Socio-Economics History Blog

Socio-Economics & History Commentary

Jewish Rabbi: Kill Enemy Children!

shotgazanchild

Does this child look like a terrorist to you?

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November 10, 2009 Posted by | GeoPolitics | , , , , | 18 Comments

Is the Dollar Dying a Slow Death?

USDX - 9 Nov 2009

Despite being oversold in the weekly chart, dollar index looks to be headed lower. Its inability to breach the 10MA confirms continuation of downtrend. A test of 72 level and if breached, a cliff dive towards 40??

  • It is pretty clear that the US government wants a weaker USD. They want to inflate away all their debts. They need a weaker USD to boost exports. The USD is anywhere between 30-50% over valued. A weaker USD will make America an attactive destination for manufacturing again. The only problem is: most of the factories have left America for the past 30 years. So, it will take years for some of these manufacturing industries to re-establish itself. America will also need to re-engineer their thinking from ‘sub-contracting out to China to make’ to ‘let’s be the factory of the world.’
     
  • The current gradual/managed devaluation of the USD is thus, understandable. However, the forex market seldom follow government dictates. We have in the past seen the rapid collapse of currencies. The British pound comes to mind. What I am saying is: when forex traders, hedge fund managers…etc, smell blood, they will go for the kill. And this will lead to precipitous fall of the USD. The major support for the US Dollar Index is at 71.8-72. We have already seen it fall overnight to just above the 75 level. Many traders will test and see how firm the 72 level is. If it breaks, it is a cliff dive anywhere from 40-52 level. ie 30-40% devaluation of the USD!
     
  • Time magazine reports:
      
    The U.S. dollar seems to have as many lives as a cat. Even before 2008’s financial crisis, as the dollar slumped against other major currencies, countless pundits and economists predicted its demise as the global economy’s No. 1 currency. The doomsayers seemed vindicated when the U.S. economy descended into the worst recession since the 1930s, with its financial sector in tatters. How could an already weakened greenback maintain its value as American economic prowess withered? But then — surprise! — investors around the world decided the good old greenback was a safe haven in a time of great uncertainty. The dollar was resurrected, reversing years of slow decline.
     
    That strength turned out to be temporary. A ballooning U.S. budget deficit and escalating government debt has made the dollar currency non grata in many quarters once again. ….  Economists and analysts expect the dollar to lose a lot more ground. Daisuke Uno, chief strategist at Japan’s banking giant Sumitomo Mitsui, believes the Japanese currency could strengthen to 50 yen to a dollar by 2011 (from around 90 today) due to continued weakness in the U.S. economy. Harvard historian Niall Ferguson says the dollar could slide by as much as 20% on a trade-weighted basis over the next 12 months. The process may be protracted, he argues, but the dollar is dying. In 10 years’ time, he said in October, “it won’t be such a dollar-dominated world. I’m sure of that.” 
     
    So has the dollar finally used up the last of its nine lives? There are worrying signs that the world is losing its appetite for dollars. The International Monetary Fund announced on Nov. 2 it was selling 200 metric tons of gold to India’s central bank for $6.7 billion. News of the purchase sent gold prices to an all-time high. The move was widely seen as part of an effort by central banks around the world to diversify their extensive U.S. dollar holdings. Steven Englander, chief U.S. currency strategist at Barclays Capital in New York City, figures that in the second quarter, dollars accounted for only 37% of new reserves accumulated by central banks worldwide. That’s the lowest proportion on record for any quarter during which reserves increased significantly. At a time when many central banks are boosting their reserves, they are choosing to buy euro and yen instead. “Central banks are doing more than talking about reducing the concentration of [the U.S. dollar] in their reserve portfolios. They are actually acting on their statements,” Englander wrote in an October report.
     
    If that shift from talk to action continues, the consequences could be severe and wide-ranging. Central bankers are the currency market’s buyer of last resort, and thus the private sector’s view of the dollar’s value and stability can be heavily influenced by what they do. Still, there are many constraints to how far and fast the dollar falls. The issue facing central bankers is a complex one. They may wish to limit their exposure to a weakening dollar, but they don’t relish the ugly fallout from doing anything to further weaken it. “We certainly don’t think we’re at the end of the dollar,” Barclay’s Englander told TIME. “It’s in no one’s interests.”
     
