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Sep 21, 2010

EUROPEAN GOLD CENTRE . GOLD VIEW - ALERT

E  U  R  O  P  E  A  N   G  O  L  D   C  E  N  T  R E
    G O L D V I E W - A L E R T
    O F F E R S   Y O U   W O R T H W H I L E   R E A D I N G
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear reader.

GOLDVIEW-ALERT features a quality article of a quality author on the subject of gold, other metals and minerals, resource companies or resource investments, just anything that relates to our field. It will be sent out as stand-alone issue and offered to you on a complimentary basis. These articles may confirm or even contradict my own views, but will always be worthwhile reading.
In this issue, you will find two names that should be familiar to you because I have included comments of them in previous issues of GOLDVIEW. Frank Holmes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of U.S. Global Investors, a boutique investment advisor specializing in natural resources and global emerging markets and managing some of the largest precious metals funds, is relaying how he looks at the comments of Martin Murenbeeld, Chief Economist for Dundee Wealth Economics and one of the most notorious and best analysts on gold with a remarkable record of having been right on gold so many times.
Thanking Frank for his permission and of course also Martin for his sharp mind, I am glad to be sharing this worthwhile reading with you.

Kind regards,
Henk J. Krasenberg





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MarketWatch : Personal Finance Daily .-Investing to build wealth, or for the thrill. Sept. 21st., 2010


MarketWatch

Personal Finance Daily
SEPTEMBER 21, 2010

Tuesday's Personal Finance stories

Don't miss these top stories:


By MarketWatch






Have you ever bet on a racehorse and lost? How about this: Have you ever bet your child's entire college savings on a racehorse and lost?

Read Mark Hulbert's column to find out more about one adviser who essentially did just that — betting the college fund on one pharmaceutical firm, right before an FDA committee voted against approving a drug the company is developing.

As Hulbert notes, there are thrill-seeking investors and there are those eager to adopt wealth-building strategies. It's your choice, but it's important to be clear about why you're doing what you're doing before you double down.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor

Adviser goes for broke — and loses

Michael Murphy gives new meaning to the phrase "going for broke." Murphy, of course, is the editor of an investment-advisory service called New World Investor. Among several portfolios that he sometimes reports on in his service, one is a college fund that he created for his 7-year old daughter. He typically allocates 100% of this portfolio at any given time to just one security.
Read more on adviser goes for broke, and loses.

TAXES

What to know about home-sale tax rules

What are the chances that Congress will ease the rules on how long you have to own your home and live in it to qualify for the most favorable capital-gains tax treatment when you sell it?
Read more on what to know about home-sale tax rules.

COLLEGE COSTS

College finance: Test your knowledge

The school year is under way and while college might still be in the distant future, it's not too early to start thinking about how you're going to pay for your child's education. Test your college financing IQ with our quiz.
Read more on college finance: test your knowledge.

CAREERS

Managing the future workplace? Start here

The last three years have seen an unprecedented financial crisis leading to the deepest economic downturn since the 1930s. In the process, the very foundations of capitalism have been upended.
Read more on managing the future workplace? Start here.

REAL ESTATE

U.S. housing starts jump 10.5% in August

New housing starts surged 10.5% in August to the highest level since spring, but the activity was driven by a sharp spike in apartment construction, government data showed.
Read more on U.S. housing starts jump 10.5% in August.

HEALTH CARE

Egg firms face Congress on Wednesday

The head of the company at the center of the massive egg recall will face tough questions from congressional investigators on Wednesday amid new data suggesting its Iowa facilities have had rampant problems with salmonella.
Read more on egg firms face Congress on Wednesday.

ECONOMY & POLITICS

Fed warns on deflation, and holds rates steady

The Federal Reserve warned it was concerned about the potential outbreak of deflation, laying the groundwork for buying government bonds at future meetings.
Read more on Fed warns on deflation, and holds rates steady.

Commentary: Recession's ‘end' means relapse

The umpire of the business cycle has called the recession over, but the players want to review the tape.
Read more on recession's ‘end' means relapse.

INVESTING

Gold and emerging-market ETFs still shine

With gold trading above its 200-day moving average, investors can still get a nice ride with either the metal or the mining companies in this uncertain economy, according to Tom Lydon, editor of ETF Trends and author of the "ETF Trend Following Playbook."
Read more on gold and emerging-market ETFs still shine.

New hedge funds lack fuel for big launches

This week, more than 100 budding new hedge-fund managers will meet prospective investors in Rye, N.Y., to try to persuade them to hand over some of their capital.
Read more on new hedge funds lack fuel for big launches.

Commentary: ‘Money Never Sleeps' is no snooze

"I'll make you a deal," Michael Douglas's Gordon Gekko says to a rival who is equal parts Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon. "You quit telling lies about me and I'll quit telling the truth about you."
Read more on ‘Money Never Sleeps' is no snooze.

Investors get a September surprise

Stocks over the past three weeks have defied the conventional wisdom about the weakness of September and blazed a path higher. If there is one thing that Mr. Market loves to do, it's poke the pundits in the eye — and he has done that with both hands this month.
Read more on investors get a September surprise.

Commentary: Hatred is killing your profits, retirement

"During the past decade America went from being an essentially optimistic nation to being an essentially pessimistic one, and finally one that seems to be just plain angry all the time. We are now defined more by what we don't like rather than what we do like," says Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair editor.
Read more on hatred is killing your profits, retirement.

Welcome to the New Wild Local Frontier

It might be that in history books, our latest massive financial and economic crisis will be remembered as the apex of the era of intense globalization that shaped the world for the past 30 years.
Read more on welcome to the New Wild Local Frontier.

CNBC EVENING BRIEF : Obama's Key Economic Aide Plans to Leave by End of Year. Sept. 21st., 2010



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F & F I : Reuters- Daily Investor Update: Fed lays groundwork for possible further stimulus. Sept. 21st., 2010



FROM : REUTERS - DAILY INVESTOR UPDATE 


Fed lays groundwork for possible further stimulus
S&P 500 ends down after Fed statement
Housing starts at 4-month high
UBS Americas backs infrastructure bank funded by U.S.
Court revives Mark Cuban insider trading case
Homebuilders extend rally on 10 percent increase in starts
Traders see Fed rate hike in Dec 2011
ConAgra profit misses
BHP says would walk away if Potash bids go too high
FDIC to vote on how to liquidate firms

NYT . AFTERNOON BUSINESS NEWS: Chinese Business Gains Foothold in Eastern Europe. Sept. 21st. 2010.



BUSINESS:

Chinese Business Gains Foothold in Eastern Europe

 
By JUDY DEMPSEY
Chinese companies are buying into real estate, investing in manufacturing and competing for public infrastructure contracts.
DealBook

Court Reinstates S.E.C. Case Against Mark Cuban

 
By DEALBOOK
A federal appeals court reinstated the insider trading case against the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, which had been dismissed more than a year ago.

New Wave Pioneer Aids an Accused Downloader

 
By ERIC PFANNER
A Frenchman convicted for illegally downloading music on the Internet has found an unlikely patron: Jean-Luc Godard, the director of "Breathless.''

UniCredit's Chief Executive Resigns Under Pressure

 
By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO and MATTHEW SALTMARSH
The future of the chief of Unicredit was hanging in the balance as the lender's board met amid unease from the banking foundations that are among the bank's largest long-term shareholders.
Bits

Twitter Is Hacked

 
By RIVA RICHMOND
Twitter was overrun on Tuesday with tweets that used a programming flaw to play pranks and spread worms to unsuspecting Twitter users.

RTTNews Evening Market Wrap : Stocks End Mostly Lower After Fed Announcement - U.S. Commentary . Sept. 21st., 2010

Evening Market Wrap Tue Sep 21 17:01 2010  

Commentary

Sep 21, 2010 Stocks End Mostly Lower After Fed Announcement - U.S. Commentary While the markets initially rallied following the Federal Reserve's interest rate announcement on Tuesday, stocks were unable to sustain the upward move and slid back to the downside going into the close, ending the day mostly lower. Full Article

Economic News

Sep 21, 2010 Housing Starts Show Substantial Increase In August Housing starts increased by much more than expected in the month of August, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, with the data likely to offset some of the recent concerns about the outlook for the housing market. The report showed that housing starts surged up by 10.5 percent to an annual rate of 598,000 in August from the revised July estimate of 541,000. Economists had expected starts to edge up to an annual rate of 550,000. Full Article

Forex Commentary

Sep 21, 2010 Dollar Tumbles As Fed Hints At More Support The dollar fell sharply versus other major currencies Tuesday afternoon, following the Federal Reserve's comments indicating a willingness to embark on another round of quantitative easing if the economy remains in the dumps. With the economic recovery losing momentum amid lingering weakness in the housing and jobs markets, the Fed elected to maintain its key interest rate near zero and said it is prepared to provide additional accommodation if needed. Full Article

The Washington Post Afternoon Edition;: Most Read Articles

 

Most Viewed Articles on washingtonpost.com

1) Republicans, bewitched

Christine O'Donnell's confessesion to have 'dabbled into witchcraft' explains what's happened to the GOP.

