Monday, February 22, 2010

Technically Precious with Merv Feb 19, 2010

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Cars: The latest form of affordable housing

At the precise moment that President Obama was proclaiming how well his stimulus package worked, a news story crossed my computer screen saying that 10% of Los Angeles County's 50,000 homeless are now sleeping in their cars each night. Multiply that number of car-dwellers to include the whole nation, and that's a lot of people who will no doubt sleep -- albeit behind the wheel -- more soundly tonight knowing just how much better off they are than our President thinks they would have been.

Let's get serious, folks.

The car-dwelling population has now reached sufficient numbers to qualify for its own bureaucratic designation. Meet the "Vehicular Homeless." Many are families whose lives were tossed in a recessionary salad spinner of job loss, followed by apartment and/or home loss. In some cases, there was health insurance loss and a family member's illness that wiped out their savings and sped the process along of moving from roof to backseat. (more)

S & P - Retest Of Highs? Or New Highs?

"May you live in interesting times," Chinese proverb.

Anyone who trades futures lives in interesting times every day. There is nothing that has not already
been seen in the markets, yet we have not been able to master them. Why not? We are dealing with
human emotion. There is no chart for that. Well, that is not quite true. The futures charts capture the
human element behind all trading, for what else are charts but the collective results of decision-making
from all participants.

"And your point would be?"

Just when it appears that the market has made an important turn, to the downside, making new highs
is a consideration that cannot be ruled out, as the weekly chart suggests. It will be interesting to see
where price is on the one year anniversary date of last March's low. It will also be interesting to see
how price reaches whatever level it attains on that date. Maybe it will be a non-event? One can never
know for certain what the future holds in futures. One does not need to guess, either. Let the charts
unfold and reveal their intent. (more)

Citigroup Warns Customers It May Refuse To Allow Withdrawals

The image of banks locking their doors to keep customers from making withdrawals during a bank run is what immediately came to mind when we heard that Citigroup was telling customers it has the right to prevent any withdrawals from checking accounts for seven days.

"Effective April 1, 2010, we reserve the right to require (7) days advance notice before permitting a withdrawal from all checking accounts. While we do not currently exercise this right and have not exercised it in the past, we are required by law to notify you of this change," Citigroup said on statements received by customers all over the country. (more)

The Economist (February 20th - February 26th 2010)

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Business Week - March 1, 2010

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The future of hyperinflation

US News & World Report - March 2010

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