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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Cantor causes Reid to throw tantrum

If you have not done so already, I insist you go to Fox News’ home page and look at the picture they have up of Harry Reid.

He looks like a complete jackass, when he’s being bitchy.

CNN had a great one of Boehner up earlier, with his face in an upside-down-frown. The guy looked like a toad.

Good work Cantory, in forcing these clowns to ride their bikes at the brick wall one last time. Hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite you in the ass.

Eric Cantor’s simmering insistence on avoiding tax hikes has boiled to a political tempest in Washington’s debt negotiations, infuriating Democrats who are now labeling the majority leader as “childish” and forcing Republicans to insist there’s no rift between House Speaker John Boehner and his top deputy.

Cantor’s steadfast refusal to raise taxes as part of a deal to increase the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit has earned him praise from the Tea Party wing of his own party, but the scorn of Democrats, who are demanding the No. 2 House Republican be booted from negotiations.

“Eric Cantor has shown that he shouldn’t even be at the table and Republicans agree he shouldn’t be at the table,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the chamber’s floor Thursday.

“Boehner needs to rein him in, and let the grown-ups get to work,” added a House Democratic source who called Cantor “juvenile.”

Senate Democrats later appeared alongside Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to underscore the urgency of the situation, while voicing their own frustrations with Cantor.

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TSA creating trusted flyer program

Washington (CNN) — After hinting for months that he would start a “trusted traveler” program to expedite security screening for air passengers, TSA Chief John Pistole took his first step in that direction Thursday, announcing a pilot program to ease screening for passengers who voluntarily release certain information about themselves.

The pilot test is based on U.S. customs programs and initially will be available only to certain participants in the customs program and a limited number of air travelers. Those include certain frequent fliers on two airlines — American and Delta — flying out of certain airports. Delta passengers must be flying out of Atlanta and Detroit airports, and American Airlines passengers must be flying out of Miami and Dallas airports.

But if it is successful, the program would likely be expanded to include other air travelers who voluntarily give additional information about themselves.

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Murdoch to give testimony at hearing in person

London (CNN) — Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and his son James will attend a hearing over the phone-hacking scandal before British lawmakers next Tuesday, their company, News International, told CNN Thursday.

The House of Commons had issued the pair a summons to appear after the Murdochs initially told the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee they could not attend the July 19 hearing.

News Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch wrote to the committee earlier that he was “not available to attend,” although he said he was “fully prepared to give evidence to the forthcoming judge-led public inquiry.”

That investigation was launched Wednesday by Prime Minister David Cameron in response to allegations that journalists working for Murdoch’s media empire illegally eavesdropped on phone messages of thousands of people and bribed police.

James Murdoch, who heads the News International newspaper group, a News Corp. subsidiary, had said he could not appear before lawmakers before August 10 or 11.

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Borders deal falls apart

NEW YORK (AP) – Borders Group teetered on the brink of liquidation Thursday after an offer from a private-equity investor disintegrated.

The bookseller appeared to have found its white night in Najafi Cos. back in July, when the private-equity investor from Phoenix offered $215 million for the company, plus the assumption of $220 million in debt.

But on Wednesday creditors objected, saying that the agreement would not prevent Najafi from taking possession of the company and liquidating it immediately for profit.

Creditors said a bid from liquidators Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers is stronger. They believe it would pay out between $252 million and $284 million in cash.

That offer should be the primary, or “stalking horse” bid, instead of the one from Najafi Cos., creditors said.

Creditors said in a court filing that they were hopeful Najafi would submit a higher bid, but Najafi stood by its original offer.

On Thursday, Borders said it wouldn’t seek approval for Najafi’s bid in a hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. in the U.S. Bankruptcy Courth Southern District of New York and designated the liquidators as the “stalking horse” bid.

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Reid warns of SS freeze

WASHINGTON (AP) – Echoing President Barack Obama’s warning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Social Security payments would stop if there is no deal to raise the government’s borrowing limit by Aug. 2.

Speaking on the Senate floor, the Nevada Democrat said flatly that payments for veterans benefits and the military, as well as Social Security, would cease if the government defaults on its obligations. His statement goes beyond Obama, who said earlier this week that he could not guarantee Social Security checks will be issued on Aug. 3.

Later, a Reid spokesman said the senator meant to say the payments “could” stop, which would be consistent with the president’s comments.

Republicans have called such statements scare tactics.

About 55 million Americans receive Social Security payments each month, totaling about $60 billion.

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ROFL: Clemens Case a Mistrial

The fucking idiots who run our country decided to go after Roger Clemens for perjury, mainly because they have nothing better to do with their police state time. Because they are dumb, they tried to sneak in video evidence that was not approved by the court. As a result: fucking mistrial.

Long live Roger Clemens!

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Shilling: U.S. debt better investment than others

According to Shilling, it’s the best of the worst:

According to A. Gary Shilling America’s economy is “the best of a bad lot”. This thinking isn’t going to make anyone break into a USA chant, but Shilling thinks it will be good enough to keep treasuries moving higher for the foreseeable future. “The U.S. is the ultimate safe haven in the world” he says. It’s a statement at once reassuring and horrifying for anyone paying attention to the domestic economy.

The author of “The Age of Deleveraging” and long-time bond bull notes that Europe is going to hell in a hand-basket and China is slamming on the breaks, leaving U.S. bonds “very attractive”, particularly the 30-year. When asked why anyone would buy a bond paying 4.2% Shilling says he simply couldn’t care less what the yield is as long as it’s going down. The genially gloomy investor is expecting yields to drop all the way to 3%, a move that would spell more than attractive returns for bondholders.

Of course you can’t get excited about relative returns without asking relative to what other asset classes. Having already dismissed the rest of the global economy the obvious question is whether or not stocks can continue to levitate in the face of stubborn unemployment and anemic growth. In short, no. In longer form Shilling dismisses the bullish notion of a second half recovery. Even if the economy grows at the anemic sub-2% rate of late, and Shilling thinks GDP will be much worse, stocks are likely to start missing even low-balled estimates in Q’s 3 and 4. Companies lowering estimates and missing earnings forecasts is not traditionally a bull market make.

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Fed will act if recovery stumbles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke renewed his promise on Thursday that the central bank could put more monetary stimulus into play if the economic recovery stumbles.

On the second day of delivering the Fed’s semiannual monetary policy report to Congress, Bernanke is also expected to repeat his warning that a debt default would be devastating for the U.S. and the global economy.

Moody’s ratings agency warned late on Wednesday that the U.S. could lose its top credit rating in coming weeks if a standoff between the White House and congressional Republicans over raising the statutory borrowing limit is not resolved.

Bernanke’s comments to the Senate Banking Committee closely reflect remarks delivered to a House of Representatives panel on Wednesday.

Economic reports released on Thursday offered mixed signals about the path of the world’s largest economy, which grew at a tepid 1.9 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year and is not expected to expand much more quickly in the second quarter.

Retail sales rose in June, and claims for unemployment benefits fell last week. However, last month’s producer prices posted their steepest decline since February 2010 as energy prices eased.

While Fed policymakers have been worried about rising inflation, the risk of a damaging deflationary spiral could force the central bank to act to promote growth.

A separate report showed business inventories rose in May as sales posted their first drop in almost a year.

Although Bernanke said the Fed’s $600 billion bond buying program has been effective in lowering long-term interest rates and coaxing investors to take greater risks, it has been controversial.

“I believe the stage is set for a resurgence of inflation if the Fed is not careful,” Senator Richard Shelby told Bernanke at the hearing.

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FLASH: The Bearded Clam Speaks

As per Helicopter Ben the Bearded Clam…..

-Congress must raise the debt limit. Inaction will cause serious problems to economic activity.

– Weakness in the first half is in part due to temporary factors….Japan & Middle East, Aftermath of housing bubble,

-recoveries can be slow

-consumers are cautious

-confidence is low in terms of spending

-near term withdrawal of fiscal stimulus

-as jobs are lost and not replaced this weighs in on the economy

-we expect improvement on the economy, but not like what we have seen in the past

-On the European debt crisis: the three countries in crisis are a small part of Europe’s overall economy

-solutions can be dealt with austerity, fiscal reform, and economic assistance

-debt crisis causing anxiety in markets

-we are evaluating money markets

-the U.S. economy is at risk from debt crisis in Europe

-Senator Sheeple: Can we prioritize payments and not have the debt limit extended ?

-Clam: we can not simply prioritize payments. The Treasury does not think this is a workable solution. Medicade/care could see disruption and this would not create confidence.

-Senator sheeple- Recently we have been put on possible downgrade; what will this do in terms of interest rates ?

-Clam: this could raise interest rates quite significantly. Failure to raise the debt ceiling would be a self inflicted wound

-Senator sheeple: what about jobs ?

