered its share of economic problems, but falling consumer prices, in reality one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise cloudy picture, are certainly not among them. Japan's economic problems result mainly from monetary and fiscal policies designed to slow the liquidation of the mal investments accumulated during the bubble years. The sooner these misguided polices are abandoned, the sooner Japan's economy can properly rebalance.

If Japan's economy faltered during an environment of falling consumer prices, imagine how much weaker its economy would have been had consumer prices risen instead. What about Japan's unemployed? Would their lots have really improved if they were confronted with a rising cost of living as well? If Japanese consumers were reluctant to buy products even as falling prices made them more affordable, imagine what the effect would have been had rising prices instead made them more expensive. If Japanese companies found it hard to generate adequate profits with their costs declining, imagine how much more difficult the task would have been had their costs been rising instead.

Take a step back and think about the whole subject of falling consumer prices rationally. Suppose health care were to become more affordable, if the cost of educating our children became less expensive, if necessities such as food, energy, clothing, and shelter consumed a smaller fraction of our family budgets, if it became cheaper to travel, buy a car, appliances, or toys for our children: wouldn't these be good things? Do central banks really need to save us from this peril?

As far as I can tell, there are basically four flawed arguments advanced for why falling consumer prices are bad:

more...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #79
91. Yes, this article hits the nail on the head, I reckon. Recommended.
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 12:57 PM by EuroObserver
The four flawed arguments are very succinctly and clearly laid out (other factors being equal), and the conclusion: "In summation, falling consumer prices are the economic equivalent of manna from heaven. By continually debasing their currencies, central bankers routinely rob their citizens of this bounty. The fact that they do so under the pretense of sparing them from suffering the ravages of a falling cost of living does not alter this reality," makes a great deal of sense (at least to most of us here in SMW).

Only fly in the ointment that occurs to me immediately: prices (costs) may generally be falling for producers as well as consumers in the deflating economy... but not necessarily when it comes to essential imports from a surrounding, still price-inflating, world - read, especially, energy-source dependancy.

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #29
98. Today's Pfening
http://www.kitcocasey.com/displayArticle.php?id=595

snip>

OK... Today is a Jobs Jamboree Friday, and the thoughts going around the markets are that there will be 210K jobs created during February, and that the unemployment rate will remain at 4.7% (yeah, right... And my first wife was a young Elizabeth Taylor! Yeah, Elizabeth Taylor, that's the ticket!)

These numbers are being touted as enough to get the Fed to move rates higher 3 more times... I say Hogwash! Let's look at the real meat of this Jobs Jamboree... Avg. Hourly Earnings, which is expected to fall to a .3% gain vs. last month's .4% gain... Hmmmm, no wage pressures there... And the Average Weekly Hours, which is expected to remain at 33.8... Hmmm... No overtime... No wage pressures... So... Where's the beef? Where does it show us that the Fed needs to hike 3 more times? I don't see it, do you? No, wait, let me put my rose-colored glasses on... Nope! Still don't see it!

Oh well, I carry on despite this big pain in my neck! Yesterday... The U.S. Trade Deficit ballooned to $68.5 billion in January... That's $3 billion more than was expected, and 5.3% more than last month's record! ... And still the dollar held the hammer on the day... Shopping till we drop, eh? Richard Iley, economist with BNP Paribas, said the trade gap's mathematics are starting to look daunting. "With goods imports 90% bigger than exports, exports need to grow almost twice as fast as imports just to stabilize the trade balance," Iley said.

But the dollar bulls didn't care... Deficits don't matter... You know, I have someone that keeps writing me and telling me that the fellows over at Gave-Kal have written a book explaining why this time it will be different, and that deficits don't matter... Well... To that I say... This sounds all too familiar... Didn't the think tanks tell us in 1999 and 2000 that "this time the stock market rally will be different" and that earnings for stocks weren't necessary?

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #29
99. More Horrifying Foreign Investment Numbers from the Latest Fed Flow-of-Fun
More Horrifying Foreign Investment Numbers from the Latest Fed Flow-of-Funds Data

http://www.kitco.com/ind/Gillespie/mar102006.html

Summary

As recently as the mid-1980s, the United States was a net creditor nation. As of the end of 2005, however, the US was in the hole to others to the tune of more than $5.8 trillion. And this numbing figure continues to expand at an alarming rate! This is one of the horrifying revelations contained in the Federal Reserve's latest flow-of-funds data, released late yesterday morning.


Introduction

Everyone is aware of how important foreign investment flows have been to the well-being of the US financial markets. In turn, this provides an important insight as to how critical a consideration the dollar's exchange-rate value has been and continues to be in the overall process. What many people may not realize, though, is the enormity of some of the numbers involved.

And as readers will soon see, the enormity and relationship of some of the numbers help explain phenomena like Alan Greenspan's interest-rate "conundrum." I suspect Greenspan knew full well what the cause-and-effect relationships causing the infamous conundrum are. But Uncle Al, being a far more accomplished politician than central banker, wasn't telling!

Yesterday, the Federal Reserved released the latest edition of its "Z.1" publication," "Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States." The most recent data are through the quarter ended 12/31/05, but this certainly is current enough for my big-picture purposes here. A caution, though: you might think twice about proceeding on an empty stomach!

more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #29
102. Crazy Talk, Part II
http://www.the-rude-awakening.com/RAissues/2006/march/R...

snip>

Soaring gold and oil prices will be accompanied by soaring
interest rates and inflation. The convenient fantasy world
where consumer prices don't rise and the dollar doesn't
lose purchasing power will collapse. One day, we Americans
will wake up and find that the money in our wallets buys
only three-quarters or one-half as much as they did the day
before. The dollar will have lost status. America will have
lost power. And in the new world that emerges, possession
of energy, not a printing press, will be the key to wealth.

