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To: KyrosL who wrote (29875)2/25/2008 10:29:45 AM
From: Les H
   of 140856
They have a 50 percent tax on oil revenues to fund the Petroleum Fund and a 16.7% welfare tax to fund the Pension Fund.

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From: elmatador2/25/2008 10:34:38 AM
   of 140856
ATTENTION! ANOMALY! Visa IPO plans to raise as much as $17 billion in what would be the biggest U.S. initial public stock offering.

This is must be examined. The timing doesn't fit.

Get Out of Credit Card Debt, OK - 9 hours ago
Getting out of credit card debt is imperative for your financial well-being. With the economy slowing, the housing market souring, and the latest ...

Housing crash fuels rise in card debt
USA Today - Feb 22, 2008
With no savings to draw from, the Zentenos found themselves quickly racking up $30000 worth of credit card debt — mostly to pay for daily expenses. ...

Americans put $2.2 trillion in debt on their credit cards last year CNN

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To: elmatador who wrote (29883)2/25/2008 10:39:35 AM
From: KyrosL
   of 140856
The timing is just right. Right before credit card defaults start skyrocketing.

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To: Elroy Jetson who wrote (29876)2/25/2008 11:29:09 AM
From: energyplay
   of 140856
Federal capital gains rates in the US are 20 and 15 %.

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To: energyplay who wrote (29885)2/25/2008 11:45:25 AM
From: Jim McMannis
   of 140856
try 0, 15, 20 and 28 depending on what you sell.

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To: Elroy Jetson who wrote (29878)2/25/2008 12:00:15 PM
From: elmatador
   of 140856
Brazil no longer depends on US, Europe, Silva says. Well-prepared to weather a U.S. recession due to diversified export markets, a thriving domestic economy and the elimination of foreign debt, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday.

"We're going to transform this country into a great economy and a great nation," he said on his weekly radio program.

Latin America's largest economy is in the midst of a prolonged boom due to high global demand for from Brazilian ethanol, iron ore and agricultural products and gross domestic product will expand at least 5 percent annually through 2010, Silva predicted.

Frenzied domestic consumption of big ticket items like homes and cars will continue, Silva said. Brazil has a huge internal market of nearly 190 million consumers

"People are buying more and exports are growing because we don't depend on the United States and Europe alone," Silva said. "Now we're exporting to many more countries around the world, and this leaves us calm in the face of an American crisis."

He praised his own administration for ending the nation's debt crisis. Brazil emerged last week as a net foreign creditor for the first time in history.

The nation's traditionally mammoth debt, long a drag on growth, "was built over a period of many years by the mistakes of other administrations, mistakes that we fixed," Silva said.

Silva said last week that Brazil's success in eliminating its external debt means that the country can now use fresh debt to improve crumbling infrastructure and boost employment.

He was expected to announce 11.3 billion reals (US$6.6 billion, €4.5 billion) in new funding for social programs to lift 2 million Brazilians out of poverty.

Underlying the boom is the high global demand for Brazil's vast natural resources. The country is the planet's top exporter of beef, chicken, ethanol, iron ore, sugar, coffee and orange juice. Brazil comes a close second to the United States for soy exports.

Two major offshore finds by state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA in the last three months could turn Brazil into an oil and natural gas exporter and a prospective member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries

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To: RJA_ who wrote (29864)2/25/2008 12:04:09 PM
From: elmatador
   of 140856
17% of the US$ 28bn planned for 2008 entered in Jan. alone.
US$ 4,814bn, an increase of 98,8% compared with US$ 2,422bn on the same period of 2007. Data form the Central Bank this week.

``People are betting that the strong investment flows we've seen will continue,' said Thiago Guimaraes, a currency trader in Sao Paulo at BES Investimento do Brasil SA, the Brazilian unit of Lisbon-based Banco Espirito Santo de Investimento SA.

Brazil's Real Rises on Inflows, Matching Rally in December 2006

By Adriana Brasileiro

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil's real rose for a sixth straight day, matching a rally in December 2006, on bets dollar flows into local markets will keep increasing.

``People are betting that the strong investment flows we've seen will continue,' said Thiago Guimaraes, a currency trader in Sao Paulo at BES Investimento do Brasil SA, the Brazilian unit of Lisbon-based Banco Espirito Santo de Investimento SA.

