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  • A gloomy outlook from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, as its Small Business Optimism Index drops 3.2 points to 89 after posting modest gains for several months. "The U.S. economy faces hurricane force headwinds, and the government is at the center of the storm," NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg says. The index typically bounces back quickly following a recession, but not this time.  [View news story]
    The cold environment in Canada builds character. Go ahead and crowd your warm sunny southern coastlines, my nearest neighbor lives one and a half miles away and I hope it stays that way.
    Jul 13, 2010. 11:02 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Reasons Why the S&P 500 Will Hit 1,350 [View article]
    Yes - and all the S&P 500 companies selling into Europe will have to repatriate all those Euros into 16% less USD than Q1.

    Should be interesting earnings season.
    Jul 8, 2010. 04:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A bank tax, not bigger capital cushion requirements, is the best way to limit future bank bailouts by the government, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota says, a position at odds with that taken by G-20 leaders. Banks that take bigger risks would pay higher levies, he says, and those funds would pay for "inevitable" future bailouts.  [View news story]
    Great idea, create a slush fund as a backstop for terrible business decisions and future bailouts.

    Why not when you fail you don't get bailed out, your creditors and shareholders get wiped out?

    Higher tier 1 capital requirements work, it lowers leverage, it leaves the bank with some skin in the game.

    It has worked very well for our Canadian banks - why are you Americans always looking for a new "neater" idea to make higher risk more acceptable when what you should be doing is regulate your banks to ensure they are scrutinizing borrowers more closely and lend on tighter requirements (higher down-payment requirements etc.)?

    The Canadian banking system has long been called boring - who gives a rats ass.
    Jul 7, 2010. 06:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Standard Chartered tells clients to prepare for a 30% drop in property prices in China's largest cities. Ken Rogoff foresees a "collapse" in China's property market that will hit the country's banking system.  [View news story]
    The Chinese market can handle a 30% drop in prices. Its going to hurt investors, not banks. The standard lending practice is for a person to put down 25 to 40% on a mortgage. Commercial is a bit less.

    The North American practice of lending money on residential and speculative property purchases with 0 to 5% down is one of the major causes of the financial crisis.
    Jul 7, 2010. 10:46 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Deflation Really That Scary? [View article]
    I think Inflation has had people chasing return for sometime, even developing complex investments that financial gurus could not even decipher.

    Chasing return has been part of the reason we were put into a financial crisis. Perhaps a 10 year term of deflation would be a good thing.

    Would force people to deal with debt, not extend and pretend.

    Would force governments to balance budgets.

    Would force people to live within their means.

    If you have no cash and lots of debt it will be very painful as it should be.
    Jun 18, 2010. 10:37 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One source says EU banks stress tests will be much tougher than the U.S. ones: "The Americans have run an extremely soft stress test and first looked at how much money they wanted to give the banks. Then they calibrated the stress tests until they had exactly that amount coming out of the stress test. It was not really a stress test. It was an excuse for handing over some money."  [View news story]
    That unnamed source is now in hiding.
    Jun 18, 2010. 10:31 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Deflation Really That Scary? [View article]
    That's right.

    Ballooning deficits, austerity measures.

    Rabid spending by governments that must be paid for down the road - higher taxes.

    The Wealth destruction of the last 10 years.

    Where is all the extra money coming from.
    Jun 18, 2010. 09:28 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Deflation Really That Scary? [View article]
    Absolutely correct. A lot of people here are worried about runaway inflation - likely not going to happen.

    Demand is lower, credit is lower, capacity is underutilized.

    Higher longer term unemployment. People paying off debts and not spending at previous pace. New jobs will pay less and have less entitlements.

    Go ask for a raise - not likely.

    We have walked down the same path as Japan when our leaders vowed we will not do that and we have learned from their mistakes - I don't see much difference in what we have done.

    Deflation will be here for some time to come. The next bubble is probably gold.
    Jun 18, 2010. 09:02 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Spain raised nearly €3.5B in a sale of hard-to-peddle 10-year and 31-year bonds, although the average interest rates on the bonds were far higher than in recent offerings. Still, the healthy demand should quiet down some of the fears of a financial crisis in Spain. Euro +0.7% vs. dollar at $1.2379.  [View news story]
    Question is who bought them. Someone with tax payers money trying to put lipstick on a pig?
    Jun 17, 2010. 09:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • This is not a joke: BP (BP +1.9%) plans to purchase 32 oil cleanup machines made by Kevin Costner's company. "We were confident the technology would work but we needed to test it at the extremes. We've done that and are excited by the results," COO Doug Suttles says.  [View news story]
    I knew he has smart, makes me wonder what he was smoking when he took the Postman?
    Jun 15, 2010. 03:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Phantom Recovery [View article]
    Next year what types of cuts or reduced spending will be included in the US austerity plan?
    Jun 8, 2010. 08:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Today in Commodities: I Smell a Correction [View article]
    I think he is calling you out.

    In your defense you did write "they were advised" and did not suggest that you yourself advised them.
    Jun 7, 2010. 05:01 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The G20 Votes for Global Depression [View article]
    You can't spend for ever, same goes for governments.

    I am tired of hearing everyone ask what the governments should do next (stimulus, monetary policy, tax breaks).

    You would have been very happy to see these countries increase spending when they are already at a tipping point?

    Everything must return to equilibrium - the decisions to be made are:
    1. Attempt to engineer a soft landing with tax payer money?
    2. Allow things to adjust and let the over levered take the hit?

    My vote is for the latter.

    Why continue to punish the savers to save the high risk junkies?

    Yes this is going to be very painful for everyone, even the innocent. Not sure how we ensure it doesn't happen again if the losers don't lose.

    We are acting like children trying to find a way to avoid punishment.

    Take the medicine we have coming so my 3 and 5 year old girls can have a chance to live at something close to the standard of living we have come to enjoy over the last 20 years.
    Jun 7, 2010. 02:36 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The S&P Bottom at 400? [View article]
    It is tough medicine but should be ours to swallow and not our childrens. We had better take the hit and hope we have learned a lesson and try and recover so that our future generations can enjoy at least a similar standard of living. I worry for my 2 little girls.
    Jun 4, 2010. 04:33 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MMS stops issuing permits for new oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico regardless of water depth, effectively extending the earlier suspension of permits for deepwater drilling into shallow waters. ESV -4%, HERO -6.1%, NBR +1%.  [View news story]
    I have been buying land drillers and Fracturing companies like crazy over the last few weeks. Companies are going to shift money from the gulf and other offshore areas to onshore projects. The insurance to play offshore at depth is going to be astronomical. How many good wells must you drill to pay for the one in a thousand bad ones?

    Looks like Obama is embracing Natural Gas out of necessity now - he will use the gulf offshore and oil example to appease his enviro following to embrace onshore natural gas and alternative markets for NG where diesel/gasoline is used (fleet transport etc.).
    Jun 3, 2010. 02:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment