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  • The pound tumbles after U.K. central bank chief Mervyn King says the strength of Britain’s recovery remains “highly uncertain” and could require further purchases of government bonds to pump cash into the economy. Pound -0.5% vs. dollar after rising earlier.  [View news story]
    Wrong. The GBP went south directly after the Bank of England issued its "inflation report" at 10:30 am, GMT, earlier today (and still continues to bleed over 4 hours later). Mr. King's remarks were carried by Reuters after the BOE report - not before it.
    Feb 10, 2010. 09:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China makes the next move in an ongoing trade-tie spat with the U.S., announcing plans to impose anti-dumping tariffs of up to 105.4% on U.S. broiler chicken imports, effective Feb. 13. Officials say the unfairly priced chickens caused "substantial damage" to the domestic poultry industry.  [View news story]
    Wing Wars, Act II.
    First, Russia decided (on January 15, 2010) to effectively ban all American poultry imports (due to "health concerns"). Now, Beijing (in the form of the PRC Ministry of Commerce) has listed 35 US companies, who will have to pay an extra import duty (of approximately 65% per company).

    Don't get too excited, though: China imported about $800 million of American clucker parts last year (while the total amount of Chinese imports from the US was about $77 billion). Oh, that's a really big percentage of the gross imports, isn't it?
    Feb 5, 2010. 10:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With BRICs, and PIIGS, and other acronyms trying to index countries with growth potential, Zero Hedge goes the bearish direction and gathers countries waiting for the (inevitable?) sovereign debt implosion: the STUPIDs (Spain, Turkey, U.K., Portugal, Italy, Dubai).  [View news story]
    Can't forget Japan! (So, that would make this moniker "JUST DIPs", right?)
    Feb 2, 2010. 05:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yves Smith takes issue with Paul Volcker and his New York Times op-ed for not recognizing the "magnitude of structural change needed." Volcker may be tough-minded, but "his remedies would work for the industry circa 1990, but look anachronistic for the world we live in now."  [View news story]
    Dear "Zorrow",

    I beg to disagree. Watch what is about to happen to USD/AUD [which, on Monday morning, starting right now (UT), is going to show the world the effects of China's less than spirited Q110 projected GDP results well before other (Western calculated) statistics begin to show their force].

    Over the last 40 years, I have traded these markets almost daily (and, with great profit). If I was part of the great "Mafia" (and/or, something that you would perhaps call "Greater China") that you write about, I would already be so rich that I wouldn't bother to write this message.

    So? Even though I live (and teach the highest levels of university graduate school) in China, obviously, I am not.

    Thus, you may want to pay attention to what I write next; to wit: at present, the AUD is at approximately .8800 (to the USD). During the next trading week - according to almost all standard FOREX charting forecasts, this rate should decline to the December 2009 low of .8730. This means that over an almost 100 point decline is about to happen (translation: at "normal leverage", anyone who sold "now" and "bought" at such at projected low, would garner an almost 100% trading profit).

    100% in one week. This projection is not cool, eh?

    If such a decline happens, promise me that you will stop complaining about any sort of gobal Mafia, ok? Why? Such folks do not engineer an almost 100% decline in their profits during the course of 5 calendar trading days (as well as giving all of us the opportunity to fleece them of all such "profits").

    Happy Chinese lunar new year (of the white, iron, tiger),

    Dr. Solange Apsara
    Feb 1, 2010. 03:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In a New York Times op-ed, Paul Volcker fleshes out the case for stripping commercial banks of their prop desks: "Apart from the risks inherent in these activities, they also present virtually insolvable conflicts of interest" that even the highest Chinese wall can't block. And allowing charter banks to play with the hedge funds "only tilts a level playing field without clear value added."  [View news story]
    Dr. Vocker is cute, but the man that we really need to hear more from is Bo Lundgren: www.milkeninstitute.or...
    Jan 31, 2010. 05:53 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Among Saxo Bank's Outrageous Predictions for 2010: The yuan will be devalued by 5%; the Social Security Trust Fund will go bust; U.S. trade balance will turn positive for first time in 34 years; and angry Americans will form a third party.  [View news story]
    Ah, yes, this is the same organization that announced in November 2007 its biggest deal to date - a a white label partnership with none other than Citibank.
    Dec 17, 2009. 10:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • (AMZN) denies media reports, says it has no plans to open brick-and-mortar stores - anywhere.  [View news story]
    The largest, independent, "brick and mortar" bookstore in the US is Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon. Oregon's lack of a sales tax is one of the reasons why this family-owned bookstore has been able to not only survive for the last 38 years, but even thrive, despite the fact that Amazon is headquartered less than 5 hours directly up I-5 from it. For more information, see:
    Dec 7, 2009. 07:39 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • (AMZN) denies media reports, says it has no plans to open brick-and-mortar stores - anywhere.  [View news story]
    Amazon is located in the state of Washington. The current base state of Washington sales tax rate is 6.5% and the state's code [Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 458-20-145] specifies that: "The correct sales tax rate and tax jurisdiction (location code) is determined by the location where the customer receives the merchandise or makes first use of retail services." Thus, if a person were to pick up a book at a "brick and mortar" store somewhere inside the state of Washington, that person would pay a minimum of 6.5% in sales tax (and, perhaps, as much as 9.5% in "unincorporated non-RTA King County" - i. e., Seattle and its environs). Moral of the story: If Amazon wants to "maximize its sales potential", then it should only think about opening up stores in states with no sales tax (i. e., Oregon, Alaska, Delaware, Montana and New Hampshire).

