Are U.S. Treasury bonds really Triple-A rated? The junk bond market says No.
Let’s look at the current situation. We find that current 10-year domestic junk bonds are trading at only 73 basis points over 10-year U.S. Treasuries. That’s an all-time low spread, mindful that the 20-year moving average of that spread is 474 basis points.
&hearts Outside of oil purchasing, the greenback no longer rules as world's top currency anymore:
The data consolidate news last month that the value of euro notes in circulation had overtaken the dollar for the first time. Outstanding debt issued in the euro was worth the equivalent of $4,836bn at the end of 2006 compared with $3,892bn for the dollar, according to International Capital Market Association data.
Outstanding euro-denominated debt accounts for 45 per cent of the global market,
compared with 37 per cent for the dollar. New issuance last year accounted for 49 per cent of the global total.
The value of the Renminbi (RMB) yuan overtook the HK dollar on Monday for the first time in history. The central parity rate was announced at 0.99945 yuan to one dollar by the Chinese Foreign Exchange Trading System.
Chinese experts believe the yuan will remain superior for the time being as the yuan continues to appreciate. The value of the RMB against the U.S. dollar hit a new high on Monday, with a central parity rate of 7.7938 yuan to one U.S. dollar, breaking the 7.80 mark.
&hearts China's trade with Japan equals trade with USA:
China's trade with Japan topped 207.36 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 12.4 percent from 2005, according to the General Administration of Customs.
The volume more than doubled the 101.91 billion U.S. dollars in2002, and was near 200 times the 1.04 billion U.S. dollars in 1972 when the two nations established diplomatic relations.
&hearts Like clockwork, every time Democrats take over, the government suddenly gets worried about deficit spending:
While he acknowledged the single-year fiscal improvement touted by the Bush administration for 2006, he said that "it did not fundamentally change our long-term fiscal outlook." He also noted that since 2000, America's net social insurance commitments and other fiscal obligations have increased to $50 trillion from $20 trillion, representing four times the nation's total economic output. Rising national health care costs are the greatest culprit according to data collected by Walker's agency.
The head of the GAO also warned that if no action is taken now to control government spending, severe tax hikes could be necessary. He stated that, "balancing the budget in 2040 could require actions as large as cutting total federal spending by 60 percent or raising federal taxes to 2 times today’s level."
&hearts Free spending Bush will now blame Democrats for his budget mess, his plan is to make them propose tax hikes:
When he takes the House rostrum next week for the State of the Union address, President Bush will list among his goals a balanced federal budget, a shift for a president who has presided over record deficits while aggressively cutting taxes.
Politically, analysts say, the president is calling the bluff of Democrats, who won control of Congress in part by accusing Bush of reckless fiscal policies. While Bush now shares the Democrats' goal to erase the deficit by 2012, the politically perilous work of making that happen -- cutting spending or raising taxes -- falls to the Democratic-run Congress.
&hearts This is a replay of the Great Depression's marathon dancing:
A woman who competed in a radio station's contest to see how much water she could drink without going to the bathroom died of water intoxication, the coroner's office said Saturday.
Jennifer Strange, 28, was found dead Friday in her suburban Rancho Cordova home hours after taking part in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest in which KDND 107.9 promised a Nintendo Wii video game system for the winner.
&hearts Replacing the uterus is another medical breakthrough:
Now, doctors are planning the first womb transplant in the United States. A team based in Manhattan has begun screening women left barren by cancer, injuries or other problems who want a chance to bear their own children.
&hearts More proof Alzheimer's disease is mostly hereditary:
Abnormalities in a gene called SORL1 increased the risk for the disease, and this finding could help scientists develop new treatments, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Genetics.
&hearts Red Cross has new, non-religious symbol as future universal icon:
The Red Cross will formally adopt the "red crystal" as an additional emblem on Sunday that can be used to protect humanitarian workers in certain conflict situations, the movement said in a statement on Friday.
The "red crystal" symbol is actually a red square frame standing on one corner. It will join the existing "red cross" and "red crescent" symbols of the Red Cross movement.
&hearts A lady with the ability to see the future (like I have) was convicted of being a 'witch' during WWII in Britain:
The granddaughter of a psychic "medium" convicted of being a witch in Britain during World War II has begun a second campaign to gain a posthumous pardon for Helen Duncan.
"I will carry on fighting to clear her name," said Mary Martin who still vividly remembers being teased on the playground in 1944 as "witch spawn."
&hearts The English make life hell for young women trying to marry their crazy Princes:
The attorneys for Prince William's paparazzi-trailing girlfriend Kate Middleton have secretly filmed the photographers as evidence for any possible harassment claims, The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.
The lawyers for Middleton, who turned 25 last week, have written to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) after filming incidents outside her home and office, and when she arrived at and left nightclubs both with and without the prince, according to the newspaper.
&hearts You have to read this bizarre story from China, it seems a family too poor to pay for a traffic accident took the injured lady into their home to care for her only they all went crazy:
A Shanghai woman killed an elderly woman who was living in her home because she was "too picky about the food she was served and was very bad-tempered."
&hearts Griffith and his stupid 'Mars, bitches!' buddies are tremendously slashing funds for monitoring our very important planet, the Earth:
The government's ability to understand and predict hurricanes, drought and climate changes of all kinds is in danger because of deep cuts facing many Earth satellite programs and major delays in launching some of its most important new instruments, a panel of experts has concluded.
The two-year study by the National Academy of Sciences, released yesterday, determined that NASA's earth science budget has declined 30 percent since 2000. It stands to fall further as funding shifts to plans for a manned mission to the moon and Mars.