Thursday, June 30, 2011

WaPo fact check shows...

... Obama demagoguery - Hot Air

Fed's Massive Stimulus Had Little Impact: Greenspan

The Federal Reserve's massive stimulus program had little impact on the US economy besides weakening the dollar and helping US exports, Federal Reserve Governor Alan Greenspan told CNBC Thursday

Full Story:

President Barack Obama's approval...

....has hit an all-time low among the poorest Americans, according to the
Gallup poll. Meanwhile, when compared to the other income brackets reported by Gallup, Obama's approval is highest among the richest Americans.

More evidence that Obama's fundraising numbers are lagging

On Wednesday the Obama campaign sent around a slightly panicky email
about its quarterly fund-raising numbers. Today, they have sent out another, slightly panickier, email about their quarterly fundraising numbers. The email is titled "Midnight," just to make it a little bit scary


Initial Jobless claims...

...Are above 400K for 12 straight week, and that is the longest streak in 5 months

A federal judge in Cheyenne...

...has sided with oil and natural gas producers in ruling that while the Department of Interior secretary has discretion over issuing oil and gas leases, he still must comply with a 60-day time deadline established by Congress. U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal told attorneys for the oil and gas industry, conservation groups and the federal government after oral arguments this morning that she would file a written order today or tomorrow outlining her decision in a long-standing dispute between oil and gas producers and the Interior Department about delays in issuing leases.


German lawmakers...

...overwhelmingly approved on Thursday plans to shut the country's nuclear plants by 2022, putting Europe's biggest economy on the road to an ambitious build-up of renewable energy. The lower house of parliament voted 513-79 for the shutdown plan drawn up by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government after Japan's post earthquake nuclear disaster. (Snip) By 2020, Germany wants to double the share of energy stemming from water, wind, sun or biogas to at least 35 percent. (GO: Good luck with that last part)

Why Europe Can’t Afford a Greek Haircut

Why Europe Can't Afford a Greek Haircut

Defense Not the Cause of US Budget Deficit: Gates

Military spending is not the cause of the $1.4 trillion U.S. budget deficit, and even a "disastrous" 10 percent cut would only reduce the budget shortfall by some $50 billion — about 4 percent, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says.

Full Story:

Initial Jobless claims...

...Over 400K for 12th straight week

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NATO reviews Libya campaign...

...after France admits arming rebels

Canada’s Inflation...

...leaps most in 8 years

Economic crisis in Greece could...

...reach United States, IMF warns

Obama Redirects...

... From A Broke US Government By Playing The Class Warfare Card, Focuses On "Millionaires And Billionaires"

Obama Blasts...

...Private Jet Tax Breaks Created by His Own Stimulus

US Enters Next Round of Public Pensions Fight

The United States is entering the next round of a nationwide boxing match over public pensions, with states approving changes to the funds, a leading municipal union challenging claims of yawning shortfalls and a research group advocating moderation.

Full Story:

Portugal Deficit...

...Much Higher Than Forecast


Schumer To Boehner

If You Think You Can Raise The Debt Limit Without Dem Support, You're Dreaming


"Medicare Will Go Broke and 'Take Our Government Down With It'"

Astronomers discover...

...brightest, earliest quasar ever; light took 13 billion years to hit Earth


John Kerry

"I would have been a good President. Maybe even a great one."

Obama's Real Revenue Problem

Tax receipts are low because of the mediocre economic recovery.

Thanks A Lot, Jerry Brown

Amazon Cancels California Contracts


Unemployment rises in more than half of US metros

Unemployment rates rose last month in more than half of the nation's largest metro areas, driven higher by weak private-sector hiring and natural disasters. The unemployment rate increased in 210 metro areas in
May, the Labor Department said Wednesday. It fell in 131 cities and
remained unchanged in 37.

That's a sharp reversal from April, when
unemployment rates dropped in more than 90 percent of metro areas.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate ticked up in May to 9.1 percent and
employers added just 54,000 net jobs. Employers added an average of
220,000 jobs per month


Nerves Show on Team Obama

Recent scrambling by the president's political advisers indicates they're very worried about his reelection chances.

It's been a rough June for the White House. Instead of being able to run a campaign taking credit for economic improvement, President Obama will,
according to the latest forecasts, be trying to win four more years amid
a grim economy next year. The president's reelection team, once hoping to run on a "Morning in America" theme now doesn't have that luxury.

No wonder, the president's advisers over the past month have been making
moves that suggest they're awfully concerned about his prospects:


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why France's Rescue Plan for Greece..

.. Won't Work Either

No Energy in the Executive

Can the Obama administration be compelled to approve offshore drilling?

"At some point this must end. With a permit, or without." With those words, an exasperated federal judge punctuated his latest decision ordering the Obama administration to process applications to drill for oil and gas offshore.

More than a year after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused the administration temporarily to halt the federal permitting process, Judge Martin Feldman of the Eastern District of Louisiana was prepared to accept no further bureaucratic delay by the
federal regulators who continue to bottle up almost all drilling applications


Iran Parliament summons Ahmadinejad for questioning

Iran's Parliament summoned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning, semi-official Mehr news agency said on Monday, raising tensions in a power struggle between factions in the ruling elite. Ahmadinejad - facing parliamentary elections next year and a
presidential race in 2013 - must attend the assembly within a month, Mehr said, after 100 lawmakers signed a motion calling him in.(snip)The conservative-dominated Parliament has often used its constitutional powers against Ahmadinejad, particularly over ministerial appointments
and budgetary matters, and most recently rejected a close ally he
nominated as deputy foreign minister.


Greece rocked by riots as up to 60,000 people take to streets to protest against government

Street clashes broke out between rioting youths and police in central
Athens today as tens of thousands demonstrated during a nationwide
strike against the cash-strapped government. Hundreds of masked and
hooded youths punched and kicked motorcycle police, knocking several off
their bikes, as police responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades. The violence spread after the end of the march to a nearby square, where police faced off with stone-throwing anarchists and suffocating clouds of tear gas sent patrons scurrying from open-air cafes. Police say 16 suspected rioters were detained and two officers were injured.


