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  • New technologies to extract natural gas from shale and coal beds leads the IEA to double its estimate of global gas reserves. "A few years ago the U.S. was ready to import gas, in 2009 it had become the world's biggest gas producer," says a gas expert at the IEA. "This is phenomenal, unbelievable."  [View news story]
    Supply has grown faster than transmission capacity. Moving all this NG around is proving to be a problem and is one reason US hasn't more forcefully adopted NG as a larger portion of its energy consumption.

    That's where I'm looking right now.
    Jan 20, 2011. 02:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) plans to reformulate thousands of products to make them healthier, and will push its suppliers to do the same. Sources say first lady Michelle Obama will join Wal-Mart executives at an event today to launch the effort.  [View news story]
    End result: lower national cholesterol levels lead to higher national productivity and GDP! Go Walmart!
    Jan 20, 2011. 10:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble (PG) CEO Robert McDonald makes the case for a lower corporate tax rate, testifying before lawmakers this morning on why the country's 35% corporate tax rate disadvantages U.S. firms competing on a global scale.  [View news story]
    Although that's true Wyo, its a problem caused by a FUBAR tax system that needs to be reviewed and fixed.

    It's piss poor state of affairs that you only pay low rates if you hire or can afford competent accountants.

    I think a clearer tax system with fewer loopholes and strategies allowing lower effective rates, will also be a more transparent system for investers, taxpayers, and corps, and everyone will benefit (except the tax attorneys who have been navigating this crap).
    Jan 20, 2011. 10:41 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Big airlines see 15% higher fuel costs this year, but they aren't the only businesses likely to be impacted by commodity price inflation in 2011, 24/7's Doug McIntyre writes - it will hurt industries from restaurants to automakers to home builders to retailers that sell cotton clothing. "Time to drop earnings estimates," he warns.  [View news story]
    That's a good point, watch for the guys who haven't hedged or who's hedges are expiring, higher energy should also hurt utilities since utility rates can't fluctuate.
    Jan 20, 2011. 10:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fear of falling home prices and credit availability is only part of what's holding down the housing market; distrust of the mortgage industry is right up there, FHA's Dave Stevens says. "Servicers did not build their operational capabilities; they're not treating consumers fairly with the right trained staff with the right processes."  [View news story]
    The mortgage industry is screwed since underwriting standards are super tight, refinancings to take advantage of historically low rates are all but done, and lots of products have been taken off the market.

    Stick a fork in it, it's done.
    Jan 19, 2011. 05:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rising inflation pressures in emerging market nations will make the U.S. and Europe better investments in 2011, Marc Faber says, since monetary authorities in China, India, et. al., will need to tighten or let inflation accelerate, weakening their equities. Investors looking for an inflation hedge should buy oil, which Faber says will rise regardless of what happens in the global economy.  [View news story]
    Yeah Brazil is already crying....
    Jan 19, 2011. 03:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE's latest deal with China "sounds as if one of America's leading technology companies has decided to sell some of this country's crown jewels to ensure access to China's rigged market, potentially jeopardizing the competitive advantage enjoyed by this country's leading export industry [avionics]," Steven Pearlstein writes. "What's good for GE [is] certainly not good for America."  [View news story]
    Yes I'll disagree. The belief that a wholesale transference of US wealth to China can happen after a decade of Chinese growth is flawed on lots of levels. Let's chat again 10 years from now.
    Jan 19, 2011. 03:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As President Hu visits Washington, it's worth asking what Plan B is if U.S.-China relations take a turn for the worse and China dumps its trillion-dollar holdings of U.S. Treasurys. China could justify pulling back if the dollar were to plunge due to a U.S. failure to curb its budget deficit and debt; "we could be at a tipping point," one economist says.  [View news story]
    Agreed, end result would be, simply stated, that the US would be singed and China would be carbonized.

    It's a far fetched fear mongering concept, and China has shown that their plan is far more complex than something so assinine as dumping their holdings.
    Jan 19, 2011. 03:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • FDIC's Sheila Bair rejects a controversial idea to require home buyers to make a 30% down payment to purchase a home, arguing the traditional 20% figure should remain the industry standard. Bair is one of several regulators attempting to create a new standard for "safe" mortgages in the wake of the financial crisis.  [View news story]
    Agreed; at the top no doc no money down 107% mortgages were being sold, that extra 7% was for closing costs.

    Is it any wonder someone with no money in their house whatsoever would be willing to walk away from it?
    Jan 19, 2011. 03:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rare earth exports from China dropped only 9.3% less year, far less than the 40% cuts bandied about. Did China mess up its quotas, or was all that talk for the benefit state-owned miners who saw the value of their holdings skyrocket. (MCP) -4.37%. (REE) -5.67%. (SHZ) -19.36%. (AVL) -5.6%.  [View news story]
    Perhaps China's shutdown of the black marketeers reflects on that remaining 31%....
    Jan 19, 2011. 03:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bearish bets on Apple's (AAPL +1.3%) stock price surged last Friday, the final day of trading before the announcement that Steve Jobs would take a medical leave of absence. The action could have reflected investors' attempts to protect themselves ahead of Apple’s earnings report, but it also raises questions over whether news about Jobs had leaked.  [View news story]
    Yep those announcements typically fall under his purview.
    Jan 19, 2011. 03:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The stock market has been flashing yellow for a little while now, Joshua Brown says, "but this weekend [it] began flashing much more brightly and with an increasing urgency." Investor sentiment has run above 50% since October, the VIX hit its lowest level since July 2007... and Cheezburger Network just closed a $30M round of funding.  [View news story]
    Surprised the permabulls aren't posting here about how awesome everything is and how there will be no correction for some time...
    Jan 19, 2011. 03:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SEC officials say they have been forced to postpone investigative trips and abandon examinations of money managers who are more than a day’s travel away to cope with a restricted budget. Without investment in technology, the agency says it can't deal better with issues such as the flash crash or improve the enforcement division that missed the Madoff fraud.  [View news story]
    This isn't news, SEC has been complaining about being underfunded for long time; of course considering we want them to actually get out there and DO something I'd guess we should probably help them.
    Jan 19, 2011. 03:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Electric (GE) plans to announce $4B in deals with China in energy, rail and aviation during President Hu's visit to the U.S. this week, FT reports. The deals are expected to create 4,700 jobs in the U.S.  [View news story]
    Bet every last deal has some kind of Chinese partner pulling the strings with GE playing second fiddle.
    Jan 19, 2011. 03:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • For the first time in more than a decade, U.S. manufacturing has begun creating more jobs than it sheds, and will likely make at least a modest contribution to total U.S. employment over the next few years.  [View news story]
    I'll give it a shot...

    After all the jobs lost since the recession there was bound to be SOME bounceback, but it will hardly be meaningful or have an impact.

    How was that?
    Jan 19, 2011. 03:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment