Showing posts from January, 2010

A Macroeconomic View of the Current Economy

Q&A with: David A. Moss
Published: January 25, 2010
Author: Sean Silverthorne

If they didn't understand it already, executives and corporate managers have learned one huge lesson over the past couple of years: macroeconomics matters.

Interest rates. Exchange rates. Trade deficits. The Gross Domestic Product. Inflation. All of these can affect a company's bottom line by influencing the cost and availability of money, goods, and services. Macroeconomic forces can conspire to make business more difficult, but they can also present opportunities to executives who know how to, for example, read a country's national income accounts and balance of payments.

For explanations on how the economic system works and what history teaches us, business readers might turn to A Concise Guide to Macroeconomics: What Managers, Executives, and Students Need to Know, by Harvard Business School professor David A. Moss, who holds graduate degrees from Yale in economics and history. The book, which…

Chinese Secret Society Challenges Illuminati

By Henry Makow PhD

A Chinese secret society with 6 million members, including 1.8 million Asian gangsters and 100,000 professional assassins, have targeted Illuminati members if they proceed with world depopulation plans, according to Tokyo-based journalist Benjamin Fulford, 46.

They contacted Fulford, a Canadian ex pat, after he warned that the Illuminati plan to reduce the Asian population to just 500 million by means of race-specific biological weapons.

"The Illuminati, with the exception of Japan, is very much a white man's game," Fulford says.

The secret society confirmed Fulford's information and asked him for advice. He provided a list of 10,000 people associated with the Illuminati, mainly members of the Bilderberg, CFR and Skull and Bones. Neo Cons are also high priority targets.

"I have been promised that not a single person will die if they negotiate in good faith," Fulford says.

Fulford is the former Asian Pacific bureau chief for Forbes magazine. He…

US Quake Test Goes “Horribly Wrong”, Leaves 500,000 Dead In Haiti

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

A grim report prepared by the Russian Northern Fleet for Prime Minister Putin is stating today that the catastrophic earthquake that has devastated the Island of Haiti was the ‘clear result’ of a United States Navy test of one of its ‘earthquake weapons’ planned to be used by the Americans upon the Persian Nation of Iran but had gone ‘horribly wrong’.

The Northern Fleet has been monitoring US Naval movements and activities in the Caribbean since 2008 when the Americans announced their intention to re-establish their Forth Fleet that had been disbanded in 1950, and which was responded to by the Motherland when later that year a Russian flotilla led by nuclear powered cruiser Peter the Great began their first exercises in this region since the ending of the Cold War.

Though virtually unknown to the American people, the use, and perfection, of earthquake weapon technology has a decade’s long history that began with the former So…

Good post by CNA forummer on getting rich

Courtesy of CNA Forummer: bhsh

What the magic number? I understand that it will be different for everyone depending on the lifestyle they would like to maintain so this is my take on how much and how to get there assuming you start from ZERO ie no help from parents.

Rule Number 1, Savings will not get you there.
at an interest rate of 1.00%, it will take you 40 years to get the final Amount of $1,000,000 if you set aside a mthly saving $1695 (a bit tough for the early years).

Rule Number 2, Start early.
From the time you start working, you'll need to start saving cash for the initial capital for your investments and keep the CPF for your first HDB. Always start with a HDB(not the $700k ones), it's your entitlement as a citizen.

Rule Number 3, If you are getting married, do it early and stay married.
One of the conditions for getting a HDB is to be married and a new HDB is almost a sure way to make some money that will come in handy for your investments. Staying married will ens…

Increasing risk of second financial crisis, warns WEC

Increasing risk of second financial crisis, warns World Economic Forum

There is now a significant chance of another asset price bubble implosion costing the world more than £1 trillion, and similar odds of a full-scale sovereign fiscal crisis, a key report warned.

By Edmund Conway, Economics Editor
Published: 7:24PM GMT 14 Jan 2010

Investors must steel themselves for the possibility of a second leg to the financial crisis, and should be equally prepared for a fiscal crisis, in which a major economy faces either default or a "sudden stop" in financing themselves on capital markets, according to the World Economic Forum.

Its closely watched Global Risks Report also warned of the possibility of China's economy overheating and, instead of helping support global economic growth, preventing a fully-fledged recovery from developing.

The report, which comes a fortnight ahead of the WEF's annual summit in Davos, which will be attended this year by many of the world's lead…

How to Fail at Investing in 5 Easy Steps

By Morgan Housel

I'm a fan of checklists. Especially the ones listing things you shouldn't be doing. It's easier to overlook what you shouldn't be doing than to focus on what you think you're doing right. If you're not humble enough to admit this, you've just proven the point accurate.

One such list I came across resides in Philip Fisher's groundbreaking 1958 book, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. Who is Philip Fisher? You could ask Warren Buffett, who admits, "I'm 15 percent Fisher and 85 percent Benjamin Graham." Ben Graham is Buffett's well-known, highly praised, mentor. Philip Fisher, a sort of godfather of growth investing, doesn't get enough credit.

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits is one of the best guides for evaluating businesses ever written. Buried in the back of the book, right after "Five Don'ts for Investors," is "Five More Don't for Investors." It's quite simple. To fail at investin…

Easy Tips to Avoid Being Ripped Off

by Laura Rowley

For consumers, it's a jungle out there, says Bob Sullivan, author of the new book "Stop Getting Ripped Off: Why Consumers Get Screwed and How You Can Always Get a Fair Deal."

