|A compilation of this board's financial/economic posts From 43264 to 43319
Post 43264 by pmcw Reply
sr, Like the "Rule of 72, the Friedman elixir only works between the norms. In other words, The Rule of 72 loses gas at very low and very high rates of return and Friedman's runs out of play at the extremes as well. Regards, pmcw
Post 43265 by tinljhtkh Reply
to note that now New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has decided to cooperate with Harvey Pitt and the SEC after a meeting last week at NYSE Chairman Dick Grasso's club in New York City! Spitzer did an interview Friday night on CNBC's Kudlow and Kramer where he mouthed words like "institutional stability!"
I would imagine that, at that meeting, he was introduced to the beast that you describe in your post!
As far as the argument on being able to print money as a way out of a deflationary spiral goes, take a look at the history of what hyperinflation can look like with all of its ugly implications! All of our advanced inventory pricing systems would come in handy if we had to reprice a can of beans six times every day as the price kept rising with the unmanagable money supply! That is probably why the Fed is reluctant to get very involved in something like that!
The Bush administration had best get busy and settle this West Coast dock strike before the supply chain begins to break down. News reports indicate that over a billion pieces of one type of fruit lie rotting in container ships because it can't be unloaded! If they decide, for political reasons, to wait until after the november elections to get tough on this issue, they may have waited too late. As tightly wound as this economy is right now, just about anything could break the spring and cause an unwinding to begin! We had one of the worst third quarters in memory a year ago, and many companies are having a problem beating those numbers as earnings start to roll in!
Look for increases or decreases in revenues as a clue as to how bad the numbers really are! Profits can be affected by various things but revenues are revenues! If they are down from the September 11th quarter, it is a bad sign that includes loss of pricing power and a death spiral in demand for product! There is a tremendous amount of overcapacity out there right now and any significant disruptions will simply cause the system to start shutting down, creating a very sudden and massive amount of unemployment and the resulting negative ripples that come from that!
Post 43266 by srudek Reply
jeffbas: 5K to 20m poorest Americans? That would, imo, either
(1) Do next to nothing; just a blip on the economic radar ala last years tax refund. GM would get to clear its books of some of those used cars it's been collecting over the last year due to trade-ins and sales at liquor stores and Indian casinos would temporarily spike or
(2) more likely, collapse the real estate, bond, and equity markets as long term interest rates soared. You'd finally get to see what your "harmless" artificially low housing interest rate actually cost in the long run as people found they were hopelessly underwater and foreclosures soared to, at least, a 70 year high.
What do you think would happen?
Post 43267 by Czechsinthemail Reply
Harvey Pitt has again become an issue. This time it centers around the appointment of John Biggs the accounting oversight board and whether Pitt has undermined the appointment because Biggs might move toward substantive changes affecting Pitt's former clients.
Here are two versions of the story:
Post 43268 by supreme-apg Reply
Ugly Democrats? Yes indeedy. We are supposed to be a Nation of laws. The law stated that ballot substitutions are ok within 51 days of the election. Why on earth would the New Jersey Supreme court rule outside the law is beyond me and just about everyone else.
The Democrats on the other hand are cheering the victory. I don't suppose they will ever be satisfied. Clinton's legacy then should be touted as a complete and utter disregard for the law.
Al Gore is in the same boat, Daschel at the rudder. Or is that the other way around?
In today's WSJ, an article blames the cutbacks in state programs on Reagan's initiatives to State's Rights. You would think that the States could manage the funds. Well, except for the California initiative to cause states to balance thier budgets, that might have been possible. With windfalls, came windfall spending. Dems at the helm. Now, without subsidy, Medicare and balanced budgets are at the top of the headlines... again.
Bring back the state surpluses, and bring back the pork! At least there we will have money to spend in bad times.
Post 43269 by Inspector_32 Reply
supreme...not beyond me
Why would NJ allow Lautenburg on ballot?
Well, I haven't read the opinion but I'd say this:
1st....the important people in their decision aren't the candidates (and certainly aren't you and me), but the voters of NJ. To this end I believe that this 7 justices (6 of them appointed by a Republican) felt that if they could make a reasonable accomodation they should do so. I think they felt that the voters would be better served if they had a choice Nov 5th.
2nd. I think they looked at why the 51 day law was enacted. Why 51 days?....did they just pull that number out of the air? No..I suspect that the law was written many years ago and 51 days was the minimum amount of time needed to print a ballot and distribute is. The overriding purpose of the deadline was to allow time to print new ballots....and with modern technology, ballots could probably be prepared in two weeks or less.
So I think that the Republican appointed Supreme Court of NJ, feeling that it's in the best interest of the people of NJ to have a choice in November, and knowing that with modern technology you can reduce the number of days it takes to print new ballots.....felt that if they could get the ballots reprinted in time they were not violating the spirit of the 51 day rule and that this was a reasonable accomodation and benefits the people of NJ.
OT: Clo, that's the problem with you liberals. Eve
Post 43271 by jeffbas Reply
SR, $100B net of the large amount of additional taxes it would generate would have a negligible effect on interest rates, but would create a better psychology generally among consumers. (Interest rates are not going up until a solid economy recovery can be smelled, not just an inventory restocking blip.)
I am increasingly becoming convinced that Republican lack of attention and incompetence on the economy, and almost exclusive focus on Iraq, may destroy psychology and leave us in devastated economic shape. I now regard Bush's chances of going down in history as the Herbert Hoover of the 21st century as 50/50, and rising daily. Unfortunately the Democrats are also led by incompetents, who do not have the stature and guts to stand up and say that the greatest threat this country faces today is economic.
As far as Iraq goes, I am reminded of what I thought during the Vietnam war - what arrogance "to make the world safe for democracy" was for much of the undeveloped world. Our record in the last 50 years has not been good in terms of eliminating some tinhorn dictator and replacing him with anything lasting or worthwhile. I would not want to stand on our current record in Afghanistan either. I find our current foreign policy both illegal and immoral.
In my opinion, criminally incompetent US intelligence is no excuse for paying the barest lip-service to organizations established to deal with world threats and planning to invade other countries. Every American ought to be asking themselves what they would be wanting our government to do about Iraq today, if there had been no 9/11 and no Afghanistan - which is where competent intelligence would have left us.
