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Monday, November 30, 2009


Asian markets rally after sharp sell-off last week
Financial stocks led a rally in Asia's share markets Monday as the United Arab Emirates' central bank reassured investors that it will support the banking industry. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.9%, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 2.8% and South Korea's Kospi Composite advanced 2%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 3.3%, China's Shanghai Composite climbed 3.2% and New Zealand's NZX 50 added 1%. Taiwan's Taiex went up 1.2%, while Singapore's Straits Times Index bucked the trend to fall 0.8%. The Wall Street Journal (30 Nov.)

*shoppers have nothing better to do than to go to the malls on Thanksgiving weekend because their TV has been repossessed. But they still have no cash to buy overpriced junk. I say buyers revolt, STOP SPENDING until banks START LENDING and reduce your credit card interest.

Thanksgiving weekend brings more shoppers, less spending

Holiday shoppers filled the stores and visited retailers' Web sites during the Black Friday weekend in the U.S., but they spent about 8% less per person than last year, the National Retail Federation said. The data dashed hopes of a strong rebound for the full holiday-shopping season. "Shoppers proved this weekend that they were willing to open their wallets for a bargain," said Tracy Mullin, CEO of the National Retail Federation. Retailers "know they have their work cut out for them to keep people coming back through Christmas," Mullin said. Los Angeles Times (30 Nov.)

*all weekend long I am reading about the sugar coated Dubai on the mend to a mega powerhouse story. Get real people. This time next year you will see Dubai center city looking like Detroits recent stadium sale: built in 1975 for $50 Million dollars and sold in 2009 for $500,000. YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!
UAE officials try to counter concern regarding Dubai World
The United Arab Emirates' central bank said it "stands behind" the country's banks as they face losses from a possible default by Dubai World. The central bank eased credit to banks with an emergency liquidity facility and aimed to curtail potential capital flight. "This is a timely pre-emptive move from the central bank," said Goldman Sachs economist Ahmet Akarli. Bloomberg (30 Nov.)

*gee, are Helicopter Ben and Timmy surprised yet?
Analysis: $1 trillion in U.S. bank reserves raise concern
U.S. bank reserves exceed the minimum required by the Federal Reserve by $1 trillion, raising questions and concern about inflation and banks' willingness to lend. Banks could activate the funds to support new loans, which could spur demand and inflation. Or the excessive reserves could indicate that bankers remain nervous about making new loans and would rather hang onto the funds. "If they don't make a loan, they can't make a bad one," said Pennsylvania State University associate professor John Mason. Others said the excess is to be expected. The Wall Street Journal (30 Nov.)

Mortgage lenders to face more pressure from White House
Responding to a growing wave of delinquencies and foreclosures, the White House is getting ready to pressure mortgage lenders to permanently cut payments for a significant number of homeowners. A congressional oversight group reported that fewer than 2,000 of the 500,000 loan modifications processed under the U.S. government's Making Home Affordable program were made permanent. "The banks are not doing a good enough job," said Michael Barr, the Treasury's assistant secretary for financial institutions. "Some firms ought to be embarrassed, and they will be." The New York Times (28 Nov.)

*what do economists know anyway? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
Economists: U.S. growth not enough to cut unemployment
If economists are correct, the U.S. will end this week with more bad news about unemployment. Analysts expect the Labor Department's report to show that 100,000 jobs disappeared in November. "The recent economic data have been consistent with our view that the economy is recovering, but it is at a distinctly subpar pace," Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, wrote to clients. "Growth looks too sluggish to lower the 10% unemployment to a meaningful degree any time soon." MarketWatch (29 Nov.)

*poor Helicopter Ben. I guess since the stock market has gone up to the proverbial sky, his reappointment doesn't look all that necessary. Maybe there is a God after all! How about picking Janet Yellen instead Mr. President? Maybe a woman can finally add the finishing touches on whats right with my country's finances.
Sen. Sanders plans to vote against Bernanke's reappointment
As the recession drags on, it looks as though Senate confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for an additional term will be anything but smooth. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said he will oppose Bernanke's reappointment. He said Bernanke "is part of the problem" faced by the U.S. economy. A hearing is scheduled Thursday regarding the confirmation. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (29 Nov.)

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