Politics Barack Obama

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    Europe's travails can and should be teaching us something: Do not wait until it is too late to get your fiscal house in order.

  • With the euro relatively stable against the dollar and the yen (though weaker late in the morning), most European indices are up 2 to 3 percent. This may be partly due to comments from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which raised its growth forecast for this year and 2011.

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    One day Team Obama announces a plan for enhanced rescission authority to impound wasteful spending. The next day the House surfaces a $200 billion “stimulus” plan to spend on transfer payments for welfare, even more unemployment compensation, still more Medicaid, and a bunch of special-interest subsidies.

  • President Barack Obama

    All this week, the NBC news family is focusing attention on "A Nation Divided," and ahead of President Obama's Silicon Valley visit on Wednesday, I was asked to look at the H1-B visa issue again, especially as it relates to the tech community and a new hiring wave.

  • The strong correlation between the euro and stocks continues to hold. Stocks briefly touched below their February intraday lows shortly after the open. However, they have halved their losses as the euro has retraced some of its earlier losses, sitting now at its session high.

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    The next financial Tsunami is emerging and will ripple to America, just as our mortgage debacle gave Europe fits.

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    If there is someone who understands the practical realities of our “too big to fail” system and the damage it can wreak, it is Harvey R. Miller, who, at 77 years old, has handled the largest bankruptcies in history, including the mother of all failures, Lehman Brothers.

  • So much for volatility easing…after a fairly calm day yesterday (Monday), the Dow fell another 80 points in the last 15 minutes of trading. Following that, futures lurk at the lows of the morning as European and Asian markets fall 2 percent to 4 percent.

  • With the financial reform bill now in conference, analyst notes and trader talk have heated up considerably over the weekend. We are now in endgame, and there is considerable speculation on the outcome of the key points.

  • The new SEC rules on the single stock circuit breakers were published today in the Federal Register. This now begins a 10-day public commentary period, which are due on or before June 3, 2010. Elsewhere, this has all the characteristics of a quiet summer day; but given the recent volatility, that is being greeted with relief rather than yawns.

  • "Texas Rangers file for bankruptcy after sale fell through" is a hot topic on trading desks the past half hour, even though they have been expected to file, and even though it appears to be a prepackaged bankruptcy. Maybe it's because Yankees Alex Rodriguez is the top unsecured creditor...

  • How big is the inventory of homes for sale? Fairly high, judging by April Existing Home Sales. We don't really know how big the shadow inventory levels really are, i.e., we don't know how to predict how many people will decide to put their homes up for sale on any given month. The headline Existing Home Sales figure was excellent, but...

  • This morning (Monday), Lowry, the US' oldest technical analysis service, echoed this theme, telling clients that "the temptation may be strong to conclude that perhaps, just this once, things are, in fact, different and the market has fallen into a new bear trend without the historical forewarnings of a major top."

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    Despite fresh rounds of saber-rattling in Washington recently, everyone seems to be sticking to their long-practiced scripts at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue meetings in Beijing.

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    About one-third of employers subject to major requirements of the new health care law may face tax penalties because they offer health insurance that could be considered unaffordable to some employees, the New York Times reports.

  • Euro weaker again as the Bank of Spain is taking over CajaSur, a thrift that has high levels of property loan defaults. While Europe is weaker, it has come off their lows, as have U.S. stock futures. Oil higher, copper higher, gold higher. Elsewhere: Still trying to figure out where the financial regulatory bill will come down...

  • President Barack Obama

    Anxious and angry, Americans are not in a congratulatory mood. That's bad news for President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies.

  • In the investment strategist world, I tend to be pretty cautious. I do believe that while economies are recovering, it's going to be a long difficult climb from years of excesses.

  • What’s ahead? Traders expecting choppier markets for the rest of the year. Remember what happened: going into May, traders were not only long the market, they were short volatility... Now the volatility bets are off. They were forced to buy volatility for the past couple weeks, culminating in a buying frenzy this week.

  • Europe closes near its highs, most country indices on either side of up or down 1 percent. After a miserable week, stocks, bonds, the euro and commodities ALL up. Stocks at highs for the day. It's not hard to understand why...