Daily Digest 12/27 - Home Prices Fell, UK Inflation, Deepwater Horizon's Final Hours
- Home Prices Probably Fell, Baring Weak Link in Accelerating U.S. Recovery
- Foreign Central Banks' US Debt Holdings Rise - Fed
- The UK Inflation Genie is Out of the Bottle
- Mauldin: Some Thoughts on Market Timing
- Gold Advances as Investors Buy After Dip on China Rate Rise Boosts Appeal
- Central Arkansas Growing Weary Of Relentless Tremors
- Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours
A wave of foreclosures waiting to reach the market means home prices will remain under pressure in 2011, representing a risk to household finances. Rising equity values and an improving job market will probably help offset the damage, ensuring that confidence and spending continue to climb. “The inventory overhang is so big, with foreclosures looming, it’ll take five years to absorb the supply,” said Paul Ballew, chief economist at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. in Columbus, Ohio. “The consumer is feeling better although there is still a high level of caution and anxiety.”
The Fed said its holdings of U.S. securities kept for overseas central banks rose $17.26 billion in the week ended Dec. 22 to stand at $3.358 trillion. The breakdown of custody holdings showed overseas central banks' holdings of Treasury debt rose by $13.08 billion to stand at $2.625 trillion.
The UK Inflation Genie Is Out Of The Bottle (solidswede)
November's national accounts, released last week, were shocking. Government spending last month was sharply up on the same month in 2009 – yes, up! British state borrowing is still escalating, with the national debt rising very quickly. Anyone who takes an intelligent interest in current affairs could be forgiven for inferring from the political rhetoric that the UK's fiscal squeeze is not only well under way but that the worst is actually behind us. If this was indeed your impression, you may want to pour yourself a large Yuletide sherry and possibly take refuge in another bowl of trifle. For the grim reality, as the latest figures show, is that Britain's fiscal squeeze hasn't even begun.
I am neither a market timer nor the son of a market timer. I left my office in the Texas Rangers ballpark this year, and they went to the World Series. I bought Dallas Cowboys season tickets for the first time in 50 years, as they went down in flames. But I do know a few very good timers, and they are sending out warnings. Today, we look at a few of these, as it might pay to hedge some of your equity portfolio as we go into the New Year.
Immediate-delivery gold gained 0.2 percent to $1,384.20 an ounce at 1:06 p.m. in Seoul, reversing an earlier loss of as much as 0.6 percent to $1,372.80. The price rose 0.4 percent last week, the first weekly gain in three. Gold for February delivery on the Comex in New York was 0.3 percent higher at $1,384.10 an ounce. The market was closed on Dec. 24. The People’s Bank of China increased key one-year lending and deposit rates by 25 basis points on Christmas Day. The change took effect yesterday.
Although drilling for natural gas has been ruled out as a cause for the quakes, experts want to continue looking at salt water disposal wells, said Scott Ausbrooks, geohazards supervisor for the Geological Survey. Disposal wells occur when drilling waster is injected back into the earth after drilling.
Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours (chris)
Nearly 400 feet long, the Horizon had formidable and redundant defenses against even the worst blowout. It was equipped to divert surging oil and gas safely away from the rig. It had devices to quickly seal off a well blowout or to break free from it. It had systems to prevent gas from exploding and sophisticated alarms that would quickly warn the crew at the slightest trace of gas. The crew itself routinely practiced responding to alarms, fires and blowouts, and it was blessed with experienced leaders who clearly cared about safety. On paper, experts and investigators agree, the Deepwater Horizon should have weathered this blowout. This is the story of how and why it didn’t.
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