Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for June 6th, 2010

Another leg down?

Posted by Charles II on June 6, 2010

Early action suggests that Monday may be a hectic, losing day on the markets. Asian Mondays often track Wall Street Fridays, so a drop is not unexpected, but there are some additional factors that suggest that the spiral is self-sustaining down.

First, there’s not much of a catalyst for buying until Wednesday. Calculated Risk lists the calendar (I’ve highlighted my guesses as to market movers):
Monday: April Consumer Credit
Tuesday: Small Business Optimism and April JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey)
Wednesday: Fed’s Beige Book, Wholesale Inventories, and Mortgage Purchase Applications Index
Thursday: Trade Balance and Weekly Unemployment Initial Claims
Friday: April Retail Sales, Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index

Second, the Euro is falling, and the technical boys say that if it drops much more, there’s no support for another 20%. Nervousness over Hungarian default (and, in order of economic size, Portugal, Spain, and Italy is behind the instability of the Euro. Drops in the Euro drive up the dollar, making life tough on US exporters and causing commodity prices to fall (good for consumers, bad for producers, bad for markets). The key level is near 117. Now, historically, if the Euro falls to or below parity, big deal. But it means a lower living standard (though higher employment) for Europeans and a big drop in stimulus to the US economy.

(Graph thanks to Yahoo Finance: Click image to enlarge. “Resistance” is sometimes measured by technicians as a historical point of stability, which would seem to be ca 117, with the next being ca. 85. If it dropped to 85, that would represent more than a 40% decline in about six months, which is possibly unprecedented for a major currency. For a comparison, when Soros “broke the Bank of England,” it involved a 20% move in the pound versus the mark)

Third, there are fears that a couple of Chinese IPOs will not raise the capital they hope for. On the other hand, Spectrum (makers of Rayovac batteries) did a junk bond placement and LIBOR (a measure of banks’ willingness to lend) is steady. Considering it has been dead for almost a year, I think it’s premature to make too much of this. Anyway, a big question will be whether people are willing to take on risk.

Finally, the direct measure is stock futures. At about 11PM Eastern, futures are predicting a ca. 0.75% drop in US markets, but as much as a 2.75% drop in Brazil (think commodities). Sometimes futures turn around overnight, sometimes they signal early activity reversed during the day, but when there is a confluence of events like these, the likelihood is that that we’re seeing a real move.

Added 1:40AM: No change. I expect a nervous day tomorrow.

Posted in stock market | 4 Comments »

How To Fool Salon.Com And The WaPo

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 6, 2010

It’s apparently very easy:

And this morning, the American media – including Salon – has picked up the Israeli interpretation of new photos published by Huryiet from Turkish sources which show Israeli soldiers injured during their attack on the Mavi, repeating Israeli claims that these are evidence of the violence of the passengers – but ignoring the evidence of the photos that the passengers are shown caring for the soldiers, not harming them – while the Israeli assault was still going on.

At the same time, the media has not even managed to confirm the number of dead, wounded and missing from Monday’s attack.

For those keeping count, Israel has yet to discuss the fate of six of the activists taken from the first flotilla. Are they dead? Are they alive and being tortured? Does anyone in the US mainstream media care?

The answer to that last question is “apparently not”, to judge from the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler’s flat refusal to admit he ran with a bogus story he was spoon-fed by the IDF. Max Blumenthal reports the following:

The IDF admitted today in a press release that it doctored audio footage from its exchanges with the Gaza flotilla in order to paint the flotilla passengers as anti-Semites. I am beginning to wonder if the Israeli military hired James O’Keefe to handle its press shop.


Hours after the IDF’s admission, major news outlets which reported on the doctored audio clip as though it was a shocking revelation and not a scandalous forgery have still not corrected themselves. The most blatant stenographer of IDF propaganda is the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler. Here is what Kessler reported after being participating a briefing session with an IDF flack:

Israeli forces spent four hours trying to persuade the 300-foot-long Turkish ship to shift course away from Gaza, senior Israeli officials said in a briefing Friday for a small group of reporters.

The activists responded repeatedly with shouts — “Go back to Auschwitz!” — and kept the ship at its maximum speed of 10 knots.

Besides the fact that Kessler reported on the “Go back to Auschwitz” claim without investigating it, he claimed that the passengers “repeatedly” shouted the slur. But even the IDF did not claim that anyone “repeatedly” shouted anything; the “Auschwitz” statement is heard in the doctored audio clip only once.

Go read Blumenthal’s entire post, and then contact WaPo Ombudsman Andrew Alexander. Alexander can be reached at or 202-334-7582. (You might also tell them that the bit about the flotilla being allied with al-Qaeda is a lie, too.)

We Con the World“, indeed.

Posted in israel, liars, media, Media machine, mediawhores | 3 Comments »

Want To Help Thwart Voter Suppression In Arkansas?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 6, 2010

It’s very easy:

In less than 48 hours, voters in Arkansas will start going to the polls to choose between incumbent Blanche Lincoln and progressive challenger Bill Halter. If you’ve been waiting to get involved, now is the time — can you sign up to make easy calls to Bill Halter supporters? We’re reminding them to vote.

You can call from home, all you need is a phone and a little time. (Sign up for a specific shift below, we’ll contact you with next steps.)

(If you’re having trouble loading the form to sign up, email us at Please let us know when you can volunteer to make calls: Sunday, June 6; Monday, June 7; or Tuesday, June 8th so we can follow up with you about your shift.)

They’ve got calling scripts and all the info you need. Have at it!

Posted in voting rights | Comments Off on Want To Help Thwart Voter Suppression In Arkansas?

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