PoliticsPresident Barack Obama

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To: tejek who wrote (107282)1/12/2012 2:56:35 PM
From: Road Walker
   of 149288
What do you think the odds are that Romney beats Obama in November?

WAG as of today 40%. They are going to swiftboat the hell out of Obama, a bunch of different PACs. Like nothing we've seen before. It will really be ugly, and hopefully we'll see a backlash.

'Course the economy will make a difference... if things are clearly getting better folks won't want to make a change. If they're getting worse they'll throw the bum out.

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To: Road Walker who wrote (107283)1/12/2012 2:57:21 PM
From: bentway
   of 149288
I don't know, but I wish I was one of those "owners", so I could find out! In any case, probably a lot of bargains to be had in Florida for a person with some cash and good credit.

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To: bentway who wrote (107285)1/12/2012 3:38:26 PM
From: Road Walker
   of 149288
Romney Vows to Undo Everything Obama Has Done: ‘I Will Make Bin Laden Alive Again’ Calls Slain al-Qaeda Leader a Job Creator

MANCHESTER, NH ( The Borowitz Report) – In a rousing victory speech in New Hampshire last night, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney vowed to undo everything Barack Obama has done as President, promising his supporters, “I will make Osama bin Laden alive again.”

Mr. Romney called the assassination of bin Laden “just one of the many mistakes this President has made,” adding, “Say what you will about Osama bin Laden, the man was a job creator.”

The presumptive GOP nominee said that on his first day in office, “I will get a hold of the DNA of Osama bin Laden and breathe the life-force of capitalism back into it.”

The reanimation of the slain al-Qaeda leader is just the first of many steps Mr. Romney plans to take in his effort to get the USA “back to exactly how it was” before Mr. Obama took office.

“As President, I will immediately close down GM and Chrysler and put thousands of Americans out on the street,” he said. “And then I will try to get a hold of the DNA of Qaddafi.”

At another point in his victory speech, Mr. Romney complained that his controversial remark about “liking to fire people” had been taken out of context: “The full quote was, ‘I like to fire people – and then laugh at them.’”

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To: mindmeld who wrote (107223)1/12/2012 4:44:32 PM
From: Road Walker
   of 149288
Draghi Says Weaponry Working After ECB Postpones ‘Armageddon’

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi says his strategy for battling Europe’s debt crisis is starting to work.

The ECB’s massive injection of cash into the financial system last month is beginning to lubricate seized credit markets and there are “tentative signs” of economic stabilization in the euro area, Draghi said in Frankfurt today. While “substantial downside risks” still remain, he pointed to falling yields on Italian and Spanish debt this week.

That may mitigate the need for further interest rate cuts in the short term and muffle calls for the ECB to step up its government bond purchases. While the 17-nation euro region is still in danger of sliding into recession after the debt crisis spread to Italy and Spain, driving up borrowing costs and hurting the export markets of stronger economies such as Germany, recent data suggest the worst may be over.

“The ECB can be rightly justified in saying that the Armageddon we were facing toward the end of last year does seem to have been addressed,” said James Nixon, chief European economist at Societe Generale SA in London. “Further rate cuts will only be forthcoming if, for example, we see signs of an outright credit crunch.”

The euro rose more than a cent after Draghi’s comments to trade at $1.2826 at 8 p.m. in Frankfurt. The ECB held its benchmark rate at a record low of 1 percent after two straight reductions, as predicted by 47 of 53 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

‘Ready to Act’

Asked if the ECB is open to cutting rates further, Draghi said it depends on the inflation outlook. He indicated rates will remain low for an extended period.

“The monetary stance is and will remain accommodative,” Draghi said. “Uncertainty is very high. We will monitor all developments and stand ready to act.”

Signs of economic stabilization may stay the ECB’s hand at least for the time being.

German exports gained in November and business sentiment in France climbed from a two-year low last month. At the same time, the German statistics office said yesterday that Europe’s largest economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2011, raising the prospect of recession.

“There are tentative signs of stabilization of economic activity at low levels,” Draghi said.

