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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 05:42 AM
Original message
STOCK MARKET WATCH, Friday March 16
Friday March 16, 2007

COUNTING THE DAYS
DAYS REMAINING IN THE * REGIME 675
LONG DAYS
DAYS SINCE DEMOCRACY DIED (12/12/00) 2272 DAYS
WHERE'S OSAMA BIN-LADEN? 1976 DAYS
DAYS SINCE ENRON COLLAPSE = 1936
Number of Enron Execs in handcuffs = 19
ENRON EXECS CONVICTED = 9
Enron execs conveniently deceased = 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 15, 2007

Dow... 12,159.68 +26.28 (+0.22%)
Nasdaq... 2,378.70 +6.96 (+0.29%)
S&P 500... 1,392.28 +5.11 (+0.37%)
Gold future... 647.10 +4.60 (+0.71%)
30-Year Bond 4.69% -0.00 (-0.04%)
10-Yr Bond... 4.54% +0.01 (+0.31%)






GOLD, EURO, YEN, Loonie and Silver


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-16-07 05:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. Today's Market WrapUp
Market View Interview
Saturday March 10, 2007
BY MARTIN GOLDBERG, CMT


Following is a transcript, of my interview with Ike Iossif on www.marketviews.tv . This expresses my technical views on the stock, gold, and bond markets.

Ike - Last week the market tried to stabilize, and I have 2 questions to ask you. One, do you believe that what we saw the last 10 trading days was a one time thing or actually the market is trying to convey a message? Two, if it is trying to convey a message, do you think that there is some sort of stabilization going on after what we saw last week?
Martin - I think the action last Tuesday was a shot over the bow. And the reason I feel that way is simply the volume action. We had a tremendous amount of volume record breaking on the exchanges as they sold off. And so, we were in a market where we were overdue for a correction. And then we were shown this signal which was extremely high volume. Volume usually tells a story. And it was extremely high volume to the downside. Now you will recall, going into that Tuesday swoon, the market was trying to advance but as it was trying, it was on diminishing volume. So, the market sold off hard and is a market that is overdue for a correction because it hasnt corrected since the summer. And if you then look at the action over the last few days it has been bullish. But if you look at the volume bars for each day such as for the S&P 500, you can see again, a diminishing volume. In fact after having set a record last Tuesday, yesterdays volume was less than an average days amount.

So the answer to the second question, the market is trying to stabilize. But I dont think this rally or stabilization has much longer to go.

Ike - Martin, do you see the recent correction as a correction within the definition of a correction of a bull market, or do you see any evidence that this is the beginning of a bear market?

Martin - I dont know the answer to that question. But I will say this. If it proves out in the future to be the resumption of the bear market, technicians and others will look back and see the record breaking volume that occurred and will say in retrospect, Well look at this, it was record breaking volume and it was giving us a signal. So at this point, I dont know if this is an intermediate correction, or something more major in its magnitude and scope. I think at the least, this is signaling an intermediate term correction the correction of the rally that began in the summer. If it is only that, then we would expect it to last a period of weeks and correct a good bit of the rally, which was a rally of about 20 percent. And that hasnt happened yet. But I wouldnt rule out that this could be something of more importance in the long term. And the reason I say that is again because of the volume. When you get volume that is sort of, climatic, although it's not 100%, it can signal a major turning point.

http://www.financialsense.com/Market/wrapup.htm
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 05:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. Today's Reports
8:30 AM CPI Feb
Briefing Forecast 0.2%
Market Expects 0.3%
Prior 0.2%

8:30 AM Core CPI Feb
Briefing Forecast 0.2%
Market Expects 0.2%
Prior 0.3%

9:15 AM Industrial Production Feb
Briefing Forecast 0.3%
Market Expects 0.3%
Prior -0.5%

9:15 AM Capacity Utilization Feb
Briefing Forecast 81.3%
Market Expects 81.3%
Prior 81.2%

10:00 AM Mich Sentiment-Prel. Mar
Briefing Forecast 90.0
Market Expects 89.0
Prior 91.3

http://biz.yahoo.com/c/e.html
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. CPI numbers in - food prices up 0.8% most in 2 yrs
01. U.S. Feb tobacco prices up 1.0%
8:30 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 1 minute ago

02. U.S. Feb. owners equivalent rent up 0.3%
8:30 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 1 minute ago

03. U.S. Feb. medical prices up 0.5%
8:30 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 1 minute ago

04. U.S. Feb. food prices up 0.8%, most in 2 years
8:30 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 1 minute ago

05. U.S. Feb. energy prices up 0.9%
8:30 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 1 minute ago

06. U.S. core CPI up 2.7% year-over-year
8:30 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 1 minute ago

07. U.S. Feb. core CPI up 0.2% as expected
8:30 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 1 minute ago

08. U.S. Feb. CPI up 0.4% vs. 0.3% expected
8:30 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 1 minute ago
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
24. 9:15 reports:
04. U.S. Feb. capacity utilization highest since Sept.
9:15 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 4 minutes ago

05. U.S. Feb. capacity utilization 82.0% vs 81.4% in Jan.
9:15 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 4 minutes ago

06. U.S. Jan. industrial output down rev 0.3% vs down 0.5% prev
9:15 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 4 minutes ago

07. U.S. Feb industrial production rise largest since Nov. '05
9:15 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 4 minutes ago

08. U.S. Feb. industrial production up 1.0% vs up 0.6% forecast
9:15 AM ET, Mar 16, 2007 - 4 minutes ago
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 05:50 AM
Response to Original message
3. Oil prices fall to near $57 a barrel
SINGAPORE - Oil prices extended their decline Friday after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed not to change its output targets, as expected.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery lost 19 cents to $57.36 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of midmorning in Singapore. The contract fell 61 cents to settle at $57.55 a barrel Thursday.

OPEC ministers said Thursday at a meeting in Vienna that they had decided to maintain the oil cartel's crude production at existing levels, satisfied that two recent rounds of output cutbacks have helped boost sagging oil prices and balance global oil markets.

"The market is stable, the market is healthy," said OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri of Libya. "We don't need to touch it this time."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/oil_prices
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 06:10 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Russia signs deal with Greece and Bulgaria for new oil pipeline
MOSCOW: Russia, Greece and Bulgaria signed an agreement Thursday to build a $1.3 billion oil pipeline to bypass the crowded Bosporus in Turkey a long-debated project that would increase oil supplies to Europe but give Russia control over more of the Continent's energy infrastructure.

The planned 280-kilometer, or 175- mile, pipeline would run from Burgas, on the Black Sea in Bulgaria, to Alexandroupolis, Greece, on the Aegean.

The intention would be for tankers carrying oil from the Novorossiysk terminal in Russia to offload their cargos in Bulgaria rather than passing fully loaded through the narrow waterway. On the other side, tankers would pick up the oil in Greece and carry it on to world markets.

That could allow companies to ship more oil from Russia and the Caspian Sea area via the Black Sea to international markets; volumes are now restricted by the capacity of the strait to safely handle tanker traffic.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/15/business/russia....
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 06:18 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. What it'll take to sink oil prices
Subprime woes, slowing economic growth, even a recession - will anything bring prices back down to $30 a barrel?

-cut-

And it hasn't been just subprime trouble sparking fears of an economic slowdown. Chinese markets - along with the rest of the world - dove earlier this month. Economic numbers of late have been shaky. Even Alan Greenspan has muttered the "R" word.

So are oil prices headed for a collapse?

"It is now looking like the day of reckoning may be sooner than we thought," Peter Beutel, an oil analyst at Cameron Hanover, wrote in a research note Wednesday. "If this is true, and equity prices continue falling, and then we have a recession, the impact on oil would be very bearish."

Beutel has long predicted that a global economic slowdown and new oil supplies coming to market will bring prices down significantly from current levels - like into the $30 range or perhaps even lower.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/03/15/markets/oil_lows/index....
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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Wishful thinking..
Nothing short of a worldwide depression will dampen oil prices but one has to ask why would they even want $30 oil?? To satisfy the wasteful American habit for oil??

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for $30 oil anytime soon..
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
20. Oil edges up despite economic fears
Investors worry that rising number of mortgage defaults in U.S. will impact consumer confidence, crimping oil consumption.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/03/16/markets/bc.markets.oil....

LONDON (Reuters) -- Oil prices edged higher Friday after OPEC left supply limits unchanged, but remained sensitive to weakness in equity markets, reflecting concerns about economic growth in the United States.

U.S. crude rose 18 cents to $57.73 a barrel.

London Brent crude was 2 cents down at $60.66. Brent has risen to a premium to U.S. crude because of production disruptions in Nigeria and a firm North Sea market.

Oil prices have been under pressure as troubles in the U.S. housing finance sector have heightened fears in world stock markets about the health of the economy in the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer.

snip>

"There's a big cloud in the sky. The question mark is about the U.S. economy and concerns over the housing industry because that will have a big impact on consumer demand, which may affect oil consumption," said Andrew Harrington, an analyst at ANZ Bank.

OPEC, which pumps more than a third of the world's oil, is also concerned about the implications of the equity market weakness.

"We are watching developments on world stock markets, to assess their possible impact on the global economy and, in particular, on energy demand," said OPEC President and United Arab Emirates' Oil Minister Mohammed bin Dhaen al-Hamli.

more...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
25. Good, I'm due for a fillup :-)
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. $2.87 yesterday when we filled up
with Regular. :( If it keeps up like this, it will easily hit $3 before summer.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. Yikes! We've whittled down to $2.32 from the mid-$2.50s
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 05:53 AM
Response to Original message
4. US mortgage woes could be tip of iceberg: economists
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The worst may not be over for the US mortgage sector, whose shakiness has rippled across financial markets worldwide, many economists say.

With a long US property boom now fading into memory, mortgage delinquencies and defaults are on the rise, especially at the lower or "subprime" level among people with poor credit scores and those who borrowed beyond their means.

-cut-

The broader fear is for US consumer spending, given the property boom's pivotal role in sustaining economic growth in recent years.

As long as prices were rising, homeowners could refinance their mortgages to sustain their high spending. But with real-estate prices now stagnant or falling, that avenue is closed for many.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070316/bs_afp/useconomypr...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 05:55 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Subprime spiral poses biggest investor risk: Lehman
SEATTLE (Reuters) - A Wall Street fixed income strategist warned on Thursday that the greatest risk investors face is for the troubled U.S. subprime lending sector to trigger a spiral of falling home prices and mortgage defaults.

There is not enough evidence to indicate such a scenario is taking place, but the risk of a broader market impact is "very real," Adam Topalian, fixed income strategist at Lehman Brothers, said at a dinner for investment professionals.

The test will be whether lenders tighten up when $900 billion in adjustable rate mortgages -- including $650 billion from high-risk borrowers -- reset in the next two years, Topalian said at the CFA Society of Seattle's annual forecast dinner.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070316/bs_nm/subprime_lehm...
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jelly Donating Member (312 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #4
22. Each new chapter in this unfolding disaster reminds me of Bush bragging
a year or so ago about how under his administration, more people are enjoying the dream of homeownership.

Some dream, huh. More like a nightmare.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #22
31. Heh, he was all over taking credit for the rise in ownership. Where is he with
the rise in foreclosures?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/homeownership /


By the way, the rise in homeownership was a trend that was going on for a long time. It took off during Clinton's years, even with his raising taxes. All Bush did was allow and promote irresponsible lending practices.


http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2004/03/bush-takes-credit...

Bush Takes Credit for Home Ownership

Once again, Bush is going out of his way to take credit for some good news, despite a complete lack of evidence to show that he had anything to do with it. This is, of course, simply the counterpart to his It wasnt me mantra that he recites whenever anything bad happens.

This time, the good news has to do with home ownership in the US. (Ill go with Bushs assumption, which is not obviously true, that higher rates of home ownership are automatically good.) In his weekly radio address this morning, President Bush claimed credit for the nations rising rate of home ownership:

In our growing economy, more Americans can afford a new home. Incomes are rising. The unemployment rate is falling. Mortgage rates are low. And because of tax relief, Americans have more to save, spend and invest -- and that means millions of American families have moved into their first homes. :eyes:

snip>



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jelly Donating Member (312 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #31
88. The difference under Clinton: the housing market was not grossly overpriced.
"Ownership" of an obscenely overpriced home that hinges on a mortgage with terms that become increasingly oppressive over time is not ownership at all but a form of indentured servitude.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
32. Some subprime woes linked to hodgepodge of regulators
http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2007-03-1...

snip>

Just how did we get into this mess? To many critics, one big culprit is the loose patchwork of federal and state regulatory agencies that failed to do their jobs, abetted by a Congress that only now has called for reforms.

"The fact that the regulatory infrastructure is so fragmented that has enabled all of this fraud and predatory lending to thrive in this country," says Marina Peed, president of the Impact Group, a non-profit housing counseling service in Atlanta.

Federal regulators stand accused of reacting all too slowly to abuses in the mortgage industry. Meantime, state regulators who oversee the majority of lenders have been operating under mismatched rules that vary from state to state. In most cases, resources for their departments haven't kept up with mortgage lenders. The value of home loans lenders made exploded from $500 billion annually in the 1990s to $3 trillion last year.

"That's what's made me angry here that regulators apparently have not been doing as good a job as I think they should be doing," Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said this week. Dodd said he'd call federal regulators to a hearing to explain "how we got to this point."

But many of the answers will likely have to come from state regulators, because:

snip>

Oddly enough, federal laws enacted after the savings and loan crisis helped set the stage for this disconnected regulatory structure. Federal regulators, namely the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision, gained jurisdiction over banks, thrifts and credit unions.

more...

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #4
35. Accredited Home Lenders to Sell $2.7 Billion of Loans
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aCe...

March 16 (Bloomberg) -- Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co., a U.S. mortgage lender to people with poor credit, agreed to sell $2.7 billion of loans to pay bankers who demanded cash to cover the risk of defaults.

The loans will be sold at a ``substantial discount'' to alleviate pressure from margin calls, leading to a pretax charge of $150 million, the San Diego, California-based company said in a statement distributed by Business Wire today. Accredited didn't identify the buyer.

At least 20 so-called subprime lenders have closed in the U.S. and more are fighting for survival after a surge in defaults by customers. Accredited shares have lost 66 percent of their value this year. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said he expects fallout from the crisis to spread to other parts of the economy, especially if home prices decline.

``With the jitters we've seen in the subprime market, the ability to refinance debt has become increasingly difficult to the point where we may be seeing some forced liquidations of underlying assets,'' said Brian Johnson, a banking analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Sydney.

U.S. subprime borrowers fell behind on their mortgages at the highest rate in four years during the fourth quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association said this week, and foreclosures on all types of home loans rose to a record. Yesterday, U.S.-based Bear Stearns Cos., the biggest underwriter of mortgage-backed bonds, said it's shopping for distressed debt, including subprime home loans that have soured.

more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #4
48. Why the subprime bust will spread
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/IC17Dj01.ht...

Why the subprime bust will spread
By Henry C K Liu

Years ago when the US debt bubble spread over to the housing sector, warnings from many quarters about the systemic danger of subprime mortgages were categorically dismissed by Wall Street cheerleaders as Chicken Little "sky is falling" hysteria. Even weeks before bad news on the housing finance sector was shaping up as a clear and present danger, adamant denial was still loud enough to drown out reason.

Both Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, two top officials in charge of US monetary policy, continue to provide obligatory assurance to the nervous public that the United States' economic fundamentals are sound in the face of a jittery market. Days before being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, shares of the collapsed New Century, a distressed subprime mortgage lender, were recommended by a major Wall Street brokerage firm as a "buy". That firm is now under criminal and regulatory investigation.

On the pages of Asia Times Online over the past two years, I have tried to put forth the rationale for the inevitability of a US housing bubble burst, pointing out reasons that the resultant financial meltdown will be much more widespread and severe than has been generally acknowledged.

big snip>

In 2005, Greenspan repeatedly denied the existence of a national housing bubble by drawing on the conventional wisdom that the US housing market was highly disaggregated by location, which was true enough. Disaggregated markets are normally not exposed to contagion, a term given to the process of distressed deals dragging down healthy deals in the same market as speculator throw good money after bad to try to stem the tide of losses. But the bubble in the housing market was caused by creative housing finance made possible by the emergence of a deregulated global credit market through finance liberalization. The low cost of mortgages lifted all US house prices beyond levels sustainable by household income in otherwise disaggregated markets.

Under cross-border finance liberalization, negative wealth effects from asset-value correction are highly contagious. For example, the Dallas Fed Beige Book released on July 27, 2005, states: "Contacts say real-estate investment is extremely high in part because the district's competitively priced markets are attracting investment capital from more expensive coastal markets." The nationwide proliferation of no-income-verification, interest-only, zero-equity and cash-out loans, while making financial sense in a rising market, is fatally toxic in a falling market, which will hit a speculative boom as surely as the sun will set. Since the money financing this housing bubble is sourced globally, a bursting of the US housing bubble will have dire consequences globally.

Through mortgage-backed securitization, banks now are mere loan intermediaries that assume no long-term risk on the risky loans they make, which are sold as securitized debt of unbundled levels of risk to institutional investors with varying risk appetite commensurate with their varying need for higher returns. But who are institutional investors? They are mostly pension funds that manage the money the US working public depends on for retirement. In other words, the aggregate retirement assets of the working public are exposed to the risk of the same working public defaulting on their house mortgages.

When a homeowner loses his or her home through default of its mortgage, the homeowner will also lose his or her retirement nest egg invested in the securitized mortgage pool, while the banks stay technically solvent. That is the hidden network of linked financial landmines in a housing bubble financed by mortgage-backed securitization to which no one until recently has been paying attention. The bursting of the housing bubble will act as a detonator for a massive pension crisis.

more...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #48
58. My Magic 8-Ball predicts multi-generational homes in the near future.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #58
68. You are already seeing that....
I know more than a few of my friends that have their older kids at home post college because they can't find work that pays enough for them to strike out on their own. And one Grandma or Grandpa fall through the SS and Medicare safety net....well you get the picture. The Boomer's will never retire fully.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
49. Four to Blame for the Subprime Mess
http://www.thestreet.com/pf/markets/activetraderupdate/...

As I mention in my piece below, in time the broad-line money center banks stand to benefit from the carnage in subprime lending.

I will be adding to JPMorgan Chase (JPM) ), Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) longs on any further weakness.

snip>

There are four main culprits responsible for the expanding subprime debacle that threatens to upset the 'Goldlicks' scenario so many are trumpeting. I've listed them in descending order of importance -- and ranked by school grade!:

Culprit #1: Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was no smarter than a fifth grader.


Greenspan did two big things wrong.

First, the former Fed chairman took interest rates far too low and maintained those levels for far too long a period in the early 2000s, well after the stock market's bubble was pierced. (Stated simply, he panicked).

snip>

Second, Greenpsan suggested -- at just the wrong time and at the very bottom of the interest rate cycle -- that homeowners retreat from traditional, fixed rate mortgages and turn to more creative and floating rate mortgages -- interest only, adjustable option ARMs, negative amortization, etc.


He said this in February 2004 at a Credit Union National Association 2004 Governmental Affairs Conference:

"American consumers might benefit if lenders provided greater mortgage product alternatives to the traditional fixed-rate mortgage. To the degree that households are driven by fears of payment shocks but are willing to manage their own interest-rate risks, the traditional fixed-rate mortgage may be an expensive method of financing a home."

One year later Greenspan continued the same mantra and cited the social benefits of the financial industry's innovation as reflected in the proliferation of the subprime mortage market.

A brief look back at the evolution of the consumer finance market reveals that the financial services industry has long been competitive, innovative, and resilient. Innovation has brought about a multitude of new products, such as subprime loans and niche credit programs for immigrants. Such developments are representative of the market responses that have driven the financial services industry throughout the history of our country. With these advances in technology, lenders have taken advantage of credit-scoring models and other techniques for efficiently extending credit to a broader spectrum of consumers. The widespread adoption of these models has reduced the costs of evaluating the creditworthiness of borrowers, and in competitive markets cost reductions tend to be passed through to borrowers. Where once more-marginal applicants would simply have been denied credit, lenders are now able to quite efficiently judge the risk posed by individual applicants and to price that risk appropriately. These improvements have led to rapid growth in subprime mortgage lending; indeed, today subprime mortgages account for roughly 10% of the number of all mortgages outstanding, up from just 1% or 2% in the early 1990s...We must conclude that innovation and structural change in the financial services industry has been critical in providing expanded access to credit for the vast majority of consumers, including those of limited means. Without these forces, it would have been impossible for lower-income consumers to have the degree of access to credit markets that they now have. This fact underscores the importance of our roles as policymakers, researchers, bankers, and consumer advocates in fostering constructive innovation that is both responsive to market demand and beneficial to consumers.

more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #49
50. Fed Is No Savior in Subprime Slide
http://www.thestreet.com/pf/markets/activetraderupdate/...

Bullish observers have increasingly been making the case that the growing fungus of subprime credit problems will force the Federal Reserve into a loosening of monetary conditions sooner rather than later.

These days, the private-equity put doesn't seem to be working, so it appears that the struggling bulls now must hold on to the notion of a Bernanke put to counter the currently troubling and tenuous stock market conditions.

After all, lower interest rates always reverse investor sentiment and adverse financial conditions, right?

My view is that with the level of inflation remaining stubbornly high, coming to the aid of a bunch of reckless and overly aggressive mortgage bankers is not necessarily seen by Chairman Ben Bernanke & Co. as an immediate responsibility of the Federal Reserve.

snip>

Now even if the Federal Reserve did lower interest rates in March or April, the markets could interpret the move more negatively than the bulls realize by calling attention to the magnitude of the mortgage crisis and by fueling inflationary fears, serving to pull the capital markets into a tailspin.

more...

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
63. Greenspan's Subprime Comment Fizzles as Lenders Climb (Update2)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=abX...

March 16 (Bloomberg) -- Alan Greenspan, whose comments on recession helped send stock prices reeling two weeks ago, predicted the subprime-mortgage debacle in the U.S. will worsen.

Shares of subprime lenders rose.

The former Federal Reserve chairman's influence on stock prices was thrown into question -- at least for one day -- as the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rallied after Bear Stearns Cos.' earnings report assuaged concerns that loan delinquencies will drag down profits at financial companies.

``It's definitely true that his influence is waning,'' said Hayes Miller, who helps oversee $38 billion at Baring Asset Management Inc. in Boston. ``He might be over-playing his position in the world, even as an ex Fed chief.''

Greenspan, who left the central bank in 2006 after 18 years as chairman, said yesterday that he expects the fallout from subprime-mortgage defaults to spread to other parts of the economy, especially if home prices decline.

The market barely moved, while shares of homebuilders and banks rallied. The S&P 500 was at 1392.09 when Greenspan's comments were reported. After a drop, the index recovered to end the day at 1392.28.

snip>

Some investors see different motives in the bearish remarks.

``Complicit is too strong a word, but this is a guy who presided over a bubble in the equity markets,'' said Charles White, who helps manage $1.8 billion at ThomasLloyd Asset Management in Pleasantville, New York. ``He was the provider of liquidity to the financial markets, and he took the risk out of people doing these trades.''

more...
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randycrow Donating Member (49 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #63
92. comrades Greenspan, Volker, meet with other hot shots
Buffett, Immelt, Tuesday the very day every sub prime news reel markets and we are expected to believe this is a coincidence. The horrible lender collection rates should have been big news before now. Greenspan is alleged to have been paid $150,000 to make comments via satellite to a group in Hong Kong and the next day markets fall to the center of the Earth. What's the message. Investors go along with nuking Iran or the Neocons are going to send the Dow to $100.00? Ponzi Greenspan's .25 Fed Funds rate created markets poised to crash and easily manipulated down via press releases. Why did he do it? Promote the idea war is the only cure?

Thanks to Harry Reid putting corn farmers in the gasoline business grocery inflation is going through the roof. Bad guys are manipulating inflation as they did in 1973 and 1979. Why? 20% interest rates promote a communi$t economy owned by a few Neocons.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 05:58 AM
Response to Original message
6. Senator Clinton Sees `Worrying Signs' in U.S. Economy (Update1)
March 15 (Bloomberg) -- New York Senator Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said she sees ``worrying signs'' in the U.S. economy that go beyond recent concerns about subprime mortgages.

``The fact that the entire home mortgage market has such a high rate of foreclosures should be an alarm bell,'' Clinton said in a Bloomberg television interview. ``There are other problems, with wages being flat and so many expenses from college costs to health-care costs to energy costs continuing to rise.''

Clinton today proposed expanding the role of the Federal Housing Administration to address a growing number of defaults among subprime borrowers, who typically have poor credit records and face higher interest payments. Economists are concerned that the defaults will have a ripple effect on the housing market.

-cut-

Clinton, 59, criticized President George W. Bush and Republicans for what she said was ``apparently an unending appetite'' for tax cuts. When asked about one in particular --the cut on capital gains and dividend taxes -- she said she is ``agnostic.'' The issue is a big one for the Wall Street executives Clinton is cultivating as campaign donors.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aP3...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 06:06 AM
Response to Original message
7. A $10 billion surprise
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The historic merger agreement between Chicago's two leading futures exchanges, the Merc and the Board of Trade, went up for grabs Thursday after a surprise $9.9 billion bid from an out-of-town rival who says the city would be better off keeping its crosstown competition alive.

Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange Inc. on Thursday proposed combining with the Chicago Board of Trade in an all-stock transaction said to provide a 10 percent premium over the offer on the table from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Board of Trade shareholders would retain majority control, and the merged company would remain headquartered in Chicago.

IntercontinentalExchange, or ICE, is a far smaller player in the futures market and an upstart--it's about 7 years old. With its last-minute offer, made three weeks before the Board of Trade's scheduled vote to approve the Merc merger, ICE threatens to shake up one of Chicago's most storied industries just as it was reinventing itself.

The Merc and Board of Trade want to team up so they can better compete in the globalized business of trading commodities and financial instruments electronically. ICE sees the same opportunities but argues it would make a better partner.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0703...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 06:08 AM
Response to Original message
8. U.S. Consumer Prices Probably Rose in February on Fuel Costs
March 16 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumer prices probably rose in February as fuel costs jumped, highlighting Federal Reserve concerns that inflation risks persist, economists said ahead of a government report today.

Consumer prices rose 0.3 percent after a 0.2 percent increase a month earlier, based on the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News ahead of a Labor Department report. Core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose 0.2 percent after a 0.3 percent gain, the survey showed.

Combined with last month's jump in wholesale prices, the figures make it tougher for the Fed to lower rates should the mortgage crisis cause the economy to stumble. Policy makers are forecast to leave their benchmark interest rate unchanged for a sixth time when they meet next week.

-cut-

The Fed's preferred price gauge, which comes from the Commerce Department's income and spending report, rose 2.3 percent in January from a year earlier, figures issued earlier this month showed. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is among Fed policy makers that have said a 1 percent to 2 percent range would be more acceptable.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aiU...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
10. Illinois bill would bar Wal-Mart bank
Worried that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hatching plans to become a major player in its industry, the Community Bankers Association of Illinois is pushing for the Illinois Senate to pass a bill that would effectively bar commercial companies, such as retailers, from chartering their own banks.

"It would prevent a commercial firm from building or attaching a branch to its commercial property," Terry Griffin, Chicago-area vice president for the association, explained earlier this week. "We initiated the bill and got it sponsored."

-cut-

The bill doesn't name names, but is intended to pre-empt retailers such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot Inc. from using so-called industrial loan companies to get into the banking business, Griffin said.

-cut-

But from the get-go, many banks have voiced opposition to Wal-Mart's plans, worried it would use an industrial loan company charter to find a way into the banking business. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which received a record number of comments, mostly complaints, on the matter, held hearings last spring. The regulator currently has a moratorium on such applications from commercial companies as Congress debates legislation on the matter.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0703150584ma...
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. Enterprises reborn
by becoming a more "spiritual entity" like the British Empire look to controlling finance and markets themselves long after their original purpose has gone largely extinct. The resurrection of enterprises by becoming banking entities seems another proof that things don't necessarily have to pass on or even change much at heart. Eventually WalMart's empire should probably decline because of its unsustainable and often disserving tyranny- which created huge profits- or simply by some change in the economy or business of big retail stores. Getting a bank not only increases the raw power to grow and survie but sneakily establishes a beachhead in the capitalist afterlife.

Like the Godfather said: in a couple of generations the business will be almost completely legitimate. But within this "change" the empire and its methods and senility persist and the old business is still there. The spirit reborn by money does not necessarily change the spots or remove the fangs now bared mostly in secret. Also passed on are the seeds of destruction and decay of the failing enterprise seeking longevity or "new life" because in the change all idea of real world business success and societal productivity has been infected by escaped failures entitled by new power to plunge ahead in what corrupted their first existence. And naturally they dislike competition very much once reaching this stage themselves. Then an old folks elite club forms, the whole worse than the parts and dysfunctional and decadent on a whole new level because they have some confirmation they can beat the whole world as long as money, not product, becomes their focus.

Just a philosphical type reflection.
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nitpicker Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #10
52. Walmart pulls bank plans
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said on Friday that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will withdraw its application to open a specialty bank.

"Wal-Mart made a wise choice," FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said in a statement. "This decision will remove the controversy surrounding their intentions."

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, was not immediately available for comment.

The latest development comes one day after a U.S. lawmaker released an e-mail he said indicates the company's interest in consumer banking extends beyond what it had previously disclosed to banking regulators.

Reuters Pictures

Editors Choice: Best pictures
from the last 24 hours.
View Slideshow
Wal-Mart's 2005 application with the FDIC to open a bank to internalize credit card and check transactions to save money drew immense opposition from community banks that feared their demise after the giant retailer entered their business.

"They don't need an ILC to play an important role in expanding access to financial services by partnering with banks and others," Bair said.

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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 06:15 AM
Response to Original message
11. Inflation worries Wall Street
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Concern about the U.S. economy could weigh on stocks ahead of Friday's open, with a key inflation report expected to provide guidance before the bell rings on Wall Street.

At 6:19 a.m. ET, Nasdaq and S&P futures were lower, as major markets in Asia closed lower and European markets were down in early trading.

Due an hour before the open is the government's report on consumer prices in February. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expect a 0.3 percent increase, compared with a 0.2 percent rise in January; excluding food and energy costs, prices are seen rising 0.2 percent after gaining 0.3 percent the month before.

Oil prices were climbing in early trading. U.S. light crude rose 15 cents to $57.70 a barrel in electronic trading.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/03/16/markets/stockswatch/ind...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #11
26. This news will squelch bearishness: FEBRUARY'S RISE IN U.S. INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT IS LARGEST SINCE 2005
http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%...

U.S. industrial output rebounded in February led by higher utility output because of colder-than-average temperatures.
Industrial output rose 1.0% in February, the biggest gain since November 2005. Capacity utilization rose to 82.0, the highest level since September, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

All major industry groups except construction supplies recorded production gains in the month.

The increase in output in February was above forecasts. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected a 0.6% increase. Capacity utilization was expected to rise to 81.5%
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 06:27 AM
Response to Original message
13. The end of garbage (good read)
(Fortune Magazine) -- "Garbage," says the character played by Andie MacDowell in Sex, Lies, and Videotape. "All I've been thinking about all week is garbage. We've got so much of it, you know? I mean, we have to run out of places to put this stuff eventually."

-cut-

Zero waste is just what it sounds like - producing, consuming, and recycling products without throwing anything away. Getting to a wasteless world will require nothing less than a total makeover of the global economy, which thinkers such as entrepreneur Paul Hawken, consultant Amory Lovins, and architect William McDonough have called the Next Industrial Revolution.

They want industry to mimic biology, where one species' excrement is another's food. "We're not talking here about eliminating waste," McDonough explains. "We're talking about eliminating the entire concept of waste."

-cut-

Technology is a big help. Norcal operates a $38 million facility that disaggregates all the recyclables in those blue bins. Conveyor belts, powerful magnets, and giant vacuums separate computer paper from newsprint, plastic jugs from water bottles, and steel and tin cans from aluminum. Materials are then sold to global commodity markets - and we do mean global.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/...
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #13
28. Machines don't sort the paper and plastic, people do
The average recycling center has 10 min. wage workers standing at those conveyer belts sorting paper and plastic. It's a smelly, dirty job and it should pay a decent wage.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 06:29 AM
Response to Original message
14. G'morning Marketeers.
:donut: :donut: :donut:

I have an extra early start to my day. I'll check in this afternoon as time allows. Have fun watching the Casino!

Ozy :hi:
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:36 AM
Response to Original message
18. dollar watch
http://quotes.ino.com/chart/?s=NYBOT_DX&v=i

Last trade 83.11 Change -0.54 (-0.65%)

Data Mixed, Dollar Hangs Against Majors

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

Dollar - Differing economic data once again dominated the session, leaving the US dollar mixed against major counterparts. Early in the New York morning, regional manufacturing surveys in New York and Philadelphia painted a bleak picture of the current economic state. The Empire State survey posted a 1.9 reading, far below the 24.4 in the previous month and under the 16 expected by the consensus. Exacerbating the lower than expected reading in the New York report was a smaller rise of 0.2 in the Philadelphia survey. The figure was far below the consensus of an improvement to 4 and confirmed the notion that a slowdown may be in the works for the world’s largest economy. However, the notion was countered by sentiment that the recent readings were a mere pullback from the higher advances in the previous month. On the positive side, producer prices increased in the month of February, supportive of further stabilization in US short term interest rates. For the month, headline inflation on the producer side advanced by 1.3 percent with the core rising by 0.4 percent. The figures, to say the least, reversed the previous month’s weaker postings and furthers the notion that benchmark rates will be left alone when Federal Reserve policy makers meet next week. Although expectations continue to remain steady for no rate decision, the recent producer price data may lend slightly more hawkish shading on the subsequent comments. Incidentally, today’s results place mounting focus on tomorrow’s consumer price index report. Both the headline and core components are expected to rise in similar fashion, helping dollar enthusiasts to end the week higher. Net foreign securities purchases were additionally optimistic, rising far above the $70 billion expected for the month. Foreign interest in stock and US treasuries helped to garner $97.4 billion in net long investments, dollar bullish. Surprisingly, the market casted aside comments made by ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Speaking at a Futures Industry Association meeting in Florida, Greenspan warned of a negative spillover in the US economy sparked by a subprime mortgage fallout. Similar to comments made in Toronto last month the ex-Chairman continued to press on the element of “disarray” noting that the predicament “is not a small issue”. Bearish for the dollar, in theory, the comments had no real effect on afternoon trading.

...more...


Trading the News: U.S. Consumer Price Index

http://www.dailyfx.com/story/special_report/special_rep...

How To Trade This?

The US Consumer Price Index report produces relatively straightforward reactions, with material surprises in either direction providing consistent price extension and profit potential. For the upcoming report, traders will likely pounce on any disappointments and challenge stiff resistance in the EURUSD pair. If both headline and Core CPI print below consensus forecasts, it may provide just the catalyst needed to send the EURUSD above 2-month highs at 1.3262. To trade such a result, it is best to wait five minutes to confirm direction in USD-denominated currency pairs. After five minutes, the trader can go long the EURUSD with a stop-loss below the post-news price low.

If, on the other hand, Core and Headline price growth comes in higher than forecast, we could see the EURUSD test an intraday trendline at approximately 1.3220, and ultimately congestion levels just below 1.3200. In this case, the trader would wait five minutes to place a short order with a stop-loss above post-news highs.

An upward surprise in Headline inflation may not produce a sustained rally if Core measures do not follow suit, providing a potential fade-trade on US CPI. If this occurs and the EURUSD posts immediate declines, the trader may wait for signs of reversal and enter a long position with a stop-loss below the post-CPI lows.



...more...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #18
39. Euro stays above USD1.33 level
http://www.businessworld.ie/livenews.htm?a=1668965 ;s=rollingnews.htm

The euro continued its steady climb above the USD1.33 level with slightly higher than expected US inflation data failing to make an impact.

The single European currency today broke past the USD1.33 mark for the first time in 2007 on mounting concerns the stalling US housing market will drag the rest of the economy down.

Analysts said the dollar's weakness appears to be no longer limited to low yielding currencies like the yen.

'Dollar weakness since the big equity market sell-off began at the end of February has largely been confined to lower-yielding currencies as carry trades have come under pressure, but over the past two days the dollar has come under broader pressure,' said Daniel Katzive at UBS.

There was little impact from the afternoon's US inflation data, which came in slightly above predictions. Headline US consumer price inflation beat expectations in February while the core rate, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose just as predicted.

Katzive said the dollar had been unable to benefit from higher US bond yields in the wake of yesterday's firm producer price figures -- a fact that highlights the extent to which equity market sentiment is driving currency markets at present.

A firm US inflation figure may be negative for the dollar, as equity markets might react badly to the reduced likelihood US rate setters will lower borrowing costs.

/...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #18
42. China's Diversification Won't Hurt Dollar, Wen Says
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601089&sid=a6B...

March 16 (Bloomberg) -- China, the second-largest overseas holder of Treasuries, said diversification of its $1.07 trillion currency reserves won't cause a slump in U.S. securities.

``Our purchases of U.S. dollar assets are mutually beneficial,'' Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said at a press conference after the annual meeting of China's legislature in Beijing. The establishment of a new agency to help manage the reserves ``won't affect the value of the U.S. dollar assets.''

China, which lifted Treasury holdings by $4 billion to $353.6 billion in January, plans to set up an agency to seek higher returns on its reserves and invest in companies in a similar way to Singapore's Temasek Holdings Pte. The dollar slumped 1 percent against the euro in the week ended Nov. 11 after central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said he plans to diversify the world's biggest currency reserves.

``U.S. Treasuries are the safest and most secure investments globally,'' said Arjuna Mahendran, chief strategist for Asia-Pacific at Credit Suisse in Singapore. ``We're looking at very small amount of money going into the equity markets until they build up the expertise to manage these holdings.''

Wen said China lacks experience in investing overseas and aims to increase the ``safety'' of its holdings when diversifying, suggesting the process will be gradual. The central bank's Zhou said last week that China will support efforts by domestic organizations to invest abroad, adding it'll be a slow process.

more...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #18
45. Euro Climbs Versus Dollar And Yen, Falls Against Sterling
http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=... \ACQRTT200703161054RTTRADERUSEQUITY_0719.htm
&selected=9999&selecteddisplaysymbol=9999&StoryTargetFrame=_top&mkt=WORLD
&chk=unchecked&lang=&link=&headlinereturnpage=http://www.international.nasd

(RTTNews) - The euro climbed to near-term highs against the dollar and yen but slopped against the sterling on Friday morning in New York. The European currency hit a multi-month high against the greenback and multi-week best against the yen. It gave back some gains against the pound. Trading took place amid the release of data showing that Italy's total trade deficit narrowed in January.

The euro reached a three-month high against the greenback in trading on Friday morning in New York. The euro reached 1.3339 at 7 a.m. ET. its highest level since early December. The euro gave back some of its gains with a slight decline over the next hour but remained up on the day. The pair traded at 1.3316 at 10:30 a.m.

Trading leveled off between the euro and sterling after the European currency dropped for most of the morning in New York. The euro dropped to an intraday low of 0.6837 at 7 a.m. ET. The pair traded at 0.6841 at 10:30 a.m. Friday's decline reversed gains the euro added with a surge late Thursday night in New York.

The euro remained in a trading range with the yen near a two-week high during mid morning trading in New York. The European currency reached an intraday high of 155.75 at around 9:45 a.m. ET., capping a rise that lasted about four hours. Before the advance, the euro was at an intraday low of 155.31. Overall, the pair has been range-bound since Thursday afternoon.

/.

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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #18
46. Gold gains nearly 1 percent on weaker dollar
http://investing.reuters.co.uk/news/articleinvesting.as...
Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:15 GMT

LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - Gold jumped nearly one percent to trade above $650 an ounce ahead of the release of key U.S. data, with a sharp drop in the dollar supporting the metal.

Spot gold <XAU=> rose as high as $652.10 an ounce before easing to $651.20/652.20 by 1059 GMT, versus $646.40/647.40 late in New York on Thursday, when it rose more than $3.

"Gold definitely took a positive lead from the dollar and investors are coming back into the market now," said Michael Widmer, director of metals research at Calyon Corporate and Investment Bank.

"But overall, the price rises that we have seen were not as big as we would have expected, given the drop in the dollar since the beginning of March," he added.

/...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. Gold prices seen strong in 2007 and 2008
http://uk.reuters.com/article/fundsNews/idUKNOA55002820...
Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:00PM GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - Prices of key precious metals will surge this year and next because of contracting mine supply, an expected decline in the dollar and lower sales by Europe's central banks, ABN-AMRO said on Thursday.

Average gold prices were likely to jump to $695 an ounce in the current year and to $740 in 2008 from $604 last year, it said in its latest Global Mining report.

ABN-AMRO saw average prices of platinum rising to $1,275 an ounce this year and to $1,345 next year from $1,142 in 2006. Palladium was forecast to average $375 in 2007 and $425 in 2008 from $320 last year.
Photo

"We have retained our enthusiasm for the market outlook for gold ... The market has seen that the gold price can exhibit extreme price volatility," it said.

/...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #18
59. Today's Pfenning - The Markets Become Myopic...
http://www.kitcocasey.com/displayArticle.php?id=1279

Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! The Friday before St. Patrick's Day, which is pretty cool that it is on a Saturday this year! No beating around the bush this morning, we've got to get to the tape, because there's been a big move up in the euro...

That's right... I turned on the screens this morning and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a very strong euro and other currencies bringing up the rear! What's brought this on? I hear you asking... I have to tell you that this subprime mortgage meltdown is really getting spread around, and people are asking the correct questions about the future of the U.S. economy...

So... Now that the stories hitting the screens have people talking about a "hard landing" for the U.S. economy, and all sorts of gloom and doom... OK... Yes, we've had real estate bubbles pop before... Unfortunately, they never included the "crazy financing" that this one did... This one is going to dig deep into our economy. And I think the markets are finally coming around to worry (appropriately) about this meltdown...

Reuters called me yesterday for an interview, and wanted to know about dollar/yen, and if the stock market was playing into the trading of this pair. I said, sure! And so is the fact that Japan's economy is strong and the currency has been undervalued for several years now. What caused all this? she asked... Well... It was bound to happen sooner or later, but Mr. Greenspan kickstarted this with his thoughts of a recession for the U.S.

Speaking of Big Al... He was back on the speaking circuit yesterday... This time he wanted to talk about the subprime meltdown... Let's listen in....

snip>

OK... Enough, from the man my friend, the Mogambo Guru, calls the TLS (True Living Satan)... Sound harsh? Well... It was his policies that brought about the easy credit and low mortgage rates that brought about the "creative" mortgages... That's all I'll say about that!

more...
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texpatriot2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
19. K & R nm
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
21. Warning on hedge funds' conflict of interest
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/df3e5b48-d1d0-11db-b921-000b5df...

Hedge funds have inherent conflicts of interest in the way they value their investments, international financial regulators warned yesterday as they laid out principles to mitigate the problem.

The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (Iosco) said valuations of the complex instruments used by many hedge funds could put the interests of managers and their investors at odds.

Valuation of the increasingly complex futures, options, structured credits and over-the-counter derivatives used by hedge funds is a major issue for investors in the $1,500bn hedge fund industry. Incorrect valuations can mean investors buy units in a fund at too high a price, lose out when they sell or pay too much to managers in performance fees. "The manager may have both the incentive and the ability to influence the valuation of the financial instruments in the portfolio in ways that do not reflect their value," Iosco said.

An Iosco committee - including major US, UK, French, German, Hong Kong and Spanish regulators, alongside hedge funds and investors - proposed nine principles to ease conflicts.

Dan Waters, a director at Britain's Financial Services Authority and chairman of the Iosco committee, said the principles were designed to be used directly by investors in the industry as they put money into hedge funds.

"We would expect it to be used by sophisticated investors as part of their due diligence procedures," he said. :eyes:

more...

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
23. G8 told to act on private equity
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6457197.stm
Trade unions are seeking a united G8 response to what they see as the dangers of private equity firm buyouts.


International trade unions meeting in Paris are set to call for a taskforce to investigate highly-leveraged deals.

The unions are worried that the debt used to finance such deals means that jobs have to be cut to boost short-term returns and pay back borrowings.

Private equity firms say they make companies more competitive which means better job security for employees.

Unions were particularly critical of the case of the AA, which got rid of 3,000 staff - more than a quarter of its workforce - while it was owned by a leading private equity company: Permira.

snip>

"Employees don't come into the pecking order with private equity firms - the only pecking order they have got is profit, profit, profit - bag it and run," he said.

more...


Dresser was purchased this week by another private equity firm, this one has ties to Carlyle. This was my birthday present :eyes:

http://washington.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2007/...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #23
41. Global Energy and Power, indeed.
Riverstone, a New York investment firm, said it is funding the purchase of Dresser with equity from its Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund III LP. (above link)
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #41
51. I checked out their webiste when hubby came home with the news.
I was shocked at how many times the term "exploit" showed up. Just went back now and the term only shows up on one page. I swear I saw it used 3 or 4 times on my first visit....Maybe it was just in my head.

http://www.riverstonellc.com/aligning_relationships/ind...

RIverstone believes that the current changes taking place in the energy and power industry can be harnessed by experienced leaders with the vision and fortitude to pioneer new applications and business strategies. The timely execution of these opportunities requires a capital source that intrinsically understands the issues facing the energy and power industry. Riverstone's vast network of strategic relationships provides management teams with access to industry visionaries, strategic partners, and proprietary deal knowledge to exploit these opportunties.

They're also placing big bets on more deregulation.


Their home page is beautiful though. Gotta admire the webpage development team.

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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
30. 9:54am - What? Me Worry?
DJIA 12,169.45 +9.77 +0.08%
Nasdaq 2,378.72 +0.02 +0.00%
S&P 500 1,395.46 +3.18 +0.23%
Dow Util 482.30 +0.82 +0.17%
NYSE 9,032.17 +26.92 +0.30%
AMEX 2,112.42 +29.66 +1.42%
Russell 2000 782.00 -1.61 -0.21%
Semcond 474.62 +0.31 +0.07%
Gold future 653.30 +6.20 +0.96%
30-Year Bond 4.71% +0.02 +0.34%
10-Year Bond 4.56% +0.02 +0.42%


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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
33. G.M. Says It Has Found Serious Flaws in Accounting
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/16/automobiles/16auto.ht...

DETROIT, March 15 General Motors, a company once known as the model of corporate accounting, warned investors on Thursday that its performance was threatened by ineffective controls over financial reporting, including inadequately trained personnel and failure to obtain managements approval for some transactions.

The disclosure, made in G.M.s annual report filed with federal regulators after a six-week delay, was the latest indication that the automaker is on shakier footing than first thought.

It comes a day after G.M. restated five years of financial results and reported that it lost $2 billion in 2006 a significant improvement over the previous years $10.4 billion loss but a sizable negative number nonetheless.

In the annual report, G.M., whose accounting practices are already under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, said an internal evaluation found its financial reporting methods to be inadequate. The lack of effective internal controls could adversely affect our financial condition and ability to carry out our strategic business plan, the company said.

The filing listed 41 other factors that could hinder G.M.s performance, including the potential for a strike by the United Automobile Workers union, whose contract with the three Detroit automakers expires in September.

more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. GM to ask union for cuts in retiree healthcare costs
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gm16mar16,1,12105...

DETROIT General Motors Corp. will seek relief from its $68-billion post-retirement employee healthcare obligation in contract talks with the United Auto Workers union, according to an annual report filed with federal regulators.

In the filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, GM said that healthcare was its largest competitive disadvantage and that the burden could grow.

The world's largest automaker also said it had determined that its internal financial controls were ineffective and that it was working to fix them. It had said previously that federal authorities were investigating its financial reporting.

The comments came only a day after GM's delayed release of financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2006. The earnings report was delayed as the automaker sorted through accounting issues dating to 2002.

more...
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #34
71. Without putting too fine a point on it...
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 01:26 PM by AnneD
it seems like the retirees will be taking the hit for their sloppy accounting practices :evilfrown:
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
36. Asian stocks mixed as markets take breather
http://asia.news.yahoo.com/070316/afp/070316111406eco.h...

TOKYO (AFP) - Asian stocks were narrowly mixed on Friday, struggling to extend a recovery from the latest global sell-off as investors remained wary about the outlook for the US economy, dealers said.

Overnight Thursday, Wall Street eked out modest gains as participants appeared to put concerns about failures in the risky "sub-prime" mortgage sector on the back burner for now.

Analysts said that it was no surprise markets were taking a breather after the recent large swings, particularly ahead of the weekend, with European stock markets falling slightly in cautious opening trade on Friday.

The latest remarks from Alan Greenspan caused some jitters after the former Federal Reserve chief told a conference that US home loan problems could spill over into the wider economy -- but that there was no evidence of it yet.

With a long US property boom now fading into memory, mortgage delinquencies and defaults are on the rise, especially at the lower or "sub-prime" level among people with poor credit scores and those who borrowed beyond their means.

"Sentiment was dampened by uncertainties about the US economic situation," said Hiroaki Hiwada, a strategist at Toyo Securities in Tokyo, where the Nikkei-225 index ended down 0.69 percent.

/...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. European stock markets follow Tokyo lower
http://asia.news.yahoo.com/070316/afp/070316124141eco.h...

LONDON (AFP) - European stock markets fell on Friday after Tokyo finished in the red, as investors remained wary despite modest overnight gains in New York, dealers said.

A rout on global equity markets, sparked by fears of a meltdown in the US housing market, was checked Thursday with solid share price gains in the United States, Europe and Asia.

However, in European deals on Friday, London's FTSE 100 of leading companies retreated 0.54 percent to 6,100.00 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 slid 0.64 percent to 6,543.54 and in Paris the CAC 40 fell 0.29 percent to 5,374.15 points.

The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip shares decreased 0.47 percent to 3,966.86 points.

The euro stood at 1.3316 dollars.

US stocks saw encouraging gains on Thursday as investors shook off a hotter-than-expected inflation report and focused on the market's rebound a day earlier.

Japanese share prices closed down Friday as investors were anxious about a stronger yen and problems brewing in the US housing market, dealers said.

In London on Friday, the commodities sector was weighed down by lower oil prices, after OPEC cartel ministers held their crude production at existing levels.

The sector was also hit as base metals miners reversed Wednesday's gains on profit-taking.

/...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. European shares pare losses, U.S. core CPI in-line
http://investing.reuters.co.uk/news/articleinvesting.as...
Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:44 PM GMT

LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - European stock markets trimmed declines on Friday after U.S. core consumer prices came as per market estimates and U.S. stock index futures also pared losses.

By 1240 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> was 0.3 percent lower at 1,451.5, trimming losses after the data was released. The index rose 1.8 percent on Thursday, recovering from a 2.6 percent fall in the previous session.

U.S. Treasuries slipped and the dollar rose versus the yen.

/...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #37
65. European shares end down in choppy session
http://yahoo.reuters.com/news/articlehybrid.aspx?storyI...

LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - European stock markets closed slightly lower in a volatile session on Friday, with banks and oil firms among the biggest losers, while takeover talk boosted shares including consumer products firm Unilever (ULVR.L: Quote, Profile , Research).

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> ended down 0.08 percent at an unofficial 1,454.8, below the day's high of 1,462.1 but above a low of 1,447.2. Earlier, stocks trimmed losses after U.S. core consumer prices, excluding food and energy, came in line with estimates.

For the week, the pan-European benchmark lost 2.3 percent, hit by worries of financial contagion from troubled U.S. mortgage lenders.

/...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #65
67. FTSE ends flat weighed by banks, oil; M&A support
http://investing.reuters.co.uk/news/articleinvesting.as...

LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - Britain's top shares ended flat in a choppy market on Friday as losses in banks and oil shares offset another flurry of merger and acquisition talk that boosted the likes of Unilever (ULVR.L: Quote, Profile , Research) and Hammerson (HMSO.L: Quote, Profile , Research).

