Below zero? It would have to be to make it less attractive than the dollar.
Euro Falls Versus Dollar, Yen on Speculation ECB Will Cut Rates By Anchalee Worrachate and Ron Harui
Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) — The euro fell for a second day against the dollar as the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Europe is “underestimating the needs” of fiscal stimulus for the economy.
The currency also dropped to a one-month low versus the yen as traders increased bets the European Central Bank will cut its main interest rate to the lowest level since 2005 this week to help pull the 16-nation economy out of a recession. The yen rose against all 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg as falling Asian and European stocks damped demand for carry trades.
“The way to play it in the near term is to short the euro going into the announcement because the likelihood is that the ECB is going to cut,” said Daragh Maher, deputy head of global currency strategy in London at Calyon, the investment-banking unit of Credit Agricole SA. “My preference is short the euro against the yen. Economic reports throughout the week are likely to add to the environment of high risk aversion.”
The euro dropped to $1.3342 as of 8:43 a.m. in London, from $1.3476 in New York on Jan. 9. The currency declined to 120.28 yen from 121.81 and traded as low as 120.11, the weakest since Dec. 12. Against the British pound, the euro rose to 89.16 pence from 88.78 pence. The yen strengthened to 90.13 per dollar, from 90.39 last week.
The yen strengthened to 62.52 against Australia’s dollar from 63.59 and strengthened to 52.79 versus New Zealand’s dollar from 53.49 as investors trimmed holdings of higher-yielding assets funded in Japan.
Madoff to Remain Free on Bail With New Restrictions
NEW YORK (AP) — A judge allowed disgraced investor Bernard Madoff to remain free on bail Monday, rejecting an attempt by prosecutors to send him to jail for mailing more than $1 million in jewelry to family and friends over the holidays.
The decision means Madoff will avoid having to leave the comfort of his $7 million penthouse and await trial in a cramped jail cell with nothing but bunkbeds, a sink and toilet. Madoff will remain under house arrest and under the constant watch of security guards.
The ruling further outraged investors who have been clamoring for Madoff to be sent to jail for allegedly carrying out the largest financial fraud in history. They find it shocking that Madoff is free on bail, despite distributing assets that could be used to help repay investors who lost billions.
Stephen A. Weiss, a lawyer for several dozen Madoff investors, said there "are people on the street who are very unhappy" with the ruling.
"There is a thirst for blood that transcends just those who have been victimized. There is a feeling … that folks like Bernard Madoff get a different brand of justice than the guy in the street," Weiss said.
Comments to the Globe & Mail as the reason for gold’s pounding today:
Physical demand for gold was seen softening after holding firm in the normally very strong fourth quarter.
“It tends to tail out in the first quarter … the market over the next few weeks will probably focus on weaker demand,” said analyst Michael Widmer at BNP Paribas.
“Physical demand in the key demand centres continues to be lethargic with limited purchases,” Mr. Unni (Pradeep Unni at Richcomm Global Services) said, adding that gold could drop substantially in the next couple of months.
Hundreds cross from Afghanistan to attack Pakistani military Monday, January 12, 2009
KABUL, Afghanistan — Vice President-elect Joe Biden promised U.S. support for Afghanistan’s struggle against terrorism, drugs and corruption in a visit Sunday to an area of the nation that is a Taliban stronghold.
The future of the region where al Qaeda planned the Sept. 11 attacks "affects us all," Biden said.
Underscoring the difficulty of the situation, hundreds of militants crossed into the frontier area of Pakistan from eastern Afghanistan and attacked paramilitary forces on the same day that Biden visited Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar and Helmand provinces.
Afghan rebels strike Pakistan military camp Assault shows Taliban allied across border By Laura King Los Angeles Times / January 12, 2009
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Hundreds of militants crossed over from Afghanistan to attack a Pakistani military outpost yesterday, officials said, in an illustration of the merging of the Taliban insurgency on the two sides of the border.
The attack pointed up the growing boldness of militants operating in the lawless tribal areas abutting Afghanistan at a time when the Pakistan government has diverted some forces to the frontier with India.
While stepping up their campaign against government troops, the insurgents also employed extreme forms of cruelty to intimidate civilians in the tribal areas.
Pakistan’s Jamaat ‘ban’ lie nailed 12 Jan 2009, 1012 hrs IST, Times Now
NEW DELHI: TV channel Times Now has exposed yet another of Pakistan’s lies — Islamabad may want the world to believe that it has cracked down on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, but that is far from the truth.
There is concrete evidence now that the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s front organization has re-emerged in the form of Tehreek-e-Tahafuz Qibla Awal.
Times Now has got visuals from Lahore, where the Tehreek recently held a rally. Addressing that rally were some of the top Jamaat and Lashkar leaders. The Jamaat-ud-Dawa is clearly going about with business as usual, just under a different name.
This is why China will dominate. They behave more intelligently than the politically driven west.
China makes strategic use of commodity collapse Tue Jan 6, 2009 2:45am EST By Eadie Chen – Analysis
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s government is using the collapse in commodity prices to further its domestic agenda, with support for stricken sectors tailored to speed up reform plans rather than rescue ailing companies or prop up prices.
To survive plummeting demand for exports — a sharp turnaround after several years of booming global demand — many industries are looking for state help and consolidation.
But China’s policymakers are sticking to their economic blueprints and not letting sympathy for troubled corporates overwhelm longer-term priorities. Instead, they are favoring the strongest in each industry in a drive toward consolidation, and at the same time using low prices as a chance to stock up.
On Monday, it emerged that China was poised to buy up thousands of tonnes of rubber and sugar to create a bigger state buffer of supplies for the future, adding to efforts to enlarge stocks of everything from oil to corn to industrial metals.
At the same time, however, it’s letting small coal mines go to the wall, seizing a chance to make good on years of rhetoric, as well as allowing smaller, less efficient metal producers go under.
Crowd tries to attack US consulate in Pakistan Jan 11 11:56 AM US/Eastern By ASHRAF KHAN
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) – Security forces used tear gas and batons to repel anti-Israel protesters who tried to attack a U.S. consulate in Pakistan on Sunday, as tens of thousands of people demonstrated worldwide against Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip.
Israel launched its campaign in Gaza on Dec. 27 to stop rocket fire from the militant Palestinian group Hamas. Gaza health officials say nearly 870 Palestinians have been killed, roughly half of them civilians. Thirteen Israelis have also died.
Tens of thousands of angry demonstrators protested Sunday across the Arab world, in Europe and Asia.
Some 2,000 protesters in the Pakistani port city of Karachi burned U.S. flags and chanted anti-Israel slogans, and several hundred of them marched on the U.S. Consulate, senior police official Ameer Sheikh said.
"They were in a mood to attack," Sheikh said. "They were carrying bricks, stones and clubs."
A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Islamabad, Lou Fintor, said the protesters did not get close to the consulate, which was closed Sunday.
Turkey coup plot arrests now at more than 100 By SELCAN HACAOGLU
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish court formally arrested 14 more people Sunday for ties to an alleged secularist plot by ultranationalists to bring down the Islamic-rooted government, bringing the total of people involved in the case to more than 100.
The prime minister said the crackdown will shed light on a network of renegade agents within the state and make Turkey transparent. Critics say it is designed to silence the government’s opponents.
The case highlights a difficult question about who holds the levers of power in a nation where tensions between secularists and Islamists, and liberals and rightists, have created deep fault lines in the country.
The problem is aggravated by key demands from the European Union — which Turkey hopes to join — to reduce the military’s influence in politics, make security officials accountable for torture and grant more rights to the country’s Kurds.
Over the weekend, an Istanbul anti-terror court formally arrested and jailed 18 coup plot suspects, including a former police chief and four active duty military officers. Fourteen of the 18 were arrested Sunday.
Police detained another 33 suspects in the case Sunday and displayed confiscated weapons. Prosecutors say the plot aimed to destabilize Turkey through a series of attacks and trigger a coup in 2009.
U.S. Rejected Aid for Israeli Raid on Iranian Nuclear Site By DAVID E. SANGER Published: January 10, 2009
WASHINGTON — President Bush deflected a secret request by Israel last year for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear complex and told the Israelis that he had authorized new covert action intended to sabotage Iran’s suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons, according to senior American and foreign officials.
White House officials never conclusively determined whether Israel had decided to go ahead with the strike before the United States protested, or whether Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel was trying to goad the White House into more decisive action before Mr. Bush left office. But the Bush administration was particularly alarmed by an Israeli request to fly over Iraq to reach Iran’s major nuclear complex at Natanz, where the country’s only known uranium enrichment plant is located.
The White House denied that request outright, American officials said, and the Israelis backed off their plans, at least temporarily. But the tense exchanges also prompted the White House to step up intelligence-sharing with Israel and brief Israeli officials on new American efforts to subtly sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, a major covert program that Mr. Bush is about to hand off to President-elect Barack Obama.
This is the problem. It is as much internal politics, the emergence once again of the feared (by present political parties in power) BJP that demands strong secular actions as it is terrorism sponsors, not the Pakistan government at the top but at almost every level below that.
Either "UPA" acts or "BHP" governs is the political challenge being laid down now.
Time for action against Pakistan: BJP 11 Jan 2009, 0448 hrs IST, TNN
BHOPAL: Time has come for India to move away from waging a war of words with Islamabad to taking action, BJP president Rajnath Singh said in Bhopal on Saturday supporting military action against terrorist outfits based in Pakistan.
"India has no other option but to take military action against Pakistan,” he said.
"The Prime Minister and his council of ministers have only been giving statements, which is not enough. The Union government should stop this ineffective verbal war with Pakistan. There is no need to just create a war hype in the country without real action. Since Pakistan is not taking any initiative to stop terrorist organisations within its territory, the time has come for us to take the world community into confidence and go for military action against the country which will not stop terror organisations from killing our innocent citizens,” Rajnath said.
The BJP president said, "Our country needs to show some diplomatic skill and urge the international community to support India against Pakistan. There is more than enough evidence that Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI, is directly linked to terror organisations and has been helping terrorist groups to carry out attacks in India and other parts of the world. Indian diplomacy should concentrate on bringing ISI on the international radar as an intelligence agency with questionable credentials.”
The UPA-led government should have snapped its diplomatic ties with Pakistan immediately after the Mumbai serial train blasts which killed 200 people, he said. "India has blundered, our assessment of Pakistan has been wrong. We should have taken strong steps against Pakistan after the Mumbai train blasts. Instead, our Prime Minister justified that Pakistan too is a victim of terror attacks. It was a mistake on our behalf to sign an agreement for a joint terror mechanism with Pakistan.”
Turkey comes on the heels of Pakistan, even if intelligence agencies are snoozing.
Turkey imprisons four army officers in Ergenekon case
ANKARA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) — A Turkish court early on Saturday sentenced to prison four army officers in the ongoing "Ergenekon" investigation, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
Five prosecutors, including Zekeriya Oz, the top prosecutor of the ongoing Ergenekon case, demanded a criminal court in the Turkish largest city of Istanbul to imprison four army officers on charges of being members of the "Ergenekon terrorist organization," according to the report.
The court decided to send the four officers to prison, and release two others, said the report.
An alleged criminal network known as "Ergenekon" was uncovered after police seized 27 grenades, TNT explosives and fuses in a shanty house in Istanbul on June 12, 2007.
Police waged operations in several provinces and detained a number of people, including retired senior army officers, journalists and businessmen, for their alleged involvement in the network.
Police discover weapons, hand grenades in Turkey coup probe: report Posted Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:49pm AEDT
Turkish police have unearthed weapons and hand grenades near the capital of Ankara in a probe into an alleged plot to topple the Islamist-rooted government that has fuelled political tensions, Anatolia news agency reports.
The dig at a forest in the suburb of Golbasi resulted in the discovery of two light anti-tank weapons, 10 hand grenades, bullets and explosives, Anatolia said.
Using metal detectors and sniffer dogs, anti-terror police dug the area on the basis of documents seized from former police chief Ibrahim Sahin, one of some 40 suspects detained Wednesday, it said.
Sahin was one of the most prominent figures involved in a major scandal in 1996 which unveiled collaboration between members of the security forces, politicians and gangsters in acts outside the law, including murders of Kurdish dissidents.
Some media reports suggested the dig could shed light on the fate of weapons procured from Israel, which went missing during Sahin’s term and are believed to have been used in illicit operations.
For the past many years I have been telling you that if you don’t have private assets do not try and obtain them. Certainly do not use any internet means of finagling because you risk two problems – getting caught and having your money stolen simultaneously. The "deposit your money with an internet vehicle and have gold appear in another country" vehicle is inviting only to the terminally gullible.
"Citing pressure from U.S. federal authorities, Swiss mega-bank UBS said yesterday it will close 19,000 accounts that the IRS believes to be tax havens for American investors. The bank will write checks for the balances in house, or transfer them to other accounts… either way creating a paper trail for IRS hounds to follow.
“You can either take that check,” an anonymous UBS client told The N.Y. Times, “and throw it in the woods, or deposit it somewhere and get busted. There’s nowhere to hide.”"
According to the IRS, UBS is helping American investors evade around $300 million in taxes each year. You can bet your last dollar, if you’ve got any left, UBS won’t be the last target of IRS probes.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
It is good to get business finished before going home?
Bush Prepares to Ask for Second Tranche of Bailout Funds If Congress Fails to Approve Request, Administration May Use Veto Power By David Cho and Lori Montgomery Friday, January 9, 2009; 6:17 PM
Senior Bush administration officials are preparing to ask lawmakers for the second half of the $700 billion financial rescue package despite intense opposition in Congress and then have President Bush use his veto if the request is voted down, three sources familiar with the matter said.
