Monday, December 19, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bill [of Rights]: Obama Breaks Promise To Veto Bill Allowing Indefinite Detention of Americans I am not sure which is worse: the loss of core civil liberties or the almost mocking post hoc rationalization for abandoning principle. The Congress and the President have now completed a law that would have horrified the Framers. Indefinite detention of citizens is something that the Framers were intimately familiar with and expressly sought to bar in the Bill of Rights. While the Framers would have likely expected citizens in the streets defending their freedoms, this measure was greeted with a shrug and a yawn by most citizens and reporters. Instead, we are captivated by whether a $10,000 bet by Romney was real or pretend in the last debate.

Quick Overview

  • Having vetoed his way into isolation at last week's European Union summit, Cameron is now looking for allies.
  • Spain’s ten-year yields fall 25 basis points to 5.43%

  • (LAT) American CEOs raked in fat paychecks last year, as head honchos netted a median 27% increase in compensation in fiscal year 2010. Top executives from the S&P 500 scored a median 36.5% bump in realized compensation.

  • U.S. current account trade deficit fell to 110.3 billion U.S. dollars in Q3, 11.5 percent lower than the previous quarter.

  • Merkel calmly told parliament that a solution would take years and German central bank head Jens Weidmann compared demands for ECB intervention to an alcoholic grabbing for the bottle.

  • Amazon said that it has sold more than 1 million units of its Kindle e-reader and Fire tablet each week for the last three weeks.

  • In the Ukraine, the government is allowed to sell or use cars that have been stolen in other countries. The law creates the perfect conditions for organized gangs who steal luxury cars to order in Western Europe. “Perhaps this helped” Ukraine's GD which grew 5.3% in the first 11 months of this year.

  • Fitch unexpectedly raised Indonesia's sovereign debt status to investment grade.

  • U.S. Industrial production declined 0.2% in November

  • The number of U.S. people applying for jobless benefits fell last week to 366000, the fewest since May 2008.

  • The US seems determined to punish Bradley Manning -- the military proceedings against him, which begin Friday, are likely to end in a guilty verdict.

  • (Spiegel) The murders of African street vendors by a right-wing extremist in Florence have shocked Italy. Questions are now emerging about whether the gunman acted alone. But one thing seems certain, he was close to a right-wing radical group that has a pop culture appeal admired even by Germany's neo-Nazis.

  • Japans Tankan survey, the large manufacturer index of sentiment fell to minus 4 in December from plus 2 in September, marking the first decline in two quarters and retreating more than consensus market forecasts.

  • FedEx (FDX) profits rose to $497 million, or $1.57 per share, from $283 million, or $0.89 per share, over last year’s second quarter.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quick Overview

  • Steve Freed analyst with ADM is expecting a bullish Jan. corn report saying that yield should be cut 1.5 bushels an acre = tight carryout.
  • Reuters: The La Nina weather phenomenon is expected to reduce rainfall in Argentina main crop belt until at least mid January.

  • Inventories at U.S. businesses rose 0.8% in October
  • U.S. retail sales rose 0.2% for November

  • German investor confidence showed a surprise rise of 1.4 points.

  • The International Coffee Organization raised by 1.2m bags to 128.6m bags its forecast for world coffee production in 2011-12.

  • MF Global, Enron, Arthur Anderson, Refco, Lehman, Countrywide, Bear Stearns, Madoff, Health South, Subprime etc. etc. Regulators get paid for what exactly?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Quick Overview

  • Say goodbye to Xe. The company formerly known as Blackwater — the world’s most infamous private security corporation — has also jettisoned that name and now wants to be known as “Academi.” Business however will continue unchanged……………..

  • Obama: After nearly 9 years our war in Iraq ends this month.

  • Fitch Ratings said on Monday that a comprehensive solution to the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone "is not on offer"

  • Intel (INTC) cut its Q4 revenue forecast, citing the hard-disk drive shortage.

  • U.S. Ethanol exports 2nd highest on record in October

  • Reuters is reporting the German govt. is in talks with Commerzbank to prop them up.

  • November s the seventh month investors withdrew money from stock funds.

  • India's industrial production fell 5.1 % in October

Friday, December 09, 2011

Quick Overview

  • Every European nation except for Britain (Cameron is trying to “protect bankers from regulation") agreed to consider forging closer economic ties in hopes of preventing another debt crisis.

  • GE hikes quarterly dividend by 2c to 17c a share.

  • U.S. consumer sentiment rose to a six month high 0f 67.7 vs 64.1 in November.

  • Nevada’s Gambling revenue rose 8.1% in October. The Las Vegas Strip, which accounts for more than half the total, led the growth, with a gain of 13.3%.

  • The USDA estimates 848 million bushels of corn on hand at the end of next summer -- up less than 1% from last month's forecast. This is a supply of less than 25 days. A 30 day supply is considered healthy.
  • The USDA estimates the soybean surplus to be up 18% from last month. Ending stocks are expected to be 230 million bushel. That's about a 28 day supply.

  • Waste Management said it would increase its quarterly dividend by 4.4% to 35.5 cents

  • MagnetU is a $24 device that broadcasts your social media profile to other “nodes” (people) around you, Technology Review Mims’s Bits reports. If anyone else with a MagnetU has a profile that matches yours sufficiently, the device will alert both of you via text and/or an app. It also links to Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter…..
  • Capesize rates rose to 21-month highs on Chinese iron ore demand that is estimated to grow 20% by 2015.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Quick Overview

  • U.S. wholesale inventories roe 1.6% in October.

  • U.S. initial jobless claims in the week ending Dec. 3 fell 23,000 to 381,000.

  • ECB cut lending rate to 1% from 1.25%.

  • Jon Corzine, the former chief of bankrupt MF Global - the eighth largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history -- has no idea where the missing money is.

  • JPMorgan’s CEO doesn’t know what tax rate he pays

  • The Bank of England held interest rates at 0.5% and decided against more easing for the economy but more quantitative easing is expected in 2012.

  • Six members of the Walton family, heirs to the (WMT) Walmart fortune, possess wealth equal to that of the entire bottom 30 % of Americans. This according to a new analysis by Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist at the University of California at Berkeley.

  • YoY Chinese consumer inflation fell  to 4.2%  in November from 5.5% in October and well below the three year peak it reached in July.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Quick Overview

  • The DoE increased crude oil stocks by 1.3 million barrels in the week ending December 2, gasoline stocks rose by 5.1 million barrels, and distillate stocks rose by 2.5 million barrels.

  • Australia's unemployment rate rose 0.1 % to 5.3% in November.

  • Japan machinery orders dropped 6.9% in October.

  • U.S. consumers increased their debt by 7.6 billion or at a 3.7% annual rate in October

  • Dagong downgraded the credit rating of France from AA- to A+ with a negative outlook

  • Dagong downgraded Italy’s debt by one level to BBB from the previous A- with "negative" outlook.

  • South Korea's left rates unchanged at 3.25%.

  • New Zealand left rates unchanged at 2.5 percent.

  • A Chinese government think tank predicted China's economy to grow 9.2 percent this year before gliding to 8.9 t in 2012.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Occupied Washington Americans are not opposed to the rich getting richer—as John Steinbeck is said to have noted, "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." But this prospect only satisfies so long as people believe that with luck and hard work, their ship, or at least their kids' ship, may some day come in. In a system overrun by piracy—a system in which the pirates also, sorry to stretch the metaphor, run the Navy—the dream becomes hard to sustain.

Quick Overview

  • Martell Crop Projections, warned that "intense heat and moisture stress has developed in a swathe of South America of the past month", citing Bolivia and northern Paraguay, but most notably Brazil's top soybean-producing state of Mato Grosso.

  • WTF is the definition of “SEGREGATED” Accounts??........The CFTC is aiming to find the missing account money from MF Global "very shortly,"……………….Bill Clinton was allegedly collecting $50,000 per month from Corzine’s MF Global via his Teneo advisory firm in the months before the brokerage careened towards its Halloween filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reports Human Events…….. Corzine earned some $14 million in total compensation in 2010.

  • The selectively attentive Standard & Poor's has warned that it could downgrade the AAA rating of the Eurozone debt rescue fund, a day after nearly all governments of the monetary union were given a similar notice.

  • The survival of Commerzbank, Germany's second-largest bank is at stake, and Berlin is considering a full nationalization of the bank if necessary.

  • The Nokia Lumina 800 appears to have surpassed iPhone 4 sales with KPN the Netherlands largest operator. (NOK, MSFT, QCOM) v (AAPL, GOOG etc.)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Quick Overview

  • U.S. factory orders fell by 0.4% in October after falling a downwardly revised 0.1% in September

  • Cargill is firing 2,000 people due to “continued weak global economy”.

  • The Institute for Supply Management said its non-manufacturing index slowed from 52.9% in October to a reading of 52.0% in November, its lowest level since Jan. 2010.

  • S&P may downgrade the triple-A ratings of six European nations including Germany, according to the Financial Times.
    (Telegraph) If only S&P had been such attentive party poopers at the height of the credit bubble  we wouldn't be in the mess we are  in now.

  • (Reuters) - The U.S. Postal Service moved forward with plans to end next-day delivery of letters. Also, in a notice filed with its regulator, it sought approval to close more than half of its 461 processing facilities that have been critical for next-day delivery service. The agency expects to eliminate about 28,000 jobs as part of the processing facilities plan.

  • Bloomberg: Carmakers will use a record $7 billion of platinum in catalytic converters next year, diminishing a glut just as mine production declines for the first time since 2008

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.6% in November, the lowest level in more than two and a half years.

  • (FT) Globally, wireless capacity must double about every 30 month.

  • Goldman Sachs predicted on Friday a recession would hit the Spanish economy in 2012 and last until 2013.

  • YoY World manufacturing production increased by 5.5 % in Q3 of 2011, said a report released Thursday by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

  • Jobless rate in France rose by 2% to 9.3 percent in Q3.

  • MoM the industrial producer prices index rose by 0.1 % in the Eurozone in October.

  • The Chinese leadership's law-and-order chief is warning that China is ill-prepared for social unrest generated by changes in the economy, in the latest sign that the government is worried about the consequences of flagging growth.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Raise Taxes on Rich to Reward True Job Creators: Nick Hanauer
I’m a very rich person. As an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I’ve started or helped get off the ground dozens of companies in industries including manufacturing, retail, medical services, the Internet and software. I founded the Internet media company aQuantive Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) in 2007 for $6.4 billion. I was also the first non-family investor in Inc. (AMZN)

Even so, I’ve never been a “job creator.” I can start a business based on a great idea, and initially hire dozens or hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to buy what I have to sell, my business will soon fail and all those jobs will evaporate.

That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is the feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion a virtuous cycle that allows companies to survive and thrive and business owners to hire. An ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than I ever have been or ever will be.

Quick Overview

  • US jobless claims back above 400,000 again.
  • U.S. construction spending rose 0.8% in October
  • The ISM said its manufacturing index in November rose to 52.7% from 50.8% in October -- the 28th month of expansion
  • General Motors reports a 6.9% jump in November U.S. sales, led by bigger trucks and smaller gas sippers.

  • China reported its manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 49.0 on a 100 point scale, below the previous month’s 50.4 reading -- therefore China’s central bank said on Wednesday that it will lower the reserve requirement ratio of banks by 0.5 % points – first lowering in 3 years.

  • Central bankers in the United States, Eurozone, Japan, Switzerland and Canada have launched co-ordinated global action to ease the growing credit crisis among Eurozone banks by lowering the price on existing dollar swaps.
  • There is no quick fix to Europe's debt woes that threaten to escalate into a more widespread credit crunch, Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Kiyohiko Nishimura warned on Wednesday
  • The unemployment rate in the Eurozone hit a record high of 10.3% in October

  • Fed's Beige Book: Economy moving forward at snail’s pace.
  • The November reading of the Chicago PMI rose to 62.6% from 58.4% in October, which is a seven-month high.
  • YoY Canada's GDP grew 3.5% in the third quarter

  • U.S. Pending home sales rose 10.4% in Octoer."We hope this indicates more buyers are taking advantage of the excellent affordability conditions," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, in a statement.

  • Vienna has the best living standard in the world - and Baghdad the worst, according to an annual survey.

  • (FT) US faces pension bill for AMR restructure: State body warns taxpayers could pay higher premiums.

  • (Economist) The FTC’s investigation finds that Facebook has been making information public that it had pledged to keep private.

  • Walt Disney (DIS) raised its annual dividend by 50% to 60 cents a share.

  • Goldman: The combination of a record cotton crop and falling consumption will expand global stockpiles by the most since 2005, driving further declines in the price.

  • The DoE said: Crude oil stocks rose by 3.9 million barrels in the week ending November 25. Gasoline stocks rose by 0.2 million barrels. Distillate stocks rose by 5.5 million barrels. Ethanol stocks fell by 0.5 million to 17.0 million barrels