One other observation. I think the odds are overwhelming that bin Laden is dead. Why is it that we hear nothing about this from the government? My answer is that it might distract folks from thinking about overseas adventures to thinking about the economy.
OT: For the record -
OT: JB, you have a seriously deranged comparison p
Post 43274 by srudek Reply
jeffbas $100B of "welfare" would not have a good effect at all, imo. I was afraid you might just be regurgitating Keynesian economics but I was hoping to be surprised.
Forget your economics text. What would be YOUR reaction if you were "smart money" -- likely foreign money -- holding a lot of long-term bonds, with bond interest at something like 50 year lows (pitiful)return given the risk, dollar conversion exposure, current account deficit soaring (which I believe REQUIRES something like $2 billion a day of net foreign inflows to keep from seizing up), looking at a chart you see a bond formation which looks like another Bubble (lots of people smarter than I are calling long term bonds a bubble), knowing that corporate bond defaults were already soaring, and you saw the Fed -- already running a huge deficit -- make the PANIC move of giving out $100B of "welfare"?
You'd sell. Fast. Foreign inflows stop and reverse. Long term interest rates surge. Refis and new house loans dry up. People need to sell their houses but can't find anyone who can get/afford the new much higher interest rate loans. Prices HAVE TO tumble dramatically on houses. The massive money which has borrowed SHORT to lend LONG (using "derivatives" to make this safe) is caught with its pants down. Gold might even surge. FNM and JPM might have to declare they've got trouble. Your $100B giveaway is a likely recipe for financial Armageddon.
The Fed does NOT control long term interest rates. The market does. The market is not going to let the U.S. government get away with malarky. The market could crush the U.S. government -- it's that much bigger and it decides to whom it will lend.
OT: Table ON TOPIC SUMMARY Oct 06, 2002
ot: Table Competition Begins Today
OT: A future Middle East Catastrophe and
OT: I know some of you, like myself, enjoy visitin
OT: maniati, ludicrous is a good word for it. And
Post 43280 by jeffbas Reply
SR, the bond market will collapse sooner or later because you have a price spike similar to what you had in stocks. If anything minor drives it off the cliff, it was ready for it to have happened anyway. That is the mistake almost all commentators make with stocks, pinning some move on some event that in 99% of the cases has trivial significance.
Spending $100 - 200B to attack Iraq, and untold billions in required future maintenance, is a far more important economic event from both a psychological and economic/inflationary point of view, than my trivial item. I consider increased defense spending for hardware inherently inflationary. You put more money in the pockets of new folks making hardware, and that money competes with other money for the same supply of consumer goods and services (since you can't eat bombs).
For those interested in the NJ Senate situation, this was a great article appearing over the weekend:
Post 43281 by Decomposed Reply
I was waiting for you to respond. Now that you have, I'm sorry to say that you missed some major implications of jeffbas's proposal.
You missed the obvious fact that the government does not "GIVE" anything! It takes. And blows most of what it takes through its enormously inefficient bureaucracy. $100 billion in additional handouts probably means $250 billion TAKEN from elsewhere. That generally means money stolen from other citizens. Under that scenario, your guesses about the outcome are probably accurate.
*However*, if that $100 billion was a small part of the budget gain that resulted from slashing some other government program... then GOOD things could result. I would suggest that if WELFARE were to be revised to give recipients just 25% of what it gives today, and the initial savings was given to America's 20 million poorest in a $5000 lump, then wonderful things would result.
For starters, there would be an initial economic surge as those 20 million people blew their gift. Then there would be a second surge as it dawned on 20 million of America's laziest that $5,000 was not really very much money... and that although they now owned nice Harley motorcycles, they still needed gas... and food. With little in the way of government subsidies to support their collapse, they would now HAVE to go get jobs or face starvation.
And then there COULD be a third benefit, if the government used the savings from its budget cutting to either pay off the debt or reduce taxes. (Okay, I think I've just left the real world. This requires too much imagination.)
And a fourth, as many in America moved away from a "welfare mentality" that made them feel like worthless bums and discovered, once they'd found that they could survive, that they could work even HARDER and learn to live.
Implemented this way, jeffbas's suggestion could be a godsend, both in economy and lifestyle, to a lot of people.
Unfortunately, it's a sad commentary on the extent of the brainwashing that has taken place that nearly all people, yourself included, read a suggestion such as jeffbas's and just ASSUME that the money will come from another tax increase. Or, even worse, that many are deluded so as to think that the government is some sort of kind-hearted, charitable organization that helps the poor out of the goodness of its own deep pockets. (These would be the same people who equivocate April 15th with Christmas.)
That last speaks volumes about the lack of education in the U.S. today. And it poses truly frightening questions about the country's prospects.
Post 43282 by Inspector_32 Reply
a nasty new poll out today, Bush in trouble?
A majority of Americans say that the nation's economy is in its worst shape in nearly a decade and that President Bush and congressional leaders are spending too much time talking about Iraq, while neglecting problems at home, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
Post 43283 by pmcw Reply
talk, That's what I love about the law; it leaves so much room for interpretation. Regards, pmcw
OT: Diet coke in the morning! :-(
Post 43286 by clo Reply
NEWS ALERT Justices Clear Way for Lautenberg to Replace Torricelli by Refusing to Hear Case (1:50 PM ET) NY Times
ot: the size of all the asteroids put together...
Post 43288 by Warstud Reply
Are you still holding ATMI? If I'm right, I'm expecting it to crack soon and are trying to short it as I speak. Along with the rest in the link below.
OT: It's a
OT: Since I don't drink coffee, I need at least on
Post 43292 by Briguy Reply
The worst is yet to come? WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
When you get your 401K statement, prepare for disaster!
O.K., so I'm a pessimist right now. You all know that. I don't like what I see and it is down right hard to be optimistic right now.
The third quarter is in the books, and damn near every category and style of mutual fund got crushed. Only 3 out of 138 industry groups went up in Q3 (casino's, household products and Ag products). Every other group is down with 11 groups down over 30% this last quarter alone. Even gold was down in Q3.
