Thursday, October 30, 2008

Am I Not Pretty?

Wei!! Wat about Malaysia? Isn't it IMPORTANT ?

The bosses in this country say it's the center of the universe. It is the most attractive country in the world. To do business here, one would have to compromise. Have to comply to this policy, that contract and 1001 other things.
You can't afford to take it off your radar screen . You're gonna lose out Ben!

Fed Opens Swaps With South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore

By Steve Matthews and William Sim

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve agreed to provide $30 billion each to the central banks of Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and Singapore, expanding its effort to unfreeze money markets to emerging nations for the first time.

The Fed set up ``liquidity swap facilities with the central banks of these four large systemically important economies'' effective until April 30, the central bank said yesterday in a statement. The arrangements aim ``to mitigate the spread of difficulties in obtaining U.S. dollar funding.''

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is trying to prevent the global credit crisis from upending the financial markets and economies of developing countries, where currencies have plunged and government bond premiums have soared. The Fed yesterday cut its benchmark interest rate, followed by Hong Kong and Taiwan today.

``We can't leave these other important countries out in the cold,'' said Edwin Truman, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington and former chief of the Fed's international-finance division. ``A global recession is being caused by the effects of seizing up of the financial system around the world.'' ...

(full story at


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yee-Hah !



Confidence Lowest

October 29, 2008
Rattled by Housing Slide, Consumers See Worse to Come

Falling home prices and steep declines in the stock market are taking a sharp toll on Americans’ faith in the economy, a fact driven home by a pessimistic reading on consumer confidence released on Tuesday.

A widely watched survey by the private Conference Board, which dates back decades, plunged to its lowest point on record in October as Americans complained about fewer jobs and smaller incomes and ratcheted back plans for major purchases like cars and appliances.

Americans also say they believe the economy will worsen before it improves — a sign of deep pessimism that reflects a year of painful declines in stocks, jobs and home values. Some have lost thousands in retirement money. Others are fearful of losing their source of income, and a record number of outstanding mortgages are in foreclosure.

“A consumer-led recession is upon us, and it promises to be a serious one,” Joshua Shapiro, chief domestic economist at MFR, a research firm, wrote Tuesday in a note.

Despite the report, Wall Street was sharply higher as trading came to a close Tuesday, with both the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index almost 8 percent higher.

The survey’s confidence index fell to 38 in October, down from 61.4 in September, on a scale where a reading of 100 represents the consumer outlook on the economy in 1985. Expectations for the future also reached a record low. The survey dates to 1967.

“Looking ahead, consumers are extremely pessimistic, and a significantly larger proportion than last month foresees business and labor market conditions worsening,” Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board’s consumer research center, said in a statement.

Nearly half of the 5,000 surveyed households said they expected the job market to deteriorate further, and many appeared worried about their ability to make purchases over the next few months. The report did not bode well for retailers who are anxiously eying the December shopping season.

The Commerce Department said last week that retail sales sank 1.2 percent in September, and many large retailers have reported double-digit declines.

“These moves are likely to have at least partially been driven by the worrying news flow on the U.S. financial system, but it appears to be the labor market that is the source of the bulk of the worries,” James Knightley, an economist at ING Bank, wrote in a research note of the consumer confidence numbers.

The American economy lost 159,000 jobs in September, the worst month of retrenchment in five years. Over the nine months ending in September, employment has diminished for nine consecutive months, eliminating 760,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported earlier this month.

Economists said they expected sentiment to improve as cheaper gas prices eased the strains on consumers’ pocketbooks. But housing troubles will probably weigh on Americans for many more months, eroding home equity lines and possibly creating another wave of foreclosures.

The beleaguered housing market found little relief in August as home prices across the country dropped at yet another record pace, according to a closely watched survey released Tuesday.

Home prices in 20 cities fell 16.6 percent in August compared with a year ago, the biggest annual drop in the history of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, released by Standard & Poor’s, the ratings agency.

Every city included in the survey experienced a drop in prices from a year earlier, a trend that has so far lasted five months. Phoenix and Las Vegas were hit hardest, with prices down 31 percent in both cities. Prices declined more than 25 percent in Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego and San Francisco.

Prices dropped a percentage point between August and July, an indication that the pace of the decline may be slowing slightly. Only two cities — Cleveland and Boston — had price increases for the month, compared with six in July. Prices were unchanged in Chicago and Denver.

