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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Night – Songs of the Doomed?

Here are some news stories/opinion pieces that worry me …

Currency Controls Return as Central Banks Fight US Dollar Freefall
Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Central banks from Bogota to Mumbai are imposing foreign-exchange curbs to take control of their soaring currencies from traders dumping the dollar.

CDOs: The Ticking Time Bomb The equity markets seem to have finally realized that conditions are ugly in the credit markets, due to get uglier, and the mess will pull down the real economy. And the bad news continues. The dollar index fell to a new low. Wachovia said the value of its subprime securities, largely "super senior" tranches of CDOs, fell $1.1 billion and it was witnessing sharp falls in housing prices in some areas of the US.

We had questioned the optimistic assumption of a few weeks ago, that investment banks were taking deep enough writedowns to put their woes behind them. How can you possibly do that unless a market is at or near bottom? Wall Street analysts have indicated that they expect further writeoffs at the Wall Street firms.

Oil Price Rise Causes Global Shift in Wealth
Iran, Russia and Venezuela Feel the Benefits High oil prices are fueling one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history. Oil consumers are paying $4 billion to $5 billion more for crude oil every day than they did just five years ago, pumping more than $2 trillion into the coffers of oil companies and oil-producing nations this year alone.

Barclays bankrolls Mugabe's brutal regime BARCLAYS is bankrolling President Robert Mugabe's corrupt regime in Zimbabwe by providing substantial loans to cronies given land seized from white farmers.

The Worst Economy of Our Lifetime, pt III
The Republicans are spending social security money now, hoping no one will notice. And so far they're getting away with it. But intra-governmental debt is still debt. It has a legal priority claim on government revenue and must eventually be paid.

Scientists say get ready for a hotter planet
"There is medium confidence that approximately 20-30 per cent of species assessed so far are likely to be at increasing risk of extinction if increases in global average warming exceed 1.5-2.5 degrees Celsius." Warming of at least two degrees is considered a near certainly this century based on IPCC climate models.

And here's a story about the Arizona housing bubble that makes the South Florida housing bubble look like a walk in the park.


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