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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Global Demand for Physical Gold Rose 11% in The Quarter

“Gold demand rose 11 percent in the first quarter as Chinahelped boost investment and jewelry usage, while demand will remain “firm” throughout this year, the World Gold Councilsaid.

Global demand gained to 981.3 metric tons in the quarter, compared with 881 tons a year earlier, the London-based industry group said today in a report. China’s consumption surged 47 percent in the quarter and may double before 2020 as the growing population’s wealth increases and near-term concerns about faster inflation spur investment, the council predicts.

Accelerating inflation, Europe’s debt crisis, a weakening dollar and unrest in north Africa and the Middle East boosted gold to a record $1,577.57 an ounce on May 2. Central banks are adding to their reserves for the first time in a generation, helping prices extend a 10-year rally, the longest run of gains in at least nine decades.”

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U.K. Consumer Confidence Falls on Economic Growth Outlook

“U.K. consumer confidence fell in April as Britons grew more pessimistic about the outlook for the economy and spending,Nationwide Building Society said.

An index of sentiment slipped to 43 from a revised 45 in March, when it rebounded from a record low, the customer-owned lender said in an e-mailed report today. A gauge of whether now is a good time to make major purchases dropped 5 points to 62.

U.K. unemployment claims rose at their fastest rate since January 2010 last month, underlining the fragility of the economic recovery as government spending cuts and quickening inflation sap household confidence. The economy stagnated in the six months through March and Bank of England officials yesterday said an interest-rate increase now could damp consumer spending.”

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China’s Market Fell Overnight on Inflation Curbing Expectations

“China’s stocks fell for the first time in three days, led by property developers and power producers, on concern the central bank will boost borrowing costs and higher energy costs will hurt corporate earnings.

Poly Real Estate Group Co. led declines for developers after the 21st Century Business Herald quoted a central bank adviser as saying interest rates should be raised. Huaneng Power International Inc. (600011), the listed unit of China’s largest power group, slid 2.7 percent on concern higher coal prices will erode earnings. Shanxi Xinghuacun Fen Wine Factory Co. advanced to a five-month high after Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Co. boosted its earnings forecast for the Chinese liquor maker.

“Inflation expectations are still there and concerns about more tightening such as interest-rate increases will provide a drag on the broader market,” said Wu Kan, a fund manager at Dazhong Insurance Co., which oversees $285 million. “Consumer stocks are good hedges in this scenario.”…”

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Kiwi Trades Higher on Expectations The Country Will Have Excess Capital

Wish we could say that….

“The New Zealand dollar rose for a third day and bond yields fell after the government said the budget will return to surplus in four years, helping spur demand for the nation’s assets.

The so-called kiwi strengthened versus 13 of its 16 major counterparts as Finance Minister Bill English said in the budget released today the operating surplus will be NZ$1.3 billion ($1.03 billion) in the year ended June 2015. The New Zealand and Australian currencies were also boosted after Federal Reserve minutes released yesterday signaled U.S. interest rates will remain near zero to stimulate growth.”

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South Korea Will try to Control Hot Money With Curbs on Currency and Derivatives

South Korea said it will tighten limits on the amount of currency derivatives banks can hold as it seeks to curb swings in capital flows and the won.

Local branches of overseas banks will be allowed to hold currency derivatives contracts equivalent to no more than 200 percent of equity capital, down from 250 percent, and the cap for domestic banks will be reduced to 40 percent from 50 percent, the finance ministry said today in a statement.

The won has strengthened more than 3 percent this year, putting pressure on an economy that depends on exports for half its output. Regulators have probed banks including Credit Agricole SA (ACA)ING Groep NV (INGA) and Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) on concern derivatives are contributing to a buildup in foreign debt.

“High short-term external debt can increase volatility in the FX market and the wider economy, especially if the global economy and financial markets deteriorate suddenly,” Kwon Young Sun, a Hong Kong-based economist at Nomura Holdings Inc., said before the announcement. “The government sees market expectations for the dollar-won as largely one-way, for rise in the won, and they believe this is unwarranted speculation.”…”

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Strauss Kahn’s Resignation Letter

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Board:

It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of Managing Director of the IMF.

I think at this time first of my wife — whom I love more than anything — of my children, of my family, of my friends.

I think also of my colleagues at the Fund; together we have accomplished such great things over the last three years and more.

To all, I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me.

I want to protect this institution which I have served with honor and devotion, and especially–especially–I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

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LinkedIn Prices IPO 30% Above Initial Range

LinkedIn Corp prices initial public offering of 7.84 mln shares at $45.00 vs. expectations of $42.00-45.00

This is the first time since 2000 that an ipo has priced 30%+ from initial range.

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CDC: Preparedness 101 – Zombie Apocalypse

Seriously, the CDC is preparing you for a Zombie Apocalypse.

Read the rest here.

Currently, the CDC does not appear to be prepared for all the incoming traffic as they prepare us for the Zombie Apocalypse. This link to the CDC blog works a little better. Hopefully in the case of a real Zombie Apocalypse, they will have updated their ability to handle the increased bandwidth, you know, since like in the case of a real epidemic, I bet a great many folks will be visiting the CDC site.

