In one way or the other, a rigid regulation about market manipulation in commodities has to come with the next administration since Mr. Bush will veto any attempt during his ruling. But more importantly short term to prevent, we will see in Q3 falling oil prices anyway in order to prevent tougher regulation but more so to get the voters in a better mood to vote for McCain. To achieve that oil respectively gasoline prices need to drop and the stockmarket to rise. Thats why the Bush administration is suddenly supporting a strong Dollar to turnaround commodity prices temporarily and give the stockmarket a boost. I am confident they will be successful in turning the markets around for the time July-November. Worst case they use the strategic reserves and they have a good argument since they do it to the benefit of the people??
The technical picture shows the bottom should come early July and confirms that fundamental scenario plus as I have stated earlier its more fun to get markets up with a lot new shorts in there since the first part is to squeeze them out the second part is to deliver some fundamentals to get the hesitating long only funds and retailers to jump on board. For everybody still long that will be a present to get out - actually the last exit to get out on decent levels. We have a good chance to get close to the highs or even exceed them slightly in Q4 but that we will address when its due, for now the bear campaign has still a bit to go.
They are being blamed for high gas prices, soaring grocery bills and volatile commodity markets, and lawmakers are lashing out at market regulators for not cracking down on them more vigorously.
“You study it, but you don’t act against this incredible increase in speculation,” Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, complained to a senior official of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission at a recent Senate hearing. “Unless the C.F.T.C. is going to act against speculation, we don’t have a cop on the beat.”
Just this week, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent, said he was working on a proposal to ban large institutional investors from the commodity markets entirely. The same day, the Bush administration endorsed another Senate proposal to create a new federal interagency task force to investigate commodity speculation. At least four public hearings have explored the topic in just the last two months, and Senator Lieberman will hold another session on June 24.
Shows like CNBC have geared up into propaganda machines with a mission to dis-inform people. 'Cramer' has such a poor track record with his calls or this chief Goldilocks cheerleader 'Kudlow' on a trading floor they would not exist anymore lacking any positive performance. On the other hand seeing the calls of the so-called experts isn't any better - remember around the highs Goldman Merrill and UBS called for the big summer rally. What the hack do they think a journalist is - they could at least try to be one and not talk like hysteric chickens who switch their opinion every week to the taste of the week. One week Goldilocks the next week ultra-bears.
The challenging part is one has to manage to listen to them and not to listen to their blabbering at the same time- little bits and pieces of information can be fished out.
The Biggest disappointment of the week comes from Obama
excerpt from NYT
Jason Furman, 37, became the economic policy director for Barack Obama's presidential campaign in June 2008.
In some Democratic circles, his appointment was seen a sign that Mr. Obama will not stray too far to the left on economic issues. Before joining the campaign, Mr. Furman was at the Brookings Institution, where he was head of the Hamilton Project, a centrist, pro-trade economic research group founded by former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and affiliated with the Wall Street contingent of the Democratic Party.
Mr. Furman said that he would consult Mr. Rubin as well as Lawrence Summers, another Clinton-era Treasury secretary, and former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder. The Obama economic team also includes two advisers who are further to the populist left: Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute and James Galbraith, a University of Texas economist and son of the late John Kenneth Galbraith.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Mr. Furman said:``My key mandate, which came directly from the senator, is to bring him a diverse set of voices and ideas, because that's the kind of debate he likes to hear to make up his mind about his economic agenda."
Mr. Furman has advised several Democratic presidential candidates in recent campaigns. But many Democrats are not fans of his because he is known as a defender of Wal-Mart, which, he argues, helps more than it hurts poor Americans. His writings on the subject include a 16-page article released in 2005 titled, "Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story" and a debate with Barbara Ehrenreich in Slate in 2006 criticizing the more aggressive tactics of the anti-Wal-Mart movement.
Mr. Furman attended Harvard and the London School of Economics and received a doctorate in economics from Harvard. He worked as an economist in the Clinton administration and at the World Bank.
