Friday, April 25, 2008

Oil spikes on supply worries and Iran warning shot

Oil shortage in UK ahead of strike: 'Stations running dry'...

STUDY: Oil prices to double in next 4 years...

Oil Rises More Than $2 on BP Plan to Close U.K. Pipeline, Nigerian Output

Forex links… – Open forex account with Elite E Services

Food Crisis spreads to US – Costco, Sams limit rice purchases

WSJ COLUMN: 'Time for Americans to start stockpiling food'...


WAL-MART unit limits purchases...

COSTCO similar move... Microsoft Demise! April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. declined 5 percent in extended trading after it reported an 11 percent drop in third-quarter profit and forecast earnings that may miss analysts' estimates as Windows software sales fell.

Net income dropped to $4.39 billion, or 47 cents a share, from $4.93 billion, or 50 cents, a year ago. Revenue was little changed at $14.5 billion, matching analysts' estimates and disappointing investors looking for more after industry reports showed better-than-expected demand for personal computers.

The world's biggest software maker said sales of Windows for PCs sank 24 percent and revenue from its online advertising unit came in at the low end of its projections. Microsoft's report contrasted with positive comments from chipmaker Intel Corp. and computer company International Business Machines Corp.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Euro breaks 1.60

Euro hits record high of over $1.60...

HOW HIGH?... ``The ECB is certainly not easing in the near term,'' said Adam Boyton, a senior foreign-exchange strategist in New York at Deutsche Bank AG, the biggest currency trader. ``The euro-dollar will reach $1.65 in the next three to six months.''

Feed your mind

Monday, April 21, 2008

Food Rationing at Costco while Rice explodes Many parts of America, long considered the breadbasket of the world, are now confronting a once unthinkable phenomenon: food rationing.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

USD gaps up, EUR/USD down 200 pips on G7 fears

Saxo Bank - 7:27 PM

FX: Over the weekend, the G7 meeting resulted in a statement, which included the following sentence: "sharp fluctuations in major currencies' could have implications for economic and financial stability." This is a tightening of the laissez faire stance from the prior G7 meeting (Feb, Tokyo), but it is still not really convincing.

7:27 PM

FX: US Secretary of the Treasury, Paulson, has been stating afterwards that he "reiterated in very strong terms our commitment to a strong dollar". With the Fed cutting aggressively and the last reading on the monthly budget statement at nose-bleed low levels, it is hard to see that he and the rest of the administration are backing these words by actions.

7:28 PM

FX: The only reason for the USD to go higher is that the negative expectations for US data could be too far ahead of the real data releases. We have seen signs of such a situation lately, and strong forces are working to introduce a larger role for goverment and semi-goverment institutions in the market place to alleviate the volatility and the credit crunch.

7:28 PM

FX: G7 might be an obvious candidate for this and the threat of concerted intervention might keep the USD supported for a couple of days.

8:20 PM

FX: G7 announced worries for the too fast depreciating USD and its contributuion to global inflation. This leading to lower consumer spending and complicating policy decisions for centraL bankers who might other wise lower interest rate further to avert continuing economic downturn. The tougher talks on fx

8:20 PM

FX: (continued) markets over the weekend led to speculations on whether world leaders were planing direct intervention in the currency markets to prevents further USD decline. EURUSD opened 1.5 figures lower on back of these developments. Bids at 1.5630 and 1.5600. Offers at 1.5715 and 1.5745.


In other news…

Saturday, April 12, 2008

EES Investing Risks

EES Investing Risks

GE sell off sparks larger fears while G7 debates currency intervention

``We believe the miss and cut to guidance raises credibility concerns for GE over the near-term, given that CEO Jeff Immelt had expressed confidence and reaffirmed guidance and operating targets on his March 13 retail webcast,'' New York-based Goldman analyst Deane Dray wrote in a research report today. ``This implies that the back half of March deteriorated significantly, which is especially unnerving.''...

U.S. Stocks Slide After GE Cuts Its Forecast; Investor Says He's `Shocked'.... ``It's shocking in the sense that somebody at GE should have said something earlier,'' Stanley Nabi, who helps manage about $8.5 billion at Silvercrest Asset Management Group in New York, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. ``There has been a very strong feeling in Wall Street among all analysts who follow GE that earnings would be respectable.''... ``You're shocked,'' Benjamin Pace, who helps oversee about $60 billion as chief investment officer at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in New York, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. ``They're saying, just like the rest of the financial services industry, `We took the hit as well.' We're still cautious about the U.S. market.''...

G7 update:

  • G7 ministers and central bankers "The turmoil in global financial markets remains entrenched and more protracted than we had anticipated"
  • G7 endorses recommendations of Financial Stability Forum (FSF) including disclosure of remaining exposure, liquidity risk management revisions, improved accounting standards for off-balance-sheet units within 100 days. New capital requirements to be phased in gradually. Welcomes any monetary and fiscal policy that support underlying economic activity and ensure price stability.
  • FSF report suggests creation of a "college of supervisors" to oversee each of the largest global financial institutions, and improved infrastructure for the over-the-counter derivatives market
  • Luigi Spaventa: Central banks intervening directly in the RMBS market is not necessary. Instead issue government-backed Brady bond-like securities at a discount in exchange for toxic waste on banks' balance sheets.
  • Guha (FT): no plans for co-ordinated intervention in markets at G7 meeting. Unofficial ideas floated at previous FSF meeting included radical strategies to fight the credit crisis including temporary suspension of capital requirements, taxpayer-funded recapitalizations of banks and outright public purchase of mortgage-backed securities.
  • Bernanke, Paulson: To do: regulators and industry should focus on raising enough capital and manage liquidity in order to deleverage without cutting back lending. Focus not on new regulation but better self-regulation in line with industry demands (see IIF letter)
  • BIS background paper about Credit Risk Transfer, including the numbers.
  • Senior Supervisors Group: review of risk management practices that worked and those that didn't in wake of turmoil.
  • Banque de France: liquidity risk management state of the art.
  • IMF: Global Financial Stability Report points to spreading credit crisis with credit losses up to $1 trillion from currently $230bn.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

50 Trading Rules

50 trading rules from Matthew Bradbard

1. Use money you can afford to lose - always trade with risk capital

2. Know yourself - be disciplined, always controlling your emotions

3. Start small - do not over commit until you learn the mechanics

4. Don't over commit - always keep excess margin in your account

5. Isolate your trading from your desire for profit - try to eliminate "hope" from your trading plan

6. Don't form new opinions during trading hours - do not let day to day fluctuations change your overall plan

7. Take a trading break - trading everyday may cloud your judgment

8. Don't follow the crowd - if everyone is leaning one way it is most likely the wrong way

9. Block out other opinions - do not be influenced by others once you form an opinion

10. When you're not sure, stand aside - it is ok to be in cash and not in the market

11. Try to avoid market orders - always using market orders to buy and sell shows a lack of discipline

12. Trade the most active option month - look for where the open interest and liquidity exists

13. Trade divergence between related commodities - large divergences within the same sector generally present an opportunity

14. Don't trade too many commodities at once - following several markets at once is difficult and usually costly

15. Trade the opening range breakout - breaking out of the opening range generally sets the tone for the direction of the coming move

16. Trade the breakout of the previous day's range - this helps getting in and out of positions

17. Trade the breakout of the weekly range - again like the daily breakouts use breakouts as buy and sell signals

18. Trade the breakout of the monthly range - the longer time frame the more market momentum behind your trading decision

19. Build a trading pyramid - when adding to a position add fewer contracts than your base commitment

20. Never put your entire position on at one price - let the market prove you are right

21. Never add to a losing position - adding to a loser only adds to a mistake

22. Cut your losses short - admit when you are wrong, it is a part of trading

23. Let profits run - do not get out for the sake of taking a profit, have a legitimate reason why you are closing a position

