Red-Hot Resources

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

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day!

It looks like a stupor-inducingly dull day in the market. I survived Christmas, though my Aunt's dog, Sidney, did not. In fact, it died at my house yesterday afternoon. Sidney was a very old dog, a good dog, and very loved, and will be missed very much.

Earlier in the day, we had fun. Along with presents, tons of food, and good friends, we played games. It's something of a tradition at my house.

My team won this one:
Cranium. I highly recommend it, especially for competitive families who like screaming at each other in a mix of outrage and glee.

Later, I lost this one:
Carcassone. Doesn't matter -- it's a great game, and I'll win it another time. I bought Carcassone: Princess & Dragon Expansion as a gift for Cindy. She squealed with delight to find that under the tree.

Here's what I'm reading today (and so very little of it has to do with the markets) ...

Most people (who aren't mainlining Fox News) know that Christmas incorporated previously existing pagan winter solstice rituals. Rktect takes a look at some of those early celebrations, and the traditions that have carried over. I find Rktect's title "
The Real Story of Christmas" misleading -- the real story of Christmas is where you find it, and for many people that's here or here or here or even here -- but the historical research is fascinating, and happy yule to ya.

Most of my immediate family likes Tom Friedman. Most of my family is wrong.
My thoughts in nutshell.

Woes on Wall Street Coincide With Gold Coin Rush
"I've never seen a case where demand was so high and supply was so short," said Chicago coin dealer Harlan Berk, who has been in the business 44 years.

Retail Sales Plummet
Total retail sales, excluding automobiles, fell over the year-earlier period by 5.5% in November and 8% in December through Christmas Eve, according to MasterCard Inc.'s SpendingPulse unit.When gasoline sales are excluded, the fall in overall retail sales is more modest: a 2.5% drop in November and a 4% decline in December."This will go down as the one of the worst holiday sales seasons on record," said Mary Delk, a director in the retail practice at consulting firm Deloitte LLP.

Paul Krugman scares the bejeezus out of us with the title
"The Second Great Depression Has Arrived," but then reveals it's in Ukraine.

Get ready for the
Forum of Gas Exporting Countries.
Russia, the world's largest producer, accounts for 21.6% of global natural gas production. Other top ten global producers attending the meeting include Iran, Norway (as an observer) and Algeria.
"The time of cheap energy resources, and cheap gas is surely coming to an end." Vladimir V. Putin
Maybe you'd like a video with that ...

The Economist asks:
"After Zero Interest Rates, Where Next?"

Would you like a little conspiracy to spice up your post-Christmas reading? Then read
"The Intriguing Death of Top GOP Consultant Michael Connell"

I'm sure there is more I could write; maybe I'll add more later. Have a good day and a good weekend.


Check out my new gold and energy blog at