Imperial Tobacco (IMT.L: Quote, Profile , Research) advanced 4.9 percent to top the gainers' list as investors reacted positively to its plan to buy rival Altadis (ALT.MC: Quote, Profile , Research), and also on some talk the deal could prompt Philip Morris to make a move for the UK firm. British American Tobacco (BATS.L: Quote, Profile , Research) tacked on 2.2 percent.

Sainsbury (SBRY.L: Quote, Profile , Research) rose 2.4 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported another group of private equity investors was exploring a possible bid for the supermarket group. The FTSE 100 .FTSE index closed down 2.6 points, or 0.04 percent at 6,130.6, for a weekly loss of 1.8 percent. It has now lost nearly 5 percent since a global sell-off began on Feb. 27.

...

Lingering investor jitters about the U.S. subprime mortgage market and the pace of economic growth dragged financial stocks lower, with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile , Research) shedding 1.2 percent, HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile , Research) slipping 0.7 percent and HBOS (HBOS.L: Quote, Profile , Research) down 0.7 percent as well. Insurers Friends Provident (FP.L: Quote, Profile , Research), Standard Life (SL.L: Quote, Profile , Research) and Old Mutual (OML.L: Quote, Profile , Research) dipped between 0.8 and 1.9 percent ahead of a busy week for reporting in the sector.

Housing products suppliers Wolseley (WOS.L: Quote, Profile , Research) and Hanson (HNS.L: Quote, Profile , Research) were hit by fears of a slowdown in the key U.S. housing market, and they were down between 0.9 and 1.9 percent. Continued...

/...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #65
69. Swiss SMI Closes In Positive Territory
http://www.postfinance.ch/pf/content/en/topics/etrade/n...

Swiss shares closed Friday's volatile session in the black. Triple Eurex expiry and quadruple witching day in the US caused some nervousness all over Europe.

The Swiss Market Index closed 10.85 points or 0.12% higher at 8,717.63 with 11 gainers, 12 decliners and 2 stock unchanged. The broader Swiss Performance Index lost 7.86 points or 0.11% to 6,962.95.

Swatch to publish results on Monday

Swatch closed as the SMI's top performer, with bearer shares up 2.54% to CHF 303.00 and registered shares jumping 2.67% to CHF 61.50, after the watchmaker today said its full-year results are to be published on Monday instead of Thursday.

Nestle opens new milk factory

Elsewhere in the positive column, Roche advanced 0.67% to CHF 211.60 after Bear Sterns upgraded the pharma group to "outperform" from "peerperform". Novartis climbed 0.44% to CHF 68.90 and Nestle closed 0.43% higher at CHF 464.50 after the food giant today opened a state-of-the-art milk processing plant in Pakistan. The plant, Nestle's largest milk reception facility in the world, has a processing capacity of 2 million liters of milk per day, which will rise to over 3 million liters in coming years.

Syngenta shareholders approve BSE delisting

Syngenta dropped 1.71% to CHF 217.90 after Syngenta India today said its shareholders have approved the special resolution entailing the delisting of its equity shares from Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Elsewhere deep in the red, Swiss Life Holding shed 1.09% to CHF 295.00, Credit Suisse fell 0.41% to CHF 84.10 and UBS remained flat at CHF 69.10 amid speculation that investment banker Kenneth Moelis considers leaving the group out of frustration with UBS's reluctance to commit capital to leveraged buyouts. According to the Wall Steet Journal, Moelis was at UBS's headquarters in Zurich yesterday to discuss his future.

/...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #65
75. Private equity to buy Spanish oil multinational Repsol-YPF?
http://investing.reuters.co.uk/news/articleinvesting.as...

...

Shares in Spain's Repsol (REP.MC: Quote, Profile , Research) jumped 3.2 percent towards the close with some market players saying private equity could be sniffing around the group.

/...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #75
83. So is private equity being equated with hunting hounds, wolves or these guys...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
40. China to seek limits on lending
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/16/business/yuan.ph...

BEIJING: China will take steps to contain a renewed burst in bank lending and a larger-than-expected rise in the country's enormous trade surplus last month, senior government officials said Friday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the annual session of Parliament, which ended Friday, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the central bank, said that the authorities would place further controls on bank lending.

"From a commercial perspective, it is understandable for the banks to lend aggressively at the beginning of the year," Zhou said.

"But from a macro perspective, after serious study, we decided to place further controls," he said. He did not offer any time frame or further details.

Lending data released this week reinforced concern that banks, awash with cash, could fund a new round of speculative investment.

/...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #40
43. China's Growth Is Unstable, Unsustainable, Wen Says (Update1)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aGt...

March 16 (Bloomberg) -- China's economic expansion, the source of about a 10th of global growth last year, is unstable and environmentally unsustainable, Premier Wen Jiabao said.

``China's investment growth is too high, lending growth too fast, liquidity excessive and trade and international payments very imbalanced,'' Wen said at a press conference in Beijing today. Energy efficiency and environmental protection issues haven't been ``properly resolved,'' he said.

Wen's comments underscore government concern that too many factories are being built in China, worsening pollution and leaving the world's fastest-growing major economy vulnerable to a slowdown in demand. A record $177.5 billion trade surplus has flooded the economy with cash, making it harder for the government to cool investment by reining in bank lending.

Data this week showed accelerating inflation, money supply and industrial production growth, while the February trade surplus was close to a monthly record. Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said today he's watching inflation closely and Trade Minister Bo Xilai said he's ``very concerned'' about the surplus, suggesting the government may raise interest rates or further tighten lending.

``The odds of an interest rate hike are growing,'' Ben Simpfendorfer, an economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Plc in Hong Kong, said. ``The Chinese government wants to reduce liquidity in the economy and to discourage a reacceleration in credit growth.''

more...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #40
73.  Global imbalances: Sustaining the unsustainable (The Economist)
Global imbalances
Sustaining the unsustainable
http://www.economist.com/finance/displaystory.cfm?story...

Mar 15th 2007 | LONDON AND WASHINGTON, DC
From The Economist print edition
Global investors are worried about many things. Why is America's current-account deficit not one of them?
Satoshi Kambayashi

SOUR subprime mortgages, sluggish retail sales, the spectre of a broader retreat in credit and consumer spending. These are the American shadows that spooked investors across the globe this week, once again sending share prices tumbling from Manhattan to Mumbai.

For years, the longest shadow of all was cast by America's imposing current-account deficit. But in these fretful times, no one seems to be fretting much about the country's heavy reliance on foreign funding. New figures on released March 14th showed that Americans spent some $857 billion more than they produced in 2006, the equivalent of 6.5% of GDP, and a new record. China's trade surplus in February was the second-highest on record. It has reached almost $40 billion in the first two months of this year, three times as high as it was a year ago.

China's government, one of America's best creditors, has announced it is seeking a better return on a chunk of its foreign-exchange reserves. It will create a new investment agency, which looks sure to diversify some of the central bank's assets out of the American Treasury bonds that now dominate its portfolio (see article).

None of this had much effect on the dollar. Measured on a trade-weighted basis, it has fallen by a mere 0.04% since the recent financial turbulence began on February 27th. And as investors yawn at America's deficit, so too do policymakers. A year ago, finance ministers and central bankers from the G7 group of big, rich countries promised to take vigorous action to resolve the imbalances between the world's savers (particularly China, Japan and the oil exporters) and borrowers (especially America). The IMF was hoping to reinvent itself as the overseer of this grand macroeconomic bargain. A year later the venture has fizzled. The IMF-sponsored discussions between China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, America and the European Union have yielded little. They may be quietly forgotten.

What explains this nonchalance? By some measures, the world is already rebalancing. The dollar after all has fallen by 16% from its 2002 peak in real terms. Compared with the previous quarter, America's current-account deficit shrank in the last three months of 2006 and was below $200 billion for the first time in more than a year (see chart). That decline owes a lot to lower oil prices. But even excluding oil, America's trade balance seems to be stabilising as exports boom and imports slow. Even so, it is hard to escape the conclusion that both investors and officials have become less worried about global imbalances. This is mirrored in academia, where opinion on global imbalances also seems to be changing. A few years ago most economists argued that the spectacle of poor countries bankrolling America's deficits was the perverse and unsustainable consequence of American profligacy. Economic theory suggested that capital should flow from rich countries to poor ones, and that America could not increase its foreign borrowing for ever. Empirical studies showed that deficits of more than 5% of GDP caused trouble.

Since then, economists have vied with each other to overturn this orthodoxy. Indeed, rejecting the conventional wisdom is now itself entirely conventional, as Jeffrey Frankel, an economist at Harvard University, has pointed out.

/continues...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #73
74. Is the financial system a confidence trick? (The Economist)
Buttonwood
Ponzificating
http://www.economist.com/finance/displaystory.cfm?story...
Mar 15th 2007
From The Economist print edition
Is the financial system a confidence trick?

CHARLES PONZI was a likeable man. That helped him persuade American investors in 1920 that he could deliver returns of 50% in just 45 days by exploiting a loophole in the pricing of international postal coupons. In a way, he was advertising an early version of an arbitrage fund.

In reality, the loophole could not be practically exploited. So Ponzi exploited his customers instead. He could deliver returns only by taking money from new investors to give to his early backers. But although he died in poverty, the Italian immigrant achieved immortality of a sort: fraudulent moneymaking operations are often known as Ponzi schemes.

In the world of finance, describing something as a Ponzi scheme is a standard form of abuse. This insult has been bandied around a lot of late. Financial-sector profits have grown far faster than GDP over the past 25 years; everyone has become richer by lending money to everyone else. Household debt is running at about 100% of GDP in America and higher still in Britain. Credit derivatives are soaring in value and payment-in-kind notes (which pay interest with more debt, rather than cash) are in vogue. Last month Tim Lee, a strategist at pi Economics, described the whole financial system as the equivalent of a gigantic Ponzi scheme.

/continues...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #74
78. Well, we've NEVER used that term here in the SMW!!!! n/t
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
44. Moody's, Stupid or Greedy, Flip-Flops on Banks
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=c...

March 16 (Bloomberg) -- Are the decision makers at Moody's Investors Service stupid or greedy? As uncharitable as that may sound, the rating company's recent misadventures in European bank analysis make it a legitimate question.

Last month, Moody's came up with a whiz-bang new rating method called Joint Default Analysis. It was an attempt to measure the likelihood of government support bailing out a troubled borrower. The new rules produced some bizarre results.

On Feb. 6, Glitnir Banki hf's financial-strength rating was cut by Moody's from C+ to C, the middle of the five-letter scale. Less than three weeks later, Moody's raised Glitnir's overall rating to Aaa -- making Iceland's second-biggest bank as creditworthy as the U.S. government. Kaupthing Bank hf and Landsbanki Islands hf, the nation's biggest and third-biggest banks, were similarly blessed by the Moody's rating wand.

