Thursday, July 30, 2009

Peter Grandich is the guest

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Seven Ways to Score Big When Stores Go Bankrupt

"Thank you and farewell," read the somber subject line in my email. The sender was Smith & Hawken, purveyor of pricey garden tools.

I guess I lost that game of chicken. I'd been waiting for a mid-summer sale to replace my cheesy plastic garden chairs with some of that fancy teak "outdoor furniture" they sell… or used to sell.

Smith & Hawken, a subsidiary of Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG), just bit the dust -- so to speak. (more)

McAlvaney Weekly Commentary: An Interview with G. Edward Griffin: Author of The Creature from Jekyll Island

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Weak U.S. 5-year debt auction raises worries

The U.S. Treasury sold $39 billion in five-year debt on Wednesday in an auction that drew poor demand, raising worries over the cost of financing the government's burgeoning budget deficit.

Demand overall was below average, measured by the bid-to-cover ratio of 1.92, the weakest in almost a year.

In a further sign of weakness, yields at the auction were well above expectations, known as a "tail" by market participants. (more)

A One World Currency Is Inevitable

I know it sounds impossible, but the world is being forced to a point of having to implement a one world currency. Or at least a one world currency among the major economies - maybe Tunisia might escape.

Started with the USD

Why do I say that? Well, if you follow the evolution of the USD since roughly the end of WW2, it gradually became the world reserve currency, and that was intended. It started with the Breton woods agreement, and also during WW2 when the European allies currencies were collapsing as Hitler was conquering Europe. (more)

ARIZONA:Desperate state may sell Capitol buildings, others

Call it a sign of desperate times: Legislators are considering selling the House and Senate buildings where they've conducted state business for more than 50 years.

Dozens of other state properties also may be sold as the state government faces its worst financial crisis in a generation, if not ever. The plan isn't to liquidate state assets, though.

Instead, officials hope to sell the properties and then lease them back over several years before assuming ownership again. The complex financial transaction would allow government services to continue without interruption while giving the state a fast infusion of as much as $735 million, according to Capitol projections. (more)

Foreign Investment in the U.S. - Going Down, Down, Down

Here at Casey Research, we've been watching the actions of foreign holders of U.S. dollars as closely as a Las Vegas pit boss watches a card player on a $1 million winning streak.

Many of those in the deflation camp largely, or entirely, ignore the potential role these foreign holders may play in the drama now unfolding. But in fact, foreigners have, over the last decade, been by far the single most important source of buying for U.S. Treasuries.

Given the Treasury's need to flog on the order of $3 trillion worth of its unbacked paper this year just to keep the government's doors open - and that is a four- or fivefold increase over 2008 - the foreign buyers not only have to show up for the Treasury auctions, they have to show up in droves. (more)

A Fed Inflation Hawk Speaks

“I think we will probably have to begin raising rates sometime in the not-too-distant future,” Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser told Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

A renowned inflation hawk at the Federal Reserve is at it again, trying to pull more dovish Fed officials under his wingspan of influence to get them to do more to battle incipient inflation.

And the timing of Plosser’s comment is interesting, notes Charles Brady, senior editor of the Fox Business Network.

The Fed is selling a record amount of weekly debt, $115 billion now coming up, a sum that tops the previous weekly record of $104 billion set just last month. The bond glut pushes yields higher because so many bonds means a lot of competition, which means the Treasury has to offer enticing, come-hither yields to lure investors in. (more)

BNN: TOP PICKS John Stephenson

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Dow Sends Buy Signal That’s Worked Since 1921: Chart of the Day

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is sending a buy signal that has foreshadowed gains of 18 percent during the past nine decades.

The 30-stock gauge climbed to more than 10 percent above its mean level from the previous 200 days, rebounding from 34 percent below the so-called 200-day moving average in November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Eighteen of the last 21 times the Dow rallied from at least 10 percent below the 200-day level to 10 percent above, it posted gains during the next 12 months, Bloomberg data since 1921 show.

The CHART OF THE DAY tracks the difference between the Dow’s last price and its 200-day average since 1989. The lower panel displays the measure’s price, along with the buy signals it sent near the start of rallies in 1991, 1999 and 2003. (more)