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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:31 AM
Original message
STOCK MARKET WATCH, Tuesday May 19
Source: du

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Tuesday May 19, 2009

Bush Administration Officials Under Indictment = 2
Financial Sector Officials Under Indictment = 0
Financial Sector Officials In Prison = 2

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON May 18, 2009

Dow... 8,504.08 +235.44 (+2.77%)
Nasdaq... 1,732.36 +52.22 (+3.11%)
S&P 500... 909.71 +26.83 (+3.04%)
Gold future... 921.70 -9.60 (-1.03%)
30-Year Bond 4.18 +0.10 (+2.40%)
10-Yr Bond... 3.22 +0.09 (+2.71%)




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


Market Conditions During Trading Hours



GOLD, EURO, YEN, Loonie and Silver



Handy Links - Market Data and News:
Economic Calendar    Marketwatch Data    Bloomberg Economic News    Yahoo! Finance
    Google Finance    LayoffDaily

Handy Links - Economic Blogs:
The Big Picture    Financial Sense    Calculated Risk    Naked Capitalism    Credit Writedowns
    Brad DeLong    Bonddad    Atrios    goldmansachs666

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Read more: du
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. Market Observation by Rob Kirby
Theater of the Absurd:
A View From the Inside


I read an article that was published by The Institutional Risk Analyst titled, Kabuki on the Potomac: Reforming Credit Default Swaps and OTC Derivatives. According to the Kabuki article,
"Kabuki is classical ancient Japanese folk theater performed broadly and loudly for the general public. I became familiar with it when I lived in Tokyo years ago. Kabuki on the Potomac this week fit Kabuki's theatrical definition with lawmakers wailing loudly, uttering angry threats, and rhythmically pounding podiums in a performance of mangled metaphors and fantasy."
An article about derivatives whose title is drawn from Japanese folk theater, law makers wailing loudly, angry threats, mangled metaphors and fantasy sounded like it might contain a few kernels of truth, piqued my interest, so I read it. I took issue with the thrust of the article and contacted the folks at Institutional Risk Analysis and told them I thought their article was missing it to me, characterizing the ongoing derivatives debacle as a big mistake.

.....

If you follow John Williams work www.shadowstats.com you know that official inflation reporting is jacked beyond belief. The interest rate FRAUD goes hand-in-hand.

The creation of this interest rate DEBACLE is tantamount to the GROSS mis-pricing of capital which all other economic excess (including the tech boom, real-estate boom and CDS extravaganza) stemmed from.

http://www.financialsense.com/Market/wrapup.htm
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:38 AM
Response to Original message
2. Today's Reports
08:30 Building Permits Apr
Briefing.com 530K
Consensus 530K
Prior 516K

08:30 Housing Starts Apr
Briefing.com 525k
Consensus 527K
Prior 510K

http://www.briefing.com/Investor/Public/Calendars/Econo...
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
44. April housing starts down 12.8% to 458,000 - set new record low
U.S. April housing starts set new record low
8:32am Today

U.S. April housing starts down 12.8% to 458,000
8:31am Today

U.S. April starts weaker than 519,000 forecast
8:31am Today

U.S. April housing starts down 12.8% to 458,000
8:30am Today
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
45. Housing starts, permits hit record lows in April
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/housing-starts-hit-rec...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Optimism that the housing slump had hit bottom was damaged Tuesday when the government reported that construction on new housing projects slowed to a record low pace in April.

New construction of single-family homes and apartments plunged 12.8% to a record-low annual rate of 458,000, much weaker that the 519,000 rate expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

The drop was caused by construction of multifamily housing, which fell 46.1% to a record low 78,000. This was the biggest drop since January 1994.

Starts of single-family homes rose 2.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 368,000. Single-family starts have shown some stability in the past four months.

Building permits for single-family homes rose 3.6% to 373,000.

Starts are down 54.2% in the past year, while starts of single-family homes are down 45.6%.

Meanwhile, total authorized building permits fell 3.3% in April to a record-low seasonally adjusted annual rate of 494,000.

Single-family permits are down 42.3% in the past year.

Housing completions rose 4.9% to a seasonally adju

...more...
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #45
51. But...but... that guy downthread said the recession is over.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. Oil rises above $60 on signs recession easing
SINGAPORE Oil rose above $60 a barrel Tuesday in Asia after investors took heart from signs the U.S. recession is easing.

Benchmark crude for June delivery was up $1.09 to $60.12 a barrel by late afternoon in Singapore in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the contract jumped $2.69 to settle at $59.03.

Investors on Monday cheered a better-than-expected profit report from home improvement chain Lowe's Cos., an uptick in homebuilder sentiment and positive comments from analysts about U.S. banks, all of which suggested the U.S. economy is gradually emerging from a severe recession.

.....

In other Nymex trading, gasoline for June delivery rose 2.76 cents to $1.76 a gallon and heating oil gained 1.54 cents to $1.49 a gallon. Natural gas for June delivery jumped 4.7 cents to $4.19 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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



Of course, the only way to celebrate things being "less bad" is to jack up prices. :sarcasm:
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Automakers, Obama announce mileage, pollution plan
...
Obama on Tuesday planned to announce the first-ever national emissions limits for cars and trucks, as well as require a 35.5 miles per gallon standard. Consumers should expect to pay an extra $1,300 per vehicle by the time the plan is complete in 2016, officials said.

...

The plan also would effectively end a feud between automakers and statehouses over emission standards with the states coming out on top but the automakers getting the single national standard they've been seeking and more time to make the changes.

Obama's plan couples for the first time pollution reduction from vehicle tailpipes with increased efficiency on the road. It would save 1.8 billion barrels of oil through 2016 and would be the environmental equivalent to taking 177 million cars off the road, senior administration officials said Monday night.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090519/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_o...
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
36. I have to pay $1,300 more to get a car that gets 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016?
Talk about teeny, tiny, itty, bitty steps, I drive a Nissan and it gets that mileage on the highway and I paid less for it. Sounds like just another scam for consumers.

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #36
63. Bingo!
Everything is a scam. That's what they teach in Business Schools these days, and the American CEOs learned their lessons well.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
25. Goldman sees oil price 'super spike' - But others are skeptical $105 forecast is reasonable
aren't these the freaks that did the oil price rocket last year?



http://www.marketwatch.com/story/goldman-sees-oil-super...

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - Oil prices have entered the early stages of a multi-year period of trading in which economic growth and rising demand could push oil to $105 per barrel, enough to meaningfully reduce energy consumption, Goldman Sachs analysts said Thursday.

"We believe oil markets may have entered the early stages of what we have referred to as a "super spike" period -- a multi-year trading band of oil prices high enough to meaningfully reduce energy consumption and recreate a spare capacity cushion only after which will lower energy prices return," said analyst Arjun Murti.

Murti said he's surprised by the strength in oil demand and economic growth, notably in the United States and China, even after a year in which the oil price has traded in a $40 to $50 range.

Goldman's previous "spike" high for oil was $80 a barrel. The brokerage also raised spot forecasts for WTI spot oil - West Texas Intermediate spot oil, the benchmark crude that trades daily on the New York Mercantile Exchange -- to $50 for 2005 and $55 for 2006. Its previous forecasts were $41 in 2005 and $40 in 2006.

The Thomson First Call consensus estimate is for $43 a barrel in 2005 and $40 a barrel in 2006.

The call, which implies a doubling of oil prices from their current level, sent crude back above $56 per barrel for the first time in more than a week. The contract for May delivery was last quoted up 2.6 percent at $55.40, having earlier touched a high of $56.10. See futures story.

...more...
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
37. The recession has eased more often than al Queda's #3 has been killed.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:44 AM
Response to Original message
4. World markets gain after recovery hopes lift US
HONG KONG Asian stock markets jumped Tuesday as investors welcomed better-than-expected news about U.S. housing and banks as another sign the world economy was headed for recovery. European shares also opened higher.

Tokyo and Hong Hong indexes added about 3 percent in one of Asia's strongest performances in days. Financials helped lead the way after American banks lifted Wall Street overnight, while oil companies were higher as crude prices touched $60 a barrel.

....

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 added 1.1 percent, Germany's DAX gained 1.8 percent and France's CAC-40 rose 0.9 percent. U.S. futures pointed to more gains on Wall Street Tuesday. Dow futures were up 31 points, or 0.4 percent, at 8,501 and S&P futures were up 4.2, or 0.5 percent, at 911.90.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average rose 251.60 points, or 2.8 percent, to 9,290.29, with some investors cautious ahead of the release of gross domestic product data on Wednesday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 521.12, or 3.1 percent, to 17,544.03. South Korea's Kospi closed up 3 percent at 1,428.21.

In India, where stocks surged 17 percent the day before after the results of national elections, the Sensex added another 2.7 percent. The Shanghai index gained 0.9 percent, Australia's stock measure was 2.2 percent higher and Taiwan's market rose 1.2 percent.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090519/ap_on_bi_ge/world_m...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:54 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Top bankers more upbeat on recovery; stocks rally
SYDNEY, May 19 (Reuters) - The world's top policymakers offered their brightest assessment of the global economy in months, saying it was stabilising and could start growing again as soon as late this year.

Australia's central bank governor Glenn Stevens on Tuesday joined a growing chorus of officials predicting the economy should start pulling out of its worst recession in more than six decades later this year. "Developments over recent months are certainly consistent with the view that a recovery will get under way towards the end of the year," Stevens said in a speech.

The improved outlook still comes with a health warning that any recovery would be slow and bumpy, with unemployment set to rise further in most economies and business investment weak. Yet markets took heart from policymakers' comments and signs that the economy was bottoming out after a disastrous first quarter when the U.S. and euro zone economies contracted more than expected.

...

In Europe, the German ZEW investor sentiment index, due at 0900 GMT, is also expected to improve, rising for a seventh consecutive month in May to its highest since June 2007.

