Trading Now

Trading Now

Thursday, September 3, 2009


*Gold just slithered right up to $1000 an oz today. Is it ready for a breakout? Check out our affiliates over at where Adam Hewitson has a new video on where gold may be heading. I think it will begin it's sell off through the fall and winter. The IMF has permission to sell >900M and my guess is that the push up is just the precursor. Whatever the reason, it is a weak sign for the stock market overall so trade accordingly.
Title: Is this the move we have been waiting for?
I believe the action in gold yesterday (Wednesday) should be looked at seriously as it pushes the gold market to its best level in almost 3 months.
video presentation

Food stamp list soars past 35 million: USDA
By Roberta Rampton and Chuck Abbott on September 3rd, 2009 6:42pm Eastern Time
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 35 million Americans received food stamps in June, up 22 percent from June 2008 and a new record as the country continued to grapple with the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The food stamp program, which helps cover the cost of groceries for one in nine Americans, has grown in step with the U.S. unemployment rate which stood at 9.4 percent in July.
The Labor Department will release August employment figures on Friday.
June was the seventh straight month in which food stamp rolls set a record. The average benefit in June was $133.12 per person.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Chuck Abbott; editing by Jim Marshall)

*don't worry about it, Helicopter Ben will fire it up...
SEPTEMBER 4, 2009 Loan Losses Spark Concern Over FHA
The Federal Housing Administration, hit by increasing mortgage-related losses, is in danger of seeing its reserves fall below the level demanded by Congress, according to government officials, in a development that could raise concerns about whether the agency needs a taxpayer bailout.
The rising losses at the FHA, part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, come as the agency has rapidly increased its role in guaranteeing loans in an attempt to stabilize the housing market.
It isn't clear how the rising losses may affect home buyers. Options for the agency could include politically unpalatable choices, such as asking for taxpayer funds to top up its reserves or increasing the premiums borrowers pay for the insurance offered by the agency.
The FHA insures private lenders against defaults on certain home mortgages, an inducement to make such loans. Insurance from the New Deal-era agency has enabled lending to buyers who can't make a big down payment or who want to refinance but have little equity. Most private lenders have sharply curtailed credit to those borrowers.
In the past two years, the number of loans insured by the FHA has soared and its market share reached 23% in the second quarter, up from 2.7% in 2006, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. FHA-backed loans outstanding totaled $429 billion in fiscal 2008, a number projected to hit $627 billion this year.
Rising defaults have eaten through the FHA's cash cushion. Some 7.8% of FHA loans at the end of the second quarter were 90 days late or more, or in foreclosure, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, a figure roughly equal to the national average for all loans. That's up from 5.4% a year ago.
Resulting FHA losses are offset by premiums paid by borrowers. Federal law says the FHA must maintain, after expected losses, reserves equal to at least 2% of the loans insured by the agency. The ratio last year was around 3%, down from 6.4% in 2007.

*We can't sustain the types of spending that we have been doing and it isn't fair to expect new workers to subsidize the ones who have gotten the best contracts for a lifetime. They are going to have to start kicking in or the rest of us will go bankrupt paying for them. The system is broken and grandfathering in a system that has taken so much from our young people is just unamerican. Teachers need to stop comparing themselves to fortune 500 CEO's and stop expecting the same rates of pay. Go try and get a job doing that. Public servants need to stop claiming that they could make more money in the private sector, as if public service was such a hardship...yeah private sector job pays healthcare benefits in retirement anymore. Oh right, I forgot, the government is the only employer now.
States Shut Down to Save Cash
Maine, Maryland, Michigan Slash Service; 'Nightmare' at California Vehicle Registry
Across the country, cash-strapped state governments are shutting down business for a day at a time to save money. State offices are shuttered Friday in California, Maine, Maryland and Michigan. Rhode Island had planned to join them until a judge on Thursday blocked its closure plan.
The furloughs, which basically act as salary cuts for state workers, are the latest response to plunges in tax revenue because of the recession. State legislatures have struggled to cover shortfalls that have ballooned to $168 billion, or 24% of their general-fund budgets, for the current fiscal year, which for most began July 1, according to a report released Thursday by the left-leaning Center on Budget Policy Priorities.
Consumers have reined in spending, eroding sales-tax receipts, while job losses have cut income-tax collections. States have already responded by raising fees and tapping rainy-day funds, and are now forced to deal with wage costs, which make up about 13% of their budgets, according to the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, N.Y.
For political and practical reasons, states have been reluctant to lay off workers, policy analysts said. Instead, furloughs have become the hot trend in budget management, in part because the savings are "easy math" to state officials, said Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers.
But furloughs do little to address fiscal problems such as ballooning pension costs, and some policy watchdogs fret they are a short-term solution to what is likely to be a long-term problem.

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