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27 August 2011 – Ben Bernanke’s 2011 Jackson Hole speech: in full

(27 August, 2011, The Telegraph) “Good morning. As always, thanks are due to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City for organizing this conference. This year’s topic, long-term economic growth, is indeed pertinent–as has so often been the case at this symposium in past years. In particular, the financial crisis and the subsequent slow recovery … Continue reading

27 August 2011 – Irene’s goodnight to King dedication

(27 August 2011, AFR, Ben Potter, Washington) [Question:- what if the NYSE doesn’t operate on Monday due to the hurricane?] “Hurricane Irene has postponed the dedication of the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washinton’s Mall, where President Barack Obama was due to speak…. The financial district in Lower Manhattan is one of the New York … Continue reading

27 August 2011 – Greece launches emergency plan

(27 August 2011, AFR, p12, Louise Armitstead, London) “In a move described as the “last stand for Greek banks”, the embattled country’s central bank activated Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) for the first time on Wednesday night. “Raoul Ruparel of Open Europe told The Telegraph: “The activation of the so-called ELA looks to be the last … Continue reading

26 August 2011 – UK consumers even gloomier

(26 August 2011, AFR, p18, Larry Elliott, London) “UK consumers are putting spending on big ticket items on hold as they grow gloomier about the outlook for the economy and their own finances. A report released by the Nationwide Building Society on Thursday showed that Britons were feeling more pessimistic even before the effects of … Continue reading

26 August 2011 – Dire warnings that another crash is on the way

(26 August 2011, AFR, p16, Harry Wilson, London) “A more severe crash that the one triggered by the collapse of Lehmann Brothers could be on the way, according to alarm signals in the credit markets. “Insurance on the debt of several major European banks has now hit historic levels, higher even than those recorded during … Continue reading

26 August 2011 – Job cuts create a ripple effect

(26 August 2011, AFR, p4, Adrian Rollins) “The steel industry isn’t the on;y one facing layoffs in this uncertain economic climate.” “The conditions that contributed to job cuts in the steel industry may soon push employers in retailing, finance and property to start firing staff too. “Already Westpac Banking Corp has flagged plans to cut … Continue reading

25 August 2011 – Predictions a case of ‘analyse this’

(25 August 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p8, Ian Verrender) “CONSIDER the symptoms: Sudden and irrational bouts of surging optimism and reckless spending suddenly displaced by an overwhelming sense of dread and recrimination, sparking an immediate austerity drive where everything is offloaded at fire sale prices. “Front up to a psychiatrist in this condition and you … Continue reading

24 August 2011 – Poison at the heart of Greece

(24 August 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p12, Jeff Randall) “TAVROS is a scruffy suburb in the south-western part of Athens, about five kilometres from the city centre. It is home to the kind of utilitarian office blocks that 1960s town planners thought were a good idea. Many of the buildings are scarred by graffiti and … Continue reading

23 August 2011 – Europe’s debt likened to Black Death

(23 August 2011, AFR, p16, Robert Guy, Shanghai) “Beijing’s unease over Europe’s debt woes had been telegraphed by a piece in a leading state-backed newspaper comparing the crisis to the “Black Death” just days ahead of a visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. “The European Union is China’s largest trading partner and there are growing … Continue reading

19 August 2011 – Business index rings alarm bells

(22 August 2011, AFR, p21, Floyd Norris), and (19 August 2011, The New York Times) “Did the American economy hit the brakes this [northern] summer? “That possibility was raised this week by the abrupt fall in an economic indicator that normally receives little attention but that fell unexpectedly to a level that in the past … Continue reading

17 August 2011 – Panic mode reflected in trading figures

(17 August 2011, AFR, p19, John McDuling) “Even the most seasoned market players would have foun dit difficult to hold their nerves during last week’s volatility. “But fund flows indicate mum and dad investors could hav efound the pressure too much to take, selling out of shares at the worst possible time. “Retail investors fled … Continue reading

16 August 2011 – Chart tells story of sentiment shift

Robert Brain – Contributor to article in The Age, 16 August 2011. (Rod Myer, The Age, BusinessDay, p8; and syndicated to Fairfax web sites) “SHAREMARKETS, in the short term at least, tend to be driven more by emotion than reason, with fear and greed traditionally identified as the main psychological drivers. “Robert Brain, a director … Continue reading

16 August 2011 – US interest in keeping rates low not necessarily in anyone else’s interests

(16 August 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p6, Stuart Washington) “When it comes, the restructuring of America’s debt will have a profound, long-term global effect. “WITH world markets taking a breather on their wild ride south it is worth wondering what is next for the US, the world’s largest economy. “In short, things don’t look great. … Continue reading

16 August 2011 – A bad deal for America’s future

(16 August 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p6, Michael Mandelbaum) “The US spending cuts are akin to trying to lose weight by cutting off three fingers. “THE painfully negotiated US budget legislation that President Barack Obama signed on August 2 combines an increase in the government debt ceiling with federal spending cuts, thus averting the prospect … Continue reading

16 August, 2011 – Boards boost dividends, buybacks

(16 August 2011, AFR, p1, Anthony Macdonald and Joanne Heath) “Australian companies are buying back their own shares and increasing dividends in the best signs yet that boardrooms are confident about the future of their businesses. “Australia’s third largets miner, Newcrest Mining, announced a 20c-a-share special dividend yesterday, while Ansell announced a $60 million share … Continue reading

15 August 2011 – Consumers spend again, but warily

(15 August, 2011, AFR, p13, Bob Willis, Washington) “Retail sales in the United States climbed in July, showing consumers were holding up at the start of the third quarter. “The 0.5 per cent increase reported by the Commerce Department in Washington followed a 0.3 per cent gain in June that was larger than estimated. But … Continue reading

12 August 2011 – Orders signal Japan recovery

(12 Aug 2011, AFR, p19, Lily Nonomiya, Tokyo) “Japan’s machinery orders rose for a second month in June as companies increased spending to restore businesses and production disrupted by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. “Factory orders, an indicator of capital spending in three to six months, rose 7.7 percent in June from May, the … Continue reading

12 August 2011 – Bear with is, for it may last 20 years

(12 August 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p1, Stuart Washington) “A US bear market can last 20 years before stockmarkets sustainably exceed their previous peaks, a markets researcher warned yesterday. “Damien Hennessy, a director of financial research firm Heuristic Investment Systems, said the S&P 500 had not yet cleared the peak it achieved in December 1999, … Continue reading

11 August 2011 – Insiders Buying Stock at Highest Rate Since March ’09 as S&P 500 Drops

(11 August, Bloomberg, Nikolaj Gammeltoft and Lu Wang) “More executives at Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies are buying their stock than any time since the depths of the credit crisis after valuations plunged 25 percent below their five-decade average. “Sixty-six insiders at 50 companies bought shares between Aug. 3 and Aug. 9, the most … Continue reading

11 August 2011 – U.S. Stocks rally as jobless claims, profits offset Europe woes

(11 August 2011, Bloomberg, Rita Nazareth) “U.S. stocks rallied, reversing yesterday’s drop for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as a decline in jobless claims and better-than-estimated corporate earnings tempered concern Europe’s debt crisis is worsening. “All 10 groups in the S&P 500 advanced at least 2.5 percent, with gains being led by financial, energy … Continue reading

10 August 2011 – Swings abound as bottom-fishers dive in

(10 August 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p1, Malcolm Maiden) “Long-term investors couldn’t resist the value on offer yesterday. “A 7 PER cent-plus swing by the Australian sharemarket from heavy losses to a 1.2 per cent gain qualifies both as volatility and a rational response by long-term investors at least to the carnage that preceded it. … Continue reading

10 August 2011 – Dramatic day ends well

(10 August 2011, The Age BusinessDay, p1, Ruth Williams, Jared Lynch) “AUSTRALIAN shares have ended a five-day losing streak with one of the most dramatic trading days in recent memory, defying the global market selloff. “Even market veterans were stunned by yesterday’s tumultuous sharemarket ride, which saw the ASX 200 plunge as much as 5.5 … Continue reading

8 August 2011 – Australia in good shape if another crisis hits, says IMF

(8 August 2011, The Age, p1, Michelle Grattan, Gareth Hutchens) “AUSTRALIA could lower interest rates and create a second budget stimulus package if there is another global economic collapse, the International Monetary Fund says in a report that also gives the government a tick for its carbon price policy and urges more tax reform. “The … Continue reading

8 August 2011 – Bankers in crisis talks on Spain and Italy

(8 August 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p5, Jeff Black, Craig Stirling) “GLOBAL policymakers took steps to tackle the twin debt crises in Europe and the United States that are causing market turmoil and raising fears of the rich world sliding back into recession. European region central bank governors held emergency talks overnight in a bid … Continue reading

8 August 2011 – Beijing hits US ‘debt addiction’

(8 August 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p5, David Barboza, Shanghai) “CHINA, the largest foreign holder of US debt, said Washington needed to “cure its addiction to debts” and “live within its means”, just hours after the rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded America’s long-term debt. The harshly worded commentary, released by China’s official Xinhua news … Continue reading

8 August 2011 – Markets have greater worries than a downgrade

(8 August 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p4, Michael West) “THE downgrade to America’s credit rating is a historic assault on the superpower’s prestige and a symbol of the changing world order: that is, the demise of the US and the rise of China. Ironically, the Chinese will not be happy about getting the upper hand … Continue reading

8 August, 2011 – S&P defends its shock US credit decision

(8 August 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p4, Nelson Schwartz, Eric Dash, New York) “THE day after Standard & Poor’s took the unprecedented step of stripping the United States government of its top credit rating, the ratings agency offered a full-throated defence of its decision, calling the bitter stand-off between President Barack Obama and Congress over … Continue reading

8 August, 2011 – Oh, heck, we’re up to our neck

(8 August, 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p1, Nathew Murphy, New York) “WALL Street stockbroker Ted Weisberg says last week’s tailspin on US equity markets was investors’ way of saying ”you can keep the cheese, just let me out of the trap”. In the biggest sharemarket rout in more than two years on Thursday the Dow … Continue reading

8 August 2011 – Talks to stave off US fallout

(8 August 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p1, Gareth Hutchens, Eric Johnston) “EUROPE’S central bank governors were due to hold emergency talks overnight intended to stop Spain and Italy from becoming the next victims of the sovereign-debt crisis and limit fallout from the first US credit-rating cut in history. Local traders – still reeling from Friday’s … Continue reading

8 August 2011 – Share hit throws up collateral damage

(8 August 2011, TheAge, BusinessDay, p1, Adele Ferguson) “THE global equities bloodbath is set to claim its first Australian victim today when shadow broker Kinetic Securities closes down. It comes as third-party equities clearer Penson Financial Services Australia confirmed it was sounding out potential buyers or a management buyout as its embattled US parent tries … Continue reading