The real increased 0.1 percent to 1.7050 per dollar at 9:10 a.m. New York time, from 1.7074 on Feb. 22. It touched 1.6942 on Feb. 22, the strongest since May 1999. The currency appreciated 2.6 percent last week.

Speculation that foreign investors will buy into a share sale by Cia. Energetica de Sao Paulo, Brazil's third-biggest power generator, also boosted the currency, Guimaraes said. The real is the biggest gainer against the dollar in the past year among the world's most actively traded currencies.

The state of Sao Paulo, which owns Cesp, as the company is known, plans to raise at least 6.6 billion reais ($3.9 billion) with the sale of 41 percent of the company's total capital, a spokeswoman for the state of Sao Paulo said in an interview on Feb. 20. The auction is scheduled to be held March 26.

The yield on Brazil's zero-coupon bond due in January 2009 increased 1 basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 11.79 percent, according to Banco Votorantim SA.

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To: energyplay who wrote (29885)2/25/2008 12:06:02 PM
From: elmatador
   of 140856
Real, Peso Show U.S. Hegemony Fading in Latin America. history of booms and busts dating back to the days of Spanish explorers Hernan Cortes and Francisco Pizarro may be over, foreign exchange markets show.

Real, Peso Show U.S. Hegemony Fading in Latin America.
(Update2) Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Latin America's history of booms and busts dating back to the days of Spanish explorers Hernan Cortes and Francisco Pizarro may be over, foreign exchange markets show.

Led by Colombia's peso, the region has three of the four best-performing currencies against the dollar this year among emerging markets, even as the U.S. economy falters. When the U.S., the biggest buyer of Latin American exports, struggled to pull out of a recession in 2002, six of the region's currencies fell more than 20 percent.

Unlike in past U.S. slowdowns, commodity prices have held near record highs, the result of demand from China and India that has made Latin America less beholden to its northern neighbor. Nations from Brazil to Mexico are taking advantage of record commodity exports to stockpile foreign reserves and pay down international debt. Brazil became a net creditor in January for the first time, its central bank said last week.

``Latin America has far better economic policies and tremendous support coming from high commodity prices,'' said Jonathan Binder, who oversees $1.7 billion of emerging-market assets at INTL Consilium LLC in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. ``The region will be resistant to the kind of risk correlated to the U.S. people previously expected.''

Colombia's peso has jumped 6.9 percent, extending its advance to 56 percent over the past five years. Currencies from Brazil, Chile and Peru are up more than 3 percent this year and are trading near their highest levels in at least seven years. Mexico's peso has appreciated 1.2 percent.

Relative Growth

As record oil, copper and soybean export receipts pour into the region, economists forecast expansions of more than 4 percent this year in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. That's more than double the estimate of 1.8 percent growth in the U.S., according to Bloomberg surveys.

Colombia raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter- percentage point to 9.75 percent on Feb. 22, bolstering the allure of the peso.

Traders are also betting on rate increases in Brazil and Chile. Futures contracts due in January and tied to Brazil's overnight rate trade at 11.75 percent, above the 11.25 percent target rate. Chilean central bank 8 percent notes due in July yield 6.45 percent, above the 6.25 percent overnight rate.

Not everyone's convinced the rally will last. Economists forecast Latin America's currencies will weaken, Bloomberg surveys show.

``In the year-end, I expect to see slower growth throughout Latin America as I think the U.S. recession eventually begins to hit exports both directly and indirectly through a knock-on effect on commodity prices,'' said Gray Newman, chief Latin America economist at Morgan Stanley in New York.

Aztecs, Incas

``A slowdown in the U.S. will have an effect,'' said Silvia Marengo, who manages $130 million of bonds at Clariden Bank in London. ``What's different now is that these countries find themselves in better financial positions. In the past, we would be talking about which Latin American country would be the next to default.''

The boom-and-bust cycle dates back to Cortes's conquest of the Aztec empire and Pizarro's defeat of the Incas in the 16th century, according to Jeffrey Lesser, a Latin American history professor at Emory University in Atlanta. Pizarro bilked some 40,000 pounds of gold and silver out of a captured Incan leader in the 1530s, the beginning of a commodities-driven economic system in South American that lasts today.

