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Wed Nov 7, 2012, 06:57 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Thursday, 8 November 2012

Last edited Wed Nov 7, 2012, 08:38 PM - Edit history (1)

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Thursday, 8 November 2012

SMW for 7 November 2012

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 7 November 2012

Dow Jones 12,932.73 -312.95 (-2.36%)
S&P 500 1,394.53 -33.86 (-2.37%)
Nasdaq 2,937.29 -74.64 (-2.48%)

10 Year 1.64% 0.00 (0.00%)
30 Year 2.83% -0.01 (-0.35%)

Market Conditions During Trading Hours

Euro, Yen, Loonie, Silver and Gold

Handy Links - Market Data and News:

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Handy Links - Economic Blogs:

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Handy Links - Government Issues:

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USA spending.gov

Handy Links - Videos:

Charlie Rose talks with Roubini
Charlie Rose talks with Krugman
William Black: This Economic Disaster
Bill Moyers with Kevin Drum and David Corn

Partial List of Financial Sector Officials Convicted since 1/20/09
2/2/12 David Higgs and Salmaan Siddiqui, Credit Suisse, plead guilty to conspiracy involving valuation of MBS
3/6/12 Allen Stanford, former Caribbean billionaire and general schmuck, convicted on 13 of 14 counts in $2.2B Ponzi scheme, faces 20+ years in prison
6/4/12 Matthew Kluger, lawyer, sentenced to 12 years in prison, along with co-conspirator stock trader Garrett Bauer (9 years) and co-conspirator Kenneth Robinson (not yet sentenced) for 17 year insider trading scheme.
6/14/12 Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years without parole.
6/15/12 Rajat Gupta, former Goldman Sachs director, found guilty of insider trading. Could face a decade in prison when sentenced later this year.
6/22/12 Timothy S. Durham, 49, former CEO of Fair Financial Company, convicted of one count conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, and one count of securities fraud.
6/22/12 James F. Cochran, 56, former chairman of the board of Fair, convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and six counts of wire fraud.
6/22/12 Rick D. Snow, 48, former CFO of Fair, convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and three counts of wire fraud.
7/13/12 Russell Wassendorf Sr., CEO of collapsed brokerage firm Peregrine Financial Group Inc. arrested and charged with lying to regulators after admitting to authorities he embezzled "millions of dollars" and forged bank statements for "nearly twenty years."
8/22/12 Doug Whitman, Whitman Capital LLC hedge fund founder, convicted of insider trading following a trial in which he spent more than two days on the stand telling jurors he was innocent
10/26/12 UPDATE: Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta sentenced to two years in federal prison. He will, of course, appeal. . .

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

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Reply STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Thursday, 8 November 2012 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 OP
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 #1
kickysnana Nov 2012 #2
Demeter Nov 2012 #20
Demeter Nov 2012 #3
xchrom Nov 2012 #14
Demeter Nov 2012 #4
Demeter Nov 2012 #5
Demeter Nov 2012 #6
tclambert Nov 2012 #11
siligut Nov 2012 #34
Demeter Nov 2012 #7
Demeter Nov 2012 #8
Demeter Nov 2012 #9
Demeter Nov 2012 #10
Roland99 Nov 2012 #12
Roland99 Nov 2012 #13
xchrom Nov 2012 #15
xchrom Nov 2012 #16
xchrom Nov 2012 #17
xchrom Nov 2012 #18
Demeter Nov 2012 #19
xchrom Nov 2012 #29
xchrom Nov 2012 #21
Demeter Nov 2012 #22
xchrom Nov 2012 #26
Demeter Nov 2012 #23
Demeter Nov 2012 #24
Demeter Nov 2012 #25
xchrom Nov 2012 #27
xchrom Nov 2012 #28
xchrom Nov 2012 #30
unhappycamper Nov 2012 #31
xchrom Nov 2012 #32
xchrom Nov 2012 #33
Demeter Nov 2012 #35
siligut Nov 2012 #36
Roland99 Nov 2012 #37

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 06:58 PM

1. One good 'toon deserves another

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 08:45 PM

2. That was the rallying cry for the GOP

But for them "work together" meant "do it our way" all the while they were killing off all party moderates 1992-2004.

The group in charge is probably incapable of working with anyone as they are a top down organization and the top doesn't even set foot in the Congress or worked an honest day in their life.

I so hoped we could elect a Democratic House and Minnesota did try to do its part. Bachmann needed $20 million dollars, 10 times the amount of the challenger, much of it from out of state, to win by tiny margin, $111.61 per vote.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:25 AM

20. The People Who Elected Obama Don't Want Cuts to Social Security and Medicare





Tuesday’s vote is a clear mandate on what matters to hard-working Americans.
Voting patterns told a story yesterday. And here is the story they told: working people want a president who works for them...Political scientist Thomas Ferguson looked at the exit poll in today’s New York Times and found that something significant had changed since ’08. The split between Democrats and Republicans along income lines has grown. In a statement released by the Institute for Public Accuracy, Ferguson wrote:

“Obama’s vote percentage declines in straight line fashion as income rises. He got 63 percent of the votes of Americans making less than $30,000 and 57 percent of those making between $30,000 and $50,000. Above $50,000, the Other America kicks in. Romney won 53 percent of the votes of Americans making between $50,000 and $100,000 and 54 percent of the votes of Americans making above $100,000.”

