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  • Ahead of key contract negotiations with (still?) Big Three automakers GM, Ford (F) and Chrysler (FIATY.PK), auto workers union chief Bob King says union members' sacrifices ($7K-30K in concessions each since 2005) were central to the industry's turnaround, and they deserve to share in its success.  [View news story]
    Automakers can't really offshore all their manufacturing due to certain regulations. Lengthy to explain, but don't expect it to happen.

    Of course, who knows what our pols will do to change the regs but again, I don't expect it.
    Jan 5, 2011. 01:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Something has to give. Jeff Rubin argues the speedier economies Western governments are relying on to make good on their enormous debts will propel oil higher. He questions the sustainability of faster growth in a world with oil prices well above $100/barrel.  [View news story]
    I don't buy the "well above $100" argument at all, nor do I buy that emerging economies will continue to grow oil consumption at current rates.

    Short term there's a little momentum in oil since coal is getting crushed the generators in China will have to run on diesel, but long term meh.
    Jan 5, 2011. 01:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's a global "wake-up call" to oil-consuming and oil-producing countries that crude prices are in "a dangerous zone for the world economy," says IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol. The warning's expected to press OPEC to boost output - at least in the very short term. Crude, meanwhile, has swung to the positive (+0.14% to $89.50) after losing ground on inventories data earlier.  [View news story]
    I trust OPEC more than I trust what comes out of the IEA. Sad, isn't it.
    Jan 5, 2011. 01:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alcoa (AA) gets downgraded by Citigroup to Hold from Buy, sending shares -1.6% premarket.  [View news story]
    Aluminum should follow copper I don't buy this either
    Jan 5, 2011. 01:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dec. ADP Jobs Report: +297K vs. +100K expected and +92K prior (revised from +93K). The pace of job growth was "well above what is usually associated with a declining unemployment rate... After a mid-year pause, employment seems to have accelerated."  [View news story]
    If you're bearish long enough sooner or later you will be right and if you're bullish long enough sooner or later you'll also be right. Even better, if you're a permabull you'll be right longer and more often. The key is to be neither...
    Jan 5, 2011. 12:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dennis Gartman thinks gold could be headed for a two- or three-week correction, but fears triggered by today's gold sell-off are overblown. “Can gold go down $100 from its high? Sure. But will it do enormous damage to the long-term upward trend in gold. Not really.”  [View news story]
    By which I mean a lot of the folks in gold have seen more a $200 rise in its value and that a lot of folks also expect it to jump around on an inevitable march upwards.

    I've watched it jump around 15% more than a few times without liquidating my position.
    Jan 4, 2011. 08:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rep. Darrell Issa, incoming head of the House's top investigative committee, asks companies to tell him which government regulations are too onerous for their liking. Issa recently sent letters to more than 150 businesses, trade groups and think tanks asking for their help in "identifying existing and proposed regulations that have negatively impacted job growth."  [View news story]
    If they were honest about onerous legislation they would not have passed the 1099 law.
    Jan 4, 2011. 07:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Computer trading, dark pools and ETFs are dominating market action on a daily basis, rendering buy-and-hold an old-school relic. Zack Miller's bigger worry: the "bifurcation of the markets: one for pros and one for the rest of us" - everyone should be concerned about the "unleveling of the playing field."  [View news story]
    errrr how are ETFs at odds with buy and hold?
    Jan 4, 2011. 07:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • As state officials try to plug big budget gaps, many consider legislation to scale back the power of unions, especially those that represent state workers. These officials say that unions have become too powerful and throwing state budgets into disarray with expensive pension plans. Labor leaders view the efforts as political retaliation by Republicans.  [View news story]
    It won't happen under Obama I'd guess, he has yet to pass any meaningful legislation. All half measures, band aids and temporary fixes.
    Jan 4, 2011. 07:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dennis Gartman thinks gold could be headed for a two- or three-week correction, but fears triggered by today's gold sell-off are overblown. “Can gold go down $100 from its high? Sure. But will it do enormous damage to the long-term upward trend in gold. Not really.”  [View news story]
    Gold can move $200 and most people who are in it won't notice...
    Jan 4, 2011. 04:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • FOMC minutes: "While the economic outlook was seen as improving, members generally felt that the change in the outlook was not sufficient to warrant any adjustments to the asset-purchase program." Some members noted that they needed more time before they would consider any changes. Stocks little changed.  [View news story]
    Power Heritage, I'd like to provide additional depth and perhaps some counterpoint to your arguments:

    Vis a vis "litigious": This is a result of the US legal system more so than anything else. "Justice" is based on legal precedent in a way unlike virtually anywhere else in the world. It generates litigiousness. This is a result of how the legal system originated here and is unlikely to ever change.

    Vis a vis "forced healthcare": The US is virtually the only country in the world with a virtually entirely privatized healthcare system. If I b reak my leg almost anywhere else in the world I will likely receive free care. In the US I will be billed. This is a result of how the healthcare system originated and that a socialized healthcare system never evolved here. Attempts to change it are unlikely to succeed.

    Vis a vis "highest corp rate"": As mentioned elsewhere, when Goolge pays 2% effective the rate on the books is less interesting than the reality. Also unlikely to ever change.

    Vis a vis "education": When states are able to pass into law teaching "divine origin"as opposed to Darwinism you have a problem. Most countries have a much more centralized education system and they all tend to read from the same books and compete with each other on a far more national level. Like all the other things before mentioned, the education system is heavily decentralized and inefficient. And is unlikely to change.

    200 years from now US will be forgotten and historians will talk about its brief rise to prominence after it indebted Europe with the Marshall plan...
    Jan 4, 2011. 03:27 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The EU debt crisis will take years to play out, Harvard's Ken Rogoff says, and warns the U.S. shouldn't get smug: "The unsustainable public debt and public expenditure is a question Europe and the U.S. will be confronted with big time over the next decade."  [View news story]
    It also appears that Europe will be forced to confront it as a result of inflexible currency adjustments for its member nations. The US, not so much...
    Jan 4, 2011. 12:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Roll out the welcome mat for a double-dip housing recession, these charts appear to tell us. "As declining house prices were the trigger for the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression," Alexander Cloy writes, "it is only a matter of time until financial markets react to the new realities of house prices."  [View news story]
    Very well put, I totally agree. I don't think we can print our way out either. But I'm sure we are going to do our darndest at it.
    Jan 4, 2011. 10:04 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The office-market's recovery remains weak and the national vacancy rate of 17.6% is the highest in nearly two decades, but data suggests more companies are slowly easing their way back into the leasing market.  [View news story]
    Meh, employment and office space go hand in hand, the only example cited was one of a company consolidating space, didn't sound expansionary, if you have 16 satellite offices paying various rents and uilities etc and move them into one location that seems like a cost saving maneuver to me more than an expansionary bullish move.
    Jan 4, 2011. 09:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "There's politics all over this:" Bank of America's (BAC) settlement of claims with Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) for $0.49 and $0.01 on the dollar, respectively. "My biggest complaint about the GSEs post government takeover," Barry Ritholtz writes, "is that they have been used as a back door bailout of the banks. This latest deal reconfirms that view."  [View news story]
    That may be true mike, but that doesn't mean the Geoffster is wrong...
    Jan 4, 2011. 09:51 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment