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Citing California, Iraqis Reject Democracy

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Governing Council Recoils in Horror at News from Golden State

 

In what was seen as a setback to the establishment of democratic institutions in Iraq, the Iraqi Governing Council today voted unanimously to reject democracy as a form of government, citing the California gubernatorial race as a worst-case scenario.

 

?The Americans say that what has happened in California cannot possibly happen here,? said Abdul al-Shibli, a council representative from Mosul. ?We are not prepared to take that risk.? . . .

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Two things this AM. The Mo business is falling. Refis down 16% and purchase down 10% even with mo rates falling back to about 6% from 6.3+. If this trend continues, kiss the beloved housing bubble good-bye and a whole bunch of jobs with it. We'll know within 2-3 months.

 

Secondly, something I have been pounding on for months (years?). Hedgehogs are the ones driving the rise in commodities - not physical demand. This will cause all sorts of distortions and lead to further over-production. A collapse in some commodities could ensue when the hedgies thunder off in the pursuit of their next "victim".

 

While this is on zinc, the same thing is happening in most other base metals. Sluggish demand and record warehouse levels.

 

A sustained downtrun in auto production and home construction will make the situation much worse. Since we are near peak levels in both of those categories, the prospect for growth seems a bit limited. Caveat Emptor

 

The company, China's fourth-largest maker of zinc, said it decided to resume operations at the plant because prices were emerging from the doldrums as the global economy revived.

 

"This is the typical problem generated by hedge fund activity -- if the (zinc) price goes up too quickly, fundamentals deteriorate," Briggs said. ..........

 

SLUGGISH DEMAND, STOCKS BALLOONING

 

LME warehouse stocks of zinc are currently around their highest level in eight years at 685,000 tonnes.

 

"Demand (for zinc) remains very disappointing and this is reflected in the very high and rising level of total zinc stocks," Kamal Naqvi, base metals anal cyst at Australian investment bank Macquarie, said in a recent forecast.

more........

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7 days of DJIA gains in a row.

 

Looks like a gap up to new highs for the year.

 

Bonds imploding, due to extraordinarily strong retail sales.

 

Another missed opportunity. The March lows represented the beginning of the biggest, fastest run in the RLX history, exceeding the run from the 911 lows.

 

The RLX has now broken out of its consolidation and is now making new highs, led by WMT.

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Ten-years at 4.48% yield.

 

The bond vigilantes are galloping and whooping round the Marriner S. Eccles Building in broad daylight, brandishing their flaming torches.

 

Al and Ben cower in the vault, behind a "fort" they built of gold bars. "Bring 'em on," growls Ben, hoisting one of the gold bars by gripping it near the end with both hands. Cynical old Al suppresses a snicker, fingering the cyanide capsule kept in a locket round his neck for just such an eventuality, even as he calls in APC reinforcement via the Bat Phone.

 

It's gonna be a long day.

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Here's a long term short -

 

Jim Rogers "I'm short Fanny Mae, (NYSE:FNM - News) for instance. FNM will be a $5 stock before it's over. There are going to be huge dislocations because there has been so much credit and so many derivatives built up in the past five, ten years that we've had this explosive bull market in paper, if you will."

 

Achieving a 4000% Return In 10 Years: An Interview With Jim Rogers

http://biz.yahoo.com/tm/030811/10531_8.html

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6 Month Cycle Low?

 

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From Barfing

 

 

July retail sales jumped an impressive 1.4% as ex-autos rose 0.8%. The upward June revisions were strong as well and left an 0.9% rise (from 0.5%) with ex-autos up 1.0% -- tremendous back to back gain fueled by cash taken out of a record amount of mortgage refinancing and tax cuts which arrived in July. Separately, July import prices rose 0.5% (2.1% yoy) given a 3.7% rise in petroleum prices. Ex-petrol import prices rose just 0.1% (1.2% yoy). Export prices fell -0.1% given the same sized dip in non-agricultural prices. Treasuries extended their losses following the stronger-than-anticipated retail sales data, before bouncing upon reaching 4.50%. Presently, ten-year note down about a quarter-point to yield 4.46%.

 

 

'tremendous back to back gain fueled by cash taken out of a record amount of mortgage refinancing and tax cuts which arrived in July"

 

Doesn't that bother anyone?

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Japan-China trade soars 34% to record $60 bil

 

(Kyodo News)

 

Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 07:35 JST

 

TOKYO ? The value of Japan-China two-way trade in the January-June period surged 34% over a year earlier to a record $60 billion, breaking a record for a fourth consecutive first-half period, according to the Foreign Ministry and government statistics.

 

The rise came despite the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in China in November last year.

 

-----

 

While USD 60 billion is not a particularly large number in the scheme of things, I suggest if this rate of trade growth continues it will have some longer term implications for the USD as the reserve currency.

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I was just listening to Maria telling us that the $tnx rise is good for unfunded pension liabilities, and it occurred to me that the reason why this is so is only that the discount rate is rising. She didn't mention that little accounting fluke, however.

 

Pension funds themselves suffer a reduction in the value of their pension assets today as bonds fall. If higher interest rates are signalling an increase in inflation in the future, the funds will be able to keep themselves afloat because future pensioners will experience an erosion in the real value of their pensions. It's not because there are suddenly more pension assets for them to retire on. Pensioners will be the ones left holding the bag, and the bag will be empty.

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Ten-years at 4.48% yield.

 

The bond vigilantes are galloping and whooping round the Marriner S. Eccles Building in broad daylight, brandishing their flaming torches.

 

Al and Ben cower in the vault, behind a "fort" they built of gold bars. "Bring 'em on," growls Ben, hoisting one of the gold bars by gripping it near the end with both hands. Cynical old Al suppresses a snicker, fingering the cyanide capsule kept in a locket round his neck for just such an eventuality, even as he calls in APC reinforcement via the Bat Phone.

 

It's gonna be a long day.

:lol:

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