The truth is, we have no idea how sturdy the current
social, economic, and geopolitical order is. We only know
that it's changing at lightning speed and that America
seems to be on the wrong side of many important and
powerful changes. Our economy is based on the mobility and
standard of living that cheap oil provides. Our economy is
based on consumption, and not production. Our economy is
based on getting rich through asset inflation, instead of
saving, delaying consumption, and producing products with
added value.

Unfortunately, currencies do not have the option of
retiring gracefully, like Alan Greenspan. They self-
immolate, with a little help from central bankers willing
to stoke the fire with ever more amounts of paper.

Whether by accident or design, America finds itself in
direct military and economic competition with several
countries that aspire to be Great Powers: Iran, India,
China, and Russia. Current economic trends suggest America
is declining just as these powers are rising. The military
trends make it increasingly hard for America to achieve its
strategic goals. And the geologic trends (or fates) show
that it's going to be difficult for America to generate
wealth without energy, or retain wealth as energy gets more
expensive.

....
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
30. Carlyle forms infrastructure investment team
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 07:42 AM by EuroObserver
Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:38 PM GMT NEW YORK, March 10 (Reuters) - Carlyle Group, a private equity group, said on Friday it was setting up an infrastructure investment team focused on investing in projects in the United States.

The initial team of eight will be co-headed by Robert Dove, former executive vice president at Bechtel Enterprises, and Barry Gold, former managing director and co-head of the structured finance group at Citigroup/Salomon Smith Barney.

Carlyle said the team begins work next Monday and will look at investing in transportation and water facilities, airports, bridges, ports, stadiums and other public infrastructure.

"The proven use of public-private partnerships and concessions in the UK and on continental Europe is now emerging as a means of financing U.S. infrastructure," said Dove in statement.

Carlyle said its infrastructure team will invest mainly in U.S. infrastructure in deals ranging from $100 million to more than $1 billion. ...more...

What a surprise :sarcasm:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #30
38. Doncha just wonder about this whole ports deal being one big setup
from the beginning? Maybe this is plan B since they couldn't slip Plan A through. Don't the same cast of characters benefit financially with either plan?
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #38
68. I've said it for a long time now....
this whole thing is a game, a scam. It's like in Vegas. They have the gambeling out on the floor and yes a few stiffs get lucky but it is just enough to encourage the rest of us to keep chunking the coins into the slots. But if you just happen to look up, you'll see the high rollers suite. The doors are closed but you know there is a whole other game going on in there AND YOU'RE NOT INVITED!
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #30
47. Carlyle is the Sombra Corp/North Central Positronics of The Dark Tower.
Stephen King's epic series.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #30
59. Carlyle sets up 750 mln stg UK property fund
Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:19 PM GMT LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - The Carlyle Group, one of the world's biggest private equity firms, is to launch its first property fund in the UK, with 750 million pounds ($1.30 billion) earmarked for investments.

The buyout firm has raised the fund in partnership with developer Skelton Group, with the two firms committing 150 million pounds of their own cash to the fund. The group, the Carlyle Skelton Development Group, plans to make acquisitions in the commercial and residential sectors, it said in a statement.

The move is the latest push by Carlyle in the real estate sector. The U.S. private equity firm already has seven real estate funds with $4 billion of committed capital. Two of those funds are focused on Europe, worth 1.2 billion euros, but this is the first time the U.S. firm has set up a fund exclusively for the UK, despite fears the UK property boom may be reaching its peak. ...more...
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #30
63. Gee..
I guess that confirms my thoughts last night and this morning. Yah, what a surprise :sarcasm: :eyes:
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wordpix2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #30
87. What a surprise: "transportation and water facilities, ...ports"
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:43 AM
Response to Original message
32. Italy PM Berlusconi indictment sought
http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%...

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Milan prosecutors are seeking the indictment of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over payments allegedly made to a British lawyer.

According to wire service reports, the Italian premier is accused of approving a bribe of at least $600,000 to David Mills, in return for him providing favorable testimony during past Berlusconi corruption trials.

Mills is also reportedly facing indictment.

Prosecutors are rushing to bring the charges to get the trial heard before the statute of limitations -- shortened under the Berlusconi government -- expires.

The trial has generated headlines both in Italy, where Berlusconi trails Romano Prodi in polls about a month before a general election, and in Britain, where Mills is married to the country's culture secretary, Tessa Jowell. Mills last weekend separated from Jowell.

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
34. Bully pulpit comes up short
http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- It's the sort of thing that gives second terms a bad name.

President Bush learned Thursday that he couldn't bully a Republican-controlled Congress into accepting a foreign investment that was causing major heartburn for hometown constituents.

<snip>

On Feb. 21, Bush clearly stated he was ready to veto any legislation that sought to block the deal. But for Bush, who has never yet wielded his veto pen, the circumstances were never right for ultimatums.

<snip>

In the first tacit sign of defeat, White House spokesman Scott McClellan on Thursday tried to back away from the oft-reiterated veto threat, suggesting it was never really Bush's idea in the first place.

<snip>

But a look back at the transcript of that Feb. 21 exchange, in which reporters received a rare summons to Bush's Air Force One quarters, shows it was indeed Bush who used the word "veto" in response to an open-ended question.

...more...
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #34
64. Political capital my arse...
the idiot's done shot his wad. :rofl:
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
36. Insurance Probe Defies Death
http://www.thestreet.com/_tscs/stocks/insurance/1027277...

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer isn't finished with the insurance industry. Now, he's going after one of its more tawdry businesses -- life settlements.

Insurance broker National Financial Partners (NFP:NYSE - news - research - Cramer's Take) disclosed late Wednesday that it recently received a subpoena from Spitzer's office seeking "information regarding life settlement transactions.''

<snip>

The life settlement business is a fast-growing corner of the insurance market in which hedge funds and other investors buy and sell unused life insurance contracts taken out by wealthy individuals and by corporations on top executives. In this somewhat morbid area of the financial world, speculators buy up these insurance policies in the hope that the insured will die before the pricey premiums eat up too much of the final payout.

The life settlements business is a close cousin to the much-maligned viaticals industry, which specializes in buying life insurance policies from the terminally ill at discounted prices. That practice got a bad name in the 1990s, when a number of firms engaged in unscrupulous tactics and were accused of taking unfair advantage of the infirm.

<snip>

In a civil complaint filed against AIG last year, Spitzer alleged that the insurer tried to conceal that it was buying life settlement policies from a Philadelphia-based firm called Coventry First. Spitzer charged AIG set up a special trust called the Coventry Life Settlement Trust both to hide that it was buying these unused insurance policies, and to avoid an accounting rule that requires the polices to be initially booked as a loss.

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
37. If you stop payments, the car won't start
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0603...

When Delilah Grant of Chicago's West Side went shopping for a car, she knew her recent bankruptcy would make dealers wary of lending her money.

But as she shopped among the used-car lots on North Cicero Avenue, she found a dealer that offered her a loan--with one big catch: No dough, no go.

A microchip in her car would disable the starter if she didn't make her payment on time.

"My credit was so bad, they said I had to have one of those devices. All I had to do was put down $3,500 and I could finance the other $2,500," said Grant.

She accepted the offer from Quality Car Corner and drove away last year in a 1996 Pontiac Bonneville equipped with On Time, one of several electronic devices that car dealers who finance their own loans use to protect themselves with high-risk customers that banks and credit unions won't touch.

<snip>

With the On Time system, a microchip hidden under the dashboard links to the car's starter and a numeric keypad near the steering wheel. When a customer makes a payment, generally in person, the dealer reprograms the microchip and gives the customer a new six-digit code that lets him start until the next payment is due.

If the customer is late, red lights and beeping sounds come on as reminders. The warnings get louder and more intense as time goes by. After three days, the microchip disables the starter while the engine is off.

...more...
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RawMaterials Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #37
41. she payed 6k not counting interest
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 08:14 AM by RawMaterials
for a 4000 $ car

1996 Pontiac Bonneville SE Sedan 4D
Condition Value
Excellent $4,265

http://www.kbb.com

what a joke

:puke:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #37
46. This one little paragraph speaks volumes....
"There's no question that the most rapidly growing part of our economy is the credit-impaired segment. People just aren't able to cover all their debts," he said.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #37
69. Why not take that
$3500 dollars and buy a good used car outright? I paid $2000 for my 1997 Honda Accord. A few dents and dings on the outside but it drives well and I NEVER worry about making the note. The cost of ignorance is astounding.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
43. Spying, Market Manipulation and the Media?
http://www.tomflocco.com/fs/GopEchelon.htm

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann (8 pm & Midnight nightly) partially confirmed the NSA spy reports Monday, revealing that GOP Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter is now aware of new revelations regarding additional activities concerning the Bush Administration spy program; however, GOP senators are reportedly rejecting an investigation for fear of what might become public knowledge.

The NSA citizen-based financial and industrial dragnet is also reportedly being used to spy on all American domestic and foreign financial transactions, including downloading bank accounts and intra bank currency transactions—both foreign and domestic.

According to national security expert and federal whistleblower Thomas Heneghan, leaked intelligence reports are alleging that U.S. media executives and talk show hosts were given favors and tips on currency movements along with the ability to unobtrusively trade offshore using the Singapore Stock Exchange (SYMEX) in order to provide cover for their transactions away from U.S. jurisdiction.

Heneghan said that NBC—General Electric is heavily involved in the offshore trading activity according to the intelligence reports.

According to the sources, congressional investigators have discovered that media executives are also allowing the NSA a 7-10 second delay mechanism or trigger which allows the national security group to have some control over content in media reports and what is said by certain hosts, controversial guests and other individuals during national broadcasts.

Members of the congressional team probing the Bush spy program also know that major U.S. networks have been helping the NSA with phone numbers of “activists who complain about media coverage or the lack thereof” regarding important issues.

...more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #43
55. Here's the editorial Specter took issue with
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/06/opinion/06mon1.html?_...

In reference to your orginal post, this last paragraph really made my head explode after reading the entire article. :-( x( :banghead: :grr: :mad: :nuke:

Rockefeller was complaining about a political fact of life: the GOP controls the House, Senate, White House and Supreme Courta difficult proposition for a minority senator without subpoena power or public outrage.

How can there be public outrage when they also pretty much control the media? How could Rockefeller leave that important point out of his argument?

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #43
77. They Came for the Chicken Farmer
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/08/opinion/08wed1.html

This has been our nightmare since the Bush administration began stashing prisoners it did not want to account for in Guantnamo Bay: An ordinary man with a name something like a Taliban bigwig's is swept up in the dragnet and imprisoned without any hope of proving his innocence.

A case of mistaken identity's turning an innocent person into a prisoner-for-life was supposed to be impossible. President Bush told Americans to trust in his judgment after he arrogated the right to arrest anyone, anywhere in the world, and toss people into indefinite detention. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld infamously proclaimed that the men at Guantnamo Bay were "the worst of the worst."

But it has long been evident that this was nonsense, and a lawsuit by The Associated Press has now demonstrated the truth in shameful detail. The suit compelled the release of records from hearings for some of the 760 or so men who have been imprisoned at Guantnamo Bay. (About 490 are still there.) Far too many show no signs of being a threat to American national security. Some, it appears, did nothing at all. And they have no way to get a fair hearing because Gitmo was created outside the law.

Take the case of Abdur Sayed Rahman, as recounted in Monday's Times. The transcripts quote Mr. Rahman as saying he was arrested in his Pakistani village in January 2002, flown to Afghanistan, accused of being the Taliban's deputy foreign minister and then thrown into a cell in Guantnamo Bay. "I am only a chicken farmer in Pakistan," he said, adding that the Taliban official was named Abdur Zahid Rahman.

Other cases included prisoners who owned a particular kind of cheap watch supposedly favored by Al Qaeda. An Afghan was accused of being the former Taliban governor of a province and subjected to a pretzel logic that would make Joseph Heller cringe. He said he was a different person entirely and asked the tribunal to contact the current governor and verify his story. The presiding officer refused, saying it was up to the prisoner to produce the evidence. The incarcerated Afghan then pointed out that he was being held virtually incommunicado in a United States prison in a remote corner of Cuba and not allowed to make calls. The presiding officer assured the prisoner that he would have plenty of time to write a letter during the year of continued detention before his case might be reviewed again.

snip>.... It is shocking in itself, and in the fact that average citizens have not risen up to demand that these abuses come to an end. The founding fathers knew that when you dispensed with the rule of law, the inevitable outcome was injustice....

more...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #43
78. Wow.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:23 AM
Response to Original message
48. Acuity Brands Inc. to pay gov't $700,000
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/business/fin...

WASHINGTON - Acuity Brands Inc. agreed to pay $700,000 to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to settle allegations that the company failed to report defects in its lighting products in a timely manner.

The CPSC said Thursday the Atlanta-based company had failed to notify it of defects four times from 1996 to 2004. Companies are required to notify the CPSC within 24 hours of discovering a defect.

The defective products were indoor and outdoor utility lights. The lights had defects that could have caused them to fall from ceilings or catch fire. CPSC said the defects resulted in more than 1,000 incident reports to the company.

The CPSC said Acuity, in agreeing to the settlement, did not admit the allegations and denied it had violated any law.

...more...


Just padding that gap between taxes and receipts!

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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
49. J.P. Morgan sees higher credit losses
http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%...

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. said in a regulatory filing late Thursday it expects higher credit losses in 2006 as the level of provisioning for credit losses in the wholesale businesses normalizes.

On the retail side, the firm (JPM 41.05, -0.55, -1.3% ) expects lower consumer credit card chargeoffs in the first half of 2006 after the spate of bankruptcy filings last October, but it sees higher credit card delinquencies and chargeoffs in the second half as the new minimum-payment rules take effect.
J.P. Morgan also sees merger savings reaching $2.8 billion by the end of the year.

In terms of profit, the firm expects the acquisition of collegiate funding services to add modestly to earnings in 2006. J.P. Morgan expects managed receivables in the card services unit to grow in line with the credit card industry. Retail financial services should benefit from a broader branch network and salesforce.

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
51. pre-opening blather
09:17 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +4.2. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +2.0.

09:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +3.2. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -1.5. Upon further digestion of the jobs report, futures trade has ticked upward. However, the cash market still appears poised to start the day in mixed fashion. Essentially, the data brought no real surprise, and traders are weighing both sides of the report. On the one hand, it is clear that the labor market remains strong. On the other hand, the report did not change expectations that the Fed will continue to raise interest rates.

08:34 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +0.5. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -5.0. The February employment report has been released. Non-farm payrolls rose a more than expected 243K. Economists had expected a 210K rise. Hourly earnings increased 0.3%, matching economists' forecast. The unemployment rate came in at a slightly more than expected 4.8% (consensus 4.7%). The report reflects good job growth amid inflation that appears contained. The stock market ticked slightly lower in its immediate reaction. The bond market has held relatively steady, with the 10-year still at 4.74%.

08:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +0.6. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.5. Versus fair value, futures trade is indicating that the stock market is likely to start the session in mixed fashion. That indication is largely irrelevant, however. The market is awaiting the February employment report - which is due out at the bottom of the hour. It won't be until that data are released that there is a more convincing trading indication from the futures market. Focus is apt to rest upon the non-farm payrolls (consensus 210,000), hourly earnings (consensus +0.3%), and unemployment rate (consensus 4.7%) segments of the report.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
53. Freddie Mac delays quarterly, '05 financial results
http://today.reuters.com/misc/PrinterFriendlyPopup.aspx...

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) - Freddie Mac, still recovering from an accounting scandal, on Friday said it would delay by two months the release of its quarterly and full-year 2005 financial results to implement an accounting change, but said the change would not affect prior results.

Freddie Mac <FRE.N> said it would report quarterly and full-year 2005 results in May. The company had previously planned to report those results by the end of March.

The earnings of Freddie Mac, the second-largest U.S. mortgage funding company, have not been current since a 2003 accounting scandal resulting in a $5 billion earnings restatement and management overhaul.

It said it hopes to return to regular financial reporting by the end of the year.

Freddie said it will implement a change in its method for determining the estimated fair values of its guarantee assets and guarantee obligations. The company recently decided to make greater use of third-party market information in its method for valuing those assets.

...more...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
54. 9:43 EST spinning round and round
Dow 10,994.45 +22.17 (+0.20%)
Nasdaq 2,241.89 -7.83 (-0.35%)
S&P 500 1,271.58 -0.65 (-0.05%)
10-Yr Bond 4.765 +0.35 (+0.74%)


NYSE Volume 138,767,000
Nasdaq Volume 149,256,000
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #54
66. The markets have been mixed or down for like 10 days now it seems.
I mean, NASDAQ is still down about 19% from when the Propagandist took office 5 years ago.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
57. Interesting activities in the Kuwait markets...
Kuwait to act over falls in stock market
By William Wallis in Cairo
Published: March 9 2006 02:00 | Last updated: March 9 2006 02:00

Kuwait yesterday became the first Gulf state to announce direct intervention to support its stock market following a sharp fall in shares during the past month.

The decision, announced by Badr al-Humaidhi, the finance minister, coincided with protests by angry shareholders demanding government action and the biggest daily fall - 2.35 per cent - in the market's main index since October 2003.

<snip>
Analysts have been at a loss to explain the decline, given that Kuwaiti stocks were modestly valued by comparison with other Gulf markets buoyed by the oil boom.

The macroeconomic outlook for Kuwait, which has 10 per cent of the world's oil reserves, is also bright, with significant new oil and gas discoveries announced only this week.

Kuwaiti investors are among the most sophisticated in the Gulf. They learnt the hard way, notably during the spectacular 1982 "Souk al-Manakh" crash, which rendered banks technically insolvent and ushered in a recession.

Wonder how our government would respond to a bunch of angry shareholders.... :spray:

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
61. States urged to curb senior tax breaks (heh-heh, here it comes!)
That Contract on America conned people into socking money away tax-free now because we'd be be able to pay less taxes on it later. A free-ride so to speak. Now as Boomers approach retirement, how much you wanna bet they're going to change the game? It's starting at the state level, can the Fed be far behind?

http://www.stateline.org/live/ViewPage.action?siteNodeI...

The cost of income tax breaks for senior citizens -- offered in at least 40 states -- could double as a share of the budget in many states as baby boomers retire over the next two decades, a new study predicts.

In 20 years, when one in five Americans will be 65 or older, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Pennsylvania will spend more than 7 percent -- as much as most states spend on prisons -- on senior tax preferences, according to the March 6 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an advocacy group for low- and moderate-income people.

This revenue dent will occur just as age-related expenses, including Medicaid and state pensions, are growing, the study warns.

Such findings lead the Center, along with AARP, a leading advocate for the elderly, to argue that states should roll back senior tax preferences -- or at least not adopt new ones because aging boomers dont all need tax breaks. Baby boomers are wealthier on average than younger people and wealthier than elderly people were decades ago when many of the tax preferences were passed, they argue.

Being elderly isnt the same thing as being poor. States should consider whether their tax policies reflect that fact, said Elizabeth McNichol, author of the report.

more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #61
103. Prepare for a Gruesome Retirement
http://www.fool.com/news/commentary/2006/commentary0603...

It's time for some tough love. I want you to have a comfortable retirement, doing things that you enjoy and things you've always wanted to do. That may mean dining in some fine restaurants, traveling to the Galapagos Islands to see blue-footed boobies, taking your grandchildren to Hershey, Pa., and living in a spiffy retirement community. But judging from some statistics I recently ran across, you're in danger of a retirement that instead features dining on Salisbury steak TV dinners, traveling to the Git'n'Go down the street for a bag of chips, taking your grandchildren to the Salvation Army store with you as you shop for some new clothes, and living in your grouchy daughter's damp basement.

The facts
According to the 2005 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), we can be confident that many people will have gruesome retirements. Why? Here's a clue: According to a another survey, 31% of Americans would rather scrub a bathroom than plan for retirement. That's right -- if you've been putting off planning for your retirement, you're not alone.

Check out the RCS numbers below, which reflect the total savings and investments (not including the value of the primary residence) of today's workers, broken down by age groups:

Retirement Savings All 25-34 35-44 45-54 55+
Less than $25,000 52% 70% 50% 41% 39%
$25,000-$49,999 13% 12% 15% 14% 12%
$50,000-$99,999 11% 9% 14% 13% 7%
$100,000-$249,999 12% 5% 10% 17% 23%
$250,000 or more 11% 4% 10% 16% 19%


These numbers might not seem so scary, until you think them through a little. First off, remember that the numbers above ignore Social Security. That may be just as well. I've still got at least two decades until retirement. I recently received my latest statement from the Social Security Administration. The amount I can expect to receive at my full retirement age of 67 isn't much more than my current mortgage payment. My 30-year mortgage won't be finished by the time I hit the big 6-7, and my mortgage and tax payments will likely be much higher because of rising taxes. Making matters worse is the possibility that we can't be entirely sure that Social Security will be around in much the same form in our own golden years.

Pensions? Well, darn few of us have traditional pensions anymore. Check out this snippet from an Associated Press article: "In 1985, 89% of Fortune 100 companies offered traditional pension plans, but that had fallen to 51% by 2004, according to Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a human resources consulting firm. Some 11% of the plans in the Fortune 1000 were frozen or terminated for new employees, up from 5% in 2001."

So let's rely instead on those factors that are under our control -- our savings and investments.

more...

Warning, they use that famous "let's assume you earn the market's average long-term return of 10%" line :eyes:
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #103
107. We would save a whole lot more if we could make a living wage. n/t
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
65. Home-improvement chains battle termite rumors
Personally, I'd error on the side of caution on this one. I certainly don't trust that the stuff isn't getting out.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/3713387.ht...

Lowe's and Home Depot are being swamped by calls and e-mails from worried gardeners responding to unfounded rumors quickly spreading on the Internet that mulch made from house debris and fallen trees in New Orleans after Katrina contains highly aggressive Formosan termites.

"We are certainly aware this is circulating on the Internet and would like consumers to know it's false and very misleading," said Karen Cobb, a Lowe's spokeswoman in Mooresville, N.C., where the company is headquartered.

Louisiana and Texas have quarantined hurricane-ravaged areas, forbidding the transport of any cellulose material unless it is fumigated, officials in the two states said.

snip>

"We've been deluged," said Alan Morgan, an assistant professor of entomology specializing in termites at Louisiana State University's Agricultural Center.

"The rumors started the middle of last week," said Morgan, who fielded questions from Oregon to the East Coast.

"We're telling people, 'Yes, hundreds of trees were blown down by the hurricane, and, yes, they are chipping them. But they are not leaving the state.' "

more...

So why not go into a bit more detail of what they ARE doing with them? They are being chipped and then...... :crickets:
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #65
70. Yes...
the termite mulch was reported a few day ago and I mentioned it on SW when I heard it. The station did a big story (several minutes) today. Frankly, I live too close to the area to take chances. I would be really careful about cars too. When I was young, I bought a flood car...fool me once er ah I won't get fooled again... ;)
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
72. 11:30 and they're partying like it's 1999
Dow 11,061.36 +89.08
Nasdaq 2,260.64 10.92
S&P 500 1,280.49 8.26
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #72
73. and the band plays on
11:42
Dow 11,075.54 +103.26 (+0.94%)
Nasdaq 2,261.78 +12.06 (+0.54%)
S&P 500 1,281.50 +9.27 (+0.73%)
10-Yr Bond 47.77 +0.47 (+0.99%)

NYSE Volume 863,885,000
Nasdaq Volume 776,110,000

11:30 am : The market is holding its place near morning highs. All ten sectors continue to contribute gains. The semiconductor industry is a strong source of support, and it's helping the Nasdaq recover some of the losses it has registered over the last six sessions. Intel (INTC 19.96 +0.21) is faring especially well, and appears to be attracting bargain hunters. That stock is one of our recommended holdings for active investors. Computer hardware is another strong source of tech support. SunMicrosystems (SUNW 4.58 +0.07) is a particularly bright spot as it extends yesterday's upgrade-induced advance. DJ30 +90.45 NASDAQ +13.46 SP500 +8.29 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1004/1779/703.0 mln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 850/2196/536.4 mln

11:00 am : Buying remains aggressive, and the indices continue to rise. Virtually all areas of the market are benefiting from renewed buying interest. The fact that the February jobs report dropped no surprises appears to have relieved the market. Crude's pullback is an underpinning factor. That decline had initially sparked selling across the Energy sector (+0.3%), but that loss has been erased. Commodity prices are down across the board again today. Along with crude, gasoline and heating oil are also lower. Metals are also extending their pullbacks, with copper, gold, and silver each declining. Despite the commodity action, the Materials sector (+1.2%) is currently attracting the most buying interest. Because of commodity price pullbacks, that sector has been beaten down of late.DJ30 +91.01 NASDAQ +14.16 SP500 +8.68 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1035/1647/542.2 mln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 940/2041/375.5 mln

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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #73
75. heh...oil goes up, energy stocks bring up the markets, oil goes down and
stocks still go up.


WHEE!!!!!!!
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #75
83. Hey Roland99...Don't forget - The numbers behind the lies
(Just noticed bump to the SMW from earlier this week) ;-) Thanks for the reminder! There's actually a rather interesting Tech Analysis article on the Markets at that same link today.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/P146055.asp


Fun with numbers.

Corporate America likes to play that game, the better to boost stock prices. Folks might be surprised to learn that "Governmental" America also plays the game in its compilation of macroeconomic data. Beneath the surface are undesirable, sobering consequences for us all.

Last weekend, the always-terrific Kate Welling published an interview with an economist named John Williams. It will be available on the free portion of her "pay" site via this link starting March 11. This article is the first one that I have seen in which all the flaws in the government data, pertaining to the Consumer Price Index, unemployment, Gross Domestic Product, etc., are disclosed in one piece by someone who's been following the data for a long time.

I have been aware of nearly all the statistical tricks used by the government since they were implemented. Nonetheless, seeing them collectively described in one article is incredibly sobering. Having said that, there is a bit more "black helicopter" insinuation and fewer data points than I would like to see in an article such as this. However, the main points are the math that most folks need to know, but likely do not.

Once you read it, think about it and understand it, you will see why so many thoughtful people -- like Jim Grant, Warren Buffett, Marc Faber, Bill Gross, Fred Hickey and Paul Volcker -- have grave concerns about the future of the dollar (due to the macro imbalances that exist today).

....
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #83
90. Inflection Points...good article. Thanks!
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #83
95. Now THAT
is some scary shit. Makes me so greatful to have a bunch of truth seeking economic wonks in my corner. Thanks for all the work on this thread guys. It is amazing how much you learn just by following the money :grouphug:
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jdog Donating Member (569 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #95
110. Ditto
on the scary shit.
BIG Ditto on the Wonks.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #95
111. Thanks for the warm feeling, AnneD.
Me, I observe that freedom of expression (and of course of communication) is the very first line of defense, in difficult times, for the ordinary people of this world (as opposed to the well-connected 'crony' types).

In difficult times as in better times, it is the only way to explore, test, arrive at and in the end share the truth.

