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"Luck is not chance, it’s toil; fortune’s expensive smile is earned.”

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I hope you're having a good weekend. Here's what I'm reading ...

Doctor Tim Kazurinsky of Saturday Night Live Fame gives the best explanation I've seen so far of what the Writer's Strike is about (because to me, at first, it looked like a bunch of millionaires going on strike against billionaires)

Barry Ritholtz over at The Big Picture has a great roundup of last week's market action along with a very good linkfest. I always read him on the weekend; maybe you should too.

Good news on energy (finally!) BP and Norway's Statoil have double the reserves they initially estimated at a huge offshore Azerbaijan natural gas field.

Uranium prices are going higher -- due to a shortage of battery acid?!! I'd heard this in general terms, but Uranium One's Neal Froneman says this will help drive uranium prices above $138 per pound in the next 12 to 18 months. Now, he runs a uranium company, so take what he says with a large grain of salt (or dash of battery acid).

Indian gems, jewellery exports up 21.5% At a time when the Indian exporting community is feeling the heat of rupee appreciation, gems and jewellery export that recorded a poor growth of 2.7% in 2006-07 is witnessing a turnaround, said a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) analysis on the country's foreign trade.

Will China and India Return to Their Science Glory Days? China and India comfortably led the world in scientific exploits before the 15th century. China surpassed Europe in its understanding of chemicals, industry and shipbuilding while India leapt ahead in mathematical ingenuity. Why did they both lose their steam? And now that they have regained their mojo, what impact will technology have on their economies and stock markets tracked by exchange-traded funds like the iShares China (FXI) and the Morgan Stanley India (IIF) and China (CAF) funds?

The behind-the-scenes story on Blackwater, the mercenaries that the US has hired in Iraq. I especially like their billing cycle: Blackwater only pays their security people $600 a day, as it moves up through the contractors it goes from $600 to $815 to $1250 to Halliburton billing the government $1500 per day. I'll have to remember that for future accounts.
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