Nikkei Opens Lower On Monday
Reuters: Nikkei edges down as exporters dip but Mizuho gains
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something." Plato
“Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an impossible aim. It is, one is told, the unforgivable sin, but it is a sin the corrupt or evil man never practices. He always has hope. He never reaches the freezing-point of knowing absolute failure” - Graham Greene
“When a man arrives at great prosperity God did it: when he falls into disaster he did it himself” - Mark Twain
“To fail is a natural consequence of trying, To succeed takes time and prolonged effort in the face of unfriendly odds. To think it will be any other way, no matter what you do, is to invite yourself to be hurt and to limit your enthusiasm for trying” - David Viscott
In Albany, a passerby didn't stop to help the people who were injured after an accident that left a taxi upside down, but he did steal money from the overturned car...The cab ran a red light, a car hit the rear end of the taxi, which caused it to flip. Police say as that car was flipped, a man reached into the vehicle and took money from inside.
The prison system has agricultural operations at 50 units and works to produce as much of its own food as possible, using the labor of more than 6,000 offenders. Consider this:
The prison system manages more than 142,000 acres in 47 counties.
It owns 15,000 to 17,000 cattle.
It has more than 300,000 egg-laying hens.
A heavy week for economic data will culminate in Friday's non-farm payrolls report. Analysts believe the economy added 5,000 jobs in January, according to a Reuters poll. Another negative surprise after the previous month's unexpected surge in job losses could roil markets.
Around 500 U.S. companies have reported quarterly earnings so far and of those, 73 percent have beaten earnings estimates...
"Essentially the fuel was used in sustaining the rally as far as it did, and we are now beginning a down cycle that I expect to be prolonged and severe."
...growth will slow to just 1.5 percent in the second half of 2010...
The U.S. economic recession has taken a particularly heavy toll on young Americans, with a record one out of five black men aged 20 to 24 neither working nor in school, according to research released on Tuesday.
With his budget proposal Monday, Obama will urge Congress to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts for those who make less than $250,000 a year and to end those cuts for everyone who makes more than that, as he promised in his campaign.
Extending those cuts — along with another fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax to make sure those people don't get socked with a tax increase — would add as much as $3 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years...
Keeping all of the Bush tax cuts without offsetting spending cuts would add $4.5 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years...
..."Jesus sent out his own Christmas card greeting by way of a simple coconut."
...rose at a 5.7% annual rate in the fourth quarter. That was much stronger than expected and provides another sign that a recovery in the economy is taking hold.Reuters: Stocks fall on euro-zone worry, tech slide
"The pattern has been to sell into the weekend, wait for sovereign risk and sovereign default news in Europe, and if it doesn't happen, the relief rally begins.
It takes a long time for a man to look like his portrait. - James McNeill Whistler
I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious. - Andrew Wyeth
When I work, I work very fast, but preparing to work can take any length of time. - Cy Twombly
Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it. - John Lennon
The government estimates that 25,000 government offices and businesses either toppled or need to be demolished. In addition, there are 225,000 residences that are no longer habitable.
In all, some 2.1 billion cubic feet of concrete and rubble need to be hauled out of the city.
While demolition on a massive scale may not be taking place, rubble removal is. The United Nations Development Program has 12,000 people cleaning up debris from buildings that have toppled into the street and other public places. By next week, they hope to have 50,000 people clearing roads under the jobs-for-work program.
A report on gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic activity, is due out at 8:30 a.m...Reuters: Stock futures higher after Microsoft, Amazon results
President Obama is due to unveil a $33 billion package of tax credits on Friday. The plan is part of his vow to spur job creation.
... one day after Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com Inc reported quarterly results that beat expectations. Microsoft, a Dow component, expects business technology spending to recover in 2010, while Amazon forecast strong 2010 revenue.
The late pope had a particular belt for self-flagellation and brought it with him to his summer residence...
Experts on politics and the presidency have seen it before. They caution an American public plagued with a short memory and shorter attention span not to judge the Obama administration based solely on its opening year.
The Labor Department will release its weekly report on initial jobless claims before the open. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time is expected to have totaled 450,000 in the week ended Jan. 23...Reuters: Stock futures up after Obama speech, Procter, Ford earns
...December durable good orders are expected to rise. The National Activity index for December is also on tap, with all the data scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. EST.
I took on health care because of the stories I've heard, from Americans with pre-existing conditions whose lives depend on getting coverage, patients who've been denied coverage, families, even those with insurance, who are just one illness away from financial ruin.