Samba Pa' T. :)
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #83
116. Thread in GD based upon that interview of John Williams >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #73
76. DAMN!
12:02
Dow 11,093.63 +121.35 (+1.11%)
Nasdaq 2,263.95 +14.23 (+0.63%)
S&P 500 1,283.34 +11.11 (+0.87%)
10-Yr Bond 47.73 +0.43 (+0.91%)

NYSE Volume 943,685,000
Nasdaq Volume 836,519,000
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
85. still lofty but falling
1:02
Dow 11,068.34 +96.06 (+0.88%)
Nasdaq 2,264.16 +14.44 (+0.64%)
S&P 500 1,281.78 +9.55 (+0.75%)
10-Yr Bond 47.59 +0.29 (+0.61%)

NYSE Volume 1,173,973,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,018,838,000

12:30 pm : Little has changed for the equity market. The Treasury market, meanwhile, remains submerged. Bond traders are taking a bearish cue from today's employment data for the same reason that stock traders are taking a bullish one. The solid growth that the non-farm payrolls read evidences feeds into inflation fears that are weighing on bonds. To that end, end of the curve, which is most inflation-sensitive, is faring worst. The 0.3% rise in hourly earnings matched expectations and does not raise additional inflation worries, yet that read does not change expectations for more rate hikes. Currently, the benchmark 10-year (-09/32) is yielding 4.76%. The stock market continues to appear unfazed with high yields, and the fact that the yield curve is again flirting with inversion, today.DJ30 +97.34 NASDAQ +12.86 SP500 +9.40 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 992/1857/913.0 mln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 828/2305/745.9 mln
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #85
88. sell! sell! sell!
1:32
Dow 11,055.05 +82.77 (+0.75%)
Nasdaq 2,261.82 +12.10 (+0.54%)
S&P 500 1,281.41 +9.18 (+0.72%)
10-Yr Bond 47.65 +0.35 (+0.74%)

NYSE Volume 1,282,509,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,095,751,000
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #88
89. Profit taking?
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #89
93. 45 minutes ago... n/t
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #88
94. buy! buy! buy!
2:21
Dow 11,079.70 +107.42 (+0.98%)
Nasdaq 2,265.00 +15.28 (+0.68%)
S&P 500 1,282.69 +10.46 (+0.82%)
10-Yr Bond 47.59 +0.29 (+0.61%)

NYSE Volume 1,470,179,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,226,892,000

2:00 pm : The indices are still sporting solid gains. All ten economic sectors continue to book gains. Of them, Materials (+1.6%) still fares best. A particular source of support there is Nucor (NUE 94.16 +4.06). Due to strong shipments and better than expected margins, the company raised its EPS guidance for Q1. Its upped forecast has spurred very strong buying in its steel industry peers. Another particular pocket of strength is industrial gas company Air Products (APD 64.13 +1.46). Morgan Stanley added the stock to its U.S Model Portfolio today, based on the company's improving growth profile. The firm cited attractive growth opportunities in its Energy segment, cost cutting potential, and possible strategic action in its lagging Chemicals business. DJ30 +96.86 NASDAQ +14.33 SP500 +9.85 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1043/1869/1.15 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 894/2305/983.3 mln
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #94
97. Guess the faeries are kicking back taking it easy today
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #97
101. Yep. They're kicking back alright. Dow moving like a drunkard.
3:07
Dow 11,043.36 +71.08 (+0.65%)
Nasdaq 2,255.20 +5.48 (+0.24%)
S&P 500 1,277.90 +5.67 (+0.45%)
10-Yr Bond 47.57 +0.27 (+0.57%)

NYSE Volume 1,689,986,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,405,575,000

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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #94
104. Heh heh. Nucor? Nucor Steel?
"Not only do we recycle steel, we recycle steel companies."

...Sounds like a solid concept. http://www.nucor.com /
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
105. witching hour update
3:26
Dow 11,057.93 +85.65 (+0.78%)
Nasdaq 2,257.60 +7.88 (+0.35%)
S&P 500 1,279.59 +7.36 (+0.58%)
10-Yr Bond 47.55 +0.25 (+0.53%)

NYSE Volume 1,794,746,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,499,202,000

3:00 pm : Since the last update, traders have locked in some of today's broad-based profit. The indices still retain solid gains, though. Energy is the area of the market that has come under the most pressure. At the bottom of the hour, commodities trade closed. Crude oil fell 52 cents to $59.95 per barrel. Heating oil decline 3.3 cents to $1.6870 per gallon, and gasoline fell 3.51 cents to $1.6850 per gallon. The extended pullbacks took the steam out of the Energy sector, which has just dipped into the red. That move has helped pare gains in the indices. As a side note, natural gas managed to rise a nickel to $6.65 million BTUs. DJ30 +80.29 NASDAQ +6.88 SP500 +6.94 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1124/1812/1.33 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 974/2278/1.16 bln
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
106. Blinging up baby
They're fussy, pampered, and growing fast. No wonder toddlers are the favorite new target of luxury-goods marketers.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_arch...

(Business 2.0 Magazine) - Pink leather Gucci shoes for $230. Louis Vuitton bags priced at $1,240. A $475 Hermes bathrobe. That's not a preview of fall runway fashions but a sample of new products available for babies. Yes, babies.

Couples waiting longer to start families have more discretionary income to spend on their offspring. Combine that with the recent boom in luxury products, and babies are a big opportunity for high-end brands. According to research firm Mintel International, consumers last year spent $445 billion overall on luxury goods, a 30 percent increase since 2000, and not all of it was for Mom and Dad. Sales of high-end products for babies grew an estimated 20 percent last year -- five times faster than the total $24 billion infant and preschool goods industry.

Click here for a photo gallery of just a few of the items aimed at the burgeoning boom.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #106
108. Oh for cripes sake!
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 02:50 PM by ozymandius
Toddlers will descriminate at the drop of a hat too. What does a parent stupid enough to buy $230 shoes do when their toddler refuses to wear them?

...fool and his money...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #106
109. In the meantime, average Americans can't afford Oshkosh....by gosh.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #106
113. That reminds me: Lucy Mangan (The Guardian G2, March 8th):
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 03:58 PM by EuroObserver
I'm just not spending enough on shoes
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,1726001,...
Lucy Mangan
Wednesday March 8, 2006
The Guardian

I have a friend who wears three different types of foundation every day: one for her cheeks; one for what she informs me is her "oily T-zone" (I can't tell you how relieved I was when I found out she was still talking about her face); and one for her neck - all blended seamlessly with one of those wedge-shaped applicators you marvel at briefly in The Body Shop but never contemplate purchasing. I don't know what she does when she goes out - strips her face back to the bone and starts again from scratch with epidermis she's grown in petri dishes from Nicole Kidman's skin cells brushed from Balenciaga's changing-room floor and sold illegally over the internet, I suspect.