Let's see. Doing a bit of quick math tells me the markets- the S&P, the Dow and the Nasdaq- tanked 17-18% respectively this last quarter. That is depressing to say the least. Quick research shows the 17.3% decline for the S&P index was the worst quarter since the "crash" of 1987 (-23.3% in Q4).
For several weeks now, I have been posting about the massive amount of money flowing OUT of equity funds. Last week alone over $7 billion was taken out by investors! According to various civilian and government sources, over $8 TRILLION DOLLARS has evaporated since March of 2000. $8 TRILLION FRICKEN DOLLARS! That is staggering.
Considering 47 million households owned mutual funds at the start of this year, one can only imagine the carnage investors have suffered. Just wait until they get their 401K statements. I fear, as many do, that Americans and investors in general will develop such a hatred towards equities that the wave of equity mutual fund withdrawals that we have seen these 2 years will only grow exponentially and result in a massive crash. That fear is being proven correct by the simple fact that bonds have rallied and the indices are at 4-6 year lows.
Tech and telecom funds have lost over 52% of their value this YEAR ALONE! And that is just one example of the ugliness that exists. The Nasdaq is getting ready to fall through 1000 and is below the July low and approaching 6 year lows. No wonder many are ready to just give up.
Now, all of you know that I am a contrarian investor. The best way to make money involves doing what everyone else is not doing BEFORE they do it. When pessimism is the highest, the arguement is made that that is the time to buy. Problem is, even the contrarians like myself are growing increasingly frustrated. I've been buying gold. I've been putting my money in foreign investments. I've become increasingly gun-shy about equities because every fricken time I buy a stock, the damn thing drops. My frustration isn't as high as others (although I am definately frustrated) since I am very blessed financially and can absorb it. But, for the average American who is losing their ass, investing and then LOSING can financially break them.
My point is that unless things turn around really quick, the feeling of hopelessness will only continue to get worse. American's are in massive debt. They are losing their jobs. They are failing in their marriages and relationships. They are watching their investments collapse. Corporate corruption is ruining our confidence. Terrorism fills the air. Fear is everywhere. And when fear is rampant, equities suffer. My gut tells me it will only get worse. Of course I hope like hell I'm wrong.
Quote from a newletter I get...
"The Dow and NASDAQ have now fallen below their July lows, but the S&P has not. Because of October-phobia, most technicians are clamoring for further downside, as the "bottoming test looks to be failing". Maybe the pundits are correct, but this "bearish" outlook seems a little too easy to accept. We are encouraged by the fact that bullish sentiment has fallen to 38% (still a little more room) and August equity mutual fund cash reserves have risen to 5.3%, despite heady redemptions. The put/call ratio is back above 1.0x and the CBOE-VIX index is a moderately lofty 45+. Most importantly, the insider buy/sell ratio has climbed above 1.0x. In the later stages of the 2000 peak, it was obvious that we were in a maniacal climate, but the hard part was judging how long the lunacy would last. Now, we are near the opposite condition with significant fear and pessimism. How long will the despair last and how self-fulfilling will the wealth destruction become? No one knows, but it is usually a good time to accumulate solid stocks when no one wants to do so."
How many investors are willing to risk more capital after losing so much these last 2 years? This author's point seem's like a broken record. I've been accumulating solid stocks this year, only to sometimes watch them crash 20-30%! And it sucks!
Look out below baby!
Post 43293 by Briguy Reply
Warstud, re: ATMI...
Yup, I still own it. But I ended up straddling it by going long and short. I went long in the low $15's, but to hedge myself, I also went short an equal number of shares when it broke below $15. Went short more for technical reasons than fundamental reasons. Once it broke support, I actually posted on Yahoo that I wouldn't be suprised to see it go to the $11's. Sure enough, the company obliged by giving a warning. The next day, it opened in the $11's. However, instead of dropping, it went right back to the $15's which was pretty suprising. I didn't cover, but I did liquidate my long postion at break-even. Still short.
I say go for it. I wouldn't be suprised to see this in the $11's again this week.
OT: Oh that would be...
Post 43295 by pdowd Reply
Value of Fine "Art " ?
I own 2 original Andy Warhol silk screen limited edition prints and 1 "Blue Dog" by George Rodrigue limited edition silk screen print. The Blue Dog print purchased in 1995 for $750.00 plus about $200.00 for the frame appraised last November for $9,200.00. I know of people who have sold similiar prints at private auctions in New Orleans for about the same thing.
Are we in a fine art bubble ? I had originally planned to hold on to everything for the duration but may put the Blue Dog up at auction. Does any body have any experience selling art lately ? TIA PD.
Post 43296 by supreme-apg Reply
Perhaps not. For the Republican court to stand the letter of the law on an initiative that favors Republicans would invite far more controversy. Better to be set back by the Supreme Court at the Federal level, take your wrist slapping and everyone will be satisfied. Not happy, just satisfied.
Post 43297 by supreme-apg Reply
Does anyone share the view that the Maryland/D.C. shootings are a one-for-one retaliation for the incarcerated terrorists? The only thing missing is someone taking the responsibility. Oh, it was so much easier in the good old days. Before you know it, we'll all be signing loyalty chits for just about everything.
This is not good.
Post 43298 by oldCADuser Reply
An interesting commentary:
Blame it on The Street
By Charles Stein, Globe Columnist, 10/6/2002
I am changing my mind about the stock market bubble.
Until recently I was in the camp that said we were all to blame for the market's remarkable rise and fall. We all bought the Internet story; we were all going to be rich; we all lost sight of reality.
I still say we all have to accept our share of the blame, but I've come around to the view that some people deserve a lot more of the blame than others. I'm not referring to the criminals who set out to break the law. I'm referring to the American financial establishment, especially Wall Street.
When the revelations about Wall Street's conflicts of interest first made headlines, I wasn't impressed. Anyone who has ever spoken with Wall Street analysts knew these guys were in the tank to their firm's investment banking clients. But as more news has come out, it has become apparent that analysts weren't just conflicted. They were utterly corrupted.
Just this past week, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer released some private e-mails from Jack Grubman. Formerly of Salomon Smith Barney, Grubman was the king of the telecom analysts. He enthusiastically recommended the stocks of telecom firms, many of which brought their banking business to Salomon Smith Barney. But in one case, a small telecom company called Focal Communications Corp. felt Grubman wasn't bullish enough.
In his e-mail, Grubman exploded. "If I so much as hear one more (expletive) peep out of them, we will put the proper rating on this stock, which every single smart buysider feels is going to zero," he told a colleague. Grubman later called Focal a pig.
If this exchange sounds vaguely familiar, that's because it should be. In the spring Spitzer released e-mails from Henry Blodget of Merrill Lynch, once the king of the Internet analysts. Blodget too felt pressured to be even more bullish about Merrill's clients. He too made a threat in an e-mail. "We are just going to start calling the stocks like we see them, no matter what the consequences are," Blodget wrote. He referred to some of the stocks he was recommending as "pieces of junk."
Think about what this pair was saying: If you guys don't stop hassling me, I'll actually tell the world the truth - that we are touting stocks we know to be worthless.
If you don't find this shocking, you aren't just jaded. You are ready to join the cast of "The Sopranos."
"We had a manipulated stock market," said D. Quinn Mills. Mills is not a bomb thrower or a disillusioned first-time investor. He is a professor at Harvard Business School. He is also the author of a new book called, "Buy, Lie and Sell High: How Investors Lost Out on Enron and The Internet Bubble."
In his book, Mills takes aim at a whole range of financial actors, everyone from investment bankers to accountants to venture capitalists. "In the modern world, a financial bubble is made by professional players who take advantage of public excitement to realize profit opportunities," Mills writes.
He shows clearly that everyone along the chain threw traditional standards out the window: The venture firms pushed technology start-ups to get big fast; the investment banks took companies public that had no earnings and miniscule sales; the accountants accepted dubious transactions as revenue. By breaking their own rules, says Mills, the financiers were lining their pockets at the expense of unsuspecting investors. In short, the game was rigged.
When the history of the stock market bubble gets written, others will take their lumps. Alan Greenspan was too exuberant about the new economy. Stock options created a powerful incentive to cheat. The financial press wasn't sufficiently skeptical. The stock market bubble Hall of Shame will have plenty of members. But the financiers will occupy a special place there. They should have known better. And in many cases, they did.
For the original item, go to:
OT: Decomp VSE Question
OT: Have we gone too far and are we giving up too
OT: Anyone heard pros or cons on GP? TIA EOM
OT: Oh Tin!
OT: Tin, well said! I can only hope that we do. I
Post 43306 by spirare Reply
Gold Report, Oct. 7, 2002 Spot gold in New York settled unchanged at $322.10 an ounce.
The price of gold
traded in a narrow range as equities markets were relatively flat during the gold
trading session. Many traders are waiting for market direction and President
George W. Bush?s speech scheduled for 8:01 pm EST.
"The market is in a holding
pattern, just waiting to see what happens with the presidential speech tonight," said
Ian MacDonald, head of bullion dealing at Commerzbank.
"I think that, other than
that, people are just going to focus on the economic numbers in the days and weeks
The U.S. president at 8:01 p.m. will deliver a televised speech about the
threat posed by Iraq, stressing that time is running out for Baghdad to disarm, U.S.
Aides said it was intended to be educational and explain the urgency
of Bush's case, but he was not expected to reveal new intelligence data on Iraq's
In the near-term, price direction in the safe-haven asset continues
to be set by prospects of a U.S.-Iraq war, and the resulting impact on the U.S.
dollar and equity markets, especially gold mining stocks, Salomon Smith Barney
head of futures research David Rinehimer said.
The west coast dockworker lockout
does not appear to have hit the equities and precious metals markets yet.
"The shipping lockout along the west coast is rubbing salt into a wounded economy," said
Erik Gebhard, an analyst at Altavest.com.
But "gold has mostly been indifferent," he
"A corrective dip in gold is likely necessary before a run higher can proceed,
as lower prices could attract fresh buyers," he said.
London gold was fixed this afternoon at $321.75 an ounce, down from $322.35 an
ounce at the morning fixing. Gold was little changed in late trade but traders said it
remained well bid because of continued tensions in Iraq and uncertainties
surrounding the attack on a French oil tanker off the Yemeni coast, dealers said.
"The sentiment remains bullish for gold, with $320 an ounce still seen as a good
support level while resistance should be seen around 325/327," said James Moore of
"The war premium has been largely built into the price and
while no-one will be keen to sell gold in the short term, only the actual outbreak of
war or other threat is going to encourage more widespread investment in the metal,"
said a dealer.
News of an oil tanker explosion off the coast of Yemen early Sunday,
which the French government said was caused by a terrorist attack, has helped
bolster support for gold but sources said they would remain sidelined on the issue
until further clarification.
"We continue to see gold strongly supported in a $305-325
range," said Kamal Naqvi, metals analysts at Macquarie Research in a market note.
Gold could make further gains given fears over the outlook for stocks and the US
face-off with Iraq, analysts said.
Earlier spot gold closed at $322.85 an ounce on Monday, up 80 cents from Friday's
close of $322.05.
Spot gold in Asia was given a lift by crashing equities markets as
investors sought out safe havens.
"We have seen good two-way trading... it is all
speculative buying and selling," said Pauline Hung, chief bullion dealer at Scotia
Mocatta in Hong Kong. Technically, spot gold is consolidating above US$320 and
now looks to be in a neutral zone, with a near-total loss of momentum, traders said.
But volatility in other markets will continue to impact on gold, they added.
"The drop in stock markets around the world is good for gold, but activity today was stymied
somewhat with the Sydney traders away on holiday," said one trader.
said they continue to see flight-to-quality buying, as there appears to be no end in
sight for the sliding global equities markets.
Gold is also supported on continuing
concerns of war between the U.S. and Iraq as well as renewed terrorist activity
against foreign interests after the suicide bomb attack on a French tanker.
"The market has already accounted for the Iraq factor to a large degree, so the gains are
likely to be limited," said one Japanese bullion trader. "However, gold could see
some indirect support if military action roils the foreign exchange and equities
In his weekly radio address Saturday, U.S. President George Bush
warned of the "massive and sudden horror" that Iraq could inflict if not disarmed
and said that use of military force "may become unavoidable."
