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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jim Rogers : the markets are not going down because of the S&P Debt Downgrade

Jim Rogers : my question is what took them so long why did not they go further , the United Stats is the largst debtor nation in the history of the world this is not news , I know you have to report you got a lot of viewers , this is not even old news , this is not news everybody in the market knew this , the markets are not going down because of this , the markets are going down because of many fundamental reasons , America got staggering problems Europe has problems China is slowing down , there are many reasons for the markets to go down , I am still an American citizens I pay American taxes and I vote in America , I have been shorting stocks I have been short technology stocks I have been short emerging markets , if we have huge panic and a huge collapse a selling climate I have to cover my shorts I do not particularly want to but I am not doing anything except watching with amusement , now if Mr Bernanke starts printing money again which is pretty clear that he will then I just have to buy more commodities buy more real assets because when they print money Maria , the only way to save yourself and even make money is to own real assets

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Jerusalem tunnel contains 2,000-year-old sword, pots and coins

A Roman Era sword inside a leather scabbard discovered in Jerusalem

The tunnel was built two millennia ago underneath one of Roman-era Jerusalem's main streets, which today largely lies under an Arab neighbourhood in the city's eastern sector.

After a four-year excavation, the tunnel is part of a growing network of subterranean passages under the politically combustible modern city.

The tunnel was intended to drain rainwater, but is also thought to have been used as a hiding place for the rebels during the time of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

That temple was razed, along with much of the city, by Roman legionnaires putting down the Jewish uprising in 70AD.

On Monday, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority unveiled a sword found in the tunnel late last month, measuring 24 inches in length and with its leather sheath intact. The sword likely belonged to a member of the Roman garrison around the time of the revolt, the archaeologists said.

"We found many things that we assume are linked to the rebels who hid out here, like oil lamps, cooking pots, objects that people used and took with them, perhaps, as a souvenir in the hope that they would be going back," said Eli Shukron, the Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist in charge of the dig.

The archaeologists also found a bronze key from the same era, coins minted by rebels with the slogan "Freedom of Zion," and a crude carved depiction of a menorah.

The flight of the rebels to tunnels like the one currently being excavated was described by the historian Josephus Flavius, a Jewish rebel general who shifted his allegiance to Rome during the revolt and penned the most important history of the uprising.

As the city burned, he wrote about five years afterward, the rebels decided their "last hope" lay in the tunnels. They planned to wait until the legions had departed and then emerge and escape.

"But this proved to be an idle dream, for they were not destined to escape from either God or the Romans," he wrote. The legionnaires tore up the paving stones above the drainage channels and exposed their hiding place.

"There too were found the bodies of more than two thousand, some slain by their own hands, some by another's; but most of them died by starvation," Josephus wrote. The victors proceeded to loot, he wrote, "for many precious objects were found in these passages."

The new tunnel, lit by fluorescent bulbs and smelling of damp earth, has been cleared for much of its length but has not yet been opened to the public. Earlier this month, a team from The Associated Press walked through the tunnel from the biblical Pool of Siloam, one of the city's original water sources, continuing for 600 yards (meters) under the Palestinian neighbourhood named for the pool – Silwan – before climbing out onto a sunlit Roman-era street inside Jerusalem's Old City.

The tunnel is part of the expanding City of David excavation in Silwan, which sits above the oldest section of Jerusalem. The dig is named for the biblical monarch thought to have ruled from the site. It is funded by a group affiliated with the Jewish settlement movement and has drawn criticism from Palestinian residents who have charged that the work is disruptive and politically motivated.

Israel and the Palestinians have conflicting claims over Jerusalem that have scuttled peace efforts for decades. Both sides claim the Old City, which includes sites holy to Christians, Muslims and Jews.

The excavation of the tunnel began in 2007. Last month, a worker found a tiny golden bell that seemed to have been an ornament on the clothing of a rich man, or possibly a Temple priest, and which could still ring 2,000 years later.

When the tunnel opens to the public sometime in the coming months, underground passages totalling about a mile (1.6 kilometres) in length will be accessible beneath Jerusalem. The tunnels have become one of the city's biggest tourist draws and the number of visitors has risen in recent years to more than a million in 2010.

The tunnels remain, however, a sensitive political issue. While for Israelis they are proof of the extent of Jewish roots here, for many Palestinians, who reject Israel's sovereignty in the east Jerusalem, they are a threat to their own claims to the city and represent an exaggerated focus on Jewish history.

The 1996 opening of a new exit to a tunnel underneath the Old City's Muslim Quarter sparked rumours among Palestinians that Israel meant to damage the mosque compound, and dozens were killed in the ensuing riots. In recent years, however, criticism has been muted and work has largely gone ahead without incident.

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Russians warn NATO targeting Syria

WASHINGTON – Moscow's envoy to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has warned that the Western alliance is planning to attack Syria to help overthrow the regime of President Bashar Assad "with the long-reaching goal of preparing a beachhead for an attack on Iran," according to Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

Dmitry Rogozin, who made the accusation, is in a position to assess whether such planning is being done.

"Military planning against Iran is under way," he said. "And we are certainly concerned about an escalation of a large-scale war in this huge region."

His comments came after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned Assad that he faced a "sad fate" for not implementing long-promised reforms following continued regime attacks against widespread demonstrations in Syria, especially in Hama which remains a major center for the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria.

Read more:Russians warn NATO targeting Syriahttp://www.wnd.com/?pageId=331337#ixzz1UXk8442j

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Urgent message from Peter Schiff

From the Desk of Peter Schiff
Friday’s downgrade of US debt has enormous implications for every American investor. I expect the decline of the dollar will accelerate, and gold – the most probable beneficiary of the rating cut – will soar.
If you’ve been waiting for a significant pullback in prices to buy metals, or add to your position, I think you’ve missed it. We saw the short-lived pullback a few weeks ago. I believe metals prices will go sharply higher from here.
Global markets got clobbered last week, and as I write this early Monday morning, the devastation looks like it is continuing. However, unlike in 2008, there is no flight to the perceived safety of the dollar. Instead, money is stampeding into precious metals and stable currencies like the Swiss Franc and Japanese Yen. Only intervention by the Japanese and Swiss central banks has prevented their respective currencies from soaring much higher against the dollar.
As investors, this tells us two things:
A) The dollar is being kept on life support by other world governments.
B) Until that support is withdrawn, only gold and silver will be able to rise as fast as the dollar falls.
This crisis was sparked when Congress raised the debt ceiling without making significant spending cuts. Once again, the politicians kicked the can down the road, and avoided make the hard decisions.
Markets are now realizing that the US government doesn't have any tricks up its sleeve to make good on its debts. Washington is just plain broke. Late Friday night, the Standard & Poor's (S&P) rating house made this judgment official by stripping the US of its AAA rating – for the first time ever.
Many investors are wondering: what comes next?
I believe that currency markets will dump dollars at an even faster rate in the coming weeks and months, as the full implications of this downgrade are absorbed.
As this happens, it will tip off a vicious cycle: US Treasuries will decline in value, interest rates will rise, the cost of financing the deficit will rise, and Treasuries will decline further as a result. As the federal government spends more and more on interest, it will be unable to finance more stimuli and the recession will deepen. This will make the financial position of the US even worse, threatening further downgrades.
Respected figures like Warren Buffett and Alan Greenspan are now saying that S&P was wrong in their downgrade because the Fed can simply print money indefinitely to avoid default. But any country can print money to pay its bills, it's the value of its currency that determines its credit rating. After all, what's the point of paying bondholders the amount printed on their coupon if it takes $100 to buy a quart of milk? This is what S&P is rightfully worried about, and why this is really a downgrade of US dollar.
Meanwhile, while money-printing is creating the illusion of solvency for the US, it is also creating a global tidal wave of inflation. Many foreign governments are wary of hurting their export industries by allowing the dollar to fall too quickly. So, they are printing money to keep pace with the Fed, blunting some of the deserved return from investing in healthier overseas markets.
There is only one form of money that cannot be printed: precious metals. Since the US seems dead-set on a hyperinflationary solution to this crisis, I think gold and silver are are headed higher – and fast.
Today's gains are just the beginning. I urge you to build a position in physical precious metals now. It will be the lifeboat that carries you away from the sinking US ship of state.
I have long advocated that investors hold at least 5-10% of their assets in physical precious metals, as the ultimate safe haven. In these perilous times, a larger position may be appropriate.

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NoBankers on planes....

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Serious People Are Starting To Realize That We May Be Looking At World War III

Nazi Rally

The statement released Friday by Standard & Poor's explaining its downgrade of the United States' credit rating expressed greater concern about the inability of the American political system to handle troublesome economic realities than it did about those economic realities themselves. It read:

"The downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011."

Thus, what directly prompted the historic decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating was worsening political dysfunction, not the "economic challenges" which Standard & Poor's described as "ongoing." The political, even geopolitical, repercussions of those challenges can only be expected to grow.

Noting liberal despair over the government's inability to combat economic depression, and conservative skepticism that traditional tools will be effective, John Judis of The New Republic argues that a global depression far longer and more severe than anyone expected now seems nearly impossible to avoid. Judis believes that the coming "depression" will be accompanied by geopolitical upheaval and institutional collapse.

"As the experience of the 1930s testified, a prolonged global downturn can have profound political and geopolitical repercussions. In the U.S. and Europe, the downturn has already inspired unsavory, right-wing populist movements. It could also bring about trade wars and intense competition over natural resources, and the eventual breakdown of important institutions like European Union and the World Trade Organization. Even a shooting war is possible."

Daniel Knowles of the Telegraph has noticed a similar trend. In a post titled, "This Really Is Beginning To Look Like 1931," Knowles argues that we could be witnessing the transition from recession to global depression that last occurred two years after the 1929 market collapse, and eight years before Germany invaded Poland, triggering the Second World War:

"The difference today is that so far, the chain reaction of a default has been avoided by bailouts. Countries are not closing down their borders or arming their soldiers – they can agree on some solution, if not a good solution. But the fundamental problem – the spiral downwards caused by confidence crises and ever rising interest rates – is exactly the same now as it was in 1931. And as Italy and Spain come under attack, we are reaching the limit of how much that sticking plaster can heal. Tensions between European countries unseen in decades are emerging."

Knowles wrote that post three days ago. Since then it has become abundantly obvious that Europe will soon become unwilling or unable to continue bailing out every country with a debt problem. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy continues to chug along, to the extent it is chugging at all, on the false security offered by a collective distaste for one ratings agency and its poor mathematics.

That can't continue forever. The next few months will show S&P's downgrade to have been too little and too late, rather than too drastic and too soon. The Eurozone will fall apart. The American political crisis will only worsen; the "super-committee" will utterly fail, true to design. Soon enough, we may all wake up to a "reckoning" truly deserving of the name.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/serious-people-are-starting-to-realize-that-we-may-be-looking-at-world-war-iii-2011-8?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheMoneyGame+%28The+Money+Game%29&utm_content=Google+Reader#ixzz1UXjNtnU1

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Gold may hit $2,500 in 2011: JP Morgan

Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

Gold could surge to US$2,500 per ounce or higher by the end of 2011, according to J.P. Morgan commodity analysts Colin Fenton and Jonah Waxman.

Before Standard & Poor’s downgraded the United States’ debt rating, they thought spot gold could average US$1,800 by year-end. Now that view looks too conservative, the analysts told clients.

They also see a lot of upside for raw sugar prices, possibly doubling or more in a spike as a result of weakness in the U.S. dollar and rising inflation.

They analyst recommend owning commodities geared toward Asia, investment and inflation, while being underweight those tied to the United States or consumption.

“In the near term, most commodity markets appear likely to convulse lower, as a growth scare dislodges physical inventories and impairs orders,” they said. “These fears could linger in the United States, where private funding costs will likely go up and household balance sheets will be further strained.”

However, the analysts expect commodity markets linked to emerging market growth, infrastructure investment and inflation will stabilize relatively quickly, outperforming markets more closely tied to developed markets.

Not only is this trend already evident in the rising gold price since Friday’s downgrade, but also in renewed widening of the Brent-WTI crude oil spread.

The J.P. Morgan analysts favour a basket that includes Brent crude oil, gasoil, gold, raw sugar, copper, corn and wheat. They recommend hedging this risk with underweights or shorts in a group that includes WTI crude oil, RBOB gasoline, aluminum, zinc and North American natural gas.

“Despite the novelty of a US downgrade, a debt-focused scare is normal for this stage of the business cycle,” they said. “The macro backdrop better parallels mid-cycle pauses in 1995 and 1998, rather than end cycle 1981 or 2008, though the risk of a worse outcome is rising and should not be ignored.”
financial post

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London riots monday

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Freddie Mac Seeks $1.5 Billion More From Taxpayers

Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said on Monday it would need to ask for an additional $1.5 billion from taxpayers due to losses stemming from weak housing markets.

Freddie Mac

The company reported a comprehensive loss in the second quarter of $1.1 billion. Despite income of $1 billion, the company registered a net worth deficit of $1.5 billion.

That is, in part, because it was required to pay dividends worth $1.6 billion to the Treasury. As a result, the cost to taxpayers of its rescue declined by $100 million this quarter.

Freddie Mac has drawn $65.2 billion from the government since it was taken over at the height of the financial crisis in September of 2008.

Because of dividend payments, the net cost of Freddie Mac's rescue peaked at $56.2 billion in the second quarter of last year. In the most recent quarter, the cost eased to $52 billion.

Freddie Mac said it expects home prices to decline in the near term, and that it expects its credit losses to remain elevated in the second half of the year.

Labor market weakness and households' worries about their financial security dampened home sales during the quarter, Freddie Mac chief executive Charles Haldeman said.

"While we expect some improvement in home sales during the second half of the year, our outlook for the single-family housing market remains cautious," he said.

Fellow mortgage finance provider Fannie Mae said last week it will ask for an additional $5.1 billion from taxpayers. It reported a second quarter loss attributable to common shareholders of $5.2 billion or 90 cents a share.

The government seized control of both firms almost three years ago as losses piled up from mortgages gone bad.

The administration and Congress are considering ways to restructure the two enterprises, which despite their financial woes are central to U.S. housing finance. The issue is highly contentious politically and lawmakers are not expected to take up the matter for several more months.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's on Monday downgraded the debt issued by the firms
to double-A-plus from triple-A, the highest level, following their weakening of the U.S. government's credit rating last week.

Riots spread to Birmingham

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Stocks Suffer Sharpest Drop Since 2008

The stock market resumed its free fall Monday on mounting fears about the stalling economy and worries that the government had few options to increase growth, dual concerns that overshadowed the downgrade of long-term United States government debt.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 634 points, or 5.6 percent, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 -stock index dropped 6.7 percent, the biggest retreats since December 2008 in the midst of the financial crisis, accelerating a sell-off that began a couple of weeks ago. The S.& P. 500 is now down 18 percent from its April 29 peak and is nearing official bear market territory, defined as a fall of 20 percent.

So anxious are many investors that they poured money intoTreasury securities, the debt the government sells to finance its operations. Even though the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded United States debt a notch from the sterling AAA rating on Friday, judging them a slightly higher risk than before, many still deem Treasuries to be safer than just about any other investment.

Typically, a downgrade would cause investors to sell, but financial turmoil in Europe and policy gridlock in Washington overrode concerns about the downgrade. “This is investors running from risk wherever they see it,” said David Kelly, chief market strategist at JPMorgan Funds. “The biggest risk we face here is recession.”

The stock sell-off picked up speed even though President Obama sought to calm markets, telling reporters that “our problems are eminently solvable and we know what we need to do to solve them.” However, there is sharp disagreement how to solve them, as demonstrated by the fiercely partisan battle over raising the federal government’s borrowing limit, which was resolved only through a last-minute compromise.

In the wake of the financial collapse more than two years ago, the government took various steps to invigorate the economy, pouring money into the financial system and adopting stimulus spending. Some economists say they think more stimulus spending is needed now to keep the economy from slowing further, but this seems unlikely given that many Republicans say the country can ill afford to add to the gaping budget deficit with more spending.

