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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday News Roundup

I'm Dreaming of a Blue Christmas ...


From the LA Times... Retailers cutting back on holiday hiring
A recent survey of more than 1,000 managers responsible for hiring hourly workers found that each manager planned on hiring an average of 3.7 seasonal employees this year, roughly 33% less than the 5.6 workers they hired during last year's holiday period.

Treasury Can't Influence How Banks Use Cash Infusion
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson persuaded nine major U.S. banks to accept $125 billion in government investment. Getting them to lend it out may prove a tougher sell.
"The truth of the matter is, they can't put a gun to their head and say you have to lend this money,'' said Charles Horn, a former official at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, part of the Treasury Department, and now a partner at the Mayer Brown law firm in Washington.

Three-Month Libor for Dollars Declines for Third Consecutive Day, BBA Says The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, that banks charge each other for three-month loans in dollars fell 9 basis points to 4.55 percent today, according to the British Bankers' Association.

XX Sean's note -- on the other hand, LIBOR and the TED Spread Still Show Extreme Stress


Gold Advances for Second Day as European Stocks Decline; Platinum Falls Gold rose in London as European equity markets opened lower, buoying demand for the metal as an alternative investment. Platinum fell.

Also, mints are making gold coins flat-out, but can't keep up with demand.


OPEC Is Likely to Cut Crude Production 1 Million Barrels, PFC Energy Says OPEC will probably announce a production cut of 1 million barrels a day at its November meeting, said PFC Energy, an industry consultant that correctly called the decision at the group's last summit.

Paladin Energy Says Global Credit Crunch May Delay, Scupper Uranium Plans Paladin Energy Ltd., the Australian company producing uranium in Namibia, said the global credit crisis will delay or scupper planned industry projects, cutting supplies of the nuclear fuel.


Cement Prices Will Fall in China Next Year, Biggest Maker Anhui Conch Says Anhui Conch Cement Co., China's biggest maker of the building material, said prices will decrease early next year on cooling demand for new property and infrastructure in some regions. The shares fell by the most in more than seven years.

Finally, from the Department of Statistics that May or May Not Mean Anything ...
Since 1929, Republicans and Democrats have each controlled the presidency for nearly 40 years. ... As of Friday, a $10,000 investment in the S.& P. stock market index would have grown to $11,733 if invested under Republican presidents only ... Invested under Democratic presidents only, $10,000 would have grown to $300,671 at a compound rate of 8.9 percent over nearly 40 years.
XX What this New York Times Editorial doesn't add is that there is a financial shitstorm bearing down on us, and no matter who's in charge, we'll probably end up poorer. The Times' graphics are cool, though.

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