By contrast, in 2008, the Democrats ran essentially even with the Republicans among Americans making over not only more than $50,000, but more than $100,000. Among Americans making less than $50,000, the Democratic percentages of the vote were high in 2008, but not as lopsided as they were this year. What does it mean? For starters, it means that struggling people have seen right through the faux populism of the GOP, and they know that between the two parties, the Democrats are slightly more likely to stand up against the dangerous income inequality, wage depression and shredding of social safety nets the Republican Party has embraced. And it means that the Occupy Wall Street movement has enhanced awareness of a system that redistributes income toward the top -- the 99 percent know it, and so do the rich.

Remember, it was the phony debt ceiling debate that set the stage for the Occupy protests to take off. Americans saw plainly that those who protect the interests of the rich were willing to reach into the pockets of ordinary people suffering miserably in a downturn. The dishonest story about how the economy must be “saved” by pinching nickels and dimes from future retirees, sick people, children, and other vulnerable Americans clearly has not fooled everyone. Yesterday’s vote means that ordinary folks trying to get by have chosen the leader they think is most likely to protect their interests – and they are very, very interested in Social Security and Medicare. The president should heed the message voters sent as negotiations for a so-called “Grand Bargain” (what white-collar criminologist Bill Black has more properly called a “Grand Betrayal”) heat up in the face of another phony crisis meant to give the fat cats a new shot at redistributing income upward.

Sadly, many liberals who try to stay informed by reading the papers and listening to the radio are still unaware that Social Security does not add to the deficit. They have been told such a relentless stream of lies on the subject that they don’t know the program is in fine condition, and in the words of Nancy Altman, co-director of Social Security Works, is quite clearly the “poster child for fiscal responsibility.” They don’t realize that if and when a tweak is needed down the road, this can be done very efficiently by simply requiring the rich to pay Social Security taxes on the money they make over the current low ceiling of just over $100,000. And they have not heard that while the horse race of the election was distracting everyone, a gang of cynical looters led by Erskine Bowles has been plotting behind closed doors to snatch away Social Security and Medicare under the guise of “deficit-cutting.” And they haven’t yet fully understood that the best way to help the economy is to get unemployed Americans working again, and that cutting Social Security and Medicare is counterproductive. The snakeoil is still selling, and it is being pushed in newspaper editorials across the country today that shamefully encourage Obama to betray the people who have just put him back in the White House.

As Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz argues in his most recent book, The Price of Ineqality, the continued redistribution of income toward the rich is not only immoral and a cause of social unrest, it is economic stupidity. The economy is weakened when people don’t have enough money in their pockets to buy what they need. To use the excuse of the recession and phony crises in order to rob Americans is nothing short of criminal. The working people who elected Obama did not cause the financial crash. They have been squeezed and squeezed in the last four decades to the point of desperation. They deserve a break. Memo to Obama and the Congress: You have a mandate from the hard-working people of this country not to bargain away their health, their dignity and the retirements they have earned. The social safety net in the United States is already woefully meager compared to other industrialized countries and already makes us look mean-spirited and uncivilized to much of the world. To further reduce it will be another step toward turning a once-great nation into a third-world country of barbed-wire fences and people with nothing left to hope for. The people have elected you. They will not silently stand by in the face of a hold-up.


Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet senior editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of 'Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture.' She received her Ph.d in English and Cultural Theory from NYU, where she has taught essay writing and semiotics. Parramore is a frequent commenter on political, economic and cultural topics on television, radio, and web outlets. She is the Director of AlterNet's New Economic Dialogue Project. Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:50 AM

3. 1 AM, back from the route (enormous papers, of course)


Someday I must stay home and post something....probably not this week, though. Sorry.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:02 AM

14. sigh -- sweet nostalgia. nt

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 06:53 AM

4. Health Care Waste Deconstructed: Patients Aren't the Problem



If anybody ever tells you we can't afford health care for everybody, consider the following: Every other wealthy country in the world provides health care for all at an average of about half the per-person cost in the United States.

Their health care systems are more popular than ours and get better results for all their people. In those countries, there is no such thing as medical bankruptcies and there is no job-lock due solely to health care coverage.

Last month, the National Academy of Sciences reported that in the U.S. we waste $750 billion on health care, or about one in every three dollars we spend. Apologists for our dysfunctional health care system blame fraud and inadequate prevention — "blame the patient" — for most of that. But those two factors accounted for only 17 percent of the waste, according to the NAS.

The rest of the waste, 83 percent, was accounted for by other factors. Unnecessary services accounted for 28 percent. Unnecessarily high prices accounted for 14 percent. Excess administrative costs due to too many private insurance companies and types of insurance accounted for 25 percent.Inefficiently delivered services due to a lack of coordination among doctors, hospitals and other providers accounted for another 17 percent....MORE

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 06:55 AM

5. Do we need health insurance?



Do Americans need health insurance? The short answer is no — at least not in the form it currently exists in America.