It was not just the stock market that was rattled. A few obscure but important parts of the credit market also showed signs of some stress. For example, the market for commercial paper, short-term loans that companies use to finance themselves, became less favorable. This was not nearly as bad as during the financial crisis but people will be keeping an eye on this to see if conditions deteriorate.

“The cause of all this was the marking down of growth expectations,” said Barry Knapp, strategist at Barclays Capital. “It has morphed into one giant global growth recession concern.”

The trading day opened ominously in the United States, after sharp drops of stocks in Asia and in Europe. The European Central Bank sought to calm investors by intervening aggressively in bond markets with special measures to help support financially troubled Spain and Italy, to little avail.

On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Doreen Mogavero, a trader for Mogavero, Lee & Company, noted that other traders had canceled vacations in anticipation of a wild day. Extra staff was on duty to make sure the computer systems were working properly as volumes surged.

The exchange processed a record 390 million orders in the first hour of trading, eclipsing the last record in May 2010. All told, 18 billion shares trades on the nation’s stock market, the most active day in a year.

Many investors — burned by the relentless decline of stocks in the months after the 2008 financial collapse — seem inclined to sell rather than wait. “It is the psychological impact that I am concerned about in terms of confidence on the market,” said Ms. Mogavero.

The force of the stock market sell-off that has accelerated over the last two weeks — the broader S.& P. 500-stock index has lost 16.8 percent since July 22 — is creating the growing sense that the economy may be nearing a double-dip recession as everyone from consumers to businesses retrench.

The biggest declines were in bank stocks. Bank of America fell 20 percent. Citigroup fell 16 percent. Morgan Stanley dropped 14 percent. JPMorgan fell 9 percent. And Goldman Sachs fell 6 percent.

Investors feared that banks could be hit by the economic slowdown and that, with government spending constrained, lenders would be less likely to receive official support in the future should they need it, as they did during the financial crisis.

New York Times

London riots, cars, buildings on flames

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Asian markets tumble after share sell-off in the US

Nikkei 225 one month chart

Asian markets have been hammered amid fears that the US is heading for a recession and after Wall Street posted the biggest losses since late 2008.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 3.7%, South Korea's Kospi lost 5%, and Australia's ASX shed 3.8%.

Earlier in the US, the Dow Jones stock index dropped 5.6%, despite US President Barack Obama trying to reassure investors.

A US recession would hurt Asia's export-led economies.

"You can't control it," Peter Esho, chief market analyst at City Index, told the BBC.

"You have the onset of fear in the market. There are a lot of things that don't make sense."Rocking market

Analysts said a number of issues had created the current market pessimism.

At the heart of the problem is the fear that ongoing debt problems in the US and Europe will slow economic growth and dent corporate profits.

On top of that, the US had its triple A credit rating cut by Standard and Poor's for the first time in history, added to the sense of gloom surrounding the world's biggest economy.

"What's rocking the market is a growth scare," said Kathleen Gaffney of Loomis Sayles.

She said investors were concerned about "how Europe and the US are going to work their way out of a high debt burden" if the global economy slowed.

Rajiv Biswas of IHS Global Insight told the BBC that investors were worried that given the issues with the US credit rating downgrade there will be a drop in government spending.

"That will be a a big drag on growth," he said.Historic moves

City Index's Mr Esho added that a combination of these fears has dented market sentiment, and prompted investors to dump stocks across all industries in the US.

The S&P 500 index was down 6.7% in New York on Monday, the worst drop since December 2008, with every listed stock falling.

In points terms, the Dow ended down 635 to 10,810, its biggest one-day decline since October 2008, and the sixth largest on record. The Nasdaq index fell even further, losing 6.9%.

Earlier in the UK, the main FTSE 100 index lost 3.4%, or 178 points. It was the first time in the FTSE 100's 27-year history that it had fallen by more than 100 points for four sessions in a row.

Share indexes also fell heavily across Europe on Monday, with Germany's Dax ending down 5%, while France's Cac lost 4.7%.

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