The book is a manifesto for the uneducated, the gullible, the greedy, the pathological optimists and the math-impaired. Sullivan, who writes The Red Tape Chronicles for and is the author of "Gotcha Capitalism," talks about why consumers got shafted so badly in the last decade, and what they can do to protect themselves.

"American consumers have become bad at being consumers," says Sullivan, due to their own innumeracy, magical thinking and greed, combined with political corruption and lack of regulation that allowed predators from mortgage lenders to Bernie Madoff to act with impunity. The book is like a GPS through the curves of home and auto buying, cell phones, pay TV, student loans, insurance and more. Here are a few of Sullivan's unorthodox persona…

Bankers apologize for actions that led to crisis

Big bankers apologize for risky behavior that led to financial crisis, say it seemed right

By Jim Kuhnhenn and Daniel Wagner, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Challenged by a skeptical special commission, top Wall Street bankers apologized Wednesday for risky behavior that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But they still declared it seemed appropriate at the time.

The bankers -- whose companies collectively received more than $100 billion in taxpayer assistance to weather the crisis -- offered no regrets for executive pay that is now likely to increase as a result of their survival. They did say they are correcting some compensation practices that could lead to excessive risk-taking.

The tension at the first hearing of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was evident from the outset.

"People are angry," commission Chairman Phil Angelides said. Reports of "record profits and bonuses in the wake of receiving trillions of dollars in go…

Google's China threat is a rare show of defiance

Google's rare show of defiance in China seems unlikely to be widely followed

By Joe Mcdonald and Michael Liedtke, AP Business Writers

BEIJING (AP) -- Google's threat to end its operations in China over censorship and computer-security concerns could embarrass communist leaders who crave international respect. Yet it appears unlikely that many other companies would follow suit and try to change how business is done in China.

"As long as you aren't involved in politics, the media or pornography, the government will leave you alone," said Siva Yam, president of the United States of America-China Chamber of Commerce, which primarily represents U.S. companies in China.

Such high-tech companies as Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. had no comment on Google's announcement Tuesday that it would stop censoring results on its Chinese search engine at and might leave the country entirely.

Yahoo Inc. said it was "aligned" with Google's position, th…

A Happy Retirement: 6 Steps That Work

Optimism about the nation's economic prospects is back. That's the most encouraging news from our latest Consumer Reports Retirement Survey of more than 24,000 of our online subscribers.

Among the retired, semiretired, and those still in the workforce, 60 percent of 54- to 76-year-olds polled by the Consumer Reports National Research Center this fall said that they were feeling upbeat about an economic recovery. That compares with just 34 percent who felt that way a year earlier.

But if our readers feel optimistic about the national economy, they still have grave concerns about their own financial futures. Our survey found that 70 percent of retired subscribers said they were highly satisfied in retirement, but some had fears about adequate resources and health-care coverage, some were getting the wrong information about important topics, and some were disenchanted with retirement.

Among the survey's less sanguine findings:

• Overall, median net worth declined 18 percent. Our …


As we mentioned on Friday, the cards may be stacked against equities in 2010. After a spectacular year and one of the greatest rallies in the history of the equity markets stocks are now arguably overbought, overvalued and on borrowed time. Like Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse strategists believe 2010 will be a difficult year for equities.

In terms of their macro 2010 outlook CS sees 4.1% global GDP (3.3% in the U.S.) and muted inflation. They are quite positive about the first half of 2010, however. They target 1220 on the S&P by mid-year and 5750 on the FTSE. However, CS is increasingly concerned about a government funding crisis that eliminates all market gains in H2 of 2010 and sends markets reeling again as the problem of debt once again rears its ugly head.

CS is positive on global growth for 5 primary reasons:

1. Employment to turn positive in Q1 in the US- corporates have overshed labour, especially in the US;
2. Corporate spending to pick up
3. China to grow str…


The rally is going to continue into 2010 according to Wall Street’s most influential bank (Please see here for Goldman’s top 10 trades of 2010). Analysts at Goldman Sachs Europe and America have released their full year 2010 estimates and they are very bullish about the upcoming year.

Goldman sees very low rates, stronger than expected earnings, strong commodity demand and investor reallocation driving prices higher. Goldman sees no rate changes through 2011 – one of the most accommodative outlooks of any bank we have covered. Stronger than expected revenue growth and continued margin expansion will result in 15%+ equity returns in the upcoming year. Although they see a continuation in the rally some moderation is expected. As we previously mentioned, their analysts expect many similarities to 2004. David Kostin wrote:

“Continued profit margin resiliency from prior aggressive cost reductions should drive strong returns in early 2010 and push the S&P 500 towards 1,300.”


Is the gold craze just another asset bubble?

By Stephen Gandel

At Harrod's department store in London, you can pick up a South African Krugerrand or a 27-pound gold bar along with a sweater and bed linens. Gold is sold like candy out of train station vending machines in Germany. Indian households are borrowing against jewelry the way Americans did not so long ago against their homes. And U.S. investors poured $15 billion into gold funds in 2009, as they were pulling money out of stock portfolios.

Once of interest mainly to central bankers, Swiss jewelers, and folks who are convinced the Trilateral Commission runs the planet, gold is now the world's "it" investment. The question for you: If you buy now, are you getting in on the precious-metal equivalent of Microsoft and Intel circa 1986, or a Miami condo circa 2007?

Investors have turned to gold for centuries in times of trouble, and as panic over the global financial crisis took hold in late 2008, gold prices started heading up from around $700 an ounce. While p…