This guy is a protege of Rubin, current chairman of Citi's board and responsible for one of the biggest financial disasters ( so far they only show 40 Bil. of losses but the real figure is closer to 200 Bil. with upside momentum) and technically a bankrupt bank. Mr. Rubin is an ex-CEO of Goldman and was Treasury Secretary for President Clinton. If they are so smart why did they not see the real estate collapse coming - which was obvious. That is no indication of the 'change' maxim Mr. Obama prides himself of going after. Do not get me wrong I support the idea but I have less confidence except for one thing. I have checked out the birth chart from Obama and one of his character features is that he can pretend to be someone he isn't. Following a old wisdom (was it Sun Zu ? - The Art of War) be close to your friends but even closer to your enemy. But why would he elect a guy like Johnson as an aid - he starts off with a lot of contamination. From an astrological point of view whom ever you hire under Merkur and Neptun retrogade is not the real deal anyway (delusion, lies, phony energy).
Excerpts from NYT
CHICAGO — James A. Johnson, the consummate Washington insider whom Senator Barack Obama tapped to head his vice-presidential search effort, resigned abruptly on Wednesday to try to silence a growing furor over his business activities.
Mr. Johnson’s departure deprives Mr. Obama of decades of experience and access to Washington’s power elite. Mr. Johnson has been a fixture in Washington political and legal circles for three decades, and he led the vice-presidential search team for Senator John Kerry, the Democrats’ presidential nominee in 2004.
His resignation, at the start of a general election contest in which the candidates have pledged to run issue-based campaigns, came after days of intense scrutiny from the news media and attacks from Senator John McCain and Republican Party officials over mortgages Mr. Johnson, a former chief executive of Fannie Mae, received on favorable terms from the Countrywide Financial Corporation, the mortgage company that was a central player in the subprime lending crisis. Mr. Johnson also faced questions about his role on compensation committees that awarded large payouts to corporate executives.
As chief executive of Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored organization that guarantees mortgages for millions of homeowners, Mr. Johnson earned a lucrative paycheck, even by private-sector standards. In 1998 alone, he earned $21 million, according an analysis by federal regulators.
After Mr. Johnson left in 1998, Fannie Mae was caught up in an accounting scandal in which federal regulators found that the company had manipulated its earnings to provide large bonuses for Fannie Mae executives.
While Mr. Johnson was not implicated in the accounting scandal, federal regulators said he had created a culture of arrogance at the company that contributed to its fall from grace.
In Mr. Johnson’s tenure at Fannie Mae, he became close to Countrywide, the hobbled mortgage lender now at the center of the subprime mortgage crisis. Countrywide was Fannie Mae’s largest mortgage provider, which brought Mr. Johnson into contact with Angelo R. Mozilo, Countrywide’s chief executive.
Through that relationship, Mr. Johnson received three home mortgages totaling at least $2 million at rates that appear to be lower than the prevailing mortgage rates at the time. When the story about the personal mortgages broke in The Wall Street Journal last weekend, Mr. Johnson’s business relationships began to draw greater scrutiny.
In addition, Mr. Johnson served on the boards of a number of corporations that were at the center of a furor over excessive executive compensation, a subject that has been not only a campaign cause for Mr. Obama but also the subject of major legislation he introduced in the Senate to rein in such high-dollar pay packages. Mr. Obama’s “Say on Pay” legislation calls for greater shareholder oversight of executive compensation.
Perhaps the best-known case was Mr. Johnson’s board seat at UnitedHealthcare, a Minneapolis company where he headed the compensation committee. In that position, he oversaw and approved executive pay packages that have since come under fire, even becoming symbols of corporate excess and greed.
again a strange choice of Mr. Obama
Politics was always a dirty game - one has to deal with the realities as they are - but it seems politics are so filthy these days that you can only choose between this kind of guys?? Although I like the show 'West Wing' which shows how nice it could be with honest people - reality is different. Lets see who his running mate is going to be.
Pimco (one of the biggest fixed income managers) has stated on two occasions that the US government understates inflation - thats true but not new and their top adviser Mr Greenspan had an crucial role in setting that up.