2) Fearing a soaring deficit, many analysts favor letting Bush tax cuts expire

The tax cuts at the heart of a fierce pre-election battle on Capitol Hill were designed when the economy was booming, the federal budget was in surplus and George W. Bush was campaigning for president on a promise to return the extra cash to taxpayers.

3) Tea party picking up steam nationwide

Fresh off big primary wins in Delaware and Alaska, national "tea party" groups are redirecting the energy of the movement toward the November midterm elections, raising millions of dollars, expanding their advocacy into dozens of congressional races and building voter turnout operations nationwide.

4) More details emerge about bodies buried in wrong Arlington plots

The mystery of missing bodies at the nation's most hallowed military burial ground keeps getting more troubling.

5) Newt's sharia scare

That Gingrich invents an enemy, and then questions why others haven't killed it, is absurd.

6) Restaurants put obesity on the menu

KFC's Double Down sandwich: two pieces of bacon, two slices of cheese and "Colonel's Sauce," with two thick filets of fried chicken functioning as the bun, almost qualifies as health food compared to these chain restaurants' offerings.

7) WJLA-TV fires veteran anchor Doug McKelway

WJLA-TV has fired veteran anchorman Doug McKelway for a verbal confrontation this summer with the station's news director that came after McKelway broadcast a sharply worded live report about congressional Democrats and President Obama.

8) Children of al-Qaeda in Iraq pay for sins of their fathers

Zahraa is a rambunctious toddler. She still sucks on a pacifier and her mother dresses her in pink. But according to the government, she does not exist.

9) Fears over modified salmon voiced

Environmental organizations, consumer groups and independent researchers assailed the plans of a Massachusetts company to market the first genetically modified animal as food in the United States - an Atlantic salmon - and argued at a public meeting Monday that federal regulators should deny...

10) After two games, Redskins running game has ground to a halt

Since arriving in town, Mike Shanahan has stressed the importance of the team's commitment to running the ball, but the Redskins' play-calling in the first two games has rarely reflected it.

FOX BREAKING NEWS : Housing Starts Jump 10.5%.Sept. 21st., 2010

Home Construction / House Starts [276]

A Small Business Death Sentence?

Taxed to Death The estate tax is scheduled to rise to 55% on estates worth over $1 million -- and that could mean big trouble for small businesses.

Traders Focus on Fed

Futures shifted between positive and negative territory as Wall Street waits for the FOMC's policy decision.

ConAgra's 1Q Earnings Disappoint

ConAgra Foods reported lower-than-expected earnings and lowered its full-year forecast.

U.K. Official Warns Banks on Bonuses

U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned banks that the government could take 'very serious action' if they dish out big bonuses.

RTTNews Daily Market Analysis: Caution Likely Even As Housing Data Encourages

Daily Market Analysis Tue Sep 21 09:11 2010 

Sep 21, 2010 Caution Likely Even As Housing Data Encourages - RTTNews Daily Market Analysis The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a modestly higher opening on Tuesday, with sentiment improving following the release of a report that showed a bigger than expected increase in housing starts. That said, the underlying mood is likely to be cautious amid the FOMC monetary policy announcement. With traders expecting the Fed to at least vaguely hint at quantitative easing, a lack of any such indication could lead to some selling, especially in the form of profit taking following the previous two session's gains. Full Article

RTTNews Morning Market Briefing : Stocks On Pace For Modest Gains Following Upbeat Housing Data - U.S. Commentary . Sept. 21st., 2010

