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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:00 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Monday, 19 November 2012

[font size=3]STOCK MARKET WATCH, Monday, 19 November 2012[font color=black][/font]

SMW for 16 November 2012

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 16 November 2012
[center][font color=green]
Dow Jones 12,588.31 +45.93 (0.37%)
S&P 500 1,359.88 +6.55 (0.48%)
Nasdaq 2,853.13 +16.19 (0.57%)

[font color=green]10 Year 1.58% -0.01 (-0.63%)
[font color=black]30 Year 2.73% 0.00 (0.00%) (-0.36%) [font color=black]


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[font size=2]Market Conditions During Trading Hours[/font]


[font size=2]Euro, Yen, Loonie, Silver and Gold[center]




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[font color=black][font size=2]Handy Links - Market Data and News:[/font][/font]
Economic Calendar
Marketwatch Data
Bloomberg Economic News
Yahoo Finance
Google Finance
Bank Tracker
Credit Union Tracker
Daily Job Cuts

[font color=black][font size=2]Handy Links - Government Issues:[/font][/font]
Open Government
Earmark Database
USA spending.gov

[font color=red]Partial List of Financial Sector Officials Convicted since 1/20/09 [/font][font color=red]
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. . .

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[font size=3][font color=red]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.[/font][/font][/font color=red][font color=black]

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Reply STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Monday, 19 November 2012 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 OP
Demeter Nov 2012 #1
Demeter Nov 2012 #2
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 #19
Fuddnik Nov 2012 #23
Demeter Nov 2012 #3
Demeter Nov 2012 #4
Demeter Nov 2012 #5
Demeter Nov 2012 #8
Demeter Nov 2012 #10
Demeter Nov 2012 #6
Demeter Nov 2012 #7
Demeter Nov 2012 #9
DemReadingDU Nov 2012 #11
DemReadingDU Nov 2012 #12
Demeter Nov 2012 #13
xchrom Nov 2012 #14
AnneD Nov 2012 #34
xchrom Nov 2012 #36
Demeter Nov 2012 #37
xchrom Nov 2012 #15
xchrom Nov 2012 #16
xchrom Nov 2012 #17
xchrom Nov 2012 #18
Demeter Nov 2012 #20
Demeter Nov 2012 #22
xchrom Nov 2012 #21
xchrom Nov 2012 #24
xchrom Nov 2012 #25
Demeter Nov 2012 #38
Demeter Nov 2012 #26
xchrom Nov 2012 #27
xchrom Nov 2012 #28
xchrom Nov 2012 #29
xchrom Nov 2012 #30
xchrom Nov 2012 #31
InkAddict Nov 2012 #32
Roland99 Nov 2012 #33
Warpy Nov 2012 #35
Demeter Nov 2012 #39

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:36 PM

1. Isn't that "Misfit Goys"?


Or do we eschew ethnic puns?

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:41 PM

2. If You’ve Got the Skills, She’s Got the Job By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN



TRACI TAPANI is not your usual C.E.O. For the last 19 years, she and her sister have been co-presidents of Wyoming Machine, a sheet metal company they inherited from their father in Stacy, Minn. I met Tapani at a meeting convened by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to discuss one of its biggest challenges today: finding the skilled workers that employers need to run local businesses. I’ll let Tapani take it from here:

“About 2009,” she explained, “when the economy was collapsing and there was a lot of unemployment, we were working with a company that got a contract to armor Humvees,” so her 55-person company “had to hire a lot of people. I was in the market looking for 10 welders. I had lots and lots of applicants, but they did not have enough skill to meet the standard for armoring Humvees. Many years ago, people learned to weld in a high school shop class or in a family business or farm, and they came up through the ranks and capped out at a certain skill level. They did not know the science behind welding,” so could not meet the new standards of the U.S. military and aerospace industry.

“They could make beautiful welds,” she said, “but they did not understand metallurgy, modern cleaning and brushing techniques” and how different metals and gases, pressures and temperatures had to be combined. Moreover, in small manufacturing businesses like hers, explained Tapani, “unlike a Chinese firm that does high-volume, low-tech jobs, we do a lot of low-volume, high-tech jobs, and each one has its own design drawings. So a welder has to be able to read and understand five different design drawings in a single day.”

Tapani eventually found a welder from another firm who had passed the American Welding Society Certified Welding Inspector exam, the industry’s gold standard, and he trained her welders — some of whom took several tries to pass the exam — so she could finish the job. Since then, Tapani trained a woman from Stacy, who had originally learned welding to make ends meet as a single mom. She took on the challenge of becoming a certified welding inspector, passed the exam and Tapani made her the company’s own in-house instructor, no longer relying on the local schools.

“She knows how to read a weld code. She can write work instructions and make sure that the people on the floor can weld to that instruction,” so “we solved the problem by training our own people,” said Tapani, adding that while schools are trying hard, training your own workers is often the only way for many employers to adapt to “the quick response time” demanded for “changing skills.” But even getting the right raw recruits is not easy. Welding “is a $20-an-hour job with health care, paid vacations and full benefits,” said Tapani, but “you have to have science and math. I can’t think of any job in my sheet metal fabrication company where math is not important. If you work in a manufacturing facility, you use math every day; you need to compute angles and understand what happens to a piece of metal when it’s bent to a certain angle.”

Who knew? Welding is now a STEM job — that is, a job that requires knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math.

Employers across America will tell you similar stories. It’s one reason we have three million open jobs around the country but 8 percent unemployment. We’re in the midst of a perfect storm: a Great Recession that has caused a sharp increase in unemployment and a Great Inflection — a merger of the information technology revolution and globalization that is simultaneously wiping out many decent-wage, middle-skilled jobs, which were the foundation of our middle class, and replacing them with decent-wage, high-skilled jobs. Every decent-paying job today takes more skill and more education, but too many Americans aren’t ready...



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Response to Demeter (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:43 AM

19. Friedman is such a putz

Friedman a native of St. Louis Park, MN, same place Al Franken was raised. Friedman is a putz; Franken is not.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:02 AM

23. You're only half right.

Friedman is an asshole. Franken is not.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:45 PM

3. FDIC Lawsuits Yielded Big Penalties, But Bankers Haven't Paid Up (FEBRUARY)



Like many banks engulfed by the mortgage crisis, First National Bank of Nevada specialized in risky home loans that didn't require borrowers to prove their incomes. When the housing bubble burst, First National got crushed in 2008 under the weight of bad loans that it could no longer resell to investors. Last year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sued two former senior executives of the defunct bank for alleged negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, hoping to recover nearly $200 million in losses that it tied directly to those executives' decisions. The two men denied wrongdoing and settled for $40 million.

But they didn't pay a dime.

Instead, the federal agency - which is better known as a regulator that seizes control of failing banks and provides deposit insurance for consumers than for its prosecutorial endeavors - is still fighting in court to collect that money from Catlin Group Ltd., a Lloyd's insurance syndicate. Catlin provided an equivalent of malpractice insurance to First National's executives, but the insurer denied liability for the executives' alleged mistakes.

The case illustrates complex legal maneuvering as the FDIC steps up efforts to pick through the detritus of the financial crisis, and to recoup at least some of the nearly $87 billion costs to its deposit insurance fund from the collapse of about 400 federally insured banks between 2008 and late 2011. The First National Bank failure cost the fund $900 million. Concerns about whether the FDIC's strategy isn't aggressive enough in such cases at least partly echo criticism levied at other regulators and enforcement agencies for being too lenient. Over the past 18 months, the FDIC has filed 22 lawsuits targeting personal finances of former executives, their insurance policies, and sometimes their spouses' assets, in an attempt to claw back some of the money, and to deter reckless banking practices in the future. Of the lawsuits filed so far, none has gone to trial yet, and three have been settled. A look at the three deals suggests the FDIC is prepared to accept a fraction of the alleged damages as a settlement while some former executives deny wrongdoing and escape significant financial responsibility for bank failures.

The primary targets of the lawsuits aren't so much the former executives' wallets, but rather the insurance policies most banks take out to shield their officers and directors from claims of negligent management, according to court documents and interviews with lawyers....


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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:49 PM

4. Big Banks Squeeze Billions in Profits from Public Budgets



Big banks are profiting at state and local governments’ expense using the same toxic financial instruments that helped crash the economy. These derivatives known as interest rate swaps, were sold to governments with a promise that they would lower their borrowing costs but have now become a huge liability. The banks have already taken as much as $28 billion from state and local governments. Now, during the worst public budget crisis in memory, the big banks seek to collect billions more from toxic deals that local and state governments are trapped into and are forcing layoffs and cuts to services to cover payments to banks. Big banks must renegotiate or cancel the derivatives, which could prevent the transfer of billions of dollars from public budgets to big banks.

Bank Deals Turn Toxic: Increased Costs for Governments, Windfall for Banks

Banks like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs initially marketed derivative deals with the promise that they would help state and local
governments reduce their cost of borrowing for public improvement projects. In a typical deal, a state or local government agreed to “swap” interest rates
on variable-rate bonds, with the government paying the bank a fixed rate in exchange for a variable payment that would track the interest due on the bonds.
If interest rates were projected accurately, the payments would more or less balance out over the life of the contract and the public entity would end up with
something similar to a fixed-rate bond. Derivatives, however, have turned into a windfall for banks and a nightmare for taxpayers. In the wake of the financial collapse, the federal government aggressively drove down interest rates to save the big banks and spur economic recovery. The unintended consequence was the creation of an opportunity for banks – whose variable payments were tied to prevailing interest rates – to reap a tremendous profit from the deals. While banks are still collecting fixed rates of 3 to 6 percent, they are now regularly paying public entities as a little as a tenth of one percent on the outstanding bonds, with rates expected to remain low in the future. Over the life of the deals, banks are now projected to collect billions more than they pay state and local governments – an
outcome which amounts to a second bailout for banks, this one paid directly out of state and local budgets.

