News Feed

How Have Our Forecasts Played Out This Year?

Financial Sense - 23 hours 22 min ago

As outlined on January 11th, we believed this year would again defy bearish forecasts and see instead: a positive gain for U.S. stocks, a strengthening dollar, lower commodity prices, and improving U.S. economic growth. Here’s how things have played out so far.

Categories: Economic Blogs

On Obama and the Nature of Failed Presidencies

Financial Sense - 23 hours 22 min ago

We do not normally comment on domestic political affairs unless they affect international affairs. However, it is necessary to consider American political affairs because they are likely to have a particular effect on international relations.

Categories: Economic Blogs

Great Graphic: Shifting Center of World Economy

Financial Sense - 23 hours 22 min ago

For nearly a few centuries, the northern Atlantic was the center of the world economy. This era is over. It has been over for some time. Since the early 1980s, more goods cross the Pacific than the Atlantic. This is a crucial development in our lifetime.

Categories: Economic Blogs

Credit Markets Signaling Near-Term Caution

Financial Sense - 23 hours 22 min ago

The US stock market has displayed a strong rally off the October lows and has seasonal tailwinds at its back. However, near-term caution may be advised since we are starting to see some negative divergences in market breadth and the credit markets, suggesting a pause or pullback may be in the works.

Categories: Economic Blogs

Miliband to acquire white van and visible bumcrack

News Biscuit - 23 hours 23 min ago
‘As it goes I favour the Transit, long wheelbase. It’s a classic innit. None of your foreign shite, Renault or whatever, as driven by some Latvian with a PHd in Economics, a thriving decorating business in Chigwell and a brother on benefits and probably out grooming or dogging most nights. Send ‘em back where they belong, is what I say, subject to the Human Rights Act and existing EU Legislation and the employment needs of a newly recovering economy.’ Mr Miliband was speaking to reporters in the wake of the Rochester by election. ‘Let’s get this straight, I’m yer ordinary Lidl or Aldi shopper in the street, wiv like a young family, a 3 bed Wimpey without offstreet parking, and, OK, a former teaching post at Harvard. But could you get a decent pint there? Could you not! But that’s all behind me. From now till the general wosname, I’ll be travelling the length and breadth in the (sic) Transit, listening to what voters are really concerned about, eating chips, drinking beer and quoting for the odd bit of kitchen fitting, innit. An’ kipping in the back.
Categories: Humour

Online recruitment specialists announce new service for former convicted rapists

News Biscuit - 23 hours 23 min ago
Online jobsite has announced the launch of a brand new recruitment site for former convicted rapists -
Categories: Humour

Nicola Sturgeon vows ‘No more fishy surnames’

News Biscuit - 23 hours 23 min ago
Scotland's new first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has vowed that she will not be continuing the practice of selecting senior SNP positions based on how fishy their surname is. Her announcement is widely seen as an attempt to distance herself from her predecessor, Alex Salmon.
Categories: Humour

Government urged to pass law stopping Poles from going home

News Biscuit - 23 hours 23 min ago
Polish people will be returned to their jobs as plumbers, builders and waitresses.
Categories: Humour

Men relish denouncing 1970s sexism while still repeatedly saying ‘tits’

News Biscuit - 23 hours 23 min ago
Shocking revelations about how senior figures from the world of entertainment got away with sexual harassment, combined with an unlimited appetite for instant nostalgia among those who grew up with Spangles and Raleigh Choppers, are creating an ideal situation for middle-aged men. For those who get paid to pass sardonic comment on long-forgotten sitcoms where 'dirty old men' leered at 'dolly birds', it is better still. 'Incredible,' said David Baddiel, after watching an episode of The Professionals in which Bodie calmly fished a grenade out of a screaming Pamela Stephenson's top. 'Not only did they think it's OK to have him rip her thin blouse wide open and slap her face to calm her down, they also have her look up at him doe-eyed and grateful for casually brushing the residue off her tits afterwards. Rescuing a woman, however heroically, does not automatically entitle you to touch her tits. Shocking.'
Categories: Humour

Michael Buerk files his first report from ‘I’m a Celebrity’ jungle

News Biscuit - 23 hours 23 min ago

'Dawn. And as the sun breaks through the piercing chill of night on the camp outside the producers' hotel, it lights up the scene of a 1990s game show, now, in the 21st Century. This show, say the people here, is the closest thing to free publicity on earth.'
Categories: Humour

European Space Agency fines Philae Lander for negative TripAdvisor Review

News Biscuit - 23 hours 23 min ago
A tourist has been fined 100 Euros by the European Space Agency (ESA) for leaving critical comments about them on travel review website Travel Advisor. Mr Philae Lander posted the negative comments whilst holidaying on the 'paradise retreat' of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Categories: Humour

FIFA awards 1966 World Cup to West Germany

News Biscuit - 23 hours 23 min ago
Independent FIFA Investigator Baron Deutschland von Uberalles has found against England in his investigation into the 1966 World Cup final.
Categories: Humour

Labour warns over pension charges

BBC Economics - Sat, 22/11/2014 - 05:30
Labour urges the government to ensure people taking advantage of new pension freedoms next April are not ripped off by financial firms.
Categories: Economic News

Allan Barber says that significant progress may soon be possible if a moratorium on new licences can underpin capacity rationalisation without stifling innovation or competition News - Sat, 22/11/2014 - 04:01
Short headline:  Big changes afoot in red meat sector

By Allan Barber

The much maligned red meat sector may at last be about to undergo a structural change if a majority of processors and farmers can reach agreement on a proposed capacity moratorium.

