Monday, March 26, 2012

Bernanke Hesitates to Extol Economy to Keep Reputation

Bernanke Hesitates to Extol Economy to Keep Reputation
By Caroline Salas Gage and Rich Miller - Mar 26, 2012 10:35 AM ET

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may be hesitating to extol the improving economy -- in part to preserve the central bank’s own reputation.

While Fed policy makers upgraded their assessment of the outlook at their March 13 meeting after the most-robust six- month period of job growth since 2006, they reiterated their plan to keep interest rates near zero until at least late 2014, citing still “elevated” unemployment and “significant downside risks.” Bernanke said today that continued accommodative policy will be needed to make further progress.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bernanke says gold standard wouldn't solve problems

Bernanke says gold standard wouldn't solve problems
WASHINGTON | Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:55pm EDT

(Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday took aim at proponents of the gold standard, saying that such a system handicaps the government's ability to address economic conditions.

Bernanke spoke in the first of a series of four public lectures at George Washington University that is the central bank's latest effort to counter a raft of negative public sentiment that has arisen from its handling of the financial crisis. The former Princeton economics professor delivers a second lecture on Thursday and two more next week.

"Since the gold standard determines the money supply, there is not much scope for the central bank to use monetary policy to stabilize the economy," Bernanke said. "Under a gold standard, typically the money supply goes up and interest rates go down in a period of strong economic activity - so that's the reverse of what a central bank would normally do today."

IMF warns of oil risk from Iran

IMF warns of oil risk from Iran

AFP - IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned Tuesday that crude oil prices may spike by up to 30 percent if Iranian supplies were disrupted, causing "serious consequences" for the global economy.

The standoff between Iran, the world's second-largest supplier of oil, and the West over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program is seen as a flashpoint that could sharply increase world crude prices.

"Clearly it would be a shock to economies if there was a major shortage of exports of oil out of Iran, it would certainly drive up prices for a period of time," Lagarde told reporters in New Delhi, wrapping up a two-day visit

Friday, March 16, 2012

Watch Bernanke’s ‘Little’ Inflation Capsize U.S.

Watch Bernanke’s ‘Little’ Inflation Capsize U.S.

A little is all right. That’s the message Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has been giving out recently when asked about the evidence of inflation in the U.S. recovery.

Sometimes Bernanke doesn’t even go that far. He simply says he doesn’t see inflation. The Fed chairman recently described the prospects for price increases across the board as “subdued.”

“Sudden” is more like it. The thing about inflation is that it comes out of nowhere and hits you. Monetary policy is like sailing. You’re gliding along, passing the peninsula, and you come about. Nothing. Then the wind fills the sail so fast it knocks you into the sea. Right now, the U.S. is a sailboat that has just made open water, and has already come about. That wind is coming. The sailor just doesn’t know it.

“Sudden” has happened to us before. In World War I, an early version of what we would call the CPI-U, the consumer price index for urban areas, went from 1 percent for 1915 to 7 percent in 1916 to 17 percent in 1917. To returning vets, that felt awful sudden.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Citigroup failure in Fed test raises questions

Citigroup failure in Fed test raises questions
By David Henry
Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:43pm EDT

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N) on Wednesday stood by its pledge to reward shareholders, as Wall Street sought to understand why the bank failed to win approval from regulators to increase its dividend or buy back stock.

Citigroup said late on Tuesday the Federal Reserve turned down its plan to return capital to shareholders, following the latest stress test of top U.S. banks.

In the weeks leading up to the announcement, Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit had convinced analysts the bank had rebuilt its balance sheet to the point it had more capital than needed to weather a severe economic downturn. By late last week, several analysts had forecast the bank would win permission to raise its quarterly dividend from a penny a share to 10 cents.

Surprised investors sent Citigroup shares down 3.4 percent on Wednesday, while the KBW Index of bank stocks gained 1.3 percent. The stock rose more than 30 percent this year.

Monday, March 12, 2012

US trade deficit hits $52.6 billion in January

US trade deficit hits $52.6 billion in January
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit surged to the widest imbalance in more than three years in January as imports hit an all-time high, reflecting big demand for foreign-made cars, computers and food products.

U.S. exports to Europe fell, raising concerns that the debt crisis in that region could dampen U.S. economic growth.

The January trade deficit widened to $52.6 billion, the biggest gap since October 2008, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Imports rose 2.1 percent to a record $233.4 billion. Exports were up a smaller 1.4 percent to $180.8 billion. Exports to Europe fell 7.5 percent.