Voters give Obama lowest rating yet on economy

President Barack Obama is in a fragile position as the 2012 campaign begins: Only 37 percent of registered voters approve of his handling of the economy, his lowest rating ever, according to a new McClatchy Newspapers-Marist poll. Another ominous sign for Obama: By nearly 2-1, voters disapprove of how he's handling the federal budget deficit,
expected to hit a record $1.5 trillion this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. "It's a real caution sign ... the four-year lease on the White House is very much dependent on how people end up looking at the economy,"


Home prices...

...decreased in the year ended April by the most in 17 months, showing the housing market remains an obstacle for the U.S. recovery.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 4 percent from April 2010, the biggest drop since November 2009, the group said today in New York. From March to April, prices fell 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, the smallest decline since July 2010.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Why China’s Heading for a Hard Landing...

Great News...

... President to start operating on gut instinct 

Macro Tides

Financial Meltdown...

... if Greece Defaults: Equity Strategist

James Pethokoukis (

For common sense, I can always count on James

Obama's daily Gallup approval rating...

...Is now 45% or lower for at least 7 straight days for the first time since April 30

Six-figure pensions soar...

...soar for California school administrators

The European Union's executive body... set to propose expanding its revenue-raising powers - including the introduction of EU-wide taxes - in its budget to be unveiled this week. A tax on financial transactions or activity, a portion of which would be diverted into Brussels' coffers, is a leading option under consideration by the European Commission, according to officials
drafting the budget.

Most Greeks acknowledge...

....the need for Prime Minister George Papandreou to raise taxes and take other austerity measures rather than let the country default on its debt, according to an opinion poll.

Fifty percent of 1,014 people polled by Marc SA for Ethnos newspaper said the government must implement and also renegotiate the terms of Papandreou's proposal to boost revenue and cut public spending by a combined 78 billion euros ($112billion) over the next five years. An additional 21.6 percent said the government should take the austerity steps without renegotiating them. Nearly 23 percent said the prime
minister's package should be rejected even at the risk of default.

Prime Minister Netanyahu...

....ordered Israel's defense establishment Monday to interdict the
Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla 2, Voice of Israel radio reported. Netanyahu gave the order during a meeting of his Security Cabinet dedicated to preparations Israel was taking in advance of the new flotilla expected
to set sail for Gaza this week.

The Cabinet voted in favor of a Navy plan to prevent the upcoming flotilla from arriving in Gaza and granted the IDF authority to prevent the ships' arrival by any means necessary. Earlier Monday, Israel and Egypt agreed to the arrangement whereby ships taking part in the flotilla could opt to unload cargo at El-Arish. Ships that instead try to force their way to Gaza, however, will be boarded, searched, and have their passengers arrested.

Money-Market Mayhem

Sarkozy Confirms Greek Debt Deal With French Banks

French banks, among the most exposed to the Greek debt crisis, have reached an outline agreement to roll over holdings of maturing Greek bonds, part of a wider European plan to avoid sovereign default.

Full Story:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

China's Wen signals...

  ... doubt inflation goal can be met

GREECE: 4 Ruling Party Politicians....

...May Vote Against Austerity, As Cushion Of Safety Dwindles To 1 Vote

Chipotle Will Raise its Prices

Chipotle Will Raise its Prices Regionally

Should American Taxpayers...

...Finance another Big Fat Greek Bailout?

Among The Costs Of War...

...$20B In Air Conditioning : NPR

China loves Europe

China Is Long-Term Investor in EU Bonds: Wen

Lawsuit Contesting Greek Bailout...

... To Be Heard By German Constitutional Court Imminently

American taxpayers... subsidize Greek bailouts via the Keystone Kops at the IMF #Greece

Austerity showdown in Greece

Faces Showdown on Austerity

Why Is the Chinese Economy sputtering?

China eyes Canada oil...

...US's energy nest egg

Italy government tensions rise...

... over austerity plans

RPT-Hedge funds fear...

... commodity bull run may be over

Economist Charles Gave

 The Euro Will Not Exist In One Year

Greece Update: Banks to Propose...

...Rolling over 50% of Debt

Presenting The (Only) Four Outcomes...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

China’s Top Priority Is to Tackle Inflation, Vice Premier Li Keqiang Says

China faces inflationary pressure and the government’s top priority is to tackle price increases, Vice Premier Li Keqiang said in Beijing today.

The global economic recovery faces many uncertainties, with some nations experiencing sovereign debt problems and others facing the risk of a downturn, Li said in a speech at the Second Global Think Tank Summit held by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges. Emerging economies need to have more representation on global issues, he said.

Swiss Franc Climbs to Record High Versus Euro Amid Concern on Debt Crisis (Bloomberg)

The Swiss franc rose against all of its 16 most-traded peers, reaching a record against the euro, as investors sought safety on concern an austerity plan to stabilize Greece won’t resolve Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis.
The dollar gained for a third week against the euro, the longest since February, on speculation Greece’s parliament may reject Prime Minister George Papandreou’s plan to cut the budget deficit, win more aid and avoid default. The pound slid for a fourth week against the dollar after U.K. policy makers discussed more monetary stimulus. Growth in U.S. manufacturing cooled in June, a report next week may show.

Wen Says China Will Continue to Buy European Government Debt, Support Euro (Bloomberg)

China pledged to buy Hungarian government bonds and said it will “consistently” support the euro as Europe battles to fight its way out of a sovereign debt crisis.

China will buy a “certain amount” of Hungarian government bonds and remains a “long-term investor” in European debt markets, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in Budapest today. This afternoon, Wen travels to the U.K. and then on to Germany on his three-country European tour.

“China is a long term investor in Europe’s sovereign debt market,” Wen said in translated comments at a press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “In recent years we have increased by quite a big margin our holdings of government bonds. We will consistently continue to support Europe and the euro.”

Suspicious Oil Trading Ahead of Stockpile Move Scrutinized

 US commodity regulators were examining Friday whether word of a decision to coordinate a release of global oil stockpiles was leaked ahead of Thursday's announcement by the International Energy Agency, a person familiar with the matter said.
Officials with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as well as market participants have pointed to unusual trading in the oil futures market before the IEA's announcement that it would release 60 million barrels of oil, the person said.

Member countries of the IEA agreed to take two million barrels of oil a day from their emergency stocks over the coming months, marking the IEA's third and largest release in its 40-year history.
The US will release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, representing four percent of its historically-high level of 727 million barrels.

President Obama struggles with economic message (Carrie Budoff Brown)

President Barack Obama isn’t just grasping for ways to jolt the flailing economy.
He’s struggling simply to find the right words to talk about it.

A growing number of Democratic strategists — including Obama senior campaign adviser David Axelrod — said the party needs to let go of George W. Bush and the past once and for all. Democrats now “own” the economy, says party chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

A 'Conservative Problem-Solver' (Daniel Henninger)

No Republican presidential candidate stirs more curiosity than Jon Huntsman. "What about Huntsman?" You hear it all the time. Who is Jon Huntsman and where is he coming from? On the morning after he announced his presidential bid in front of the Statue of Liberty this week, we hitched a ride on his campaign plane to South Carolina, seeking answers.


America’s Labor Party (Fred Barnes)

How far will President Obama go to advance the interests of organized labor? Awfully far. We know this not only from the effort to keep Boeing from building a plane in a right-to-work state, South Carolina, but also from the way Delta Airlines is being railroaded into recognizing unions its employees have repeatedly rejected.


The Great Corn Con (Steve Rattner)

FEELING the need for an example of government policy run amok? Look no further than the box of cornflakes on your kitchen shelf. In its myriad corn-related interventions, Washington has managed simultaneously to help drive up food prices and add tens of billions of dollars to the deficit, while arguably increasing energy use and harming the environment.


Speechworld vs. Realworld (Mark Steyn)

The Democrats seem to have given up on budgets. Hey, who can blame them? They’ve got a ballpark figure: Let’s raise $2 trillion in revenue every year, and then spend $4 trillion. That seems to work pretty well, so why get hung up on a lot of fine print? Harry Reid says the Senate has no plans to produce a budget, but in April the president did give a speech about “a new budget framework” that he said would save $4 trillion over the next twelve years


Friday, June 24, 2011

Hillary Clinton on Flotilla

Hillary Clinton Appears to give green light for Israeli attack on Gaza flotilla

White House Oil Epiphany - The Wall Street Journal.

Petraeus Acknowledges Differences with Obama... (

Petraeus Acknowledges Differences With Obama Over Afghan Drawdown

Hillary Clinton, Then and Now

IEA Ready To Release More Oil, Show Its Bite: Tanaka

The International Energy Agency is ready to release more oil onto the market if necessary, Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the agency, told CNBC in an interview Friday morning.

Full Story:

Why Austerity Doesn't Matter: Greece Is Still Going to Default

Greece's austerity plan, viewed by markets as the saving grace just a day ago, has quickly moved into irrelevance as banks and insurers try to find a path around default.

Full Story:

Deep rifts growing in Tehran (

Economy: Money Isn't Changing Hands Fast Enough

The ten-year yield...

....recently fell below 2.86%, a level not seen since the height of the credit crisis

China's prosperity

The Economist

Tensions between China's prosperous middle classes and its poor will make it a harder country to govern

Italian banks hit by credit downgrade threat (

Signs of trouble in Italy?


...thus becomes ICC's 116th member. 3 of the 5 UN Security Council permanent members have still not joined ICC -China, Russia, United States

Krauthammer's Take

From Thursday night's Fox News All-Stars. On Republicans walking out of the deficit negotiations


Steyn: Obama’s Afghanistan policy evidence ‘he reads too much Thomas Friedman

President Barack Obama has thrown everything except the kitchen sink at the economic malaise – nearly $1 trillion in government spending on stimulus, a loose monetary policy and soon 60 million barrels of oil to be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And although nothing seems to be making a drastic difference, the administration’s focus on such initiatives seems to creep into all aspects of US policy, including its handling of Afghanistan.

Why The Eurozone And The Euro Are Both Doomed

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Why the Eurozone and the Euro Are Both Doomed  

Papering over the structural imbalances in the Eurozone with endless bailouts will not resolve the fundamental asymmetries.

Beneath the endless announcements of Greece's "rescue" lie fundamental asymmetries that doom the euro, the joint currency that has been the centerpiece of European unity since its introduction in 1999.

The key imbalance is between export powerhouse Germany, which generates huge trade surpluses, and its trading partners, which run large trade and budget deficits, particularly Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

Those outside of Europe may be surprised to learn that Germany's exports are roughly equal to those of China ($1.2 trillion), even though Germany's population of 82 million is a mere 6% of China's 1.3 billion. Germany and China are the world's top exporters, while the U.S. trails as a distant third.

Germany's emphasis on exports places it in the so-called mercantilist camp, countries that depend heavily on exports for their growth and profits. Other (nonoil-exporting) nations that routinely generate large trade surpluses include China, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and the Netherlands.

While Germany's exports rose an astonishing 65% from 2000 to 2008, its domestic demand flatlined near zero. Without strong export growth, Germany's economy would have been at a standstill. The Netherlands is also a big exporter (trade surplus of $33 billion) even though its population is relatively tiny, at only 16 million. The "consumer" countries, on the other hand, run large current-account (trade) deficits and large government deficits. Italy, for instance, has a $55 billion trade deficit and a budget deficit of about $110 billion. Total public debt is a whopping 115.2% of GDP.

Spain, with about half the population of Germany, has a $69 billion annual trade deficit and a staggering $151 billion budget deficit. Fully 23% of the government's budget is borrowed.


House weighs in on Libya

POLITICO (@politico)
6/24/11 11:22 AM
BREAKING: The House has rejected a resolution that would have formally authorized U.S. intervention in Libya:

The House...

...set to rebuke Obama on Libya mission

Eurozone markets...