    On Dec 06 05:13 PM User 283977 wrote:

    > I would think opening up brick-and-mortar stores would have some
    > tax ramifications... anyone have any thoughts on this?
    Dec 7, 2009. 07:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • At what point does China start to look overbuilt - building for the sake of building, and generating economic numbers for the sake of numbers?  [View news story]
    I live in China (and, have for some time). Mr. Nielson (comment no. 1) is correct, as is "tripleblack". "Freya", on the other hand, is off by about 500 million on the subject of who does not have access to electricity (the Government believes about 200 million do not have "access" - which is rather different than whether or not you have the money to afford such a service, of course.).
    Dec 1, 2009. 06:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • With Baidu (BIDU) disrupted by an ad system switch, Google (GOOG) may finally have an opening to try to make inroads in China, one of the few places where awareness of the search leader is low (see chart).  [View news story]
    I live in China (and have for years). Approximately 1/3 of the time, I cannot access my gmail account. Approximately 1/3 of the time, I am blocked from accessing whatever I am searching for. All the time, I can only access 2-3 pictures of any "image search" that I request. This does not happen when I use Baidu.

    By the way, I learned to read and write Chinese in college 40 years ago. So, what is happening to me - and Google inside China - isn't a "cultural problem".
    Nov 10, 2009. 10:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The U.S. central bank may not be making any detectable policy shifts in the Fed Open Market Committee meeting beginning tomorrow, but a broad consensus expects Australia to hike its overnight cash rate by at least a quarter-point Tuesday (to 3.5% from 3.25%) - its second increase in four weeks.  [View news story]
    The beginning of the end: using a 4-hour interval chart, AUD has now entered wave 5 of 5 (starting fromthe October 21st high 93.257) and now appears determined to crack channel support at 89.35. Should this occur, a vast wasteland of red ink awaits those who are still long today's RBA decision. BTW: 4-hour MACD remains negative.
    Nov 3, 2009. 05:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The U.S. central bank may not be making any detectable policy shifts in the Fed Open Market Committee meeting beginning tomorrow, but a broad consensus expects Australia to hike its overnight cash rate by at least a quarter-point Tuesday (to 3.5% from 3.25%) - its second increase in four weeks.  [View news story]
    Don't get too excited. Top-side resistance = .9180 and at .9326. Any crack in current double-bottom floor (at .8942) will see a stab toward .8796 unfold.
    Nov 2, 2009. 06:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China's economic growth is likely to speed up this quarter, but the government will stay the course with its loose fiscal policy, senior officials said today. Still, analysts say an unmistakable optimistic shift in official statements signal Beijing is starting to think about how to unwind its pro-growth policies. (ETFs: FXI, PGJ)  [View news story]
    For a more illuminating version of the probable truth behind the momentum of this past quarter and the next, read John Garnaut's, October 26, 2009, "China's Rivers of Cash Flowing The Wrong Way" in the Sydney Morning Hearld:
    Oct 26, 2009. 05:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With stocks down, longer-term Treasurys were moderately higher. The 30-year yield -0.04 to 4.27%; 10-year -0.04 to 3.43%; 5-year -0.02 to 2.37%; 2-year +0.02 to 0.97%. Greenback's up against every partner except sharply rallying sterling: Dollar +0.4% against yen, +0.4% against euro, +0.4% against Swiss franc, -0.4% against pound.  [View news story]
    Not exactly. Check out what happened to the Australian dollar this week.
    Oct 17, 2009. 01:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment