Saudis offer Moscow billions to break with Tehran

MOSCOW – Saudi Arabia has offered to buy Russian arms worth 2.4 billion dollars (1.5 billion euros) if Moscow stops supporting Iran, a Russian newspaper reported Tuesday, citing diplomatic sources.

“The kingdom’s government advised Moscow to cease its cooperation with Tehran, and in exchange it held out the prospect of profitable contracts with Saudi Arabia,” the daily business newspaper Kommersant wrote.

The report came one day after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with the General Secretary of Saudi Arabia’s Security Council, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Citing sources in Russia’s defence industry, the newspaper said Saudi Arabia was ready to buy at least 100 BMP-3 combat vehicles, 150 T-90 tanks and 160 Mi-17, Mi-26 and Mi-35 helicopters.

Read moreSaudis offer Moscow billions to break with Tehran

Five Years Late and a Trillion Dollars Short

On Tuesday, the SEC issued an emergency rule in an attempt to curb naked short selling in 19 major financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and JP Morgan Chase and Company.

Read moreFive Years Late and a Trillion Dollars Short

Are “Dark Pools” Destined to be the Capital Markets’ Next Black Hole?

Related article:Big Traders Dive Into Dark Pools

We can almost hear that ominous “Jaws” theme music in the background and can see that huge dorsal fin as it slices threateningly through the water – knowing full well that the real terror is hidden beneath the water’s surface.

But this time around, it’s not a “Great White” that’s sparking our fears; it’s a well-capitalized and broadly based series of secret stock exchanges known as “Dark Pools of Liquidity,” “Dark Liquidity,” or just “Dark Pools.”

Most investors have never even heard the term – and are truly shocked to discover these “off-the-books” trading networks actually exist.

But to Wall Street insiders looking to anonymously move billions of dollars in stocks, bonds, and other investment instruments, dark pools are de rigueur – especially when you’re an institutional trader who doesn’t want to reveal your intentions or your actions to the “rest” of the market, until after the fact when the orders are “printed.”

And that makes these dark pools of capital highly problematic when it comes transparency: There is literally none in most pools and only limited visibility in others.

Dark Pools: From Trading Haven to Heavyweight

Dark Pools are electronic “crossing networks” that offer institutional investors many of the same benefits associated with making trades on the stock exchanges’ public limit order books – without tipping their hands to others, meaning publicly quoted prices aren’t affected. This is the capital markets’ version of a godsend – especially for traders who desire to move large blocks of shares without the public investors ever knowing.

Some examples of so-called crossing networks include Liquidnet Inc., Pipeline, the Posit unit of Investment Technology Group (ITG), or the SIGMA X unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS).

In an era in which “secret” transactions contributed to what’s shaping up to be the largest credit crisis in history, you’d think that any mechanism that allows insiders to trade in complete secrecy and with total anonymity would be scrutinized more closely than a Roger Clemens vitamin shot. But that’s not the case with Dark Pools.

Read moreAre “Dark Pools” Destined to be the Capital Markets’ Next Black Hole?

Gazprom Connects to Iran


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller in Teheran, July 13, 2008

Gazprom has signed a memorandum on cooperation in production and transportation of oil and natural gas with the National Iranian Oil Co. The Iranian company, which all other oil companies in the world refuse to work with, is promising Gazprom “a full package of projects.” The memorandum was signed by Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari and NIOC managing director Seifollah Jashnsaz. Gazprom will thus have the chance to strengthen its position in the countries with the world’s second largest gas reserves (proven reserves of 28.13 trillion cu. m.).

Read moreGazprom Connects to Iran

Recession-Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble To Invest In

If the situation would not be so damn serious, this would be very funny.
Maybe it’s still funny, if you “Always look on the bright side of life”.

Related video: –
How the markets really work

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WASHINGTON – A panel of top business leaders testified before Congress about the worsening recession Monday, demanding the government provide Americans with a new irresponsible and largely illusory economic bubble in which to invest.

“What America needs right now is not more talk and long-term strategy, but a concrete way to create more imaginary wealth in the very immediate future,” said Thomas Jenkins, CFO of the Boston-area Jenkins Financial Group, a bubble-based investment firm. “We are in a crisis, and that crisis demands an unviable short-term solution.”


A prominent finance expert asks Congress to help Americans rebuild their ficticious dreams.

The current economic woes, brought on by the collapse of the so-called “housing bubble,” are considered the worst to hit investors since the equally untenable dot-com bubble burst in 2001. According to investment experts, now that the option of making millions of dollars in a short time with imaginary profits from bad real-estate deals has disappeared, the need for another spontaneous make-believe source of wealth has never been more urgent.