It is true that in many wealthy countries private insurance companies are used in the financing of universal health care systems. But they are nothing like American companies. They are regulated public utilities and are told by their governments who to insure, what to cover and how much and when to pay. Most are prohibited from making a profit and are required to pay any willing provider. Not exactly the American model.

The purpose of health care financing systems should be — and is in all other wealthy countries — to facilitate the delivery of health care services, to protect individuals and families against huge medical care expenses and to avoid breaking the national bank while they do so. But in America, our private insurance system actually interferes with the delivery of health care and is rapidly becoming too expensive.

Last month I argued for adopting a universal health care system on moral, ethical and economic grounds. It is not only more humane but cheaper to cover everybody. We have moved in fits and starts toward that goal since the enactment of Medicare in 1965...MORE

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Response to Demeter (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 06:57 AM

6. Obama Administration Set to Sponsor Two National Health Insurance Options



The Obama administration will soon take on a new role as the sponsor of at least two nationwide health insurance plans to be operated under contract with the federal government and offered to consumers in every state.

These multistate plans were included in President Obama's health care law as a substitute for a pure government-run health insurance program — the public option sought by many liberal Democrats and reviled by Republicans. Supporters of the national plans say they will increase competition in state health insurance markets, many of which are dominated by a handful of companies.

The national plans will compete directly with other private insurers and may have some significant advantages, including a federal seal of approval. Premiums and benefits for the multistate insurance plans will be negotiated by the United States Office of Personnel Management, the agency that arranges health benefits for federal employees.

Walton J. Francis, the author of a consumer guide to health plans for federal employees, said the personnel agency had been "extraordinarily successful" in managing that program, which has more than 200 health plans, including about 20 offered nationwide. The personnel agency has earned high marks for its ability to secure good terms for federal workers through negotiation rather than heavy-handed regulation of insurers....MORE


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Response to Demeter (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 07:55 AM

11. In America, the health insurance business model

is to find a way to suck the highest possible premiums from healthy people, and deny coverage to anyone who might actually need healthcare.

Sickly people are a drain on profits. Healthy people who will die in sudden accidents--those are your prime customers. So the ideal insurance company would only insure weight lifters who drink and drive.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:22 PM

34. There is a lot of money to be made in health care it was ripe for

When you need medical care, you will pay or the government will. I have seen so much fraud in health care, all across the country, but the worst/most blatant was in FLA and UT. In these two states, it was organized crime. Doctors purposely misdiagnosing expensive disorders in an HMO or pretending to treat for nonexistent maladies if Medicare was paying.

Imagine being ill and depending on your doctor but your doctor's primary concern is his/her wallet. You don't know this, so you go along until things go horribly, irreparably wrong. Then, as your family tries to understand what happened, they are misdirected, ignored and treated as if they are ignorant.

Then, there is the collusion with the food/agriculture industry. Diabetes type II is endemic to the US. In 2011, diabetes therapeutic products were a $23.7 billion dollar industry. Pharmaceutics companies provide perks to MDs who prescribe their meds.

Of course not all medical practitioners are involved, but it is well understood that exposing the malpractice of a colleague will destroy your career. Just about everyone I know involved in our medical system was for Romney. Smart, skillful, talented people swayed by the industry criminals.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 07:03 AM

7. The Bailout Of Russian “Black Money” In Cyprus



Timing couldn’t have been worse. Or more opportune. A “secret” report by the German version of the CIA, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), bubbled to the surface, asserting that the pending bailout of Cyprus would use the money of taxpayers in other countries, particularly in Germany, to bail out mostly rich Russians who have over the years deposited their “black money” in Cypriot banks that are now collapsing. Not that the bailout of this tiny speck of land with 840,000 people isn’t in enough trouble. Admitted into the Eurozone in 2008, Cyprus veered towards bankruptcy in 2011 but was temporarily bailed out last November by a €2.5 billion loan from Russia. That money didn’t last long. In June, it asked the Troika, the austerity gang from the EU, the ECB, and the IMF, for a full-fledged bailout. So Troika inspectors have been combing through the financial rubble to determine a bailout amount and needed structural reforms.

On Thursday, Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly was still optimistic. He hoped that negotiations with the Troika would conclude before the November 12 meeting of Eurozone finance ministers. On Friday, he admitted that a number of issues were still unresolved, including privatization of state-owned enterprises and elimination of Cost of Living Adjustments for wages, both of which have hit a wall of resistance. But then, a Troika report that Reuters “obtained in Berlin” considered Cyprus’ latest proposal for structural reforms “insufficient” and urged the government “to cooperate with the Troika.” Shocked and appalled, government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou added to the confusion over the weekend by quibbling with the word “insufficient” and by denying that the government knew anything about that report. Alas, just then, the revelation that a bailout would mostly benefit rich Russians who had their “black money” stashed away in Cyprus’ failed banks slapped Germany’s taxpayers, who’d have to foot a large part of the bill, in the face. The BND report concluded that this “black money” amounted to €26 billion—about 150% of the country’s GDP. Money that the banks had plowed into Greek sovereign bonds and the housing bubble that came with a nationwide title-deed scandal of phenomenal proportions. And now the banks need at least €10 billion to stay afloat.

