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China is now America’s largest creditor

America is the largest debtor nation in history. And given the economic weakness in the global economy right now, the debt load is likely to get worse. Recently, China surpassed Japan to become America’s largest creditor. The Chinese, who rank a mere 100th in per capita income, save so much money that they are able to buy massive amounts of […]

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Dow breaks below 8000

Dow breaks below 8000

Related articles Dow Plunges 400 to Below 8,000 as S&P 500 Skids to 5-Year Low

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News round-up: 19 Nov 2008

Yesterday’s big news came at the hearings in Washington D.C. where U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson did his best Donald Rumsfeld imitation, stonewalling Congress despite increasing anger at how the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is being administered. See my post “Barney Frank rips Hank Paulson’s bait and switch” on this. Caroline Baum from Bloomberg also has a good article on […]

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US consumer prices down 1%, core prices also down

US consumer prices down 1%, core prices also down

Consumer prices came down more than expected with the CPI (Consumer Price Index) falling 1.0% month-to-month. This s a large decline, but is entirely related to fall in the price of oil. Underlying core CPI excluding food and energy, down 0.1 month-to-month, remains steady on a year-to-year basis. Although the 1.0% fall is being touted by media outlets as the […]

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Is Obama really “Change we can believe in?”

The tag line from the Obama campaign was “Change We Can Believe In.” However, an increasing number of people are becoming skeptical as to whether Obama will actually change anything.

I, for one, have always felt his cautious approach meant incremental change as opposed to wholesale change. And that is a good thing. Nevertheless, as the glow of election politics wears off and the job of governing looms, many progressive Obama supporters are seeing signs that he is not the change agent they want him to be.

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Glencore: A Swiss giant on the edge

Glencore: A Swiss giant on the edge

I caught a post today on the Swiss Blog Zeitenwende about Glencore, the Swiss corporate giant, which should reinforce the fact that this credit crisis is far from over. As the original post was in German, I have translated it into English below: If Charts could speak, what would the following one tell us then? This concerns five-year Credit default […]

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Should foreign companies get TARP funds?

Why not? Everyone else is getting something. Aegon, a Dutch company, is trying the same maneuver that Genworth Financial and Hartford, two American companies, are trying — it’s buying a small depositary institution. This will give it access to the U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Forget about foreclosures, the TARP is now about recapitalizing financial institutions. But, does that […]

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Is Ireland the next Iceland?

Just a few moments ago I caught a very interesting post on Alice Cook’s site UK Bubble. The gist of the post was that things are falling apart in Ireland very quickly. Given what we saw with Iceland, I have to ask: is Ireland next?

I wouldn’t suppose that things are this fragile but we cannot dismiss out of hand talk of Ireland going the way of Iceland. Here is what Alice posted:

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Lieberman retains his chairmanship

The video below comes via the Daily Kos and YouTube. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) has said that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) needs to publicly apologize for his actions during the recent U.S. Presidential Campaign in order to retain his seat as Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. Lieberman, now an independent, supported Republican John McCain despite having run as a […]

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Barney Frank rips Hank Paulson’s bait and switch

I am listening to the Congressional hearings with Sheila Bair, Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke recounting what they have done to restore the economy with the $700 billion that Congress gave the Bush Administration. The hearing is pretty interesting because Chairman Barney Frank is absolutely hammering Paulson for sidestepping the specific language in the TARP inserted indicating that the TARP must be used to aid in reducing foreclosures.

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Producer price inflation down 2.8%, but core up 0.4%

Producer price inflation down 2.8%, but core up 0.4%

The headline story is that this is the largest month-to-month fall ever since monthly statistics began for this data series in 1947. But, as you can see from the chart below, all of this decline was due to food and energy. Therefore, the massive fall in oil prices was responsible for the drop and the PPI year-on-year is still over […]

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News round-up: 18 Nov 2008

News round-up: 18 Nov 2008

Greetings and happy Tuesday. While I hope it is a happy Tuesday, it doesn’t look as cheery in the markets today (see pre-market chart below). I am getting the sense that we are going to retest 2008 and 2002 lows. The 2008 low on the S&P was 839.80. In 2002, the low was 768.63. You would have to go back […]

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