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Sunday, December 14, 2008

What I'm Reading Today

Here's what I am reading today ...


Japanese Business Confidence Plunges Most in 34 Years as Recession Deepens Sentiment among Japan’s largest manufacturers fell the most in 34 years, signaling companies are likely to cancel spending plans and cut more jobs, pushing the economy further into recession.

China Plans to Increase Money Supply in 2009 to Boost Domestic Consumption China aims to increase its money supply 17 percent in 2009 and encourage lending to boost domestic consumption and buoy growth in the world’s fourth-largest economy.

Crude Oil Rises as OPEC's El-Badri Says Sizeable Cut Is Needed at Meeting Crude oil rose, touching $50 a barrel in New York, after OPEC’s Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said the group needs to make a “sizable” output cut at this week’s meeting in Algeria.

OPEC Collides With Goldman Over $75 Oil in First Demand Decline Since 1983 The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will probably lower output targets by at least 2 million barrels a day, or 7.3 percent, when its members meet Dec. 17, according to 18 of 33 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. While Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah said last month that his country needs oil priced at $75 a barrel to spur development, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts crude may slide to $30 from $46.28 today.

OPEC Is in a Desperate Race Against Falling Oil Prices Oppenheimer & Co. senior oil analyst Fadel Gheit estimates the world oil supply is likely to drop by three million to five million barrels a day in 2009, due to OPEC cuts and smaller companies slashing production, compared with a decline of just one million to two million barrels a day in global oil demand.


Australia Cuts Commodity Export Sales Forecast 10% on Global Credit Crisis Australia, the world’s largest shipper of coal, iron ore and wool, cut its commodity exports forecast by 10 percent because of the global financial crisis that may continue to hinder any recovery until the second half next year.

Gold Futures Climb in New York as Dollar Extends Slump; Silver Advances Gold prices rose as the slumping dollar boosted the appeal of the precious metal as an alternative investment. Silver also gained.

China's Soybean Imports May Double This Month as Domestic Prices Advance China, the world’s largest buyer of soybeans, may double its imports this month from a year earlier, after higher prices of domestic beans prompted buyers to increase purchases overseas in the past few weeks.

World Gold Output to Rise for the First Time in Four Years, Australia Says Global gold production may rise for the first time in four years in 2009 as China and Indonesia increase output, Australia’s commodity forecaster said.

XX Sean's note -- that will be an interesting trick (to raise global producition) the way that the credit crunch is cutting into mine expansion plans, but I guess anything is possible.


Dollar Falls to Eight-Week Low Versus Euro on Auto Industry Bailout Costs The dollar fell to an eight-week low versus the euro on speculation a U.S. government rescue for the country’s automakers will leave less money to protect the financial system.

Dollar Staggers as U.S. Unleashes Flood, Deficits Increase, Fed Cuts Rates U.S. policy makers are flooding the world with an extra $8.5 trillion through 23 different plans designed to bail out the financial system and pump up the economy. The decline shows that the increased supply of money may be overwhelming investors just as the government steps up debt sales, the trade and budget deficits grow and de-leveraging by investors slows.

Treasury Benefits From ‘Massive Paranoia’ as Bailout Cost Falls Instead of shunning the U.S., where losses on subprime mortgages in 2007 triggered a global seizure in credit markets that led to the downfall of securities firms Bear Stearns Cos. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., investors can’t get enough Treasuries. Even as estimates of Obama’s stimulus package and the budget deficit rise to a record $1 trillion, demand continues to increase as investors flee risky assets around the world and put their cash into U.S. bonds paying, in some cases, nothing in yield just to ensure the return of their principal.


US cost of living probably fell most in six decades
The cost of living in the U.S. probably fell in November by the most in six decades, while slumps in manufacturing and homebuilding worsened, sending the economy deeper into a recession, economists said before reports this week. Consumer prices probably dropped 1.2 percent last month, the most since records began in 1947, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Builders broke ground on the fewest houses in almost a half century and factory output continued to slide. Costs of oil and other raw materials plummeted last month as the credit crisis caused consumers to slash spending, prompting automakers to plead for a bailout. Tumbling sales have retailers cutting prices, setting the stage for the Federal Reserve this week to lower its key rate target to its lowest level ever.


The glaciologist's worst nightmare Lakes of melted ice form on the surface of the polar ice caps in the summer months, driving cracks down through the ice, creating conduits. In Greenland recently, one such lake, three kilometres wide, emptied like a draining bathtub in just 90 minutes.So much water surging down to the bedrock of the ice sheet could contribute to massive icebergs breaking off and sliding into the sea – causing a sharp rise in sea level. It's the glaciologist's worst nightmare.

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