Morning Market Briefing Tue Sep 21 09:01 2010 

Commentary

Sep 21, 2010 Stocks On Pace For Modest Gains Following Upbeat Housing Data - U.S. Commentary Stock futures are pointing to a modestly higher open on Tuesday, as housing starts data came in better than expected ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate announcement scheduled for this afternoon. The major index futures are all in positive territory, with the Dow futures up by 18 points. Full Article

Economic News

Sep 21, 2010 Housing Starts Rise Much More Than Expected In August Housing starts increased by much more than expected in the month of August, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, with the data likely to offset some of the recent concerns about the outlook for the housing market. Full Article
Sep 21, 2010 UK Public Sector Net Borrowing Surges In August Britain's public sector net borrowing reached a record high for the month of August, raising concern over the capability of the government to meet the target as laid out in the June Budget. Full Article

Earnings News

Sep 21, 2010 AutoZone Q4 profit up 14%Tuesday, AutoZone Inc. (AZO) reported a 13.9% rise in profit for the fourth quarter, reflecting a 9.5% growth in sales. Same store sales went up 6.7% year-over-year. During the period, AutoZone opened 80 new stores and replaced one store in the U.S. and opened 26 new stores in Mexico. Full Article
Sep 21, 2010 FactSet Research Q4 profit rises 8%; guides Q1Tuesday, FactSet Research Systems Inc. (FDS) reported an 8% climb in its fourth-quarter profit, reflecting an 8.2% growth in revenue, and tax benefits. Looking ahead, the company provided outlook for the first quarter. Full Article
Sep 21, 2010 ConAgra Foods Q1 profit down 12%, misses Street; hikes annual dividend by 15%Tuesday, ConAgra Foods, Inc. (CAG) reported a 11.8% drop in profit for the first quarter, as revenue dipped 2.4% from last year. Adjusted earnings per share came in below the Street view. The company said that margins and profits were lower than planned due to intense promotional environment and inflation that offset cost savings. However, the company boosted its annual dividend payment by 15%. Further, ConAgra revised its fiscal 2011 outlook to 5-7% EPS growth. Full Article

Corporate News

Sep 21, 2010 Imax to open 15 theaters in ChinaMonday, Imax Corp. (IMAX) said it signed a deal with a subsidiary of South Korea’s CJ CGV Co. to open 15 Imax systems in China. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the firm said it would trade a lower up-front fee than it receives in a typical sales deal for a larger share of the box office generated by the theaters. Full Article
Sep 21, 2010 HP and ex-CEO Hurd bury the hatchetMonday Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) said it has settled a lawsuit filed against its former chief executive Mark Hurd for breach of contract and threatened misappropriation of trade secrets, following Hurd's decision to join Oracle Corp. (ORCL) as co-president. Hurd agreed to waive his rights to about 346 thousand restricted stock units, and also agreed to protect HP’s confidentiality while offering his services at Oracle. Full Article

Todays WS Events

Sep 21, 2010 Merck To Present At UBS Global Life Sciences Conference; Webcast At 9:30 AM ET Merck & Co Inc. (MRK) will present at UBS Global Life Sciences Conference in Grand Hyatt, New York. The event is scheduled to begin at 9:30 AM ET, September 21, 2010. To access the webcast, log on to http://cc.talkpoint.com/ubsx001/092110a_lv/?entity=41_XT7P004
Sep 21, 2010 AutoZone Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call At 10:00 AM ET AutoZone Inc. (AZO) will host a conference call at 10:00 AM ET, September 21, 2010, to discuss its Q4 10 financial results. To access the live webcast, log on at www.autozoneinc.com The call can also be accessed by dialing (210) 839-8923. For replay of the call, dial (203) 369-1211.
Sep 21, 2010 Walt Disney To Present At Goldman Sachs Communacopia XIX Conference; Webcast At 12:50 PM ET Walt Disney Co. (DIS) will make a presentation at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia XIX Conference. The event is scheduled to begin at 12:50 PM ET, September 21, 2010. To access the live webcast, log on at www.disney.com/investors
Sep 21, 2010 Yahoo To Present At Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference; Webcast At 4:10 PM ET Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) CEO, Carol Bartz, will present at Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. The event is scheduled to begin at 4:10 PM ET, September 21, 2010. To access the live webcast, log on at http://yhoo.client.shareholder.com/events.cfm?CalendarID=5
Sep 21, 2010 Adobe Systems Q3 10 Earnings Conference Call At 5:00 PM ET Adobe Systems Inc (ADBE) will host a conference call at 5:00 PM ET, September 21, 2010, to discuss its Q3 10 earnings performance. To participate in the webcast, log on to www.adobe.com/ADBE

MarketWatch Special Financial Services: Movers & Shakers: Tuesday’s biggest gaining and declining stocks. Sept. 21st., 2010

MarketWatch
SPECIAL  FINANCIAL SERVICES)
 
Movers & Shakers: Tuesday’s biggest gaining and declining stocks
 
By MarketWatch


Stocks expected to move significantly in trading on Tuesday include ConAgra, Exar, Imax and Vivus. 


