Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Economist USA, June 27, 2009

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Business Week June 29, 2009

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Wall Street Journal June 27-28, 2009

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World Financial Report

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California, Vegas Home Prices Drop on Foreclosures

June 25 (Bloomberg) -- Home prices throughout California and in the Las Vegas area fell from a year earlier in May as a glut of foreclosed property pushed down the value of single- family houses and condominiums.

The median price for an existing, single-family detached house in California declined 30 percent to $267,570, the California Association of Realtors said today in a statement. In the Las Vegas area, the median price for houses and condominiums fell 44 percent to $135,000, San Diego-based MDA DataQuick said in a separate statement today.

About 73 percent of all existing houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas-Paradise area were foreclosures last month, up from 56 percent a year earlier, and such sales accounted for 51 percent all existing-home transactions in California, MDA DataQuick said. Foreclosure sales represented 40 percent of California resales a year ago, the research company said. (more)

Marc Faber: More Doom Than Boom

Dr. Marc Faber, the Thailand-based editor and publisher of The Gloom Boom & Doom Report, favors stocks only as the least of all evils.

Q: How high can the market go before, if I read your work correctly, America falls apart and takes everything down with it?

A: I'm not sure that the risk/reward now is particularly favorable. The inflationary school of thought says the Federal Reserve has no other option but to print money, and that will lift asset prices. The Standard & Poor’s 500 could get to 1,000 or 1,100 or depending on how much money they print, possibly even higher than that.

Between March and today, the S&P is up 40%, and in an environment of zero interest rates, that's a huge gain. Many of the resource stocks we were recommending in November and December have tripled. So, maybe we have for two or three months now a reversal in expectations, where people suddenly realize that maybe the economy doesn't recover a lot and that deflationary pressures are still there. But if the S&P was to come down to 800 or 750, the Fed would probably increase its money printing activity. So, I kind of doubt that we'll see new lows. (more)

Trading Commodities the Easy Way

In the past commodity trading was only available to trader with large accounts, high risk tolerance and a good understanding of how the futures market works. During the past 7 years with commodities making incredible moves and gaining attention from the media, several exchange traded funds (ETF's) have been created allowing everyone to take advantage of the commodity market.

Gold was the first commodity back in 2002 which really made traders and investors want into the commodity market. Silver was followed shortly after in popularity, then crude oil and natural gas. While most commodities were on fire these are the ones that the media took a hold of and make them well known to everyone as prices soared month after month. (more)

Where's The Gold?

The Comex is the name for the largest gold futures market in the world, traditionally centered in New York City. Although the market recently became part of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, it has retained its old nickname. Also, the depositories which hold the actual bars of gold used to settle the futures contracts remain in New York City.

A gold depository must be the most boring business on earth. They charge a small monthly fee to store 100oz. standardized bars of gold in an insured vault. It is an industrial-sized version of a safe deposit box. (more)