...Down for the 8th straight week

Unemployment Rate Unlikely to fall below 8%

Experts debate the euro's future (

Russia May Face Debt Crisis Like Greece (

Open Areas to Drilling, Don’t open the SPR (

Delta: We Love To Fly Without Jews and Bibles (

Is the Fed the World’s Largest Fixed Income Hedge Fund (

Obama's Oily Desperation (

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Obama Taps Strategic Petroleum Reserve Without Good Reason

Chamber says oil move is political

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is slamming President Obama's "ill-advised" decision to release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic
Petroleum Reserve.

"The Obama Administration's decision to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is ill-advised and not the signal the markets need," Karen Harbert, the president of the Chamber's Energy Institute, said in a statement. "Unrest in the Middle East is likely to continue for quite some time, so a temporary increase in supply is not a substitute for a long term fix."

Harbert said the reserve shouldn't be tapped in response to "politically
inconvenient high prices," but rather for true emergencies, an argument that Obama himself has made.

"Rather than dabbling around the edges, the Administration should take
steps to increase domestic production of oil - on and offshore, like the bill the House passed last night," Harbert said.

The administration announced that an more barrels would be provided by
global partners in the International Energy Agency.

Why another Greek bailout is a stupid idea

Obama's Transparent Political Calculation is Unsettling

The duties and responsibilities of commander-in-chief have never come
easily to Barack Obama.

Airbus trounces Boeing with another record order

(Let's make sure they have to expand in the highest labor cost State that generate Union donations to Democrats)

Airbus is trouncing Boeing in the race to be the world's biggest planemaker, claiming over $72 billion dollars worth of orders and commitments at the Paris Air Show, where the popularity of its new
fuel-efficient jets twice broke records for the largest order ever.

Airbus' success cast a long shadow over Chicago-based Boeing, which recorded only $22 billion in orders and commitments, and raised questions over the U.S. planemaker's ability to compete in a market dominated by concerns over high fuel prices


....the largest seller of supplemental health insurance, may issue as much as 100 billion yen ($1.24 billion) in debt as it records losses tied to investments in banks from Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Second-quarter losses on the assets will probably be about $610 million, the Columbus, Georgia-based insurer said today in a statement.
Additionally, Aflac CEO Amos has added investments in public utilities and Japanese government debt to minimize the company's exposure in Europe.

From Reuters: "U.S. Deficit-reduction talks...

....led by Vice President Joe Biden have reached an "impasse," House of
Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Thursday, adding that he will not participate in the meeting of the bipartisan group that had been scheduled for later in the day.

Cantor, a Republican, said the group has identified trillions of dollars in spending cuts, but had been unable to resolve a disagreement over tax increases Democrats sought. A Senate Democratic aide said the two sides "need to continue talking", and were continuing to talk.

But an aide to Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican member of the Biden group, declined to comment on whether the senator would attend Thursday's scheduled meeting."

Most Euro-Zone Economies Contract

Germany and France were the only members of the euro zone to register an expansion of private-sector activity in June, with most of the other 15
members experiencing a contraction for the first time since November 2009.

Markit Economics said Thursday that its monthly survey of purchasing managers at manufacturers and service providers indicated that private sector activity in the currency area grew at its slowest rate in more than a year and a half in June. That suggests economic growth will be significantly weaker in the second quarter than the 0.8% expansion recorded in the first.

Initial jobless claims...

...Over 420K for 5 straight weeks for first time since 11/12/2010

The Daily Rasmussen...

...Presidential Approval poll is now below 48% for 12 straight days for the first time in 3 months

Senate To Vote Tomorrow On Bill to repeal Government authority to provide loans to the IMF

Bernanke 'Quietly Risk Negative': Dennis Gartman

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's statement on expectations for the US economy on Wednesday was "quietly risk negative," Dennis Gartman, author of The Gartman Letter, told CNBC Thursday.

Full Story:

Jobs Picture Grows Worse as Weekly Claims Post Jump

New claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, suggesting little improvement in the labor market this month after a stumble in May.

Full Story:

Initial filings...

...for unemployment insurance climb by 9,000 in latest week to 429,000, Labor Department says. Has been persistently above 400K

Geert Wilders...

...has finally been acquitted of all charges at his show trial in Amsterdam

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini..

....has called for a suspension of hostilities in Libya to allow humanitarian aid to be brought to the war-torn country. Mr Frattini also said Nato must provide data on results of its bombing campaign and guidelines on targeting errors. Arab League Chairman Amr Moussa also urged a ceasefire on Tuesday, voicing reservations about the Nato campaign. (Snip) Meanwhile Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi
described Libya's opposition National Transitional Council as an "important dialogue partner" and an "important domestic political force".

Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group... preparing for a possible war with Israel to relieve perceived Western pressure to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, its guardian ally, sources close to the movement say. The radical Shi'ite group, which has a powerful militia armed by Damascus and Iran, is watching the unrest in neighboring Syria with alarm and is determined to prevent the West from exploiting popular protests to bring down Assad. Hezbollah supported pro-democracy movements that toppled Western-backed leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, but officials say it will not stand idly by as international pressure mounts on Assad

The former Chancellor of the British Government...

....has said that Greece and the Euro as a currency are doomed if the eurozone continue to support weak nations. Alastair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Gordon Brown, has warned that Greece may need four bailouts to rescue its crippled economy. While delivering his worrying assessment, after the parliament in Athens passed a vote of confidence in prime minister George Papandreou's reshuffled government, he also Greece may need four bailouts to rescue its crippled economy, the 57-year-old believes.

While Obama Dithers, Iran and Hezbollah Mobilize to Help Assad

While the Obama administration continues to do nothing about the ongoing violence in Syria, the Assad regime's allies in Iran and Lebanon are not sitting around waiting to see whether the dictator will fall. The stakes
involved in the outcome of the struggle in Syria are enormous. But Obama
is still too obsessed with engaging with Islamists rather than confronting them to act decisively as did his predecessor. The result of this American dithering has been an opening for Iran to preserve its regional empire. thread/?artnum=622692

Greek crisis could cost UK £336bn: British exposure 'significantly underestimated'

Britain could be hit with losses of up to £366billion from the collapse of the Greek economy, it has emerged. The warnings came as the Greek government last night won a vote of confidence in the Athens Parliament, clearing the way for a second bailout to go ahead. The crunch will come next week when the Greeks vote on a £25billion austerity package demanded by the EU before they hand over any more cash. The potential devastation of banks and other City institutions would be equal to 24 per cent of our annual national output, or £14,640 for every family

At 43%...

