noworldsystem.com


Gold Runs Out In Germany

Gold Runs Out In Germany

Allan Hall
London Evening Standard
October 12, 2008

Risk-averse Germans are turning to gold in troubled times – but there’s none left.

German gold dealers say demand has skyrocketed this past week to 10 times normal so no more orders can be taken for the foreseeable future.

“The demand exceeds our capacities by a great deal,” said Heiko Ganss, head of precious metal company Pro Aurum.

“The requests cannot be satisfied right now,” a dealer from the Düsseldorf WGZ Bank confirmed.

“Demand for gold as a conservative investment has risen dramatically,” said stephan Henkel. “right now the demand is about 10 times as high as in normal times.”

Gold deliveries now take between four and six weeks.

The US mint said on Monday it had exhausted some of its supply of bullion coins and was struggling to meet demand for gold, silver and platinum.

South Africa’s Rand Refinery, producer of the world’s most popular gold bullion coin, the Krugerrand, temporarily ran out of the coins in August.

 

Londoners Queue-Up on Sidewalk to Buy Gold in Rush for Money Haven

Bloomberg
October 9, 2008

Londoners stood in line outside the largest gold coin and bar retailer in the city’s West End shopping district, clogging the lobby and trading among themselves as they sought a safe haven for their money.

“People want something tangible, something they can hold on to, something the banks can’t give them,” said Chris Burrow, the owner of ATS Bullion, the gold dealer in the Strand that traces its roots back to the 17th century. “There’s no time to breathe. We’re rushed off our feet. Staff are exhausted.”

As U.K. stocks tumbled to a five-year low, paced by financial-services companies, gold advanced. Since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s Sept. 15 filing for bankruptcy protection, exacerbating the worldwide credit crisis, gold for immediate delivery has jumped 19 percent.

“Investors are rushing to safe havens and physical gold seems to be the favorite one,” said Frederic Panizzutti, a senior vice president at MKS Finance, one of Switzerland’s four bullion refiners.

British government action to prop up the banking industry has failed to reassure investors. The U.K. on Oct. 8 promised 50 billion pounds ($86 billion) of capital to banks, the same day the Bank of England cut its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point. Last month, the government brokered a takeover of HBOS Plc, Britain’s largest mortgage lender, and seized control of Bradford & Bingley’s mortgage division.

Read Full Article Here

 

Austria Witnesses New Gold Rush

BBC
October 12, 2008

The financial crisis is prompting people to look for safer forms of investment than stocks and shares.

The interest in gold coins is so great that many of the world’s major mints are struggling to keep up with demand, including the Austrian Mint, which produces the Vienna Philharmonic – one of the best-selling bullion coins worldwide.

Sales of Vienna Philharmonic gold coins have gone up by more than 230% since last year.

Kerry Tattersall, the director of marketing at the mint, says production has gone into overdrive.

“We are running at present something like three shifts on all of the machines, on the presses, producing both gold and the silver bullion coins.

Read Full Article Here

 

Central banks all but stop lending gold

Javier Blas
Financial Times
October 8, 2008

Central banks have all but stopped lending gold to commercial and investment banks and other participants in the precious metals market, in a move that on Tuesday sent the cost of borrowing bullion for one-month to more than twenty times its usual level.

The one-month gold lease rate rocketed to 2.649 per cent, its highest level since May 2001 and significantly above its five-year average of 0.12 per cent, according to data from the London Bullion Market Association.

Gold lease rates for two, three, and six months and for a year also jumped to levels not seen in the last seven years.

Traders said the jump reflects the fact that central banks — mostly European — have almost completely stopped lending gold in the last few days and are not rolling forward old leases after maturity. This is because of fears that some borrowers might not repay their bullion loans if they are engulfed by the financial crisis.

“A number of central banks have been cutting back on their gold lending,” said Tom Kendall, a precious metals strategist at Mitsubishi in London.

John Reade, a commodities strategist at UBS, added that there had been a lot of talk about some central banks being unwilling to lend their gold because of a redoubled focus on the risk of borrowers not returning it.

Read Full Article Here

Bullion Shortage and Spot Prices Tell Two Different Gold Stories
http://seekingalpha.com/article/99680-..ces-tell-two-different-gold-stories

Blatant Banker Manipulation Of Gold Prices
http://www.prisonplanet.com/blatant-banker-manipulation-of-gold-prices.html

No Mass Mania for Gold Yet – Less than 1% of Public in Western World Have Invested in Gold
http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1224161100.php

Spot Gold Price Is Now Meaningless
http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewarticle%2Barticleid_2713209.html

Gold expected to rally above $1000 in Q1 2009
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b..o-rally-above-1000-in-q1-2009.aspx

What the Pros Say: All that Glitters is Gold
http://www.cnbc.com/id/27095525

Kiener: Gold Prices To Double On Paper Market Default
http://www.prisonplanet.com/kiener-..o-double-on-paper-market-default.html

 



Potential Bailout Cost is $5 Trillion or $43K Per Household

Potential Cost For Bailout is $5 Trillion or $43K Per Household

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
October 15, 2008

The total potential cost of the financial bailout to the U.S. taxpayer is already rapidly approaching $5 trillion, over seven times as much as the meaningless $700 billion bailout bill figure.

Analysts have previously marked out the $5 trillion figure as the actual cost, now those predictions are becoming demonstratively accurate.

Meanwhile, Hank Paulson has defended government intervention, stating “There’s no doubt that the way to get the maximum bang for the taxpayers here was to invest in banks.”

Based on this Reuters summary and the sources linked within the table, here is a breakdown of the bailout’s cost to taxpayers so far.

Bailout Type
Cost To Taxpayers
$300 billion
$250billion
$25 billion
$150 billion
$700 billion+
$29 billion
$200 billion
$85 billion (+ extra request of $35 billion)
$300 billion
$4 billion
$87 billion
$200 billion+
$50 billion
$144 billion
POSSIBLE TOTAL $2.56 trillion+
NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS PER
U.S. CENSUS
105,480,101
POSSIBLE COST PER HOUSEHOLD
$24,26

In addition, the U.S. government has said it will temporarily guarantee $1.5 trillion (£856 billion) in new senior debt issued by banks, as well as insure $500 billion (£285 billion) in deposits in non-interest accounts, mainly used by businesses.

These figures take the potential cost to $4.559 trillion+ – or $43, 221 per household.

Furthermore, when you account for the fact that the credit default swap market is around $62 trillion, and that derivatives worldwide are worth between between $1 and $2 quadrillion, the numbers start to become meaningless.

 

Fed To Offer Unlimited Dollars
Bloomberg
October 13, 2008

The U.S. Federal Reserve led an unprecedented push by central banks to flood financial markets with dollars, backing up government efforts to restore confidence in the banking system.

The ECB, the Bank of England and the Swiss central bank will offer unlimited dollar funds in auctions with maturities of seven days, 28 days and 84 days at a fixed interest rate, the Washington-based Fed said today. The Bank of Japan may introduce “similar measures.’’ The dollar declined and some money-market rates fell.

Policy makers from the Group of Seven nations pledged at the weekend to take “all necessary steps’’ to stem a market panic after the MSCI World stock index plunged 20 percent last week. Central banks last week cut interest rates in tandem for the first time since 2001, the U.S. plans to buy $700 billion in distressed assets from banks and in Europe, the U.K. is leading a push to keep lenders afloat with taxpayers’ money.

“By providing unlimited dollar funds they are acting on the back of the G-7 plan to ensure the system is fully liquidized,’’ said Lena Komileva, an economist at Tullet Prebon Plc in London. “We’re going to see even more liquidity provided and more aggressive rate cuts are coming.’’

Read Full Article Here

Banks borrow record $437.5 billion per day from Fed
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE49F97920081017

Millionaire Hedge Fund Trader Thanks Idiot Traders
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/oct/18/banking-useconomy

Treasury Black Out Key Parts Of Bailout Contracts
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/..136030.html

Wall Street banks in $70bn staff payout
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/oct/17/executivesalaries-banking

Homeless Numbers Alarming
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-21-homeless_N.htm

House prices ‘to plummet by 35%’ – the biggest ever fall in Britain
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/..–biggest-fall-Britain.html

Royal Bank Of Scotland Nationalized
http://business.timesonline.co…g_and_finance/article4932250.ece

Switzerland Pumps Billions Into Bank System
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081016/eu_switzerland_banks.html?printer=1

UBS Gets Bailout From Swiss National Bank
http://www.chicagotribune.com..7,0,4057853.story

Dow Jones Bloodbath Mirroring 1929 Rout
http://www.prisonplanet.com/dow-jones-bloodbath-mirroring-1929-rout.html

Two More Banks Closed By Regulators
http://money…00397x1211373371x1200675175

U.S. Stocks Plunge Most Since Crash of `87 on Recession Concern
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid..er=home

Roubini Sees Worst Recession in 40 Years, Rally’s End
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?..efer=home

JPMorgan Responsible for the Destruction of U.S. Financial System
http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article6826.html

World May Be Lucky to Get Worst Recession Since 1983
http://www.bloomberg.com..OAeSWBCY&refer=home

Stocks On Track For Worst Year Since 1937
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/6050283.html

Former Fed chief says U.S. now in recession
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE49D2QB20081014

U.S. Economy Collapse News Archive

 



Top contributors to Obama and McCain are big banks

Top contributors to Obama and McCain are big banks

 



Traders betting oil will hit $200 a barrel in 2008

Traders betting oil will hit $200 a barrel in 2008

Rocky Mountain News
January 12, 2008

Fbiiraqisbein_mn

The fastest-growing bet in the oil market these days is that the price of crude will double to $200 a barrel by the end of the year.

Options to buy oil for $200 on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose tenfold in the past two months to 5,533 contracts, a record increase for any similar period. The contracts, the cheapest way to speculate in energy markets, have appreciated 36 percent since early December as crude futures reached a record $100.09 on Jan. 3.

While analysts at Merrill Lynch & Co. and UBS AG say the slowing U.S. economy will lead to the biggest drop in prices since 2001, the options show that some traders expect oil to rise for a seventh straight year.

Demand will increase 2.5 percent in 2008, according to the International Energy Agency.

U.S. inventories fell to a three-year low Dec. 28.

Production from Mexico is declining, and Saudi Arabia is behind schedule in opening its newest field.

“One hundred dollars a barrel is actually 14.9 cents a cup, so we’re still talking about oil being remarkably cheap,” said Matthew R. Simmons, chairman of Simmons & Co. International, a Houston-based investment bank that focuses on energy.

Inventories “are tight as a drum, and I don’t see how we get out of this box,” he said in a Bloomberg News television interview last week. “Demand clearly isn’t starting to slow down.”

World consumption will rise to 87.8 million barrels a day this year, 2.1 million more than in 2007, or an increase equal to what Nigeria supplies, according to the Paris-based IEA, an adviser to oil-consuming nations. Demand from China alone will increase 5.7 percent to 8 million barrels a day as imports expand to support an economy that’s likely to grow 11 percent, the IEA said.

Oil suppliers are straining to increase production. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter, said last week that the 500,000-barrel-a-day Khursaniyah oilfield missed a December start date. Brazil’s Tupi field, the second-largest find of the past two decades, lies more than five miles below the ocean surface and will take at least five years to develop.

Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico’s state oil monopoly, suffered a three-year, 40 percent decline at its Cantarell field, the world’s third-largest. Fighting in Nigeria has reduced production 11 percent since December 2005 to 2.18 million barrels a day, according to Bloomberg.