 
By MarketWatch


Shares of China Strategic Holdings Ltd. drop after the company and its consortium partner Primus Financial Holdings terminate their planned $2.15 billion acquisition of Taiwan’s Nan Shan Life Insurance Co. from American International Group Inc. 

F & F I : Reuters Before The Bell . Sept. 21st., 2010


 
FROM : REUTERS - BEFORE THE BELL



Stock futures flat ahead of Fed meeting
Fed to debate easing but seen likely to hold off
BHP's Potash bid seen running into next year
IATA sees sharp rebound by global airlines this year
BlackRock sees slower global econ recovery in H2
HP and Hurd settle lawsuit over hiring at Oracle
New sale looms for AIG Taiwan unit as bid collapses
Clothing firm Urban Brands files for Chapter 11
IBM to buy analytics company Netezza for $1.7 billion
Variety is the spice of Toys R Us holiday picks

Ezra Klein's Wonkbook :Bush tax cuts could balance the budget; Obama hints at payroll tax; defunding HCR will be hard. Sept. 21st., 2010



 Tuesday, September 21, 2010
 
Wonkbook: Bush tax cuts could balance the budget; Obama hints at payroll tax; defunding HCR will be hard Here's a fact that should dominate much of next week's debate over taxes: Letting the Bush tax cuts expire would be just about enough to hit Obama's goal of balancing the budget (minus interest payments) by 2015. That's all they'd need: One non-act. Better: There'd be no sixty-vote threshold. You'd just need a veto of any extension bills and 34 votes to protect the veto in the Senate. And it's not as if there are no compromises available here. If Congress doesn't want to do it while the economy is weak, but could commit to doing it in two or three years, that would be almost as good.
But nobody thinks it'll happen. With the exception of retiring Sen. George Voinovich, few politicians have broached the possibility publicly. Congress's deficit hawks have not clamored for this idea. Republicans who warn about mounting debt have not embraced it (or, for all their talk of spending cuts, come up with any proportionate to their tax cut plan). Democrats who never wanted Bush's tax cuts and currently support the fiscal commission have no intention of getting behind a tax increase. In Washington, deficits are abstract. Taxes are real. If the much-feared bond market had designed a test to see whether we were serious about reducing the long-term deficit or whether we were just using deficit rhetoric as a partisan cudgel, it couldn't have done better than this. And we're failing.
Welcome to Wonkbook.
Top Stories

Letting the Bush tax cuts expire would close most of the budget deficit in the long run, reports Lori Montgomery: "Official and independent budget estimates show that letting tax rates spring back to pre-Bush levels for all taxpayers would bring the country within striking distance of meeting President Obama's goal of balancing the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015...A paper to be released Tuesday by the Center for American Progress (CAP) shows how difficult it would be to stabilize the debt solely through spending cuts. If all the tax cuts were extended, Congress would have to cut $325 billion in 2015 alone to get the deficit down to Obama's target of 3 percent of the gross domestic product. If the cuts were preserved only for the household incomes less than $250,000 a year, as Obama has proposed, Congress would still have to cut $255 billion."
Obama told a CNBC Town Hall may ditch his economic team and back a payroll tax holiday, reports Jonathan Weisman: "Obama also told Scaramucci the White House may still propose a temporary cut to Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes to encourage new hiring. Asked about the future of his economic team, the president praised Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers, but he said: 'I have not made any determinations about personnel. I think Larry Summers and Tim Geithner have done an outstanding job, as have my whole economic team. This is tough, the work that they do. They’ve been at it for two years. And, you know, they’re going to have a whole range of decisions about family that’ll factor into this as well.'"
Read a transcript of the event: http://bit.ly/cgbvLR
Defunding health-care reform may be harder than Republicans think, reports Carrie Budoff Brown: "Experts -- and even some Republicans -- say a GOP-controlled Congress next year would have to struggle to erase nearly $1 trillion in health reform spending over 10 years with the flick of a pen. Key parts of the bill, like new Medicaid entitlements, would require free-standing legislation, not merely routine changes during the appropriations process...'I wouldn’t dismiss it, but I would be surprised if it actually happened,' said Gail Wilensky, administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration from 1990 to 1992 under former President George H.W. Bush."
Indie video interlude: Sleigh Bells' "Infinity Guitars".
Still to come: The recession officially ended last summer; Bingaman and Brownback to introduce bipartisan renewable energy bill; genetically engineered salmon nears approval; and a class for kids to learn important Jedi skills.
Economy/FinReg

