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Feb 28, 2010


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February 28, 2010


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February 28, 2010 Compiled: 6:14 PM


Prudential P.L.C. was discussing a deal to buy A.I.G.’s American International Assurance division, people briefed on the talks said.


CME to change Comex gold, silver settlement procedure

From Dow Jones Newswires
via The Wall Street Journal
Monday, February 22, 2010
NEW YORK -- CME Group Inc. will switch the procedure for settling Comex gold and silver futures to a method based on average price and volume rather than a specific price point, the exchange said Monday.
As of Friday, staff will settle the most-actively traded month of each contract at the volume-weighted average price -- which skews toward more heavily traded lots -- of outright trades on the CME Globex electronic trading platform. This is a change from the current method of settlement, where the lead contract month for gold and silver are settled to the midpoint of Globex trades during the settlement time range.
The settlement time periods are 1:29 p.m. ET-1:30 p.m. for gold and 1:24 p.m.-1:25 p.m. for silver.
If there are no outright trades during the settlement periods, the settlement price will be the best bid or offer in the expiring contract at the close of the market that is closest to the last traded price.
If there is no bid or offer in the expiring contract at that time, the settlement price will be implied from the bid/offer in the active spread at the close of the market, at the price that is closest to the last outright trade price in the expiring contract.
Contract months other than the active month will be settled by staff in conjunction with market participants based on spread relationships on CME Globex and the trading floor.
The greatest weight will be given to spreads traded in larger volumes later in the trading day, either on the trading floor or on CME Globex. In the absence of trading activity, spread bids/offers actively represented either on the floor or Globex will determine the settlements.
If there is insufficient activity to make the calculations, staff may rely on earlier data or other available market information to determine an appropriate settlement price.
If staff determine that anomalous activity yields results that are not representative of the fair value of the contract, staff may determine an alternative settlement price.
The changes will likely have little, if any impact on the market.
"It certainly doesn't seem like any big shake for speculators or users of the market," although it may have some bearing for commercial or other participants who take delivery of the metals, said Frank Lesh, broker and futures analyst with FuturePath Trading. Most participants do not take delivery from futures contracts. Rather they tend to roll positions they want to hold into farther forward contracts.

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"NYT: State of Catastrophe" After Chile Quake

Taken From The New York Times Today?s Headlines

‘State of Catastrophe’ After Chile Quake
The earthquake ripped apart buildings and bridges across Chile, and more than 300 people were killed.

Money Norning: This Market Manipulation is Legal- For Now....February 28,2010

February 28, 2010
This market manipulation is legal - for now
Most investors recognize that the markets are manipulated... But don't understand to what degree. Fact is, the next 1,000-point down day has practically been scripted and assigned a date. Knowing how this works can produce some outrageous gains - legally. At least for now. Renowned analyst Jon Markman has the details here.

Is it Time For Investors to Beware of the Bear?
[Editor's Note : In the following article, Money Morning Contributing Writer Jon D. Markman examines whether U.S. investors are facing a new bear market.]
By Jon D. Markman, Contributing Writer, Money Morning

With U.S. stocks down about 5% from their 2009-2010 rally peak, investors basically want to know one thing: Is this just a correction, or are they looking at a potentially long bear market?

That's no small question. U.S. stocks could be experiencing one of three scenarios at present. They could be:
* Undergoing a short-term "correction" of its 2009 gains.
* Beginning a multi-month "pause."
* Or starting a new bear-market cycle.

These aren't just arbitrary labels. For instance, a typical "correction" lasts but a month or two, with average declines of 8.5% to 10% on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. A multi-month pause, by contrast, could last eight to 15 months, and involve an S&P 500 decline of 10% to 18%.
But a new bear market is an entirely different animal. A bear-market cycle could last as long as two years and could be marked by a decline of 20% or more.

Read Full Article
[Editor's Note : As this bear-market analysis demonstrates, Money Morning Contributing Writer Jon D. Markman has a unique view of both the world economy and the global financial markets. With uncertainty the watchword and volatility the norm in today's markets, low-risk/high-profit investments will be tougher than ever to find.
It will take a seasoned guide to uncover those opportunities.

Markman is that guide.

In the face of what's been the toughest market for investors since the Great Depression, it's time to sweep away the uncertainty and eradicate the worry. That's why investors subscribe to Markman's Strategic Advantage newsletter every week: He can see opportunity when other investors are blinded by worry.
Subscribe to Strategic Advantage and hire Markman to be your guide. For more information, please click here.]

Pocket Fast 2,840% Gains... Starting 24 Hours From Now
Our research team has unearthed an opportunity to begin pocketing as much as 2,840% gains... before the next market correction. It has to do with one tiny mining company - and one enormous discovery. The company has found an estimated $49.2 billion worth of the most strategic metal on earth today. It's not gold or uranium. But the Daily Mail calls this substance "a wonder."
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It's Time to Tackle Government Pay
By Martin Hutchinson, Contributing Editor, Money Morning
It's fairly well known that the U.S. public sector is paid more than the private sector. What's less well known is that the gap between federal-employee pay and benefits and private-sector pay and benefits is increasing - by about 18% over the last decade.
Given the current level of U.S. unemployment and the size of the budget deficit, it would appear that some economies could be made. In short, it's time to tackle government pay.
After all, if Greece can economize, so can the United States...

Read the Full Story Here