Read Full Article Here

308,000 Barrels Missing From Reserve
http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2008/01/oil-crisis-as-b.html

 



Fed promises as much money as the banks want

Fed promises as much money as the banks want
Fed Has Auctioned Another $20B in Funds to Commercial Banks to Combat Credit Crunch

AP
December 21, 2007

The Federal Reserve, working to combat the effects of a severe credit crunch, announced Friday it had auctioned another $20 billion in funds to commercial banks at an interest rate of 4.67 percent. Fed officials pledged to continue with the auctions “for as long as necessary.”

The central bank said it had received bids for $57.7 billion worth of loans, nearly three times the amount being offered, indicating continued strong interest in the Fed’s new approach to providing money to cash-strapped banks.

It was the second of four scheduled auctions. The first auction, on Monday, of $20 billion resulted in loans being awarded at an interest rate of 4.65 percent. There were 93 bidders seeking $63.6 billion at the first auction and 73 at the second.

Two more auctions will occur in early January. In a statement Friday, the central bank said it would continue with further auctions “for as long as necessary to address elevated pressures in short-term funding markets.”

The new auction process was announced by the Fed last week in a coordinated action with central banks around the world trying to address a global credit crunch.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues decided to try the new process because their efforts to inject funds into the banking system through the Fed’s discount window, which makes direct loans to banks, had proven less successful than Fed officials had hoped.

Many banks had avoided using the Fed’s discount window out of concern that investors would see the move as an indication of underlying problems at their financial institutions.

The auction process was developed as a second way to get money into the banking system with the hopes that it would not carry the stigma of the discount window.

The Fed said Friday that it would announce on Jan. 4 the sizes of the next two auctions which will be held Jan. 14 and Jan. 28. Officials have said the Fed will evaluate the interest in the auctions after the initial four and determine whether more auctions will be scheduled.

The new auction results cover short-term loans for 35 days.

The global credit crisis has made banks reluctant to lend to each other even as the Fed has been lowering its federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other for overnight loans.

The rate currently stands at 4.25 percent, a full percentage point lower than it was in September when the Fed began slashing rates in the wake of a severe credit squeeze that had roiled global markets in August.

The 4.67 percent rate for the second $20 billion in funds and the 4.65 percent rate for the first auction means that banks who are using the auction process to get needed reserves are getting them at a rate slightly below the 4.75 percent rate they could get in direct loans through the discount window.

The Fed cut the federal funds rate and the discount rate by a quarter-point at its last meeting on Dec. 11, disappointing investors who had hoped for a bigger half-point reduction in the funds rate.

Many economists believe the Fed will keep cutting rates with three more quarter-point reductions expected in the funds rate at the Fed’s first three meetings of the new year.

Analysts believe that a serious slowdown in overall economic growth will force the Fed to continue cutting rates even though some Fed officials have expressed worries that the rate cuts could exacerbate inflation pressures, which have flared up again, reflecting a renewed surge in oil prices.

 

People & Power – Death of the dollar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54MUm2P1jOU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdrNbhdl7uU

Growing number of Americans expect recession: poll
http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSN1821436620071219

Gold climbs above $800 in London as dollar drops; silver gains
http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=159758

Northern Rock Rescue Cost $100B
http://www.fmnn.com/WorldNews.asp?nid=52822

US Inflation Soars – Largest Rise in Producer Prices Since 1973!
http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article3128.html

US foreclosure filings up 68 pct in Nov.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071219/ap_on_bi_ge/foreclosure_rates

U.S. Dollar’s Credibility Being `Stretched,’ UBS Economist Says
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601…o4&refer=home

US Federal Reserve’s subprime regulations shield Wall Street banks
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/dec2007/mort-d21.shtml

Economy teeters on brink, says Resler
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/mailto.a…&siteid=mktw

GAO Says Government Failed Yet Another Financial Audit
http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cf…2&dcn=todaysnews

One in Five Americans Must Borrow to Heat Homes This Winter
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/71071/

Morgan Stanley secures $5bn from China
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.j….9/bcnmorgan119.xml

CNN: Ron Paul Says U.S. Going Broke
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP6MtMq5cBw

ECB Offers Banks Unlimited Funds
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7149329.stm

Overstock.com CEO warns of depression
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-TLfmLTiqA

U.S. Economic Collapse News Archive

 



Wall Street Tumbles After Rate Cut

Wall Street Tumbles After Rate Cut

AP
December 11, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve dropped its most important interest rate to a nearly two-year low on Tuesday and left the door open to additional cuts to prevent a housing and credit meltdown from pushing the economy into a recession.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and all but one of his colleagues agreed to trim the federal funds rate by one-quarter percentage point to 4.25 percent.

The rate reduction, the third this year, was needed to energize national economic growth, Fed officials said. The deepening housing slump is affecting the behavior of consumers and businesses alike, the Fed said.

“Economic growth is slowing, reflecting the intensification of the housing correction and some softening in business and consumer spending. Moreover, strains in financial markets have increased in recent weeks,” the Fed said in a statement explaining its decision to cut rates again. The three rate cuts ordered thus far “should help promote moderate growth over time,” the Fed added.

On Wall Street, stocks tumbled, reflecting disappointment among some investors who were hoping for a larger rate cut. The Dow Jones industrial plunged more than 200 points.

The funds rate affects many other interest rates charged to individuals and businesses and is the Fed’s most potent tool for influencing economic activity.

In response, commercial banks, including Wachovia and Wells Fargo, lowered their prime lending rate by a corresponding amount, to 7.25 percent. The prime rate applies to certain credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other loans.

The fact that the Fed’s key rate was lowered again marked an about- face for the central bank. At its previous meeting in October, Fed officials hinted that their two rate cuts probably would be sufficient to help the economy survive the housing and credit stresses. Since then, however, financial conditions have deteriorated, prompting Bernanke to signal before Tuesday’s meeting that another rate cut may be needed after all as an insurance policy against undue economic weakness.

As another bolstering move, the Fed on Tuesday also lowered its lending rates to banks by one-quarter percentage point. That was the fourth cut to the discount rate since mid-August.

“Recent developments, including the deterioration in financial market conditions, have increased the uncertainty surrounding the outlook for economic growth and inflation,” the Fed said in its statement.

Banks, financial companies and other investors who made loans to people with spotty credit or put money into securities backed by those subprime mortgages have lost billions of dollars. Investors in the U.S. and abroad have grown more wary of buying new debt, thereby aggravating the credit crunch.

Harder-to-get credit has thwarted would-be home buyers, intensifying the housing collapse. Foreclosures have soared to record highs. The number of unsold homes have piled up. Problems are expected to persist well into next year.

The 9-1 decision for a quarter-point reduction to the funds rate was opposed by Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He preferred a bolder, half-percentage point cut.

“Fed’s language clearly reflects a heightened degree of concern about the economic outlook,” said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at LaSalle Bank. “They left open the possibility of additional rate reductions,” he added. If the economy were to take a turn for the worse, another rate cut could come before the Fed’s next scheduled meeting on Jan. 29-30, Tannbenbaum said.

The situation poses the biggest challenge yet to Bernanke, who took over the Fed in February 2006. Some analysts have questioned whether he waited too long to cut the Fed’s key rate and whether he has acted aggressively enough to the nation’s economic woes.

In September, the central bank dropped the funds rate for the first time in four years. Then it was a half-point drop; on Oct. 31 came a quarter-point cut.

The rationale behind the lower rates is that they will induce consumers and businesses to boost spending, invigorating economic activity. With Tuesday’s reductions, both the funds rate and the prime rate are now at their lowest levels in nearly two years.

From July through September, the economy logged its best growth in four years. But it is expected to slow to a pace of just 1.5 percent or less over the final three months of the year as the housing collapse and credit crunch chill consumers, sapping overall economic growth. The odds of a recession have grown.

With growth cooling, the unemployment rate, now at a relatively low 4.7 percent, is expected to rise. Analysts expect the jobless rate to climb to 5 percent by early next year.

High oil prices could complicate the Fed’s job of trying to keep the economy expanding and inflation low.

Oil prices, which had neared $100 a barrel, have moderated. But they are still high. High energy prices are a double-edged sword. They can slow economic activity and spread inflation if they cause the prices of lots of other goods and services to rise.

“Elevated energy and commodity prices, among other factors, may put upward pressure on inflation,” the Fed said. “Inflation risks remain,” the Fed said, adding that it “will continue to monitor inflation developments carefully.” Some economists believed the Fed’s decision to go with a moderate quarter-point cut was a nod to those inflation concerns.

 

Dropping dollar cramps the style of Americans abroad

LA Times
December 9, 2007

LONDON – Karla Keating and her husband had retirement on their minds in May when they got what they considered an offer too good to refuse: a three-year stint in London.

Coming from North Carolina, they knew it was going to be a bit of a financial leap. But the major US bank where her husband is an executive lured him with a 33 percent increase in pay. Within weeks, they had crossed the ocean and found a nice flat near Marylebone for 1,820 pounds – about $3,750.

“The estate agent told me the price, and I said OK, I guess that’s kind of comparable to prices around Europe. And he said, ‘That’s the price per week,’ ” Keating recalls. Since then, it’s been all downhill.

The iPod Nanos for the children cost 99 pounds apiece (about $204), compared with $149 in the United States. Keating’s six-Diet Coke-a-day habit got shaved quickly to one, at $2 a can. They sit at the end of the day on their small balcony overlooking Great Portland Street, and her husband smiles (sort of) and says, “Here’s your $12 glass of wine.”

“When I got here I was like a deer in headlights. I was just, ‘Oh my God’ about everything,” Keating said. “We figured out that with the increasingly weakening dollar, in reality he is making less than he was making 20 years ago.”

Read Full Article Here

Related News:

Interest Rate Freeze: Real Story Is Fraud
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin…2V.DTL&type=printable

Wall Street to Fed: Not good enough
http://money.cnn.com/2007/12/…postversion=2007121117

America faces day of reckoning with debt
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/mone…/2007/12/10/ccview110.xml

UBS posts fresh $10bn write-down
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7135872.stm

UK Food Prices Rise Fastest In 14 Years
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…1/nprices111.xmlform

U.S. Trade Deficits Mirror Rome’s
http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/…siness/19691002&sec=business

Washington Mutual to close 190 offices
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi…B6TRQ84.DTL&tsp=1

U.S. Mortgage Crisis Rivals S&L Meltdown
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB11…tml?mod=hps_us_whats_news

Gold steadies above 800 usd as investors await Fed rate verdict
http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2007/12/11/afx4425300.html

Mortgage Crisis Forces Big Cuts at WaMu
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-…01226_pf.html

BofA money market fund dives 70%
http://money.cnn.com/2007/12/10/news/co…21014

Elites Consider Move To PetroEuro
http://www.roguegovernment.com/news.php?id=5400

Gulf States to Discuss Single Currency Plan by 2010
http://in.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idINIndia-30787820071202

Housing Prices Seen Falling 30%
http://www.reuters.com/artic…4897520071206

As credit crisis festers, Fed set to cut rates
CNBC Reports Bank of America Freezes $12 Billion Money Market
US Federal Reserve eyes rate cut, prepares for economic storm: analysts
Fed Expected To Lower Interest Rates
UBS takes another major hit
Ailing dollar poised for rebound in 2008
Big Fed rate cut may spur a rally
CFR: Considering the PetroEuro
The Central Bank; Silent partner in the bloodletting
LA Times: Symptoms of an economic depression

U.S. Economic Collapse News Archive

 



Relative of Merrill Lynch Founder Predicts Stock Market Crash


Relative of Merrill Lynch Founder Predicts Stock Market Crash


Kerri Panchuk
DSNews
October 30, 2007

In a market where fears over the subprime shakedown are spreading pessimism nationwide, Charles Merrill, the cousin of the man who founded Merrill Lynch & Co., is predicting a stock market crash that will put the 1929 crash to shame.

Merrill, in an exclusive interview with a financial author, said, “There is going to be a major stock market crash, so protect your assets. Buy physical gold and hide it.”

Merrill also discussed all the changes at Merrill Lynch that indicate a potential market crises—even alluding to the company’s chief executive officer, who stepped down this week.

“Merrill Lynch is crashing, due to the ineptness of the CEO,” Merrill said. “No matter who is running Merrill Lynch & Co., it’s going to need a regimen of restraint and recuperation after getting badly bruised by the global credit market shakedown. I predict a house of dominos, and the whole stock market is going to crash.”

Lynch’s less-than-encouraging remarks were part of an interview with writer Michael Grace, who is writing a book called, “The Final Great Depression.”

During the interview, Merrill concluded, “There is so much wealth in Palm Springs … from inherited to funny money, and I’m advising my friends to buy gold. Grace’s book on the ‘final depression’ sounds like a novel or fantasy but unfortunately it is a picture of our horrible future here in America. My cousin Charlie must be turning over in his grave.”

 

Oil Crisis in Summer ’09: War in Iran. Gasoline rationing. A military draft. A Chinese takeover of Taiwan. Double-digit inflation and unemployment

Herald Tribune
November 2, 2007

WASHINGTON: War in Iran. Gasoline rationing. A military draft. A Chinese takeover of Taiwan. Double-digit inflation and unemployment. The draining of the strategic petroleum reserve.

This is where current energy policy is going in the United States, according to a nightmare scenario played out as a policy-making exercise on Thursday by a group of former top government officials.

Two bipartisan business-supported groups sponsored an elaborately staged role-playing game called Oil ShockWave that tried to dramatize the effect of American dependence on oil imported from unstable and unfriendly parts of the world.

The organizers have an agenda: They hope to prompt Congress to act on energy legislation and to push the issue into the presidential campaign.

Read Full Article Here

 

CDS traders warn of ‘blood on streets’

BBC
October 27, 2007

The mood in credit derivatives markets turned ugly on Thursday, with the cost of insuring corporate debt hitting multi-week highs on both sides of the Atlantic.

Speculation was rife that leading major investment banks were facing additional losses linked to complex mortgage-backed securities, while worries mounted over the health of major financial guarantors.

“It’s scary out there — there’s blood on the streets,” a trader at a US brokerage said. “It’s a real mess.”

In the US, the perceived risk of owning corporate debt jumped to a seven-week high, with the cost to insure a $10m portfolio of investment-grade debt reaching $67,000, data from Phoenix Partners Group showed.

Confidence in Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, as measured by their credit default swaps, slumped to lows not seen since the height of the credit squeeze in August.

Five-year credit default swaps tied to Citigroup widened to 60 basis points, meaning it cost $60,000 annually to insure Citigroup’s debt against default for five years. A couple of weeks ago, that figure stood at $27,000.

Contracts on Merrill Lynch, which last week posted the largest quarterly loss in its 93-year history, rose $18,000 to $103,000. CDS on UBS rose 10bp to 51bp, Deutsche Bank said. The contracts stood at about 6bp in May. Contracts on Credit Suisse rose 4bp to 52bp from 10bp in June.

Bond insurers, or monolines, were also hit hard.

“[These triple-A rated companies are] exposed to the crumbling housing market,” said Gavan Nolan, an analyst at derivatives data provider Markit. “Investors in monolines will be waiting for the coming months of housing data with trepidation,” Mr Nolan said.

CDS on MBIA Insurance rocketed to a four-year high, of 345bp, CMA Datavision said.

Last week the insurer posted $36.6m net loss and halted its share buy-back programme.

Contracts on the bond insurance unit of Ambac Financial climbed to a five-year high of 310bp.

Gimme Credit, an independent research term, downgraded both MBIA and Ambac this week.

In Europe, the iTraxx Crossover index of 50 mostly high-yield companies widened by 18 bp to 338bp, the biggest rise since August, according to Deutsche Bank data.

The iTraxx Europe index, which tracks 125 investment-grade companies, rose 3.75bp to 41bp. It was the biggest one-day jump since early September.

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