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  • Oil percolates, rising over $1 in a few minutes on bullish inventory data and news 2 Iranian warships are to pass through the Suez Canal on their way to Syria, a "provocation," says Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman. BNO +1.8%. OIL +0.9%.  [View news story]
    Buy the dip brother!
    Feb 16, 2011. 12:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • "Global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people around the world," says World Bank president Robert Zoellick. Prices have risen 15% in just the last 4 months, a nice performance, but U.S. equities are doing better.  [View news story]
    No mention of livestock? Isn't one of corn's major uses to feed pigs and cattle, i.e we don't eat the corn, we eat the animals that eat the corn.
    Feb 16, 2011. 10:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "Global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people around the world," says World Bank president Robert Zoellick. Prices have risen 15% in just the last 4 months, a nice performance, but U.S. equities are doing better.  [View news story]
    Sorry about that. It was tongue and cheek, directed at those who would overlook every issue out there as long as their stock portfolios are going up (and conversely call their congressman in the event of a bear market). I'm long America and long equities and I like rising values as much as the next guy, but can't ignore some of the negative consequences of bad farm policy, fiscal deficits, and money printing coming out of the developed world.
    Feb 15, 2011. 02:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The FCIC backpedals on its prior refusal, and releases its 2009 interview with Ben Bernanke (transcript). Among the more choice bits: He'd defend his actions on Lehman Brothers "to my deathbed," and blames "poisonous" politics for TARP's failure to spark lending.  [View news story]
    Bonus points for someone to search around and find the names of others who have defended actions "to their deathbed" (or at least until they fled their country to the south of France). My guess is it's not a pleasant list of leaders.
    Feb 15, 2011. 12:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Biblical floods and once-in-a-generation cyclones aside, the outlook is a good one for The Lucky Country. Minutes from the recent RBA meeting show members pleased with benign inflation and optimistic that the natural disasters are but a small blip. ETFs: EWA, KROO, FXA.  [View news story]
    Thanks!
    Feb 15, 2011. 08:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan could stand in the way of the LSE (LDNXF.PK)/TMX (TMXGF.PK) merger. Noting that the LSE's biggest shareholder is from Dubai, he says, "we do business with the Middle East, I am just not sure I want them owning our stock exchange."  [View news story]
    True, but my guess is it's just posturing to look good for the voters and as a bargaining chip for a concession on some other issue.
    Feb 14, 2011. 01:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • For months, J.C. Penney (JCP) turned up as the #1 result on Google (GOOG) queries for dozens of items, even beating out Samsonite in a search for ... Samsonite. The NYT delves into the shady world of search engine optimization as well as the man in charge of policing it, Google's powerful Matt Cutts.  [View news story]
    Sponsored links is a different story ...
    Feb 13, 2011. 06:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • For months, J.C. Penney (JCP) turned up as the #1 result on Google (GOOG) queries for dozens of items, even beating out Samsonite in a search for ... Samsonite. The NYT delves into the shady world of search engine optimization as well as the man in charge of policing it, Google's powerful Matt Cutts.  [View news story]
    "For months, J.C. Penney (JCP) turned up as the #1 result ..."

    "turned" is the operative word here, i.e. it's the past tense. I don't know if you read the NYT article, but it states that JCP has been "penalized" for their aggressive tactics. I doubt you'll find them anywhere near the top for any of those searches for awhile.
    Feb 13, 2011. 04:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With continued state support called into question, Moody's downgrades the Irish banks. Previously barely investment grade, Bank of Ireland (IRE +1.8%) is now junk status at Ba1. Allied Irish Bank (AIB +2.2%), already junk, is now bigger junk at Ba2.  [View news story]
    "Ratings for the banks' ... were cut to junk status for Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks" per CNBC

    www.cnbc.com/id/41526987

    I believe Moody's considers Ba1 to be "not prime" i.e. junk. Ba2 would be even more "not prime"
    Feb 11, 2011. 11:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Egyptian VP Omar Suleiman, speaking in Cairo, says Hosni Mubarak has stepped down and that presidential powers have been given to a military council. EGPT +4.6%.  [View news story]
    Dunno about that. Sounds more like a military coup. Mubarak is finished.
    Feb 11, 2011. 11:11 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A pension fund with 12% of its assets in gold must sell off the bulk of those holdings as the Dutch National Bank decides such investment is "inconsistent with the interests of the participants." Proceeds from the gold sales will presumably be invested in Portuguese debt?  [View news story]
    Even the great ones whiff once in awhile ... :>)
    Feb 10, 2011. 12:13 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chart of the day: core inflation over the past 40 years. Does this really look like a big problem?  [View news story]
    Not surprising to see one of the Fed's favorite mouthpieces put this up.

    First, the nature of the chart is deceptive - yes CPI sucked in the 70s which makes today look good, but a rate of even 2% can be quite corrosive to purchasing power over time.

    Second, I'm guessing a part of today's pleasant rate is just that the government has gotten better at artificially lowering it through things like the Boskin Commission (whose role was to lower the CPI) and hedonic adjustments.

    Third, inflation is excess money - in the 70s this excess showed up in CPI, in the 90s it showed up in internets and telcos, in the 00s it showed up in RE ... Just because CPI (as defined by the government) doesn't capture it should be of little comfort to anyone who is worried the Fed has somehow engineered yet another boom/bust cycle in asset prices.
    Feb 10, 2011. 09:47 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An optimistic Floyd Norris sees much in common between the current employment picture and 1983, when the unemployment rate tumbled from record highs. But Norris overlooks a huge difference: housing. In 1983, housing starts zoomed from 1M to 1.7M - "Not. Gonna. Happen. Not with the overhang of existing vacant housing units."  [View news story]
    Don't forget, in 1983 there was a lot of room left for interest rates to come down. The 30 year was still in double digits at the time, short rates were probably pretty close as well.
    Feb 4, 2011. 09:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • March sugar futures rise 5.1% to a 30 year high as Tropical cyclone Yasi threatens Australian production, which accounts for 7% of world exports. Earlier flooding has already reduced Australia's sugar crop to the lowest level in nearly 20 years. Sugar ETF: SGG +4.2%.  [View news story]
    Covered it earlier ...

    seekingalpha.com/curre...

    Been looking all day, but still can't find a place to buy banana futures!
    Feb 2, 2011. 03:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Iceland's decision not to guarantee the debt of its banks stands in stark contrast to Ireland's path. Both countries suffered brutal recessions, but Iceland has quickly resumed organic growth, while Ireland faces years of staggering debt payments and austerity (though today's numbers look good).  [View news story]
    I'm missing something here. What has you upset?
    Feb 1, 2011. 03:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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