In other news, Vietnam's gold trading firms will meet in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Friday to set up the country's Association of Gold Traders, an official at the
country's central bank told Dow Jones Newswires Monday.
"After the association
is set up Friday, we will ask the government to cut down the import tax, otherwise,
our gold products cannot compete in the market," said Hoang The Ngu, chairman of
the state-owned Vietnam National Gems & Gold Corp., which is one of the
country's largest gold traders.
Currently, Vietnam applies a high 5% import tariff on
gold, which has prevented some traders from importing through official channels
and has encouraged smuggling.
Currently, Vietnam law puts all gold import-export
activities under the central bank's control and trading in more than three kilograms
of gold requires licenses.
"The central bank will very soon remove the restriction of
trading in more than three kilograms of gold," the official said. "Some gold traders
have proposed a complete (cancellation) of all restrictions in gold trading in
Vietnam, meaning liberalizing all the import and export of gold metal, including
bullion gold, and we are seeking the government's opinion on this issue," she added.
In a note to clients, Leonard Kaplan, president of Prospector Asset Management,
said the gold market is suffering from "demand elasticity of its major source of
demand -- jewelry."
"With global equities markets falling, with the U.S. dollar
forecast to continue its decline against most major currencies, with the drums of
war now resonating loudly, investors are being drawn to the luster of gold, but not in
yet sufficient numbers to completely offset the drop in jewelry demand," he said.
Still, "the gold market, as seen by recent prices, remains extremely well fine-tuned,
and rather comfortable at these price levels," said Kaplan.
"It will take an event to
force us higher, but the probability of such an event is now quite high given the state
of the world," said Kaplan.
The price of gold traded in a narrow range as equities markets remained
essentially flat during the gold trading session.
Equities markets shifted lower in late
trade after the gold pits had closed for the day.
Gold initially moved higher on news
reports of a terrorist attack on a French tanker off the coast of Yemen, however, it
now appears that the explosion occurred from within the ship.
The continuing port
dispute between shippers and dockworkers on the West Coast are weighing on
investors minds as well as concerns about the threat of war ahead of President
Bush's prime-time speech to the nation Monday.
Fear appears to be driving the
markets with nearly every sector taking a hit as more investors threw in the towel.
***Meanwhile the price of gold has held steady as the equities markets trend toward multiyear lows.***
***The more the price of gold consolidate - the faster stronger lift off***
CALVF Power Point Presentation Info at
Update: Gold Super Cycle to $1,257 Gold
Caledonia Risning from oversold conditions - Bullish*^*^*^*^*^
Current price of Gold
(Voluntary Disclosure: Position- Long; ST Rating- Strong Buy; LT Rating- Strong Buy)
Post 43307 by wilful10 Reply
Television live coverage plans for President Bush's scheduled 8 p.m. EDT speech Monday in Cincinnati. The speech, which is expected to address the threat Iraq poses to the United States and the possibility of war, comes as Congress prepares to vote on resolutions authorizing military action.
- ABC: Not planning live coverage.
- NBC: Not planning live coverage.
- MSNBC: Planning live coverage.
- CBS: Not planning live coverage.
- FOX News: Undecided.
- FOX: Undecided.
- CNN: Planning live coverage.
Post 43308 by pmcw Reply
Forced Labor and the Left
by William L. Anderson
[Posted October 07, 2002]
The California power crisis has made the headlines again, as the state’s Public Utilities Commission has declared that the culprits all along were the power companies, who deliberately created the crisis by "withholding electricity." Princeton’s Paul Krugman, the economics columnist for The New York Times, has joined in, declaring that the crisis was nothing more than a "$30 billion robbery" that took place "in broad daylight."
George Reisman, who is a much better economist than Krugman ever could claim to be, thoroughly debunked the commission’s charges in a recent article on Mises.org. It is now time to debunk Krugman, not only for his errors in economic analysis, but also for his insistence that the government engage in a regime of forced labor. Although the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery in this country, the left wishes to bring it back--in the name of the public interest, of course.
Krugman’s statements speak for themselves. In a recent column, he writes:
" 'You are one of only a handful of major players selling wholesale electricity. Surely, the thought has occurred to you: what would happen to prices if one of my plants just happened to go off line? And when companies act on that thought…well, you get the picture.'
"I wrote that in March 2001, when the California electricity crisis was at its height. Even then the experts I talked to--economists who followed the situation closely, and kept an open mind--believed that energy companies were deliberately creating shortages. But only in the last few weeks, with a series of damning reports and judgments, has conventional wisdom grudgingly accepted the obvious."[i]
Actually, in one fell swoop, Krugman proves that he is not an economist, or at least that he does not understand basic economic terms he should have learned when he took his first undergraduate economics course. He declares, "…energy companies were deliberately creating shortages." Had Krugman paid attention to his instructor the day shortages and surpluses were the topic of class discussion, he might have found that shortages are always tied to prices. A shortage is not a reduction in supply, but rather is a condition that is created when the price for a good is held below its "market" level.
Whenever a shortage occurs, prices send the mistaken signal to consumers that more of a good is available than actually might be on hand. Shortages are tied to price controls, and--surprise--the government of California had slapped price controls on the sale of electricity to residential and business customers. In other words, the government of California mandated that electric utilities could only charge relatively low prices that all but guaranteed excess demand by the state’s electricity consumers.
To put it another way, it was impossible for electricity producers to have created shortages, if we are to follow the correct definition of the word. It might be true that power companies located outside of California were reluctant to sell large amounts of electricity to the state when it was clear that the government’s policies had bankrupted in-state utilities and that the outside suppliers had no guarantees of being paid.
Krugman writes that "most of the blackouts that afflicted California between November 2000 and May 2001 took place, not because generating capacity was inadequate, but because the major power companies kept much of their capacity off line." Furthermore, he hints at a dark conspiracy between power companies and the Republican Party, writing that "severe power shortages began just after the 2000 election, and ended when Democrats gained control of the Senate."
Since Krugman never mentions price controls as a culprit, he assumes that the power companies were at fault, since they refused to generate electricity and give it to California for free. (In other columns, he claims that price controls actually increased supplies of electricity and ended the crisis; that was before he decided that it must have been the Democrats who ended by whole thing by having a 51-49 majority in the Senate.) While his first contention--that price controls increase supply--is ludicrous, his second claim is downright dangerous.