The BND report also lambastes Cyprus for creating a fertile ground for money laundering. While some laws have been passed and some institutions have been created to combat money laundering, they’re apparently just decoration; rules are simply not enforced. Money laundering is further facilitated by the ease with which rich Russians can obtain Cypriot nationality—and thus freedom to establish themselves financially anywhere in the EU, which according to the BND, 80 Russian oligarchs have already done. There are over 40,000 mailbox companies in Cyprus. Many have large subsidiaries in Russia, and profits are siphoned off in Cyprus. To accede to the EU in 2004, Cyprus had to clean up its act a bit. But only on the surface. Finance activities strengthened, particularly when Cyprus became part of the Eurozone: at the peak, according to the BND report, financial services and banks accounted for up to 70% of the country’s economy. So much so that Cyprus, in turn, has become the largest foreign investor in Russia.

Taxpayers in other countries, including those in the US—via the US contribution to the IMF—will be asked to step up to the plate to bail out that system. Even tiny Cyprus cannot be allowed to default and exit the Eurozone, and even “black money” investors from Russia must be bailed out. Otherwise, Cyprus would be the first domino to topple, as the cliché goes, or the second, if Greece were allowed to go first, with mega-consequences that would ultimately take down the entire universe. That logic has been proffered as rationalization for all bailouts. There is never an alternative! But as these bailouts have shown, including those of Wall Street by the Fed and the Treasury, they not only prop up but propagate deeply corrupt systems. For rich Russians, Cyprus, with its 10% corporate income tax, is not only a tax haven; as an EU member, it’s a safe haven from their own government, something they have learned to appreciate. Cyprus tried to play Russia, and its double-edged anxiety, against the Troika in order to negotiate better bailout terms. But now Russia is letting Cyprus twist in the wind, as banks are in worse condition than imagined, and as bailout amounts jumped once again.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 07:14 AM

8. Another Eurozone Country Bites the Dust



Real estate in the Republic of Cyprus has been popular with foreigners who own about 100,000 homes—in a country with 803,000 people. The British alone, whose colony this was until 1960, own more than 60,000 homes. Turns out, real estate is Cyprus' national sport sponsored by dumb money. But now it has become a nightmare that is unraveling the finances not only of home owners, but also of developers, banks, and the government. Yet it's hushed up. By comparison, the banks' impending losses on Greek sovereign debt, significant as they are, seem outright manageable. "The most common mistake people make when buying property in Cyprus is to use a lawyer who has been introduced or recommended to them by a property developer," says Nigel Howarth who has helped foreign property buyers in Cyprus for more than 10 years. Foreign buyers are sitting ducks. They're unaware of the local business culture and don't suspect that their lawyers are in cahoots with developers—aided and abetted by the banks...As in the U.S., after years of speculative overbuilding, the real estate market is collapsing. Building permits are down 40.2% for the first eight months of the year and 49.4% for August. Home prices have dropped for six consecutive quarters, according to the Central Bank. The steepest declines were in the coastal regions favored by foreigners. Of the 45,000 unsold properties, many are unfinished, and some are essentially abandoned. The Cyprus Property News points out that they "were built for buy-to-flip investors and are unsuitable for permanent living." Prices would have dropped even more if the banks had dealt with their non-performing loans. But instead of pressuring developers to sell properties to service their loans, they're pressuring appraisers not to reduce values so that loans appear to be adequately secured...These kinds of issues have cropped up in the U.S. as well. What's unique in the collapsing housing bubble in Cyprus is a title-deed scandal of unimaginable proportions. And it has embroiled waves of foreign buyers.

"The bulk of the problems stem from the archaic Ottoman land law still in existence in Cyprus which allows these dubious practices," writes the Cyprus Property Action Group. Insufficient industry regulation and lacking enforcement of consumer protection laws also play a role. The scheme works this way: A developer takes out a mortgage on the land but hides it from foreign buyers. The bank retains the title deed as collateral. When the developer sells the property, the buyers' lawyer, who is in cahoots with the developer, doesn't perform a title search and doesn't "discover" the original mortgage. Buyers, assuming that their part of the property is free an clear, either pay cash or take out a mortgage. The developer pockets the money instead of paying off the original mortgage. The bank goes along because it can collect interest on one or two mortgages. But it retains the title deed as collateral for the original mortgage, and the buyer never sees it. Throughout, buyers are told by everyone, including the government, that a buyer of immovable property is absolutely protected once the sales contract is lodged with the Cyprus Land Registry, and that they don't need the title deed.

Meanwhile, as the property is still under construction and buyers are overseas, the developer strikes again. Alan Waring, an international risk management consultant, explains: "Some cases have also involved alleged 'double selling' fraud whereby the developer sells a property to Party A, fails to lodge the contract with the Land Registry, and then sells it again to Party B (possibly for a higher price) but fails to reimburse Party A." Proving fraud in court seems to be impossible. In a recent double-selling case, the judge ruled against the plaintiff: lodging of a sales contract at the Land Registry does not mean that buyers "automatically and in perpetuity have become the ‘owners’ (as they mean it) of the residence," she wrote. Hence, only possession of a title deed confers protection against double selling. But the bank still holds the title deed as collateral for the original developer mortgage, and it has the right to foreclose on the property. Under normal circumstances, it takes a bank between 9 to 12 years to obtain control over the property. So banks extend and pretend until the developer goes broke. Then they move to recuperate a property that one or two other "owners" have paid for.... A nightmare. And no legal resolutions are in sight.

The numbers are stunning. In this tiny speck of a country with 803,000 people, about 130,000 properties are still awaiting their title deeds. If the average value of these homes is €150,000, then nearly €20 billion worth of properties might be in dispute, many of them with more than one mortgage and more than one owner. The banks aren't talking. And they aren't writing down their assets to reflect the layers of mortgages that are worthless. Developers are going bust. The money they pocketed has disappeared. Expat homeowners who don't hold title deeds are terrified of losing their homes, even if they paid cash. There are no legal processes in place to resolve this. Estimates of the missing money range from €3 to €6 billion—enough to take down all Cypriot banks. By comparison, the banks' exposure to Greek sovereign debt is estimated to be €4.2 billion..."It wouldn't surprise me that all those who bought properties in Cyprus might in the end be forced to pay additional money if they want to keep what they already paid for," said my source in Cyprus.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 07:18 AM

9. USA Recession Odds: 100%?



Here’s an interesting new data point that the St Louis Fed has put together to calculate recession probabilities:

“Recession probabilities for the United States are obtained from a dynamic-factor markov-switching model applied to four monthly coincident variables: non-farm payroll employment, the index of industrial production, real personal income excluding transfer payments, and real manufacturing and trade sales. “

What’s interesting about this index is the current reading. At 20%, the index is at a level that has ALWAYS been followed by a recession. As you can see below, the index has never approached 20% without a subsequent recession. All 6 recessions since 1967 have coincided with 20%+ readings in the US Recession Probabilities index.

Interestingly, I still don’t see recession in my internal indicators. Those indicators have been right for a long time now (in the face of some very public recession predictions by reputable people). So I am afraid when my internal indicators point to “no recession” when an indicator like this clearly puts that opinion in the “this time is different” category….

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 07:22 AM

10. Destroyed by Total Capitalism America Has Already Lost Tuesday's Election



Germans see the US election as a battle between the good Obama and the evil Romney. But this is a mistake. Regardless of who wins the election on Tuesday, total capitalism is America's true ruler, and it has the power to destroy the country.

The United States Army is developing a weapon that can reach -- and destroy -- any location on Earth within an hour. At the same time, power lines held up by wooden poles dangle over the streets of Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy ripped them apart there and in communities across the East Coast last week, and many places remain without electricity. That's America, where high-tech options are available only to the elite, and the rest live under conditions comparable to a those of a developing nation. No country has produced more Nobel Prize winners, yet in New York City hospitals had to be evacuated during the storm because their emergency generators didn't work properly.

Anyone who sees this as a contradiction has failed to grasp the fact that America is a country of total capitalism. Its functionaries have no need of public hospitals or of a reliable power supply to private homes. The elite have their own infrastructure. Total capitalism, however, has left American society in ruins and crippled the government. America's fate is not just an accident produced by the system. It is a consequence of that system.

Obama couldn't change this, and Romney wouldn't be able to either. Europe is mistaken if it views the election as a choice between the forces of good and evil. And it certainly doesn't amount to a potential change in political direction as some newspapers on the Continent would have us believe. MORE

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 08:45 AM

12. US Futures - very, very mild recovery from yesterday's selloff

S&P 500 +0.2%
DOW +0.2%
NASDAQ +0.2%

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 08:46 AM

13. Europe mostly up, mildly

FTSE 100 5,808 +16 0.28%
DAX 7,269 +36 0.50%
CAC 40 3,431 +21 0.63%
IBEX 35 7,702 +41 0.54%
FTSE MIB 15,238 -54 0.35%

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:05 AM

15. i'm almost ready for the day...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:07 AM

16. China congress: Hu Jintao says reforms to deepen


Mr Hu addressed the Communist Party congress that is holding a once-in-a-decade power transfer

China's President Hu Jintao has said the country will deepen its economic reforms and boost domestic demand to spur a new wave of growth.

Opening the Communist Party congress, Mr Hu added that China needed to work towards a more "market-based" exchange rate for the yuan.

China has been trying to boost domestic consumption to offset a decline in exports.

The congress comes as China's economic growth rate has hit a three-year low.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:08 AM

17. Eurozone interest rates remain at 0.75%


The European Central Bank (ECB) has held the benchmark eurozone interest rate at the record low of 0.75%, as had been expected.

The rate has been at this level for four months, after July's cut from 1%.

Earlier on Thursday, the Bank of England also kept its main interest rate unchanged, leaving it at 0.5%.

In September, the ECB announced a bond-buying programme to try to ease the financial woes of a number of member states.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:11 AM

18. EU to investigate Chinese solar panel subsidies


The Commission estimates that Chinese firms sold 21bn euros of solar panel products to Europe in 2011

The European Commission has opened an investigation into subsidies given to Chinese solar panel makers.

Brussels said the move was in response to a request from European manufacturers, who accuse their Chinese rivals of being able to sell panels in Europe at artificially low prices.

It is just the latest twist in a continuing trade row over the product between China and the US and Europe.

On Wednesday, the US upheld higher tariffs on Chinese panels.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:16 AM

19. J.P. Morgan near SEC settlement



J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (US:jpm) is nearing a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to end a probe into the company's Bear Stearns unit on packaging and selling home loans to investors, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Citing unnamed people familiar with the case, the article said J.P. Morgan's settlement isn't expected to surpass the $550 million paid in 2010 by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (US:gs) to settle claims by the SEC that it misled investors in its collateralized debt obligation called Abacus 2007-AC1. In addition to the possible settlement, J.P. Morgan faces other probes and lawsuits surrounding Bear Stearns, the article said.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:13 AM

29. JPMorgan gets nod to resume stock buys after Whale loss


Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co said U.S. regulators have approved a plan for the bank to use its capital to buy back as much as $3 billion of its stock in the first quarter of 2013.

JPMorgan had suspended buybacks in May and submitted a new capital plan to the Federal Reserve in August after containing its "London Whale" derivatives losses at about $6.2 billion.

The Federal Reserve told the bank on November 5 that it had approved the plan, JPMorgan said in a quarterly filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

The losing derivatives positions were disclosed by JPMorgan on May 10, more than a month after reports surfaced in the credit markets that Bruno Iksil, a London-based trader for JPMorgan known as the London Whale, had made massive bets in credit markets.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:26 AM

21. Greece lawmakers back austerity cuts amid protests


Protesters in Athens attacked police with petrol bombs and flares

Lawmakers in Greece have narrowly backed a fresh round of austerity measures, despite violent protests across the country.

The austerity package aimed at securing the next round of bailout funds was passed with the support of 153 MPs in the 300-member parliament.

The 13.5bn-euro ($17.3bn; £10.5bn) bill includes tax rises and pension cuts.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:28 AM

22. No Conspiracy Theory -- A Small Group of Companies Have Enormous Power Over the World



In October of 2011, New Scientist reported that a scientific study on the global financial system was undertaken by three complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. The conclusion of the study revealed what many theorists and observers have noted for years, decades, and indeed, even centuries: “An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.” As one of the researchers stated, “Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it’s conspiracy theories or free-market… Our analysis is reality-based.” Using a database which listed 37 million companies and investors worldwide, the researchers studied all 43,060 trans-national corporations (TNCs), including the share ownerships linking them.
The mapping of ‘power’ was through the construction of a model showing which companies controlled which other companies through shareholdings. The web of ownership revealed a core of 1,318 companies with ties to two or more other companies. This ‘core’ was found to own roughly 80% of global revenues for the entire set of 43,000 TNCs. And then came what the researchers referred to as the “super-entity” of 147 tightly-knit companies, which all own each other, and collectively own 40% of the total wealth in the entire network. One of the researchers noted, “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network.” This network poses a huge risk to the global economy, as, “If one suffers distress… this propagates.” The study was undertaken with a data set established prior to the economic crisis, thus, as the financial crisis forced some banks to die (Lehman Bros.) and others to merge, the “super-entity” would now be even more connected, concentrated, and problematic for the economy.

The top 50 companies on the list of the “super-entity” included (as of 2007):

Barclays Plc (#1), Capital Group Companies Inc (#2), FMR Corporation (#3), AXA (#4), State Street Corporation (#5), JP Morgan Chase & Co. (#6), UBS AG (#9), Merrill Lynch & Co Inc (#10), Deutsche Bank (#12), Credit Suisse Group (#14), Bank of New York Mellon Corp (#16), Goldman Sachs Group (#18), Morgan Stanley (#21), Société Générale (#24), Bank of America Corporation (#25), Lloyds TSB Group (#26), Lehman Brothers Holdings (#34), Sun Life Financial (#35), ING Groep (#41), BNP Paribas (#46), and several others.

In the United States, five banks control half the economy: JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs Group collectively held $8.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2011, which equals roughly 56% of the U.S. economy. This data was according to central bankers at the Federal Reserve. In 2007, the assets of the largest banks amounted to 43% of the U.S. economy. Thus, the crisis has made the banks bigger and more powerful than ever. Because the government invoked “too big to fail,” meaning that the big banks will be saved because they are very important, the big banks have incentive to make continued and bigger risks, because they will be bailed out in the end. Essentially, it’s an insurance policy for criminal risk-taking behaviour. The former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis stated, “Market participants believe that nothing has changed, that too-big-to-fail is fully intact.” Remember, “market” means the banking cartel (or “super-entity” if you prefer). Thus, they build new bubbles and buy government bonds (sovereign debt), making the global financial system increasingly insecure and at risk of a larger collapse than took place in 2008. When politicians, economists, and other refer to “financial markets,” they are in actuality referring to the “super-entity” of corporate-financial institutions which dominate, collectively, the global economy. For example, the role of financial markets in the debt crisis ravaging Europe over the past two years is often referred to as “market discipline,” with financial markets speculating against the ability of nations to repay their debt or interest, of credit ratings agencies downgrading the credit-worthiness of nations, of higher yields on sovereign bonds (higher interest on government debt), and plunging the country deeper into crisis, thus forcing its political class to impose austerity and structural adjustment measures in order to restore “market confidence.” This process is called “market discipline,” but is more accurately, “financial terrorism” or “market warfare,” with the term “market” referring specifically to the “super-entity.” Whatever you call it, market discipline is ultimately a euphemism for class war.


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Response to Demeter (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:57 AM

26. that oughta be an issue of national security, if you ask me. nt

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:35 AM

23. Is Elizabeth Warren's Victory the End of the Tea Party?




...Warren, who beat out the incumbent Republican Scott Brown in a bitter election, ran a campaign centered on connecting the dots between economic policies and personal values. A Harvard bankruptcy-law professor, Warren trumpeted a platform that called for economic reform, financial regulation and the protection of Social Security, Medicare and other safety-net programs.

"We said this election is about whose side you're on," Warren told The Huffington Post . "I think of this as an election where we stuck to our values: Make sure Social Security and Medicare benefits are protected, and millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. To me, that's the heart of it. That's really where the basic social contract is reaffirmed.”

This type of populist platform became increasingly risky after Citizens United allowed for the infusion of billions of dollars into state elections. Warren was already well disliked on Wall Street for her role in creating and heading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog agency that seeks “to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.”

Yet, Warren refused to compromise her platform, and now attributes her victory to her unflagging commitment to the social contract throughout her campaign. Last fall, Warren was one of the few politicians to speak positively about Occupy Wall Street, although she was careful to distance her senate race from the trajectory of the grassroots movement....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:42 AM

24. Kamikaze (Divine Wind) Sandy got us this far


Occupy USA will have to get us out of danger, though, of being wrung out by the banksters.

The Kamikaze (神風, Japanese for divine wind), were two winds or storms that are said to have saved Japan from two Mongol fleets under Kublai Khan. These fleets attacked Japan in 1274 and again in 1281. Due to growth of Zen Buddhism among Samurai at the time, these were the first events where the typhoons were described as "divine wind" as much by their timing as by their force.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:50 AM

25. Is Our Future Going to Be Keeping Rich People Happy in a Servant Economy?



Fire fighter, basketball player, lion tamer, teacher, nurse: Ask little kids what they want to be when they grow up, and you’ll get all sorts of answers. But you’ll never hear this one. You’ll never hear youngsters say they want to devote their careers to serving rich people. Today’s youth might want to reconsider. They’re facing an American economy where serving rich people increasingly seems to offer the best future with real opportunity. Or, as the economist Jeff Faux puts it, we’re well on the way to becoming a full-fledged “servant economy.” We’ve had “servant economies” in the world before. At times, people even rushed toward servant status. In the early industrial age, jobs in mines and factories would be dirty and dangerous and pay next to nothing. Domestic work for rich families could seem, by comparison, a relatively safe haven. But that calculus changed as workers organized and won the right to bargain collectively for a greater share of the wealth they were creating. Over the first half of the 20th century, America’s super rich lost their dominance, and fewer and fewer Americans worked as servants for them.

This state of affairs didn’t last long. Since the late 1970s we’ve witnessed an assault on the building blocks of greater equality — strong unions, steeply graduated progressive taxes, regulatory limits on business behavior — that has hollowed out the American middle class...We could, of course, have a robust “service” economy, if we built that economy on providing quality services to all Americans. But providing these quality services, in everything from education to health to transportation, would take a significant public investment — and significant tax revenue from America’s rich.

A half-century ago, we did collect significant tax revenue from America’s wealthy. No longer. Tax cuts have minimized that revenue and left public services chronically underfunded. That leaves young people today, as economist Jeff Faux points out in his new book The Servant Economy: Where America’s Elite is Sending the Middle Class, with a stark choice.

Young people can become engineers and programmers and spend their careers in “pitiless competition with people all over the world” just as smart and trained but “willing to work for much less.” Or they can join the servant economy and “service those few at the top who have successfully joined the global elite.” In this new “servant economy,” we’re not talking just nannies and chauffeurs. We’re talking, as journalist Camilla Long notes, “pilots, publicists, art dealers, and bodyguards” — a “newer, brighter phalanx of personal helpers.”

Want to see the world? In the new servant economy, you can become a “jewelry curator” and voyage to foreign lands to pick up gems for wealthy clients.

Want to face daily challenges? You can become a concierge and hire an elephant for a wealthy patron’s wedding reception one day, get your patron a chess match with a grand master the next.

Or, if you lean toward the traditional, you can always shell out $12,000 for a month-long course that will certify you as a manservant in good standing with the Guild of Professional English Butlers.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:08 AM

27. Trade deficit narrows as exports climb


(Reuters) - The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in September as exports increased, suggesting the economy expanded more than previously believed in the third quarter.

The seasonally adjusted monthly trade gap fell to $41.55 billion, the smallest deficit since December 2010, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. Analysts were expecting the trade gap would widen to $45.0 billion.

The reading suggests exports did more to boost economic growth in the third quarter than previously believed. Gross domestic product expanded 2.0 percent in the period, according to initial estimates.

U.S. exports rose 3.1 percent in September, the biggest increase in more than a year despite a debt crisis in Europe that has weighed on the global economy.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:10 AM

28. ECB's Draghi: economic outlook weak, not improving


(Reuters) - The European Central Bank expects the euro zone economy to remain poor, ECB President Mario Draghi said after the bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday.