“The downturn in residential real estate prices continued, with very few bright spots in the data,” David M. Blitzer, who oversees the survey, said in a statement.

A 10-city index fell 17.7 percent year-over-year.

The housing slump has continued unabated for months, and its consequences can be felt throughout the nation’s economy. It has led to the erosion of jobs, pain in a number of housing-related industries, and, in part, the credit crisis that caused the collapse of several Wall Street banks. Whirlpool, the appliance maker, announced more layoffs and additional plants closings on Tuesday, citing the housing slowdown. Household home equity lines have also deteriorated.

Lower prices, however, are in some sense the key to recovery, economists said, although prices may need to fall further to lure buyers back into a market sagging with unsold inventory.

Sales also appeared to pick up slightly in September, according to reports from the Commerce Department and the private National Association of Realtors. Sales of both previously owned and newly reconstructed homes rose. But inventories remained elevated.




short-sellers get slaughtered!

October 29, 2008
Panicked Traders Take VW Shares on a Wild Ride


German regulators are analyzing a torrent of panicky trading in Volkswagen shares that at one point Tuesday turned VW into the world’s most valuable company while wreaking havoc with several big banks and hedge funds.

Shares in the German automaker rose as high as 1,005 euros, or $1,258 Tuesday after surging 146 percent to 471 euros Monday, the day after Porsche, a rival seeking to build up one of Europe’s great automotive dynasties, said it had effectively gained 75 percent of VW’s voting shares. On the Friday before the announcement, Volkswagen’s shares had closed at 210 euros.

Porsche has waged a series of bitter legal and political battles in the last three years to gain control of Volkswagen, a company whose foundations were laid by Porsche’s own founder, Ferdinand Porsche. On Sunday, Porsche appeared to have closed in on its target, announcing it had raised its stake in Volkswagen to 42.6 percent from 35 percent, and that it had options for another 31.5 percent.

Porsche said it issued its statement partly to give investors who bet that Volkswagen’s stock would weaken after a takeover “the opportunity to close their positions unhurriedly and without bigger risk.”

But that offer turned to dross when trading opened Monday, as investors known as short-sellers who had been betting that Volkswagen shares would lose value if Porsche took control were blindsided by the announcement. Earlier this year, Porsche had said it would not raise its then-31 percent holding, largely to calm a long-running conflict with the German state of Lower Saxony, which owns a 20.2 percent stake in VW that it uses to protect thousands of VW’s unionized autoworkers.

But when Porsche hinted that, at long last, it might be poised to bring Volkswagen under its thumb, it short-circuited several strategies that had been used by hedge funds and trading desks in New York and London.

One was to exploit the difference in value between two classes of Volkswagen stock by betting against a decline in one of them. Another was to buy into Porsche while betting that Volkswagen shares would fall, in a bid to profit from Porsche’s expected success.

Many short-sellers had borrowed the VW shares that Porsche is entitled to through its options contracts in order to speculate on Volkswagen stock, analysts said. But Porsche’s statement appeared to have prompted the banks that wrote the options contracts to demand those shares back, so as to have them ready for Porsche.

As of last week, roughly 12.9 percent of Volkswagen shares were lent out, according to Data Explorers, a London research firm. It was an unusually high number and the most for any member of the DAX in Germany.

With Porsche already owning so much of Volkswagen, and more shares tied up in stock funds linked to Germany’s DAX stock market index, the number of VW shares that were readily available for sale, known as the “free float,” was relatively small. That amplified the effect of the dash to buy Volkswagen shares, as demand vastly outstripped supply and drove the price higher when speculators betting against VW sought to cover their losses by buying.

“There is no other explanation than Porsche’s counterparties are lending out the shares,” said Arndt Ellinghorst, head of European automotive research at Credit Suisse in London. “That means heavy losses for funds who shorted them.”

Shares in Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Société Générale of France all tumbled on Tuesday on concern the banks might be caught on the wrong side of trades involving Volkswagen. Morgan Stanley said it had no exposure to the automaker.

It is not the first time Volkswagen shares have fallen prey to speculative gyrations. It lost a quarter of its value on Oct. 20 as short-selling seemed to gain traction amid a sense that Volkswagen would lose value if Porsche could steer decisions at the larger company to its advantage.

