Thursday, November 30, 2006

Farm Animals More Damaging To Climate Than Cars
It generates 65 percent of human-caused nitrous oxide, a gas that is 296 times more effective at trapping solar heat than carbon dioxide (CO2), the biggest greenhouse-gas by volume. Most of this pollution comes from manure.

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. Commerce Department said that personal incomes were up 0.4% in October and consumer spending was up 0.2%.

  • The U.S. Labor Department said that jobless claims were up 34,000 last week to 357,000, more than expected.

  • Retail sales in Australia were up 0.8% in October.

  • Canada's real GDP was up 0.4% QoQ and up 2.5% YoY.

  • Real GDP in the EU-12 was up 0.5% QoQ and up 2.7% YoY.

  • Real GDP in India was up 9.2% YoY

  • U.S. Cotton mill use declined from an annual rate of 5.2 to 5.1 million bales in October.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Quick Overview

  • QoQ U.S. GDP was up 2.2%, and up 3.0% YoY. Nominal GDP was up 6.0% YoY.

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke said he expects moderate economic growth with lower inflation. The one risk of higher inflation, he warned, might come from tight labor supplies.

  • The Federal Reserve's Beige Book said that most districts reported "continued moderate growth since the last report" and increased consumer spending.

  • U.S. New home sales were at an annual rate of 1.004 million units in October, down 3.2% from September's pace and less than expected. YoY new home sales are down 18%.

  • Brazil's central bank lowered its benchmark lending rate to 13.25% from 13.75%

  • Japan's industrial production increased 1.6% in October, more than expected and a new record high.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that:
    Supplies of crude oil were down 300,000 barrels to 340.8 million barrels.
    Supplies of unleaded gasoline were down 600,000 barrels
    Supplies of heating oil were down 1.1 million barrels.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What Will You Do When the Government Demands Your Laptop?
Thanks to a decision from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Customs officials can now seize and copy the contents of any laptop carried across a U.S. border. There's no arrest, warrant or probable cause required-just a "gimme."

Quick Overview

  • The OECD today cut its forecast for 2007 OECD-country GDP growth to +2.5% from +3.2% in 2006, which would be the weakest level since 2003.

  • Durable goods orders posted their biggest decline since July 2000, falling 8.7% in October. Excluding transport, orders were down 1.7%

  • U.S. Consumer confidence fell to 102.9 in November from a revised 105.1 last month, the New York-based Conference Board said Tuesday.

  • The confidence of American consumers rose in the latest week to match its 2006 high and best since April 2002, just in time for the beginning of the holiday season, ABC News and The Washington Post said on Tuesday.

  • The National Association of Realtors said U.S. existing home sales were at an annual rate of 6.24 million units in October, better than expected and up 0.5% from September's pace. The 3.85 million homes for sale in October represented a 7.4 month supply, the most in 13 years.

  • The U.S. economy is not yet facing a generalized economic slowdown, despite cooling in the housing and automobile sectors, the International Monetary Fund's chief economist said on Tuesday.

  • Retail sales in Japan were down 0.2% in October, more than expected.

Carbon emissions show sharp rise From 2000 to 2005, the growth rate of carbon dioxide emissions was more than 2.5% per year, whereas in the 1990s it was less than 1% per year,"

On the Move to Outrun Climate Change
As the Bush administration debates much of the world about what to do about global warming, butterflies and ski-lift operators, polar bears and hydroelectric planners are on the move.
..Wild species don't care who is in the White House," Parmesan said. "It is very obvious they are desperately trying to move to respond to the changing climate. ..

Monday, November 27, 2006

Quick Overview

  • Wall Street had its worst day in more than four months as the dollar weakened and concerns about the strength of the retail industry arose following a sales decline at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

  • A think tank at Beijing-based China Renmin University estimates China's gross domestic product to grow a little slower rate of about 9.25% in 2007 from a projected 10.48% this year.

  • Rumors persist the IMF may sell part of its massive 3,217 ton Gold reserve valued at $65B to cover losses it projects for the next two years.