While banks have benefitted, state and local governments have been trapped in expensive and risky debt. They are paying above-market rates and are
exposed to even higher penalty rates if banks and other financial institutions withdraw support for their complicated variable-rate debt. Yet the banks have
made it prohibitively expensive for state and local governments to refinance by demanding tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in fees to terminate
derivatives. In some cases, public entities have gone ahead and made the payments out of desperation; in others, the banks have actually forced termination
of the deals just to collect the huge termination fees. The overall effect is staggering. Banks are estimated to have collected as much as $28 billion in
termination fees alone from state and local governments over the past two years. This does not even begin to account for the outsized net payments that
state and local governments are now making to the banks.
Finally, there is also mounting evidence that it is no accident that these deals have gone so badly, so quickly for state and local governments. Ongoing
investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the California, Florida, and Connecticut Attorneys General implicate nearly every major bank in a
nationwide conspiracy to rig bids and drive up the fixed rates state and local governments pay on their derivative contracts.

If the allegations are true, the banks’ illegal practices have directly contributed the outsized costs and risks now faced by state and local governments...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:51 PM

5. JPMorgan, Citi, BofA sued for $949 million by Sealink (FEB. 23)



JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and more than a half dozen other major banks are being hit with a new lawsuit over $949 million in residential mortgage-backed securities.

A summons was filed Tuesday by Sealink Funding Ltd, an Irish entity that oversees risky RMBS, in New York state Supreme Court. Sealink has filed numerous other lawsuits against major banks over billions in residential mortgage-backed securities it bought. New York attorney Joel H. Bernstein, who represents Sealink, said the new case is over "securities they have not sued for in the past."

Sealink claims the purchases were based on faulty offering materials, including misrepresentations of underwriting standards. It seeks damages or to have the purchases rescinded.

The case is Sealink Funding Limited v. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, 650484/2012, New York state Supreme Court.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:59 PM

8. Banks Are The “Achilles’ Heel of Capitalism”



Edward Yardeni of Yardeni Research in this week’s Barron’s:

“The problem with banks is that they tend to blow up on a regular basis. That’s because bankers are playing with other people’s money (OPM). They consistently abuse the privilege and shirk their fiduciary responsibilities. Whenever they get into trouble, government regulators scramble to bail them out first and then scramble to regulate them more strictly. Without fail, the bankers respond to tougher rules by using some of the OPM to hire financial engineers and political lobbyists to figure out ways around the new regulations.

In my opinion, banks are the Achilles’ heel of capitalism. They really do need to be regulated like utilities if their liabilities are either explicitly or implicitly guaranteed by the government, i.e., by taxpayers. Banks should be permitted to earn a very low utility-like stable return. Bankers should receive compensation in the middle of the pay scale for government employees, somewhere between the pay of a postal worker and the head of the FDIC. It should be the capital markets, hedge funds, and private-equity investors that provide credit to risky borrowers instead of the banks.”

‘Nuff said . . .

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Response to Demeter (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:03 PM

10. George Washington: Numerous Top Bankers Call for Break Up of Giant Banks



Banking Titans Call for Break Up of “Too Big to Fail”

The following bankers are calling for the big banks to be broken up:

Former Citi CEO Sandy Weill

Former Citi CEO John Reed

Former Citi chairman Richard Parsons

Former Merrill Lynch chairman and CEO David Komansky

Former Morgan Stanley CEO Philip Purcell

Former managing director of Goldman Sachs – and head of the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London- Nomi Prins

Numerous other bankers within the mega-banks (see this, for example)

Former Natwest and Schroders investment banker, Philip Augar

The President of the Independent Community Bankers of America, Camden Fine

Top Economists and Financial Experts Agree

It’s not just bankers.

The following top economists and financial experts believe that the economy cannot recover unless the big, insolvent banks are broken up in an orderly fashion:

Nobel prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz

Nobel prize-winning economist, Ed Prescott

Nobel prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman

Former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan

Former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich

Dean and professor of finance and economics at Columbia Business School, and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, R. Glenn Hubbard

Former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund, Simon Johnson (and see this)

Former 20-year President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – currently FDIC Vice Chair - Thomas Hoenig (and see this)

President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Richard Fisher (and see this)

President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Thomas Bullard

Deputy Treasury Secretary, Neal S. Wolin

The Congressional panel overseeing the bailout (and see this)

The former head of the FDIC, Sheila Bair

The head of the Bank of England, Mervyn King

The Bank of International Settlements (the “Central Banks’ Central Bank”)

The leading monetary economist and co-author with Milton Friedman of the leading treatise on the Great Depression, Anna Schwartz

Economics professor and senior regulator during the S & L crisis, William K. Black

Leading British economist, John Kay

Economics professor, Nouriel Roubini

Economist, Marc Faber

Professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the Chicago Booth School of Business, Luigi Zingales

Economics professor, Thomas F. Cooley

Economist Dean Baker

Economist Arnold Kling

Chairman of the Commons Treasury, John McFall

Click ON LINK on why so many top bankers, economists and financial experts say that the big banks should be broken up.

Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/george-washington-numerous-top-bankers-call-for-break-up-of-giant-banks.html#hi6DZWHHiB8SdHXU.99

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:56 PM

6. Used Lamborghinis Linger on H.K. Lots Amid China Lull




Waiting lists for ultra-luxury cars in Hong Kong are getting shorter and used-car lots are cutting prices on Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bentleys in the latest sign of China’s slowdown.