24. Be impatient with losing positions - never carry a losing position for more than 2-3 days and never over a weekend

25. Learn to like losses - they are a part of the business so accept it

26. Use stops orders cautiously - place or at least know where your stop is when you enter the market

27. Get out before contract maturity - do not stay in during delivery because increased volatility

28. Ignore normal seasonal tendencies - too many people are aware/ remember you are looking for an edge

29. Trade the divergence from normal - trade against what is expected by most

30. Avoid picking tops and bottoms - do not buck the trend

31. Buy bullish news, sell the fact - buy the rumor and sell the fact (playing reports)

32. Bull markets die of overweight - pay attention to bearish news when bull markets look top heavy

33. Look for the good odds - look for trades that have a favorable risk/reward dynamic

34. Always take windfall profits - take quick profits and run

35. Learn to sell short - markets often fall faster than they rise

36. Act promptly - futures are not for procrastinators

37. Don't reverse your position - do not make a 180-degree turn on losers

38. Don't be a nickel and dimer - trying to squeeze that little extra out of the market can be costly

39. Know the price trend - use charts to identify trends

40. Watch for key breakouts through trend lines - use trend lines to determine breakout points and to help with order placement

41. Watch for 50% retracements of a major move - markets have tendency to retrace 50%

42. Use the half way rule when picking buy-sell spots - inside of a price channel sell the upper half and buy the lower half

43. Watch the magnitude of market change - smaller bars on charts can be early indicators of a trend reversal

44. Congestion areas mean support or resistance - when price movement slows there is indecision

45. Major moves frequently climax with a key reversal - a significant high or low can be made on trend reversals

46. Watch for head and shoulder formations - this pattern is very accurate on changes in trend

47. Watch for "M" tops and "W" bottoms - recognize these patterns they are useful and happen often

48. Trade triple tops and bottoms - incorporate this into your trading arsenal as triple tops and bottoms generally serve as solid support and resistance levels

49. Watch volume for price clues - volume up and price up buying confirmation, volume up and price down selling signal, volume decreases look to stand aside

50. Open interest may be a tip off - use open interest increases and decreases much like volume as buying and selling signals

Hedge Funds lead the way with mounting losses Hedge funds are ready to set records this year, but their achievements are not the stuff that managers or investors want to brag about.

"The bubble has popped, and there is going to be a lot of pain," said Bradley Alford, the founder of Alpha Capital Management, a hedge fund advisory firm. "There will be a massive reassessment of where money should go."

Until recently, this was a red-hot industry known for its double-digit returns, money pouring in and billion-dollar paychecks. But amid terrible returns, more and more companies are now facing investors asking for their money back as staffs worry whether there will be another paycheck.

As pressure from poor returns and redemptions builds, more funds than ever will be forced to liquidate, investors said. Many expect the $1.8 trillion industry's estimated 10,000 funds to be winnowed down by a few thousand in a few years.

"This year is going to be really ugly," said one manager, who did not want to be identified because his investors did not know yet about his double-digit losses. "One day you are off 2 percent and, before you blink, you are down 20 percent. This year is just unpredictable and crazy."

Tallying the wreckage of the first quarter, including the collapse of the hedge funds Peloton Partners and Sailfish, investors agree things will get worse before they improve.

They are not much more optimistic about the private equity industry, where deals requiring big debt financings are getting done less often.

"At this point, when the liquidity spigot is turned off pretty much, its a brave new world and one in which the private equity game rules have changed dramatically," said Michael Holland, chairman of the private investment firm Holland and a former partner at Blackstone.

Mounting job losses coupled with the deepening housing crisis may have already pushed the U.S. economy into recession and certainly have frightened Wall Street banks into lending less to hedge funds. For many managers, borrowed money, or leverage, was the lifeblood for strong returns. With those gone, analysts expect investors may be tempted to put their money with managers who charge less than hedge funds' hefty fees.

In the face of sagging returns, the new trend in hedge funds will not be how much they pull in, but trying to stop the money that they have from fleeing, investors and managers said.

In February, investors sent only $8.4 billion to hedge funds after adding nearly three times that amount in November, according to data from research firm TrimTabs.

"Hedge funds are going to become the kind of hotels where you can check in, but you can't check out," Alford of Alpha Capital said, explaining that managers are desperately adding restrictions to keep all the money from leaving at once.

Hedge fund investors and managers will be discussing these topics next week at the Reuters Hedge Fund and Private Equity Summit in New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Managers are right to fear outflows, as industry analysts forecast the average hedge fund probably lost between 5 percent and 8 percent in the first quarter.

Those numbers will be released in a few days, but because hedge funds, unlike mutual funds, report returns only voluntarily, the data may paint a misleading picture. Failed hedge funds' heavy losses are no longer counted and losing managers often do not report either, skewing the data.

Some of the industry's biggest names are among the losers so far in 2008.

Tudor Investment Group's $4.3 billion Raptor fund lost 5.3 percent through the middle of March, with its assets now half what they were last summer. Barton Biggs' Traxis Fund tumbled 13.8 percent through the middle of March. And Och-Ziff, one of the few publicly traded hedge funds, said its funds were also down in the first quarter.

Losses loom larger still at many less prominent funds that specialize in Asian securities and emerging markets.

But some managers see a silver lining for hedge funds amid the crumbling markets.

"Ultimately, we believe the liquidity crisis will migrate not only within North American markets, but broadly among international geographies, as well, presenting opportunities for investors capable of chasing liquidity on a global basis," the hedge fund firm D.B. Zwirn told investors last month.

Other news…

WaMu gets $7 billion infusion, cuts jobs, sees big loss

Washington Mutual Inc (NYSE:WM - News), the largest U.S. savings and loan, said on Tuesday it obtained a $7 billion capital injection from private equity firm TPG Inc and other investors, but that mortgage problems will lead to a $1.1 billion quarterly loss and the elimination of 3,000 jobs.

The Great Chinese Crash of 2008

Have you heard a lot about Chinese stocks lately? Neither have I.

That's probably because the Chinese stock markets are experiencing a nosedive not unlike the Nasdaq plunge of 2000. Since their October highs, the Shanghai Composite (SSE) is down 44%, and the Hang Seng is down 24%. I guess our financial media is too concerned about the S&P's 13% decline to care.

Oil Prices Above $112 As Supplies Fall

The price of oil has surged to a new record, with a barrel a crude trading above $112 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange

America at a critical turning point

This nation is bleeding profusely; it is literally hemorrhaging. We are on the road to national bankruptcy as our national debt is over $9 trillion, our annual trade deficit is at $800 billion, our housing industry and associated financial institutions are in a chaotic state. The Federal Reserve continues to pour hundreds of billion of dollars into the black hole of unregulated, devious financial practices. The foundations of our economy are structurally unsound. And we have no clue on how to extricate ourselves from the quicksand of Iraq. We are digging ourselves into a massive hole but we cannot stop digging.

The Fading American Economy

Government employs 22,387,000 Americans, 8,744,000 more than manufacturing. Even the category leisure and hospitality employs 13,682,000 Americans, slightly more than manufacturing. There are as many waitresses and bartenders as production workers.

Fed Officials Worried About Recession

Even as the Fed battled in almost unprecedented fashion to stem a widening credit and housing slump, some Fed members fretted over the possibility of a "prolonged and severe" business downturn. It was in that environment that they voted -- with two dissents -- to cut this important interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, to 2.25 percent. That action capped the most aggressive Fed intervention in a quarter-century.

IMF Approves Selling 400 Tons Of Gold

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund has approved the sale of some 440.3 tons of its gold supplies in a wide-ranging financial overhaul and to replenish its depleting coffers.

Fed: Severe Downturn Possible

Members of the Federal Reserve's policy-setting committee worried at their most recent meeting that housing and financial market stress could trigger a nasty slide in the economy, even as inflation pushed higher, minutes of the meeting released on Tuesday show.

We're all paying for the bankers' greed

Our Money Mail investigation highlights the widening gap between low interest rates paid to savers and spiralling loan repayments demanded from borrowers.

The Voice of the White House

The dot com bubble was nothing compared with the sub-prime mortgage con jobs and the immensity of the scam is something no one wants to talk about, especially in light of the coming elections. This sub-prime business, like the dot -com business, was a deliberate rip off from the beginning.

US Fed Prepares for More Bank Failures In Wake of Housing Market Collapse

US Fed Prepares for More Bank Failures In Wake of Housing Market Collapse...

Fed Auctions Another $50 Billion

The Federal Reserve, still working to combat the effects of a severe credit squeeze, said Tuesday it had auctioned another $50 billion to cash-strapped banks. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund warned that further actions are needed globally to prevent more wrenching problems.