The resulting ridicule that analysts and investors heaped upon the hapless rating company was relentless and thoroughly deserved. On March 9, Moody's announced that it was ``considering refinements to the application of joint default analysis,'' which is public-relations speak for ``we screwed up.''

``At present, Moody's is not commenting beyond its press release,'' wrote London-based spokeswoman Eleanor Childs in an e- mailed response to a request for comment.

There was a slim element of laudable method in Moody's madness. Banks are different from other borrowers, woven more closely into the web of the global financial system. A bankrupt financial company could trigger systemic repercussions in ways that a bankrupt metal-bashing company can't.

more...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
53. Lunchtime numbers: Would you like a Bloody Mary with that sandwich?
DJIA 12,127.80 -31.88 -0.26%
Nasdaq 2,370.97 -7.73 -0.32%
S&P 500 1,389.13 -3.15 -0.23%
Dow Util 481.43 -0.05 -0.01%
NYSE 8,998.42 -6.83 -0.08%

AMEX 2,103.90 +21.14 +1.01%
Russell 2000 779.64 -3.97 -0.51%
Semcond 470.27 -4.03 -0.85%

Gold future 652.00 +4.90 +0.76%
30-Year Bond 4.69% +0.00 +0.02%
10-Year Bond 4.54% +0.00 +0.09%


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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #53
60. Bit 'o blather...overly pessimistic market
12:30 pm : No real change in sentiment as the afternoon session gets underway. While the indices appear to be settling into a relatively narrow trading range, volatility is likely to return late in the day due to the quarterly rebalancing on the S&P 500.

Constituents Apple (AAPL 89.71 +0.14), Bristol-Myers (BMY 26.99 -0.13), and Google (GOOG 441.91 -4.28) are among some of the names whose weightings will be increased while weightings be lowered for the likes of Dow components Exxon Mobil (XOM 70.27 -0.42) and Pfizer (PFE 24.98 -0.01). DJ30 -40.85 NASDAQ -8.58 SP500 -3.72 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1718/1130/1.23 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 1791/1301/1.06 bln

12:00 pm : Stocks are extending their reach to the downside midday as the nervousness that has accompanied an overly pessimistic market of late returns to question the sustainability of recent gains going into the weekend. After the Dow posted its second-biggest drop in nearly four years on Tuesday, stocks have been recouping some of those losses over the last two sessions.

It also appears that a lot of the open interest in key futures contracts that helped to lift stocks earlier this morning (today is quarterly options expiration) has all but disappeared, prompting a new wave of selling interest. Almost 630 mln shares exchanged hands on the NYSE during the first half of hour of trading, which is a record.

From a sector standpoint, Financials recent rolling over, as traders consolidate some of the relief rally recently enjoyed among beaten-down mortgage lenders, has been the biggest obstacle for the bulls to overcome since its reversal removes some notable leadership. All 10 sectors are trading lower midday.

On the economic front, investors have also sifted through a batch of economic data. Core CPI rose a less than feared 0.2% in February, matching economists' forecasts to keep inflation fears in check. However, with investors more concerned about potential economic weakness, not even the largest rise in monthly industrial production since November 2005 has been able to sustain early follow-through buying efforts. DJ30 -40.01 NASDAQ -10.07 SP500 -3.54 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1798/1028/1.15 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 1899/1147/990 mln

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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #60
76. .
:spray:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #76
80. I'm willing to lay odds it ends up in the closing blather.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. Betting against that would be like betting on Jackson St. beating Florida tonight.
:)

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
54. Where is America's place in the world? (Corporate elite getting upset?)
http://www.321gold.com/editorials/holmes/holmes031607.h...

When the Soviet Union dissolved in the early 1990s, we thought we knew that place. The United States would use its superpower status to lead the world into a promising future of peace and prosperity. As we know now, that road has not always been a smooth one.

I remain optimistic that we will achieve that ideal despite seeing some ominous signs in my travels around the world. Anti-American feelings are growing in many places, and not just because of backlashes over globalization and the war in Iraq.

There's no doubt in my mind that the United States has the world's best economic system. This country creates more wealth and produces more opportunities for the creative, the hardworking and the resourceful than any other nation on the planet.

But the U.S. government has recently taken some actions that have stirred up emotions in the world's business community. It has broadened its jurisdictional claims when it comes to prosecuting alleged financial crimes, and it has extended the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to foreign companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges.

Is the government overreaching, with no real checks and balances? Has the government gone from refereeing capitalism to strangling capitalism?

more...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
55. OT - His Own Worst Enemy (Cheney)
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20070313_scheer_che... /

The unctuous owl has hooted again. Only this time, Dick Cheneys cave has been invaded by the sudden sunlight of judicial and congressional revelations, making him appear more pathetic than intimidating as he once again charges critics of the Iraq war with giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

A full validation of the al-Qaida strategy are the shameless, slandering words the most powerful vice president in American history flung Monday at congressional critics of the warincluding those from his own party.

While he is still as dangerous as any cornered animal, Cheney stands brightly revealed as the main culprit in cherry-picking the evidence to make the case for a stupid, failed war. He has been exposed as a vindictive, inflexible ideologue, who attempts to destroy all who publicly disagree with him, such as former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Wilsons CIA agent wife, Valerie Plame Wilson. His extensive ties and loyal political service to energy and defense companies such as Halliburton (which now, in a burst of honesty, is moving its headquarters to Dubai), reveal him to be a man of deep corruption.

Like Nixon during Watergate, Cheney is now shrilly on the defensive. National security made me do it! he insists, clinging to pseudo-patriotism, that last refuge of scoundrels. But it is an argument that no longer flies with a public that has caught on to the rhythm of his screechy lies. After all, this is the leader, dominating a weak president, who pushed so hard for a complete occupation of a Muslim country not linked to 9/11. A man who hung his arguments for adventuristic war on known falsehoods, such as the attempted purchase of yellowcake uranium in Niger.

In fact, the recent terrorist bombing in Afghanistan that came too close to ending the vice presidents life aptly underscored just how reckless the decision was to direct our policy away from the religious fanatics of al-Qaida, based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and instead pour our resources into overthrowing Osama bin Ladens sworn enemy, Saddam Hussein.

more...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #55
85. I am glad you posted this here.
This article underlines the pure folly of this administration. Folly that is DoD spending boondoggles. How can we sanely support the extravagant defense spending that has become ubiquitous with any administration that hides behind the rhetorical "strength" of our armed forces? Strength that has been undone by the rabble remnants of a previously fourth-rate (if that high) military power.

This rabble has undermined the whole notion that the United States possesses the greatest military power of any nation in the history of the planet. Pure bull. Sure it can lob cruise missiles at $1million a pop to devastate infrastructure. But can cruise missiles secure anything lasting? That's a rhetorical question.

Thing is: Cheney and his stupider-than-dirt vindictive ilk cannot see past this basic fact of their four year old folly. As a result their idiocy contributes to our own precarious fiscal situation. I would not rule out calling our situation as one that teeters toward disaster. How much do we owe China, Japan and Britain - again?

Aren't I just a little ray of sunshine?
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #85
86. Sunny....
yesterday my life was filled with rain
Sunny, you smiled at me and you really eased the pain
But now the dark days are gone
Now the bright days are here
Sunny, I never knew one who was so sincere
Sunny, I never knew one so true
I love you

Sunny, I'd like to thank you for that sunshine bouquet
Sunny, I wanna thank you for the love that you brought my way
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Eugene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
56. SEC says ex-Hollinger Intl exec to pay $28.7 mln
SEC says ex-Hollinger Intl exec to pay $28.7 mln
Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:52AM EDT

WASHINGTON, March 16 (Reuters) - The former chief operating officer
of Hollinger International Inc. has agreed to pay $28.7 million to settle
fraud charges, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on
Friday.

The SEC accused David Radler of misappropriating millions of dollars
from the company and making numerous misstatements to shareholders.

-snip-

http://www.reuters.com/article/governmentFilingsNews/id...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
57. Most investors are heading for huge losses (Farber)
http://www.ameinfo.com/113715.html

As a keen observer of economic, social and financial trends, I think we are moving toward one of the most fascinating period in economic history. It will also be a time during which most investors will end up with huge losses.

Let me explain. The shares of most sub-prime lenders already peaked out in late 2004. Throughout 2006, it became increasingly evident that conditions in the housing market were deteriorating. But investors kept on buying these stocks because the P/Es were low and analysts continued to recommend them, and because the Fed kept on telling investors that the worst in the housing market was over!

But consider the following. The news is always favorable near market tops or when a sector is about to peak out. Most analysts will also be most bullish about the prospect of a sector right at the very top of the market - remember high tech stocks in 2000?

Also, near stock market tops the price-to-earnings ratio is frequently low because the problem lies less with the 'price' than with the 'earnings'. In 1929, the US stock market sold for less than 14-times earnings. But then earnings collapsed and stocks plunged by 90%.


Avoiding losses
So, how should an investor navigate in these difficult times? In the future, avoiding losses will be more important than making huge gains. Because of a weaker housing market and problems in the sub-prime industry one source of 'excess liquidity' has dried up.

more...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #57
77. Isn't this that "wave" concept?
I remember reading of that analysis in SMW threads from over a year ago or so. Can't remember the name of the site now....

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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #77
91. Yes, the Long Valuation Wave and Curse of the Trading Range
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
61. 1:41 - Guess they're all watching NCAA Tournie
Dow 12,122.51 37.17 (0.31%)
Nasdaq 2,375.31 3.39 (0.14%)
S&P 500 1,389.10 3.18 (0.23%)
10-yr Bond 4.5530% 0.0170
30-yr Bond 4.7070% 0.0150

NYSE Volume 2,323,828,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,382,718,000

1:30 pm : Stocks are bouncing off afternoon lows, but not nearly enough to make a significant change in the standings. Sure, all three indices have seen their recent losses basically cut in half; but the recovery has come on no news and very little volume, providing less conviction behind the bulls' latest attempt to get buying efforts back on track.

Coincidentally, day two of the NCAA Tournament kicked off about an hour ago, roughly the same time that volume began to dry up. DJ30 -19.23 NASDAQ -2.82 SP500 -1.27 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1743/1147/1.38 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 1910/1253/1.19 bln

1:00 pm : More of the same for stocks as the bulk of industry leadership remains negative. All 10 sectors are still trading lower, led by a 0.6% decline in this year's best performing sector, Materials. Financials, the most influential of them all, ranks second with a 0.4% decline.