Moody's declares Greece in default of debt

Moody's declares Greece in default of debt

Moody's declared Greece in default on its debt Friday after Athens carved out a deal with private creditors for a bond exchange that will write off 107 billion euros ($140 billion) of its debt.

Moody's pointed out that even as 85.8 percent of the holders of Greek-law bonds had signed onto the deal, the exercise of collective action clauses that Athens is applying to its bonds will force the remaining bondholders to participate.

Overall the cost to bondholders, based on the net present value of the debt, will be at least 70 percent of the investment, Moody's said.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Legal skull-duggery in Greece may doom Portuga

Legal skull-duggery in Greece may doom Portugal

Europe has ring-fenced Greece's debt crisis for now but its escalating recourse to legal legerdemain has shattered the trust of global bond markets and may ultimately expose Portugal, Spain, and Italy to greater danger.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

"The rule of law has been treated with contempt," said Marc Ostwald from Monument Securities. "This will lead to litigation for the next ten years. It has become a massive impediment for long-term investors, and people will now be very wary about Portugal."

At the start of the crisis EU leaders declared it unthinkable that any eurozone state should require debt relief, let alone default. Each pledge was breached, and the haircut imposed on banks, insurers, and pension funds ratcheted up to 75pc.

Last month the European Central Bank exercised its droit du seigneur, exempting itself from loses on Greek bonds. The instant effect was to concentrate more loss on other bondholders. "This has set a major precedent," said Marchel Alexandrovich from Jefferies Fixed Income. "It does not matter how often the EU authorities repeat that Greece is a 'one-off' case, nobody in the markets believes them."

Alarm sounds over Spain’s rising public debt

Alarm sounds over Spain’s rising public debt
By Victor Mallet in Madrid

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In the years of economic crisis since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, Spanish leaders have always been able to boast to nervous investors that Spain’s public debt burden – however bad its annual budget deficits – is smaller than Germany’s and well below the European Union average.
Economists, business executives and even government officials, however, have started to sound the alarm about the rapid and unsustainable growth of the country’s public debt.


Simone Foxman | Mar. 9, 2012, 10:10 AM

Fitch just downgraded Greece from "C" to "restricted default."

This designation hardly comes as a surprise, since the ratings agency had previously said that the country's planned debt restructuring would throw it into restricted default.

Fitch's decision mirrors a recent downgrade from Standard & Poor's which put Greece in "selective default."
Unlike a disorderly default, in a "restricted" or "selective" default Greece has not actually been declared insolvent.
Fitch said it will raise Greece's issuer rating from "RD" after its debt swap has been completed on March 12.

Read more:

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Shorts Look at the Limbaugh Effect

The following companies cancelled their advertising on Rush. I am not sure you are going to see the same impact ,not even sure they are all publicly traded but it seems to make a good starting point for a SHORT SALES :



Go To Meeting

800 263 6317

Legal Zoom

(800) 773-0888




800) 863-4332

Sleep Number

1 (877) 484 9694

Carbonite Stock Craters as company drops Limbaugh as spokes person 

Carbonite Stock Craters as company drops Limbaugh as spokes person  

(RIDGEWOOD -NJ) March 7 2012 On Saturday, Carbonite CEO David Friend released a statement that his company Carbonite had decided to “withdraw” advertising from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in the wake of his controversial remarks involving Georgetown Law student activist Sandra Fluke because it will “ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse”:

Apparently investors felt differently for the mediocre data backup company and sold the stock off aggressively after all how were they going to replace sales from Rush's huge 15-20 million member audience ,given so much new competition has arisen from the likes of  Microsoft and Google offering for free what Carbonite does for a price . Since the market opened on Monday through its close yesterday, Carbonite stock (NASDAQ:CARB) has dropped nearly 12%, outpacing the NASDAQ index in that same time period.. Carbonite  was also one of the biggest losers on the NASDAQ on Tuesday.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Bernanke warns lawmakers country headed for 'massive fiscal cliff'

Bernanke warns lawmakers country headed for 'massive fiscal cliff'
By Peter Schroeder - 02/29/12 01:26 PM ET

Congress risks taking the economy over a “massive fiscal cliff,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned lawmakers on Wednesday.

In remarks that hit Wall Street stock prices, the central bank boss suggested the economy could hit a serious roadblock if Congress allows the Bush tax rates and a payroll tax cut to expire and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts to be implemented simultaneously in January.