Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sing for Absolution

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Harold Pinter Nobel Prize Speech 2005. Art, Truth, Politics

Check out this video: Harold Pinter Nobel Prize Speech 2005. Art, Truth, Politics.

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Nobel Lecture

"When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimetre and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.
I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.
If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us the dignity of man."
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Friday, March 21, 2008

Familles espagnoles endettées à vie

Familles espagnoles endettées à vie
Video sent by FRANCE_24

REPORTAGE: L'essor économique s'est appuyé sur les emprunts à très long terme. Aujourd'hui, la crise du crédit se répercute sur le marché immobilier. (Reportage : A.Percept)

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Crise américaine : dernière marche avant nationalisation des banques

Source: Marianne

'Va-t-on vers une crise « à la 1929 ? » Tous les ingrédients sont réunis pour qu'on aille vers une catastrophe, sauf un : notre connaissance précisément de la Crise de 29. Il se trouve que Ben Bernanke, patron de la Fed, est précisément un spécialiste de la Crise de 29 ! Il veut donc à tout prix éviter ce qui s'est produit en 29, une crise de la liquidité, un « credit crunch » un resserrement du crédit terrible du fait même de celles qui avaient provoqué la crise, les banques. En 29, les banques prêtent à tire larigot pour drainer tout le monde vers la Bourse qui monte, monte. Quand celle-ci s'effondre, elles gardent toute leur liquidité, et l'économie mondiale s'effondre. Hitler, la guerre, et ça repart. Aujourd'hui Bernanke « balance de la liquidité », passez moi l'expression, à tire-larigot. Il a déjà mis sur le marché monétaire la moitié du stock de la Federal Reserve (400 milliards de dollars). Trichet n'est pas en reste. Hélas, les banques gardent tout. Elles stockent. 

Pourquoi ne pas faire le cadeau que l'on fait aux banques aux ménages ? Pourquoi faut-il toujours financer les entités cupides qui ont provoqué la crise ? Vaste question. Pourquoi prête-t-on aux riches, sachant que les riches (en l'occurrence les banques, gavées de profits depuis 30 ans) sont en train de tuer l'économie mondiale par du crédit risqué ? Pour deux raisons : 1) difficile de ne pas céder au chantage des banques : si vous nous faites couler, vous coulez avec nous. Si nous faisons faillite, vous aussi. 2) On préfère a priori prêter aux riches... '

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What Goes Up,...

Source: Kitco

"...Now, for the psychology of the event that will now be recorded as the most significant loss in gold since May of 2006, and, in fact, according to Bloomberg - the $59 decline the metal experienced today will be chalked up as its worst ever. Make no mistake, the Dow was not any better off today either, as a 300-point drop almost wiped out the post bailout/Fed euphoria from the other day. Stock traders have a new scapegoat this time: commodity-related issues. They dragged the index down brutally and have given rise to fears of further margin calls. Nothing much was spared today. Perhaps cash..."

"Bank Credit Analyst was quoted as being of the opinion that:, "gold now appears overbought and our commodity & energy strategy service warns that the rally is in a late stage. Thus, we are not making a bold new target at this point. Instead, we will look to take profits on our long/overweight positions in the coming weeks".

Also looking ahead, analysts at Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets point to "the risk that without any follow-on physical demand for gold, particularly out of India, the Far East and the Middle East (which in aggregate account for ~70% of annual physical demand for gold), significant physical selling could occur, as was observed in mid-2006".

There, investors will no doubt recall, gold bullion spiked to $735 an ounce and then sold-off to $550 an ounce. The analysts believe that a similar correction could see the gold price retrace back to the mid-$800 an ounce level during the seasonall weaker demand northern hemisphere summer months."

"...Repair work would have to begin almost immediately here and thus far there does not appear to be much in the way of bullish news out there save for a small ($3 billion) hiccup over at Merrill. If there is some good news in all of this, it may be that Indian demand may finally break out of its freeze and start mopping up some metal finally. We cannot count on it, but it would surely be welcome."

