Sunday, November 18, 2007

Slow Sunday

It is a very slow Sunday in the Financial world. The short week before Thanksgiving is pretty bare for data points. I have a new poll up on whether companies with bad news might try to use the quiet week to keep under the radar. Please vote!
For anyone interested, my name is not Ted. Sorry for any confusion.
The Fannie Mae Fuzzy Math vs. Fuzzy Reporting boondoggle is still a hot topic over at Calculated Risk. I have nothing else to add except that Fannie Mae really needs better communication skills if it is going to buy all the US mortgages going forward!

I am waiting for the New England Patriots game versus the Buffalo Bills tonight. I remember when Buffalo was the AFC king and they would routinely smash the Pats. Things have changed.

Taiwan Needs to Get Better at Reporting Inflation
I came across this funny piece today:
Inflation, Economy Stir Taiwan Protests
Saturday November 17, 2:12 am ET By Annie Huang, Associated Press Writer
Inflation, Economic Hardship Stir Protests in Taiwan Ahead of Elections
"Prices of everything from soybean oil to flour to scallions have skyrocketed," said Tsai Hui-ming. "I have to offer discounts because many customers complain they haven't had a pay raise for years and can hardly afford the bare necessities."
Inflation -- fanned by soaring prices for fuel and other commodities -- has become a hot political issue in Taiwan, as the island moves toward legislative elections in January 2008 and a presidential poll two months later.
A number of disgruntled consumers have taken their complaints directly to their leaders, telling President Chen Shui-bian that they can barely make ends meet. The problem exploded late last week when an unemployed man interrupted Chen while he was making a speech at the opening of a trade show in Taipei.
The man, identifying himself only as Charlie, shouted: "People can hardly make a living!"
He sparked what the media have dubbed the "Charlie syndrome," a reference to disgruntled people who are typically reserved and respectful toward their government leaders now lashing out during their public appearances.

Obviously Taiwan has not mastered the old "Inflation, Ex Inflation" game that the US government is so very good at! The "Charlie Syndrome" moniker is almost too funny!

I can understand some of the bogus maneuvering that is done when computing inflation here. I understand that food and energy are highly volatile. What I do not understand is that those prices have been in a long term uptrend. Those pressures have existed for over 2 years now. There needs to be some correction factor to take into account macro changes in inflation costs. Of course that will never happen, not when the FED desperately needs room to cut rates in December. Maybe Paulson can visit Taiwan and teach them a better way to tell old Charlie that the inflation he sees is all in his head.

Gold and Silver on the Ropes?
Gold and Silver took quite a pounding last week. I was surprised. I expected metals to take a good hit, but in the context of a seriously declining stock market. I am not a technical master, but $750 for gold looks like good support. There has been some ink about the FED standing pat on rates in December. Talk of a "strong dollar" was also making the rounds. Seems like we will have to wait until the December FED meeting to make a call on the metals. Should be interesting. Macro wise my feeling is still strong for gold and silver, until a general stock meltdown occurs, then stay away.

Christmas List!
Started working on my Christmas list today. Basic stuff like books, DVD's, CD's, and the like. I would love to add another sword to my collection. While I collect fully functional (ie REAL) swords, I absolutely want the Conan the Barbarian sword from the movie. I finally found a gorgeous replica:
Here's a look

What an amazing piece! The runic symbols look great! I am totally getting this sword. I will have to ship it to a friend in New Hampshire as here in Massachusetts we are not allowed to receive dangerous weapons in the mail! Too Funny!
Remember all you bunker filled with gold and guns folks:
  • Gold can only be traded with someone that wants it
  • Guns need allot of care, cleaning, and maintenance to function well
  • Ammo can degrade and it gets used up

Several high carbon steel blades made by fine craftsmen can go along way. Easily tradeable, and excellent for defense. Perhaps even a vintage Samurai Katana? There is no finer weapon in the world than a true folded steel Katana. I suggest getting a couple, but they are not cheap!

Have a good night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now that the holiday season is upon us all things will be quiet on the news side of things... for a bit. I like the sword idea but my 6 rounds of .38 travel pretty darn quick. And if that fails a Khukuri makes bits fast and also doubles as an axe. Golds been taking a hit over the last week. Wonder when the mighty metal will make its comeback?

I seriously doubt there will be any change until the end of the year. Anyone else feel it? Hell I know my wife and I wont be even called for a interview until early 2008.

Keep up posting and don't mind the noise in the markets. Heck CNBC did stories on Paris freaking Hilton today..... yeah sad day 4 all.