...The daily Gallup Presidential approval poll is the lowest since April 28, and only two percentage points above its all time low

China's money-market rate...

....climbed to the highest level in more than three years on speculation a cash crunch will worsen as banks seek to meet capital requirements by quarter-end.

The seven-day repurchase rate, which measures interbank funding availability, more than doubled in the past six days since the People's Bank of China ordered lenders to set aside more money as reserves for a sixth time this year. A total of372 billion Yuan ($57.5
billion) of central bank bills and repurchase agreements will mature
next month, compared with 601 billion Yuan in June, according to China Merchants Bank Co.

"Banks have to hoard cash to meet the regulator's capital or loan-to-deposit requirements by the end of every quarter,"said Liu Junyu, a bond analyst at China Merchants, the nation's sixth-largest lender. "So we won't see the shortage easing."

Reuters reports that Airbus...

....could see 1,000 A320 New orders by the end of the Airshow -
significant upside to market expectations

Obama vs. ATMs: Why Technology doesn't destroy jobs

Libya status according to Debka (always interesting, sometimes correct)

DEBKAfile, Political Analysis, Espionage, Terrorism, Security

German Chancellor Merkel said...

...the EU summit will not make final decisions on Greece, adding that she wants voluntary, substantial, and quantifiable contribution from private sector. Merkel added that it is not possible to demand private sector contribution if the ECB is not in agreement on the method. Merkel also said that she can only warn against a disorderly default, and a Greek haircut could force countries under the EFSF that currently have no problems. Merkel commented that the ECB decided on a voluntary basis to buy Eurozone periphery bonds, and the German government did not in any way forced the ECB to buy peripheral bonds. (RTRS

A German government...

...source said that the finance ministry will hold talks today on working group level with banks and insurers over private creditor contributions for Greece


Resumes Daytime Airstrikes in Libya as Italy Calls for Halt in Fighting

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ethanol losing influence in Congress

POLITICO (@politico)
6/21/11 9:26 PM

Ethanol losing influence in Congress:


John Nolte (@NolteNC)
6/21/11 10:02 PM
Obama doesn't need to give primetime speech to explain Afghan drawdown. Explaining why we're in Libya would be appreciated, however.

Finding Out What's In It

Big Name Hedge Funds Brace for a Rough Ride

Hedge fund managers are preparing to enter the second half of the year with plenty to be bearish about – and not much, it seems, to make money from. The FT reports.

Full Story: Article: Greek PM Wins Crucial Vote, But Outlook Remains Dire

Greece's parliament gave Prime Minister Papandreou a midnight vote of confidence, but the move doesn't mean Greece will ultimately go along with the austerity plan, or even avoid default.

Obamacare’s Platonic Guardians (

I feel pity for Weiner's staff...

Also the people who work for him


...are asking for more of their money back from hedge funds in June than
in any other month in 2011, data showed on Monday, as fund returns hit
by May's commodity rout shake client confidence, reports Reuters. The
GlobeOp Forward Redemption Indicator - a monthly snapshot of clients giving advance notice they want their money back as a percentage of GlobeOp's assets under administration - rose to 4.01% from 3.92% in May. This represents the biggest month of withdrawal requests since December

Fitch Official

If US does not meet Aug 15th coupon payment, sovereign rating will be moved to "Restricted Default" and the US would be unlikely to regain AAA rating after a restrictive default. However, does expect the US Debt ceiling to be raised on time and default to be avoided


...the world's fastest growing market for luxury goods, is expected to reduce or scrap taxes on imported high-end products to boost domestic consumption, state media reported on Monday

How much inflation is made in China? (BAML)

We spotted the following article on page A1 of today's Wall Street Journal, "Change In China Hits US Purse." The Journal is reporting that prices of imported goods are climbing, becoming a source of inflationary pressure. In particular the Journal notes that rising import prices will becoming a bigger presence in US inflationary trends as Chinese workers and others in emerging markets win higher wages and also become eager domestic consumers. There is little doubt that the inflation picture is changing in China, but how big is this story for inflation in the
developed world? We will kill the suspense up front: in all likelihood the impact on inflation in the developed world is small.

Chinese labor costs are a relatively small part of US retail prices. If the assembly cost rises 20%, and all of the cost increase is passed through, the retail price would rise only 0.2%. Of course, there may be other indirect Chinese labor costs: some of the components made by foreign companies or that are not assigned to a specific company may come from China. Overall, rising inflation is an important concern in emerging markets. And emerging markets are affecting headline inflation in the developed world through oil and other commodities. However, the pass through of rising core and wage inflation in the emerging markets is likely to have a small impact on developed world inflation

Good news: Data not getting any worse

After weakening dramatically in recent weeks, data in the past week stabilized, with a roughly equal mix of negative and positive surprises. The positive data-points included manufacturing production, retail sales, and jobless claims. The negative side of the ledger was punctuated with sharp weakness in both the New York and Philadelphia Fed
regional manufacturing indicators. Since these are sentiment indicators, it is difficult to know whether the indicators are telling us what will happen or what already has happened. The bottom-line is that this week's data-flow indicates that while the soft patch is far from over, it is at least not getting worse --BAML

The NYT will undoubtedly...

...Be more friendly/sympathetic to the Huntsman candidacy noting his nuance and maturity compared to all the other GOP candidates.

And if he wins the nomination, they will endorse the other guy in the general election

Fitch says...

...US money fund exposure to Euro banks remains significant

Huntsman... warn of 'un-American' future in speech announcing his candidacy

New York Times...