Past history suggests that is a big IF, but a document being circulated among processors, Meat Industry Association (MIA), Beef + Lamb NZ, Federated Farmers and the Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) group contains a realistic basis for agreement on a solution to the capacity problem which has dogged the industry for years.

The concept proposes to issue plant and chain licences which would effectively freeze (excuse the pun) the number of sheep and beef processing plants and chains at the current level from the start of next season.

The document suggests a 12 year moratorium on any new licences being issued as a means of protecting existing owners’ investment in the industry.

However what the moratorium quite deliberately avoids is the prevention of innovation, capacity increases and productivity improvements on existing chains for which processors hold a licence.

It also specifies the extent of foreign ownership which would have to comply with OIO restrictions, while allowing existing shareholdings to be retained.

The proposal clearly states that it would facilitate meat industry reform through capacity rationalisation by providing a start point, not an end point.

It would protect existing ownership rights, ensuring any transactions are between a willing buyer and willing seller, and it would preserve farm gate competition.

There is plenty of debate, particularly among farmers, about whether there really is excess capacity, because at certain times of the season there is invariably a delay in getting stock slaughtered.

However average utilisation indicates total livestock could be processed in around 26 weeks, if the animals were all available at the right time.

In a grass driven climate stable production throughout the year is just not possible, but every new plant or chain further exacerbates the capacity problem and damages the profitability of the rest. The logical response is to close inefficient capacity, but this is painful and costly, therefore avoided until all other avenues have been explored. This is what leads inevitably to procurement competition where the only beneficiaries are the farmers with stock to sell at off-peak times of the season.

So any solution to the problem of ever expanding capacity would be welcome. The only problem is nobody has ever managed to find an answer that satisfies all the objections, the main ones being removal of farm gate competition and financial sustainability. The suggestion of tradable slaughter rights (TSR), originally made in the 1980s, appeared to make sense, but this would have required the meat processors to agree on a seasonal production quota, based on a formula such as moving three year average livestock market share.

It was difficult to get the processors to agree the basis of calculating their individual entitlement and, in any case, it would have lessened competition for livestock at the farm gate. But in principle the idea of a moratorium on new plants or chains is not that far away from the TSR concept, except that it uses capacity instead of livestock market share as the crucial factor.

There are several key players to agreeing and implementing an agreed position, if the moratorium is to be the solution everyone has been waiting for.

Ideally a majority of the processors should be in favour and here Bill Falconer, Chairman of the MIA, must use all his powers of persuasion to achieve consensus in the face of continued vested interests.

Farmer groups, B+LNZ, Federated Farmers and MIE must work hard to mobilise farmer opinion; MIE must also get sympathetic directors on the boards of Alliance and Silver Fern Farms to argue their corner at board meetings.

Government approval is essential.

If the industry can agree on a solution and present a united face, it will be in a position to take a proposal to the government to ask for the requisite legislation to enable a moratorium to be introduced.

The Minister, Nathan Guy, has been at pains to remain hands off, giving the impression he doesn’t think there’s a problem. But surely he will be prepared to jump at the chance to accept an industry proposal that does not contravene the Commerce Act.

The moratorium document argues cogently that capacity is the problem in need of solving. Therefore limiting plants to the present number of chains and preventing any transfer of chain licences from an existing plant ensures no increase in overall capacity other than through productivity gains. This provides certainty of asset value which will increase over time with consolidation and closures.

The next few weeks will show whether this proposal has any prospect of success, but it’s certainly got more chance than any other to date.


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Allan Barber is a commentator on agribusiness, especially the meat industry, and lives in the Matakana Wine Country where he runs a boutique B&B with his wife. You can contact him by email at or read his blog here ». This article was first publsihed in the Farmers Weekly. It is here with permission.

Categories: Economic News

Man pleads guilty in New York cybercrime case

NZ Herald - Sat, 22/11/2014 - 03:50
NEW YORK (AP) " A California man has pleaded guilty in New York City for his role marketing malware that federal authorities say infected more than a half-million computers worldwide.Brendan Johnston entered his plea to a charge...
Categories: Economic News

Central banks getting nervous about gold vaulted elsewhere, Turk tells KWN

10:42p ET Friday, November 21, 2014

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Concerns about the fractional-reserve gold banking system will increase because of the Netherlands central bank's repatriation of gold from the U.S. Federal Reserve, GoldMoney founder and GATA consultant James Turk tells King World News tonight. "People are getting nervous" about gold vaulted with others, Turk says, and central banks making contingency plans for their currencies need to ensure that they control their gold. An excerpt from the interview is posted at the KWN blog here:

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.


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Categories: Goldbugs


Zero Hedge - Sat, 22/11/2014 - 03:19

Categories: Economic Blogs

Founder of PayPal Says Taxes Drive Money

RGE Analysts' EconoMonitor - Sat, 22/11/2014 - 03:15
OK, file this in the “I never thought I’d live to see the day” category. Yes, Virginia, Taxes Drive Money. Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal understands his business model. He’s leveraging currency. His PayPal money is denominated in Uncle Sam’s money (and 24 other national currencies). Ultimately, USA demand for PayPal money is driven by [...]
Categories: Economic Blogs
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