The initiative, which is being coordinated with the Obama transition team, may be taken within days, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.
Democratic Senate aides were notified in a meeting this afternoon that the request could come as soon as this weekend and that a vote could be held as soon as next week, congressional sources said.
Under the emergency rescue legislation approved by Congress in October, the administration must inform lawmakers that it wants access to the second installment of $350 billion. Unless Congress passes a resolution rejecting the request within 15 days, the Treasury can begin to tap the funds. If Congress does turn down the request, the president could veto the resolution and then the Treasury could proceed.
The plan now being crafted by the Bush administration is not finalized. By unsheathing the veto threat, the Bush administration could make it more likely that the Obama administration would get the rest of the rescue funds. Only if Congress overrides the veto would the money be blocked. A congressional source said advocates of the plan are now exploring whether there are enough votes in the Senate to override a veto.
"There have been discussions between the administration and the transition about how to proceed should the president-elect determine that he wants to have those funds available on January 20th," said Robert Gibbs, spokesman for the Obama transition team. "No final decisions have been made, but we want to be ready to act if needed."
1. Israel makes a significant miscalculation. 2. Pakistan goes Nuclear. 3. Turkey is a victim.
The Worst Pakistan Nightmare for Obama (Excerpts from article)
“I have two worries,” one of the most senior officials in the Bush administration, who had read all of the intelligence with care, told me one day last spring. One is what happens “when they move the weapons,” he said, explaining that the United States feared that some groups could try to provoke a confrontation between Pakistan and India in the hope that the Pakistani military would transport tactical nuclear weapons closer to the front lines, where they would be more vulnerable to seizure. Indeed, when the deadly terror attacks occurred in Mumbai in late November, officials told me they feared that one of the attackers’ motives might have been to trigger exactly that series of events.
“And the second,” the official said, choosing his words carefully, “is what I believe are steadfast efforts of different extremist groups to infiltrate the labs and put sleepers and so on in there.”
Turkey today. What starts as a trickle can end up as a deluge.
Support for Turkey’s AKP falls sharply ahead of Istanbul bi-election
Support to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) fell sharply in the Istanbul mayoral elections, a poll conducted ahead of the March local elections showed on Friday. The support to the AKP fell to 29.4 percent from 45.3 percent since the local elections in 2004, the poll said.
The support to the AKP fell to 29.4 percent from 45.3 percent since the local elections in 2004, the ANKA News Agency reported citing a poll conducted by the Political Researcher Strategy Development Center.
The poll showed that support to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) fell slightly to 25.9 percent from the 28.9 percent achieved in past elections in Istanbul.
The Islamist Felicity Party (SP) increased its votes to 8.9 percent from 5.38 percent, it said. SP has organized anti-Israel protests in Istanbul, attended by hundreds of thousands, since the Jewish state’s offensive on Gaza began.
Support to the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was 5.5 percent, according to the poll. The nationalist party gained 4.1 percent of votes in the 2004 elections.
Turkey’s army boss meets PM, president amid tension Thu Jan 8, 2009 4:49pm GMT By Ibon Villelabeitia
ANKARA, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Turkey’s military chief met Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul on Thursday as tensions rose in the EU candidate in the wake of a probe into an alleged plot to topple the Islamic-rooted government.
News of the meeting, a day after Turkish police detained about 40 people including three retired generals and active military officers for their suspected links to a right-wing group, added to financial woes in Turkey, which has been hit by the global financial crisis.
In a terse statement, the General Staff said the separate talks between armed forces commander General Ilker Basbug, Erdogan and Gul had centred on Wednesday’s detentions.
The military, which has unseated four governments in the last 50 years and views itself as the guarantor of Turkey’s secular order, denies any link to the group, known as Ergenekon.
Government in Turkey turns squeamish on defense ties with Israel
ANKARA — The increasingly Islamist leadership in Turkey has been placed on the defenseive by the parliament over extensive defense relations with Israel.
The government of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has denied signing weapons deals with Israel during its invasion of the Gaza Strip, following condemnations of the Jewish state.
"There are no contracts or agreements in the time being with the Israeli side," Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said.
Gonul and other senior officials have been questioned by parliament over reports of an Israeli-Turkish defense project, Middle East Newsline reported. Under the reported $160 million deal, Israel would supply airborne reconnaissance systems to Turkey’s military.
Treasury’s Oversight of Bailout Is Faulted By DAVID BARSTOW Published: January 9, 2009
In a report scheduled to be released Friday, the Congressional panel overseeing the $700 billion federal bailout has expressed growing concern about the effectiveness and execution of the rescue plan.
A draft of the report obtained by The New York Times criticized the Treasury Department for its “shifting explanations” about the underlying purpose of the bailout, its failure to answer many of the panel’s questions and its failure to require financial institutions receiving bailout money to fully account for how they are using the public’s money.
“The recent refusal of certain private financial institutions to provide any accounting of how they are using taxpayer money undermines public confidence,” the draft of the report said. “For Treasury to advance funds to these institutions without requiring more transparency further erodes the very confidence Treasury seeks to restore,” it said.
The 45-page report also asserted that the Treasury, in defiance of what the panel claimed was Congress’s clear intent when it passed the bailout bill in October, had taken “no steps to use any of this money to alleviate the foreclosure crisis.”
The Treasury declined to comment on the panel’s latest findings, with the bailout, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. “We can’t comment on a report that’s not been shared with us,” said Brookly McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for the Treasury.
1. Israel makes a miscalculation. 2. Pakistan goes nuclear. 3. Turkey is a victim.
Turkish police detain dozens in coup plot probe By SELCAN HACAOGLU – 1 day ago
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Police detained three retired generals and dozens of others in raids across Turkey on Wednesday, as they broadened their investigation into an alleged plot by secularists to overthrow Turkey’s Islamic-rooted government.
In was the 10th time in more than a year that police have targeted prominent secularists, who are accused of trying to destabilize Turkey with a string of attacks ahead of a coup that was never carried out.
Eighty-six people — including former army officers, journalists, a former university dean and a lawyer — already are on trial in the case. They have pleaded innocent and accuse Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of attempting to silence secular critics.
The case is widely perceived as being part of a power struggle between Turkey’s secular establishment, including parts of the military, and the democratically elected and religiously conservative government. It also has raised concerns about political instability in Turkey, a country that has endured the ouster of four governments by the military since 1960.
Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency said nearly 40 people were detained during Wednesday’s police raids, and local media said the suspects were taken into custody at homes and offices in about a dozen cities or towns. Police confirmed the raids, but provided few details.
You think the Chinese are going play nice, and hold all those Treasuries?
If you believe that you are academic ass.
That would be getting screwed twice.
They will not.
