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Archive for the ‘On Headlines’ Category

Long (Market) Update

In On Headlines, Size: Venti on October 16, 2008 at 2:43 am

And it’s another down day today. Surprise. Monday’s big rally, rising by 936.42- the biggest ever- almost got wiped out after yesterday’s drop of 76 points and today’s tenfold drop of 733.08 to 8,577.91. NASDAQ fell by 150.48 to settle at 1,628.33 and S&P also headed south by 9% to close at 907.84. Some facts: Monday’s rally is the biggest since the spring of 33 and last week’s more than 2000 point drop was the biggest since the summer of the same year. The volatility index, VIX, which basically reflects people’s fear of the market shoots up again to 69.25 after two days of hovering under 60.

People attribute the drop to two main things: hedge fund liquidation as well as the negative retails figured taken from the Fed’s Beige Book released earlier today. In this crisis, hedge funds are some of the biggest casualties and more of them are expected to go out of business in the coming days. As investors seek to get their money back, hedge fund managers scramble to take their positions out, in effect, creating an oversold market. Monday’s historic rise, people say, is still not the beginning of another bullish market. It was simply a bear rally.

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Finance: I just can’t get enough.

In Interesting, On Headlines, Size: Grande on September 19, 2008 at 5:16 pm

The financial tsunami, as many so aptly describe how things are going at the moment, has found me more glued to TV than ever. I have been glued for weeks but since Sunday night, when Lehman Brothers reported to file for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch announced selling itself to BofA, being a couch bed potato has never felt so gratifying. Having to follow the DJIA, NAS, S&P and hundreds others of stocks go up and down; grasp, learn and re-learn financial concepts; and focus on discussions and catch up with what is being said could only confirm that there is a big finance geek in me hiding (not quite secretly so) and waiting to come out. I have honestly found it challenging to completely follow the CNBC star troopers debunk the issues surrounding the financial meltdown that’s not only hitting Wall Street but also Main Street. I found inherent beauty in seeing the fluctuation/volatility in the markets, with the Dow plunging more than 500 points Monday, up 300 Tuesday, down Wednesday, up Thursday, and so far, Friday, up another 410 points. Include there the intra-day up and downs and you have a really exciting story. If the Dow finishes higher than 404 points today, then we’ll end up on the same level or higher than when Monday opened- as if nothing happened. How’s that for an exciting turn out of events? I would like to think that the Fed and Treasury have managed to deal with things quite well to reduce the fear and panic that is continuously killing Wall Street. Tuning in to CNBC for as long as I’m awake every day, I couldn’t help but also be impressed with the competence and expertise of people- Santelli, Liesman, Faber, Ratigan, Macke, Pisani, Bartiromo, Carusso-Herrera, Gasparino… Surprising are information that concern 30/40-to-1 bank leveraging, stock price drops of more than 50% to 90% in a short time span, record-breaking jump in volatility (.VIX), rumored demise of even the top two (and only survivors) of this crisis, government bailout and infusions of trillions of dollars, money market funds breaking the buck- I just can’t get enough. The TV serves as my wake-up call (I set it to turn itself on at around 930am), practically starting my day with financial news and while it doesn’t become a sleeping pill for me, heck no, it doesn’t take a rest until about 12 midnight, when the re-run of Fast Money, now my favorite show, ends. Re-runs… yes, sometimes I watch them again just to make sure I understand critical issues and points (yes, the challenge I mentioned earlier being that I don’t get things the first time around). I even download the video podcast. Not only is it a highly informative show, but there are personalities there who just crack me up. Ah finance… I just can’t get enough.

PS I should have paid more attention in my boring classes before.

Part 2: Georgia responds

In On Headlines, Size: Venti on August 28, 2008 at 8:15 am

This was an article written by Georgian president Saakashvili presumably as a response to yesterday’s column by Medvedev. Also from the FT.

Moscow’s plan is to redraw the map of Europe

Published: August 27 2008

Any doubts about why Russia invaded Georgia have now been erased. By illegally recog­nising the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, made clear that Moscow’s goal is to redraw the map of Europe using force.

This war was never about South Ossetia or Georgia. Moscow is using its invasion, prepared over years, to rebuild its empire, seize greater control of Europe’s energy supplies and punish those who believed democracy could flourish on its borders. Europe has reason to worry. Thankfully, most of the international community has condemned the invasion and confirmed their unwavering support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Our first duty is to highlight Russia’s Orwellian tactics. Moscow says it invaded Georgia to protect its citizens in South Ossetia. Over the past five years it cynically laid the groundwork for this pretence, by illegally distributing passports in South Ossetia and Ab­khazia, “manufacturing” Russian citizens to protect. The cynicism of Russia’s concern for ethnic minorities can be expressed in one word: Chechnya.

This cynicism has become hypocritical and criminal. Since Russia’s invasion, its forces have been “cleansing” Georgian villages in both regions – including outside the conflict zone – using arson, rape and execution. Human rights groups have documented these actions. Moscow has flipped the Kosovo precedent on its head: where the west acted to prevent ethnic cleansing, in Georgia ethnic cleansing is being used by Russia to consolidate its military annexation.