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Beware The Parabolic Rise



It would be irresponsible to make any forecast given that this would be tantamount to crystal ball gazing. However, there is a technical argument which can be put forward to support the following possible conclusions:

1. Short term rates spike downwards one last time as the Federal Reserve moves to use up the last silver bullet in it arsenal of weapons.

2. This downward spike could be short lived, and a credit crunch might manifest despite the Fed’s efforts. The market might take a “stuff-you” attitude (or panic), and short dated yields might spike upwards very soon thereafter.

3. 1 and 2 above could cause the parabolic trends of the ratios in the first three charts to collapse – which would be consistent with historical experience of parabolic rises within biological systems.

4. Velocity of money would contract savagely if a credit crunch manifested that was beyond the Fed’s ability to control.

5. This would cause the US economy to tank – thereby causing mayhem in international markets

6. The Dow Jones Industrials Index would break below the support of line A-B and might stop anywhere between 8000 and 4000.

7. The parabolic trends of the commodities charts might collapse as the wheels come off the world economy and the debt mountains implode..."

"...1-7 above are the risks being faced by those participating in the world economy because of the aspirations of a few testosterone addled, egomaniacal, power hungry individuals who moved to circumvent the United States Constitution in 1913 and to establish the US Federal Reserve System..."

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gold Stock Scenarios


"Mar 11, 2008

We have two potential scenarios in mind for the gold sector, the first of which can aptly be labeled "the 1973 model" because it involves the financial markets behaving in a similar fashion to the way they behaved during 1973. To help explain this scenario we've re-produced, below, two charts originally included [in] earlier commentaries.

The first chart compares the 1973 performances of the Dow Industrials Index and the Barrons Gold Mining Index (BGMI). The key points, here, are:

1. The BGMI was inversely correlated with the Dow during 1973 (and, by the way, for much of the 1970s).

2. The BGMI was strong from the day of the initial panic low in the broad stock market in May of 1973 (the day when the number of new lows on the NYSE exceeded 1100) until just before the Dow completed its final successful test of the panic low. The BGMI then 'corrected' for about two months while the Dow rallied.

3. When the Dow's counter-trend rebound came to an end, the BGMI's bull market resumed..."

"...The second of the two scenarios we have in mind involves the gold sector rocketing upward over the next several weeks and reaching an intermediate-term peak during April or May..."

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Liquidity Traps: Myth And Reality

Source: Mish's Global Economic Analysis

"...Milton Friedman On Liquidity Traps

Indeed the current setup is essentially the liquidity trap that Japan fell into. Wikipedia has this (and much more) to say about Liquidity Traps.

'In monetary economics, a liquidity trap occurs when the economy is stagnant, the nominal interest rate is close or equal to zero, and the monetary authority is unable to stimulate the economy with traditional monetary policy tools. In this kind of situation, people do not expect high returns on physical or financial investments, so they keep assets in short-term cash bank accounts or hoards rather than making long-term investments. This makes the recession even more severe, and can contribute to deflation.

Milton Friedman suggested that a monetary authority can escape a liquidity trap by bypassing financial intermediaries to give money directly to consumers or businesses. This is referred to as a money gift or as helicopter money (this latter phrase is meant to call forth the image of a central banker hovering in a helicopter, dropping suitcases full of money to individuals).

American economist Paul Krugman suggests that what was needed was a central bank commitment to steady positive monetary growth, which would encourage inflationary expectations and lower expected real interest rates, which would stimulate spending.'

Friedman Is Wrong

Milton Friedman is wrong and Japan proved it. Japan's national debt went from nowhere to 150% of GDP and they are still battling the aftermath of deflation for 18 years or more.

Artificially stimulating the economy eventually causes all sorts of problems..."

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A financial crisis unmatched since the Great Depression, say analysts

Source: The Gardian

"A century after John Pierpont Morgan rescued the New York stockmarket from a 50% sell off in share prices, his blue-blooded Wall Street bank was yesterday once again at the heart of attempts to contain the deepening global financial crisis.

In an echo of the "bankers' panic" of 1907, JP Morgan responded to what is being billed as a meltdown of historic proportions by agreeing to buy its stricken rival, Bear Stearns.

The length and severity of the crisis that broke over global markets last summer has had analysts delving into their history books. George Soros, who was largely responsible for Black Wednesday, the last bout of serious financial turmoil to afflict the UK, believes there has been nothing to match the events of the past nine months since the Great Depression.

Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Fed and the man blamed by many for setting off the boom-bust in the US housing market, agrees with the man who broke the Bank of England. Writing in the Financial Times yesterday, Greenspan said: "The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged as the most wrenching since the end of the second world war."

The first 25 years after the war were relatively trouble free. Britain had devalued the pound in 1949 and 1967, but the first real systemic threat to the financial system arrived in 1973 with the secondary banking crisis that affected the "fringe banks" that had provided money to speculators during the property boom. When the crash came, the Bank of England launched a "lifeboat" to prevent the crisis spreading..."

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The collapse of Bear Stearns and the UK economy

Source: Money Week

"In fact, the pound even fell against the dollar, unlike almost every other major currency. The horrible reality is that the markets think that the UK is in almost as much trouble as the US…"

"The Dow Jones actually managed to end higher yesterday, up 20-odd points by the close, as traders gradually calmed down after no other banks went to the wall. Fear had centred on Lehman Brothers, which has a similar business model to Bear Stearns, but it seems that Wall Street rallied round the group to avoid a run on the bank igniting – for now at least.

Of course, it’s saying something when you can argue that Lehman investors might have been relieved that the company’s stock ‘only’ closed down by around 20%. Other financials such as Man Group spin-off MF Global dived by more than 50%, on little more than fear and rumour. But the real carnage was happening this side of the Atlantic, here in the UK.

Which UK banks are the biggest cause for concern?

British banks took a pounding once again, with HBOS, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, the top faller, down 13%. As Alex Potter of Collins Stewart told The Telegraph: “If people can pull liquidity out of Bear [Stearns] at the rate they did, all bets are off on the rest of the banking sector.” The main reason people are worried about HBOS in particular is that it has the highest ratio of money raised from wholesale markets, compared to customer deposits, at 177%, according to The Telegraph.

That still compares very favourably to Northern Rock, which was on 345%. But HBOS also has £7.1bn of exposure to Alt-A mortgages in the US, which are just above sub-prime. If the US property market continues to weaken – as seems very likely – those assets are vulnerable to some nasty potential write-downs.

But HBOS is far from being the only bank that investors are worried about. It wasn’t thought to be among the desperate lenders clamouring for money from the Bank of England yesterday, for one thing. The Bank of England auctioned off £5bn of short-term loans at 5.25% yesterday, but banks requested almost five times that amount, £23.6bn. The move came as the inter-bank lending rate spiked up to 5.59%, in the largest rise in three months.

Incidentally, if you’re worried that the bank you hold an account with could be at risk, you can read James Ferguson’s article on where the safest places to park your savings are here: How to spot the riskiest banks...."

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

'Baghdad Cafe'

Πηγή: Το Βήμα

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Friday, March 14, 2008

3/1 CNN Your Money: Talks of Great Depression Coming

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Cassez vos télévisions

Cassez vos télévisions
Video sent by robertofiorini

Cassez vos télévisions !!!

Tout est dit dans la vidéo : la manipulation des ames par les médias et l'opium des peuples via des divertissements abrutissants !!!

Lisez, écoutez les gens dans la rue, même la radio, mais cassez vos télévisions !!!

Et maintenant, complices du pouvoir. Apprenez à vous forger votre avis en regardant autour de vous !

Sur une musique du groupe de Rock Identitaire Francais (RIF) Ile de France : "Cassez vos télévisions "

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Despite the Federal Reserve's efforts Wall Street fears a big US bank is in trouble

Source: Times Online

"Global stock markets may have cheered the US Federal Reserve yesterday, but on Wall Street the Fed's unprecedented move to pump $280 billion (£140 billion) into global markets was seen as a sure sign that at least one financial institution was struggling to survive.

The name on most people's lips was Bear Stearns. Although the Fed billed the co-ordinated rescue as a way of improving liquidity across financial markets, economists and analysts said that the decision appeared to be driven by an urgent need to stave off the collapse of an American bank.