China may put new curbs on overseas investments Wed Jan 7, 2009 11:44pm GMT
SHANGHAI, Jan 8 (Reuters) – China’s Ministry of Commerce may ask Chinese companies to apply for approval from the ministry if they want to invest $100 million or more overseas, it said in new draft rules published late on Wednesday, after a few major Chinese companies reported big book losses on investments abroad.
Companies may also need the ministry’s approval if they want to invest in countries which have no diplomatic relations with China, foreign infrastructure projects or highly risky countries or regions, it said in new rules that were published to seek public feedback until Jan. 20.
Hit by the global financial crisis some Chinese firms have seen the value of their overseas investments dwindle, with the country’s second biggest insurer, Ping An Insurance (Group) (2318.HK) (601318.SS), booking a loss of about 15.7 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) on its investment in Fortis NV (FOR.BR) (FOR.AS).
The country’s $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corp (CIC), has also suffered heavy paper losses on its high-profile stakes in U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N) and bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N). ($1=6.834 Yuan) (Reporting by Lu Jianxin; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)
Who caused all this pain? The OTC derivative manufacturers, that is who.
Who will pay for all this pain? What blood suckers are out there counting their billions without any consideration for those that suffer?
Read the legal sites and you will see how they are spending their time and money – by hiring major names in defence attorneys.
They are hiring the best bankruptcy attorneys to devise methods of insulating their billions from those that lost it all to them. The Madoff situation is egregious, yet not different from the Hedge Fund managers raiding good, decent, and growing situations. It is no different on the chat sites that flow rancour to benefit their own positions.
How long will the public remain silent like lambs after the slaughter, wrapped and packed in cold silence? These people are criminals worse than Willie Sutton, worse than any mobster ever has been.
They are Ivy League snobs that will be dealt with, BECAUSE THAT IS NATURE’S WAY.
I feel the pain and suffering of the masses out there. I know exactly how bad it is going to get. I have been there, seen it, and have done my utmost to protect you.
These people do not care a fig about you. May they all burn in their personal hell. Their time is drawing close and they will not be the last man standing.
Pink slips pile higher amid deepening recession By JEANNINE AVERSA AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pink slips are piling higher as companies scramble to cut costs even deeper to survive the country’s economic and financial storms.
Just days into the new year, managed care provider Cigna Corp., aluminum producer Alcoa Inc., data-storage company EMC Corp. and computer products maker Logitech International were among those announcing layoffs to cope with a recession that has just entered its second year. The flurry of job cuts suggest the employment picture will remain grim this year.
A barometer on layoffs is expected to show Thursday that the number of newly laid off people signing up for state unemployment insurance last week rose to 540,000, up from 492,000 in the previous week, according to economists’ projections.
The number of people continuing to draw jobless benefits is projected to stay near 4.5 million, demonstrating the troubles the unemployed are having in finding new jobs.
Electronic unemployment filing systems have crashed in at least three states in recent days due to the crush of newly jobless Americans seeking benefits.
Weimar is here, the Dollar is DEAD and Gold is alive.
Changing Gold’s weightings in the Commodity Index is a sick joke by sick amoral people in a totally criminal world.
Protect yourselves because nobody else will protect you.
I can direct you, educate you, desire your safety for you and believe in you, but it is you who must take action.
In six months nobody will be able to help you. You are your own responsibility.
God helps those that help and believe in themselves.
Obama calls for ‘dramatic action’
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
I was there 10 years ago. There is only one excuse here – EGO. He was going to show us. He made himself clear. He called it a non-producing asset. He made it clear Gold would never produce. He invited other central banks to follow his lead. Listen to nothing else. He made an ass of himself then and now. He would be better advised to say, "I was wrong then and now."
Gordon Brown’s decision to sell half of the UK’s gold reserves ‘cost UK £5billion’ Gordon Brown’s decision to sell off part of the country’s gold reserves 10 years ago cost the public purse nearly £5billion, official figures show. By Christopher Hope, Whitehall Editor Last Updated: 7:47PM GMT 07 Jan 2009
The sale of more than half of the country’s gold reserves between 1999 and 2002 has proved to be deeply controversial.
Critics say that signalling such a large sale of bullion to gold traders helped to drive the precious metal to a 20-year low.
In 17 auctions, Mr Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer sanctioned the sale of 395 tonnes of gold.
Figures released by the Treasury show that the total proceeds from the sales was around $3.5billion. According to a Parliamentary answer, if the gold was sold last month, on December 15, it would have raised $10.5billion.
The difference – $7billion – would be worth £4.7billion if the proceeds were converted into pounds yesterday.
The figure, which moves with the value of gold, is far higher than previously thought. Grant Thornton calculated two years ago that the figure lost to the Exchequer was £2billion.
The news comes as the Government considers whether to sell major public assets, including a stake in the Royal Mail and the bookmaker the Tote, to raise funds for public finances.
If you think Gordy did some dumb things before in his notable career this will be his Maximus Opus! The planet is headed towards Weimar.
Printing money is not the solution, Gordon From The Times January 9, 2009
Printing new money is a Zimbabwe-style policy which will simply lead to rising prices and stagflation
Sir, Gordon Brown is contemplating a Zimbabwe-style policy to get him out of his economic troubles — simply print more money (report, Jan 8). It will produce the same effect — stagflation.
When governments print money and spread it around, people do feel richer. So they do go out and spend, which is what the Government wants. But all this new spending just pushes prices up again, the new money buys less, and eventually people realise that they are actually no better off. By that time, businesses have to abandon all the investment they have made to capture the extra money, which just adds to our troubles.
Furthermore, the new money that government creates is not dropped uniformly across the economy. It goes into government industries and agencies, and is supposed to spread out from there. This can take a long time, and have many perverse effects on the way. And while the rest of us are cutting back, a spending boost for our bloated public sector is unlikely to be popular.
US commercial paper outstanding grows with Fed help Thu Jan 8, 2009 11:06am EST
NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. commercial paper market expanded the most since November in the latest week as the new year began, with much help from the Federal Reserve, Fed data showed on Thursday.
The U.S. central bank’s support of this cornerstone of short term funding for companies’ daily operations, is a key factor helping to buoy the market, analysts said. The commercial paper market has been sharply eroded by the global credit crisis since summer 2007.
"We don’t know to what extent the Federal Reserve played a role in the latest increase," said Tony Crescenzi, chief bond market strategist with Miller, Tabak & Co. "But increasingly the private sector has been gobbling up commercial paper and the Fed has not been a sole buyer," Crescenzi added.
More information about how much the Fed contributed to last week’s rebound in commercial paper will come with the weekly data on bank borrowings from the Fed and the central bank’s support to financial institutions and securities markets which the Fed is due to release at 4:30 p.m. EST.
When you do the same thing again anticipating different results what did Einstein say you were?
An Afghanistan ‘Surge’ Is a Losing Battle So why is Mr. Obama betting on it? By BRAHMA CHELLANEY | From today’s Wall Street Journal Asia
Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s visit to Afghanistan this month — even before President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration — will underscore the new administration’s priority to ending the war there. But their planned "surge first, then negotiate" strategy isn’t likely to work.
