A New SEC Chief Named
- Barack Obama names Mary Schapiro as new SEC head. She has strong experience at a time when the SEC has shown itself to be an ineffectual and anemic institution. Is she a good choice? Change and tough new leadership is what is needed, and maybe someone that has no axe to grind in the bureaucracy is a good choice.
Pawn Shop Bernie
- Anecdotal evidence of the impact of the Bernie Madoff scandal abounds. One is the increased traffic that is being seen at pawn shops in some of the nations ritziest areas. The Royal Pawn & Jewelry in Palm Springs has seen a large jump in inquiries since the event took place. On Long Island in New York, there is also rumors of a large volume of resignations from country clubs due to the scandal.
Thursday Market Action
- Crude tanks close to 10% closing at $36.18. As I have talked about here before what is good for us at the pump may be bad for us in the longer run as this drop indicates that there is absolutely no demand around the world for the commodity. The market took a late tank (no pun intended) today as General Electric was put on credit watch and President Bush expressed uncertainty as to whether the government would step in to provide money to the auto makers. Today is quadruple witching which will pump in a lot of volume and could create a lot of volatility.
"10 Outrageous Claims For 2009"
- Finally, Saxo Bank of Denmark has come out with a list of potential events for 2009 entitled "10 Outrageous Claims 2009." - CNBC It is a very interesting group.
- An Iranian Revolution
- Crude dropping to $25 a barrel
- The S&P 500 falling to 500 (880 now)
- Italy dropping the Euro
- Australian dollar slumping versus the Yen
- The Euro falling below $1.00
- Chinese GDP growth falling to 0% (current estimates range from 6-10%)
- Eastern European Forex Pegs to Fail
- Sharp declines in commodities prices
- Yen could become the Asian currency peg over the dollar
Many of these are forecasts that hopefully do not come true.