“The only reason the Fed would do this is if they knew one or more of their primary dealers actually wasn't flush with cash and needed funds in a hurry,” Simon Maughan, an analyst with MF Global in London, said..."

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Quo Vadis, Part II

Source: Kitco

"Overnight conditions in the gold market remained buoyant, with the metal being able to maintain above $990 per ounce although a few signs of potential slippage were seen in the small declines in oil and mild rise in the dollar. Equities fell in Japan, the Nikkei losing nearly 200 points as worries of a strong yen impacting the country's exporters manifested themselves once again. Speculation about possible government intervention in the currency markets is becoming the topic du jour in trading rooms across Japan and Europe. The dollar was indicated at 72.12 on the index and oil just under $110 per barrel..."

"...The credit problem continues to be prime driver of the flight to safety and of the speculative mania exhibited by funds. The latter has pushed various commodity markets into states of distress. It has been at the center of the latest vertical line on the gold charts. We asked the question yesterday as to where we are going next. We received e-mails exclaiming: $2,000! Let's see what some long-time market observers have to say. Our good friend, Paul Walker from the GFMS research firm in London, was recently quoted as saying:

"Tell me when all the bad U.S. news is going to be out of the market and I'll tell you when the turning point for gold is coming," said Paul Walker, chief executive of London-based GFMS. "It's very difficult to know..."

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$1000 Falls. Quo Vadis?

Source: Kitco

"The countdown to $1,000 gold finally ran out at 10:35 am New York time today as spot bullion reached a historic high of $1,000.25 bid amid the global market conditions that had emerged overnight. The final push to the peak came on the heels of a slump in US retail sales and following a lack of reassuring words or offer of aggressive remedies for the credit black hole by the Mr. Paulson this morning. This was an achievement of a lofty objective, as well as a long-standing one. Very long.

Gold prices appeared to be all primed to finally achieve the $1K mark as early as last night, when background market conditions shifted from bad to worse overnight. Today's spike will likely become known as the "Carlyle/Drake Rally" (or cave-in, depending on your preference). The imminent doom of the Washington-based bond fund and probable demise of the hedge fund sent icy shivers through the financial markets that way overshadowed the (nanosecond-brief) cheer we witnessed following the Fed's term facility plan the other day..."

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Why $1,000 an ounce isn’t the peak for gold

Source: Money Week

"It was a bit of record-breaking day yesterday.

Gold touched $1,000 an ounce, a nominal (excluding inflation, in other words) record. Crude oil hit $111 a barrel, a record even if you do adjust for inflation.

Why the ongoing surge in key commodity prices? Well, it’s down to the dollar, which also broke a series of records, though on the way down, rather than the way up.

The US currency hit a record low of more than $1.56 against the euro; it also nearly hit $1 to a Swiss franc (a classic safe haven currency) for the first time in history, according to The Telegraph. Meanwhile, it fell below 100 yen for the first time in 12 years.

So why the collapse – and what’s next? ..."

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Carlyle Capital in default, on brink of collapse

Source: The Gardian

"Reuters, Thursday March 13 2008

By Reed Stevenson

AMSTERDAM, March 13 (Reuters) - Carlyle Capital Corp, an affiliate of private equity firm Carlyle Group, is in default on about $16.6 billion of debt and said its lenders would likely take possession of its remaining assets.

The news provided a new sign of stress in global credit markets and affected asset prices and sentiment worldwide.

Bund futures in Europe, where Carlyle Capital shares are listed in Amsterdam, rose back to levels they traded at before the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks coordinated on Tuesday to inject liquidity into credit markets.

"The credit angst is back," said Tim Condon, head of Asia research with investment bank ING..."

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Monday, March 10, 2008

The age of triple-digit oil is here to stay

Money Week

"...In 2007 the oil price went up by more than 50%... it is almost up by 20% this year so far… but there is more to come. If you think that Opec will make any significant moves to ease the price, I think you are mistaken. If you reckon they can have a significant impact on the price, I would disagree. If you believe that demand will slump, I suspect that you are wrong.

The oil sector will continue to pump home the profits for years to come. Are you exposed to the right investments?..."

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"So, what is happening with regard to our Economy?"