After nearly a century of trying -- Democratic administrations, Republican administrations -- we are closer than ever to bringing more security to the lives of so many Americans.
The approach we've taken would protect every American from the worst practices of the insurance industry. It would give small businesses and uninsured Americans a chance to choose an affordable health care plan in a competitive market.
It would require every insurance plan to cover preventive care. And by the way, I want to acknowledge our first lady, Michelle Obama, who this year is creating a national movement to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity and make kids healthier.
Thank you, honey.
She gets embarrassed.
Our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan. It would reduce costs and premiums for millions of families and businesses.
And according to the Congressional Budget Office, the independent organization that both parties have cited as the official scorekeeper for Congress, our approach would bring down the deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades.
Still, this is a complex issue. And the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people. And I know that with all the lobbying and horse-trading, this process left most Americans wondering, "What's in it for me?"
But I also know this problem is not going away. By the time I'm finished speaking tonight, more Americans will have lost their health insurance. Millions will lose it this year. Our deficit will grow. Premiums will go up. Patients will be denied the care they need. Small-business owners will continue to drop coverage altogether.
I will not walk away from these Americans, and neither should the people in this chamber.
As temperatures cool, I want everyone to take another look at the plan we've proposed. There's a reason why many doctors, nurses, and health care experts who know our system best consider this approach a vast improvement over the status quo.
But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.
Let me know. Let me know.
I'm eager to see it.
Here's what I ask Congress, though: Don't walk away from reform, not now, not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people. Let's get it done.
Let's get it done.
Now, even as health care reform would reduce our deficit, it's not enough to dig us out of a massive fiscal hole in which we find ourselves. It's a challenge that makes all others that much harder to solve and one that's been subject to a lot of political posturing.
The NASA space studies institute has reported that since 1880, when good record keeping began, the average global temperature has increased by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The increase over each of the past three decades has been about one-third of a degree Fahrenheit.
Hansen noted that there's substantial year-to-year variability in global temperatures caused by El Nino and La Nina, periodic climate patterns in the tropical Pacific Ocean. "When we average temperature over five or 10 years to minimize that variability, we find global warming is continuing unabated."
Now he labors under 10 percent national unemployment and a 48 percent job approval rating in the latest Gallup tracking poll. The stimulus' true cost is now projected at $862 billion, and no health overhaul has passed yet. The Democrats lost their slam-dunk Senate supermajority when Republicans won the special election last week in Massachusetts. A testy electorate also seems eager to boot many Democrats out of Congress in this year's midterm elections.
The biggest event of the day...is probably the State of the Union address by President Obama, who will probably couch his speech to be "more friendly to the market."Reuters: Stock futures higher ahead of Fed, but earnings weigh
Investors are on edge ahead of the Fed's policy statement, which is due out at 2:15 p.m. ET.
'Today is probably the busiest day we could have for catalysts that I can imagine, between the Fed, Obama, the data and all the earnings..."
16-year-old girl who was raped in Bangladesh has been given 101 lashes for conceiving during the assault.
The girl's father was also fined and warned the family would be branded outcasts from their village if he did not pay.
According to human rights activists, the girl, who was quickly married after the attack, was divorced weeks later after medical tests revealed she was pregnant.
The girl was raped by a 20-year-old villager in Brahmanbaria district in April last year.
Bangladesh's Daily Star newspaper reported that she was so ashamed following the attack that she did not lodge a complaint.
Her rape emerged after her pregnancy test and Muslim elders in the village issued a fatwa insisting that the girl be kept in isolation until her family agreed to corporal punishment.
9 million: Population of Haiti
3 million: Estimated number of people affected by the quake
1 million: Estimated number of displaced people
800,000 to 1 million: People who need temporary shelter
235,000: People who have left Port-au-Prince using free transportation provided by the government. The number who left by private means is undetermined.
At least 50: Aftershocks of magnitude 4.5 or higher that have hit Haiti since the January 12 quake
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” - Buddha
“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.” - Jefferson (Interesting quote, would you agree. Jefferson possibly lived in a time when work-a-holism was not pervasive. How many ordinary people can spend each afternoon recreating and exercising. Even so, we can at the very least squeeze in some time.)
Delinquencies on bonds backed by pools of commercial real estate loans continue climbing to record levels.
At the end of 2009, 4.9 percent of all pools of these loans — called commercial mortgage-backed securities — were delinquent. That's a five-fold increase over the year before...