The sense of optimism helped spur a 3 percent rally in Wall Street stocks and Asian shares followed on Tuesday, with the Nikkei .N225 up 2.8 percent. The measure of stocks' performance elsewhere in Asia rose 2.7 percent, scaling a 7-month high. .MIAPJ0000PUS

LESS FEAR

In another sign of returning confidence, the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index .VIX, Wall Street's favourite barometer of investor fear, hit its lowest level in more than eight months on Monday.

...

Many central banks and governments around the world have paused in recent weeks after slashing interest rates to record lows and ramping up budget spending, reflecting hopes that they may have done enough to revive economic growth. At the same time, top officials were hard at work tempering market hopes for a speedy recovery. One concern is that such expectations may prematurely drive up market rates, threatening to choke off the fragile recovery before it takes hold.

The Reserve Bank of Australia's Stevens said growth was likely to be "pretty slow" in the first stage of recovery and the International Monetary Fund's No. 2 official, John Lipsky, warned that consumer demand in advanced economies may not return to pre-crisis levels.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the U.S. economy has "clearly stabilised," but added: "It's not going to feel better for a long time for millions of Americans."

/... http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINSP380683...
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #7
57. Of course things should look all sweetness and light......
the government bailed them out with our money and our children's money, no one went to jail for their crimes and they ended up with more power. What is not to be happy over. And they Geithner has the gall to rub it in our faces "It's not going to feel better for a long time for millions of Americans."

We have been BUFU'ed without the benefit of KY jelly! Some folks just haven't figured it out yet.
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Banks lead stocks higher; oil hits six-month peak
LONDON (Reuters) World stocks rose for a third day running on Tuesday with banking stocks leading the gains in Europe, while oil hit a six-month peak. Bank stocks rallied on Wall Street on Monday after sources said major banks may soon repay government bailout funds.

Britain has held talks with investors to gauge their interest in buying its stakes in part-nationalized banks and could begin selling its holdings within a year, according to a source familiar with the matter. UK Financial Investments, which manages Britain's stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L), has sounded out investors who may be interested in buying some of its holdings, the source said.

Last week's pullback in the benchmark MSCI world equity index (.MIWD00000PUS), coming after nine weeks of uninterrupted gains, proved short-lived as expectations that the worst of the global downturn might be over prompted investors to buy back risky assets. "Overall the market is again playing on the possibility that we may be seeing the end of the global recession and that is pushing risk appetite up," said Antje Praefcke, currency strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

The MSCI index rose 1 percent to hit a one-week high, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index (.FTEU3) added 0.9 percent. Banking shares were one of the biggest risers on the day.

...

Emerging stocks (.MSCIEF) rose 2 percent.

/... http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090519/bs_nm/us_markets_gl... ;_ylt=AoL5cE8eTS5YSyAxTotO_QW573QA
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Europe stocks rise as banks add to sharp gains
PARIS, May 19 (Reuters) - European stocks rose by mid morning on Tuesday, gaining ground for the fourth straight session, propelled by surging banking stocks such as Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), while investors braced for U.S. housing data.

Better-than-expected data from Germany's ZEW survey also helped boost sentiment. The ZEW economic sentiment index rose to 31.1 in May from 13.0 in April.

Shares in Bank of Ireland (BKIR.I) leapt 27 percent after the lender said it would buy back debt in a boost for its capital position.

Heavyweight mining shares were also on the rise, enjoying sharp gains in metal prices. Anglo American (AAL.L) gained 6.2 percent and Xstrata (XTA.L) rose 6.6 percent.

At 0840 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top European shares was up 1.6 percent at 873.67 points.

The index has surged 35 percent since reaching a lifetime low in early March, as fears over a global economic depression receded, but is still down 47 percent from a multi-year high touched in mid-2007.

...

Banks gained ground again, with HSBC (HSBA.L) up 3.8 percent, BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) up 5.3 percent and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) up 6.6 percent. The DJ STOXX banking index, which was up 3.7 percent on Tuesday, has shot up 114 percent since early March.

UK lenders were particularly in focus after a source said UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages Britain's stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L), had been sounding out investors who may be interested in buying some of its holdings. According to the source, Britain has held talks with investors to gauge their interest in buying its stakes in the part-nationalised lenders, and could begin selling its holdings within a year.

Royal Bank of Scotland rose 5.6 percent and Lloyds added 4.5 percent.

BACK TO NORMAL?

Analysts are pointing out that an improvement in the credit market over the past few weeks has been helping the recovery in equity prices.

European credit spreads, reflected in indexes such as the investment-grade Markit iTraxx Europe index <ITEEU5Y=GF> as well as the Markit iTraxx Crossover index <ITEXO5Y=GF>, have sharply tightened since March. "The Libor (London interbank offered rate) has come down a lot, and that is excellent news. It means the credit crisis is being overcome. In that respect, the equity rally we have seen since March was justified," said van Slooten.

A Reuters poll showed on Monday that more than half of euro zone money market dealers think the worst of a liquidity crisis dating back to 2007 is over, although some large banks still think it has further to run.

Around Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 index .FTSE was up 1.1 percent, Germany's DAX index .GDAXI was up 2 percent and France's CAC 40 .FCHI was up 1 percent.

Bucking the trend, British retailer Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MKS.L) dropped 7.7 percent after it posted an expected 40 percent slide in full-year profit and cut its final dividend by a third to conserve cash, just 12 months after increasing it.

Other consumer-related stocks were on the downside. Tesco (TSCO.L) was down 1.1 percent and Unilever (UNc.AS) was down 2.2 percent.

/... http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idCALJ274681...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:03 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. ZEW sentiment improved; ZEW current conditions terrible:
LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) - The euro briefly jumped to a session high while Bund futures extended losses on Tuesday after a poll by a major German economic think tank showed that sentiment on the country's economy is improving more than expected.

A monthly poll by Germany's ZEW institute showed that its economic sentiment index rose to 31.1 in May, higher than forecasts for a 20.0 reading and improving from 13.0 in April .

At the same time, its current conditions indicator came in at -92.8, weaker than forecasts for -90.0 and deteriorating from 91.6 in April.

/.. http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINLJ940221...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
21. IMF warns against complacency on world economy
TOKYO (AFP) The global economy could still worsen and consumer demand is unlikely to recover as strongly as it has in the past, a senior IMF official said Tuesday. The International Monetary Fund is concerned about "downside risks" to the economy, said the Fund's first deputy managing director John Lipsky. "This is absolutely not the time for complacency," he told reporters here.

...

Emerging nations would be at the vanguard of a recovery from the current "Great Recession," followed by advanced economies, which should return to positive growth in 2010, Lipsky said.

While that would be good news for Japan, the fallout from the credit crunch means that people may not be rushing back to the shops as quickly as they did during previous recoveries, he said. "Consumer demand in some of the advanced economies such as the US may not recover as strongly as it did in the past," Lipsky said.

The IMF last month projected the global economy would shrink 1.3 percent in 2009 but grow 1.9 percent in 2010.

/.. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090519/ts_afp/financeecon...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
26. Krugman sees no quick end to US 'depressed economy'
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) The United States may emerge from recession as early as this summer, though further job losses mean a "depressed economy" could last as long as five years, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said Tuesday. "I think it's quite possible that industrial production in the United States and perhaps in the world as a whole will bottom out sometime in the next few months, that GDP growth in the United States will be positive in the second half of the year and maybe a little bit later than that in Europe," Krugman told a global financial conference in Seoul.

Krugman said that he would not be surprised if the U.S. recession, which began in December 2007, ended in August or September this year. But job losses were likely to continue into 2011, meaning "the period of a depressed economy" could last until 2013 or 2014, he said.

...

The U.S. economy, the world's largest, contracted a worse-than-expected 6.1 percent on an annualized basis in the first quarter. Americans increased purchases of cars, furniture and appliances, but businesses cut back spending and exports had their biggest drop in 40 years. The U.S. unemployment rate hit 8.9 percent in April and many economists expect it to reach 10 percent by year's end.

Krugman said that while economic indicators from around the world are improving, they suggest that the pace of economic decline has only slowed. "I share the optimism that the worst of this may be over," he said, also noting a stabilization in financial markets. "What's really hard, however, is to say when does this go beyond stabilization to an actual recovery."

/... http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/sns-ap-as-skorea-k...
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #26
34. Bet You a Nickel Next Quarter Shows 10% Contraction of the Economy
Then maybe this foolish talk will end.
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MattSh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #26
75. I'm starting to think that even Krugman
is beginning to sip the Kool-Aid.

Don't do it Paul.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #75
83. They Wined and Dined Him
I hope he didn't buy the scam.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:53 AM
Response to Reply #4
33. When Are the Financiers Gonna Accept the Fact that THERE IS NO RECOVERY?
Dammit! Speculation is not a recovery. Inflation is not a recovery. Hocus-pocus, happy talk and jiggered numbers is not a recovery. Profits by government subsidy is not a recovery.

There is no recovery. When there is a recovery, if there ever is a recovery, people on the street will be the first to know, and they will be able to pay their bills, which will tell business there is a recovery, and then tax revenues will rise, and employment counts, which will tell the government there is a recovery.

Recovery doesn't come from above and fall like rain on the people.
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willing dwarf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #33
39. I guess the past few recessions were turned around with deregulation
But there's hardly anything left to deregulate, so doesn't seem like there's a future bubble rising. Least I don't see it anywhere, and my rudimentary grasp of economics tells me that unless you're producing something, then the only way to puff up the economy is with a bubble. Mind the froth.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. If You Said "Covered Up", Not "Turned Around", I'd Agree
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willing dwarf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #40
61. Well covered up is really more like it
I guess you couldn't see the eye roll as I said "turned around," :)
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #33
52. I think the decision has been taken, the die cast
at the 'highest' levels. The 'little people', in the US for example, you refer to are considered to be less significant than they ever were, to the 'financiers'. The financiers will be financing, mostly, points East for the forseeable future.

US/UK (popular) consumption was way over the top, and unsustainable, anyway. Saints Ronnie and Margaret still rule, and US/UK citizens are so untroublesome (and surveilled) as to be easily ground up and cast aside by the onrolling still unrestrained capitalist growth/destruction machine.

The only question is: do the 'New Financial Order' PTB seriously understand the strictly environmental/population-dynamics 'limits to growth' at this stage?
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #52
58. ITA GD
ITA. Hope the Chinese don't get as badly fleeced as we did. Or maybe they can turn the tables if we are lucky.
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #58
73. China lies at heart of Europe's recovery, says Brussels
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Speaking on the eve of the eleventh EU-China summit to be held in Prague, European commissioner for external relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner highlighted the central role China will play in Europe's economic recovery.

"China is one of our most important partners in meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow," Ms Ferrero-Waldner told policymakers and diplomats gathered in Brussels for a conference on EU-China relations organised by Friends of Europe and the Security and Defence Agenda, a pair of Brussels think-tanks.

While Wednesday's (20 May) summit is to touch on a number of topics, including climate change and human rights, it is clear that the huge volumes of trade between the two sides form the backbone of their relationship.

On Monday, the EU's statistics office, Eurostat, released new figures showing the marked increase in trade volumes between the two sides over the last nine years.

Exports from the EU's 27 member states to China rose to 78 billion in 2008 compared to 26 billion in 2000, while its imports from China rose from 75 billion to 248 over the same period.

Yet despite the substantially increased trade deficit, the economic crisis is causing some EU policy makers to see China as part of the solution to the current economic downturn.

"The increasing Chinese middle-class is an attractive market for EU goods," said Ms Ferrero-Waldner, citing figures contained in a recent report published by the European Ideas Network that predicts China and India will account for 50 percent of the world economy by 2060.

The commission's director-general for trade, David O'Sullivan, also re-iterated this idea, saying that while competition with China in the coming years would be great, it would not result in a "zero-sum game," where one side's gain implicitly meant the other side's loss.

/... http://euobserver.com/9/28156
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #52
65. Limits to Growth of Profits, I Presume? There Are No Profits Without People
Edited on Tue May-19-09 10:54 AM by Demeter
People who do useful work make profits. Management, paper pushing parasites and owners steal these profits and take them out of circulation. World thereby becomes much poorer and less functional. Workers starve to death, business fails, and the parasites are left sitting on piles of worthless paper.

You would think they, being so highly educated and in position to know, would grasp the nature of a cycle and their limited role in it.

They are NOT the Masters of the Universe. They are servants of the Cycle, and if they try to enslave their fellow servants, then everybody starves.

There's always this desire to hoard, to siphon off the cream and pile it up for one's power and glory. Trouble is, cream is perishable, and sour cream is not as versatile as fresh.
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #65
69. Mmm. Several points.
The 'cream off the top', of course, is prime motivation for the dedicated few, of course, no doubt enjoying themselves immensely. Do such people really constitute the 'PTB' these (sad) days? There's the rub.

Your analysis of 'useful work' I think we can all agree with - with the proviso I'd add that 'useful', especially now, should never include 'wasteful'. Efficient productivity will be the way to go: Efficient in terms of not wasting natural resources; productive in the sense of 'socially progressive'.

As regards the 'Master/Servant' relationship, you certainly know the answer already. :)
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #69
71. You Flatterer, You!
I'm with you on the efficiency, 100%. Can't help it, born and bred an engineer.
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #71
76. Really? You could drive a train?
:rofl:
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #76
77. As Long As It's Lionel, I Could
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #71
86. Hey, my son's an engineer.
He couldn't drive a train, but he could build one.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #52
74. While the Would-Be Masters of the Universe Are Practicing "Cloud Economics"
we at the grassroots must work like beavers to see that they never get anywhere near real wealth. They must be cut off and left to float above and away, never touching land, never refueling.
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #74
87. Sounds like a Star Trek episode.
The Cloud Minders. The people of Stratos literally lived in the clouds. And the Trogs mined zenite, exposure to which caused extreme grumpiness.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:52 AM
Response to Original message
6. Home Depot Girds for Continued Weakness
ATLANTA When the collapse of Lehman Brothers froze the credit markets last September, Carol Tome quickly ordered hundreds of Home Depots store managers to transfer all their spare cash to headquarters literally cleaning out their registers and each stores safe.

Then Ms. Tome, the chief financial officer, took other emergency steps to make sure Home Depot would not have to borrow another nickel from the nations dysfunctional lenders. Within days, she and her boss, Frank Blake, the chairman and chief executive, had slashed capital spending and suspended a stock buy-back program, saving millions of dollars.

....

The era of operating easily on borrowed money is over, at least for now, for businesses as well as consumers. That in turn is changing the way companies operate, with profound effects on the economy. Unable to borrow on favorable terms, many companies have retrenched and some have gone into survival mode. But their caution has costs: Not only could it prolong the recession, but it could put them at a disadvantage to more aggressive competitors when the economy revives.

While Home Depot has emerged from the credit crisis strong enough to borrow at attractive rates now, it has chosen not to do so.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/business/19depot.html...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:01 AM
Response to Original message
10. Geithner opposes salary caps for corporate officials
WASHINGTON Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Monday the government shouldn't rein in executive pay but should change corporate incentives so officials aren't rewarded for taking the kinds of risks that helped sink the economy.

"I don't think our government should set caps on compensation," Geithner said at a luncheon sponsored by Newsweek. "You had a crisis magnified by the fact that people were paid to take a huge amount of short-term risk. And that's something that's preventable."

Executives at many financial-services companies reaped large bonuses by buying or selling mortgage-backed securities to pump up quarterly earnings. When the subprime mortgage market imploded, it drove the companies into financial ruin.

....

Banks have opposed outright limits on executive pay, saying such constraints would crimp their ability to attract top talent. David DeBoskey, an assistant professor of accounting at San Diego State University, said tying salaries to long-term returns "sounds good and is the politically correct posture." But he added, "There are all kinds of tricks" firms can use to skirt the limits.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2009...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:08 AM
Response to Original message
12. Credit card reforms up for Senate vote
Edited on Tue May-19-09 05:09 AM by ozymandius
WASHINGTON (AP) Unable to stop the tide of foreclosures and job losses, lawmakers are hoping to give voters at least some breathing room in the economic downturn by banning arbitrary rate hikes and excessive fees charged by credit card companies.

Legislation that would impose new restrictions on the industry was expected to pass the Senate on Tuesday. With the House having endorsed a similar measure already, Democratic leaders said they hoped to send a final version to the president to sign by week's end.

If Obama signs the bill, as expected, the credit card industry would be required within nine months to change the way it does business: Lenders would have to post their credit card agreements on the Internet, let customers pay their bills online or by phone for free and give customers 45 days notice and an explanation before interest rates are increased.

In a key provision addressing a concept called "universal default," a customer would have to be more than 60 days behind on a payment before seeing his rate on an existing balance increase. Even then, the credit card company would be required to restore the previous, lower rate after six months if the consumer pays the minimum balance on time.



HA! I love this part for the sheer audacity of the banks: The banking industry is pushing back, warning lawmakers that the legislation would restrict credit at a time when Americans need it most. So the American consumer needs usurious credit card rates and unsecured debt? Have the banks not frozen credit lines even among creditworthy customers?

They defend their business practices as necessary to protect themselves when providing money to consumers with no collateral and little more than a promise to pay it back. - As if jacking up interest rates either double or triple the initial amount is protection from default! It surely sounds like a protection scheme to me. The kind that landed one in jail when usury laws existed.
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:37 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. And after the bailouts.
What effrontery!
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. Good morning.
:donut: :donut: :donut:

Norrin Radd, are you new around here? In any case - Welcome!
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #18
91. Been lurking for a bit. I appreciate the effort you et al. make
putting these together, thank you.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:19 AM
Response to Original message
13. U.S. Needs More Inflation to Speed Recovery, Say Mankiw, Rogoff (WTF?)
May 19 (Bloomberg) -- What the U.S. economy may need is a dose of good old-fashioned inflation.

So say economists including Gregory Mankiw, former White House adviser, and Kenneth Rogoff, who was chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. They argue that a looser rein on inflation would make it easier for debt-strapped consumers and governments to meet their obligations. It might also help the economy by encouraging Americans to spend now rather than later when prices go up.

Im advocating 6 percent inflation for at least a couple of years, says Rogoff, 56, whos now a professor at Harvard University. It would ameliorate the debt bomb and help us work through the deleveraging process.

Such a strategy would be risky. An outlook for higher prices could spook foreign investors and send the dollar careening lower. The challenge would be to prevent inflation from returning to the above-10-percent levels that prevailed in the 1970s and took almost a decade and a recession to cure.

.....

Given the Feds inability to cut rates further, Mankiw says the central bank should pledge to produce significant inflation. That would put the real, inflation-adjusted interest rate -- the cost of borrowing minus the rate of inflation -- deep into negative territory, even though the nominal rate would still be zero.

If Americans were convinced of the Feds commitment, theyd buy and borrow more now, he says.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=auy...



Mankiw is an idiot. He has always been an idiot with proof to be found in his writings that are frequently available at charity and clearance outlets. What stands proud in this line of thought is the utter unsustainability of this plan. Even more, the plan calls for an increase in individual debt levels which is, too, unsustainable.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:45 AM
Response to Reply #13
30. One does start to wonder if any of these people ever knew what they were
doing and now after the chaos they are still clueless. Maybe it's all so broke, there isn't a way to fix anything. Massive fraud. Massive Shock & Awe. But the rich still get richer...so maybe they really DO KNOW what they are doing and the cluelessness is the clever cover up.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #13
31. Mankiw is batshit crazy - here's a Feb 2004 flashback
Bush Econ Advisor: Outsourcing OK

If one thing illustrates the kind of year the Bush administration has stumbled and bumbled its way through in 2004, it was the comments earlier this week by the president's chief economic adviser, Greg Mankiw.

Mankiw wrote that the movement of U.S. jobs overseas due to cheaper labor costs – "outsourcing" he dubbed it in a remarkable display of political tone deafness – would prove "a plus for the economy in the long run," and was simply "a new way of doing international trade."

Mankiw's assertion – certainly sound economic theory and something that would play well at, say, a Harvard graduate school lecture – illustrates the political ineptitude the White House has exhibited in recent weeks that threatens its prospects for a second term unless things change course, and soon.

It did not take long for Republicans to realize Mankiw's comments were radioactive. GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert lambasted him, saying, "His theory fails a basic test of real economics."

President Bush himself – who, it should be noted, Mankiw was speaking for when he wrote what he did – did not fire him (as he has with previous economic advisers who've gone off the reservation). But he quickly distanced himself from the theory that the "outsourcing" of jobs is a good thing.

Speaking Thursday in Pennsylvania, a key swing state in 2004, the president said: "The numbers are good, but I don't worry about numbers. I worry about people. There are still some people looking for work because of the recession. There are people looking for work because jobs have gone overseas. And we need to act in this country. We need to act to make sure there are more jobs at home and people are more likely to retain a job."

...more...
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #13
43. That's just what we need! Higher prices.
They've been fighting "wage inflation" for years, to keep prices low. It didn't work. Prices went up, wages stayed flat, or actually went down, considering how many people are working for less money now.

I'm pretty sure, based on Mankiw's track record, that he's not talking about giving everybody a raise, and stabilizing prices.
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Loge23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #43
46. Raw materials and oil rising
We're looking at a sharp increase for rebar in our industry and we all know about the oil/gas price rising. Unfortunately, and amazingly, the rise in oil appears to be largely driven by speculation - proving once again that those whom ignore history are condemned to repeat it.
Inflation will effectively jump start another sharp decline in the economy, just as it seems we may have hit bottom.
The next decline will be catastrophic for us. Those of us still employed will join the ranks of the unemployed. Scores of small businesses will close. Commercial R.E., teetering on the brink of a devastating collapse now, will tumble into unprecedented lows.
Krugman's and Rubini's scenarios are looking awfully prescient right now.
I don't want to be pessimistic but if we slide off the plateau that we are balancing on, the effects will be devastating. It's really the next wave we are looking at that scares me right now.
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End Of The Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #13
48. The more I read this, the more it boggles my mind.
As long as credit card companies continue their usurious rates, I'm not charging anything. That something might cost a few dollars more if I wait to buy it just doesn't figure in. If I don't absolutely have to have it, it can wait.

But the tone of the piece bugs me even more. Do these guys think that we in the hinterlands are sitting on piles of money, but we're just too mean-spirited to part with it?

The problems are too out-of-hand to be solved by increased consumer spending. Let them come up with a plan to increase jobs and consumer income first.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #48
59. Howdy...
:hi: and welcome to the SWT, EOR. Like all these folks are in foreclosure because they don't want to spend money paying the note. :eyes:

Unlike the 2001 recession-this will not be a jobless recovery.
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #48
88. You know what the credit card companies really hate? When you always pay the full balance.
Against all reason they call such people "deadbeats." They don't want people to act responsibly and use credit as a short term bridge. They want people to keep paying the minimum, almost all interest. When you pay the full balance off in the first month, they make basically nothing.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
14. Debt: 05/15/2009 11,284,110,407,424.51 (UP 13,563,009,859.87) (Debt's up.)
Debt: 05/15/2009 11,284,110,407,424.51 (UP 13,563,009,859.87) (Debt's up.)
(Two days in a row a reasonable increase after nearly a week of small moves, still reasonable.)

= Held by the Public + Intragovernmental(FICA)
= 6,981,972,246,485.76 + 4,302,138,160,938.75
UP 13,064,365,189.63 + UP 498,644,670.24

Source: Debt to the penny:
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=n...

THINKING IN BILLIONS: Think 3 or 4 dollars per billion in a 306-Million person America.
If every American, man, woman and child puts in $3.26 each THAT'S 1B$.
A family of three: Mom, Dad, Child: $9.79, ABOUT TEN BUCKS for a 1B$ federal program.
I hope that is clear. However, I'd suggest using $3 per 1B$ to underestimate it.
Use $4 per 1B$ to overestimate the cost when thinking: Is the federal program worth it?
Aid to Dependant Children: 2B$/yr =$8/yr(a movie a year) Family of 3: $24/yr(an hour of bowling)

PERSONALIZED DEBT:
Every 14 seconds we net gain a another American, so at the end of the workday of this report, there should be 306,356,658 people in America.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/popclockus.html
Currently, each of these American's owe $36,833.25.
A family of three owes $110,499.74. (And that is IN ADDITION to their mortgage.)

ANALYSIS:
There were 21 reports in the last 30 days.
The average for the last 21 reports is 3,107,017,768.85.
The average for the last 30 days would be 2,174,912,438.19.

There were 252 reports in 365 days of FY2007 averaging 1.99B$ per report, 1.37B$/day.
There were 253 reports in 366 days of FY2008 averaging 4.02B$ per report, 2.78B$/day.
There were 75 reports in 112 days of GWB's part of FY2009 averaging 8.03B$ per report, 5.38B$/day.
There were 80 reports in 115 days of Obama's part of FY2009 averaging 0.10B$ per report, 0.17B$/day so far.
There were 155 reports in 227 days of FY2009 averaging 8.13B$ per report, 5.55B$/day.

PROJECTION:
There are 1,346 days remaining in this Obama 1st term.
By that time the debt could be between 13.1 and 18.8T$.
It could be higher. It could be lower.

HISTORICAL:
President's term begins and ends on Jan 20.
(Guess who might want to hide the Reagan Bush years. Jan 20 data is missing before 1993.)
01/20/1993 _4,188,092,107,183.60 WJC Inaugural
01/22/2001 _5,728,195,796,181.57 WJC (UP 1,540,103,688,997.97)
01/20/2009 10,626,877,048,913.08 GWB (UP 4,898,681,252,731.43)
05/15/2009 11,284,110,407,424.51 BHO (UP 657,233,358,511.43 so far since Obama took office.)

Fiscal Year ends: Sep 30
Borrowed in FY1993: (Maybe later.)
Borrowed in FY1994: 281,261,026,873.94
Borrowed in FY1995: 281,232,990,696.07
Borrowed in FY1996: 250,828,038,426.34
Borrowed in FY1997: 188,335,072,261.61
Borrowed in FY1998: 113,046,997,500.28
Borrowed in FY1999: 130,077,892,735.81
Borrowed in FY2000: _17,907,308,253.43 Bill alone
Borrowed in FY2001: 133,285,202,313.20 Bill and George
Borrowed in FY2002: 420,772,553,397.10 All George
Borrowed in FY2003: 554,995,097,146.46
Borrowed in FY2004: 595,821,633,586.70
Borrowed in FY2005: 553,656,965,393.18
Borrowed in FY2006: 574,264,237,491.73
Borrowed in FY2007: 500,679,473,047.25
Borrowed in FY2008: 1,017,071,524,650.01
Borrowed in FY2009: 1,259,385,510,512.10 so far this fiscal year.

LAST FIFTEEN REPORTS OF ADDITIONS TO PUBLIC DEBT(NOT FICA):
04/24/2009 -000,133,239,400.23 ---
04/27/2009 +000,285,896,492.06 ------------******** Mon
04/28/2009 +000,154,949,620.57 ------------********
04/29/2009 -034,727,762,120.64 -
04/30/2009 +079,347,503,951.43 ------------**********
05/01/2009 -003,202,605,992.57 --
05/04/2009 +000,068,750,275.89 ------------******* Mon
05/05/2009 +000,122,936,524.80 ------------********
05/06/2009 -000,058,764,073.21 ----
05/07/2009 +027,679,213,817.18 ------------**********
05/08/2009 -000,216,334,016.92 ---
05/11/2009 -000,029,759,155.68 ---- Mon
05/13/2009 -000,207,515,478.68 ---
05/14/2009 +013,927,016,419.76 ------------**********
05/15/2009 +013,064,365,189.63 ------------**********

96,074,652,053.39 Total of 15 above reports.

Heavy borrowing seems to start after 09/18/2008.
US borrowed $1,619,478,604,165.44 in last 239 days.
That's 1,619B$ in 239 days.
More than any year ever, including last year, and it's 159% of that highest year ever only in 239 days.
And it is over 100% of ANY dismal Bush, for any dismal Bush-year, ONLY IN 239 DAYS NOT 365.

For a prettier and more explanatory view of our nation's debt:
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock

(Debt to the penny keeps changing. Stuff is missing. Best to keep our own history.) LAST REPORT:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #14
93. Debt: 05/18/2009 11,286,593,315,851.04 (UP 2,482,908,426.53) (Debt's down.)
(Two days of raising and now back to practically nothing.)

= Held by the Public + Intragovernmental(FICA)
= 6,981,959,429,954.02 + 4,304,633,885,897.02
DOWN 12,816,531.74 + UP 2,495,724,958.27

Source: Debt to the penny:
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=n...

THINKING IN BILLIONS: Think 3 or 4 dollars per billion in a 306-Million person America.
If every American, man, woman and child puts in $3.26 each THAT'S 1B$.
A family of three: Mom, Dad, Child: $9.79, ABOUT TEN BUCKS for a 1B$ federal program.
I hope that is clear. However, I'd suggest using $3 per 1B$ to underestimate it.
Use $4 per 1B$ to overestimate the cost when thinking: Is the federal program worth it?
Aid to Dependant Children: 2B$/yr =$8/yr(a movie a year) Family of 3: $24/yr(an hour of bowling)

PERSONALIZED DEBT:
Every 14 seconds we net gain a another American, so at the end of the workday of this report, there should be 306,375,172 people in America.
http://www.census.gov/population/www/popclockus.html
Currently, each of these American's owe $36,839.13.
A family of three owes $110,517.38. (And that is IN ADDITION to their mortgage.)