Economicrot (blog)

"Final US Economic End-Game

...Though I’ve been talking about it since 05 (and many early on considered me a knucklehead for my non-conformist viewpoint), I think it is now becoming common knowledge that the largest speculative bubble in our world’s history (housing bubble) has popped and its reverberations are being felt across the globe:

Hedge funds are collapsing, bank write-downs are growing, toxic waste marked-to-model Commercial Paper (CP) sitting in off-balance sheets cannot be offloaded, credit markets are completely locked up, home foreclosures (the catalyst to all these problems) are growing, consumer spending (70% of our economy) is waning, consumer inflation is raging, construction spending is down, the dollar is falling off a cliff, job losses are increasing, state revenue is falling—many are slashing budgets, and the list goes on…

The Fed and our Plunge Protection Team (PPT) understand that deflation is taking hold and they are operating in emergency mode... In a brazen attempt to prevent a collapse of the entire banking/financial systems (and hence the US Economy) “Helicopter” Ben Bernanke has officially sacrificed the dollar in the hopes of printing/inflating our way out of this financial mess -- to prevent an economic depression.

Take a look at the US dollar chart below -– NEVER in our country’s history has the US Dollar been weaker. Why so low? Our policymakers are covertly demanding a weak dollar..."

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Η παντοκρατορία του χρυσού και τα αποθέματα των κεντρικών τραπεζών


"The Economist

Η τιμή του χρυσού αυξάνεται ραγδαία. Στις 5 Μαρτίου, έφθασε το ρεκόρ των 991,9 δολαρίων η ουγγιά και αναμένεται να εκτιναχθεί ακόμα υψηλότερα στο εγγύς μέλλον. Η αύξηση αυτή εντάσσεται εν μέρει στο πλαίσιο ανόδου των τιμών των πρώτων υλών διεθνώς, με εκείνη του πετρελαίου να ξεπερνά το ψυχολογικό όριο των 100 δολαρίων το βαρέλι και των σιτηρών να αγγίζει επίσης πρωτοφανή ύψη.

Ωστόσο, ο χρυσός δεν είναι η «όποια» πρώτη ύλη. Οι δυνάμεις της προσφοράς και της ζήτησης, ωθούμενες σε μεγάλο βαθμό από τις αγορές κοσμημάτων της Ασίας και της Μέσης Ανατολής, συχνά αποδεικνύονται ήσσονος σημασίας σε σχέση με εκείνες που δρουν στις επενδυτικές αγορές. Χάρις στην παραδοσιακή ιδιότητά του ως βάσης του παγκόσμιου νομισματικού συστήματος, πολλοί αντιμετωπίζουν τον ίδιο τον χρυσό ως νόμισμα. Κάποιοι ενθουσιώδεις, μάλιστα, ως το μόνο αληθινό νόμισμα, αφού το χάρτινο χρήμα πάντα θα ευτελίζεται.

Και αφού το δολάριο είναι το κυρίαρχο νόμισμα διεθνώς, ο χρυσός ενεργεί ως καταφύγιο έναντι των διακυμάνσεών του: Οταν το δολάριο πέφτει, ο χρυσός ανεβαίνει..."

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Aegean - Greeks in London

Απίθανη διαφήμιση... Πως να το κάνουμε, αισθητή η παρουσία μας, παντού. Μας το αφιερώνω εξαιρετικά.

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Monday, March 3, 2008


Source: The Richter Report

"Greetings! February's events confirmed that we are in the middle of the most serious banking and financial sector crisis since the 1930s. We also got more confirmation that the U.S. economy is in a recession. The technical signals for the U.S. stock markets continued to confirm that we are in a bear market. The actual performance of the stock markets confirmed it as well. Most important for those who are attempting to identify the current trend and invest accordingly, the precious metals and commodities continued to show great strength in February. Because of increasing global demand and monetary inflation, the metals and commodities remain the investment opportunity of the next three, five, or even ten years. Bull markets like this have generally averaged about 15 to 17 years, and the current bull began to stampede in 2001-2002. The general investing public is just beginning to wake up, but most investors will "get on the bull" when it is near its all time high. We are nowhere near that point now..."

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