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Study: Obama’s Stimulus Destroyed/Forestalled 1 Million Private Sector Jobs

“Our benchmark point estimates suggest that the ARRA created/saved approximately 450 thousand state and local government jobs and destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs. State and local government jobs were saved because ARRA funds were largely used to o ff-set state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases rather than boost private sector employment. The majority of destroyed/forestalled jobs were in growth industries including health, education, professional and business services.”

Read the rest here.

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Fun With Monsanto

Short this company to death…

“(NaturalNews) When Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus at Purdue University and internationally-recognized plant pathologist, wrote a letter back in January to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, warning him about a new mystery disease showing up primarily in genetically-modified (GM) crops, the notice fell on deaf ears.

Research conducted by a team of senior plant and animal scientists found that Monsanto’s glyphosate chemical, which is the primary ingredient in its popular RoundUp herbicide formula, appears responsible for infectingplantswith an AIDS-like syndrome that destroys theirimmunity, blocks their absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, and eventually kills them.

Dr. Huber explains in his letter that the destruction caused by glyphosate does not appear limited to plants, either —animalsand humans alike that consume foods tainted with the chemical, or that are exposed in some other way to it, are potentially susceptible to developing the same autoimmune disorder. For this reason, Dr. Huber urgedthe USDAto further investigate RoundUp, as well as to deny thederegulationof GM alfalfa.”

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Fun Times in Iran

“Nuclear power plant has reached critical mass, will be powered up within weeks, Salehi says, echoing statements of senior Russian diplomat.”

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IMF Chief Strauss – Khan Said To Have Ordered Hookers and One Complained of His Behavior

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: IMF head ‘hired prostitutes from Manhattan madam’

Dominique Strauss-Kahn hired prostitutes from the “Manhattan Madam” who infamously also served Eliot Spitzer, the disgraced former Governor of New York, she claimed on Wednesday night.

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Baidu Sued For Internet Censorship

“Baidu was sued on Wednesday by eight New York residents who accused China’s biggest search engine of conspiring with the country’s government to censor pro-democracy speech.

The lawsuit claims violations of the U.S. Constitution and according to the plaintiffs’ lawyer is the first of its type.

It was filed more than a year after Google[GOOG  529.81   -0.65  (-0.12%)   ] declared it would no longer censor search results in China, and rerouted Internet users to its Hong Kong website.

Baidu [BIDU  131.84   0.03  (+0.02%)   ] did not return a request for a comment.”

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LinkedIn Prices at $45; Even Higher Than Expected Earlier This Week

“NEW YORK (Reuters) – LinkedIn sold $352.8 million worth of shares in its initial public offering on Wednesday, signaling that stock investors are eager to buy shares of social networking companies even if valuations are lofty.

LinkedIn sold 7.84 million shares for $45 each, a higher price than the company was expecting even earlier this week.

The strong investor demand for the offering bodes well for other social networking companies expected to go public in the coming months, including Facebook, Groupon, Twitter and Zynga.

While the companies have significantly different business models, they each tap social networks and the valuations for each are skyrocketing.

LinkedIn is a nine-year-old company that as of Wednesday is worth $4.25 billion. Facebook, which is expected to go public in April 2012, was valued at $70 billion in recent sales of the company’s private shares, up from $50 billion at the beginning of the year.

“There is a feeding frenzy is going on,” said Ben Howe, chief executive of boutique investment bank America’s Growth Capital.”

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Japan Slips Back Into Recession As GDP Slows Nearly Twice Expectation


“TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s economy shrank in the first quarter at nearly double the pace expected, effectively slipping into recession as the devastating earthquake in March hit business spending and private consumption.Gross domestic product fell 0.9 percent in the first quarter, much more than a median market forecast for a 0.5 percent contraction.

That translates into an annualized decline of 3.7 percent against a forecast of a 2.0 percent fall, Cabinet Office data showed on Thursday.

The second straight quarter of contraction puts Japan effectively into recession with analysts projecting the economy to shrink again in April-June as supply constraints triggered by the March catastrophe continue to weigh on output and exports.”

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Obama to Offer Aid To Egypt and Tunisia

Lets keep the aid @ home….

“WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will unveil an economic aid program for Egypt and Tunisia on Thursday as part of a broad effort to support democratic reform in the Middle East and North Africa, U.S. officials said.

Senior advisers to Obama, previewing parts of his speech, said Wednesday the United States would offer debt relief totaling roughly $1 billion “over a few years” to Egypt through a debt swap mechanism that would invest the money to boost youth employment and support entrepreneurs.

Washington would also loan or guarantee loans up to a total of $1 billion through the Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC) for Egypt to finance infrastructure development and boost jobs, the officials told reporters on a conference call.

Several billion dollars in additional financing would come from multilateral development banks as well.

The administration would also seek to foster trade and economic development throughout the region and encourage private sector investment, the officials said.”

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