The Obama-Biden team wants to weaken the Taliban militarily then strike a political deal with the enemy from a position of strength. This echoes what the Bush administration did in Iraq, where it used a surge largely as a show of force to buy off Sunni tribal leaders and other local chieftains. Current Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen has already announced a near-doubling of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, to up to 63,000, by mid-2009.
Sending more forces into Afghanistan is a losing strategy. The Soviets couldn’t tame the country with more than 100,000 troops. With the backing of Robert Gates, whom Mr. Obama will keep on as defense secretary, Central Command Commander General David Petraeus is thus looking for ways to win over local commanders and warlords — the mainstay of the Taliban. General Petraeus wants to explore truces and alliances with local tribal chieftains and guerrilla leaders and set up lightly trained local militias in every provincial district.
This idea turns a blind eye to the danger that such militias could terrorize local populations. It is also naïve to expect an Iraq-style surge-and-bribe experiment to work in Afghanistan, whose mountainous terrain, myriad tribes, patterns of shifting tribal and ethnic loyalties, special status as the global hub of poppy trade and history of internecine conflict set it apart from any other Muslim country. In a land with a long tradition of humbling foreign armies, payoffs won’t buy peace.
All that protected the Weimar citizens from their officialdom and the Papiermarc was Gold.
All that protects you against your elected officialdom and the Papierdollar is Gold.
Some day the Rentendollar will come. That you can be sure of.
Study history or become history.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Stop trading and start insuring. It is never too late, just less useful.
Play your index fund manipulations if you wish.
Play your gold bank quarterly earnings statement games if that makes you happy.
Listen to the paid anti gold for lobbyists as you seek to be more wrong than right.
Do all of the above if you will, but at the end of the day (which is coming sooner than you think), the dollar is dead and Gold is king. Weimar is coming and will not be escaped. Weimar can be a bad or even worse than the historical experience.
This is no longer about investment or trading, this is about survival financially, physically and spiritually.
Our retirees are in the cross hairs of time and misplaced trust. Your retirement programs from self directed to corporate will be assimilated into government run programs. The Democrats will cut benefits that you had feared the Republicans would. You are going to be culled from the gene poll in four years.
Harry Schultz lead a parade years ago into money in one country, citizenship in another and body in a third when people thought such a thing was bonkers.
Now it is gold in the mayo jar and Gold shares in non US Gold shares that are incorporated in one country with no operations in the country of incorporation. Only as many units of your venue currency in the country of domicile and other places to go. No EFTs, no agents between you and yours and Gold as INSURANCE, not trading!
In the end even the Chinese will lose their cool and face, because maintaining both is going to cost them simply too much.
The dollar is dead, past tense. It is over, worthless and more are realizing it by the day.
Stop trading and starting insuring.
China Losing Taste for Debt From the U.S. By KEITH BRADSHER Published: January 7, 2009
HONG KONG — China has bought more than $1 trillion of American debt, but as the global downturn has intensified, Beijing is starting to keep more of its money at home, a move that could have painful effects for American borrowers.
The declining Chinese appetite for United States debt, apparent in a series of hints from Chinese policy makers over the last two weeks, with official statistics due for release in the next few days, comes at an inconvenient time.
On Tuesday, President-elect Barack Obama predicted the possibility of trillion-dollar deficits “for years to come,” even after an $800 billion stimulus package. Normally, China would be the most avid taker of the debt required to pay for those deficits, mainly short-term Treasuries, which are government i.o.u.’s.
In the last five years, China has spent as much as one-seventh of its entire economic output buying foreign debt, mostly American. In September, it surpassed Japan as the largest overseas holder of Treasuries.
But now Beijing is seeking to pay for its own $600 billion stimulus — just as tax revenue is falling sharply as the Chinese economy slows. Regulators have ordered banks to lend more money to small and medium-size enterprises, many of which are struggling with lower exports, and to local governments to build new roads and other projects.
What is it? Who did it? Weimar is here, you just don’t know it yet!
Thank you, all of you cowboys and cowgirls in the OTC derivative bankers, brokers and hedge funds biz. You killed us all and yourselves as well.
That last part is still to come. Look over your shoulders, as in time your clients, those you devastated both client and otherwise, and the law looking for a scapegoat is going to get you all.
I understand prime-real estate in Brazil is in demand. Brazilian extradition attorneys are extremely busy.
Turks and Caicos passport mills are running full tilt.
Dr. Patangi has a long line of prior Greenwichites as clients. Puts on Greenwich CT are in a confirmed bull market.
There is a glut in for sale business jets at Westerchester Airport, New York Custom suit tailors are having hard times. Upscale street pharmacies are experiencing boom times in Westchester, NY.
Did you get any mail from Madoff?
NY unemployment claim systems overwhelmed
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s unemployment claims systems have crashed, overwhelmed by tens of thousands of jobless New Yorkers trying to call or log in at once ahead of this week’s filing deadline.
State labor department officials say the problem started Monday and caused the phone banks at the state’s toll-free claims center to shut down, followed by the online filing system. Leo Rosales, an agency spokesman, says as many as 10,000 people per hour were trying to log into the system.
Technicians are trying to bring the systems back online Tuesday afternoon but officials couldn’t say when they’ll be back up and available.
Rosales says the system failure shouldn’t delay newly unemployed workers from getting benefits because they have until the weekend to file claims.
On the lighter side from Zimbabwe, compliments of the Darwin Awards via CIGA Marty Mitchell.
After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped.
Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies.
The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Everyone on the bandwagon while the bandwagon is still there to be had!
The Dollar is dead.
Philippines, Turkey Sell $2.5 Billion of Dollar Bonds (Update2) By Clarissa Batino and Lester Pimentel
Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) — The Philippines and Turkey sold $2.5 billion of bonds in international markets, joining a push by developing nations to take advantage of a decline in borrowing costs to finance budget deficits.
The Philippines sold $1.5 billion of 10-year notes to yield 8.5 percent, or 6 percentage points more than U.S. Treasuries, while Turkey sold $1 billion of eight-year bonds to yield 5.01 percentage points above Treasuries. Brazil and Colombia each sold $1 billion of bonds earlier this week.
The Philippines sale, which is triple the amount it issued all last year, will help the government arrange financing for a stimulus plan that aims to pull the Southeast Asian nation out of its worst economic slump in eight years.
“The Philippines has a first-mover advantage and good timing before the rest crowd international debt markets,” said Vishnu Varathan, a regional economist at Forecast Singapore Pte. “Chances are that credit will become tighter down the road given the huge fiscal expansion of governments including the U.S.”
Do you feel Mother Nature might be unhappy about spaceship Earth carrying so many criminals supported by so many other criminals that are left free to run amuck?
Flu Found Resistant to Main Antiviral Drug By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr. Published: January 8, 2009
Virtually all the flu in the United States this season is resistant to the leading antiviral drug Tamiflu, and scientists and health officials are trying to figure out why.
The problem is not yet a public health crisis because this is a below-averageflu season so far and the chief strain circulating is still susceptible to other drugs — but infectious disease specialists are nonetheless worried.
Last winter, about 11 percent of the throat swabs from patients with the most common type of flu that were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for genetic typing showed a Tamiflu-resistant strain. This season, 99 percent do.
“It’s quite shocking,” said Dr. Kent A. Sepkowitz, director of infection control at theMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “We’ve never lost an antibiotic this fast. It blew me away.”
The single mutation that creates Tamiflu resistance appears to be spontaneous, and not a reaction to overuse of the drug. It may have occurred in Asia, and it was widespread in Europe last year.
As Forrest Gump says, "That is all I have to say about that."
He Has a Heart of Gold and a Car of Biodiesel By NATE CHINEN
Near the midpoint of his sprawling, deeply satisfying show at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, Neil Young asked a simple question: “Where did all the money go?”
Near the midpoint of his sprawling, deeply satisfying show at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, Neil Youngasked a simple question: “Where did all the money go?” He sang this line and repeated it, for emphasis or symmetry. And a few moments later he issued variations on the wording — “Where did all the cash flow?/Where did all the revenue stream?” — that confirmed that it wasn’t such a simple question after all.
What a dangerous world we live in. If the crooks do not get you and you sidestep your elected officials then the nukes will. Damn!
Former Pentagon chief predicts Iran crisis soon By ROBERT BURNS
WASHINGTON (AP) — William Perry, who headed the Pentagon during a 1994 nuclear standoff with North Korea, predicted on Thursday that President-elect Barack Obama will soon face a nuclear crisis with Iran.
Iran is "moving inexorably toward becoming a nuclear power," with ominous implications for the Middle East, Perry said.
"It seems clear that Israel will not sit by idle while Iran takes the final steps toward becoming a nuclear power," Perry told a conference on foreign policy challenges facing the incoming Obama administration. The former Clinton administration defense secretary held out hope that more vigorous U.S. and international diplomacy could reverse North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. But he was less confident about stopping Iran’s ambitions.
"President Obama will almost certainly face a serious crisis with Iran," Perry said. "Indeed, I believe the crisis point will be reached in his first year in office. So on the nuclear front, President Obama will face a daunn!ting set of problems, none of which can be solved unilaterally."
Iran denies that its nuclear program is intended to build weapons. The Bush administration, while dismissing Iran’s claims of pursuing only peaceful uses of nuclear power, declined to negotiate directly with Iran.
Obama has said he favors "tough and direct diplomacy with Iran without preconditions," and that his administration, working with allies, will seek a comprehensive settlement with Iran to end its nuclear ambitions.
For all us Boys and Gals out here in CIGA land, Dr. Bill Harvey asks us to watch the following, Knowing why Dr. Bill has the Dr. as his title will explain it all.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Disappearances and suicides: hedge fund managers specializing in destruction and distortion take note.
You don’t need Russian oligarchs as clients – some of the gold crowd would scare the hell out of the Russians.
I know a fellow named Rusty Bayonet that really qualifies, and god help us all if he brings his friends.
Thinking about that, I would not want the Green Hornet, Dr. Bob, CIGA Arlen, Big Tatanka and a host of angry others after me.
Financial people have to learn that they cannot play with people’s lives and always just walk away. When these nerds destroy markets they destroy thousands of people’s savings, most often without cause or reason.
When you make your living by ripping off market after market, once people identify who you are it is no longer what the nerds think is a simple and impersonal game.
Hiding is becoming less easy as freedom of information will certainly not protect you under a new administration.
Where I am concerned, I know exactly who and where you are.
‘Austria’s Woman on Wall Street’ on the Run? By The Staff at wowOwow.com
Sonja Kohn may be literally running for her life.
The woman once known here as "Austria’s woman on Wall Street" has disappeared. Kohn collected more than $2 billion from rich investors in Russia and across Europe for Bernard Madoff through her firm, Bank Medici. Touting her connections, she promised investors entrée to bigger fish in the finance world, including Madoff. Some say it’s not out of the question that she’s hiding from Russian clients (do we dare say, perhaps, the Russian mob?) who trusted her with their cash and have had their wallets hit even harder by the Russian stock market and plummeting commodity prices.
"With Russian oligarchs as clients, she might have reason to be afraid," a Viennese banker who knew Kohn and her husband told The New York Times.
This has left Bank Medici – which funneled money to the alleged ponzi schemer Madoff — in the hands of Austrian regulators. People who know her are even afraid to talk on the record, since being linked to Madoff these days isn’t, exactly, the best idea. A Bank Medici spokeswoman characterized Kohn, who has also served as an adviser to Austria’s economic affairs minister, foreign affairs minister and the Vienna Stock Exchange, as a "victim," but wouldn’t say where Kohn was.
Bank Medici had $2.1 billion in exposure to Madoff’s investment securities through hedge funds run by the bank, but it says it had no liquidity problems.
Turkey is going to negotiate with whom on behalf of whom in the Israel/Hamas situation?
Turkey denies reports of arms deal with Israel www.chinaview.cn 2009-01-07 01:59:03
ANKARA, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) — Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul Tuesday denied reports that an arms deal was signed between Turkey and Israel ahead of the Gaza operation, local Dogan News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The arms deal has nothing to do with the attacks. No military agreement was signed (with Israel) during our governments," the report quoted Gonul as saying, adding that the agreement in question was signed many years ago and its contents were not related with the recent political developments.
Turkish government came under fire after some media reports suggested that an arms deal worth 167 million U.S. dollars was signed with Israel ahead of the Gaza operations.
According to the reports, Turkey and Israel have a strong partnership in military equipment and arms. The trade volume between the two was 2.6 billion dollars in 2007, among which some suggest 1.8 billion dollars is attributed to military equipment trade.
Turkey has maintained one of the harshest rhetorics against Israel over its incursion in Gaza.
Respectfully, you are at best only partially correct. It was the unbridled, unregulated, unlisted, false evaluated worthless and to be ever worthless OTC derivatives manufactured primarily in the USA that has turned a normal economic correction into a terminal currency debacle.
I am amazed that even you will not say it the way it is. It must be so embarrassing to know you bought into the madness and acquired a mountain of eternally worthless crap OTC derivatives that you will not admit to in fear of loss of face.
U.S. blame game cannot change facts of financial crisis www.chinaview.cn 2009-01-07 19:22:19 By Xinhua Writer Huang Xin
BEIJING, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) — Plagued by the financial crisis that originated in the United States, the world economy has been thrown into chaos. While countries are battling the crisis, outgoing U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has been playing a blame game.
Paulson said a failure to address the rise of emerging markets and resulting imbalances was partly to blame for the global financial crisis. The current U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is also part of the game. He sees savings from countries like China as a cause of the property bubble in the United States.
