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Wednesday’s News Roundup

I’m simply running around like a chicken…you know the rest.

From Political Animal:

  • Escalation in Libya: “In a sudden, sharp escalation of NATO’s air campaign over Libya, warplanes dropped more than 50 bombs on targets in Tripoli on Tuesday, obliterating large areas of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya command compound.” (Ed. note – I thought that we weren’t targetting Gaddafi? I’m just askin’.)
  • Congress won’t act, and the Fed doesn’t want to: “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke conceded that the economic recovery is ‘frustratingly slow’ for millions of unemployed Americans, but threw cold water on the notion that the central bank can be a cure-all for the economy’s ills.”
  • On the other hand, Bernanke expects stronger growth in the second half of 2011, as Japan recovers and gas prices come down. (Ed note: I truly get uncomfortable when the Fed Chairman has to hope that gas prices will stabilize.)
  • President Obama believes the economy has to “accelerate,” but he rejected the notion of a double-dip recession.
  • Pelosi wants an investigation into the Weiner controversy: “In a letter to Ethics Committee Chairman Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, Pelosi (D-Calif.) said an investigation of Weiner is needed due to ‘inappropriate’ conduct. “ (Others have called for Weiner to stepdown including me.)
  • I hope this doesn’t mean the end of the White House White Board: “Austan Goolsbee, a longtime adviser to President Obama and the only economist left on his core economic team, plans to leave as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers by September after a year in the job to return to the University of Chicago.”
  • The story of the Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit, which is now closing, is just heartbreaking. Austerity in America. (ed note: This is more than sad. It is poke in the eye of those Americans who have made a mistake and are trying to get back on the right track.)
  • The Washington Post fact-checker said President Obama exaggerated a bit in his recent remarks about the auto industry. Given the details, I’m glad the White House fact-checked the fact-checker.
  • Figuring out how much college costs should be much easier.
  • Andy Sabl has a smart post about why the right offers mixed messages on Europe: “It’s all about the secularism.”
  • Yes, Lieberman can get even worse: “Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) plans to attend a Glenn Beck rally in Jerusalem.”
  • On a related note, Glenn Beck plans to charge his minions $5 to $10 a month to watch his online network, which will be the exclusive home of his talk show. Prediction: this will end badly.
  • And George W. Bush’s $2.5 trillion in tax cuts were launched exactly 10 years ago today. One of these days, they’re bound to deliver the rewards Republicans promised at the time, right?
By |2011-06-08T06:43:12-04:00June 8th, 2011|Domestic Issues|2 Comments

Best September in 70 years, plus other economic news

Happy Friday to everybody. I hope you have a good weekend.

At the end of last week, there was a series of articles showing that the economy is not only stabilizing but seeming to slowly grow. The fears for the “double dip” recession have mostly disappeared. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 7.7% in September.

From MSNBC: The Dow gained 7.7 percent in the month, making it the strongest September since 1939, at the dawn of World War II. However that runup followed a dismal August, and the Dow is still only up 3.5 percent for the year and is 3.7 percent below its closing high for 2010 reached on April 26.

Technology shares, which have been among the best performers this month, led Thursday’s pullback. Major technology companies like Apple Inc., Dell Inc. and Google Inc. were all down about 1 percent.

“You can’t underestimate people taking profits,” said T.C. Robillard Jr., a managing director at investment bank Signal Hill. Robillard said that like most reports throughout the month, Thursday’s batch of data only confirmed that the economy is growing very slowly.

Major indexes have been surging all month on signs of incremental improvement in the economy, which have allayed worries that the country would fall back into recession.

The list of the top 10 largest hedge funds has been released. (I’m not sure how you make this list since hedge funds work to stay underneath the radar.)

Firm AUM (assets under management) $ billions
Bridgewater Associates 50.9
J.P. Morgan 41.1
Paulson and Company 31
Soros Fund Management 27
Och-Ziff Capital Management Group 25.3
Blackrock 22.83
Angelo, Gordon and Company 22. 68
Baupost Group 22
Farallon Capital Management 20
King Street Capital Management 19.3

In other financial news, a $4.1 billion trade was blamed for starting the “Flash Crash” in the middle of May. The security and exchange commission issued a report in which they pointed the finger at a trading firm in Overland Park, Kansas. This single trade set in motion a series of events which caused the Dow Jones industrial average to plunge nearly 1000 points in less than 30 min.

From HuffPo: The free-fall highlighted the complexity and perils of the fast-evolving securities markets. Electronic trading platforms now compete with the traditional exchanges. Stocks are traded on about 50 exchanges beyond the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market. Computers using mathematical formulas give so-called “high frequency” traders a split-second edge. Electronic errors at high speeds can ripple through markets.

Automakers had a pretty good month in September (may need a subscription [it’s the WSJ what can I say]).

Manufacturing news doesn’t suck. There is expansion but at a slower than expected pace. So, all-n-all the news from the economy was positive.

I’ll finish my series on LTCM later on tonight.

By |2010-10-01T17:16:14-04:00October 1st, 2010|Business, Economy|Comments Off on Best September in 70 years, plus other economic news
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