...Calls Ruth Bader Ginsburg A 'Moderate'. Funny, on my planet she is reliable a Liberal Judge as they come


...Had to pay 4.62% annualized to borrow money for 13 weeks today

The US currently has to pay .0005%

Monday, June 20, 2011

Inflation: What’s the Worry?

S&P Reconfirms...

...Greek Debt Restructuring Likely a Default; Forget About "Voluntary Restructuring"

Kudlow: The Wal-Mart Effect

Article: Obama Skips Conference Where He Vowed Immigration Reform in ’0

John Boehner on Boeing

The Supreme Court...

....blocked a federal lawsuit Monday by states and conservation groups trying to force cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The court said that the authority to seek reductions in emissions rests with the Environmental Protection Agency, not the courts. The ruling was 8-0. EPA says it will decide by next year whether to order utilities to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas

Shut Up, He Explained

By Mark Steyn

Daniel, re Lindsey Graham's suggestion that everyone should just "shut up" about the Libyan Non-War, you'll recall that the last time the Senator attracted any attention in these parts he was also telling everyone to shut up - this time about Islam. Maybe it would be easier if
he just issued the rest of us with an approved list of conversational topics.

Alternatively, here's a suggestion for Senator Graham: Why don't you shut up? Not permanently, but just long enough to:

a) reflect whether this apparently reflexive response of yours is really
appropriate for a citizen-legislator in a self-governing republic;

b) articulate a rationale for the Libyan mission that would be so persuasive it would save you the trouble of making a fool of yourself by insisting that those who have the temerity to disagree with you are beyond the bounds of public discourse;

and c) spend ten minutes in a darkened room with a nice cup of herbal tea and ponder, re your assertion that those who won't "shut up" are "empowering Qaddafi", whether that line has any credibility coming from a member of the Congressional jet set who only two years ago was "empowering Qaddafi" by taking tea in the pock-marked transvestite's tent as part of some greasy little Senatorial outreach mission.

It was striking that, at Monday's debate, even the more hawkish candidates were unable to articulate a rationale for the present Afghan mission. It's hard to win a war when you don't have war aims, and, as I wrote in National Review a couple of weeks back, America has gotten into the habit of unwon wars - in part because a buffoon like Graham and his dictatorial air miles are what passes for geostrategic "expertise" in

The Supreme Court...

....put the brakes on a massive job discrimination lawsuit against mega-retailer. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., saying sweeping class-action status that could potentially involve hundreds of thousands of current and former female workers was simply too large.

At 47% today...

...The daily Rasmussen Presidential approval poll has been at that level or lower for 9 straight days for the first time since April 3

Aside from the FOMC meeting on Wednesday...

....the main event will be the release of durable goods orders on Friday, which will allow us to get a better sense of how broad-based the manufacturing slowdown is. Investors are preoccupied with whether the slowdown is due to supplier disruptions from the Japan earthquake or if it is much broader-based. Our forecast assumes a bounceback from last month's weak report. The key measure in this report - "core" orders - is expected to rise roughly 1.5%, leaving us on track for 7.5% capex growth. This week's housing data - new and existing home sales - will continue to reflect the depressed housing market ---BAML


"EU's Juncker says doesn't believe Italy is in danger. Translation: Italy is in danger"

Tyler Cowen

"If Greek problem is fundamentally one of contagion, why not announce a deal for the next country in line?"


World crude steel production 130mln tons in May, up 4.2% vs. May, 2010-world steel association

A dollar... 2011 only buys what 77 cents did in 2000

Borowitz Report

This day in 2020: Parents complain their kids no longer have the attention span for Twitter

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Please make this guy go away

He is the dumbest intellectual that I know of

Fareed Zakaria: Let’s use Facebook and Twitter to create a 21st century Constitution

One of President Barack Obama’s most scrutinized statements prior to the 2008 election was one in which he concluded that the U.S. Constitution was a flawed document since it was “a charter of negative liberties.” But according to CNN host and Time magazine’s Fareed Zakaria, the president might have been on to something.
On his Sunday “Fareed Zakaria GPS” program, Zakaria explained how the island nation of Iceland is scrapping its entire longstanding constitution and is starting from scratch, even accepting suggestions from its citizens via social media.

Read more:

Bachmann generates buzz; Perry fails big expectations

The expected emergence of Texas Gov. Rick Perry as the clear challenger to presidential nomination front-runner Mitt Romney never materialized at the annual Republican Leadership Conference here over the weekend. Mr. Perry underperformed, Jon Huntsman Jr. backed out, Newt Gingrich made a comeback, Michele Bachmann came off like a rock star, Herman Cain got considerable love from the audience, Rick Santorum received quiet attentiveness, and Ron Paul’s supporters alienated party regulars as always

IT'S OFFICIAL: Still No Deal On Aid For Greece

There's an AFP report (via Mish) that's rather cryptic, but it basically says that a compromise between Germany and the ECB was currently off the table. We're not sure what to make of it. It's just out there.
Then there's a Bloomberg story saying that the next slug of cash to Greece may only be half as big as previously planned, with the goal that the country avoids an imminent default, with the rest of the cash coming when actual spending cuts are passed.

Read more:

Cost of metals used in hi-tech devices soars as China limits supplies

The price of rare earth metals, used in items raging from computer hard drives and wind turbines to plasma televisions and smartphones, has more than doubled to record levels in the past two weeks, after a clampdown on illegal mining by China, the world's dominant producer of such elements.
The increases have fuelled concern that the world is hurtling towards a chronic shortage of rare earth metals, which could put everyday products out of the reach of large parts of the global population.

Corn Stocks Plunging... China Adds Brazil-Sized Crop to Demand

Japan May export drop...

... stirs worry on overseas demand

After Dumping 30% Of Its Treasury Holdings...

...In Half A Year, Russia Warns It Will Continue Selling US Debt

European governments...

... failed to agree on releasing a loan payment to spare Greece from default, ramping up pressure on Prime Minister George Papandreou to first deliver budget cuts in the face of domestic opposition.

China’s stocks fell...

