Dominique Strauss-Kahn may have more to worry about than a possible prison sentence. The IMF chief’s alleged sex-assault victim lives in a Bronx apartment rented exclusively for adults with HIV or AIDS, The Post has learned. The hotel maid, a West African immigrant, has occupied the fourth-floor High Bridge pad with her 15-year-old daughter since January — and before that, lived in another Bronx apartment set aside by Harlem Community AIDS United strictly for adults with the virus and their families.
Quick Update on Gas prices from Gallup. Don’t forget, driving season coming up.
Average gas prices in the United States have increased by nearly $1 a gallon since January, with half of that increase occurring since March. This increase has clearly caught Americans’ attention, with 67% saying it has caused them financial hardship. Additionally, the slight majority of Americans report that they have made real changes in their lives to deal with high fuel costs. Driving less is the obvious, and most common, response, whether that be driving less in general, cutting back on vacation travel, or consolidating errands. Additionally, some Americans, particularly those under 55, have switched to a more fuel-efficient car, while others, particularly lower-income Americans, have cut back on other household and living expenses to be able to put gas in their tanks. (Gallup)
SPX has not created any returns during the last decade. We have seen cycles of around 4 years. Time to head lower again, especially with this last leg up exhausting….
SPX refuses to make healthy new highs. The tops are loosing “steam”, especially with every uptick made by decreasing volume. SPX might be forming the last part of a big wedge, which eventually should take the market much lower.
SPX and OIL (red). Oil seems to have topped out, especially with the Usd getting stronger and people talk about deflation….As we have argued, we believe the commodities space is showing us where the equities are heading, lower. Both OIL and SPX have failed to take out new highs, let’s see if SPX follows OIL lower.
Upper chart VIX (fear) index compared to OIL on the lower chart. We see the effects on VIX with regards to OIL moving. With OIL volatility increased, we are poised for some higher volatility in the stock market. Judging by the lack of volume, and Algo driven trading, things can get interesting.
Although somewhat extreme in his views, worth reading Cobb’s insights into the food problem.
In his latest book entitled Bottleneck sociologist and ecologist William Catton Jr. explains in detail why he believes human society is destined for a major dieoff, a “bottleneck” from which few survivors will emerge.
One cause, he says, is an array of vested interests who manipulate the media and the power structure, oblivious to the consequences of their actions. Many would say that this is business-as-usual. After all, what do we expect when governments are thoroughly dominated by the industries they are supposed to regulate? As a result, we may say, a few more people will be maimed or killed or maybe just ripped off than would otherwise be the case. But, would such interests be so crazy as to persist in their manipulations when faced with compelling evidence that suggests their actions could result in widespread starvation?
A more recent revelation is that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, may be setting us up for a major crop failure worldwide. Sold primarily under the trade name Roundup, the herbicide has been central to chemical and seed giant Monsanto’s strategy to lock-in alfalfa, corn, cotton, canola, soybean, and sugar beet growers who must buy the company’s genetically engineered and patent-protected seeds every year from Monsanto if they want to reseed their fields with herbicide-proof crops.
America’s richest used to pay taxes to America, now they lend their Usd to the government. With the parabolic increase in debt, these super rich dictate the rules. This unseen development, causes great risk to America. Below from professor Reich;
The great irony is if America’s super rich financed the U.S. government the way they used to – by paying taxes rather than lending the government money – that long-term budget deficit would be far lower. This is why a tax increase on the super rich must be part of any budget agreement. Otherwise the great switch by the super rich will make the income and wealth gap far wider.
A topic not getting (almost) attention is the Energy situation in China. Could China’s coming Energy Crisis, spill over to Us, and push gas prices further up?
China is currently facing its worst energy crisis in years. It’s so bad that their central planners must be having sleepless nights in Beijing worrying if the lights are about to go out and the factories will stop pumping out goods. Huge swaths of central China, including the financial center, Shanghai, are likely to face power cuts this summer as energy demand peaks. This is how the state-controlled China Daily newspaper summed up the situation: “Power shortages that gripped many parts of the country in recent months could herald the worst energy crunch in years amid growing concerns that economic growth may suffer.”
Remember Meredith Whitney, the analyst who called the banks first blow up. She is back again. Worth reading from WSJ,
Next month will be pivotal for most states, as it marks the fiscal year end and is when balanced budgets are due. The states have racked up over $1.8 trillion in taxpayer-supported obligations in large part by underfunding their pension and other post-employment benefits. Yet over the past three years, there still has been a cumulative excess of $400 billion in state budget shortfalls. States have already been forced to raise taxes and cut programs to bridge those gaps.
Next month will also mark the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s $480 billion in federal stimulus, which has subsidized states through the economic downturn. States have grown more dependent on federal subsidies, relying on them for almost 30% of their budgets.
The condition of state finances threatens the economic recovery. States employ over 19 million Americans, or 15% of the U.S. work force, and state spending accounts for 12% of U.S. gross domestic product. The process of reining in state finances will be painful for us all.
Here we go. The Euro elephant in the room, nobody wants to talk about. Spain’s property market, is a total disaster, fuelled by huge credit and speculation. Add to that a big portion of corruption, and you will get the market right. Many people have lost it all in Spanish properties, by speculating, or simply by buying properties with no ownership (sin escritura). There are vast complexes of hundreds of flats in each complex, that are illegally built, and the owners can’t sell them on. This problem is hard to read about and understand intellectually, you simply have to spend years in Spain to see the effects. Add to that unemployment of + 20% and we see a problem of how the banks will get rid of reposessed properties. Bear in mind, it takes usually more than a year, from handing your keys, unable to pay for the property, until the bank even gets the legal papers to sell the property. It then takes another year before banks realize they have stuff on their books, that is hard to sell. The Spanish banks are now getting to sell the repoessed properties from the financial crisis times. So how will they manage to do this? Simply by doing the same thing all over again, giving people pre crisis loan terms. Who said Spain is not taking care of it’s properties? Espana, everything under the sun…..
Spanish banks have resumed offering mortgages on pre-crisis terms as they struggle to offload billions of euros of residential real estate repossessed during Spain’s property crash.
The rush to get rid of repossessed homes in a housing market that has officially fallen 17 per cent from its peak comes at a time when Spanish banks have tightened lending for regular mortgages sharply while offering looser terms for distressed property.
Below is a link how to prepare a good sale;
Dell Inc. said Tuesday afternoon that earnings surged in the first fiscal quarter on a mix of cost reductions and improved service revenues.
Shares of Dell rose nearly 4% in after-hours trading following the report; the stock closed the day down slightly at $15.90. The company said it expects revenue for the current period to come in above its normal seasonal levels, as several factors may give its PC business a lift in the period. (market watch)