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Part 1: Russia talks back

In On Headlines, Size: Venti on August 28, 2008 at 8:13 am

This appeared in The Financial Times yesterday Aug 26 and was written by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev

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Why I had to recognise Georgia’s breakaway regions

Published: August 26 2008

On Tuesday Russia recognised the independence of the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It was not a step taken lightly, or without full consideration of the consequences. But all possible outcomes had to be weighed against a sober understanding of the situation – the histories of the Abkhaz and Ossetian peoples, their freely expressed desire for independence, the tragic events of the past weeks and inter­national precedents for such a move.

Not all of the world’s nations have their own statehood. Many exist happily within boundaries shared with other nations. The Russian Federation is an example of largely harmonious coexistence by many dozens of nations and nationalities. But some nations find it impossible to live under the tutelage of another. Relations between nations living “under one roof” need to be handled with the utmost sensitivity.

After the collapse of communism, Russia reconciled itself to the “loss” of 14 former Soviet republics, which became states in their own right, even though some 25m Russians were left stranded in countries no longer their own. Some of those nations were un­able to treat their own minorities with the respect they deserved. Georgia immediately stripped its “autonomous regions” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia of their autonomy.

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The War in Georgia

In On Headlines, Size: Venti on August 12, 2008 at 6:20 am

A friend posted a link as his status on facebook leading to an editorial written on the Wall Street journal by Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili about the ongoing war against Russia. I thought it is something worth sharing.

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The War in Georgia Is a War for the West

As I write, Russia is waging war on my country.

On Friday, hundreds of Russian tanks crossed into Georgian territory, and Russian air force jets bombed Georgian airports, bases, ports and public markets. Many are dead, many more wounded. This invasion, which echoes Afghanistan in 1979 and the Prague Spring of 1968, threatens to undermine the stability of the international security system.

Why this war? This is the question my people are asking. This war is not of Georgia’s making, nor is it Georgia’s choice.

The Kremlin designed this war. Earlier this year, Russia tried to provoke Georgia by effectively annexing another of our separatist territories, Abkhazia. When we responded with restraint, Moscow brought the fight to South Ossetia.

Ostensibly, this war is about an unresolved separatist conflict. Yet in reality, it is a war about the independence and the future of Georgia. And above all, it is a war over the kind of Europe our children will live in. Let us be frank: This conflict is about the future of freedom in Europe.

No country of the former Soviet Union has made more progress toward consolidating democracy, eradicating corruption and building an independent foreign policy than Georgia. This is precisely what Russia seeks to crush.

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Ateneo TA found dead

In On Headlines, Size: Tall on July 1, 2008 at 6:00 pm

I saw this report from my INQ email update by accident, because I usually don’t read what’s in it. I tried to remember who he is but no face I can recall. Apparently, he’s from the same batch and from the same school. SOM, ME, 2006.

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Ateneo teaching assistant found dead in schoolroom

Cops find signs victim killed himself

By Marlon Ramos
First Posted 03:29:00 07/01/2008

MANILA, Philippines – A teaching assistant of Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) was found dead on the campus Monday in what the police said was a case of suicide.

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Viva Espana!

In On Headlines, Size: Grande on June 30, 2008 at 7:36 am

Today in Vienna, Austria, Germany and Spain faced each other again for the European Championship. Looking back at some numbers and history, they odds were against Espana. During the penalty shootout between Italy and Spain, the latter had a horrible record. The day was June 22. On 3 different occasions, Spain lost in PKs. First, Jun 22 1988. In a World Cup match against Belgium, the Spaniards lost 5-4 during the quarterfinals. Second, on Jun 22 1996, they lost again on PK. Finally, in 2002, South Korea defeated Spain again, 5-3. It was also a quarterfinal match. I somehow expected for a 4th this year. But they surpassed that.

Looking at Spain’s success in the Euros, they managed to grab the trophy only once in the entire 48-year history of the competition (13th this year) whereas Germany had already won it 3 times. Hence, another challenge for the team. But after 2 hours of play, 1 unanswered goal from Fernando Torres, and 100% hard work, all I can say is, OLE OLE OLE OLE! Viva Espana! Spain have been crowned the new European champions. It was a good decision on my side to have woken up early (915am) and head for a British pub, taking an hour bus ride.

What I always loved about watching a match in a pub was the atmosphere of the crowd. Countless times did we all shout, Es-pan-ya! Es-pan-ya! Es-pan-ya! It truly didn’t suffice we had to cheer the classic, OLE, OLE, OLE OLE OLE OLE! The pub surely had more Spanish fans than the Germans did but both sides were eagerly waiting for our respective teams to score. But in the 32nd minute, Fernando Torres became Espana’s hero when he kicked the ball past keeper Lehman. That proved enough for the country to gain the victory. Honestly, I was hoping for a much more tensed game. 2-2 by the end of 90 or even ET then PK victory for Spain. That woulda been AWESOME.

Gotta love the day still. Sweet victory. Sweet experience. Sweet everything.

The victory is ours.