ANALYSIS:
There were 21 reports in the last 30 to 31 days.
The average for the last 21 reports is 4,803,682,707.99.
The average for the last 30 days would be 3,362,577,895.59.
The average for the last 31 days would be 3,254,107,640.89.
There were 252 reports in 365 days of FY2007 averaging 1.99B$ per report, 1.37B$/day.
There were 253 reports in 366 days of FY2008 averaging 4.02B$ per report, 2.78B$/day.
There were 75 reports in 112 days of GWB's part of FY2009 averaging 8.03B$ per report, 5.38B$/day.
There were 81 reports in 118 days of Obama's part of FY2009 averaging 0.06B$ per report, 0.11B$/day so far.
There were 156 reports in 230 days of FY2009 averaging 8.09B$ per report, 5.49B$/day.

PROJECTION:
There are 1,343 days remaining in this Obama 1st term.
By that time the debt could be between 13.1 and 18.7T$.
It could be higher. It could be lower.

HISTORICAL:
President's term begins and ends on Jan 20.
(Guess who might want to hide the Reagan Bush years. Jan 20 data is missing before 1993.)
01/20/1993 _4,188,092,107,183.60 WJC Inaugural
01/22/2001 _5,728,195,796,181.57 WJC (UP 1,540,103,688,997.97)
01/20/2009 10,626,877,048,913.08 GWB (UP 4,898,681,252,731.43)
05/18/2009 11,286,593,315,851.04 BHO (UP 659,716,266,937.96 so far since Obama took office.)

Fiscal Year ends: Sep 30
Borrowed in FY1993: (Maybe later.)
Borrowed in FY1994: 281,261,026,873.94
Borrowed in FY1995: 281,232,990,696.07
Borrowed in FY1996: 250,828,038,426.34
Borrowed in FY1997: 188,335,072,261.61
Borrowed in FY1998: 113,046,997,500.28
Borrowed in FY1999: 130,077,892,735.81
Borrowed in FY2000: _17,907,308,253.43 Bill alone
Borrowed in FY2001: 133,285,202,313.20 Bill and George
Borrowed in FY2002: 420,772,553,397.10 All George
Borrowed in FY2003: 554,995,097,146.46
Borrowed in FY2004: 595,821,633,586.70
Borrowed in FY2005: 553,656,965,393.18
Borrowed in FY2006: 574,264,237,491.73
Borrowed in FY2007: 500,679,473,047.25
Borrowed in FY2008: 1,017,071,524,650.01
Borrowed in FY2009: 1,261,868,418,938.60 so far this fiscal year.

LAST FIFTEEN REPORTS OF ADDITIONS TO PUBLIC DEBT(NOT FICA):
04/27/2009 +000,285,896,492.06 ------------******** Mon
04/28/2009 +000,154,949,620.57 ------------********
04/29/2009 -034,727,762,120.64 -
04/30/2009 +079,347,503,951.43 ------------**********
05/01/2009 -003,202,605,992.57 --
05/04/2009 +000,068,750,275.89 ------------******* Mon
05/05/2009 +000,122,936,524.80 ------------********
05/06/2009 -000,058,764,073.21 ----
05/07/2009 +027,679,213,817.18 ------------**********
05/08/2009 -000,216,334,016.92 ---
05/11/2009 -000,029,759,155.68 ---- Mon
05/13/2009 -000,207,515,478.68 ---
05/14/2009 +013,927,016,419.76 ------------**********
05/15/2009 +013,064,365,189.63 ------------**********
05/18/2009 -000,012,816,531.74 ---- Mon

96,195,074,921.88 Total of 15 above reports.

Heavy borrowing seems to start after 09/18/2008.
US borrowed $1,621,961,512,591.97 in last 242 days.
That's 1,622B$ in 242 days.
More than any year ever, including last year, and it's 159% of that highest year ever only in 242 days.
And it is over 100% of ANY dismal Bush, for any dismal Bush-year, ONLY IN 242 DAYS NOT 365.

For a prettier and more explanatory view of our nation's debt:
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock

(Debt to the penny keeps changing. Stuff is missing. Best to keep our own history.) LAST REPORT:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:31 AM
Response to Original message
15. Elizabeth Warren on Bill Maher (Yves Smith wonders aloud what's been mentioned here.)
Elizabeth Warren is facing the peculiar experience of being Mr. Smith in Washington. I am a big fan of her position and message, and have come to notice that (not surprisingly) the posture of her interviewer makes a great difference in how well she comes off.

Bill Maher pitched a bunch of softballs, and Warren comes out like a champ (but before you conclude she is getting soft treatment, consider how Fox News treats its own). Contrast how she comes of less well here, on Charlie Rose, even though she had the appearance of having greater control of the interview.

Why isn't SHE Obama's Treasury Secretary?

video at link
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:38 AM
Response to Original message
17. Ooooh. This is good. Geithner inspires "no confidence" among staff.
Washington Post Raises Doubts About Geithner Management Style, Status of PPIP

...
The (WaPo) story is noteworthy in other ways. It suggests that Summers has considerable sway (duh!) and the PPIP has been delayed (it was supposed to be running by now) due supposedly to failure to work out certain details, I wonder if they are coming to realize that leverage will still not induce investors to enter into asset purchases with a negative expected net present value.

From the Washington Post:

While Geithner has taken dramatic steps to address flashpoints in the economy, the work of carrying out those policies has bogged down because critical decisions about how to do so aren't being made.....

Government officials, inside the Treasury and out, say the unresolved issues are piling up in part because of vacancies in the department's top ranks. But some of the officials also cite the Treasury's ad-hoc management, which is dominated by a small band of Geithner's counselors who coordinate rescue initiatives but lack formal authority to make decisions. Heavy involvement by the White House in Treasury affairs has further muddied the picture of who is responsible for key issues, the officials add.

....

While federal departments often experience a degree of upheaval when administrations change, the difference between the Treasury of former secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Geithner's has been stark. Under Paulson, the department nearly always made its own decisions. The Bush White House, nearing the end of its tenure, hardly intervened.

But now, even minor matters, such as Web site design or news releases, are reviewed by the White House. Staff members detailed from the National Economic Council, reporting directly to Obama senior economist Lawrence H. Summers, roam the Treasury building. Treasury staff members working on restructuring the nation's automakers took much of their direction from the NEC, sources said.

....

In March, Treasury officials clashed over a $15 billion initiative to use money from the federal bailout package to free up credit for small businesses. Geithner's counselors pressed to announce the program quickly, despite protests from the career staff members who said it would not work. Unable to raise the issue with Geithner himself, the staff members appealed directly to the White House but were rebuffed, according to sources familiar with the episode.

Yves here. Did you catch that? The staff tried going over Geithner's head! This says they have VERY little respect for him.



More at link...
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #17
66. The Pool Is Open: Place Your Bet on WHEN Geithner Gets a Pink Slip
Weekend Economists are running a pool on Geithner's imminent demise. Pick a date between now and November 1, 2012 (because I'm too lazy to figure out Election Day). I will keep a list in my journal, and announce the winner, or the closest guess, when the happy event occurs.

If the staff ain't happy, and the economy is in the toilet, can relief from Geithner (and maybe Goldman Sachs) be far behind?

I'd include Larry Summers and Ben Bernanke in the pool, but I don't think they can be fired. After all, does Summers even have a job?

PLACE YOUR BETS, RESERVE A DATE!
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mrdmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #17
85. There are major problems with this article from WP
Knowing that Timothy Geithner has very few friends here at D.U., the following needs to be said:

The major exodus from the Dept of Treasury is not occurring now, but back in the beginning of 2003 when John Snow took over from Paul O'Neil. Also in 2003 there was an reorganization of the Dept of Treasury by moving the ATF to the Dept of Justice. There were many vacancies in the Dept of Treasury back then. Further more, John Snow nor Henry Paulson did not fill those vacancies. The DOT had just enough ideologues to lead this country into economic chaos. So, who is leaving the Dept of Treasury now?

To lay this whole 8 year mess onto Geithner is a joke. The same people who are bitching that nothing is being done or not being done the way it needs to be done are the same people who had a front row seat when this country was going down the tubes. To further the point, this country was being told back in December 2007 by these same people that the 'economy is sound.' These people are short on facts and are being kept on a shorter leash. Boo-who, I am sorry folks, but it is going to take more than a 100 days to fix this mess. My guess is about 16 to 20 years will be more like it.

The following lines from the referenced article are complete horse shit:

1) Wagoner's removal has been held up because senior Treasury officials have yet to decide whether he should get the $20 million severance package that the company had promised him.

2) Government officials, inside the Treasury and out, say the unresolved issues are piling up in part because of vacancies in the department's top ranks.

3) Heavy involvement by the White House in Treasury affairs has further muddied the picture of who is responsible for key issues, the officials add.

4) Unable to raise the issue with Geithner himself, the staff members appealed directly to the White House but were rebuffed, according to sources familiar with the episode.

5) But the time-consuming discussions have never resolved whether any of the executives should get paid.

6) "No one knows how to get decisions made," said a senior government official familiar with the Treasury's inner workings. "Major decisions can happen very fast at the top, and then after that there are tons of detail and nuances that have to get worked out without clear chains of command. Either the seats are unfilled . . . or you have to answer to a half a dozen counselors running around."

7) While federal departments often experience a degree of upheaval when administrations change, the difference between the Treasury of former secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Geithner's has been stark. Under Paulson, the department nearly always made its own decisions. The Bush White House, nearing the end of its tenure, hardly intervened.


Retorts to the following statements:

1) Having a government command a CEO of a falling corporation to leave is extreme at best.

2) As stated before, G.W. Bush rather play 'general of a big army' than pay attention to the country that he was suppose to be leading.

3) The Dept of Treasury is on notice, get the facts together and the Obama Administration will lead the country. Another words, do your fucking job...

4) Going over the bosses head... That is a good one!

5) You mean, get their bonuses (this line is misleading).

6) The disgruntled worker said, "I do not like facts nor my new boss, so I am going to sit here and suck my thumb."

