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post #111 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-26-2007, 07:20 PM
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1. Yes markets are more free now [in some arenas] but they are also constrained by more government than ever before.

2. The debate is [and has been on this thread] whether we have a free market economy. You have posited that you can have a "free market" WITH constraints. As I stated above, at that point the system is still gamed and is still no longer a free market economy. You can't have it both ways.
1. I disagree with that. I think on a world-wide per capita basis markets ae more open and free than ever before in human history.

2. Once more: Just as there is no nation absolutely free, there is no market that is absolutely free. perfect freedom is another word for chaos. But as Aristotle and many others since have gone to great lengths to explain, freedom is not license. In a free society, because one may wish to do something does not mean one is free to do it. That is chaos, the antithesis of society. In exactly the same fashion, a market free of all constraint is a manifestation of chaos and thus, antithetical to a free market.

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post #112 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 04:35 AM
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post #113 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 08:01 AM
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1. I disagree with that. I think on a world-wide per capita basis markets ae more open and free than ever before in human history.

2. Once more: Just as there is no nation absolutely free, there is no market that is absolutely free. perfect freedom is another word for chaos. But as Aristotle and many others since have gone to great lengths to explain, freedom is not license. In a free society, because one may wish to do something does not mean one is free to do it. That is chaos, the antithesis of society. In exactly the same fashion, a market free of all constraint is a manifestation of chaos and thus, antithetical to a free market.
Is that really suppose to make sense? Because if that is intended as a rationalization that the government control the FED [and the EU and AP] have on the current economic markets still allows them to be a "free market" you don't have a clue as to what "free market" actually is.

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post #114 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 08:27 AM
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Citi, Merrill, JPMorgan face higher writeoffs: analyst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Merrill Lynch & Co (MER.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) may face larger fourth-quarter debt write-offs than previously expected, and Citigroup may have to slash its dividend 40 percent to preserve capital, according to a Goldman Sachs & Co analyst.

"It will be a couple of quarters before the current credit crisis is fully digested by the markets," the analyst, William Tanona, wrote on Thursday.

The analyst issued his forecast after banks said they would write off more than $70 billion because of the global credit crunch, as rising mortgage and credit losses led investors to shun debt once thought safe but now deemed risky. Citigroup has replaced Chief Executive Charles Prince with Vikram Pandit, while Merrill replaced Chief Executive Stanley O'Neal with John Thain.

Citigroup, Merrill and JPMorgan did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

In pre-market electronic trading, shares of Citigroup fell 67 cents to $29.78, Merrill fell 68 cents to $53.86, and JPMorgan fell 44 cents to $44.50.

Tanona, who rates Citigroup "sell," said the largest U.S. bank may have to write off $18.7 billion this quarter for collateralized debt obligations. That's up from his prior $11 billion forecast, and higher than Citigroup's $8 billion to $11 billion forecast. Tanona boosted his forecast for the bank's fourth-quarter loss to $1.33 per share from 52 cents.

The analyst also said Citigroup may in 2008 cut its 54-cents-per-share quarterly dividend, equal to a 7.1 percent yield, to help raise or preserve another $5 billion to $10 billion of capital. In November, Citigroup shored up capital by selling a $7.5 billion stake to Abu Dhabi's government.

Tanona said Merrill, rated "neutral," may write off $11.5 billion for CDOs this quarter, up from his prior $6 billion forecast, as Thain tries to clean up problems now rather than let them fester in 2008. The analyst expects a fourth-quarter loss of $7.00 per share, up from his prior $1.50 forecast.

Brad Hintz, a Sanford C. Bernstein & Co analyst, separately on Thursday predicted a $10 billion fourth-quarter write-off at Merrill, leading to a $5.10 per share quarterly loss.

Merrill on Monday announced a $6.2 billion capital infusion from Singapore's government and money manager Davis Selected Advisers.

Tanona also doubled his forecast for fourth-quarter CDO losses at JPMorgan to $3.4 billion from $1.7 billion. He cut his forecast for fourth-quarter profit to 65 cents per share from $1.04. The analyst rates JPMorgan "neutral."

Through Wednesday, shares of Citigroup, Merrill and JPMorgan were down a respective 45 percent, 41 percent and 7 percent this year.

Citi, Merrill, JPMorgan face higher writeoffs: analyst | Reuters
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post #115 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 08:31 AM
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Is that really suppose to make sense? Because if that is intended as a rationalization that the government control the FED [and the EU and AP] have on the current economic markets still allows them to be a "free market" you don't have a clue as to what "free market" actually is.
Now you're getting confrontational rather than conversational. Instead of friendly discussion you have chosen abrasive dismissal. Where did your Christmas spirit go?

A free market, like political freedom, is not an absolute except in the mind of an absolutist.

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and that’s what I intend to reverse.

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post #116 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 10:27 AM
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Gas could be $3.75 a gallon nationwide average by spring

Gasoline could average $3.75 a gallon across the U.S. in a few months, pushing the price in California up and over the $4 mark, energy analysts said Wednesday.

Several factors point toward a nightmarish spring for motorists, they said, including persistently strong crude oil costs and the fact that the traditional December drop in pump prices didn't materialize.

"If anyone expects gas to be less than a new record, they are not thinking," said Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst for Oppenheimer & Co. "There is no question it will be much higher than last year."

Americans will start 2008 paying about 65 cents more a gallon than they did in January 2007, according to the forecasts, and by April could see self-serve regular selling for $3.50 to $3.75 a gallon.

In California -- where gas this year has fetched as much as 50 cents more than the national average -- $4 a gallon "will no longer be considered a rogue number," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service. "It will list for that much in a lot of places."

The Energy Department's weekly survey of service stations Monday found the average pump price was $2.980 nationally, a couple of pennies lower than a week earlier -- but much higher than the same period last year, when the number was $2.341 across the U.S.

"It's unprecedented having prices this high at the end of the year," said Marie Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Pump prices usually fall between Labor Day and the end of the year, in recent years dropping about 17% in California.

This year they did the reverse, gaining 17%.

Demand was one reason. MasterCard's weekly SpendingPulse report said the four-week average for gasoline purchases was 0.5% higher than a year earlier, boosted by shopping and vacation trips. Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service said Americans would burn about 2.5 million more gallons of gasoline this week than they did during the same week in 2006.

But the main culprit for high gas prices was the cost of crude oil, which on the futures market closed at $95.97 a barrel Wednesday in New York.

The benchmark grade of U.S. crude averaged $72 a barrel this year, the Energy Department said, up from $60.23 last year, $50.23 in 2005 and $36.98 in 2004.

Next year, the agency said in its short-term energy outlook, the average could be $85.

Both gasoline and diesel prices "are projected to average well over $3 per gallon in 2008, with gasoline prices peaking at over $3.40 per gallon next spring," the outlook said.

Gas costs more in California than nationally because the state requires a special blend to meet stiff air-quality standards and because the formula switches to a more costly summer blend before much of the rest of the nation.

Motorists found the New Year predictions infuriating.

"It's absurd, ridiculous," said Eric Mills, 40, a special-event coordinator for the entertainment industry, as he filled up his 1990 Honda Prelude with $3.399-a-gallon gasoline at a downtown Los Angeles Shell station.

"Every year I hear about fuel cells and other promising alternative fuel possibilities -- and every year I'm still putting gasoline in my car."

Kloza said that nationally for the last 25 years, the difference in the price of gas from the winter low to the spring high has been about 59%.

"I don't think we will see a typical surge, and we don't have to," Kloza said. With an increase of just 30%, he said, "you're talking about 75 cents a gallon more from where they are now."

Gas could be $3.75 a gallon by spring -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
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post #117 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 11:30 AM
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Now you're getting confrontational rather than conversational. Instead of friendly discussion you have chosen abrasive dismissal. Where did your Christmas spirit go?

A free market, like political freedom, is not an absolute except in the mind of an absolutist.

B
I think it left with "Once more:..."