In a broader sense, the losses that Porsche has inflicted on short-sellers are collateral damage inflicted during its campaign to bring Volkswagen firmly under its thumb.

Although the two companies are linked by one powerful individual, Ferdinand Piëch, who heads Volkswagen’s board and also sits on Porsche’s, VW employees and their union have fought against a full takeover by Porsche, largely through their alliance with Lower Saxony, whose “golden share” lets it block major decisions about Volkswagen.

But the European Union is closing in on a ruling — the second since Porsche bought into Volkswagen — that would force Germany to alter the law underpinning the state’s share. That has created an opening for Porsche, which is based in Stuttgart, to assert control.



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Berkshire Hathaway

If you had bought just one share of Berkshire Hathaway in 1990 for around $6,000 a share, that same share would be worth around $120,000 today. 10 shares would bring you up to $1.2 million.

That's why he is known as the greatest investor in the world!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back to Square One

Looks like it ain't bottom yet. Lower low again!
Enjoy the ride!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Abolish the Federal Reserve"

A reader left a comment in "The History of Federal Reserve Bank" announcing an on-going petition to "Abolish the Federal Reserve". Many people from around the world feels that the Fed must be held responsible for the financial meltdown of 2008. Everyone, from active investors in the financial markets to retirees and common citizens has been screwed.

It's a mamoth task going up against Godzilla like those Monster Bankers... but as Arnold Schwarzenegger said in "Predator": "if it bleeds, it can be killed". Remember Battle at Kruger?

Sign the petition if you agree with it. Voice out if you think that the continue existance of the Federal Reserve will only cause more damage to you and future generations.

Anonymous said...

The Federal Reserve is Guilty of Helping Create the Global Financial Meltdown

Many investors and concerned citizens around the world are showing their outrage at what the Federal Reserve has done to the American economy with their easy money policies which caused the credit & real estate bubble and subsequent global financial meltdown.

Join the thousands who are signing & commenting on the Abolish the Federal Reserve Petition at

October 14, 2008 4:48 PM


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dead Cat Bounce?


Yoohoo!!! Stocks are sky rocketing!!!

Could this be just a technical rebound or dead cat bouncing? Caution!

(Full story at


The History of Federal Reserve Bank

Version conspiracy theory.
"The Invisible Hands"

Zeitgeist - The Movie: Federal Reserve (Part 1 of 5)

Zeitgeist - The Movie: Federal Reserve (Part 2 of 5)

Zeitgeist - The Movie: Federal Reserve (Part 3 of 5)

Zeitgeist - The Movie: Federal Reserve (Part 4 of 5)

Zeitgeist - The Movie: Federal Reserve (Part 5 of 5)

"None are more hopelessly enslaved

than those who falsely believe they are free."

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe -

1749 - 1832


Monday, October 13, 2008

Shit Load of Debt

Two Added Digits Needed By U.S. National Debt Clock At Times Square
New York, NY (AHN) - Two extra digits are needed by the National Debt Clock on Times Square in New York City as the U.S.' borrowings reached $10.2 trillion.

With the ongoing credit crunch, it would not be surprising that the national debt would further balloon, which would make it impossible to reflect the accurate figure unless the two additional digits are in place soon.

As a result, the Durst Organization which owns the clock, bumped off the dollar sign and put in its place the number "1" of the $10 trillion figures. The organization promised to update the sign in 2009.

The clock was put up by Manhattan real estate developer Seymour Durst in1989 to remind America of its fast growing national debt, which stood 19 years ago at $2.7 trillion.
(source: AHN)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Okay! Let's Print Some Money


Financial wizards print money and creat it out of debt. "Investors" (especially Asian countries) give up their sweat-money to lend to them for pieces of homemade IOU Notes that promise interest payments.
To pay interest and repay those loans later, Financial wizards simply create and print more new money. This goes on and on until the value of money becomes like "Hell Bank Notes", or the magicians suddently disappear or runaway with money they borrowed. How 'bout it?


Bailout Passed!... So What?


(Chart courtecy of Yahoo Finance)

The New York Times
October 4, 2008

Bailout Bill Fails to Reassure Investors

Wall Street finally got what it had been demanding all week, a financial rescue package, but by the time the gavel fell in Washington on Friday, investors had turned their attention to other problems in the economy.

On Monday, the House of Representatives rejected a $700 billion bailout plan for the nation’s financial system, causing the Dow Jones industrial average to fall 777 points. On Friday, after round-the-clock negotiations, the House passed the plan, sending the Dow down 157 points.

It was a disappointing end to a cantankerous session. The Dow gained nearly 300 points in the morning in anticipation the bill would go through; when it passed, those gains were erased. But the afternoon swoon was less a judgment on the merits of the bailout than proof of a broader truth about the market: investors are always looking ahead.

“We’re dealing with the next situation,” said Howard Silverblatt, the senior index analyst at Standard & Poor’s.

Investors were already pivoting their focus to growing evidence that the nation is embroiled in a recession. A report on Friday from the Labor Department said the economy lost 159,000 jobs in September, far more than economists had expected. Other reports this week revealed sudden collapses in the manufacturing sector. Some economists also are predicting the economy will contract in the months ahead.

Those developments did not bode well for the corporate earnings that investors watch closely, creating a dour outlook that helped send stocks lower late in the day.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index lost 15.05 points, or 1.35 percent, to close at 1,099.23, ending under 1,100 for the first time in four years — a fitting end to the index’s fourth-worst week in half a century.

The Dow Jones industrial average declined 157.47 points, or 1.5 percent, to 10,325.38. The Nasdaq composite index fell 29.33 points, or 1.45 percent, to 1,947.39.

“Investors still have to face some significant challenges in the broad economy that can’t be magically removed by a group of our Congressional leaders,” said Marc D. Stern, the chief investment officer at Bessemer Trust. “Investors have to confront a series of unknowns in the weeks ahead that can be disconcerting.”

Also weighing on investors were the strains on the flow of credit, which the bailout bill was intended to relieve.

Analysts said it might take several days before the effect of the bill’s approval could be seen on the credit markets. On Friday afternoon, the signals were mixed: high-yield bonds and junk bonds eased slightly, but Treasury bills moved against expectations, becoming more expensive as investors remained nervous about emerging from the safety of government notes.

It was too soon to tell whether interest rates that banks charge each other for overnight loans — a crucial measure of the flow of credit to businesses and consumers — would fall.

Investors and analysts interviewed Friday said they were glad to see the bailout package approved, but they warned that credit would not immediately loosen.

“It is not a panacea,” said Douglas M. Peta, a market strategist at J.& W. Seligman. “Credit is the lifeblood of the economy. Until the short-term funding markets start behaving regularly, and until banks are willing to play their role in the system, the direction in stocks is going to be down.”

Mr. Peta said Friday’s stock sell-off “was a rational response when the credit markets are almost practically not functioning.”

A few other factors may have been at play. On Friday morning, Wells Fargo, the San Francisco-based bank, said it had made a $15.1 billion bid for the Wachovia Corporation, scuttling a rival deal with Citigroup that had been struck under government pressure. The move helped raise confidence among investors that companies were still willing to take on major acquisitions amid the current crisis. Still, financial stocks as a group ended lower for the day.

The sell-off after the vote on Capitol Hill may have been the result of investors’ tendency to buy on expectations — in this case, that the House would ultimately pass the bill — and sell when the event actually occurs.

And Mr. Stern, of Bessemer Trust, noted that Fridays were becoming popular days for investors to sell their stock holdings.There are two more days that used to be called the weekend, and now are simply two more business days, where important news may develop,” Mr. Stern said, referring to recent developments — the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers; the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America — all of which have occurred on the weekend.

“There’s no way to trade on that news until Monday. Therefore you need to position your portfolio on Friday to be ready for what happens over the weekend.”

Mr. Stern chuckled. “In 2008, you have to stay close to your BlackBerry on the weekend.”

The benchmark 10-year Treasury bill rose 6/32, to 103 8/32. The yield, which moves in the opposite direction from the price, fell to 3.6 percent, from 3.63 percent late Thursday. Oil prices fell 9 cents, to settle at $93.88 a barrel.

In Europe, the markets closed ahead of the House vote. The major indexes all rose after stocks on Wall Street advanced. The FTSE 100 index in Britain ended up 2.3 percent, the CAC-40 in Paris rose 3 percent, and the DAX in Frankfurt gained 2.4 percent.

(story from:

Bush: "It's good for you, but...

...It's gonna take a while"