-Clam: If interest rates rise it will reduce confidence and investment and can only  conclude this would be bad for jobs

On derivatives:

-Clam: knock on effects from default. CDS pressure on treasuries would not be that big. could be a problem, but would not be the biggest problem. Not raising the debt limit is not an option we should be considering.

-Senator sheeple #3: I have argued we should raise the debt ceiling. What is under your realm regarding sending a clear message? This is a dangerous place we have come too. Does negative low interest rates contribute too deficits ? Praises to the clam and the institution….yada, yada, yada, What will QE 3 fix if we were to extend it ?

-clam: sorry we had to cut to NYSE Deustche Boesre news….Bloomberg is also involved with nonsense from talking heads…..


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A New America Indeud Part Deux: Get to Work Biatch

I am not going to participate in this nonsense.

A former U.S. economic advisor to President Bush says:

“Will the U.S. go into technical default? This is quite possible,” Malmgren tells CNBC.

“It is a serious problem, but the U.S. can easily fix it by having everybody work 10 years longer, which they’ll do anyway.”

Full article

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Blackstone’s Wein: Unemployment Will NEVER Dip Below 7%

“This is the first cycle where companies have used capital instead of labor during the recovery,” Wien tells CNBC.

“And the capital spending is good, but it is being used not to build new plants where you hire workers to fill them. It’s been used to buy equipment that allows you to get goods and services out the door with fewer workers,” he says.

“That’s the big change, and that’s probably not going to be altered. Usually when we have 5 percent unemployment in a boom and it goes to 10 percent in a recession and then it goes back to 5 percent. It’s not going back to 5 percent. We may not see 5 percent again. We may see 7 percent or some number in the sevens at best.”

Full article

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U.S. Consumer Shows Signs of a Spending Slowdown

I just blew $290 on lunch yesterday. Mind you it was for a family table of 8 so not so bad per person after being stuffed. Then we went to the wax museum with the kidz and right next door to the believe it or not museum.

While it was a mere drop in the hat the psychology of it all did not feel good.

Full article

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Upgrades and Downgrades This Morning


P – Pandora Media initiated with Sell and $12 tgt at Capstone

SCG – SCANA Corp initiated with a Buy and $45 tgt at Williams Capital Group

CBE – Cooper Industries upgraded to Buy at Citigroup

Texas Instruments target lowered to $37 from $40 at Stifel Nicolaus

NWE – Northwestern Corp initiated with a Hold at Williams Capital

NTRI – Nutrisystem upgraded to Outperform at Wedbush

AOSL – Alpha and Omega Semi target lowered to $16 from $20 at Stifel Nicolaus

KBR – KBR Inc. initiated with Buy at Citigroup

CTL – CenturyLink target raised to $46 at Stifel Nicolaus

BXP – Boston Properties target raised to $120 from $112 at Argus

EPB – El Paso Pipeline Partners initiated with Outperform at Credit Suisse

CPHD – Cepheid target raised to $40 from $36 at Canaccord Genuity

ENS – Enersys initiated with a Buy at Stifel Nicolaus

NXG – Northgate Minerals upgraded to Buy from Hold at TD Newcrest

VR – Validus Holdings downgraded to Hold at Stifel Nicolaus

BAS – Basic Energy Services initiated with a Buy at Canaccord Genuity


SWC – Stillwater Mining downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan

CLNE – Clean Energy Fuels downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James

SVNT – Savient Pharma upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Leerink Swann

RTI – RTI Intl Metals downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman

SORL – SORL Auto Parts downgraded to Perform at Oppenheimer

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Gapping Up and Down This Morning

Gapping up

POT +1%, ENOC +1.5%, FEIM +16%, IMAX +1.3%,  IAG +3.3%, HL +3%, SLV+2.6%, GOLD +2.3%, AUY +0.8%, SLW +2.1%, GG +1.1%, AUY +0.8%, GLD+0.5%GLD +0.5%, LUX +3.1%, ECA +4%, PVSW +8.3%, KEX +3.6%, UFPI +3.7%, AUY +0.8%, GLD +0.5%, KEX +3.6%, YUM +2.5%, TSYS +3%, IMAX +1.3%, RIO +1.1%,

Gapping down

HIG -3.5%, SAP -1.7%,COF -0.7%, OPTT -8.7%, FCS -2.2%, CGV -3.2%, COF -1.3%, COF -0.7%, OPTT -8.7%, FCS -2.2%, PLD -1.6%, SAP -1.7%, SWC -0.8%RTI -3.2%, COF -0.7%, OPTT -8.7%, FCS -2.2%,

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