7) At the end of Bush's tenure, this country was going down faster than a sailor who was out to sea for five years on a two-bit hooker. To further the point, Mr. Henry Paulson needs to be asked, "who was minding the store, you or Wall Street?"
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:48 AM
Response to Original message
19. Lowe's: "Pressures on consumers remain intense" (puts the pom-pom waving in perspective)
...
From the WSJ: Lowe's Earnings Slide 22%, Narrows Revenue Outlook:

(Lowe's) now sees (fiscal-year) revenue ranging from down 2% to up 1%, from February's view of down 2% to up 2%. It still sees same-store sales down 4% to 8%.

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/05/lowes-pressur...
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javelin Donating Member (21 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 05:56 AM
Response to Original message
20. The recession is OVER.
We are headed into another bull market. Bernacke will continue to hold interest rates at zero. They will not raise taxes. The TARP money will continue to go to the banks and insurance company until it is gone and then they will tax another trillion dollars away from the taxpayers and call it TARP II. Look out Wimar Republic!!! Wheel barrows of dollars to buy a loaf of bread coming soon.
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willing dwarf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #20
38. So stock up on your durable goods now
before they cost an arm, a leg and your first born to purchase...right?
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #20
47. You posted that on the wrong thread
The March 17, 2008 Stock Market Watch is thataway...I can provide links if you want.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #20
62. Sorry, Can't Happen
Edited on Tue May-19-09 10:44 AM by Demeter
Demand is ZERO. There will be no inflation. There may be shortages, though, as factories shut down for lack of sales.

After all, it's not like any of that bailout money will ever reach an honest-to-goodness consumer. It will just sit in somebody's hoard, or be used to buy more intrinsically worthless pieces of paper.
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MattSh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #62
79. There are different types of inflation...
Depends what type of inflation you're talking about. Article from 2007

http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/what-is-inflation/2007... /

What is Inflation: Five Types of Inflation Defined

By Tom Au June 15th, 2007 Related Articles Filed Under

Over on RealMoney, Barry Ritholtz argues that the U.S. government is probably underestimating inflation because it is focusing on the wrong type of inflation. I would agree with that, having identified no less than five different types of inflation: commodity inflation, wage inflation, monetary inflation, fiscal inflation, and foreign exchange inflation. Before discussing "inflation," it helps to define, "What is inflation" and identify which form of inflation is being talked about. Failure to do so may have caused some of the confusion that often surrounds this topic.

The inflation that most American economists remember best (from the 1960s and later) is wage inflation, otherwise known as demand-pull inflation. Workers observe rising prices and demand compensation in the form of higher wages, which creates a vicious cycle of more inflation and more wage demands. This has not been happening until recently in the United States, due to the absence of labor unions, and to what Karl Marx called the "reserve army of the unemployed" in "offshore" markets. This appears to be the form of inflation that the Fed and other U.S. government authorities are focusing on, and it has indeed been benign up to now.

A less common, but more volatile form of inflation is commodity inflation, better known as cost-push inflation. We can see it today in commodity prices such as energy and metals. Energy and food price changes are excluded from "core" inflation because of their period-to-period volatility. But over time, oil price rises have averaged 6% a year, higher than other forms of inflation, and assuming that they dont cause inflation is really assuming away the problem. Other commodities such as timber rise at 3% a year "real" (above the rate of calculated inflation).

Thats largely because such rises are (wrongly) excluded from the calculation. Another form of commodity inflation that is excluded from the official statistics has been the parabolic rise in housing prices. (The government instead uses a calculation of "owner equivalent rents," which are basically tied to the benign wage numbers.) Commodity inflation is the most obvious form of inflation today (after having been quiescent in the 1990s), as reflected in higher food, gasoline and gas bills, but is severely understated.

Monetary inflation was most famously seen in Weimar Germany during the 1920s, when the German government went crazy with the printing presses to the point where it took billions of marks to equal one dollar. This wiped out the savings of the middle class, most members of which were compensated with (worthless) "million mark" notes, and eventually led to the rise of Hitler. Nothing of this sort has happened in the western world since, but it is a worry when the United States has a chairman of the Federal Reserve who has talked (hopefully facetiously) of dropping money out of helicopters.

Fiscal inflation is due to excess government spending, for which the budget deficit is a reasonably good proxy. It originated in the "guns and butter" spending of President Lyndon Baines Johnson in the 1960s, and similar spending of todays President George W. Bush. We have war spending without a "war economy" e.g. rationing or wage and price controls, and if the 1960s are any guide, we will be paying the price later this decade and in the 2010s.

The last type of inflation, foreign exchange inflation, is particularly scary to me, someone who lived in Mexico before and during the peso crisis in 1994. This happens when the local currency (pesos in this case) falls dramatically against other world currencies, thereby sharply raising the price of imported goods, and hence the overall price level.

This is a real worry for the United States when the latest annual trade deficit is somewhere over $760 billion. Im not looking for anything like the two-thirds fall of the Mexican peso in 1994-95 as a result, but even a 20% across the board drop of the U.S. dollar against the Euro, yen and yuan (the Chinese currency was unpegged from the dollar only in 2005) would be a severe shock stateside.

Regards,

Tom Au
for The Daily Reckoning Australia
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #79
81. Thanks.
Some good information to keep on hand.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #79
82. Foreign Exchange Inflation Is the Only Kind That COULD Happen Here and Now
But since half the other nations are busy running their printing presses at full speed too, it is unlikely that we will notice any effects in the near future. And as far as the national economy is concerned, anything that shrinks imports, forcing local manufacture and employment, is a Good Thing.

Wage inflation has been dead for decades, in fact, wages are so depressed as to constitute Deflation or Depression.

Commodity inflation came to an abrupt halt last summer, when the speculators had their bluff called. It won't be reviving, as the global economy is collapsing.

Monetary and fiscal inflation are the same thing, and won't happen because all that government subsidy is going to corporations, not people, specifically financials, who are busy swapping the dough around trying to unwind their ridiculous bets with each other and paying themselves handsomely for the effort. If the govt. money went for real goods, or was given to real people, either case would increase real demand for goods and services, and that would be different.

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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #82
92. ..."are running their printing presses at full speed"...
exactly, though the ECB hasn't committed itself to "extraordinary" measures aka quantitative easing, just left it open.

I keep on wondering what happens on this side of the pond should the dollar crash. Do we sink along or decouple? I would guess that depends on economic dependability - for Belgium, export is key and the US a key market. I'm not sure about Europe as a whole.

This whole semi-rally being led from the BANK shares for crying out loud..what do you call it, suspension of disbelief?
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #92
94. I Call It Mass Delusion and Wishful Thinking
Edited on Tue May-19-09 09:54 PM by Demeter
and heavy duty propaganda. Or as the first reply called it: Theatre of the Absurd.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:08 AM
Response to Original message
22. dollar watch


http://quotes.ino.com/chart/?s=NYBOT_DX&v=i

Last trade 82.108 Change -0.433 (-0.56%)

US Dollar Slips Despite Increased Homebuilder Confidence, Mixed Comments by Treasury's Geithner

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

The US dollar lost ground on Monday as increased risk appetite fed increased demand for FX carry trades, commodities like oil, and equities, as the S&P 500 ended the day up 3.04 percent at 909.71. While there weren’t any top tier economic indicators on hand, US news was generally optimistic. Indeed, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in comments at the National Press Club that the credit markets are thawing, that the economy has “clearly stabilized” but remains “fragile,” and also said that unemployment may keep rising even if growth rebounds. Geithner went on to say that the government shouldn’t set caps on compensation and should instead focus on pay incentives, which must be tied to “long term factors” rather than encourage an increase in short-term risk. On the government’s massive budget deficit, Geithner noted that it would be the “defining challenge” of the next five years as the nation’s fiscal conditions is “unsustainable.”

Meanwhile, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) index rose to 16 in the month of May from 14, the highest since September, indicating that confidence amongst homebuilders is improving. That said, readings below 50 signal that the majority views conditions as remaining poor, suggesting that the US housing sector remains far from recovery. However, upcoming data may show signs of improvement for the month of April after staging a sharp deterioration in March. Indeed, the US Commerce Department's housing starts index is projected to edge up to 520,000 from 510,000 while applications for building permits may increase to 530,000 from a record low of 516,000. Such moves would bode well for next week's release of NAR existing home sales and Commerce Department's new home sales, as the reports tend to correlate from month to month. Better-than-expected readings could offer a boost to risk appetite, which may ultimately benefit FX carry trades and stock market futures, while disappointing readings may lead to US dollar gains amidst flight-to-safety.

...more...


US Dollar Extends Losses as Stocks Advance in Asian Trading (Euro Open)

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

The US Dollar slipped as much -0.3% in overnight trading as Asian stock exchanges followed Wall St higher with the MSCI Asia index adding 2.75% ahead of the opening bell in Europe. The UK Consumer Price Index as well as the ZEW Survey of investor confidence for Germany and the Euro Zone are on tap ahead.

Key Overnight Developments

• Meeting Minutes Show RBA Sees Stimulus, China Will Support Demand
• US Dollar Declines as Stocks Add Nearly 3% in Asian Trading

Critical Levels



The Euro extended gains in overnight trading, testing as high as 1.3579 against the US Dollar. The British Pound oscillated in a choppy 50-pip range below 1.5350. Broadly, the US Dollar slipped as much -0.3% as Asian stock exchanges followed Wall St higher with the MSCI Asia index adding 2.75% ahead of the opening bell in Europe.

...more...

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #22
67. A "Stable" Economy Isn't Fragile. A House of Cards IS!
They are unbelievable on so many levels.
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
23. US banks to lose billions over commercial property
NEW YORK (AFP) Commercial real-estate loans could bring losses of 100 billion dollars at 940 small and midsized US banks by the end of 2010, according to a study published Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal.

In all, these loans funding the construction of shopping malls, office buildings, hotels and apartment complexes could be responsible for almost half of the losses at the banks analyzed by the newspaper.

The Journal, which used the same loan-loss criteria for the banks as federal regulators did for their recent "stress tests" to determine the financial viability of the 19 largest US financial establishments, said total losses for the banks it studied could actually end up surpassing 200 billion dollars (150 billion euros).