...occupancy rates plunging...
Apartments and other multifamily dwellings are expected to be the last segment to return to health...
Uncertainty over whether Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's term will be renewed continues to hang over markets.Reuters: Stock futures fall on China lending clampdown
The Case/Shiller home price index for November is expected to show a rise of 0.1 percent versus October, but a 5 percent decline from a year ago.
...this latest stock rally "is the third I think final peak..."
Prechter adhered to his earlier forecasts U.S. stocks will fall below 12-year lows hit in March 2009, with the S&P 500 index .SPX falling below 666 points as the economy worsens, and as investors' recent optimism about risky assets fades.
Prechter reiterated his longstanding advice to investors to shelter in Treasury bills until between about 2014 and 2016 when he expects the unwinding of the biggest debt bubble in history will start to abate.
Al-Qaeda is known to have sought botulinum toxin. The Lebanese Hezbollah movement, which the United States has designated a terrorist organization, and other groups have bought and sold counterfeit drugs to raise cash. Now, with the emergence of a global black market for fake Botox, terrorism experts see an opportunity for a deadly convergence.
People assume that beef found to be contaminated with E. coli must be thrown out or destroyed (or even recalled), but in reality, it's often just pressed into hamburger patties, cooked, and sold to consumers. This practice is openly endorsed by the USDA.
But E. coli may not be the worst thing in your burger: USDA regulations also allow chicken feces to be used as feed for cows, meaning your hamburger beef may be made of second-hand chicken poop, recycled through the stomachs of cows.
According to the FDA, farmers feed their cattle anywhere from 1 million to 2 million tons of chicken feces each year. This cross-species crap-as-food practice worries critics who are concerned it may lead to increased risk of mad cow disease contaminating beef products. So they want to ban the practice and disallow the feeding of chicken litter to cow.
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” - Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“It is a tragic mix-up when the United States spends $500,000 for every enemy soldier killed, and only $53 annually on the victims of poverty.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said Saturday he could have chosen his words more carefully when he compared people who take public assistance to stray animals Friday.
But Bauer, in an interview with The State Saturday, said a furor over his comments doesn't change this fact: South Carolina needs to have an honest conversation about the cycle of government dependency among its poorest residents.
"This might be a feeling that the sell-off in banks might have gone too far. There may be a feeling that the pessimism may have been overdone on Friday."Reuters: Stock futures move higher after 3-day selling spree
Earnings season continues with tech stocks in focus because of reports from Apple Inc and Texas Instruments Inc.
"Wall Street is breathing a sigh of relief as it appears Bernanke will be reconfirmed, removing the uncertainty about who will be the gate-keeper at the Fed..."
A study in 2008 concluded that humans seem to crave violence just like they do sex, food, or drugs. The study, reported in the journal Psychopharmacology, found that in mice, clusters of brain cells involved in other rewards are also behind their craving for violence. The researchers think the finding applies to human brains.
...the warehouse club division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc...
Sam's Club said it will use Shopper Events, a third-party company, instead of its own employees to run in-store product demonstrations and hand out food samples -- a popular tactic used by warehouse clubs to entice shoppers to buy new items.
“I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse.” - Mark Twain
“Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!” - Edna St. Vincent Millay
“He that's secure is not safe.” - Benjamin Franklin
The Obama administration soon may guarantee as much as $18.5 billion in loans to build new nuclear reactors to generate electricity...
"We don't believe that nuclear energy is the answer, but as you look at needs for clean energy and the need to protect the environment (SIC), there isn't a solution without nuclear..."
A new audio tape allegedly from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden claims responsibility for an attempt to blow up a plane en route to Michigan on Christmas Day and warns the United States of more attacks.
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. - Carl Sagan
Lies are often much more plausible, more appealing to reason, than reality, since the liar has the great advantage of knowing beforehand what the audience wishes or expects to hear. - Hannah Arendt
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic - John Kennedy
...these forces have also been so passionate, so extreme, and so energized that in a country reeling from a recession, the narrative - a false, paranoid, nutty narrative - has taken root in the minds of some independents. Obama, under-estimating the extremism of his opponents, has focused on actually addressing the problems we face. And the rest of us, crucially, have sat back and watched and complained and carped when we didn't get everything we want.
Do your duty. And grow some. Fight back. Explain why you're right. Tell the liberals they can always come back later to reform the bill. Just get this passed.