It is also worth noting that all three indices languishing in synch with each other and logging roughly the same percentage losses (-0.3%), during what is shaping up to be the biggest volume day this year no less, suggests that program trading is behind the broad-based move to the downside.

DJ30 -33.56 NASDAQ -6.07 SP500 -3.42 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1713/1152/1.32 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 1873/1273/1.14 bln

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
62. New Suitor for Exchange in Chicago
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/16/business/16cbot.html?...

CHICAGO, March 15 The Intercontinental Exchange surprised financial markets Thursday by making an unsolicited $10 billion bid to wrest the Chicago Board of Trade away from its planned merger partner, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

The offer by the seven-year-old Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE, to merge with the nearly 160-year-old Board of Trade would top the price of the pending deal, announced in October. That merger would combine the longtime Chicago rivals into the largest market for financial derivatives contracts in the world.

ICE, based in Atlanta, is offering a 10.5 percent premium over the value of the pending $8 billion deal.

The offer by ICE, which mostly trades energy contracts, is the latest in the frenzied wave of consolidation of global financial exchanges. But analysts and a person close to ICE said the bid was also an indication that the Mercantile Exchange-Board of Trade combination might not survive regulatory scrutiny.

Analysts said it might be difficult for the Mercantile Exchange to top ICEs deal. Under terms of ICEs proposal, the Board of Trades shareholders would own about 51.5 percent of the combined company, which would be based in Chicago and have its headquarters at the Board of Trades storied building in the financial district. The new entity would be run by ICEs chief executive, Jeffrey C. Sprecher.

more...
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
64. A lazy day Morning Marketeers.....
:toast: and lurkers. If I hadn't gotten sick the first part of Spring Break, it would have been more fun. I was fighting something last Thursday, made it through the weekend including a shift at Shangrila. I even made it through Lobby Day at the legislature (now that is a heartwarming thought-giving some of those folks my cooties) :rofl: But I crashed on Monday night and only started feeling like a human on Wednesday. And it seems like I wasn't the only one on the skids. I am catching up on my SWT reading.

The one that had me uttering foul language in a family wifi spot was Meanspin saying that HB1 Visa workers should be let in because American workers were paid too much and the wages need too be reduced. Well good, one day when some foreign guest nurse worker barely making above minimum wage is wiping the poo off his sorry, sagging, wrinkled, incontinent ass-and she can't understand his senile double speak (and you know this will happen), maybe then he will realize the folly of his way. Maybe I could be the person wiping his sorry ass :evilgrin: (I did actually take care of an economist once and she got out voted on what stats went in on some national figures-she really opened my eyes-but that's another story.) That has to be the STUPIDEST thing I have ever heard an alleged public servant utter and should indicate to serious finance folks that Alan now has advanced symptoms of senility and any other utterances should be met with sympathetic smiles.

Happy hunting and watch out for the bears....they are out foraging now and are very hungry after their winter nap.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #64
70. ....
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #70
72. Thanks 54anickle...
my printer is kicking in. That new denomination will come in handy.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #72
79. Your welcome. I remember that post you referred to, I believe I made
some comment of the man being certifiably looney. That "bill" just seemed to "fit". :evilgrin:
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
66. OT - U.S. ally fears price for loyalty (Poor, forgotten Poland)
Poland says being host to an antimissile shield would expose it to attacks and require it to modernize its military.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mis...

WARSAW A U.S. proposal to build an antimissile shield in Poland has forced a close ally to reassess Bush administration policies that many officials here say could make their country a target for Russian rockets and Islamic terrorists.

Poland has been a steadfast friend to the United States, sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan and emerging as one of the few pro-American voices in Europe. But interviews with Polish officials suggest that Warsaw is skeptical about the idea of playing host to a missile defense shield to protect the U.S. from possible strikes by Iran and North Korea.

The plan would include 10 interceptor missiles based in Poland and a radar center in the Czech Republic.

The prospect has led Moscow, which opposes U.S.-backed military expansion in former Soviet bloc nations, to issue veiled threats that are reminiscent of those from the Cold War era. The matter also has underscored Poland's aging weapons systems and technological shortcomings for countering attacks.

The debate comes as Poles have grown disillusioned over the Iraq war and with Bush administration policies that many believe have isolated the U.S. and its allies. Poland is maturing as a nation and is less effusive these days about an America it had idealized for decades from the other side of the Berlin Wall, politicians and analysts say.

more...


http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/Missile_shield_co... /
Missile shield could be completed by 2011

BERLIN, March 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. general leading the effort to build an antiballistic missile shield in Europe said in Berlin the project could be built by 2011 if started this year.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering said while in Berlin to meet with German security officials that negotiations with Poland and the Czech Republic to deploy parts of the shield in those countries are expected to be completed this year, the International Herald Tribune reported Friday.

"If we start this year, we will not have the capability in place until 2011," Obering said.

He said additional delays could leave Europe and the United States open to a missile attack from Iran.

more...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
82. Nearing the close and not a lot has changed.

DJIA 12,123.71 -35.97 -0.30%
Nasdaq 2,372.83 -5.87 -0.25%
S&P 500 1,388.22 -4.06 -0.29%
Dow Util 479.57 -1.91 -0.40%
NYSE 8,990.35 -14.90 -0.17%
AMEX 2,093.83 +11.07 +0.53%
Russell 2000 778.48 -5.13 -0.65%
Semcond 471.38 -2.92 -0.62%
Gold future 653.90 +6.80 +1.05%
30-Year Bond 4.70% +0.00 +0.06%
10-Year Bond 4.55% +0.01 +0.20%
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #82
84. Side of blather....damn those dropping oil prices!
3:30 pm : The indices are off their lows going into the close but sellers remain in complete control of the action. Telecom has recently inched into positive territory; but with only a 3.5% weighting on the S&P 500, it's easy to see why it's turnaround has had minimal impact on the broader market.

Currently, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are down 1.4%, 1.2% and 0.8%, respectively, for the week. DJ30 -41.56 NASDAQ -7.32 SP500 -5.38 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1918/1039/1.76 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2142/1093/1.54 bln

3:00 pm : Sellers continue to show their resolve heading into the final hour of trading. All 10 sectors are in negative territory, not surprisingly led by Energy (-1.2%) in sympathy with the late-day reversal in oil prices.

Materials ranks a close second but a 0.9% decline in Financials now leaves the influential sector down 2.6% for the week and off 5.4% on the year as the worst performer in 2007. It's becoming increasingly apparent that investors feel this year's expected 6-7% earnings growth for Financials will be revised lower as concerns about subprime mortgage woes continue to linger. DJ30 -68.58 NASDAQ -10.03 SP500 -7.91 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1870/1088/1.65 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2075/1135/1.44 bln

2:30 pm : A renewed round of selling pressure just pushed the indices to their lowest levels of the day. Earlier, a 1% rise in April crude futures failing to give the Energy sector a boost doubled as a bearish excuse to pare early market gains.

This time around, oil prices tumbling more than 2% and below $57/bbl heading into the close of trading on the NYMEX has merely exacerbated concerns of a global economic slowdown instead of lending some comfort after higher gas prices pushed the latest sentiment reading to six-month lows. DJ30 -56.88 NASDAQ -8.89 SP500 -6.26 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1849/1082/1.58 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2034/1159/1.37 bln

2:00 pm : Efforts within the last 30 minutes to get back to unchanged have been short lived as the indices are now retracing prior lows. The Dow and S&P 500 have stalled near intraday resistance levels of 12140 and 1390, respectively.

Consumer Staples and Health Care had turned positive to provide some semblance of upside leadership for the first time in nearly two hours; but they've almost as quickly slipped back into the red and, as influential S&P 500 sectors, are bringing the broader market down with them. DJ30 -37.49 NASDAQ -4.16 SP500 -3.57 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1680/1237/1.48 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 1821/1355/1.28 bln

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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
87. Come, we stick the fork in together.

Dow 12,110.41 Down 49.27 (0.41%)
Nasdaq 2,372.66 Down 6.04 (0.25%)
S&P 500 1,386.95 Down 5.33 (0.38%)
10-Yr Bond 4.545% Up 0.009

NYSE Volume 3,387,553,000
Nasdaq Volume 2,133,894,000

4:20 pm : Stocks snapped a two-day winning streak Friday as diminished hopes of the Fed easing early this year prompted investors to take some money off the table going into the weekend.

Before the bell, February core CPI rose a less than feared 0.2%, matching economists' forecasts and initially offering some comfort to the financial markets. However, since inflationary pressures aren't the market's main concern right now, as economic demand simply isn't strong enough to support higher levels of inflation, an overly pessimistic market instead viewed a report that also included a surprise 0.8% rise in food prices (the most since April 2005) as another hurdle for policy makers to justify a rate cut anytime soon.

Volume on the NYSE during the first 30 minutes of trading set a record due largely to today's quarterly options expiration (quadruple witching). But it wasn't long before a lot of the open interest in key futures contracts that helped to lift stocks earlier in the day had all but disappeared, fueling a new wave of selling interest that pushed the major averages into negative territory never to recover.

From a sector standpoint, Energy turned in the day's worst performance in sympathy with falling oil prices. After tumbling more than 2% intraday to a six- week low below $57/bbl, oil prices also influenced the day's action. Crude for April delivery closed down 0.8% near $57.10/bbl which is certainly good news for consumers going into the weekend, especially after higher gas prices pushed sentiment to six-month lows, but diminishing demand for oil merely exacerbated the market's underlying concerns about global economic weakness.

The biggest thorn in the market's side was an early reversal in Financials that removed influential leadership. The sector rolled over around 11:15 ET as this week's relief rally among beaten-down mortgage lenders and brokerage stocks, amid reassurance that subprime mortgage missteps have not spilled over to the credit markets, came to an end. DJ30 -49.27 NASDAQ -6.04 SP500 -5.33 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1832/1187/2.14 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2033/1206/1.83 bln

3:30 pm : The indices are off their lows going into the close but sellers remain in complete control of the action. Telecom has recently inched into positive territory; but with only a 3.5% weighting on the S&P 500, it's easy to see why it's turnaround has had minimal impact on the broader market.

Currently, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are down 1.4%, 1.2% and 0.8%, respectively, for the week. DJ30 -41.56 NASDAQ -7.32 SP500 -5.38 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 1918/1039/1.76 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 2142/1093/1.54 bln
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 06:26 AM
Response to Reply #87
89. BINGO!!! "an overly pessimistic market "....n/t
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 07:15 AM
Response to Reply #89
90. The Hat Trick!!
:woohoo:

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