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June 22, 2010

Tuesday Financial Briefing

Stocks had an early morning boost from China's decision to remove the Yuan-USD peg, but the rally faded in late trading and the Dow closed down 8 points at 10,442.41 while the S&P 500 closed down slightly at 1113.20.

"I am the Great Wizard Econolak!", the pale Financial Mage cried, drawing forth his mighty Tome of Double-Entry and reading from it the Dread Spell of Insolvency. The menacing group of Hedgies and Lurking Speculators trembled in fear. Distantly came the sound of many horses at the gallop, mixed with distant curses and screams of rage. "Bond Vigilantes!", gasped Econolak's apprentice Fiskal Probitus.

More after the jump.

The Chinese currency move was the big story of the day, but there is no consensus on what it means in a larger sense. Short-term, probably very little. Long term, a floating Yuan is probably good for both China and the US. As the Chinese build their internal consumer-markets, the Chinese economy might become more consumer-focused, which would provide some badly-needed balance (as well as a bump in the standard-of-living for Chinese workers).

The best explanation I've seen so far on why China de-pegged the Yuan from the USD. As always with the Chinese, it's about maintaining the export edge without getting killed on the profit-margin.

Wow, this looks like a headline I would write: Profit-Margin Outlook for U.S. Is ‘Extremely Bad’. Not just "Kind of Bad" or "Rather Bad", but "Extremely Bad".

I hear the next issue is the one where Aquaman quits the Justice League and joins a hedge-fund.

The Ace of Spades Fortress of Doom is now available and the rent is cheap. It's sort of dim and smells of pee and sweat and murder, but that seems right for a Fortress of Doom, somehow. Plus it's in L.A., the very epicenter of hopelessness and failure.

In the grand tradition of TARP, the auto bailouts, the healthcare bill, and "cash for clunkers", yet another government program collapses. The pile of wreckage at the bottom of Government Plan Gulch continues to grow apace.

Are pennies worth anything? No. In fact they impose costs on society. Pennies suck. Down with pennies! (You can get rid of nickels while you're at it, Uncle Sugar. They're almost as useless as pennies.)

California always leads the grim conga-line of the terminally boned, but Illinois is doing their best to take the crown.

Today's briefing brought to you by Maisie the Hookah Girl.

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posted by Monty at 07:03 AM

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