...dragging the benchmark index to the lowest in almost nine months, after Credit Suisse Group AG said the country is heading for a “sluggish landing” as economic growth slows and bank risks rise

China’s effort... cool home prices is damping the market for existing homes, with prices in May falling from the previous month in 23 of 70 cities measured.

Euro Declines on Greece Concerns

The euro fell against the dollar for the first time in three days as calls for new elections in Greece dimmed prospects for austerity measures and an aid package to prevent the currency union’s first default

Spain: Madrid 'Euro-pact' protesters take to streets

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Madrid and other Spanish cities in a mass march against austerity measures, social spending cuts and unemployment

Why Europe no longer matters

When Defense Secretary Robert Gates devoted his final policy speech this month to berating NATO and our European allies, he was engaging in a time-honored tradition: Americans have worried about Europeans shirking their share of global burdens since the start of the 60-year-old alliance.
Gates sounded a pessimistic note, warning of “the real possibility for a dim if not dismal future for the transatlantic alliance.” Yet, the outgoing Pentagon chief may not have been pessimistic enough. The U.S.-European partnership that proved so central to managing and winning the Cold War will inevitably play a far diminished role in the years to come. To some extent, we’re already there: If NATO didn’t exist today, would anyone feel compelled to create it? The honest, if awkward, answer is no.

Tens of thousands protest against cuts in Madrid

MADRID (AFP) – Tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Madrid Sunday blaming bankers and politicians for causing a financial crisis that forced the country to adopt painful spending cuts. Demonstrators of all ages linked to a protest movement called the "indignants" assembled early Sunday in several neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Madrid.

Der Spiegel Claims...

...Merkel-Sarkozy Agreement Has Collapsed

Europe May Withhold...

...Half Of €12 Billion Greek Aid As No Emergency Meeting Decision Reached

Bank of England

From Hedge Analyst-->

Bank of England policymakers will spell out the risks to financial stability from the deepening crisis in Greece, as analysts warn that a default could send shockwaves through the world's financial system.

Fears are growing that Athens could be forced to renege on its debts as the government faces a confidence vote over its austerity measures tomorrow. The Bank's new financial policy committee (FPC) will make its first public pronouncements on threats to the banking system on Friday, and is expected to put the possibility of a sovereign debt crisis high on its list. Michael Cohrs, the former Deutsche Bank boss who sits on the FPC, has already made clear that the biggest threat to stability is "sovereign risk".

He told MPs what "keeps me awake at night" is the interconnectedness of the system, which could create ripple effects through financial markets. He said financial regulators should check banks' exposures to the debts of vulnerable countries.

"Central bankers are paid to worry about these things," said Peter Dixon, UK economist at Deutsche Bank. "I don't think Greece itself is a first-order concern: it's the second-round effects which are more of a worry."

Steven Major, global head of fixed income research at HSBC, warned that events in Greece could have far-reaching consequences if they are not controlled. "It matters to the UK economy," he said. This is because a default by Greece or a renegotiation of a bailout could be taken as a signal by the Irish and Portuguese governments to alter their own bailout terms: "This is why it starts to matter. The UK has very little exposure to Greece, tiny exposure to its bonds and the inter-bank market. But the UK has much larger exposure to Ireland and Spain." He added that some speculators were hoping to profit from a default.

The Treasury select committee will this week be scrutinising the accountability of the Bank of England as it takes on new powers. The FPC is a central plank of George Osborne's new approach to regulating the financial markets, but does not yet have any formal powers to control risk in the financial system.

Danny Gabay of City consultancy Fathom said the major concern for central bankers if the chaos in the eurozone deepens is banks' indirect exposure to it through complex financial products such as credit default swaps.

"We have absolutely no idea where this is going to end until somebody pulls the plug," he said. "I don't know what the FPC can possibly do about this: there are no levers we can pull except 'sell, sell, sell', but who's going to buy?"

Eurozone finance ministers will meet in the coming week to try to finalise details of the latest rescue plan for Greece, after Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French president Nicolas Sarkozy announced that they had agreed the principles on which a new bailout would be drawn up

Tom Friedman’s Lemonade Stand

Tom Friedman’s New York Times columns on the Middle East conflict are always a maddening mixture of sense and cluelessness. Today’s contribution from the Pulitzer Prize winner is no exception.


After 28 Months of Stimulus Spending...

...1.9 Million Fewer People Have Jobs

Why Germany must exit the euro (

UK Banks Abandon Eurozone

UK Banks Abandon Eurozone; Greek PM Seeks Constitutional Changes; Trichet Blames Everyone but Europe for Global Imbalances; Credit Crunch Coming Up?

At 47%....

...the daily Rasmussen Presidential approval rating has been 47% or under for 8 straight days for the first time since April 4

Saturday, June 18, 2011

War Powers

President Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations.

Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon general counsel, and Caroline D. Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, had told the White House that they believed that the United States military's activities in the NATO-led air war amounted to "hostilities." Under the War Powers Resolution, that would have required Mr. Obama to terminate or scale back the mission after May 20.

But Mr. Obama decided instead to adopt the legal analysis of several other senior members of his legal team - including the White House counsel, Robert Bauer, and the State Department legal adviser, Harold H. Koh - who argued that the United States military's activities fell short of "hostilities." Under that view, Mr. Obama needed no permission from Congress to continue the mission unchanged

"We are playing with the fire"...

...says Eurozone chief, warning of contagion from Greek debt crisis

At 45%...

...The daily Rasmussen Presidential approval poll is 46% or lower for 3 straight days for the first time since April 27 (Before Bin Laden liquidation)

Sen. Hoeven on trade

With a 9.1% unemployment rate, and a spiraling deficit, the President can no longer hold trade agreements back

‘Deeply Troubling’

Congresswoman Says Russian-French Warship Deal Is A Threat to U.S. Security

Afghanistan's president...

...says his country and the U.S. are in peace talks with the Taliban

Friday, June 17, 2011

Reid says...

...on PBS that Biden group should aim to reduce debt between $2.5 trillion and $3 trillion

House Dem...

...Calls for 'Analysis of How Christian Militants...Might Bring Down the Country'

Is The Highest Equity Put-To-Call Ratio Since S&P 666...