At "nearly all" the banks, the Journal said potential losses could exceed revenue over that same period.

Under the newspaper's worst-case scenario, more than 600 small and midsized banks could see their capital reduced to risky levels, and almost a third of the banks could reach those levels due to losses in commercial real-estate.

In contrast, the banks would see a total of 49 billion dollars of losses on home loans.

Small and midsized banks "are in just much worse shape" than the big banks, Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Terry McEvoy told the newspaper after reviewing its study. "There is a lot less earnings power at these banks."

/... http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090519/bs_afp/financeecon... ;_ylt=Al1NZExOSKXM_u3p6NO3Y.WmOrgF
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #23
41. More from Shedlock

5/19/09 900 Small to Mid-Sized Banks Face Losses of $200 Billion

A Wall Street Journal Study of 940 Lenders Shows Potential for Deep Hit on Commercial Real Estate. Please consider Local Banks Face Big Losses.

That $200 billion is in addition to the $599 billion that the 19 stress-tested banks could face if the adverse stress test scenario comes true.

Given the baseline scenario was more like a cake-walk than a stress test, it is reasonable to assume another $800 billion is going to be needed by banks. 58 banks have been seized since 2008, 33 of them this year. More are coming and the FDIC is preparing for them.

Expect a wave of failures starting no later than September.
more...
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/05/900-...


5/19/09 Local Banks Face Big Losses
Journal Study of 940 Lenders Shows Potential for Deep Hit on Commercial Property

Commercial real-estate loans could generate losses of $100 billion by the end of next year at more than 900 small and midsize U.S. banks if the economy's woes deepen, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal.

Such loans, which fund the construction of shopping malls, office buildings, apartment complexes and hotels, could account for nearly half the losses at the banks analyzed by the Journal, consuming capital that is an essential cushion against bad loans.

Total losses at those banks could surpass $200 billion over that period, according to the Journal's analysis,
more...
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124269114847832587.html...

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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #41
49. So, loans to construct 'apartment complexes' are classed as 'commercial'
rather than residential.

What about the sprawling suburb/exurb housing developments, are they classed as 'commercial' also?

Just how big is this crumbling pie going to prove to be?
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #49
56. Commercial vs residential
Edited on Tue May-19-09 09:36 AM by DemReadingDU
Searching randomly in the Google, an apartment complex can be classified as commercial or residential. Apparently, commercial is a large complex of many apartment units, residential is much smaller. But in a housing development, each house is owner-occupied, which is classified as residential. But if there is one owner who rents multiple houses in a single development, then is this residential or commercial? We need a real estate person to explain the details.

I read somewhere that commercial real estate bubble is even bigger than the mortgage bubble. With so many millions of people losing jobs and having no income nor savings, there won't be as many people shopping in malls, or eating in restaurants. Well, when they have no credit card, the spending will stop.


more from Shedlock
4/21/09 Commercial Real Estate Time Bomb Goes Off
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/comm...


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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #56
78. I gave up noticing the home foreclosures....
but I have had my eye on the number of spaces for rent (mainly finding location for hubby's school). There are so places available and more becoming available by the hour. This is what I remember from our recession in the 80's. Forget getting a construction loan if you were a 'bidness'. I don't care how good your balance sheet looked and how great your business. And at that point, our local economy was hobbled and stagnated. Viable business could not expand and hire, etc. It took a long time to absorb excess office space.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #49
68. If It's Owned by a Corporation, It's Commercial
Edited on Tue May-19-09 11:10 AM by Demeter
When we were a co-op, the property was owned by a non-profit corporation, and taxed and treated accordingly.

Now that we have converted to condos, each unit is individually owned by the resident, and treated as residential. Hope that helps.

One of the arguments for conversion of our community was that foreclosures could take down a co-op with a large debt much faster than it would a condo association with no debt and (relatively) smaller costs.

As it is, we are at 2% of the units in foreclosure already. Of course, Michigan has been in Depression for 8 years now....
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:20 AM
Response to Original message
24. Madoff trustee sues Fairfield group for $3.5 billion
http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSTRE54I0...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The trustee for Bernard Madoff on Monday sued funds run by Fairfield Greenwich Group, the confessed swindler's largest "feeder fund," for $3.5 billion, claiming it should have been aware he was engaged in fraud.

Connecticut-based Fairfield Greenwich Group "worked closely" with Madoff and "knew or should have known" that he was engaged in fraud, according to documents that Madoff's trustee Picard filed in Manhattan bankruptcy court.

The trustee says Fairfield Greenwich continued to work with Madoff even though it knew his firm was the subject of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation in 2005, and that Fairfield also ignored other warning signs.

The $3.5 billion figure represents money Fairfield Greenwich received from Madoff on behalf of clients.

U.S. prosecutors have broadened their criminal investigation of the case beyond the friends and family of Madoff to at least eight investors and associates, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

...a bit more...
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:38 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. Those Noel Girls are gonna' have to rein in their spending....
:eyes:
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. hiya KoKo!
good to see you this morning!

:hi:
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. Thanks....
:hi: back attacha...
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #24
64. Did Madoff's biggest 'victims' get 950 percent returns?
Last December when Bernie Madoff gave up on his $64.8 billion Ponzi scheme, I guessed that he had help. He could not have produced the fake statements on all those accounts by himself. But in a twist that I had not thought of back then, a lawsuit now alleges that Madoff's biggest clients were in on the scheme. That's especially surprising, given that some of the names mentioned have been touted as Madoff's biggest losers.

Here's how the lawsuit suggests that Madoff's clients helped him with his scheme: The clients told Madoff how much of a return they wanted in a given year. Madoff would manufacture the fake account statements needed to generate those returns -- word of which would reach hundreds of other investors who would then clamor to give their money to Madoff, who in turn would forward that new money to his prized clients so they would, indeed, get those high returns.

How high? Well above the 10 percent to 12 percent annual returns that have previously been mentioned in coverage of the story. According to a lawsuit by Irving Picard, an attorney at Baker & Hostetler LLP who is trustee in the bankruptcy liquidation of Madoff's firm, several of Madoff's investors received returns in the range of 300 to 950 percent. Among those investors Picard alleges was Jeffry Picower, a lawyer, accountant and buyout investor.

Picower's foundation invested with Madoff, at one point stating its investment portfolio was valued at nearly $1 billion. He and his wife, Barbara, had 24 accounts with Madoff and received annual returns of more than 100 percent in 14 instances, reaching as high as that astounding 950 percent, according to Picard. Picower's lawyer disputes these claims. He says his client was shocked by Madoff's fraud and his foundation has lost billions.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/05/19/did-madoffs-bigg...
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #64
70. Holy Moly! Now THAT'S Audacity!
But not the kind we like to encourage....
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 06:40 AM
Response to Original message
28. Commentary: Washington needs to address 'shadow banking'
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/banks-in-the-shadows-b...

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- What or who exactly caused the banking crisis? Was it the banks? The bankers? The borrowers? Did the government fail? Like torture, can we blame it on former President Bush and just move on?

It seems everyone had a role in the biggest financial and economic disasters since the Great Depression. Though degrees of guilt vary, it is a rare economic collapse where everyone in society doesn't have some kind of role.

This time around, however, one party seems particularly culpable. It's what has come to be known as the "shadow banking" system. Loosely defined, the shadow banking system is the group of non-bank institutions that are doing a whole host of banking functions.

They lend, and they take collateral. We know them as pension and hedge funds, investment banks, structured investment vehicles and various insurance companies. During the last 20 years, as the economy has hungered for more credit, the shadow banking system has provided the meat.

As the nation searches for remedies and reforms, shadow banking is under new scrutiny. No one agrees on how to regulate or reform what's in the shadows, but they do agree that we can't approach it as we have before. Banks aren't just banks. Hedge and pension funds, insurance companies aren't always what they seem either.

Put it this way, a couple of years ago most of us thought American International Group Inc. (AIG 1.91, +0.08, +4.37%) was an insurance company, not one of the biggest credit-default swap players on Wall Street.

New research by Gary Gorton, a finance professor at the Yale School of Management, shows not only how the shadow banking system has grown but how it's truly the main culprit of the credit collapse. Gorton knows how financially deadly shadow banks can be. He advised AIG's credit default swap unit. See full story.

Gorton argues that shadow banking is "at the heart" of the financial crisis in his research in a paper "Slapped in the Face by the Invisible Hand: Banking and the Panic of 2007" last week at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Financial Markets Conference. Gorton argues that the recent financial crisis was really a banking panic in which banks, both in the shadows and in the light, were unable to meet their obligations.

A $6.2 trillion giant

...more...
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #28
35. Deregulation Permitted the Shadow Banks to Suck the Life Out of the Economy
A real fix starts with the rules of the game.
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
42. ZeroHedge: The Flagrantly Visible Hand
Edited on Tue May-19-09 07:34 AM by DemReadingDU
Even people on FoxNews see that the market is being propped up


5/19/09
The Flagrantly Visible Hand
Posted by Tyler Durden at 12:58 AM
Now with a hearty helping of futures manipulation (courtesy of the SLP?). None of this should be news to Zero Hedge readers. The video below from Fox Business News discusses all you need to know about how to prop a market about to crash. Fast forward to 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

video link
http://www.foxnews.com/video/index.html?playerId=videol...


Transcript courtesy of myprops.

Something strange happened during the last 7 or 8 weeks. Doreen you probably can concur on this -- there was a power underneath the market that kept holding it up and trading the futures. I watch the futures every day and every tick, and a tremendous amount of volume came in a several points during the last few weeks, when the market was just about ready to break and shot right up again. Usually toward the end of the day it happened a week ago Friday, at 7 minutes to 4 oclock, almost 100,000 S&P futures contracts were traded, and then in the last 5 minutes, up to 4 oclock, another 100,000 contracts were traded, and lifted the Dow from being down 18 to up over 44 or 50 points in 7 minutes. That is 10 to 20 billion dollars to be able to move the market in such a way. Who has that kind of money to move this market?

