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  • Goldman Sachs takes issue with Bernanke's insistence that easy money has anything to do with higher commodity prices. "By focusing on core inflation, (they) are exporting looser monetary policy to EM (and) forced to import higher food and energy prices."  [View news story]
    US "let your currency appreciate China"

    China "no"

    US "I got an idea...."
    Feb 4, 2011. 11:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mary Schapiro says the SEC is looking at proposals to restrict market makers and traders that use mathematical algorithms, activity that has been criticized since last May's flash crash. She also says a budget strain is forcing SEC analysts to use decades-old technology to "monitor trading that occurs at the speed of light."  [View news story]
    Algorithmic trading popular in China too, problem will get out of control sooner or later, better to hit the brakes sooner if you ask me.
    Feb 4, 2011. 11:53 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Despite dire predictions of a collapse, commercial real estate values are actually rising, tempering fears that the sector was going to pull the economy back into recession. (Blackstone's take on the sector)  [View news story]
    Scenario is tracking the rest of the economy where big business/big commercial RE is doing well and small stuff struggles.
    Feb 4, 2011. 09:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Virginia will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to expedite review of its challenge to the new health reform law. Last night, the Senate rejected an attempt to repeal the law, but did agree to kill a provision would have required business owners to file 1099 tax documents on all cumulative purchases from a single vendor that total more than $600 in a year.  [View news story]
    Congratulations to killing the small business strangling 1099 law... wow this makes me so happy I'm surprised more people didn't comment on this.
    Feb 4, 2011. 09:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bullish sign for real estate? Blackstone (BX) expects to start fundraising this year for its latest commercial real estate fund, which could take in as much as $10B, and says concerns about inflation are increasing investor interest in the sector.  [View news story]
    Larger commercial properties are seeing lending and activity - lots of lending interest, lots of activity - smaller are still dead (zero activity) and middle is... well middle.

    Residential is a different animal. Underwriting still sucks for most stuff.
    Feb 4, 2011. 08:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • WTI crude isn't a decent benchmark for prices in the U.S., let alone the world, says Jeff Rubin, who argues that more oil soon to flow from Alberta's tar sands is going to push the spread to Brent even wider. Bottom line: We're already back to triple digit oil prices. Brent ETF: BNO. WTI ETF: OIL.  [View news story]
    This was a great article, I was looking for precisely this analysis recently to understand WTI/Brent.

    The only thing lacking was an exploration of prices of retail/refined product around WTI and Brent and whether the result of WTI being virtually exclusive to the US market does that mean we effectively pay a cheaper price for retail product than the rest of thwe world buying at Brent levels?

    Hope that's clear -
    Feb 3, 2011. 02:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A good excuse to sell. After a strong 7% run from January lows, the euro continues to sell off as ECB head Trichet gives no indication that an increase in rates is imminent. Euro -1.1% at $1.366. Stoxx 50 -0.9%. Premarket: FXE -1.1%.  [View news story]
    No real changes in dollar-euro just short term bumps, US still printing Europe still reducing spending.
    Feb 3, 2011. 02:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The only kind of high prices most find acceptable are for stocks and real estate. Jim Rogers makes the case that high commodity prices are absolutely necessary to ensure continued supplies. "Are the politicians going to work 12 hour days in the field for nothing?"  [View news story]
    Bleh link in German, not one of my languages...

    As to the premise, I'll argue prices going up on some commodities as a result more of artificial demand than actual supply shortage, on speculation more than scarcity, and most commodities are more than profitable at current prices -after- exploration and extraction.

    Anyway, hey Jim Rogers I disagree, buy me dinner and I'll tell you why.
    Feb 3, 2011. 02:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The new normal for AT&T (T): Now that the iPhone (AAPL) is seeing other people (VZ, VOD), AT&T hails the upcoming Atrix from Motorola (MMI) - an Android (GOOG) phone - as "the world's most powerful smartphone." Would that have happened last year? (previously)  [View news story]
    Last year?

    Verizon talked about how they didn't need an iPhone since Android was just as good if not better, and they marketed the hell out of it.

    The Atrix looks like an amazing productivity tool, and reinforces the notion that Apple's competition has matured and is bringing serious competition to the market.

    Android also growing faster than iOS and the device variation appeals to the market, ATT may be smarter than folks think, marketing Android just as the platform hits its stride.

    Worse yet, Verizon iPhone showing a lot of weakness on Verizon's network - only thing it does better seems to be keeping calls going - but as a productivity tool or multitasking device the lack of concurrent voice and data on Verizon and the slower download speeds don't make the case that iPhone will be all that awesome on its new carrier.
    Feb 3, 2011. 02:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bernanke taking questions on food prices. "We have a two-speed recovery" where industrial countries grow slowly and emerging markets are taking off. But the Fed's there for U.S. stability, and nobody can argue the U.S. is overheated. Some emerging markets are growing faster than their capacity, but it's mostly in their hands and "entirely unfair" to attribute commodity spikes to American monetary policy.  [View news story]
    Ben said GDP will drop to zero!!!!

    ...During the superbowl...

    Looks like he's rooting for the team with the quarterback sharing his name...
    Feb 3, 2011. 01:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amidst near panic buying, the ICE is considering the rare step of requiring buyers of cotton to prove it "economically appropriate" should they wish to purchase more than 300 contracts. March cotton futures turn south after earlier touching a new record high of $1.812/lb. BAL -2.2%.  [View news story]
    Takes a crisis for a resolution...
    Feb 3, 2011. 12:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Standard & Poor's says it has no plans to downgrade the U.S. credit rating, but it believes credit risk may increase in the long term. "It looks like there will be a slow but continual build of credit risk from what we view as excellent credit risk... but in our view it is not a fast moving issue." Moody's warned last week of a potential U.S. downgrade.
     [View news story]
    What's true is that there is still quite a bit of road to kick down... no credible replacement for the dollar, no real sovereign debt market the size of the US, global reserve currency...

    Change will need to come from within, as in the fleeced middle class.
    Feb 3, 2011. 11:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thanks to some help from an organized group of whistle-blowers, states are widening their investigations into whether banks overcharged public pension funds by millions of dollars for forex transactions.  [View news story]
    There's money in whistle blowing now, it's getting popular to offer rewards to folks calling in crooks' and liars' shenanigans...

    Don't think that's a bad thing at all...
    Feb 3, 2011. 09:19 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial Jobless Claims: -42K to 415K vs. 423K consensus. Continuing claims -84K to 3,925,000.  [View news story]
    Agreed; it's mostly the real estate and ancillary (from construction and renovation all the way through mortgage companies and extending into finance). It seems -some- of the manufacturing jobs lost are coming back and some are moving to renewables, but I fear large swaths of the country dependent on the old money makers will be dead zones for an extended period.

    Retooling will be a long term and painful adjustment to new norms while the blind cry that it's everyone else's fault (China!) but ours that the jobs market sucks.
    Feb 3, 2011. 09:17 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Companies worried about rising commodity prices are stockpiling everything from rubber tires to fabric purchases, but are they insulating themselves from sticker shock or just making the problem worse? (see also)  [View news story]
    That's how gas at the pump works.. well when prices go down, when prices go up, they markup MUCH faster!
    Feb 3, 2011. 09:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment