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Politics Barack Obama

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    Don’t you just love political cross dressing? Last night on CNBC my old boss David Stockman was totally root-canalled as he called for higher taxes and lower spending. Right on spending, but wrong on taxes.

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    At least I'm hoping there is no double dip. Data on capital investment and personal income has been encouraging but I think we are in a bearish frame of mind so that gets somewhat ignored. The negative gets emphasized when your mind set is that way.

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    The U.S. economy has had two crises that were followed by long periods of depressed economic activity, high unemployment, and instability lasting more than a decade...Conditions are emerging that could cause that to happen again, and without a radical change in policy, the nation is at risk of a terrible calamity.

  • Futures dropped, then recovered a bit, as initial and continuing claims were higher than expected. Start of a new quarter, and first trading day of the month. It is one of the oddities of trading that the Dow Industrials have their biggest point gains on the first day of the month, on average (Trader's Almanac). It's really quite significant...

  • Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

    While testifying on Capitol Hill last week about the government’s bank bailout program, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner likened the hearing to a eulogy for the initiative.

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    Seizing on a political opportunity, President Barack Obama on Wednesday lashed out at Republicans as out of touch with the daily problems of Americans, hoping to sharpen the contrast with the opposition party as midterm elections loom and economic anxiety still runs high.

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    After analyzing Washington for 35 years, it’s excusable to be a cynic. Actually, it’s mandatory. So let’s try out this extremely cynical premise: the Republicans are deliberately refusing to help unemployed workers or aid the states because they undoubtedly know this will hurt the economy further – and an ailing economy will help their prospects in November.

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    The world’s rich countries are now conducting a dangerous experiment. They are repeating an economic policy out of the 1930s — starting to cut spending and raise taxes before a recovery is assured — and hoping today’s situation is different enough to assure a different outcome. The NYT explains.

  • Boeing Headquarters

    When Argon ST, a defense contractor, was first for sale there was ample time for plenty of takeover stock investors to get involved on hopes that a knock-out bid would emerge for the company. Sure enough, it did.

  • Stock futures dropped on ADP bummer report. Futures were up all morning on good news from Europe, but S&P futures dropped 6 points in seconds when the ADP said only 13,000 private sector jobs were created in June, well below expectations of about 60,000 jobs. We are expecting significantly more private sector gains from the nonfarm payroll report on Friday to offset the public sector census workers that are being laid off.

  • Cody Fonseca (left) and his brother Chris sort through blue crab caught in the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary at the La Blue Crab Company on May 3, 2010 in Larose, Louisiana,

    Despite all the skimmers and sweepers, most of the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico sinks to the bottom or washes up on the shore and then sinks down in shallow layers below the sand, profoundly restructuring the ecosystem. The change cannot be undone in a lifetime.

  • NY Governor David Paterson

    New York  lawmakers plan to enact a tax change that will treat much of the compensation earned by the fund managers who work in New York but live outside the state as ordinary income.

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    Stocks took a real drubbing today, with the Dow off 268 points and the major indexes basically falling 3 percent. Call it the double-dip trade. But are we really heading for a double-dip recession?

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    Congressional leaders and the Obama Administration are congratulating themselves on the about-to-be passed financial reform legislation. They claim the legislation will end “too big to fail” and will prevent future financial crises.

  • Citigroup triggers circuit breaker, then trades back to previous trade. Shares were trading at $3.80 at about 1:03 PM ET; then, off the exchange, 8,800 shares traded at $3.31, a drop of 12.7 percent. That triggered the SEC circuit breaker...

  • President Barack Obama

    Friday, forecasters expect the Labor Department to report the economy shed about 110 thousand jobs in June and unemployment rose to 9.8 percent. Economists expect the private sector created about 110,000 jobs but government employment dropped twice that amount, as many temporary census jobs disappeared. Twelve months into recovery from such a deep recession, this is a terrible performance.

  • US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference at the conclusion of the G20 Summit in Toronto

    The G-20 is full of nutso coaches. Not to belabor the point, but their manifesto at the end of the conference this past weekend was to promote "growth friendly budget cutting." Right.

  • How schizophrenic is the market on China? A few months ago there was great worry about an OVERHEATING China, particularly in the property sector. The Chinese central bank raised interest rates, there was concern GDP might exceed growth of 10 percent. NOW, there is concern about a slowing China.

  • Unemployment

    The real problem that faces the public sector – Federal, State and local – is its lack of accountability, its lack of competitiveness and its bloated cost structure. That is where the knife needs to be used.

  • The NYSE and Nasdaq are set to make filings within days that would put several hundred ETFs in the SEC's circuit breaker program, which currently includes only stocks in the S&P 500.