On the few occasions she has allowed us to be seen out in public together, she has watched aghast at my preparations, which comprise opening up my 1987 Rimmel powder compact and dragging a layer of fine grit across my face with a sponge so feculent that it will probably function as the mixing vessel from which the fatal crossover strain of avian flu will emerge. "You," she once opined, pointing a shaking but perfectly manicured finger at me, "are very bad at being a girl."

As someone who was only deflected from a hugely promising career as a historian by the inability to remember any events that weren't subsequently immortalised in bonfires, fireworks and festering Catholic resentment, I know that you can't rely on a single source as evidence of the truth of an assertion, especially one involving as fraught a subject as gender role transgressions. So I have been delighted, over the years, to amass a body of supplementary testimony in the form of magazines and their surveys. The latest is from Grazia, which reveals that the average woman spends nearly 80,000 during her shoe-buying lifespan (roughly 60 years, I imagine, from the moment you first say to your mother, "I am leaving this Sensible Shoes for School and the Orthopaedically Wary emporium and heading for the glittering stacks in Crippling Stilettoes R Us - do not follow me," to the day you sigh with relief and realise that fleece-lined slippers will now get you happily from bed to sofa to death). Eighty thousand pounds! That's 1,300 a year! As I was only deflected from a hugely promising career as a mathematician by the inability to spell it on a UCAS form, I can tell you that even if you include all my slippers, I'm still 73,567 behind schedule. And what am I doing with all that money instead? Frittering it away on a mortgage and Ikea bed linen, that's what. Homewares 1, sweet femininity 0.

Before that my benchmark of failure had been the news that the average woman spends 2,000 a year on lingerie, most of it in matching sets. I have knickers that don't even match themselves. And before that there was a survey that claimed that the average woman (that bitch again) had a handbag'n'contents worth more than 500. I could empty my entire wardrobe, jewellery box and current account in mine, and still need to add a cheque for 376 to bring me up to scratch. Unless old bus tickets and mismatched gloves suddenly emerge as the frontrunner in the search for alternative energy sources, of course. Then I'm sitting on a gold mine. I might even spend some of it on shoes.

ed:

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #113
115. Bwahahahahaha!!! Good one! eom
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
112. closing numbers
Dow 11,076.34 +104.06 (+0.95%)
Nasdaq 2,262.04 +12.32 (+0.55%)
S&P 500 1,281.58 +9.35 (+0.73%)
10-Yr Bond 47.55 +0.25 (+0.53%)

NYSE Volume 2,123,160,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,779,402,000

blather to follow
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
114. Earth Geophysics & Crude Oil (Ewww, a happy note for the weekend
ponder - NOT)

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldenJackass/1141833660.php

THE ICE CAP

Mild US winter has laid the foundation for a stable crude oil price and sharply reduced natural gas price. On the flip side, weather factors have led to expectation of big price jumps in summer. We have some stark evidence in the last year of global warming, melting polar ice caps (see Greenland and Antarctica), and tropical storms (see Gulf of Mexico hurricanes). My forecast is for big increase in oil price this summer, with more disruption to production. The energy market price seasonality has also been disrupted, now soft in winter from warmth, volatile in summer from storms.



The melt of the both polar ice caps and Greenland has sparked wide publicity. Even Canadian drillers have noted the creep north of frozen lands in autumn and spring shoulder months. They benefit from spring frozen tundras (muskeg) for easy truck traffic. Fantastic photos were grabbed by the jackass, to display the melt of Greenland coastlines from 1992 to 2002, thanks to Arctic Climate Impact Assn. Red zones indicate melted zones, as white indicates dense snow coverage and ice. Global warming has become a serious concern, a clear signal of yet another big hurricane season. It confirms the hurricanes of 2005 and warns of more in 2006. Expect disruption to Gulf of Mexico oil platform production.







Some unusual details are alarming but informative. The earths largest reservoir of fresh water is located in Antarctica. Researchers at the University of Colorado estimate its ice sheets have shrunk at 36 cubic miles per year, between 2002 and 2005. This amount equals roughly 30 times the water Los Angeles requires annually, or enough to raise ocean water levels by 0.02 inch per year. In total the West Antarctic Ice Sheet contains water capable of raising the ocean sea level by 20 feet. Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Lab report that Greenland glaciers near the Arctic circle are melting twice as fast as five years ago. This amounts to 38 extra cubic miles per year of fresh water to the Atlantic Ocean. Vivid images of the extreme winter hurricanes in the movie Day After Tomorrow (very bad title, preferring Winter Hurricane) are conjured in my mind. At issue in that movie was the phenomenon of changes to salinity (salt level) in the ocean major currents which govern global weather, such as the Gulf Stream off Newfoundland.



CHANDLERS WOBBLE OF EARTH AXIS

We might be smack dab in the middle of a much bigger geophysical problem on a global scale. The global warming is a symptom, one of several. The earths rotation is undergoing a shift reduction in its wobble (called the Chandler Wobble) as it spins on its axis. The normal wobble might release energy in a controlled safer manner. The sun is currently emitting a heavier flow of solar wind, waste from its furnace of helium fusion, which might be having an effect on the poles of attraction. Disaster relief organizations are poised for an even more turbulent 2006 hurricane season, tied to both warmer temperatures and destruction to the Amazon Rain Forest. Something significant is going on.


more...
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