We’ll get to Wisconsin in a second, but let’s start off with the easy stuff: When the price of oil goes down, what happens to prices on the world’s stock exchanges?
Of course the only thing that would make oil go down would be the breakout of peace and harmony in the Middle East – or at least an appearance of that.
Sure enough, the DrudgeReport this morning was headlining “Sheen Whacked”
as their top story – about how CBS/Warner are pulling the plug on 2½ Men, at least till the Wisconsin story crossed…
This is a sure sign to the aware observer that we’re back into the circus part of circuses and bread. Oh, those 1.5 million foreign people in Libya? All on hold through next week since the markets need a rally now.
NOT getting as much play is Muammar Gaddafi rolling into the fold for saying al Qaeda is behind the revolt of folks in Libya, but it’s gonna take something a lot stronger that Mrs. Olsen’s to get me to buy that whopper.
Still – my cynicism aside - oil really was down to $97.56 a barrel when I looked before the open. Whatever works, for the PTB I guess.
The market decline, which I figured had run its course yesterday, gave me what I’ve been looking for a good long while: An emotional benchmark from which I may be able to make some real money for a change. So I sold my triple bear financial ETF position and am sitting in cash now. I expect the market will rally up to at least the 12,250 area and I’ll probably get short again up there. (No, that is not trading advice, I’m down 35% – so much for my lone attempt at patience in investing.)
The other thing that might fuel a rally at least in the US is word out of Wisconsin that the state assembly has approved a plan to curb unions after an all-nighter. (More in this morning’s Coping section to follow).
And with all this peace and harmony breaking out, we can expect a beat-down of the metals, as long as we’re at it, too.
Works like this:
- FannieMae announces this: (note highlight)
“Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) today reported net income of $73 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to a net loss of $1.3 billion in the third quarter of the year. The change resulted from a decline in the company’s credit-related expenses and the successful resolution of outstanding repurchase claims.
“…The company’s net loss attributable to common stockholders in the fourth quarter of 2010 was $2.1 billion, which included $2.2 billion in dividend payments to the U.S. Treasury To eliminate the company’s net worth deficit of $2.5 billion as of December 31, 2010 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has requested $2.6 billion on the company’s behalf from Treasury, more than 80 percent of which is the dividend payment to Treasury. Upon receiving those funds, the company’s total obligation to Treasury for its senior preferred stock will be $91.2 billion. Overall, the company has paid a total of $10.2 billion in dividends to Treasury since its senior preferred stock was issued, including $7.7 billion paid in 2010. For the full year of 2010, Fannie Mae reported a net loss of $14.0 billion, compared with a loss of $72.0 billion for 2009.
Strange land, huh? Lemme see, I lose this much, pay this much interest, then borrow…yeah, now if we could only do that with our home checking accounts…
Every picture tells a story, don’t it? (Not to steal the Rod Stewart lyrics…but it fit nicely, sorry to say…)
Unbelievably boring details are here if you don’t have a real life and no friends, otherwise, we move on…
Good Economic News on Food
The CNN headline “U.S. warns extreme food prices will stay.”
So “How is this a good thing, you’re wondering? Way I have it figured is this: These kind of headlines taken seriously enough will cause you to lose your appetite. (rim shot)
(Now down 14 pounds on my diet, by the way…)
Busting of Contract Law, 101
You want to go read Substitute Senate Bill 5275 which is making the rounds in Washington State.
So follow this – it’s important. This would give banks in Washington State the power to foreclose without having to produce a signed note – since so many can’t.
Gotta wonder how much this little gem cost the banking lobby? Look for other states to try the same thing.
Which means what? Existing contract law will no longer apply to regular folks – just “commercial” situations.
Repeat after me: “We are soooo screwed…”
The Angry Earth, III
Say, here’s a case of going from bad to worse for you: Speculation that having had a major earthquake the folks in Christchurch may have to face the prospect of a volcanic eruption...
Been a lot of speculation on the web here lately about the possibility that the oil & gas work up in Arkansas was caused by ‘frac’ing” work up there.
But, talking to a friend/source down in the oil patch (Houston) yesterday, he tells me “It ain’t us, George…that’s less than 5,000 feet or so, look at the depths involved. We’re nowhere near that and there’s no vertical cracking between the 5,000 foot level and where the quakes are down around 20,000 and deeper…” Hmmm… “Crack you know of…?” I countered…
George Enters a Writing Contest
I love to write – think I’ve got a good sense of humor and usually have a different take on things – the Walter Mitty in me has delusions of an economic Mark Twain…. of the funny Steinbeck of the Second Depression. Been toying with the book title “Grapes of Sour.”
So this morning when I noticed that www.stageoflife.com is having an essay writing contest on the question “Do Teens Value Marriage?” I just couldn’t resist spreading a bit of homespun wisdom.
Took me no time at all to write my elegant essay. Here, wanna read it?
No, they don’t.
(more after this…)