On top of that, the market has rallied up during the stress test uncertainty and moved the bank stocks up, and the bank stocks issues secondary they issues stock they raised capital into this rally. It was perfect text book setup of controlling the markets now that the stock has been issued

http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/05/flagrantly-visibl...


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TheMachineWins Donating Member (155 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #42
50. It's been going on regularly since May 2005
I've noticed that now, the markets seem to trade from 3am to 11am EST. After that it's all rigged.
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #50
53. It's all rigged

And who has that kind of money to move the market? The banks? Hedgefunds?
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #53
55. Hedge funds and Goldman.
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
54. Jose-Davidson?
Harley-Davidson weighing moving production plant

By DAN STRUMPF
The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 13, 2009; 2:03 PM

NEW YORK -- Harley-Davidson Inc. is considering closing its main motorcycle assembly facility in Pennsylvania and moving production elsewhere as it aims to lower costs and cope with a sales downturn, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

Spokesman Bob Klein said the Milwaukee-based company is exploring ways to reduce costs at its York location. That could include a move, though he declined to say where. The York facility employs about 2,400 workers and consists of two motorcycle factories that assemble its Touring and Softail motorcycles.

Klein said the York facility is not competitive as it stands.

"It relates to excess capacity, it relates to competitive and cost pressures both in the current economy and longer term," Klein said. "So what we've told employees is that we are going to be doing a major evaluation of the York operations."
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He said the company is working with its union, the Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, as it conducts a review on the facility. He declined to say what other locations might be under consideration for a move.

Pennsylvania Sens. Arlen Specter and Bob Casey sent a letter on Tuesday to Harley Chief Executive Keith Wandell, saying the facility is important to the local economy and calling on the company to protect the factory's jobs.

"We strongly urge you to give serious consideration to any option that will protect the thousands of jobs at stake and preserve Harley-Davidson's presence in the region," they wrote.

The review of the facility is part of a broad cost-cutting plan that Harley, the top maker of heavyweight motorcycles, launched in January as it battles shrinking profits and a downturn in sales of its iconic bikes. The company has announced plant consolidations and is aiming to cut between 1,400 and 1,500 jobs over the next two years. Part of that plan is to cut between 525 and 575 hourly workers at York, some of which has already been implemented.

Last month, Harley reported a 37-percent decline in its profit for the first three months of the year. The company's sales have been falling recently as the downturn in consumer confidence and the tighter credit markets have made many consumers skittish about buying its high-end bikes.

The company has also seen a wave of turnover among its top leadership in recent months. On May 1, Wandell took over as CEO from Jim Ziemer, who ran Harley for four years. The company's chief financial officer, Tom Bergmann, stepped down at the same time. Harley also got a new interim head of Harley-Davidson Financial Services and a new senior director of financial reporting.

Shares of Harley fell $1.27, or 6.9 percent, to $17.33 in afternoon trading Wednesday. The stock has traded between $7.99 and $48.05 in the past 52 weeks.

----------------

Rumor has it, that they've already moved a couple of hundred jobs to Mexico.

I just put my '97 on Craigslist. I figure if I get a decent price, I'll get a new one.

If this is true, they can kiss my red-headed ass. I'll never buy another one.


:mad: :puke: :mad:
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #54
72. Try one of these?
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #54
89. Harley's customers will probably have the same reaction to driving a Mexican manufactured bike
as you.

This is a CFO driven move that will sink Harley.

I hope that the CEO understands his customers better than his CFO does.

I used to live in Harrisburg, which is about 25 miles north of York, and closing those plants will just devastate York.
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CatholicEdHead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
60. Medtronic reports plunge in profits; earnings meet expectations
http://www.startribune.com/business/45395592.html

In the wake of a sluggish economy, Medtronic Inc. reported this morning that it will eliminate 1,500 to 1,800 jobs throughout the company in a restructuring that began in the quarter that ended April 24 and will continue this fiscal year.

The layoffs will involve early retirement for some individuals, but will also include involuntary terminations. Medtronic operates globally, but is based in Fridley and employs about 8,000 people in Minnesota. The restructuring will affect about 600 people in Minnesota.

The news came during Medtronic's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call where the company reported that its quarterly profit plunged 69 percent due to restructuring and other charges. The company's adjusted earnings matched Wall Street's expectations.

The medical technology company earned $250 million in the quarter, or 22 cents a share, down from $812 million, or 72 cents a share, the same period a year ago......


There go more medical device related jobs.
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
80. BTW, LEAP/E2020: Global systemic crisis: June 2009 - When the world steps out of a sixty-year old re
Global systemic crisis: June 2009 - When the world steps out of a sixty-year old referential framework

The financial surrealism which has been at the heart of stock market trends, financial indicators and political commentaries in the past two months, is in fact the swan song of the referential framework within which the world has lived since 1945.

Just as in January 2007, the 11th edition of the GEAB described that the turn of the year 2006/07 was wrapped in a statistical fog typical of an entry into recession and designed to raise doubts among passengers that the Titanic was really sinking (1), our team today believes that the end of Spring 2009is characterized by the worlds final stepping out of the referential framework used for sixty years by global economic, financial and political players in making their decisions, in particular of its simplified version massively used since the fall of the communist bloc in 1989 (when the referential framework became exclusively US-centric). In practical terms, this means that the indicators that everyone is accustomed to use for investment decisions, profitability, location, partnership, etc ... have become obsolete and that it is now necessary to find new relevant indicators to avoid making disastrous decisions.

This process of obsolescence has increased dramatically over the past few months under pressure from two trends:

. first, the desperate attempts to rescue the global financial system, particularly the American and British systems, have de facto "broken navigational instruments" as a result of all the manipulation exerted by financial institutions themselves and by concerned governments and central banks. Among those panic-stricken and panic-striking indicators, stock markets are a perfect case as we shall see in further detail in this issue of the GEAB. Meanwhile, the two charts below brilliantly illustrate how these desperate efforts failed to prevent the worlds bank ranking from experiencing a major seism (it is mostly in 2007 that the end of the American-British domination in this ranking was triggered).

. secondly, astronomical amounts of liquidity injected in one year into the global financial system, particularly in the U.S. financial system, led all financial and political players to a total loss of touch with reality. Indeed, at this stage, they all seem to suffer from a syndrome of divers nitrogen narcosis impairing those affected and leading them to dive deeper instead of surfacing. Financial nitrogen narcosis has the same effects than its aquatic counterpart.

Destroyed or perverted sensors, loss of orientation among political and financial leaders, these are the two key factors that accelerate the international systems stepping out of the referential framework of the past few decades.

/continues... http://leap2020.eu/GEAB-N-35-is-available!-Global-syste...
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
84. Credit Card Industry Aims to Profit From Sterling Payers
Credit cards have long been a very good deal for people who pay their bills on time and in full. Even as card companies imposed punitive fees and penalties on those late with their payments, the best customers racked up cash-back rewards, frequent-flier miles and other perks in recent years.

Now Congress is moving to limit the penalties on riskier borrowers, who have become a prime source of billions of dollars in fee revenue for the industry. And to make up for lost income, the card companies are going after those people with sterling credit.

Banks are expected to look at reviving annual fees, curtailing cash-back and other rewards programs and charging interest immediately on a purchase instead of allowing a grace period of weeks, according to bank officials and trade groups.

It will be a different business, said Edward L. Yingling, the chief executive of the American Bankers Association, which has been lobbying Congress for more lenient legislation on behalf of the nations biggest banks. Those that manage their credit well will in some degree subsidize those that have credit problems.

As they thin their ranks of risky cardholders to deal with an economic downturn, major banks including American Express, Citigroup, Bank of America and a long list of others have already begun to raise interest rates, and some have set their sights on consumers who pay their bills on time. The legislation scheduled for a Senate vote on Tuesday does not cap interest rates, so banks can continue to lift them, albeit at a slower pace and with greater disclosure.

lots more.....

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/business/19credit.htm...


They are working to make themselves unattractive. I remember what it was like before credit cards. I have been without one for some time now and have done well. You really pay to use the card....and if they start charging interest from the minute you purchase an item-what is the benefit to you. I'd rather pay cash and be done with it.
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
90. Speaking of engineers, I recently saw "Flash of Genius," the movie about windshield wipers.
Robert Kearns, PhD., invented the intermittent windshield wiper. The auto companies stole the idea and Kearns spent decades fighting in court for recognition of his invention.

From an ethical point of view, what the auto companies did was reprehensible, and it was illegal. But from a business point of view, it was just good tactics. The same scenario has played out many times, not just with Kearns. A company wants to use some new invention. But the licensing negotiations don't progress satisfactorily. So they steal the idea and use the product anyway. The patent owner has to sue them to get paid. The company sees this as simply moving the negotiations to another venue, lawyers' offices and courthouses. Historically, the patent owner usually wins some money, but the company gets to continue using the invention pretty cheaply, even with the legal expenses added in.

In Kearns' case(s), he won tens of millions of dollars. He spent about ten million of it on legal expenses. Still, he made a pretty good return, right? Well, he wanted to manufacture the intermittent windshield wipers himself, and his dreamed of manufacturing company would have supplied just about all the windshield wipers from 1969 on. That's round about a billion units. Kearns Wipers, Inc. would have made tens of millions of wipers every year.

The auto companies lost the cases, but still get to use his invention. They saved probably hundreds of millions over the years.

It is despicable, but perfectly sensible from a purely business point of view. The real sticking point for Ford, the first auto company involved, was that Kearns insisted on doing the manufacturing though he had no experience setting up or running a factory. They simply could not agree to that. Either they had to manufacture the wipers, or Kearns had to team up with an existing manufacturer with a solid track record. They were going to need millions of these wipers. They could not trust a novice manufacturer to supply that many of a critical component. They would risk horrible production delays and probably have to find another supplier when Kearns' factory failed.

Yet their sensible solution was completely despicable. And from what I've heard and read, it has become just another tool in the businessperson's toolbox.
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