The recession ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, reports Neil Irwin: "In other words, economic activity peaked at the end of 2007, fell for a year and a half, and has been rising since then. But it hasn't risen back to its pre-recession levels yet. Moreover, the committee said, 'any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007.' The committee moves slowly and cautiously in its pronouncements, aiming not to characterize the economy in real time but rather to establish historical benchmarks for when periods of economic expansion and contraction begin and end."
A Wall Street Journal graphic summarizes the Fed's current asset holdings: http://bit.ly/9KOBC9
Bureaucracy is preventing stimulus money from being spent, report Louise Radnofsky: "Weatherization isn't the only stimulus infrastructure project slowed by bureaucracy. Awards worth $8 billion for high-speed rail connections were announced in January, but the Federal Railroad Administration has only distributed 7% of the funds to date. Much of the money is being held up as state and railroad officials struggle to hammer out partnership deals with railroad companies. Few recipients of awards to expand the nation's broadband network have actually started laying cables; the rest are performing work such as environmental assessments and getting local approvals to attach fiber to utility poles."
A major mortgage lender is suspending evictions: http://bit.ly/aG1Rwx
Good bond ratings suggest Europe's bailout is succeeding, reports David Jolly: "The European Financial Stability Facility, as the fund is known, was rated AAA by Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. The ratings are preliminary because no member state has yet called on the facility for help, and it has thus issued no debt. 'The central scenario for me and euro zone finance ministers is that we don’t need to become operational,' Klaus Regling, the stability fund’s chief executive, told Reuters on Monday. He said there was no point in the fund’s issuing bonds unless and until it was called upon to help a member state."
Foreign investors may be part of the federal government's GM sell off: http://bit.ly/cVbxEF
Capital gains tax cuts are an effective job creation tool, argues Allen Sinai: "Taken to its logical conclusion, moving to a zero capital gains tax rate would have an even bigger effect, increasing growth in real GDP by over 0.2 percentage points per year and approximately 1.3 million additional jobs per year...The net impact on the federal budget deficit of a reduction in the capital gains tax rate to 0% is a decline in tax receipts of $23 billion per year after the positive effects of stronger economic growth on payroll, personal and corporate income taxes are taken into account."
Gerald Seib sees a test for protectionist politics in Ohio: http://bit.ly/bkF3OQ
Robert Shiller explains why we may be in deep economic pain for another seven years: "Reinharts and Rogoff found, for example, that median annual growth rates of real per capita GDP for advanced countries were one percentage point lower in the decade following a crisis, while median unemployment rates were five percentage points higher. How did this happen? They note that, in general, debt levels and leverage rose during the decade preceding these crises, propelling increases in asset prices for a long time. Reinhart and Rogoff describe a 'this time is different syndrome' during the pre-crisis boom, whereby these bubbles are allowed to continue for far too long, because people think that past episodes are irrelevant."
Great moments in education interlude: Maryland kids learn how to use light sabers.
Energy