What Krugman is advocating is nothing less than a government-run regime of slavery. If someone is forced to engage in work that he otherwise would not do, and he is not paid compensation to which he agrees for that work, then we call this slave labor. It cannot be defined by any other term. Krugman and his followers believe that the state should force people to do its bidding, even if it means they will not receive payment for their work.
Notice that Krugman never claims that the outside power companies and power traders were violating contracts they had with California’s utilities. No, he claims that they "created shortages" by withholding supply, something the government should not have permitted to happen. How he would make power officials perform such tasks is anyone’s guess. Would he send in soldiers, would he imprison executives, or would he kill a few workers to put fear in the hearts of everyone else?
I do not know what methods he would choose, but I do know that Krugman does advocate the government using its coercive powers to force people to do work they otherwise would not choose to do. He writes, "So we ignore California’s experience at our peril. It’s all too likely to be the shape of things to come." The way to avoid future shortages, he declares, is simply for the state to step in and create a regime of slavery.
Yes, I know that Krugman does not use that word, but there is nothing else in the language that can describe his recommendations. No doubt, many politicians will cling to his words as a "solution" to future shortages. That this man is likely to be a future Nobel Prize winner also gives us this pertinent warning: It’s all too likely to be the shape of things to come.
William Anderson, an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute, teaches economics at Frostburg State University.
OT:wilful, GWB asked the networks NOT to cover his
Post 43310 by COMMON_SENSE Reply
I guess this says it all....
- ABC: Not planning live coverage.
- NBC: Not planning live coverage.
- MSNBC: Planning live coverage.
- CBS: Not planning live coverage.
- FOX News: Undecided.
- FOX: Undecided.
- CNN: Planning live coverage.
Post 43311 by Briguy Reply
Global crash fears as German bank sinks
Faisal Islam, economics correspondent and Will Hutton
Sunday October 6, 2002
Stockbrokers around the world are braced for a potentially calamitous week as alarm mounts over a looming, Thirties-style global financial crisis. A leaked email about the credit-worthiness of Commerzbank, Germany's third largest bank, yesterday increased fears of the international stock market malaise exploding into a fully-fledged banking crisis.
Commerzbank lost a quarter of its value last week, raising the spectre of Credit-anstalt, the Austrian bank that collapsed in 1931, sparking global depression.
US stock markets have fallen for six consecutive weeks, to their lowest levels in five years. European markets have collapsed even further, wiping out nearly half of the value of European corpora tions in this year alone. Japan is struggling to put together a plan to save its banking system, riddled with bad debt after a decade of recession and falling prices. Now the German economy threatens to follow.
'There are strong parallels to the Thirties after an unsustainable "new era" boom,' says Avinash Persaud managing director for economics and research at State Street Bank. 'Then, the stock market decline was not just steep, it was long, taking three years to reach the bottom.'
'Commerzbank being affected is a sign of the severity. But in today's crisis risks have been offloaded from the banks to the markets and ultimately our pensioners, which makes the problem more difficult to deal with,' he says. The leaked email about Commerzbank was in response to an inquiry from a US investment bank about rumours of huge losses on credit derivatives, which aim to spread risk.
Figures due to be published on Friday will show that a toll of stock market falls, rising joblessness and war fears is finally denting the spending habits of Americans. Economists fear that the result may be a 'double-dip' US recession, taking much of the world with it.
Europe's finance Ministers, including Chancellor Gordon Brown, will meet in Luxembourg on Tuesday amid deepening concern about the stability of the financial system. Tomorrow evening, the Eurogroup of finance ministers, excluding Brown, will discuss reforming Europe-wide tax and spending rules along the lines of the British system, taking stronger account of economic difficulties.
In the US, the concern is that Alan Greenspan, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has insufficient room to cut interest rates if the economy falls into recession. 'The [Bush] Administration has two lines of action: tax relief for the rich [and] reliance on the Federal Reserve. Both are without effect,' says US economist JK Galbraith in an interview with The Observer.
Um, wait til the truth comes out about JPMorgan! Brace yourselves people. You may not WANT to believe it, but a crash is coming!
OT: The trouble with the U.N.
Post 43313 by Briguy Reply
The Cauldron is Bubbling Over
I began “Bubble Troubles” with a quote from Shakespeare that has seemed to have caught on with the financial markets: "Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble." This quote from Macbeth takes place in Act IV of the play as the witches stir the cauldron, calling up apparitions of things to come. That certainly describes today’s financial markets where ominous apparitions of the future are directly in front of us. You can take your pick from the economy to geopolitical events -- all are at major inflection points. The Fed is staring at a nightmare for the most part and it is of its own making. The multiple bubbles created as a result of monetary policy are all starting to unravel. The economy seems destined to head back into recession despite the lowest interest rates in nearly half a century. After 11 interests rate cuts, the Fed has been unable to reinflate the stock market bubble. The major averages have continued their relentless decline. It isn’t just the US markets that have handed investors double-digit losses. It is everywhere. Markets in Europe are hemorrhaging along with markets in Asia and Latin America. All major markets in Europe are down anywhere from 28-49 percent. In Asia they are down 18-22 percent. In Latin America they are down 30-60 percent. There are very few safe havens in stocks.
Despite these declines, stock prices are still too expensive. That is because earnings have declined much faster than prices. Not a day goes by but we hear of one company after another follow each other in unison with warnings over revenues, earnings, more job layoffs, restructuring charges, writedowns, or some disappointment. Wall Street is trying to put the best face on matters with standard clichés. I watched one money manager defend his position with the glib cliché that he’s optimistic and you have to look at the long run. Nobody wants to admit that we are in a protracted bear market that is the result of a bubble deflating. This bubble will deflate and the bear market will continue until such time as the pendulum swings to the extreme. At bear market bottoms, nobody will want to own stocks and P/E multiples and dividend yields will reflect values that will be enticing. We are a long way off form that point. We're only in the second phase of this bear market and it hasn’t completed its cycle. I believe there will be a bear market rally and then the final third phase of the bear market, which will be the final wash out. We're far from a bottom despite the wishful spin coming out of Wall Street.
