Monthly Archives: March 2008

Merkel says she will not attend opening of Beijing Olympics

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, yesterday became the first world leader to decide not to attend the Olympics in Beijing.

As pressure built for concerted western protests to China over the crackdown in Tibet, EU leaders prepared to discuss the crisis for the first time today, amid a rift over whether to boycott the Olympics.


It’s a start.

To be sure, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that economic repression is married to political coercion. That Tibetans are jailed by an evil Communist dictatorship in China should not surprise anyone who knows anything about Chinese government/banking/industrial triangulation, hence their top-down autocratic social values.


Rice hits U.S. ‘birth defect’ (World Tribune)

The Washington Times


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that the United States still has trouble dealing with race because of a national “birth defect” that denied black Americans the opportunities given to whites at the country’s very founding.

“Black Americans were a founding population,” she said. “Africans and Europeans came here and founded this country together – Europeans by choice and Africans in chains. That’s not a very pretty reality of our founding.”As a result, Miss Rice told editors and reporters at The Washington Times, “descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and I think you continue to see some of the effects of that.” “That particular birth defect makes it hard for us to confront it, hard for us to talk about it, and hard for us to realize that it has continuing relevance for who we are today,” she said.


Now that our conversation seems to be up and running on the race issue, we should consider the historical scenarios at play during America’s conception. Perhaps we could delve into conditions heretofore shaping circumstances for blacks and whites, among other races, all over the world. That should be interesting to talk about…

Most sweeping changes since Great Depression

Proposal will give the Federal Reserve new regulatory power




WASHINGTON – The Bush administration is trying to confront the credit crisis that has rattled nerves from Wall Street to Main Street by proposing wholesale changes in how Washington oversees the financial system.

A plan set for release Monday would give new powers to the Federal Reserve so that the central bank serves as the system’s overarching protector of stability.



Geert Wilders’ commentary on his anti-Islamic film FITNA (parts 1 & 2) Plus Extra Interview

[FITNA] has been widely banned (i.e., censored) even in America… FYI 

Pelosi Plotting to Bring Back Amnesty for 12-20 Million Illegals (


Talk about voter fraud… the Dems are always scheming!


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and a handful of her far-left cronies in Congress are plotting to put amnesty for 12-20 million illegal aliens back on the table!

And their first order of business is BLOCKING legislation that would finally beef up our nation’s border security and crack down on employers that hire illegal aliens.

We’re talking about the Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement Act of 2007 or SAVE Act of 2007 (HR 4088), an enforcement-only bill that will add 8,000 agents to secure our borders and implement systems that will allow employers to easily verify workers’ immigration status.

According to the Washington Times:

“But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic leadership are open-borders advocates who want no part of the SAVE Act, and have thus far managed to keep the bill buried…”

In other words, if Pelosi and company have their way, the SAVE Act of 2007 will NEVER get a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives!

Investment Postcards from Capetown

From Dow Theory Letters:

“‘What we are watching today is a fierce and unrelenting battle by the Fed and Europe’s central banks to avoid a collapse of the global banking system. To say the battle is deadly serious is an understatement,’ remarked Russell.

“Following last week’s announcement of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (Ofheo) relaxing its capital surplus restrictions on Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE), a further positive development saw the Federal Housing Finance Board authorizing Federal Home Loan Banks to increase their purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities.”

From Moody’s

“US economic reports released last week showed further weakness in the US housing and consumer sectors, but a somewhat improved inflation reading.”

From John Mauldin’s Millenium Wave:

“We are in a [US] recession, and that means rising unemployment and falling consumer spending. It means tighter profit margins, etc. It is going to take a long time for the economy to recover. Welcome to Muddle Through,’ said Mauldin.”

In addition to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony on the economic outlook in Washington on Wednesday, April 2, the next week’s economic highlights, courtesy of Northern Trust, include the following:

1. ISM Manufacturing Survey (April 1): The consensus for the manufacturing ISM composite index is 48.0 versus 48.3 in February. If the consensus forecast is accurate, it would be the third monthly reading below 50.2 in the last four months. Consensus: 48.0 versus 43.3 in February.

2. Employment Situation (April 4): Payroll employment in March is expected to post the third monthly decline (-50,000) following a loss of 63,000 jobs in February. The jobless rate is predicted to have risen to 5.0% from 4.8% in February. Consensus: Payrolls: -50,000 versus -63,000 in February; unemployment rate: 5.0% versus 4.8% in February.

3. Other reports: Construction spending, auto sales (April 1), factory orders (April 2), ISM non-manufacturing (April 3).

The performance chart obtained from the
Wall Street Journal Online shows how different global markets fared during the past week.


Source: Wall Street Journal Online, March 29, 2008.


The US dollar resumed its downward trend last week as the weakening economic data created the expectation of a further 50 basis point interest rate cut at the FOMC’s meeting next month. The euro, however, rallied as Mr Jean-Claude Trichet, chief of the European Central Bank, rejected calls for an interest rate cut after a surprise rise in German business confidence this month, insisting that fighting inflation was his priority.

The US dollar lost 2.1% against the euro over the week and also weakened against the Swiss Franc (-1.1%), the British pound (-0.4%), the Australian dollar (-1.7%) and the New Zealand dollar (-0.8%). On the other hand, the Japanese yen gave up 0.5% against the US dollar as risk aversion took a back seat, putting the low-yielding currency under pressure.

Iceland became the first deficit state succumbing to investor flight, forcing the central bank to raise interest rates to 15% this week in an emergency move to halt the collapse of the krona. The Icelandic currency lost a further 2.7% against the euro, having fallen 18% since mid-March.

Collapsing Worldwide Credit Volumes

From Paul Davies of the FT: / Home UK / UK – Credit crunch leaves mark on all debt market areas: Global debt issuance collapsed in the first quarter as the credit crunch took its toll on new deals in all sectors from structured finance and riskier high-yield bonds and loans right up to sturdy investment-grade corporate debt, according to new data.

Total debt market volumes were $1,030bn in the first quarter, a 48 per cent drop compared with the same quarter a year ago, while total syndicated loan market volumes were $, a 47 per cent drop versus the same period last year, according to Dealogic, the data provider.

The numbers illustrate how the withdrawal of liquidity from the world’s debt markets in the wake of the turmoil that began in the US mortgage markets has affected everything from the safest corporate borrower to the most risky private equity backed leveraged buy-out deal.