"Economic activity in the euro area is expected to remain weak," Draghi told his regular monthly news conference after the ECB held its main interest rate at 0.75 percent.

He noted that recent economic surveys did not signal any improvement heading to the end of the year.

Highlighting weakness in the economy, German business confidence fell last month to its lowest since February 2010 and euro zone manufacturing shrank for the 15th month running

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:16 AM

30. France’s blighted north lures thousands of Chinese firms


One of France’s poorest regions will soon become the focal point of major Chinese investment in Europe, after regional authorities signed a landmark agreement in Shanghai this week.

The department of Moselle in northeastern France will soon host a mammoth business exhibition centre, which will act as a platform for Chinese investment across Europe.

Leaders of the department of Moselle were in Shanghai on Monday to put pen to paper on a deal, that will see up to 2,000 Chinese companies represented at the centre from 2014.

The International Industry, Technology and Trade Exhibition Centre (ITEC) will give the companies a gateway into the European market and a chance to build contacts and encourage business with their European counterparts.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:18 AM

31. Carlyle Drops Plan To Take Over Chemring


Carlyle Drops Plan To Take Over Chemring
By Robert Wall on November 07, 2012

Carlyle Group LP (CG), the U.S. private equity firm, said it walked away from a potential bid for Chemring Group Plc (CHG) after a review of the defense company, which has repeatedly failed to meet earnings targets in recent months.

"Carlyle today confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Chemring,"¯ the Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm said in a statement, without citing the reasons. Chemring fell as much as 16 percent in London trading.

Negotiations that were extended twice since they first became public on Aug. 17 had been overshadowed by two target downgrades by Chemring and the surprise ouster of Chief Executive Officer David Price last month. Chemring said today after Carlyle pulled out that it will continue to feel the strain from governments cutting defense budgets.

"Carlyle realized Chemring's problems were far deeper than expected," Oliver Sleath, a London-based analyst at Credit Suisse, said in a telephone interview. Another bidder is not likely to emerge in the short term, he said.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:25 AM

32. For Champions of Degrowth, Less Is Much More


Cars clog the Eastshore Freeway near Berkeley, California. (Credit: Minesweeper/GNU license)

NEW YORK - The concept of degrowth is not a very comfortable one in overdeveloped countries such as the United States.

But with the planet’s resources stretched to the limit, many argue that an action plan is needed to prevent the world’s largest economy from getting any bigger, especially with the global population projected to grow by another two billion by 2050.

Burgeoning population, flourishing economies and unsustainable consumption are putting a lot of pressure on Earth, disrupting ecosystems and the livelihoods of many human beings. The Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability think tank, estimates that humanity uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources people consume and absorb the waste they produce.

The human footprint on Earth’s systems has more than doubled over the last decades, and experts warn that humanity needs to significantly shrink its economy, while promoting environmental protection and diminishing inequalities.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:49 AM

33. China Is Relentlessly Messing With Japan In The East China Sea


Two Japanese ships sail after a Chinese surveillance ship on Sept. 24

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese patrol boats have harried the Japanese Coast Guard many times a week for more than a month in an unusually relentless response to their latest maritime spat.

Four Chinese craft typically push to within hailing distance of Japan's ships. They flash illuminated signs in Japanese to press Beijing's argument that it has ancient claims to a set of tiny East China Sea islands now controlled by Tokyo. China says its craft have tried to chase the Japanese away at least once, although Japan denies any of its ships fled.

The huge uptick in incidents has brought the sides into dangerously close proximity, reflecting a campaign by Beijing to wear down Japanese resolve with low-level, non-military maneuvers but also boosting the risk of a clash.

Although China wields a formidable arsenal, it has yet to deploy military assets in such encounters. Instead, Beijing has dispatched ships from government maritime agencies — only one of which is armed — to keep a lid on gunfire. Those agencies are now receiving added attention, with new ships on order and a national call going out for recruits.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/china-is-relentlessly-messing-with-japan-in-the-east-china-sea-2012-11#ixzz2BdupjIHz

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 03:01 PM

35. Just when you think maybe the crazy is over


both at my condo home and in GD, I see that there are wellsprings of insanity, cruelty, and stupidity yet untapped, let alone drained.

It was too much to hope for a time of Xmas healing, I suppose.

There are still more people who are going to wake up some day with the revelation that they were WRONG about something, so wrong, that they imperiled their own safety and that of their nearest and dearest. And they aren't all in the GOP or Tea Party canps, either.

I really want to find a cave for a while. Maybe when it snows, the crazy will stay home.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #35)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 05:56 PM

36. The fear-mongers are influencing the brain's limbic system

Specifically the hippocampus and amygdala, both important for self preservation. These white matter structures are responsible for emotions and ultimately higher gray matter function. The conspiracy theories woven by talk radio hosts and certain news sources, short circuit reasoning (higher function) and stimulate fear (lower function). There has been too much money invested in the study of human behavior to believe this is accidental.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 08:05 PM

37. Asia Markets down 1.5% - 2.5% at the moment.

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