At first glance, the numbers are deceiving: Sales of very expensive new autos surged 47 percent in the first six months, according to industry analyst IHS Automotive. Look more deeply, however, and another picture emerges, especially in the city’s used-car lots.

Dealers of such second-hand cars say job cuts and the worsening global economic outlook are creating uncertainty among the finance-industry and expatriate professionals who make up the bulk of their buyers. Morgan Stanley (MS), Citigroup Inc. (C) and Deutsche Bank AG are among firms with Asian headquarters in Hong Kong that are cutting jobs worldwide.

“The more expensive the car, the more dry the business,” said Tommy Siu at the Causeway Bay showroom of Vin’s Motors Co., the used-car dealership he founded two decades ago. Sales of ultra-luxury cars have fallen by half in the past two or three months, he said. “A lot of bankers don’t want to spend too much money for a car now. At this moment, they don’t know if they’ll have a big bonus.”


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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:57 PM

7. The New York Times Is Now Supported by Readers, Not Advertisers By Joe Coscarelli




Advertising revenue continues to sink at the New York Times Company, which reported a second-quarter net loss of $88.1 million today. But a glimmer of hope can be seen in circulation revenue, which has actually gone up through print subscription price increases and the online paywall. At the company's big three papers — the Times, International Herald Tribune, and Boston Globe — print and digital ad dollars dipped 6.6 percent to $220 million, while circulation revenue was up 8.3 percent to $233 million. The historical rebalancing, which occurred at the News Media Group for the first time in Q1, may indicate a sea change in an industry that has long relied on advertising to stay afloat. "They're probably the first major paper that has crossed that line," media analyst Ken Doctor of Newsonomics told Daily Intel. "It is an interesting moment."

The transition was accelerated by the death spiral of print ads, and the stalling of growth for online advertising, but more expensive subscriptions and charging for website access play a role as well. (Note the big ads on the website lately for a summer subscription sale.)

"Getting away from the historic huge reliance on advertising is definitely a plus," said Poynter media business expert Rick Edmonds. "They're still trying to stabilize advertising and that hasn't been wildly successful yet. But the digital subscription effort has been more successful than many people wanted it to be." The news group now counts 509,000 digital subscribers, up from 454,000 in March.

The morning paper costs more, too, but most people don't seem to mind. "There's a large group of people that values what the Times does as a news organization, and that their willingness to pay is greater than we thought it was," Doctor said. "There's an alchemy there of aggressive pricing, access to good apps, and the content itself. If that's in place, it looks like there's a fairly large number of people who will pay for it."


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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:01 PM

9. Veblen’s Institutionalist Elaboration of Rent Theory MICHAEL HUDSON



Speech given at the Veblen, Capitalism and Possibilities for a Rational Economic Order Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, June 6th, 2012

Simon Patten recalled in 1912 that his generation of American economists – most of whom studied in Germany in the 1870s – were taught that John Stuart Mill’s 1848 Principles of Political Economy was the high-water mark of classical thought. However, Mill’s reformist philosophy turned out to be “not a goal but a half-way house” toward the Progressive Era’s reforms. Mill was “a thinker becoming a socialist without seeing what the change really meant,” Patten concluded. “The Nineteenth Century epoch ends not with the theories of Mill but with the more logical systems of Karl Marx and Henry George.[1] But the classical approach to political economy continued to evolve, above all through Thorstein Veblen. Like Marx and George, Veblen’s ideas threatened what he called the “vested interests.” What made his analysis so disturbing was what he retained from the past. Classical political economy had used the labor theory of value to isolate the elements of price that had no counterpart in necessary costs of production. Economic rent – the excess of price over this “real cost” – is unearned income. It is an overhead charge for access to land, minerals or other natural resources, bank credit or other basic needs that are monopolized.

This concept of unearned income as an unnecessary element of price led Veblen to focus on what now is called financial engineering, speculation and debt leveraging. The perception that a rising proportion of income and wealth is an unearned “free lunch” formed the take-off point for Veblen to put real estate and financial scheming at the center of his analysis, at a time when mainstream economists were dropping these areas of concern.

Veblen’s exclusion from today’s curriculum is part of the reaction against classical political economy’s program of social reform. By the time he began to publish in the 1890s, academic economics was in the throes of a counter-revolution sponsored by large landholders, bankers and monopolists denying that there was any such thing as unearned income.[2] The new post-classical mainstream accepted existing property rights and privileges as a “given.” In contrast to Veblen’s argument that the economy was all about organizing predatory schemes, this approach culminated in Milton Friedman’s Chicago School defense the pro-rentier argument: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

This blunt denial rejected the preceding three centuries of classical value and price theory, along with its policy conclusions promoting taxation of land and other natural endowments, and financial reform. Dropped from view was rentier overhead in the form of predatory and unproductive forms of wealth seeking. The post-classical mainstream treats all income as “earned,” including that of rentiers. Lacking the classical concepts of unproductive labor, credit or investment, today’s textbooks describe income as a reward for one’s contribution to production, and wealth is being “saved up” as a result of someone’s productive investment effort, not as an unearned or predatory free lunch...


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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:44 AM

11. Wal-Mart workers plan Black Friday walkout

11/15/12 Wal-Mart workers plan Black Friday walkout
A group of Wal-Mart workers are planning to stage a walkout next week on Black Friday, arguably the biggest holiday shopping day for the world's largest retail store. A group of Wal-Mart workers are planning to stage a walkout next week on Black Friday, arguably the biggest holiday shopping day for the world's largest retail store. in Los Angeles and spread to stores in 12 other cities. More than 100 workers joined in the October actions. One of the workers who plans to join next week's walkout is William Fletcher, who works at a Wal-Mart in Duarte, Calif.

Fletcher, who also participated in the October strikes, claims Wal-Mart cut his hours after he asked to move from the receiving department to another division because of a knee injury. He has since switched departments. "I kept asking myself, 'when is the retaliation for speaking our mind and acting on our rights going to stop?' " he said. Wal-Mart did not have an immediate comment in response to Fletcher's claim. The union-backed groups OUR Walmart and Making Change at Wal-Mart, and a watchdog group Corporate Action Network, are calling on the nation's largest employer to end what they call retaliation against employees who speak out for better pay, fair schedules and affordable health care. On Black Friday, the organizations expect 1,000 protests, both at stores and online


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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:44 AM

12. Walmart Files Unfair Labor Practice Against UFCW

11/18/12 Wal-Mart warns workers on Black Friday strike
As Wal-Mart workers prepare to stage a walkout on Black Friday, the world's largest store is fighting back. Wal-Mart has filed a complaint with a federal agency accusing one of the largest labor unions in the country of unlawfully organizing picket lines, in-store "flash mobs" and other demonstrations in the past six months. In its complaint Thursday, Wal-Mart said the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and its subsidiary known as OURWalmart is trying to force the store into collective bargaining even though it is not the official union for Wal-Mart's employees. The UFCW represents over a million meat packers and food industry workers.


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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:05 AM

13. Unlawful? Under whose law?


Today's labor leaders often point out that every successful tactic their forebearers used has been conveniently "outlawed" since.

And now they want to make modern tactics illegal too? I don't think so. That worm has turned.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:17 AM

14. i needed something exotic and a snack to get through this day...

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Response to xchrom (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:27 PM

34. That...

is so over the top.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #34)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:42 PM

36. would you like a california roll?

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Response to xchrom (Reply #36)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:37 PM

37. Only if it comes in chocolate


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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:19 AM

15. ROUBINI: Here Are The 6 Reasons The Stock Market Has Been Tanking


The stock market has been falling hard since the election, though it's really been weak since the beginning of October.
The popular explanation of the fall is the "Fiscal Cliff", which is a somewhat disappointing and unsatisfying explanation, since it's not like there's been any new information on that front (and in fact, if anything, the early tone has been fairly conciliatory).
In a note to clients of his firm last week, Nouriel Roubini gave 6 reasons why the rally has been "running out of steam."
We summarize them in bullets:

Growth is weak.
The Eurozone crisis is backsliding again. Greece is coming to a head (once again).
Political concerns (fiscal cliff, etc.).
Valuations have gotten way stretched, and are difficult to justify given low inflation and more developed market deleveraging.
QE is running out of its impact, and unlike past QEs (QE1 and QE2), QE3 was launched near a market peak, and if anything revenue and earnings misses are expected to accelerate.
Geopolitical risk is back (Israel, Gaza, Syria, etc.).

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/roubini-why-the-stock-market-is-falling-2012-11#ixzz2CfrxCvte

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:21 AM

16. Shadow Banking Grows To Incredible $67 Trillion Industry


Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The shadow banking industry has grown to about $67 trillion, $6 trillion bigger than previously thought, leading global regulators to seek more oversight of financial transactions that fall outside traditional oversight.

The size of the shadow banking system, which includes the activities of money market funds, monoline insurers and off- balance sheet investment vehicles, “can create systemic risks” and “amplify market reactions when market liquidity is scarce,” the Financial Stability Board said in a report, which utilized more data than last year’s probe into the sector.

“Appropriate monitoring and regulatory frameworks for the shadow banking system needs to be in place to mitigate the build-up of risks,” the FSB said in the report published on its website.

While watchdogs have reined in excessive risk-taking by banks in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008, they are concerned that lenders might use shadow banking to evade the clampdown. Michel Barnier, the European Union’s financial services chief, is planning to target money market funds in a first wave of rules for shadow banks next year.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/shadow-banking-is-67-trillion-industry-2012-11#ixzz2CfsT3OHD

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:36 AM

17. Everyone Is Talking About About A Japanese Game-Change That Could Finally Break The Back of The Yen


Shinzo Abe running on a promise of "ulimited easing"

Despite running a gigantic national debt, the Japanese yen has for a long time been one of the strongest currencies in the world, confounding bears, and frustrating domestic manufacturers who have felt that the strong currency was hobbling business.

But the US dollar has snuck up to a 7-month high against the yen, and everyone is talking about a big leg down.
The catalyst?