Jeff Bingaman and Sam Brownback will introduce a renewable energy bill together, reports Jason Voorhees: "Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) will formally unveil their bill in the Capitol, according to Bingaman’s office. The actual legislation is expected to be a version of the RES that came out of Bingaman’s panel last year, possibly with a few minor tweaks. That bill would require utilities to provide 15 percent of their power from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2021."
Tom Carper and Lamar Alexander's bill targeting power plant emissions is dead: http://politi.co/cy8f2v
Environmentalists are switching to defense, reports Jason Voorhees: "'Our top priority is defeating Proposition 23,' said Tony Massaro, senior vice president of political affairs for the League of Conservation Voters, referring to the California ballot initiative that would undercut the state’s law regulating greenhouse gas emissions. ;That’s our biggest single priority: to hold onto the No. 1 global warming bill in the country.'...Unique or not, the shifting political mood in the country has forced greens’ hands, causing them to reroute money and manpower from challenging industry-friendly lawmakers to protecting their friends in Washington."
Some climate activists are hoping for an Senate Environment Committee without Barbara Boxer: http://politi.co/9mchTg
Freight railroads are opposing high speed rail, reports Jennifer Levitz: "Norfolk Southern Corp., Union Pacific Corp. and other railroad companies are balking at sharing their tracks or rights-of-way with trains that would run between 90 and 200-plus miles an hour. They argue that mixing high-speed passenger trains with slower freight trains would create safety risks, prevent future expansion and cause congestion. Cargo would be pushed to their competitors--trucking firms--the railroads argue, just as freight loads are picking up after the recession. Weekly average carloads in August were the highest since November 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads, the industry's main trade group."
A proposal for a "green bank" is gaining ground on Capitol Hill: http://bit.ly/cmPKcq
Big business is defending California's climate rules, writes Adam Werbach: "As younger workers in forward-looking companies begin to assume management positions, they demand that their employers be ahead of the curve...Companies like General Electric and Google view the clean energy boom as a business opportunity, and must rationalize their policy positions with their business objectives. As new analyst groups, like the Goldman-Sachs Sustain framework, gain more prominence, companies that have more of their portfolio hedged against commodity shocks and climate change will become more highly valued."
Stupid animal tricks interlude: A cat climbs into a pot.
Domestic Policy

A federal advisory committee is leaning toward allowing genetically modified salmon, reports Andrew Pollack: "Committee members, who were not asked to vote on whether the fish should be approved, did not point out anything about the fish that would seem dangerous, despite one study suggesting a possible increase in the potential to cause allergic reactions. They said the chance the fish would escape into the wild was low...Still some panel members did say the studies the F.D.A. relied on to reach its own conclusion that the salmon would be safe were flawed, often using only a few dozen fish or even fewer."
Democratic senators are targeting specific insurers for rate hikes: http://bit.ly/cT9FSD
Higher drug prices could dull the effect of closing the Medicare "doughnut hole", reports David Hilzenrath: "Beginning next year, at the expense of pharmaceutical companies, millions of senior citizens in the Medicare coverage gap known as the 'doughnut hole' will receive 50 percent discounts off the price of brand-name prescription drugs. The government does not control the underlying prices; the law leaves that to the market. 'There is legitimate concern that some manufacturers will steeply increase the price of drugs in order to offset the cost of the discount to the manufacturers at the expense of both consumers and the Medicare program itself,' the Center for Medicare Advocacy and the Medicare Rights Center said in a letter to the agency that oversees the federal health insurance program."
Republicans are expected to outline specific health-care cuts this week: http://nyti.ms/9nEIlp
Corporations and consumer groups are working together on food safety, reports Alicia Mundy: "The coalition lobbying Monday included the Food Marketing Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Snack Food Association and consumer advocates such as the Consumers Union and the Center for Science in the Public Interest. 'The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is too important to delay passage any further,' said Scott Faber, a lobbyist for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, at a news conference. The legislation, which has enjoyed bipartisan support, allows the Food and Drug Administration to mandate stricter food-safety standards among producers and gives the agency power to order food recalls. It passed the House more than a year ago."
Spending in an election can't be treated as a normal business decision, writes Lucien Bebchuk: http://bit.ly/bSnEoK
Help for families is in jeopardy due to the recession, writes Nancy Folbre: "Mothers are even less likely than children to receive assistance. According to a recent report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, only about 12 percent of impoverished adult women with dependent children reported receiving cash assistance from the program in 2008, with even lower rates typical in most states in the South. Federal block grants to the states to support aid to needy families have declined substantially in inflation-adjusted dollars since 1996, and the cash benefits now provided amount to half or less of the poverty level in all states."
Closing credits: Wonkbook compiled with help from Dylan Matthews and Mike Shepard.

NYT MORNING BUSINESS NEWS.- Ex-Physicist Leads Inquiry into Flash Crash. Sept. 21st., 2010


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