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June 21, 2010

Monday Financial Briefing

Stock futures for Monday morning are up slightly. DAGGER's plans continue to unfold.

Apparently, not enough people are getting shot in the face. They bring a knife; you bring a gun. That's the Chicago way! Unfortunately, the woodland elves and their magical king do not agree.

It seems that you cannot fight a fire by spraying kerosene on it. This comes as news to some people.

More after the jump.

BNP Paribas forecasts parity (and below!) for the poor, unloved Euro. The Euro is like the easy girl in every town: popular enough when she was young and cute, but now that she's looking like nine miles of bad road, no one wants to be seen with her or has a kind word to say about her.

After insisting for months that they weren't keeping the Yuan artificially devalued via the dollar-peg, the Chinese lift the peg, shout Squirrel!, and run away.

Meanwhile, a floating Yuan may not work out quite the way the US thinks it will. This happens to be my view -- I think the export-driven Chinese economy is a lot weaker than they're letting on (or may even realize themselves), and they have severe internal economic problems that the authoritarian government has been papering over for years. There will be a huge banking crisis in China at some point when the huge numbers of bad loans come to light -- they can't hide them forever. Further, the recent labor troubles in China may be only the leading edge of a big wave.

Chutzpah. This is the most perfect example I have ever seen or even heard of. It's a sickness with this guy.

What's the first thing you do when you get yourself into some really deep shit? You drag your friends down with you, and try to lay off some of the blame! No smart operator ever goes into a grift without having a patsy nearby.

Every 90 seconds, folks. Think on that for awhile. Every 90 seconds for three months.

You can read this article on two levels: as a pro-government screed that insists that all is well, dammit!; and as a metaphorical shot to Alan Greenspan's nuts. Remember back when Alan Greenspan was a Delphic genius? When all the brightest financial minds lauded him with titles like "The Maestro"? Well, the love affair is over, his name has been removed from the quick-dial, and everyone is saying that they loved him, but they weren't in love with him. It was just a summer thing. The funny thing is that Greenspan's piece in the NYT is actually pretty much dead-on, but his utter failure during his tenure at the Fed has led to people opposing him out of pure spite by this point. So this is where we are: wise advice is being ignored because the guy delivering it is a dickhead.

You know how I'm always saying that we're on the road to ruin? At least we don't have to go alone. Mom said we could bring our cousins along. I call shotgun!

Gold is still going up, even as the equities markets recover some lost ground. In fact, gold set a record high on Friday at $1263.70/oz. The rich get richer!

If you're a nurse in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area and are faced with a difficult job environment due to the worst economy in more than thirty years, do you: a) thank your lucky stars you're employed at all; b) give up on the health-care gig and follow that dream of being a rodeo clown; c) go on strike?

California is fractally boned: employees not only cost too much when they're working; they cost too much on their days off too. The next step, of course, is to calculate the total liabilities incurred by long poop-breaks and screaming-matches with the kids over the phone during working hours.

UPDATE: The Baltic Dry Index (a major index for world shipping) experienced its biggest weekly decline since 2008 last week. Not a good sign for a recovery in world trade.

Today's financial briefing brought to you by a fat guy in a ballerina outfit.

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posted by Monty at 07:06 AM

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