`Lost Decade'

By the mid-17th century, Potosi, a silver-mining city in the Andes, had grown into the biggest settlement in the Western Hemisphere. The city then sank into a century-long depression when it exhausted its easily accessible silver deposits.

The Great Depression in the 1930s caused Mexico's economy to shrink 14.8 percent in one year alone.

Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker's move to rein in inflation by driving the central bank's target rate up to 20 percent in 1980 sparked devaluations and defaults in more than 10 Latin American countries. The region plunged into recession, earning the 1980s the moniker the ``Lost Decade.''

Argentina halted payments on $95 billion of bonds in December 2001, three months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks dried up demand for high-risk assets. The next year, currencies in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru sunk to record lows.

Export Boom

Seeking to break the pattern, countries throughout the region have used the surge in exports to build up reserves and pay down debt.

Brazil's reserves total $188 billion, up six-fold from five years ago. Mexico's have almost doubled to $80 billion, while Argentina's are up more than three-fold to $49 billion. The amount of the region's debt denominated in foreign currencies fell to 24.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2007 from 44.1 percent in 2002, according to the International Monetary Fund.

A growing percentage of Latin American exports are going to Asia, with Brazil sending 6.7 percent of its goods to China last year, double the amount in 2001.

Speaking to bankers in Acapulco last month, Mexican President Felipe Calderon highlighted the increase in the country's exports last year to non-U.S. markets: 48 percent to the Middle East, more than 30 percent to Europe and more than 25 percent to Asia.

Three weeks later, his finance minister, Agustin Carstens, expressed confidence in the economy when he was asked in a television interview what he thought of the decades-old Mexican saying: ``When the U.S. gets a cold, Mexico gets pneumonia.''

It will be different this year, Carstens said. ``I expect we'll only get the sniffles.''

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To: Ilaine who wrote (29725)2/25/2008 12:23:36 PM
From: Lazarus_Long
   of 140856

Now I'd hardly clain this is representative of the state. Several of the top 10 worst cities in the nation in the nation are in this state and you don't have to go too far from some of these areas to get to some of them. We've been lucky- -so far. That can change. The economy is largely based on technicalese expertise and that is looking like a fragile commodity in today's world.

I also have trouble believing in the loan reinsurer bail-out.
On Friday, the market was continuing its attempt to find the bottom of Hell - down 150 on the DJIA. Then rumors hit that AMBAC, the loan insurer, would be bailed out by a consortium of banks.
Read the comments on the 2nd article. They are enlightening.
Now several things strike me about this:
(1) The smaller, not the larger, of the 2 main loan insurance companies is being bailed out. The larger is at present being left to flail and sink. Maybe it'll be rescued later. Maybe not
(2) Many of the banks doing the bailing are the very ones in trouble, such as C, WB, and UBS. The bailing seems to consists filling a pail in one part of the boat and dumping it in another rather than over the side.
US housing stock has a value of US $6.6T, of which 70%, or US $4.6T, is mortgaged. MBIA has US $1.5B in loan guarantees from banks. I heard rumors MBIA has about US $350M in loan guarantees. Their exposure appears to be AMBAC's US $524B + MBIA's $679B, or US 1.4B. These companies might be nearly covered, but hundreds of billions in mortgages must be either not covered by insurance or not in danger. If uncovered and in danger, there remains a serious problem. If not in danger, then Wall Street has been lying to us for months.

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To: RJA_ who wrote (29839)2/25/2008 12:34:24 PM
From: elmatador
   of 140856
Here we go: Speculators hit palm oil. Demand for biodiesel fuels palm oil price
By Andrew Wood in Hong Kong and John Aglionby in Jakarta

Published: February 25 2008 17:15 | Last updated: February 25 2008 17:15

Palm oil jumped by nearly 6 per cent on Monday to set a fresh lifetime high on the Bursa Malaysia derivatives exchange, boosted by strong demand from China and India.

Prices have doubled in 12 months as persistently expensive crude oil stokes demand for palm oil, which is increasingly made into biodiesel. The rise in palm oil prices is also linked to the surging cost of other vegetable oils.

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