Worry Menu Grows
Getting back to the worry menu, besides a dock strike on the West Coast, a plethora of earnings warnings, new accounting scandals, the real problem has yet to unfold. Worry signals point to the financial sector. As these charts of J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Bank America, Goldman Sachs reveal, the financial sector is in trouble and it is bound to worsen in the weeks and months ahead. These companies are in all of the wrong places. Pick a financial hot spot and you will find them there. Derivatives, bad loans in the telecom sector, foreign loans such as Argentina, with Brazil next, gold short positions, mortgages, credit cards, installment debt or interest rate swaps. Any one of these areas could turn into a ten-sigma event.
We’re talking just about the financial sector here. There are also plenty of rogue waves and ten-sigma events lying around the geopolitical seas. We can start with an impending war, which the President will address in his speech to the nation tonight. In a war, armies kill and blow things up. Lives are lost, property is destroyed and governments are toppled. War introduces more uncertainties for the financial markets and they abhor uncertainty. This upcoming war won’t be like the last war since the objectives are much more complex. A regime change is being planned and that means there will be an occupation force in the region for quite some time. A $100-$200 billion war budget implies different objectives and a different strategy with multiple outcomes. If things go well in the initial battle ,there may be cause for celebration. It is what happens afterwards that leaves a big question for the financial markets. Rebuilding a nation or a government is a lot more difficult than defeating an army on the battlefield and making it go back home.
So take your pick from either the financial sector, here and around the globe, or the geopolitical minefield and it isn’t hard to understand the gyrations in the financial markets. There is plenty to worry about and it is doubtful whether risk control programs have ten-sigma events programmed into their formulas, especially geopolitical risks.
He Just Doesn't Get It ... or He Just Doesn't Admit It
While financial markets and investors were fretting across the globe, Mr. Greenspan seemed oblivious to all that is around him. Speaking to members of the American Bankers Association, Mr. Bubblemaker extolled the virtues of the financial sector and the consumer’s willingness to take on more debt and spend money as a sign of a healthy economy.”…Households, encouraged by ongoing increases in income and housing wealth, have maintained their expenditures. Low mortgage rates encouraged households to purchase both new and existing homes, the latter enabling sellers to extract large amounts of home equity, previously enhanced by capital gains. Low rates also encouraged refinanced mortgage cash outs and rapid expansion of home loans.” Mr. Greenspan sees no problems with consumer debt ratios setting records along with defaults, delinquencies and bankruptcies. The fact that consumers are spending down their home equity is viewed as healthy.
Mr. Greenspan also went on to praise the growing mountain of leveraged derivatives in our financial system as healthy too. “Financial derivatives…have grown at a phenomenal pace over the past fifteen years. (He thinks this is good!) Conceptual advances in pricing options and other more complex financial products, along with improvements in computer and telecommunication technologies, have significantly lowered the costs of, and expanded the opportunities for, hedging risks that were not readily deflected in earlier decades. [Speculation opportunities have also grown exponentially.] Moreover, the counterparty credit risk associated with the use of derivative instruments has been mitigated by legally enforceable netting and through the growing use of collateral agreements. [Most contracts are OTC contracts which makes them less liquid and subject to price implosion in the event of a crisis. Derivatives are concentrated in fewer players today and make an event risk like LTCM even more likely.] These increasingly complex financial instruments have been especial contributors, particularly over the past couple of stressful years, to the development of a far more flexible, efficient, and resilient financial system than existed just a quarter-century ago.” [Event-driven risks are increasing with each new crisis, bigger than the last. JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America hold most derivatives. Their portfolio makes Enron and LTCM look conservative.]
The Sword of Damocles Over Metal Shorts
In contrast to the large derivative risk, you can look at the large short positions in gold and silver and in the precious metals stocks as not only a symbol of this risk, but also trades that bet on the wrong side of the table. The rise in gold prices and its stubborn persistence to be driven down by relentless short selling speaks volumes about the risks that lie directly ahead of us. Those short positions in gold, as reflected in the large short positions in JPM’s portfolio and other bullion banks, are like a sword of Damocles that hangs over the financial markets. The one thing we all know about the precious metals markets is that they have a tendency, like a quiet volcano, to erupt at a time when nobody expects it. Right now the price of gold is holding up despite repeated attacks to move the price lower. The metals stocks, which have been this year's stellar performers, have come under increased short-selling pressure. Like the scarceness of the bullion itself, it erupts explosively whenever there is demand or when the financial barometer starts dropping like it is today. Because there are very few high quality unhedged mining stocks, they are owned and accumulated by very strong hands. Money flowing into gold funds, because of their superior performance over these last two years, represents a potent buying force as will short covering when a ten-sigma event catches them by surprise. It is one thing to short paper assets when the supply is endless. It is another thing to short gold and precious stocks when there is a growing demand and a limited supply.
LTCM boxed itself into a corner by increasing its leverage as credit spreads widened and ten-sigma events multiplied. The gold shorts are doing the same thing. As more money moves into bullion and into precious metals, the shorts will be forced to cover. They are hoping that things will be much more subdued and quiet when they do. What they are hoping is that the divergence /convergence theme remerges. That’s what their models tell them and that’s what they hope will happen. However, we would suggest with a upcoming war, a slumping economy, growing defaults, bankruptcies, widening credit spreads, rising default premiums, Argentina and next Brazil, divergences are widening -- not converging as their models would suggest. It is just a question of which rogue wave overwhelms them, or worse yet, a series of rogue waves which could in fact be a hundred footer as experienced in the Halloween Perfect Storm of 1991.
While gold holds steady, the price of stocks continue to weaken. The S&P 500 fell below key support levels hitting a five-year low. The five-year return for most mutual funds is now negative. Worries surfaced again today over a rapidly slowing economy and a possible retrenchment by consumers. All three major indexes fell below their July lows. The Dow is now at levels not seen since November 13, 1997. The NASDAQ is now at its August 1, 1996 low. The S&P 500 is now down 32 percent and headed for its third straight year of losses. Pro forma or CRAP earnings keep getting lowered for the third quarter. We dropped down to 5.6 percent today and are still heading lower. Financial sector charts as shown up above are exhibiting perilous chart patterns. The retail sector is also breaking down.