An election is coming up in December, and Liberal Democratic Party candidate Shinzo Abe is running on a platform of aggressive easing. Everyone is talking about it.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/shinzo-abe-the-boj-and-the-yen-2012-11#ixzz2CfwH5a3G

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:39 AM

18. Spanish Bad Loans Spiral To Record New High


One of the darkest parts of the Spanish economy, and therefore the European economy, the bad loans held by the banking system continues to get worse.
From Reuters:
Spanish banks' bad loans rose to 10.7 percent of their outstanding portfolios in September, reaching a fresh record high, Bank of Spain data showed on Monday, up from 10.5 percent a month earlier.
The total pile of bad debt is now a staggering $182.2 billion.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/spanish-bad-loans-2012-11#ixzz2Cfx8UFzO

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:44 AM

20. The Twinkie Manifesto By PAUL KRUGMAN



The Twinkie, it turns out, was introduced way back in 1930. In our memories, however, the iconic snack will forever be identified with the 1950s, when Hostess popularized the brand by sponsoring “The Howdy Doody Show.” And the demise of Hostess has unleashed a wave of baby boomer nostalgia for a seemingly more innocent time. Needless to say, it wasn’t really innocent. But the ’50s — the Twinkie Era — do offer lessons that remain relevant in the 21st century. Above all, the success of the postwar American economy demonstrates that, contrary to today’s conservative orthodoxy, you can have prosperity without demeaning workers and coddling the rich.

Consider the question of tax rates on the wealthy. The modern American right, and much of the alleged center, is obsessed with the notion that low tax rates at the top are essential to growth. Remember that Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, charged with producing a plan to curb deficits, nonetheless somehow ended up listing “lower tax rates” as a “guiding principle.” Yet in the 1950s incomes in the top bracket faced a marginal tax rate of 91, that’s right, 91 percent, while taxes on corporate profits were twice as large, relative to national income, as in recent years. The best estimates suggest that circa 1960 the top 0.01 percent of Americans paid an effective federal tax rate of more than 70 percent, twice what they pay today.

Nor were high taxes the only burden wealthy businessmen had to bear. They also faced a labor force with a degree of bargaining power hard to imagine today. In 1955 roughly a third of American workers were union members. In the biggest companies, management and labor bargained as equals, so much so that it was common to talk about corporations serving an array of “stakeholders” as opposed to merely serving stockholders.

Squeezed between high taxes and empowered workers, executives were relatively impoverished by the standards of either earlier or later generations. In 1955 Fortune magazine published an essay, “How top executives live,” which emphasized how modest their lifestyles had become compared with days of yore. The vast mansions, armies of servants, and huge yachts of the 1920s were no more; by 1955 the typical executive, Fortune claimed, lived in a smallish suburban house, relied on part-time help and skippered his own relatively small boat. The data confirm Fortune’s impressions. Between the 1920s and the 1950s real incomes for the richest Americans fell sharply, not just compared with the middle class but in absolute terms. According to estimates by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, in 1955 the real incomes of the top 0.01 percent of Americans were less than half what they had been in the late 1920s, and their share of total income was down by three-quarters. Today, of course, the mansions, armies of servants and yachts are back, bigger than ever — and any hint of policies that might crimp plutocrats’ style is met with cries of “socialism.” Indeed, the whole Romney campaign was based on the premise that President Obama’s threat to modestly raise taxes on top incomes, plus his temerity in suggesting that some bankers had behaved badly, were crippling the economy. Surely, then, the far less plutocrat-friendly environment of the 1950s must have been an economic disaster, right?---Along the way, however, we’ve forgotten something important — namely, that economic justice and economic growth aren’t incompatible. America in the 1950s made the rich pay their fair share; it gave workers the power to bargain for decent wages and benefits; yet contrary to right-wing propaganda then and now, it prospered. And we can do that again.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:46 AM




I see a push coming from the fortunate again, the ones who have been rewarded by the system as it has been, to 'scrap the tax system' and go to a lower flat tax, or even better, a much lower but general consumption tax. Whatever benefits them the most. And economics is a handmaiden flexible and malleable enough to provide them whatever rationale is required to support their arguments.

But the truth is that a consumption tax falls particularly hard on those with the least disposable income, who must still buy the necessities of life. A flat tax is not much better, for much the same reason. The burden falls disproportionately on those who can bear it the least.

I should add that a shift from an income to a consumption tax is a great idea if you would like to stimulate and subsidize a new bubble in speculative financial paper that would bring down the financial system once and for all when it collapses...

The problem with the tax system we have today is that there are so many loopholes and ways to avoid taxes for those with the most power and money. It really is more of a scandal than you might know. It encourages and rewards expoitative behaviour and foments financial corruption. Until you have some serious walking around money, and it draws in the lawyers and accountants, one does not see what a racket the current system is, and how well it serves those 'in the know,' to the disadvantage of everyone else...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:45 AM



NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock futures are rising on strong quarterly earnings from U.S. corporations and optimism that a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff can be reached before Jan. 1.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 57 points to 12,627. The broader S&P futures have added 7.2 points to 1,367. Nasdaq futures are up 15.5 points to 2,548.50.

Home improvement company Lowe's said Monday that its third-quarter profit surged 76 percent. That follows a quarterly report from Home Depot last week, which raised its outlook for the year.

Tyson Foods, the country's largest meat company, easily topped Wall Street expectations Monday for its fourth quarter earnings.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:16 AM

24. China sovereign wealth fund official warns on eurozone austerity


A top official with China's sovereign wealth fund has issued a blunt warning that the latest unrest across the eurozone shows austerity has stretched the public's tolerance "to breaking point".

Jin Liqun, chair of the supervisory board of the $480bn (£300bn) China Investment Corporation (CIC), warned that undue harshness risked a backlash which could end with necessary economic reforms being abandoned.

Jin has been extremely critical of Europe's handling of the debt crisis, warning that authorities have taken a piecemeal approach and suggesting Greece should be given more time to work off its debt. But he has previously stressed the need for Europeans to "work a bit harder … work a bit longer" like Chinese citizens, complaining about "sloth-inducing" labour laws.

Speaking at a forum in Beijing on Friday he repeated his warning that governments had spent unsustainably in the past.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:18 AM

25. Republicans and Democrats hint at willingness to compromise on fiscal cliff


'We're working on this budget; we're going to need a lot of prayer for that,' Obama joked during a tour of a monastery in Bangkok. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Republican and Democratic lawmakers expressed confidence Sunday that a deal to avert the fiscal cliff could be reached, as the man who will need to sign off on the agreement looked toward a higher authority for additional help.

Touring a Buddhist monastery in Bangkok, President Barack Obama was overheard discussing crucial talks to stave off the looming tax hikes and spending cuts with state secretary Hillary Clinton and their monk guide.

"We're working on this budget, we're going to need a lot of prayer for that," he joked, prompting laughter from all concerned.

But back in the US, the mood was a little more optimistic. In a series of interviews Sunday, representatives of both parties appeared to acknowledge a willingness to find compromise, even if significant hurdles remain.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:39 PM

38. LBJ wouldn't have leaned on prayer


He would lean on his opponent, really hard. Several times, and as long as it would take.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:21 AM

26. SIGTARP: Taxpayers still exposed as AIG shrinks CDS portfolio JULY



Taxpayers are still owed more than half their original investment in American International Group ($31.80 0.56%) even as its non-insurance business operates without a consolidated banking regulator, according to the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. AIG still has $30.4 billion from the original $67.8 billion TARP investment outstanding as of July, which is on track to actually earn a return, SIGTARP said in a special report Wednesday. The more than 1 billion shares equal a 61% government stake in the monoline. I BELIEVE THEY MANAGED TO SELL SOME OF THIS OFF...

Including other asset purchases, the total original commitment to the AIG bailout was $161 billion. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York continues to sell off those assets, most tied to faulty mortgages. The AIG Financial Products Corp. still operates today even though it has shrunk its credit default swap portfolio to $168 billion, one-tenth its former size. The firm remains massive and could be considered a systemically important financial institution, or SIFI, when regulators release such a definition. As a SIFI, the company would fall under Federal Reserve supervision.

It still has 219 subsidiaries and is the third largest insurance company by assets in the U.S. The non-insurance business at AIG still lacks consolidated oversight, according to SIGTARP. Before the crash, part of it was considered a thrift and thus fell under Office of Thrift Supervision...MORE

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:29 AM

27. Why this recovery is more jobless for black Americans than others


For black Americans, the unemployment rate is almost double the national average. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

When pressed about whether or not he feels an obligation to address the crisis of black unemployment, President Obama has supplied a reliably consistent answer over the past four years: a rising tide lifts all boats. That is to say, he is of the belief that as the economy gets better overall, it would certainly get better for black people, as well.

And the economy has done better. Recovery has been slow and growth modest, but the answer to "are we better-off than we were four years ago?" is definitely "yes". That is, if you're talking overall. For black people, the answer may be, "eh, not really".

The national unemployment rate has gone down to 7.9%, but for black people, it remains stuck in the teens – having gone up in the last jobs report before the election from 13.4% to 14.3%. This is because black job-seekers have to contend with something that does not come up in the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly jobs report: racism.

Take, for example, the story of Yolanda Spivey. Writing for Techyville, Spivey tells of job-searching online with the popular Monster.com – with zero luck. Identifying as a black woman, Spivey says she did not receive a single response to her resume. Later, she posted a resume identical to her own, but under the name Bianca White – this time, identifying as a white woman.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:31 AM

28. JP Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse pay $416.9m in penalties over mortgages


JP Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse will pay a combined $416.9m (£262.4m) to settle US civil charges that they misled investors in the sale of risky mortgage bonds prior to the 2008 financial crisis, regulators have said.

JP Morgan would pay $296.9m, while Credit Suisse will pay $120m in a separate case, with the money going to harmed investors, the US Securities and Exchange Commission said.

Both settlements addressed alleged negligence or other wrongdoing in the packaging and sale of risky residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), including at the former Bear Stearns Co, which JP Morgan bought in 2008. The banks settled without admitting wrongdoing and in separate statements said they were pleased to settle.

"In many ways, mortgage products such as RMBS were ground zero in the financial crisis," SEC enforcement chief Robert Khuzami said in a statement. "Misrepresentations in connection with the creation and sale of mortgage securities contributed greatly to the tremendous losses suffered by investors once the US housing market collapsed."

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:47 AM

29. Brussels tells Madrid to spend less on roads and more on jobs


Spain should refrain from using European money to build roads and other infrastructure projects, and invest the funds in job incentives and to modernize small and midsized businesses so they can become more competitive, the European Commission (EC) has said.

In a report sent to the Spanish government, the EC wants to begin negotiations aimed at promoting a more efficient use of the funds that it will dole out in the coming years. European institutions are busy working on a plan to help Spain improve the way it uses EU money to be assigned for the 2014-2020 period. The commission wants to guarantee that the funds will go to where they are most needed to help the country emerge from the crisis.

"In Spain there has been a lot of investment in infrastructure -- some has been useful; other cases, let's say, are debatable. But what it hasn't done much is invest in people or small business," Johannes Hahn, the European commissioner for regional policy, told EL PAÍS. "This is something that the current government needs to understand and it should be an absolute priority in upcoming European budgets."

One of the EC's priorities will be to see that Spain reduces the unemployment rate, especially in youths under the age of 25. Hahn believes the EC will be able to obtain a commitment from the Spanish government over the use of funds by the first half of next year.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:51 AM

30. HSBC tax snitch seeks helping hand from French judiciary


Hervé Falciani, the former French-Italian HSBC employee who leaked information about 130,000 tax evaders with accounts at the bank and who was arrested in Barcelona on July 1, has started playing hard ball in his efforts to avoid extradition to Switzerland, where he faces prosecution.

Falciani, who asked Spanish prosecutors to verify that he had cooperated with French authorities, produced a potential ace from up his sleeve and petitioned the High Court to hear the testimony of Éric de Montgolfier. The French prosecutor discovered the information collated by Falciani, which has since allowed the authorities in several European countries to recoup billions of euros in unpaid taxes.

On January 20, 2009, prosecutors in Nice, led by De Montgolfier, ordered a search of Falciani's home in Castellar, where he had taken refuge after being arrested by Swiss authorities. France received a request to seize "a series of stolen data," with no further explanation. What the Swiss judiciary wanted was to recover were the files in Falciani's computer. When the French authorities discovered them, De Montgolfier elected not to hand them over but to open investigations against the list of French tax evaders therein.

Paris sent the information to all the European countries with bilateral financial data treaties. The Spanish tax agency said the names passed on constituted "the biggest regularization process in the history of the Treasury."

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:53 AM

31. “The solution for Spain is simple: we have to sell more goods abroad”


Two years into his mandate as the leader of the country's private sector, CEOE business association president Juan Rosell is cautiously optimistic about the state of the Spanish economy. The Catalan says that the worst is over, but insists that there can be no turning back from the continued unification of the European economy and that an independent Catalonia would mean "another border in Europe: business doesn't like borders."

Question. Do you see any sign of improvement in the economic outlook?

Answer. The economy is flatlining. Reforms have been implemented and the medicine is starting produce results, but we are still seeing few results. The problem is deep-rooted: for years we have failed to grasp the seriousness of the situation and take the necessary remedies, as they did in Germany. This is going to be a bad year for employment, and we will see a rise in joblessness in the public sector. But I hope that now that the major restructuring has taken place, no more jobs will be lost.

Q. Do you blame the previous Socialist Party administration?

A. We're all to blame, because we didn't take the necessary measures, either at central, regional or local level. But these are symptoms to be found in the rest of Europe: the death of industry; lack of competitiveness; lack of innovation; of technology; of patents... Europe is old now, and the continent needs to start anew -- we have to reinvent ourselves, create an economic union: the United States of Europe. But the politicians don't seem to have the will.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:59 AM

32. Son Of Madoff Scandal Figure Kills Self In Columbus


COLUMBUS, Ohio - Authorities say the son of Bernard Madoff's longtime accountant, who pleaded guilty to securities fraud in the scandal centered on the financier, committed suicide in central Ohio.

Police say 23-year-old Jeremy Friehling was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his Columbus apartment on Thursday. He was a second-year student at Ohio State's medical school...

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:06 AM

33. 10:05am - US Markets rallying as Fiscal Cliff Clavin fears subside

Dow 12,738 +150 1.19%
Nasdaq 2,894 +40 1.40%
S&P 500 1,380 +20 1.48%
GlobalDow 1,882 +32 1.75%
Gold 1,730 +15 0.89%
Oil 88.80 +1.85 2.13%

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:35 PM

35. Mmm, dollar down, lots of European bargain hunting going on

However, don't kid yourself, the general trend will be down until after January. Stocks are being pumped with unnecessary layoffs at profitable companies so they can be dumped before the capital gains tax goes up on December 31. Then they all think they're going to pick those stocks back up at rock bottom prices. They might be right. Then again, the economy is still screwy enough that Euorpean investors can throw a spanner into it.

Hold onto your hats, folks, the next couple of months are going to be that first downward hill on the roller coaster.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #35)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:42 PM

39. Another Bubble Rising


Not sure where the vig for it is coming from....

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