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Last edited by mcbear; 12-27-2007 at 11:33 AM.
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post #118 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 11:32 AM
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Citi, Merrill, JPMorgan face higher writeoffs: analyst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Merrill Lynch & Co (MER.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) may face larger fourth-quarter debt write-offs than previously expected, and Citigroup may have to slash its dividend 40 percent to preserve capital, according to a Goldman Sachs & Co analyst.

"It will be a couple of quarters before the current credit crisis is fully digested by the markets," the analyst, William Tanona, wrote on Thursday.

The analyst issued his forecast after banks said they would write off more than $70 billion because of the global credit crunch, as rising mortgage and credit losses led investors to shun debt once thought safe but now deemed risky. Citigroup has replaced Chief Executive Charles Prince with Vikram Pandit, while Merrill replaced Chief Executive Stanley O'Neal with John Thain.

Citigroup, Merrill and JPMorgan did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

In pre-market electronic trading, shares of Citigroup fell 67 cents to $29.78, Merrill fell 68 cents to $53.86, and JPMorgan fell 44 cents to $44.50.

Tanona, who rates Citigroup "sell," said the largest U.S. bank may have to write off $18.7 billion this quarter for collateralized debt obligations. That's up from his prior $11 billion forecast, and higher than Citigroup's $8 billion to $11 billion forecast. Tanona boosted his forecast for the bank's fourth-quarter loss to $1.33 per share from 52 cents.

The analyst also said Citigroup may in 2008 cut its 54-cents-per-share quarterly dividend, equal to a 7.1 percent yield, to help raise or preserve another $5 billion to $10 billion of capital. In November, Citigroup shored up capital by selling a $7.5 billion stake to Abu Dhabi's government.

Tanona said Merrill, rated "neutral," may write off $11.5 billion for CDOs this quarter, up from his prior $6 billion forecast, as Thain tries to clean up problems now rather than let them fester in 2008. The analyst expects a fourth-quarter loss of $7.00 per share, up from his prior $1.50 forecast.

Brad Hintz, a Sanford C. Bernstein & Co analyst, separately on Thursday predicted a $10 billion fourth-quarter write-off at Merrill, leading to a $5.10 per share quarterly loss.

Merrill on Monday announced a $6.2 billion capital infusion from Singapore's government and money manager Davis Selected Advisers.

Tanona also doubled his forecast for fourth-quarter CDO losses at JPMorgan to $3.4 billion from $1.7 billion. He cut his forecast for fourth-quarter profit to 65 cents per share from $1.04. The analyst rates JPMorgan "neutral."

Through Wednesday, shares of Citigroup, Merrill and JPMorgan were down a respective 45 percent, 41 percent and 7 percent this year.

Citi, Merrill, JPMorgan face higher writeoffs: analyst | Reuters
I just came from a meeting with my Chase broker. She was not happy this came out today. She has been getting phone calls and questions all day. Apparently they don't like questions.

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post #119 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 04:51 PM
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I just came from a meeting with my Chase broker. She was not happy this came out today. She has been getting phone calls and questions all day. Apparently they don't like questions.
DId she answer any from you regarding this article, are there any writedowns coming? Or are they still trying to fomulate Plan B. Maybe they could hire Jaybird as their cheerleader, that could help.........
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post #120 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 05:02 PM
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DId she answer any from you regarding this article, are there any writedowns coming? Or are they still trying to fomulate Plan B. Maybe they could hire Jaybird as their cheerleader, that could help.........
She was very honest about it. Verified the write-downs that the article stated as worst case [since I had my laptop and wireless up I just hooked up to BWOT to pull the articles up]. I had already sent her three articles to read prior to the meeting and told her I wanted to discuss next year based, in part on the text of those articles [so she was almost ready].

She is sorting around trying to get a presentation ready for Thursday of next week to see what they want to do from their end. I have about 1/3 of my stuff with them and it actually performed pretty well this year considering but it was loaded with international funds so that is to be expected. I don't think that will repeat as nice this next year.

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