...An Indication Of A Market Bottom?

Goldman Sachs ...

...cuts their 2Q GDP forecast to 2 percent from 3 percent

Record Asian order dominates Paris air fest

PARIS/ATLANTA (Reuters) - A record 200-plane order from Asia's largest budget carrier looks set to dominate a jackpot of deals at next week's Paris Air Show in clear evidence of a multi-speed recovery shaping global industry, sources said.

While Western powers display military hardware that their armies can no longer guarantee to buy, all eyes at the world's largest air show will be on civil demand from growth-hungry Asia which has supplanted North America as the busiest travel market.

The roughly $17 billion deal from Malaysia's AirAsia (AIRA.KL) for revamped Airbus (EAD.PA) A320 jets is seen as the centerpiece of an industry show once again buzzing with orders.

"With the global economy, you're seeing some soft spots but yet you're also seeing some acceleration in some parts of the world. We are seeing a lot from Asia-Pacific and the developing economies," said Gleacher & Co analyst Peter Arment.

Sources close to the deal, which is still being finalized, said AirAsia was expected to beat a record for the largest number of planes sold in one contract, even before a recent 180-plane order from India's IndiGo is formally signed.

The deal will also be a boost for French-U.S. engine venture CFM International, owned by GE (GE.N) and Safran (SAF.PA), which is scrambling to catch up with rival Pratt & Whitney (UTX.N)

Federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan... signed Justice Dept petition dropping all pending charges against Usama Bin Laden

Krauthammer Today

The union-owned Democrats

Obama's War in Libya (

Obama's War in Libya

Weiner’s woes

Weiner's woes: No skillz to pay the billz

War on Drugs

Thanks to War on Drugs, U.S. is World's #1 Jailer

Greek Math (

Greek Math: €12 Billion In, €18.2 Billion Out... And That's IF The Impossible Happens

At 46%...

The daily Rasmussen Presidential Approval measure has been 47% or lower for 6 days in a row for the first time since April 13

Rick Perry: Why He’s Not the Man to Save the GOP

Article--> here

It has been 40 years...

...since President Nixon began the War on Drugs and it still costs us billions of dollars every year.

European policy makers...

...are on a collision course with the bond market as they seek to resolve the Greek debt crisis without triggering payouts under credit- default swap insurance contracts.

European Central Bank chiefs are determined to ensure any Greek debt restructuring won't be deemed a credit event enabling buyers of protection to seek compensation from swaps sellers. It costs $2 million annually to insure against Greek default for five years, with Portuguese and Irish swaps also seeing all-time high prices.

A debt restructuring that doesn't trigger swaps would be more damaging to the market as it would devalue contracts, according to analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Such a move would leave banks with unprotected, or unhedged, holdings, forcing them to sell bonds and ultimately drive sovereign borrowing costs higher.


...Heads for Biggest Weekly Decline in Six on Concern Over European Debt

Merkel Agrees to Voluntary Greece

Bondholder Role Chancellor Angela Merkel retreated from German demands that bondholders be forced to shoulder a "substantial" share of a Greek rescue, saying she'll work with the European Central Bank to avoid disrupting

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chris Matthews analogy

Weiner press conference like Saddam Hussein hanging

New Jersey union executive...

...says NJ Governor Chris Christie is Hitler


Daily Gallup Presidential Approval Poll...

...Has been 47% or lower for 7 consecutive days for the first time since May 3

IMF's Zhu....

...said the IMF is very concerned by Greece, and the situation has changed dramatically in the last 24 hours. However, EU's Rehn said he is
confident that Greece will get the next tranche in July, and will be able to avoid a default

Europe Faces 'Lehman Moment' in Greece

Europe Faces 'Lehman Moment' in Greece

The European Union's failure to contain the Greek debt crisis is sending fresh shockwaves through currencies, money markets, equities and derivatives.

The euro lost more than 2 percent against the dollar in the past two days and the cost of protecting corporate bonds soared to the highest level since January, with credit-default swaps anticipating about a 78 percent chance that Greece won't pay its debts. Equities declined around the world, while a measure of fear in fixed-income markets jumped the
most since November.


Russia, China warn West against Arab interference

Russia and China oppose outside interference in the unrest in the Arab
world, the two presidents said on Thursday in a declaration, as the West
seeks their support for increasing pressure on Syria.


At 45%...

...The daily Rasmussen Presidential approval measure is the lowest in over 2 months

Philly Fed...

...Weakest since July 2009

Building permits...

...climb 8.7% in May to the highest rate since December


...the largest foreign owner of U.S. government debt, added to its holdings for the first time in six months in April as economic data weakened and the Federal Reserve signaled no extension of its $600 billion purchase plan.

The Communist nation's holdings of longer-term notes and bonds rose 0.8 percent to a record $1.149 trillion in April, surpassing the $1.145 trillion held in December, U.S. Treasury data released yesterday show. Holdings of short-term bills maturing in one year or less declined by 32 percent to $3.9 billion, the least since April 2004, the data show

Housing starts... the U.S. increased more than forecast in May, led by a jump in the West as other parts of the country languished.

Work began on 560,000 houses at an annual pace, up 3.5 percent from the prior month and exceeding the 545,000 median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Building permits, a sign of future construction, also increased.

Jobless claims declined by 16,000 to 414,000 in the week ended June 11, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected 420,000 filings, according to the median forecast. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those receiving extended payments decreased.

The Labor Department revised the prior week's figure to 430,000 from the 427,000 initially reported.

US 10 year yield...

...Down to 2.93%

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pretty awesome for a non-war

Series of loud explosions heard from Tripoli compound of Libyan leader Gaddafi, smoke seen rising

$5.5 billion...

...outflow from domestic mutual funds in week ended June 8

Article: What Happened to Recovery Summer?

Article: Libya, War Powers, and Hawkish Conservatives

Article: Obama’s Spineless Libyan War Powers Evasion

The Gulf...

...Between President Obama's ambition and ability seems more obvious today than three years ago

Article: An Inaugural Fail

Article: What Now in Libya?