    One big worry of central bankers is how a softening dollar could impact a global recovery. Countries that have currencies strengthening against the dollar face the prospect that their exports would become pricier in world markets, a situation policymakers wish to avoid as their economies are just now crawling out of recession. China, one of the world’s largest holders of dollars, doesn’t appear likely to allow its currency, the renminbi, to significantly appreciate against the dollar any time soon, despite increasing political pressure from Washington to do so. China’s Commerce Minister, Chen Deming, said at the recent Canton Trade Fair, a major showcase for China’s manufacturers, that the “basic stability” of the yuan exchange rate needed to be maintained so exporters can have a predictable business environment. Another source of stability is the difficulty central banks have disposing of dollars they already hold. Dumping dollars on world markets would only depress its value further, undermining nations’ own reserves. “Central banks will continue to get out of dollars on the margins, but they don’t want to be seen selling dollars hand over fist,” Englander says. Besides, with economies weak and interest rates at low levels throughout the industrialized world, there is a lack of better choices. “The dollar may not be attractive, but when you look at the alternatives, nothing is that exciting,” says Englander.
     
    These sources of support may not last forever. Warren Buffett warned in a New York Times editorial in August that the unrestrained buildup of U.S. government debt — and the likely need to print money as a result — would inevitably undermine the dollar’s value. “Unchecked greenback emissions will certainly cause the purchasing power of currency to melt,” the sage of Omaha wrote. “The dollar’s destiny lies with Congress.” Richard Portes, a professor of economics at the London Business School, believes that central banks will increasingly see other currencies, especially the euro, as more reliable storehouses of value. “The idea that there is no place to go is wrong,” Portes says. If that’s the case, the dollar better hope it has even more lives than a cat.

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November 10, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WHO Silence on Ukraine Sequences Raises Pandemic Concerns!

  • I suppose the release of the DNA sequence will confirm that the swine flu A/H1N1 vaccines are useless. It will hamper the already lack luster vaccination take up rate. More than 80% of Germans refuse to take it! The Big Pharma scam is failing. They underestimated the power of the alternative media!
     
    Recombinomics Commentary 19:01
    November 9, 2009
     
    It has now been more than a week since samples from Ukraine were sent to the
    WHO regional lab, Mill Hill in London.  Although comments have been made that at least 15 samples were H1N1 confirmed, and the sequences showed no large changes or resistance to oseltamivir, there have been no updates.  The absence of additional information or release of sequences, increases concerns that small changes undergoing further analysis are causing delays.
     
    In the days post shipment, cases in Ukraine have quadrupled to over 1 million and the reported fatalities have grown from 30 to 174. The clinical presentation of 90 of the fatalities was classical H1N1 linked
    hemorrhagic pneumonia, which led to the “total destruction” of both lungs.  These fatal cases were hospitalized 3-7 days after disease onset, highlighting the rapid progression of the infection in a large number of patients, suggesting genetic changes in the H1N1 virus.
     
    Although politicians and media reports continue to downplay the significance by citing a small number of  lab confirmed cases or more traditional pneumonia deaths, the number of fatal hemorrhagic cases was unusually large.  These deaths involve hemorrhagic pneumonia in previously health young adults.  Most deaths were 19-40 years of age.  The age group with the second highest totals was 41-55.  Thus, the age profile of these cases parallels those seen in other countries in H1N1 infected patients.
     
    Isolates from other countries, including recent isolates from samples from fatal cases In Sau Paula, Brazil had changes at position 225 in the
    receptor binding domain (D225G and D225N).  These recent changes in Brazil raise concerns that there are similar changes in Ukraine.
     
    It is likely that a lack of suspect changes would have led to an announcement that no significant changes were found.  Instead WHO has remained silent since Thursday, as concerns increase.
     
    Sequencing should have been largely completed last week and the presence or absence of regional markers should be clear.  Release of the sequences or a list of polymorphisms under further investigation would be useful. The silence on the sequences continues to increase concerns.

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November 10, 2009 Posted by | Medicine & Health | , | Comments Off on WHO Silence on Ukraine Sequences Raises Pandemic Concerns!

Reported Ukraine Cases Top One Million – 174 Fatalities!

  • The infection rate seems to be slowing down. Last week it was about 200,000 per day. Yesterday, the reported figure was under 100,00 new infections. This is good news. The hospitalization rate is still 4-5 thousand per day. With so many people hospitalized, the number of deaths will keep rising for some time. (Detail table here.)
     
    Recombinomics Commentary 18:41
    November 9, 2009
     
    1,031,597 Influenza/ARI
    52,742 Hospitalized
    174 Dead
     
    The latest update for Ukraine includes more than 1 million reported cases (see map).  The fatalities have jumped from 155 to 174 and almost 53K have been hospitalized. The biggest jump in fatalities was in Lviv, where reported deaths rose from 63 to 74.  However, the largest jump in cases was in Kiev, raising concerns that the infections were spreading east.
     
    The increase in cases and deaths continue to support a
    genetic change in the H1N1 virus.  However, there have been no updates on samples which were sent to London over a week ago. 
     
    The sequence silence continues to increase concerns that the large number of cases and deaths in Ukraine is linked to changes, which may involve the receptor binding domain in general and
    position 225 in particular.

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November 10, 2009 Posted by | Medicine & Health | | 1 Comment