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Monday, August 04, 2008

Monday Is Chart Day -- Storms, Oil, Gold & More

Tropical Storm Edouard Strengthens in Gulf of Mexico; May Become Hurricane Tropical Storm Edouard churned over the Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to approach hurricane strength on a course for Galveston, Texas, the biggest U.S. petroleum port. Parts of Louisiana and Texas were under a hurricane watch. XX Sean’s note – and yet oil is down a buck a barrel as I write this. That’s not a bullish sign.
The US dollar wins a beauty contest in a leper colony. It is going up because traders expect the ECB to cut rates if/when German employment falls.

XX Sean’s note – a platform for gold's next move up, or the start of gold’s next leg down?



Kuwait Official Sees Oil Staying Above $100: Report

Oil is unlikely to fall below $100 per barrel as strong demand from emerging economies such as China and India put a floor under prices, a member of Kuwait's top oil council said in remarks published on Sunday.

Why Does Gas Cost $4 or More a Gallon?

That link leads to a great pictorial representation and explanation of rising gasoline prices.

SemGroup woes have ripple effect

Numerous Wichita-area and Kansas companies are on the 900-page list of creditors that SemGroup filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. Company officials said it owes at least $2.52 billion just to its lenders.

"I think the greatest fear out there is that this is not an anomaly; that it might be the first of more to come," said Ed Cross, executive vice president of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association.


Fewest Treasury Traders Since 1960 Hit Taxpayers as Record Deficit Widens For the first time since 1960, when it created the network of securities firms obligated to buy and sell Treasury bonds, the U.S. government has the fewest bond traders making markets in its debt and a bigger burden for American taxpayers financing record federal deficits.

Rolling Recessions Bring Bernanke, King, Trichet Monetary Policy Paralysis Recessions are threatening to crash over the world economy in waves, as one country after another turns down a year after the onset of the global credit crisis.


Automatic Earth Examines the Banking Crisis

There are 8,500 banks in the U.S. Based on an independent analysis by Chris Whalen from Institutional Risk Analytics, they have identified 8% of all banks, or around 700 banks as troubled. This is quite a divergence from the FDIC estimate. Should you believe a governmental agency that wants the public to remain in the dark to avoid bank runs, or an independent analysis based upon balance sheet analysis? The implications of 700 institutions failing are huge.

There is roughly $6.84 trillion in bank deposits. It is almost beyond belief that $2.6 trillion of these deposits are uninsured. There is only $274 billion of the $6.84 trillion as cash on hand at banks. This means that $6.5 trillion has been loaned to consumers, businesses, developers, etc. The FDIC has $53 billion to cover $6.84 trillion of deposits. Does that give you a warm feeling?

Housing Lenders Fear Bigger Wave of Loan Defaults

Homeowners with good credit are falling behind on their payments in growing numbers, just as the problems with subprime mortgages have begun to level off.


Gas costs, environmental worries lead more bike riders

Bicycling for reasons other than health and recreation is one way more and more people are responding to the arrival of gasoline prices that remain near $4 a gallon. The idea is to leave that car, truck or SUV in the garage more often.

The increase in bicycling is evident at area bike shops, which are having a hard time keeping pace with a surge in sales that operators think is fueled by higher gas prices. Stripped of 2008 inventories, some well-known bicycle brand names are rolling out their 2009 models several months earlier than usual, said Bernie Camp, sales manager at Russell’s Cycling in Washington.

Death in the Gulf of Mexico

Every year for the past couple of decades, scientists have tried to estimate the size of the dead zone that forms where the Mississippi River enters the Gulf of Mexico. Some years it is several times as large as Lake Pontchartrain. Last year it was the size of New Jersey. This year, it may well be as large as Massachusetts, possibly even exceeding the size it was in 2002 — nearly 8,500 square miles where almost nothing lives.

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