Their remarks made headlines but cannot change the facts. It is widely accepted that the U.S. low interest rate policy, which encouraged excessive spending and caused the sub-prime crisis, was at the root of the problem.
The Fed used this policy to save the country’s economy from a contraction in the 1990s, when China and other emerging economies had no large trade surplus or savings.
Apparently, Paulson has mixed up cause and effect by suggesting that emerging economies pushed down U.S. interest rates.
All that protected the Weimar citizens from their elected officials and the Papiermarc was Gold.
All that protects you against your elected officials and the Papierdollar is Gold.
Some day the Rentendollar will come. That you can be sure of.
Study history or become history.
All That Shimmers is Gold
The safe haven status of gold is starting to shine brighter and brighter, according to Jurg Kiener, CEO of Swiss Asia Capital. He explains his bullish outlook on the precious metal to CNBC’s Oriel Morrison.
Bloomberg loves to spin gold costs. Toronto analysts are simply CLUELESS. Gold share bear Hedge Funds just love it.
The key question here is was their project loan produced as recourse or non-recourse? If it was non-recourse and New Gold is accounting on International or Canadian GAAP then the derivative which produced the non-recourse must be charged or credited to the project. Ask them which, not me.
New Gold to Halt Operations at Brazil Mine on Costs By Rob Delaney
Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) — New Gold Inc., the Vancouver-based company that produces precious metal in Mexico, Brazil and Australia, halted output at one of its three producing mines because of high costs.
New Gold stopped operations at its Amapari mine in Brazil because lower-grade ore and rising quantities of waste material drove costs too high, the company said in a statement. New Gold is exploring options including a new processing facility for handling ore stockpiled at the site.
The company’s stock fell 16 cents, or 9 percent, to C$1.61 at 4:10 p.m. in Toronto Stock Exchange trading. The shares dropped 65 percent last year.
New Gold had planned to mine the Amapari deposit until the third quarter of 2009, according to the statement.
1. States issuing IOUs for State Tax Refunds, possibly to vendors as well. 2. Potential CONFISCATION of your IRA’s and other Retirement Plans including corporate into the Federal Social Security Funds.
This would impact two bird with one stone.
One of those birds is the turkeys with IRAs or any type of retirement program that neither you nor your family will ever get to spend (buying power wise).
The other bird is the Czar of the centrally planned government who then sits in the Cat Bird Seat of Financial Power now able to count and direct your hard earned retirement dollars.
Since the Fed has become the largest "wild-ass" hedge fund due to its recently acquired assets, why not become the Social Security Fund with all your IRAs and corporate retirement accounts full of OTC derivatives? Maybe Madoff can be recruited from a Federal airbase infirmary to run the new Social Insecurity Hedge Fund.
It will happen, sorry!
Maybe Lenin will turn out to be the world’s greatest economist and political philosopher if measured by new governments adopting his programmed and planned economy.
I am my own retirement program because like Harry Schultz we will never retire. Both of us would rather burn out than rust out.
California may delay tax refunds amid budget impasse With Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of Democrats’ $18-billion package of tax hikes and cuts, the state could begin issuing IOUs as soon as Feb. 1. GOP legislators join a suit against the package. By Jordan Rau and Evan Halper January 7, 2009
Reporting from Sacramento — State officials on Tuesday braced for the possibility of delaying tax refunds to millions of Californians, along with student grants and payments to vendors, as the latest round of budget negotiations between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic legislators collapsed.
With little more than a month’s worth of cash left in the state treasury, the governor and lawmakers have been unable to agree on how to erase a budget gap projected to reach $41.6 billion by the middle of next year. Democrats announced Tuesday that two weeks of discussions had ended in an impasse and sent Schwarzenegger the $18-billion fiscal package they passed last month. The governor vetoed it, as he had promised to do.
Not every such incident is as it appears or is reported, especially when this gets around to the nerd Hedge Fund Managers who specialize in destruction, believing all stories of violence are only on prime time TV. Want to borrow some of my rage? I have plenty to spare.
German billionaire kills self, family says updated 9:54 p.m. EST, Tue January 6, 2009
(CNN) — German billionaire Adolf Merckle, one of the richest men in the world, committed suicide Monday after his business empire got into trouble in the wake of the international financial crisis, Merckle’s family said Tuesday in a statement.
Merckle, 74, was hit by a train in the southwestern town of Ulm, police said.
His family said the economic crisis had "broken" Merckle.
He was number 94 on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people. He had fallen from number 44 on the Forbes 2007 rich list as his fortune declined from $12.8 billion to $9.2 billion in 2008.
Merckle’s business empire included interests as diverse as cement-maker HeidelbergCement and generic drug-maker Ratiopharm. But he lost hundreds of millions of dollars, including company capital, betting against Volkswagen stock last year.
The state government of Baden-Wuerttemberg rejected his petition for financial assistance, and he entered bailout talks with several German banks.
Pakistan indignant over India accusation Houston Chronicle – United States ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — Pakistan on Tuesday forcefully denied a suggestion by India’s prime minister that official Pakistani agencies were involved in …
Pakistan rejects India ‘propaganda’ Aljazeera.net – Qatar Pakistan has rejected as "propaganda" comments by India’s prime minister that Pakistani authorities must have know about and supported last November’s …
Pakistan demands access to Mumbai crime scene Daily Times – Lahore,Pakistan Talking to reporters in Islamabad, she asked India to stop the ‘blame game’ and cooperate with Pakistan against terrorism. India had admitted that Pakistan …
Where is Paul who photo opted during the election as his Right Hand Man?
Obama Warns of Prospect for Trillion-Dollar Deficits By JEFF ZELENY and EDMUND L. ANDREWS Published: January 6, 2009
WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday braced Americans for the unparalleled prospect of “trillion-dollar deficits for years to come,” a stark assessment of the budgetary outlook that he said would force his administration to impose tighter fiscal discipline on the government.
Mr. Obama sought to distinguish between the need to run what is likely to be record-setting deficits for several years and the necessity to begin bringing them down markedly in subsequent years. Even as he prepares a stimulus plan that is expected to total nearly $800 billion in new spending and tax cuts over the next two years, he said he would make sure the money was wisely spent, and he pledged to work with Congress to enact spending controls and efficiency measures throughout the federal budget.
“We’re not going to be able to expect the American people to support this critical effort unless we take extraordinary steps to ensure that the investments are made wisely and managed well,” Mr. Obama said, speaking about the dire fiscal outlook after meeting with his economic team for a second straight day.
In his most explicit language on the subject since winning the election, Mr. Obama sought to reassure lawmakers and the financial markets that he was aware of the long-term dangers of running huge deficits and would take steps to limit and eventually reduce them.
Big deficits force the government to borrow more money, saddling future generations with large financial burdens and leaving the nation reliant on foreign governments and other big investors to lend cash. The problem is even more acute now because credit markets, which in recent months have made it much harder and more expensive for businesses and individuals to borrow, could be further strained by financing a huge government deficit.
On Wednesday, Mr. Obama plans to name a chief performance officer with the task of finding government efficiencies. He has chosen Nancy Killefer, who is director of McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, and was an assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration. The Congressional Budget Office will also release its latest budget estimates, providing the first official predictions of the shortfalls tied to the economic slowdown and the fallen financial markets.
There is absolutely no question that the price of gold will reach $1200, $1650 and then continue onward to Alf’s numbers.
Three hoots for Panizutti, a close friend of Carlo Fibonacci.
Gold May Advance for Eighth Year as ‘Perfect Insurance’ Sought By Nicholas Larkin, Claudia Carpenter and Pham-Duy Nguyen
Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) — Gold, the best-performing metal in 2008, may appreciate for an eighth year as investors seek a refuge from declining interest rates at the same time that central banks inject more cash into the banking system.
The metal will average $910 an ounce in 2009, 4.3 percent more than last year, according to the median forecast of 20 analysts, traders and investors surveyed by Bloomberg. Silver and platinum, which averaged at least 12 percent more in 2008, will decline this year, the survey showed.
Gold prices may strengthen after about $29 trillion was wiped offequities last year, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to as low as zero and governments sought to end the worst financial crisis since World War II. The metal was one of only four commodities to rise when the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index fell 36 percent, the worst year in a half-century.
“People fear inflation, they fear the credit crunch and they fear currency losses, and gold is the perfect insurance against all of that,” said Frederic Panizzutti, a senior vice president at Geneva-based bullion refiner MKS Finance SA, who forecasts gold will average more than $900 in the first half of 2009. Panizzutti was the most accurate forecaster in the London Bullion Market Association’s 2008 survey.
Average gold prices have risen for seven consecutive years, the longest winning streak since at least 1949. While the return of 5.8 percent through 2008 was the smallest since 2004 in dollar terms, gold rose 11 percent in euros and 44 percent in British pounds, data on Bloomberg show.
This number will rise to $17.2 trillion by June of 2010 or sooner.
You want to own the dollar and have no Gold? That is called financial suicide, yet horses still run back into burning barns from time to time, therein killing themselves.
The $8 trillion bailout Many details of Obama’s rescue plan remain uncertain. But it’s likely to cost at least $700 billion – and that would push Uncle Sam’s bailouts near $8 trillion. By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer Last Updated: January 6, 2009: 9:28 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Sitting down? It’s time to tally up the federal government’s bailout tab.
There was $29 billion for Bear Stearns, $345 billion for Citigroup. The Federal Reserve put up $600 billion to guarantee money market deposits and has aggressively driven down interest rates to essentially zero.
The list goes on and on. All told, Congress, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and other agencies have taken dozens of steps to prop up the economy.
Total price tag so far: $7.2 trillion in investment and loans. That puts a lot of taxpayer money at risk. Now comes President-elect Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan, some details of which were made public on Monday. The tally is getting awfully close to $8 trillion.
Obama’s plan would combine tax cuts with infrastructure job creation efforts. Economists say it could serve as an integral piece to the government’s remaining economic recovery puzzle.
Yes, "MASSIVE" is a good description of the up-coming, DOWNWARD heading US dollar.
Willem Buiter warns of massive dollar collapse Americans must prepare themselves for a massive collapse in the dollar as investors around the world dump their US assets, a former Bank of England policymaker has warned. By Edmund Conway, Economics Editor Last Updated: 6:32PM GMT 05 Jan 2009
The long-held assumption that US assets – particularly government bonds – are a safe haven will soon be overturned as investors lose their patience with the world’s biggest economy, according to Willem Buiter.
Professor Buiter, a former Monetary Policy Committee member who is now at the London School of Economics, said this increasing disenchantment would result in an exodus of foreign cash from the US.
The warning comes despite the dollar having strengthened significantly against other major currencies, including sterling and the euro, after hitting historic lows last year. It will reignite fears about the currency’s prospects, as well as sparking fears about the sustainability of President-Elect Barack Obama’s mooted plans for a Keynesian-style increase in public spending to pull the US out of recession.
Writing on his blog, Prof Buiter said: "There will, before long (my best guess is between two and five years from now) be a global dumping of US dollar assets, including US government assets. Old habits die hard. The US dollar and US Treasury bills and bonds are still viewed as a safe haven by many. But learning takes place."
He said that the dollar had been kept elevated in recent years by what some called "dark matter" or "American alpha" – an assumption that the US could earn more on its overseas investments than foreign investors could make on their American assets. However, this notion had been gradually dismantled in recent years, before being dealt a fatal blow by the current financial crisis, he said.
MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (AFP) — Taliban militants hanged one man and shot dead another in a restive Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border, after accusing them of spying for the United States, an official said Tuesday.
The body of local tribesman Shahjir Khan, 25, was found early Tuesday dumped in the central market of Miranshah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal district, a security official told AFP.
A note found with Khan’s body said he had been hanged because he had spied on Taliban activities and passed information to the United States, the official said.
The bullet-riddled body of an Afghan refugee identified as Akram Khan was found late Monday near the village of Sarobi, some 10 kilometres (six miles) south of Miranshah, with a similar note, he said.
Pakistan Agencies Aided Mumbai Attack, Singh Says (Update1) By Bibhudatta Pradhan and James Rupert
Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) — “Official agencies” in Pakistan supported the militants who attacked Mumbai in November, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, making India’s sharpest accusation yet that Pakistan’s government was involved.
“There is enough evidence to show that, given the sophistication and military precision of the attack it must have had the support of some official agencies in Pakistan,” Singh told chief ministers of India’s states today at a meeting on counter-terrorism.
India yesterday gave Pakistan and other governments what it said was evidence linking Pakistani “elements” to the Nov. 26- 29 attack on Mumbai, increasing pressure on its neighbor to act against the militant group India has blamed for the assault. It is unclear how long Pakistan will need to judge the evidence and decide on any action, Farhatullah Babar, a spokesman for Pakistan’s president, told India’s NDTV television today.
A senior Indian government official has suggested that leading figures in the Pakistani establishment must have known of the plot to carry out last November’s deadly attacks in Mumbai, and hinted that some may have actively supported it.
Shivshankar Menon, India’s foreign secretary said he found it "hard to believe that something of this scale … could occur without anybody, anywhere in the establishment knowing that this was happening."
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Menon dismissed repeated Pakistani assertions that the attacks were carried out by "non-state actors" and said India was unimpressed by Pakistani pledges to crackdown on suspects.
The attacks on multiple targets in India’s financial capital lasted for nearly three days and left 179 people dead with hundreds more wounded.
Menon’s comments came after Indian officials handed Islamabad evidence they say clearly shows the attack originated in Pakistan.
New Delhi has previously been careful not to blame the attacks on the Pakistani government, and Monday’s statement accused "elements in Pakistan" of being behind the plot.