Three-Year Loans

In addition, the ECB’s three-year loans to banks, totaling a record 489 billion euros ($628 billion), are beginning to unlock markets and have prevented a “serious” credit contraction, he said.

“It was rather comforting to see that some opening of the unsecured bond market is actually taking place, but we really are at the beginning of this process,” Draghi said. “Let’s hope it will continue.”

The market for senior unsecured bonds dried up last July after European leaders insisted on private investors participating in a Greek debt write-down. In a sign confidence may be returning to the market, Rabobank Nederland last week sold 2.75 billion euros of floating-rate senior unsecured notes and 1.75 billion euros of senior unsecured bonds.

Draghi also noted the recent decline in yields on government bonds across the euro region.

“While it’s premature to claim that the ECB’s new liquidity measures have forestalled a credit crunch, their effect is palpable in government bond markets,” said Nicholas Spiro, managing director of Spiro Sovereign Strategy in London. “Who would have predicted in November that in January Italy would be able to sell one-year paper at 2.7 percent?”

Debt Sales

Italy sold 12 billion euros of Treasury bills today, meeting its target, with the rate on the one-year bills plunging to 2.735 percent from 5.952 percent at the last auction of similar-maturity securities on Dec. 12. Spain sold 9.98 billion euros of bonds maturing in 2015 and 2016, twice its maximum target.

As the debt crisis escalated in the last quarter of 2011, the ECB faced increasing calls to ramp up its government bond purchases to cap yields. Draghi and colleagues including Germany’s Jens Weidmann pushed back, urging politicians to sort out their fiscal problems while the ECB supplied funds to prevent the banking system from collapsing.

“Beyond providing generous liquidity support to banks, the ECB does not seem to be contemplating any measure to tackle tensions in sovereign debt markets more directly,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank in London. “If escalating tensions were to clog up the transmission channels more severely, the ECB might have to do more.”

ECB ‘Prescription’

Draghi said he expects “substantial demand” for the ECB’s second batch of three-year loans that will be awarded on Feb. 29. Banks can borrow as much as they like against collateral and the ECB has widened the pool of assets that can be used for obtaining the funds.

“The provision of liquidity and the allotment modes for refinancing operations will continue to support the euro-area banks, and thus the financing of the real economy,” Draghi said.

Economists including Marco Valli at UniCredit in Milan say ECB rates may now be on hold for the rest of the year.

“Obviously things can change very quickly and then the ECB will act,” said Ken Wattret, chief euro-area market economist at BNP Paribas in London. “But for now, its prescription is doing what it set out to do, so there is no rush to cut rates and massively step up asset purchases.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Jeff Black in Frankfurt at ; Jana Randow in Frankfurt at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brockett at

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To: Road Walker who wrote (107284)1/12/2012 6:17:17 PM
From: tejek
   of 149288
I think your 40% consensus is about right.

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To: tejek who wrote (107288)1/12/2012 8:20:22 PM
From: ChinuSFO
   of 149288
I suppose the Republican gang has cautioned the candidates to cease and desist from throwing mud at Romney. They have already done enough damage by bring the Bain Capital situation to people's attention. Facts like how many people they laid off to make money for themselves (Romney and Co.) And then his use of words like "fire people" is fodder enough for the Obama PACs to pick up and run with.

Right now, there is an image of Bain as a group of ruthless people who swooped on ailing companies, bought them for pennies, fired people in order to make them look good, not because the workers were not "good stuff" and then sold to make profits for themselves. And then there will be calls for him to release his tax returns.

Then there is the video of his beating around the bush when Perry leveled a charge against him of hiring illegal immigrants and then publicly bashing them during the campaign. Even a significant number of Republicans will find that very repulsive. And just on that issue, the Hispanics will run away from him when they find out that he wants to hire them for his economic benefits and then run them down publicly again for his personal gain but this for political gains.

So the issue will be if we would even want to consider a person of this character which is worse that of "I voted for ... before I voted against". It is going to be one interesting Fall 2012.

