Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rogers: Now Is the Time to Buy Silver, Natural Gas

Irresponsible fiscal and monetary policies worldwide make currencies a bad investment and commodities a good one, says investment icon Jim Rogers.

"All governments around the world are debasing their currencies," he says. "There may come a time when we all have to have all of our money in real assets."

While Rogers owns gold himself, he notes that the precious metal has soared since the beginning of 2009 — to the tune of 26 percent. "Anything that goes up that far, that fast should consolidate and rest," he told CNBC.

"I like to buy what's cheapest. Silver is cheaper than gold, on a historical basis; natural gas is cheaper than oil." (more)

Business Week - April, 04 2010

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World Financial Report, April 2, 2010

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Oil ends at 18-month high, eyes jobs data

Oil rose for the fourth day in a row on Thursday, closing at the highest level in 18 months, after upbeat U.S. economic data signaled better oil demand ahead, prompting fund buying as the new quarter began.

A dip in the dollar against the euro and a basket of currencies also sparked buying, traders said.

Ahead of the long holiday weekend and with the key March U.S. jobs report due on Friday, traders also covered short positions, helping push the market higher for the fourth consecutive session, analysts said.

"This looks like a short-covering rally ... traders don't want to go home with a lot of shorts, knowing the important jobs data will be released on Friday, when the energy markets are closed," said Richard Ilczyszyn, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago. (more)

Will Spending Under ObamaCare Trigger The Next Financial Crisis?

This week President Obama signed the final piece of the ObamaCare legislative agenda and put Democrats on record favoring a future downgrading of the United States' triple-A credit rating, setting up a financial market crisis that will make 2009's burst mortgage bubble look like a tempest in a teacup by comparison.

America's sovereign credit rating works much like a consumer's credit score. If creditors trust that you can afford your debts and make payments on time, they offer low interest rates and easy terms.

But if you keep spending beyond your means - and don't look like you can afford to make future payments - eventually they'll charge higher interest rates or limit your access to new credit. (more)

Manhattan Apartment Sales Jump, Buyers Seek Bargains

Manhattan apartment sales doubled in the first quarter as bargain-hunting buyers scooped up co-ops and condos in a market where resale prices have fallen an average 29 percent since their peak.

The number of sales soared to 2,384 from 1,195 a year earlier, New York appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate said today. The median price for a co-op or condo slid 11 percent to $868,000.

Values fell across apartments of all sizes as New York City recorded 10.2 percent unemployment in February. Fallout from the recession and credit crisis that cost more than 184,000 finance jobs in the Americas is still hurting New York. The city lost 5.4 percent of its finance industry jobs in the 12 months ending in February, the state Labor Department said March 25. (more)

The Economist April 3rd - April 9th 2010

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4.5 Million Home Foreclosures by Year End

How cold and callous can we become? When, as a society and as a nation, we can undergo a massive earthquake under our very feet and before our very eyes, how can we just ignore its victims?

RealtyTrac, the California-based authority on property trends and valuations, projects 4.5 million home foreclosures before the end of this year. That’s 4.5 million homes, and with four people to a household that is eighteen million people. Eighteen million men, women and children put out into the road, people who must scramble to find shelter and scramble to find new schools for their children.

Last year it was 2.8 million homes or 11.2 million Americans put out into the road. In two years that is 29.2 million people just put out into the road. (more)

CFTC’s Silver Involvement Grows Serious

For any long term purchaser of silver, there is no agency more important than the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or the CFTC. The CFTC is charged with ensuring that the futures markets are trading fairly at all times and investigating manipulative trades and fraud within the trading system. Now more than ever, the CFTC is critically important in investigating banks like JP Morgan and their roles in manipulating market orders.

Whistle Blowing on Futures Manipulation

At the center of the investigation into manipulation is Andrew Maguire, who in November 2009 contacted the CFTC to expose front-line JP Morgan traders for market manipulation. Maguire claims that he had personally spoken to several JP Morgan futures traders, who alleged the firm manipulates the silver market and makes billions of dollars annually by pushing the market in its favor. (more)

Lower Manhattan Real Estate Takes a Hit

It would be understandable if lower Manhattan simply up and quit. Its status as the center of the financial world and corporate America itself has been on the wane for half a century. Then it was hit with 9/11, a credit crisis that laid Wall Street flat, and a long, brutal recession.

Finally, the real estate market at the southern tip of the island is showing signs of exhaustion. The office vacancy rate has increased to 8.1 percent from 7.7 percent at the end of last year, according to Robert McGrath of CBRE-Econometic Advisors. As 4.4 million square feet of new office space associated with the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site come on line in 2013, the vacancy rate in the city's oldest neighborhood could hit 14 percent, according to Kenneth McCarthy, head of Cushman & Wakefield’s New York research unit. (more)

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