Long commutes, gas prices crimping American Dream

A gallon of gas at the time was $1.76 - $150 a month for their 2002 Chevy Malibu. It beat paying more for a similar house closer to work.

But now, with gas averaging $3.30 and rising, the McCausland dream is getting soaked at the pump to the tune of $300 a month, or $3,600 a year, double their cost four years ago. They are among many families of modest means who took on big commutes from exurbia for a taste of upward mobility.

With US in crisis, IMF warns of global economic slowdown

The global economic outlook is becoming increasingly grim as the United States appears unable to escape recession from a housing meltdown whose effects are still spreading, the IMF said Wednesday.

Truckers Protest, the Resistance Begins

Until the beginning of this month, Americans seemed to have nothing to say about their ongoing economic ruin except, "Hit me! Please, hit me again!" You can take my house, but let me mow the lawn for you one more time before you repossess. Take my job and I'll just slink off somewhere out of sight. Oh, and take my health insurance too; I can always fall back on Advil.

Then, on April 1, in a wave of defiance, truck drivers began taking the strongest form of action they can take - inaction. Faced with $4/gallon diesel fuel, they slowed down, shut down and started honking. On the New Jersey Turnpike, a convoy of trucks stretching "as far as the eye can see," according to a turnpike spokesman, drove at a glacial 20 mph. Outside of Chicago, they slowed and drove three abreast, blocking traffic and taking arrests. They jammed into Harrisburg PA; they slowed down the Port of Tampa where 50 rigs sat idle in protest. Near Buffalo, one driver told the press he was taking the week off "to pray for the economy."

US hits quota on visas for professionals; random lottery set

The completion of the 65,000 annual quota for the H-1B visa program, used for many high-tech professionals, had been widely expected by business leaders, who argue the cap is too low and hurts their ability to hire skilled workers.

Recipe for Catastrophe: Climate, Fuel, and Food

This didn't start with the current economic crisis which comes with the so-called "mortgage crisis." It doesn't start with the recent sky rocketing increase in oil and gasoline. It started with the U.S. turn to bio-fuels production. It has been accelerated by multiple other issues.

Railcars idle as economy falters

BNSF Railway Co., the nation's top hauler of container rail freight, is parking miles of railcars in Montana and elsewhere because there isn't enough freight to keep them rolling.

Cars that often carry 40-foot containers of goods shipped from Asia stand like an iron fence between the Missouri River and this Montana burg known for world-class fly fishing. They stretch as far as Sandee Cardinal can see when she stands outside her home on the river's west bank between Helena and Great Falls.

Iceland's big freeze is a lesson for independence

IT LOOKS like a fight to the death between the puffin-eaters and the fat cats. The Icelandic prime minister, Geir Haarde, has declared war on the international financial speculators. He claims "false rumours" are behind a recent run on the krona, which has lost a third of its value. The international investors say Iceland simply lived too fast and furious in the boom years and is now paying the price.

Japan's foreign reserves hit record $1 trillion

Japan's foreign reserves hit record $1 trillion...

Republicans muzzle credit card victims

Four workers robbed by their credit card companies sat silently at recent congressional hearings on the matter, afraid to share their horror stories with the people elected to represent them.

Batten down the hatches: this is the big one

"Whole cities of pain. A continent of pain," said the great, if eccentric, Wall Street money dealer Jim Cramer recently. He was talking about the economic pain spreading across the United States, of course.

Railcars idle as economy falters

''What is that but a symbol of how America is down in the dumps right now?'' Cardinal asked as she gazed at the cars that haven't moved for about three months.

Man who helped develop the mortgage backed security mess has been put in charge of same

How sweet it is! Next time you visit the henhouse and notice that their are chicken feathers scattered all over the grounds, and most of the chickens are missing, don't even believe you're lying eyes when you see the fox, lying on his back, with a swollen stomach, while he's gnawing on a chicken bone, don't even believe for one moment that the fox had anything to do with the theft of your chickens.

Hedge funds face tougher times

"The bubble has popped, and there is going to be a lot of pain," said Bradley Alford, the founder of Alpha Capital Management, a hedge fund advisory firm. "There will be a massive reassessment of where money should go."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Forex Intelligence Wiki Released –

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