According to police, since 1975, Davis has been arrested 64 times in towns from Saranac Lake to Albany. The most recent was on Oct. 16, 2009, in the Town of Easton, Washington County, for petty larceny.
...on fears the White House's plan to curb bank risk-taking would cut profits....
“While the financial system is far stronger today than it was a year one year ago, it is still operating under the exact same rules that led to its near collapse,” said President Barack Obama. “My resolve to reform the system is only strengthened when I see a return to old practices at some of the very firms fighting reform; and when I see record profits at some of the very firms claiming that they cannot lend more to small business, cannot keep credit card rates low, and cannot refund taxpayers for the bailout. It is exactly this kind of irresponsibility that makes clear reform is necessary.”McClatchy: Obama moves to restrict banks, takes on Wall Street
The proposal would:
1. Limit the Scope - The President and his economic team will work with Congress to ensure that no bank or financial institution that contains a bank will own, invest in or sponsor a hedge fund or a private equity fund, or proprietary trading operations unrelated to serving customers for its own profit.
2. Limit the Size - The President also announced a new proposal to limit the consolidation of our financial sector. The President’s proposal will place broader limits on the excessive growth of the market share of liabilities at the largest financial firms, to supplement existing caps on the market share of deposits.
"When you put a system of regulation in place, they (Wall Street) figure out ways to get around it. It's an invitation to change corporate structures that may move stuff more off the radar screen," Vincent Reinhart, a former top economist at the Federal Reserve, said of the proposed prohibition on hedge-fund activity by banks.
...investors remain jittery about President Obama's new bank plan and issues involving China.
...the Obama administration announced a proposal to increase regulation on the nation's biggest financial firms.
Today's decision overturns a 20-year ruling -- Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce -- that prohibited corporations or labor unions from paying for campaign ads. The decision removes spending limits for independent expenditure groups. It threatens to remove spending limits already established in 24 states. And it struck down part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law that bars issue ads paid for by corporations or unions in the closing days of a campaign.
...their worst session since late October on Thursday as U.S. President Barack Obama proposed tough restrictions on banks that would squeeze profits.
...Obama...will propose stricter limits on financial risk-taking in a move that may recall curbs on banks resulting from the 1930s Great Depression.
Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind. - Leonardo da Vinci
How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees. - William Shakespeare
A study in mice found receptors on certain brain cells essentially block the effects of these medicines.Its one thing to read an article on bad thinking, or thoughts that serve only to inhibit you, quite another to figure out how to break the habit of thinking these things.
Cynics who tend to be suspicious and mistrustful of others, a character trait that scientists refer to as hostility, may have an increased likelihood of developing heart disease. "These aren't necessarily hot-headed people, but people who are more likely to read into people's behavior as some hostile motive," Stephen Boyle said during a telephone interview.
In a study of more than 300 Vietnam veterans who were healthy at the study start, Boyle found that those who scored high on measures of hostility were about 25 percent more likely to develop heart disease.
...investors continued to worry about China and awaited results from Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs.Reuters: Stock futures higher ahead of Goldman earnings, data
A weekly report on jobless claims comes out at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Initial jobless claims are expected to have totaled 440,000 in the week ended Jan. 16...
China easily beat its 2009 growth target after a blistering performance in the fourth quarter that forms a powerful springboard for it to jump over Japan this year to become the world's second-largest economy.
Chinese authorities have ordered some major banks to curb their lending over the rest of this month after an early burst of credit, banking industry sources said.
"If this economy is truly picking up, we're going to have see some inflation picking up..."Reuters: Stock futures slide on unease over bank earnings
Bank of America reported a fourth-quarter loss of $5.2 billion...
The dollar rose against most major international currencies except for the yen. The price of oil fell $1.04 per barrel to $78.28.
Data on tap for Wednesday includes producer prices , housing starts and building permits for December, all due at 8:30 a.m.
The 6.1-magnitude aftershock was about 6.2 miles deep, with an epicenter about 35 miles (60 kilometers) west-southwest of the capital Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
It said that says previous attempts to launch tablet PCs - notably by Microsoft - had been largely unsuccessful for many reasons.
"The graphics, software, and user interface were underwhelming, not well connected to cellular or WiFi networks, and, most important, they have largely served as work-oriented data-entry devices."
"By contrast, an easy-to-use, consumer-focused device used primarily for media and web browsing is much more likely to be widely accepted by the market."
...Republican Scott Brown holding a 9-point advantage over Martha Coakley a day before Massachusetts voters trek to the ballot box to choose a new senator.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.