“Perhaps the new bubble could have something to do with watching movies on cell phones,” said investment banker Greg Carlisle of the New York firm Carlisle, Shaloe & Graves. “Or, say, medicine, or shipping. Or clouds. The manner of bubble isn’t important-just as long as it creates a hugely overvalued market based on nothing more than whimsical fantasy and saddled with the potential for a long-term accrual of debts that will never be paid back, thereby unleashing a ripple effect that will take nearly a decade to correct.”

“The U.S. economy cannot survive on sound investments alone,” Carlisle added.

Read moreRecession-Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble To Invest In

Jim Rogers: Fannie Plan a `Disaster’; Goldman Says Sell

The U.S. economy is in a recession, possibly the worst since World War II, Rogers said.

“They’re ruining what has been one of the greatest economies in the world,” Rogers said. Bernanke and Paulson “are bailing out their friends on Wall Street but there are 300 million Americans that are going to have to pay for this.”

July 14 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Treasury Department’s plan to shore up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is an “unmitigated disaster” and the largest U.S. mortgage lenders are “basically insolvent,” according to investor Jim Rogers.

Taxpayers will be saddled with debt if Congress approves U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson‘s request for the authority to buy unlimited stakes in and lend to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Rogers said in a Bloomberg Television interview. Rogers is betting that Fannie Mae shares will keep tumbling.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst Daniel Zimmerman said the mortgage finance companies’ shares may fall another 35 percent and lowered his share-price estimate for Fannie Mae to $7 from $18 and for Freddie Mac to $5 from $17. Freddie Mac fell 64 cents, or 8.3 percent, to $7.11 in New York Stock Exchange trading, while Fannie Mae fell 52 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $9.73.

“I don’t know where these guys get the audacity to take our money, taxpayer money, and buy stock in Fannie Mae,” Rogers, 65, said in an interview from Singapore. “So we’re going to bail out everybody else in the world. And it ruins the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet and it makes the dollar more vulnerable and it increases inflation.”

The chairman of Rogers Holdings, who in April 2006 correctly predicted oil would reach $100 a barrel and gold $1,000 an ounce, also said the commodities bull market has a “long way to go” and advised buying agricultural commodities.

`Solvency Crisis’

Read moreJim Rogers: Fannie Plan a `Disaster’; Goldman Says Sell

Citigroup’s $1.1 Trillion in Mysterious Shadow Assets

July 14 (Bloomberg) — At an investor presentation in May, Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said shrinking the bank’s $2.2 trillion balance sheet, the biggest in the U.S., was a cornerstone of his turnaround plan.

Nowhere mentioned in the accompanying 66-page handout were the additional $1.1 trillion of assets that New York-based Citigroup keeps off its books: trusts to sell mortgage-backed securities, financing vehicles to issue short-term debt and collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, to repackage bonds.

Now, as Citigroup prepares to announce second-quarter results July 18, those off-balance-sheet assets, used by U.S. banks to expand lending without tying up capital, are casting a shadow over earnings. Since last September, at least $100 billion of assets have flooded back onto Citigroup’s balance sheet, accompanied by more than $7 billion of losses.

“If you start adding up all the potential exposures, it’s a huge number,” said Sam Golden, a former ombudsman for the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency who now heads the financial-industry practice for restructuring adviser Alvarez & Marsal in Houston. “The banks will say that it was disclosed. Investors are saying, `Yeah, but it was cryptic. We really didn’t know what you were telling us.”’

U.S. banks already are reeling from more than $165 billion of writedowns and credit losses, so shareholders are wary of unknown obligations that might force them to take responsibility for additional troubled assets. The risks have become so obvious that accounting officials are proposing new rules — some of which Citigroup opposes — that would force many assets back onto balance sheets.

Read moreCitigroup’s $1.1 Trillion in Mysterious Shadow Assets

Fed: No more bailouts, except Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

This is article very important, because…
“The credit crisis has obviously entered into a new phase – the government has one bailout left in them, and this is it,” said Jeffrey Gundlach, chief investment officer of TCW Group in Los Angeles, which invests $160 billion.
And now all the related articles below make much more sense and here comes the meltdown of the financial markets.
If you do not know how to prepare yourself: Solution
If you want to know more on what is going on: World Situation
Take care. – The Infinite Unknown

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NEW YORK – The U.S. government is signaling it won’t throw a lifeline to struggling financial companies – except for mortgage linchpins Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – marking a shift to a new and potentially more volatile phase of the credit crisis.

Such an approach could mean beaten-down investment banks like Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and regional banks must now fend for themselves as they try to recover from billions of dollars in mortgage-related losses. That is bound to unnerve an already turbulent Wall Street and make investors even more anxious as they await financial companies’ earnings reports that are expected to be down a stunning 69 percent from a year ago when all the numbers are in.

Related articles and videos:
More Than 300 US Banks to Fail, Says RBC Capital Markets Analyst
Run on banks spells big trouble for US Treasury
US: Total Crash of the Entire Financial System Expected, Say Experts
The Dollar is doomed and the Fed will fail
Fannie, Freddie insolvent, Poole tells Bloomberg
Foreclosures Rose 53% in June, Bank Seizures Triple
Small Banks: Billions in Troubled Construction Loans
Financial market losses could top 1,600 billion dollars: report
Dow suffers worst 1st half since ‘70
Fortis Bank Predicts US Financial Market Meltdown Within Weeks
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Jim Rogers: Avoid The Dollar At All Costs
Ron Paul on Iran and Energy June 26, 2008
Marc Faber: ‘Misleading’ Fed Should Let Banks Fail
This recession could easily tip into a depression

And, for consumers already squeezed by tightening credit standards, it could mean getting a mortgage will become even harder.

Read moreFed: No more bailouts, except Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

This recession could easily tip into a depression

The experience of the 1930s makes me think that the present downturn will be relatively long and difficult

Today I am celebrating my 80th birthday, an age that seems less formidable when one has reached it than when one can see it only from afar.

I was born on July 14, 1928, about 15 months before the American boom of the 1920s came to its rather abrupt end. Like everyone else, I am naturally curious to see whether the global credit crunch is going to be a brief interruption in global prosperity, or the prelude to a longer and deeper depression.

I cannot claim to have clear memories of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, which occured when I was 1year old, or of Britain leaving the gold standard in 1931, when I was 3 years old.

I do however, remember newspaper articles about the later stages of the Depression. In the 1930s, my parents read The Times, the Financial Times and the Daily Mail.

Related articles and videos:
More Than 300 US Banks to Fail, Says RBC Capital Markets Analyst
Run on banks spells big trouble for US Treasury
US: Total Crash of the Entire Financial System Expected, Say Experts
The Dollar is doomed and the Fed will fail
Fannie, Freddie insolvent, Poole tells Bloomberg
Foreclosures Rose 53% in June, Bank Seizures Triple
Small Banks: Billions in Troubled Construction Loans
Financial market losses could top 1,600 billion dollars: report
Dow suffers worst 1st half since ‘70
Fortis Bank Predicts US Financial Market Meltdown Within Weeks
Barclays warns of a financial storm as Federal Reserve’s credibility crumbles
Jim Rogers: Avoid The Dollar At All Costs
Ron Paul on Iran and Energy June 26, 2008
Marc Faber: ‘Misleading’ Fed Should Let Banks Fail

I can remember the news stories of the Jarrow march of the unemployed. I also remember discussing with my mother a lead story which reported that farm workers’ pay was to be raised 6d (2p) to what would now be £1.50 a week. The depression was a fact of existence in the North Somerset coalfield up to the outbreak of war in 1939.

Fortunately, there has only been one Great Depression in my lifetime, but there has also been a Great Inflation. In 2006 Pickering and Chatto, which I refounded in the 1980s, had the good timing to publish a three-volume History of Financial Disasters, under the general editorship of Mark Duckenfield.

Read moreThis recession could easily tip into a depression

More Than 300 US Banks to Fail, Says RBC Capital Markets Analyst

NEW YORK, July 13 (Reuters) – U.S. banks may fail in far greater numbers following the collapse of the big mortgage lender IndyMac Bancorp Inc, straining a financial system seeking stability after years of lending excesses.

More than 300 banks could fail in the next three years, said RBC Capital Markets analyst Gerard Cassidy, who had in February estimated no more than 150.

Related articles and video:
Fed: No more bailouts, except Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Run on banks spells big trouble for US Treasury
US: Total Crash of the Entire Financial System Expected, Say Experts
The Dollar is doomed and the Fed will fail
Jim Rogers: Fannie Plan a `Disaster’; Goldman Says Sell

Banks face pressure as credit losses once concentrated in subprime mortgages spread to other home loans and debt once-thought safe. This has also led to investor worries about the stability of mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; IndyMac is not related to either.

Read moreMore Than 300 US Banks to Fail, Says RBC Capital Markets Analyst