Wall Street is screaming for another Fed induced bailout. They want interest rates to be lowered to zero if necessary. Not that it would help. Just look at Japan if you want to see the efficacy of lowering rates. The Japanese Nikkei fell to 8,688 down from over 39,000 12 years ago. There is absolutely no reason to buy right now. The only thing that has made money this year is shorting the markets and going long gold and precious metals. Even in the washout of the third quarter, the metals held up superbly. You would have to go back three decades to find another time when there was this much uncertainty. Expectations are still far too high as are valuations. NYSE daily lows are back at levels of where they were back in July of this year. The VIX closed at 49.18, up nearly three points for the day. The volatility index is not quite at levels that we saw during the July plunge, but we are slowly getting there and in fact may surpass it. The VXN jumped over 60 to 62.32. It looks like it still wants to rise. We still have a way to go and it appears like it is going to take massive intervention to forestall a decline. Like all crises under Mr. Greenspan's reign, the Fed is more than willing to oblige. Do I hear hyperinflation floating in the air? The next round of intervention in the markets should be not only be breathtaking to watch, but historical in its precedent. John Law’s record may about to be surpassed.
Volume levels came in at 1.54 billion on the NYSE and 1.40 billion on the NASDAQ. Market breath was decidedly negative by 25-7 on the big board and 25-9 on the NASDAQ.
European stocks fell, led by drugmakers including GlaxoSmithKline after UBS Warburg lowered its recommendation for the world's second-largest pharmaceutical company. The Dow Jones Stoxx 50 Index dropped 1.1% to 2331.17. All eight major European markets were down during today’s trading.
Japanese stocks fell, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average having its biggest drop in three months. Banks such as UFJ Holdings Inc. slid on concern the government may seize weak lenders and force their worst customers to fail. The Nikkei sank 3.8%, its biggest decline since June 26, to 8688.00.
Treasuries were bid higher as the sector continued to attract safe-haven flows. The 10-year Treasury note jumped 15/32 to yield 3.61% while the 30-year government bond gained 5/32 to yield 4.705%. Some key reports are on this week's agenda, with September retail sales the most pivotal release. Other reports that'll capture investors' attention this week include the September producer price index and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index.
OT: OCU: Once upon a time, there was this guy who
Post 43315 by srudek Reply
Briguy, at the risk of irritating you (not my desire) may I suggest that you seem to be mistaken in your belief that you are a "contrarian?"
The vast majority of people are still long. They may not be actively buying, but they are holding. Holding, when you could sell, is much closer to being a buyer than a seller. So, in your seemingly never-ending desire to find something to buy you are closer to the majority than to the true contrarians. You appear to be acting like a perma-bull.
Didn't you recently say you had something like a 70% return shorting FNM since mid-summer? What's wrong with a 70% return in 3 months? Why don't you keep doing what's working as long as it's working and forget buying long term in the interim?
Post 43317 by nvrgivup Reply
Willful10: Re: The President's speech. Earlier tonight I had forgotten the exact time of the President's speech. So around 8:00 pm I started checking the major networks to see if it had started yet. A few minutes after 8, CBS, NBC, ABC were showing their regular programs, so I thought the speech must be starting at 8:30. About 8:15, by chance, I turned to CNN, and there it was ! Bush was sensible, his reasoning was sound, and he conveyed to the audience his reasons for disliking Sadaam Hussain. After the speech, Connie Chung did an excellent job of questioning a Democratic Congressman from Calif and a Republican Senator. The Congressman rehashed the party line and basically said that the danger from Iraq was inconclusive. Then Connie Chung replayed a segment of Bush's speech where he explained their concealment tactics and Hussain's murderous behavior towards his opponents. It was impressive. After a few minutes, I switched to the Bloomberg Finance Channel, broadcasting from Asia. (I have digital cable and receive lots of stations.) Would you believe the Japanese and other Asians caught every word of the President's speech. Their initial reaction was positive. The Nikkei rallied. But there are quick-fingered traders in Japan just as there are here. They took advantage of the rally to grab some profits. The Nikkei is still up for the day, but most of the rally has been sold off...
Post 43318 by srudek Reply
Briguy, perhaps I'm mistaken. After I posted my last message in which I said you weren't "contrarian" but appeared to be stuck in "perma-bull," I read your latest postings. You seem bearish enough for me ;-)
The biggest challenge in the decade ahead will be in recognizing when it's time to switch camps and, once again, be a "raging bull". For me, I think it will come down to income stream. Dividends from blue chips with a long history of payouts will have to be at least 6-8% above the inflation rate. Until the S&P has at least that 6% payout on average, I think I'll let some other sucker buy-and-hold stocks.
Post 43319 by uponroof Reply
"Expedited" FED meeting today
Briguy, your not the only one worried...
Notice of a Meeting under Expedited Procedures
On Monday, October 7, 2002, at 11:45 a.m., a meeting of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System was held under expedited procedures, as set forth in section 26lb.7 of the Board's Rules Regarding Public Observation of Meetings, at the Board's offices at 20th and C Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C., to consider the following matters of official Board business.
Meeting date: October 7, 2002
Matters Considered: Exemption(s)
1. Review and determination by the Board of Governors of the rates of discount to be charged by the Federal Reserve Banks. 9(A)(i)
Effective October 7, 2002, the meeting was closed to public observation by Order of the Board of Governors1 because the matters fall under exemption(s) 9(A)(i) of the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. Section 552b(c)), and it was determined that the public interest did not require opening the meeting.
For more information please contact: Michelle Smith, Assistant to the Board at 202-452-2955.
Supplementary Information: This meeting notice, which is available in the Board's Freedom of Information and Public Affairs Offices, is also available electronically at http://www.federalreserve.gov on the Board's Web site. (The Web site also includes procedural and other information about the closed meeting.)
Dated: October 7, 2002
1. Voting for this action: Chairman Greenspan, Vice Chairman Ferguson, and Governors Gramlich, Bies, Bernanke, and Kohn.
Return to text
uponroof- This is otherwise known as a 'hush-hush' emergency meeting.