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To: Road Walker who wrote (107284)1/12/2012 8:23:52 PM
From: ChinuSFO
   of 149288
Mitt Romney readies Bain Capital counterattack

....contd at
Message 27878058

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To: ChinuSFO who wrote (107289)1/12/2012 8:53:56 PM
From: tejek
   of 149288
So the issue will be if we would even want to consider a person of this character which is worse that of "I voted for ... before I voted against". It is going to be one interesting Fall 2012.

After Bush got elected twice, I don't have a lot of confidence in Americans. Their understanding of capitalism is weak and the term has become a sacred icon. I don't really think they understand what Bain Capital is and how it operates. Hopefully, Obama can educate.

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To: ChinuSFO who wrote (107289)1/12/2012 9:12:37 PM
From: tejek
   of 149288
Kass: 10 Reasons to Rally

By Doug Kass

NEW YORK ( RealMoneyPro) -- I have rarely been accused of being an economic/stock market cheerleader, but I believe the U.S. stock market will surprise to the upside in the near term for the following fundamental, technical and sentiment reasons:

1. Poorly positioned market participants:
Forget put/call ratios, Investors Intelligence and AAII readings -- investors (of all shapes and sizes) are now negative and could be caught offside. Watch not what they say; watch what they do. And the dominant investors (retail and institutional/hedge funds) are underinvested and/or skewed disproportionately in a "flight to safety" into fixed income over equities. Individual investors have taken out $450 billion from domestic equity funds since 2007 and have added $850 billion into bonds; that swing of $1.3 trillion is unprecedented in history. Hedge funds, according to ISI, are now at their lowest net long exposure since the Generational Low of March 2009.

2. Technical breakout:
We closed trading on Monday right at resistance in the major indices. Given the sharp rise in futures overnight (+12 handles), we will easily pierce through resistance at the open and break out of the recent trading range. This action will encourage technically based chasers of market momentum.

3. Big rotation:
The rotation from high-octane, high-beta leadership (Priceline (( PCLN _)), Google (( GOOG _)), Baidu (( BIDU _)), etc.) has investors poorly positioned. Google's sudden weakness, in particular, has scared a number of hedgehoggers I know into materially raising cash in recent days. Meanwhile, financial stocks have been meaningfully outperforming in 2012. Don't market historians tell us that a better tone for the financial sector is a necessary condition and reagent for a better stock market? Yet that turnaround of the financial continues to be treated with skepticism by most. (How many times have you heard that the sources of banking revenues are greatly reduced in "the new era" for banks (see bank analyst Mike Mayo's comments on CNBC over the past few weeks as an example) and that return on capital is destined to be in the single digits given that the industry is a regulatory piñata in an era of populism? >>Uncover short-term trading opportunities at Real Money Pro. Click here for more information.

4. Mispaced preoccupation with Europe:
The European situation has improved. Timid policy response is moving toward "shock and awe" -- yet investors are still scared to wake up every morning to rising sovereign bond yields, and that fear is keeping them sidelined. Unicredit's deep discount rights financing (and the specter of more dilutive bank refinancing) have especially scared investors in the last week. But who cares at what price Unicredit and others finance ... as long as they finance! Deep discount capital raises dominated the U.S. banking landscape three years ago, and now our banks are positioned well in terms of liquidity and capital (and most experienced outsized market advances in their shares following their 2008-09 refinancings. As to the weakening euro, as I mentioned in yesterday's opening missive, a weak euro and a strong U.S. dollar only helps our capital markets as more investors buy American at the expenses of other non-U.S. markets. I see the rotation into U.S. stocks and out of non-U.S. stocks as a dominant theme in 2012.

read more............

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From: tejek1/12/2012 9:24:16 PM
   of 149288
* Speaking of fundraising, in Massachusetts’ closely-watched U.S. Senate race, Sen. Scott Brown (R) raised $3.2 million in the last three months of 2011, which appeared to be pretty good. A day later, however, we learned that Democrat Elizabeth Warren raised $5.7 million over that same time period.

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