  • Bank of Japan Governor Fukui said that he wants to gradually raise Japan's interest rate, but does not want to interfere with the economy's recovery.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Will Democrats Turn Blind Eye to Civil Liberty?
The Bush regime was a coup d’etat against the Bill of Rights and the jurisdictions of Congress and the courts. Unless Democrats roll back this coup, Americans have seen the last of their civil liberties.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Quick Overview

  • The University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment dropped from 93.6 to 92.1 in November, more than expected.

  • The U.S. jobless claims were up 12,000 last week to 321,000.

  • YoY Canada's consumer price index was up 0.9%.

  • Industrial orders in the EU-12 were down 1.3% in September.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that:
    Supplies of crude oil were up 5.1 million barrels to 341.1 million barrels.
    Supplies of unleaded gasoline were up 1.4 million barrels.
    Supplies of heating oil were down 100,000 barrels.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dollar May Fall a Second Day as Traders Add to Bets on Rate Cut
``Rising market perception rates will be cut in the U.S. could be enough to get the dollar snowballing lower.''

Quick Overview

  • There is talk that OPEC may reduce production when they next meet on December 14th.

  • Federal Reserve officials agree the U.S. labor force has entered a slower-growth phase, but they have yet to reach consensus on what pace of job growth is consistent with a noinflationary expansion.

  • French GDP for Q3 was unchanged QoQ and up 1.8% YoY.

  • Canada's composite index of leading indicators was up 0.2% MoM

  • Retail sales volume in the U.K. was up 0.6% QoQ

  • Argentina's trade surplus for October rose 11% YoY.

  • The USDA said that world sugar production will be 155.2 million tons in 2006-2007, up 7% YoY. World ending stocks will increase 4.2 million tons to 33.2 million tons -- 22% stock to use. The second lowest stocks to use ratio in nine years.

  • The USDA said there were 714 billion pounds of frozen orange juice concentrate in storage on October 31, down 37% YoY.

  • The minutes from the latest Bank of Japan monetary policy meeting show the bank plans to raise rates gradually to keep pace with inflation and growth.

  • The USDA said there were 466.7 million pounds of frozen pork in storage on October 31, up 4.5% YoY. Bellies totaled 16.6 million pounds, up 5.6% YoY

Monday, November 20, 2006

China set to be biggest Malaysian cocoa buyer
The current per capita consumption of chocolate in China is only 26g, far below the world's average of 500g. In the European Union, where chocolate is a popular snack food, about 12kg of chocolate is consumed by a person yearly.

Will there be enough corn? "There is a collision course on the horizon, but when and how severe it is going to be, I don't know," said Doug Thompson, a corn and soybean grower near Kanawha, in north-central Iowa.

Quick Overview

  • In Sydney Australia over the weekend, central bankers from the G-20 summit said central banks "will need" to raise rates to contain inflation.

  • The Conference Board said Monday its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2% in October, with six of the ten indicators showing a positive gain, after a revised gain of 0.4% a month earlier.

  • State and local governments are experimenting with new ways of generating funds for highway work as gasoline taxes fail to produce enough revenue for such projects, the USA Today reported.

  • German producer prices rose 0.3% in October and up 4.6% YoY

  • Canada's wholesale sales totaled C$41.8 billion in September, down 1.6% from August.

  • The USDA estimated Brazil's current coffee crop at 46.5 million bags, up 29% YoY.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

Quick Overview

  • The current economic downturn is "likely temporary," former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Monday, noting the worst of the housing market slump is likely past.

  • CNBC reported that of the 407 S&P 500 companies that have reported third quarter results, 73% have been above expectations.

  • Factory orders in Germany were down 2.5% in September, more than expected.

  • Dow-Jones Newswire said Indonesia’s 2006 cocoa crop may only total 425,000 tons, down from 500,000 tons YoY.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

GOP Must Go
The American Conservative

There may be little Americans can do to atone for this presidency, which will stain our country’s reputation for a long time. But the process of recovering our good name must begin somewhere, and the logical place is in the voting booth this Nov. 7. If we are fortunate, we can produce a result that is seen—in Washington, in Peoria, and in world capitals from Prague to Kuala Lumpur—as a repudiation of George W. Bush and the war of aggression he launched against Iraq.

Friday, November 03, 2006

White House slammed for Iraq nuke website
"It's sheer stupidity. Plus it's illegal. We violated our own treaty obligations in letting this out. This is clearly what is called RD--restricted data. This should not have been out there. It's highly dangerous, it's very useful--even like Iran, which is meeting some of the same technical challenges Iraq met in the Eighties. It should not have been out there. I'm absolutely convinced, and most people don't remember. But we went through this again in the spring. In the spring Congresman (Peter) Hoestra announced with (Sen.) Rick Santorum that we had found WMD in iraq. It was old mustard shells from the 1980s. They're desperate to prove a case."

Quick Overview

  • U.S. companies added 92,000 workers in October, pushing the unemployment rate down to a five-year low of 4.4%.

  • Canada's unemployment rate improved from 6.4% to 6.2% in October.

  • The unemployment rate in the EU-12 remained unchanged at 7.8% in September.

  • UK service index increased from 57.0 to 59.3 in October, morer than expected.

  • China's central bank raised the required bank reserve ratio to 9.0% from 8.5%.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Only 50 years left' for sea fish There will be virtually nothing left to fish from the seas by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a major scientific study.

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. Labor Department said that productivity was unchanged in the third quarter while labor costs were up 5.3% from a year ago.

  • U.S. Factory orders were up 2.1% in September, less than expected.

  • The Labor Department said that U.S. jobless claims were up 18,000 to 327,000.

  • Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui reiterated on Thursday that the central bank will adjust rates slowly, giving few clues on the timing of its next rise.

  • Retail sales in Australia were up 0.1% in September.

  • Manufacturing in Europe increased from 56.6 to 57.0.

  • The European Central Bank kept its interest rate unchanged at 3.25%,

  • FC Stone estimates the U.S. corn crop at 10.808 billion bushels, and Informa Economics predicted the crop at 10.729 billion bushels. This compares with the USDA’s October estimate of 10.905 billion bushels.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that underground supplies of natural gas were down 9 billion cubic feet last week to 3.452 trillion cubic feet. Supplies are up 9% YoY.

  • Total money market assets stood at $2.265 trillion for the week, the Investment Company Institute said.


Leading surveillance societies in the EU and the World

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quick Overview

  • The Institute of Supply Management's index of U.S. manufacturing dropped from 52.9 to 51.2 in October, weaker than expected.

  • Canada's Finance Minister said that he wants to begin taxing income-trust funds next year.

  • Manufacturing in the U.K. dropped from 54.5 to 53.7 in October.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that::
    Supplies of crude oil were up 2.0 million barrels last week to 334.3 million barrels.
    Supplies of unleaded gasoline were down 2.8 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil supplies were down 1.5 million barrels

  • U.S. Ethanol production totaled 329,000 barrels a day in August, up 69,000 barrels YoY. Demand was 385,000 barrels a day.

Bond bear Grant sees threat to asset-backed bonds Instead of worrying about an instrument's yield, fixed-income portfolio managers should worry if they are going to get paid, Grant said in a keynote presentation.

Low inflation rate? Some consumers beg to differ Sean Taylor, 34, an information technology consultant in Trenton, N.J., ticks off the changes in his bills in the past nine years: property taxes, now $9,000 a year, up 105%; heating oil, $238, up 109%. His wife, Carrie, a state employee, pays $87 a month for health care; nine years ago, it was free. His income varies from year to year. Her salary is $75,000, up from $45,000, or 67%.

Baghdad is under siege
Sunni insurgents have cut the roads linking the city to the rest of Iraq. The country is being partitioned as militiamen fight bloody battles for control of towns and villages north and south of the capital.
As American and British political leaders argue over responsibility for the crisis in Iraq, the country has taken another lurch towards disintegration.