Friday, October 31, 2008

Seve Ballesteros making a recovery

Seve is on the improve after his third operation in Madrid-- Former three times British Open golf champion is recovering after undergoing three operations on a brain tumor. Ballesteros was diagnosed with a tumor on Oct. 12 after suffering dizzy spells and was operated on two days later in the La Paz Hospital in Madrid. Complications meant that he needed two further operations, with the final operation lasting for six and a half hours last Saturday. He is currently being kept under sedation in La Paz's intensive care unit, but the latest communique released by the hospital last Wednesday had promising news. "The patient Severiano Ballesteros has shown favorable progress in his neurological situation, although he still needs to remain under the control of the Intensive Care unit," said the statement. Fifty-one-year-old Ballesteros retired from professional golf in 2007 after a career in which he won the British Open on three occasions and the US Masters twice. Seve was so great to watch and an absolute joy for fans......hope he makes it!

Melbourne building developers are in trouble

New reports ( the last 20 mins) are stating that Melbourne building development is expected to come to a virtual standstill with commercial building projects worth billions of dollars frozen by the financial meltdown.
Prominent builders, developers and architects have confirmed retrenchments, with industry giants Mirvac, Multiplex and Lend Lease laying off hundreds of staff in the next few days.

"Anything that is not already coming out of the ground is extremely unlikely to happen at all," said Tony Crabb, investment director with property strategists Savill."

China's web has caught the fly

China's Central Government are keen historians. They know about Vanderbilt in the US and the rise of Pittsburgh as a steel centre..they know about Carnegie and the new technology which enormously catapulted steel production...and they know about J.P.Morgan who injected capital into a fragmented system and de-fragmented it by buying up everything including Carnegie...and bingo no competition. Now that the U.S has stuffed it up the Chinese, ever so patient, are doing the a J.P. Morgan on the U.S. and anywhere they can. Ah..the benefits of study and a long life.. . And America owes them squillions .. Yes the patient stay at home spider has caught the fly and will now eat it. And the teacher..not The Long March but J.P. Morgan. What irony? Would you sell your Oz. resource stocks now? Cheers all DeepLode

Dubai buys Barclays ! Well nearly

Sovereign funds have secured key positions in high profile U.K. assets. Barclays announced today that it will raise 7.3 billion pounds ( No that is not a typo) by selling securities to investors including funds in Abu Dhabi and Qatar to restore capital without entering the U.K.'s bailout plan. The shift in power is clear. It has happened in the U.S.A. The powerful West goes cap in hand to the Middle East and China. There will be a re-bound but not as you may expect. The wealth of Western share holders is being diluted ...but not to the usual culprits. Australia is next maybe.....but what is worth buying? Plenty!

Water Wheel Memsie Shiraz shines again

Tasted the latest Water Wheel Memsie Shiraz tonight (07) It is aged in old oak (two to three year old hogsheads) so the oak influence is subdued. It is full of berry flavours, very smooth texture and ripe Bendigo Region earthy tannins. It's a substantial wine...crafted not thrown together from leftovers as so many"second" labels are and is well priced to boot. $AU12 is about the going price.. We had it with simple char grilled mid loin chops (well trimmed) some very new potatoes and some broad beans tossed in garlic..all from the garden. (The vegies that is not the chops) Fantastic. But better to keep the rest of the dozen for a year.

America quietly changes entry rules

America has quietly changed its entry requirements and global airlines fear there will be ugly scenes at airports in the new year if travellers heading to the US do not get the message about the new rules. While holidaymakers can currently fly to the US and get a visa waiver allowing them to stay for up to 90 days, from January 12 passengers will have to apply in advance for "electronic travel authorisation". Those who fail to get pre-authorisation via a US Government website will not be allowed to board their flight (or cruise ship) . It seems a crazy time to start making it harder to visit a country about to enter a full blown recession. The domestic market will be in negative territory...surely the tourist dollar should be chased not discouraged. Unfortunately the U.S. government has retreated into an isolated island of fear. So much for the success of George's.."Let's make the United States a safer place!!"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

McCain to play hard ball on China

John McCain has stated that he is going to play hard ball on China over Taiwan! Perhaps his advisors should let him know that a Chinese envoy is at this moment in Taiwan (yes in Taiwan!) working out an agreement on future relations....and someone should also tell him that the Dalai Lama has sent an envoy to China (Yes to China!) The world has changed since John last bothered to look. The Republican Party has a track record of dangerously distorted views of the world. Remember the incumbent (now invisible) did not have a passport when he took office!..and thought he was going to a meeting in Austria when in fact he was coming to Australia...but gosh Texas is so great why would you bother going anywhere?
This distorted view of the world led Bush to play hard ball with Iraq(thought they were a push over).....but now hard ball with China? Come on guys, your capacity to play hard ball with China over anything is zilch...I repeat zilch.
Does McCain know that his country is bankrupt and owes China squillions? (thank you George). Play hard ball? go cap in hand more like it! The American people are not going to buy this agressive , tough guy talk any more. They at least know that for the moment they are defeated in more ways than one. And we all want the U.S. back as a strong, moral and credible global entity. Looks like President Obama has a task ahead of him.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Alliance Resources a fully fuelled rocket

Ian Gandel has AGS now fully fuelled and ready to launch. His partners ,the Blue Brothers, are there to help with the count down.
Four Mile (AGS 25%) is a world-class, high-grade uranium deposit.Consider the following

Decision to Mine using ISR methods has been made by Quasar.=Heathgate=General Atomics

Uranium concentrate production to commence in early 2010, ramping up to 3.0 M lb per annum within 3 months.

Access to Beverley plant infrastructure. Satellite plant engineering commenced.

Four Mile deposits have potential for >100 M lb.

Excellent regional potential for further uranium discoveries.

Project has the support of the State government.

Pipeline of 100% owned projects exploring for gold, copper-gold and base metal deposits in southeastern Australia.Including their near production gold mine at Maldon with a fully re-furdished 100% owned treatment plant which has the capacity to take on external treatment of the ore from Castlemaine Mines.

An outstanding buy with upside to $1.65 by next April.

A uranium monster mine from AGS

Alliance Resources (ASX: AGS) today announced a high grade extension to its Beverly Four Mile deposit in South Australia with some grades between 2000ppm & 7800ppm.
This is another extension of the biggest uranium disovery in Australia in more than 20 years.
And the fact that the Blue Brothers and General Atomics through subsidaries are the joint partners must get one's antennas on alert.AGS is a rocket on the launch pad!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Has Owen Hegarty done it again with Citadel?

Citadel today announced great hits from Saudi Arabia...and remember the Saudi Gov't has guaranteed finance for this project.

• RC drilling continues to outline significant gold-rich zones at Jabal Shayban.
• First 3 holes of the current drilling program all returned significant results.
• Assays confirm continuity of primary high-grade gold zones at Shayban, further demonstrating the potential of the prospect to host significant gold resources."

And copper is there also!!

China to bail out Russia

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabo and Russsian PM Putin are making it clear that co-operation between them is on the increase.....and reading between the lines....with an aim of further weakening the financial strength of the U.S. They have signed a border agreement...have signalled more prominence for the yuan and rouble in trade(as opposed to the troubled US$) and the Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft and China National Petroleum Corp have agreed to build a new pipeline to carry 15 million tons a year of oil ( ie 300,000 barrels per day) between the countries' trunk pipelines from 2009.And of course China is "lending" Russia the money to do so. China is going to come out of this crisis (fiasco)with enormous global power and enormous growth. The long march continues.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What's a four put?

Seve made a four put during the 1988 Masters. Asked in the press tent what happened he said....

... "I miss, I miss, I miss......ball goes in!"

Good luck to Seve as he under goes his greatest test.

China's Agricultural Revolution

The significance of the recent decision by the Central Government to allow farmers to "lease their contracted farmland or transfer their land use rights" has been under estimated by Western observers. China's agricultural sector is underdeveloped with small acreages, poorly mechanised and beset by local "official" interference. The reforms will dramaticaly boost the scale of farm production. Large companies, including Australian know how will aggregate holdings and begin modern large scale operations. Sure it will take some time for the economic benefits to flow and there will be a rural labour force which needs to be employed in the mean time.That is precisely why the Central Government has also announced a massive $US292 billion injection into building what will be the best rail system in the world. China found its way out of the Asian melt down by building roads (the capacity of which still outstrips demand) now the rail system. The projects will be a massive source of employment and will be built in time to bolster recovery and support China's developing tourism trade. To the outsider it sometimes looks as if China makes dis-connected policy statements but that is to seriously mis-read the Goverment's intentions.There is a plan...join the dots and don't be too gloomy about Australia's resource exports!
Railway's = iron ore...rolling etc.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

China Construction bank in profit

In amidst all the banking gloom at least one bank is up. China Construction Bank (CCB), the country's third-largest lender made a profit in the third quarter.
CCB's net profits grew 11.95 percent to 25.6 billion yuan ($3.74 billion) from July-September.
Of course the next quarter is critical...but at least the figures coming out of China are more transparent now than the ones out of Wall St and Fleet St etc etc.
The West screwed us!!! Watch China and Australia will benefit!!

China stays pro-active. Scraps taxes. Hold your ASX juniors.

China is continuing its strategies to maintain growth ahead of the West. It announced today that it has has scrapped the tax levied on the interest income of individual stock account balances.
The Government said the decision was aimed at maintaining a stable and healthy development of the capital market.

In another move to boost domestic demand the country has also scrapped the 5 percent individual income tax on savings interest earnings. The long march continues...Don't sell your resource stocks with a market in China.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Passing Cloud that's welcome to linger

Drank a 2005 Passing Clouds Shiraz (Reserve) from the Bendigo region last night and it was a cracker!!!! Lovely berry aromas...well handled tannins,some bush fire smoke in the background and a long, long finish.Graeme Leith has produced a good one here. Hand picked and hand crafted...fantastic.

Another $292 billion to keep China on the go

China is really determined to keep its economy on a growth path. Its State Council has announced today a $292 billion investment in rail infrastructure.

Increasing investment in its fixed assets has remained one of China's main strategies as it moves to maintain its growth against other failing economies. By 2010, the total length of China's railway will reach 90,000 km, according to its Ministry of Railways. It is politically imperative for the Chinese Government to keep employment up as factory production declines.And it will do so.This announcement along with rural reforms and property market re-structure indicates that China will use all available resources to keep it ahead of the West.
Major railway projects will be started almost immediately.In 1997 they kept things on the boil by building all those freeways and the rail system! Keep watching the China phenomenon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bargain basement. Never to be repeated.

I notice that Dr Shane Oliver, of AMP Capital Investors,has stated that he is preparing to borrow against his Sydney home to buy shares. Why? Because buying shares when the ASX 200 is trading at below 4000-point levels offers potentially bigger returns than when the benchmark climbs back above 6000 which it will of course. This is a once in a lifetime global event....and therefore a once in a lifetime opportunity to create wealth. Don't panic. Just buy quality at dump yard prices.

Another US$40 billion to offset foreclosures...determines China asendency

The U.S. is about to announce another US$40 billion rescue package to avoid repossessions in the housing market. More borrowings from the M. E. or China!!!
Follow the cashed up Sovereign funds and get some bargains.Banks, Mining suppliers, near term producers. China is still on the long march

Asia planning a new world order

Asia will turn this financial sector crisis into real opportunities to establish the Region as the leaders in the new world order.Watch them slash interest rates...implement investment breaks...take over failing companies..use their Sovereign funds to buy out the West etc etc.Make sure you place yourself for the Asian explosian.
Near term producers on the ASX will be 10 baggers as commodity prices quickly recover as reserves dwindle. Try BCI, BSM and AGS for starters!!!

Russia is also gone

Russia's currency is falling like a brick already at a two-year low despite billions being spent by Moscow to prop it up. Plus the country's fast-shrinking mountains of reserves and oil revenues are threatening to reduce its credit rating within the next week or so which will accelerate the flight from the ruble. Can Putin and his new billionaires rescue Russia or have they already moved their cash out?

China pursues growth

Hu Jintao tonight 24 Oct 08 at the 7th Asia-Europe Meeting said China would vigorously expand domestic demand, especially consumer demand, maintain economic and financial stability of the domestic market and stability of the capital market, while continuing to promote sound and fast economic and social development.
This all fits with their decision to use their financial strength to develop domestic markets when the rest of the world has lost that capacity.And they will be buying key global assets. Read my China posts!!!

Can a bottle of wine console market loosers?

As I browse wine lists around the world I found this in "cash strapped" London.
"Cue Le Bouchon Breton" is a new French brasserie, Champagne and shellfish bar in Spitalfields market.It is handy to all those "no tomorrow" bankers and can accommodate 320 drinkers and diners. There's a 2001 Petrus for 2,200 pounds ($3,553) if you are feeling lucky.Or optimistic!

Torzi Matthews "Schist Rock"

By sheer chance I found some of this "sold out" gem at Flagstaff Cellars at the top end of William St (ie Melb) It is such a gem. Anyone else a fan?

Is China the last sovereign fund standing? Russia is falling.

Funds are being pulled from Russia as I write and their financial crisis is getting close to Sovereign default. Check global news wires! China may be the last sovereign fund standing!....(We don't know the extent of the M.E exposure just yet) And China is the life line for the Australian economy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

$2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves

China is sitting on $2 trillion foreign exchange reserves. That seems to give them considerable leverage into declining world markets...and the capacity to up their infra structure spending. Combine this with their rural re-structuring and real estate concessions to get the picture of what the Central Government is aiming at!!

China stimulates property market

China has announced that from November 1st it will cut taxes and duties from land transfers as it continues its drive to keep the economy going forward and to steal a march on the West as economies stumble. China is determined to develop its domestic markets as a buffer from falling demand from its major trading parties. They are not immune from the global woes but they sure have a stronger immune system than most.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Uranium stocks go for a run

Uranium stocks went for a run in Canada overnight. Canadian investors have a sophisticated understanding of uranium fundamentals. Our most advanced new producer Alliance Resources (AGS) will soon follow them. It is sitting on the biggest discovery in Australia for the past 20 years at its Beverly 4 Mile deposit.And being in a Joint Venture with Heathgate assures it of sales. Heathgate is a part of Quasar which in turn is owned by General Atomics!!!! Yes the Blue Brothers. Here are some of the movers in Canada...
CAMECO .....+9.67%
PALADIN .....+11.80%
URANIUM ONE .....+10.10%
DENISON MINES .....+5.23%
FIRST URANIUM .....+26.95%
MEGA URANIUM .....+4.63%
ALTIUS ......+5%
UEX CORP .....+2.33%

Monday, October 20, 2008

RBA Chief acknowledges China's growth path

The RBA chief in a talk in Sydney today commented "But even if it slows a lot, it will pick up again in due course and will probably grow pretty strongly, on average, over many years."
This is in line with the growth figures out of China at the weekend. Not sure that a 9.9% continuing growth is any cause for concern The drop in commodity prices has more to do with the antics of Hedge Funds rather than the real economy.

20 billion reasons to be confident

China's GDP for three quarters was over 20 billion yuan...a growth rate of 9.9% only 2% off its previous rate. And the pessimists are forcasting doom on those figures. Maybe they can't comprehend what 9.9% growth means in an growing economy. Let's help them out!
1.Primary production was up by 4.5% Grain production has been up for the past five years.Pig production is up6%
2.Fixed assett investment continues to grow particularly in rural areas where growth is fastest.
3. Domestic retail sales are up 22%.
4.Rural and Urban incomes continue to grow (11% and 7.5%).
5. Savings continue to grow.
6.While industrial production slowed profits increased. (up19%)

Now if all that is a cause for concern then show me the door! The long march continues!

Is 9% growth a negative?

It is amazing that in a global market that is sinking fast a 9% growth in China is considered a negative. Sino phobia is alive and well.China is the only economy capable of rescuing the irresponsibility of the Western model. It is broken and dead..Lets move on!

Kurtz family wines a hidden Barossa gem

Opened a 2005 Shiraz from this Vineyard tonight. WOW. Strong tannins the rest in at least 6 years..plums...Barossa earth...gentle oak..aroma 20 minutes after opening was stronger than the lavender from the garden...and more enticing. Look for it folks.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

China stimulates its economy

China is beginning direct startegies to stimulate its economy.It may cut interest rates for the third time this year after weaker export orders and factory closures for the Olympic Games dampened industrial output. The nation will raise investment in infrastructure and boost export-tax rebates to protect the economy from the increasing risks posed by the financial turmoil, the cabinet said yesterday.

There are no options for the Chinese government except to stimulate the economy -- more monetary easing is needed,'' said Sherman Chan, an economist with Moody's in Sydney. She predicts five rate cuts by mid-2009 and the abolition of quotas that limit banks' lending. China is determined to stay ahead at the moment and to use its considerable advantages to become the world's most powerful economy.

Melbourne train system is broken

The following report is in today's Age.
Melburnians want better system:

Commuters are crying out for a better public transport system while the State Government pours hundreds of millions of dollars into the city's roads. Almost one in three Melbourne drivers have reduced their car use in the past year, research by public transport promotion and information service Metlink found. And 94% believe the Government should be spending more on public transport. Extra spending on roads was supported by 55% of those surveyed. The survey comes as the State Government commits hundreds of millions of dollars to new road projects, including a $1.4 billion upgrade of the West Gate-Monash Freeway and a $700 million Frankston bypass, announced last week.

Metlink said Melbourne's "rail infrastructure has not changed significantly since the 1950s, yet the urban area has nearly doubled". Chief executive Bernie Carolan said the survey showed many car users prioritised investment in public transport over roads. "For this city to continue to be the sort of place we like it to be, we need a rich mix of public transport," Mr Carolan said. In its submission to Infrastructure Australia, Metlink calls for a new rail tunnel between Footscray and Caulfield - which would boost City Loop capacity by 40,000 passengers an hour - and for a rail line from Werribee to Deer Park. A Public Transport Users Association analysis shows money spent on new roads in Melbourne by state and federal governments since 1999 has been five times that spent on new public transport."

Well tell me something I don't know!! I have recently returned to Melbourne from rural Victoria for a few days a week to fulfill a consultancy contract. I catch the train from a Zone 1 station. Invariably trains are cancelled or delayed and are usually dirty .Recently I hopped on a train at Spencer St. (It may have a new roof but it is still dusty smelly Spencer St with little protection from the North winds). It was going to Werribee according to the boards and the announcements. By the time it arrived at Flinders St. it was going to Broadmeadows...only alerted by the conversation of passengers who got on at Flinders. Jumped off at at Melbourne Central with other confused travellers.And waited waited for the Werribee train.The other annoying failure is to be waiting on a station with your destination highlighted as the next train..then...boom ...the message reads Do Not Board This Train....Listen for an Announcement...Crikey talk about a lottery!! The system is broken!!!....does not work!!!!is staffed by defeated low morale workers who are clearly embarrassed and feed up!! Get Brumby and a few of his Cabinet apologists to stand around city stations for a few hours a week (if they know where the stations are). It is a really inefficient,drab, dirty,uncaring, insulting service to Victorian working people.Perhaps turn the system over to Intralot,Tatts, David White and Tony Sheehan who could sell us lottery tickets for a comfortable train ride!! Or send the Transport "Minister" to H.K. to experience a train system that works and does so with out drama, waste and corruption!

America's debt = China's ascendancy

America is a broken economy like really broken. George W. and his witless advisors seemed to have no idea that they existed on a planet that was somewhat bigger than the state of Texas. What a shame George didn't have a passport before he "dubiously" became President!! And a greater shame is that if he had one he might have used it to remove some of his restricted, dumb, biased and dangerous beliefs about the world outside Texas and the USA.
What has he done? Well he dropped his country and its people in it! eg
During his two terms the USA has borrowed more money from foreign governments and banks than all other American administrations put together, from 1776 to 2000. And more debt will be added in the eight Bush years than in the previous two hundred. The trade deficit more than tripled since Greenspan stumbled into Washington, from $150.7 billionto $830 billion by 2006. The United States was a creditor a few years ago. Now, it is a debtor, with more than $14 trillion worth of U.S. assets in foreign hands, a more than 520% increase since 1987.
So why are we surprised at China's ascendancy...George borrowed from them like there was no tomorrow! But there was a tomorrow which is now today. And if you can't pay your loans the creditor takes your assets. Good night George and good night America.

Another buyer of Montec

Anthony Phillip bought 3,550,000 Montec International shares worth $63,830 between May 19 and September 19, 2008 becoming a substantial shareholder with 8,000,000 shares (5.17%).This follows my previous report of the NSW Real Estate identy taking a big stake. Watch it!

China slowdown? Not likely

I wouldn't be too convinced of the "Chinese slowdown" syndrome. You can bet that China will not let this opportunity slip to steal a march on the U.S. It has huge sovereign reserves, is owed trillions by the US and is slowly (maybe not so slowly) taking control of the US financial system.It will now act more aggressively while they can still deal with a broken Government and devasted economy. Get online and read a selection of Asian newspapers to get a feel.
China is not about to go into a deep sleep but rather will continue the long march.

American Presidents and Golf Aspirations

History of US presidents takes a swing at their golf etiquette

A history of the American presidency has uncovered a startling truth for occupants of the White House. You can lie and get away with it. You can harbour secret vices. But once you step on the golf course your true character is laid bare.

Fourteen of the last 17 presidents have been golfers, and their conduct on the links is a metaphor for their place in history, the book argues.

Many presidents have abused the perks of office, bending the rules and taking "mulligans" (free repeat shots), the author, Don Van Natta Jr, discovered.

Few were as blatant as Richard Nixon, a joyless player whose swing "looked as if he was trying to beat the dust out of a floor rug".

Playing the leading tournament player Sam Snead, Mr Nixon sent a shot into a dense thicket. Snead waited for the president to take his loss, drop a new ball and play on. Instead, he saw a ball arc high out of the woods on to the fairway, followed by the president "looking real pleased with himself", Snead recalled. "I knew he threw it out, but I didn't say anything."

Lyndon Baines Johnson, the master manipulator, played golf like he played politics, says Van Natta in First Off The Tee. L B J would simply ignore his bad shots, fish a new ball out of his pocket and hit it. "No permission was sought, ever." He routinely took 300 swings per round.

Worst of all was Bill Clinton. Van Natta once wrote a searing New York Times exposé of Mr Clinton's claim to have shot a round in 78, a personal best. It noted the president's endless mulligans and "gimmes" - his habit of asking opponents to give him putts from as far as 50 feet away.

When Van Natta asked to play golf with Mr Clinton last year he was surprised that the ex-president accepted. "He was on his best behaviour for about a hole and a half," Mr Van Natta said yesterday. "After that it was his usual game of three shots off the tee.

"He would get out to the fairway, there'd be three balls there, and he'd ask, 'Now which of these was my first one?' " More often than not, the other players replied: "No, Mr President, it's this ball closest to the flag." Mr Clinton, chewing on an unlit cigar, then happily played that "first" ball.

"I estimate that he took 200 swings during our 18-hole round, but he had an 82 on his score," said Van Natta.

The best was John F Kennedy, who had a "perfect, almost effortless swing". J F K would sneak out of the White House for secret rounds to avoid photographers, not least because he had denounced his predecessor, Dwight Eisenhower, for playing too much.

Gerald Ford became the butt of jokes. He hit at least half a dozen onlookers during his golfing career.

President George W Bush and his father play together, though the elder now has to play off the ladies' tees. "I am getting a little tired of my sons saying, 'Don't trip on your skirt when you hit the next one, Betsy'," Mr Bush snr told Van Natta.

From The Tribune

How the mighty have fallen

While quick to jump on the "tiger economy" bandwagon in the up years, Western bankers were just as quick to criticise South-East Asian economies for poor lending practices, lax credit standards and draconian restrictions.How the mighty have fallen.
The Asian economy bail-outs during their crisis came from the International Monetary Fund but with them came strict criteria. As part of the conditions for its initial $US3.9 billion standby credit from the IMF, Thailand suspended 58 finance companies. The remainder had to strengthen their capital base and mergers were encouraged. Indonesia was required to have its state-owned banks audited by internationally recognised accounting firms for its $US10 billion.In contrast the US bank rescue package was revised last week to include $US150 billion in tax concessions for individuals and businesses.Political expediency at its silliest! It also included an increase in the sum of bank deposits covered by insurance to $US250,000 from $US100,000.The Asian crisis IMF rescue packages, which started in 1997, may pale in comparison with the $US700 billion package but their upshot - the stronger financial systems that eventually resulted - means Asia is in a much stronger position to weather current financial instability. Compared with the US, Asia's banking systems now could almost be called healthy. As one commentator noted this week, the irony will not be lost on many in Asia. And the Chinese Government will not be slow to take advantage.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

China to maintain foreign press access

China has extended some of the rules that gave foreign reporters greater freedom during the Beijing Olympics.State news agency Xinhua said the temporary arrangement for the games, due to expire on Friday, would become standard practice. It means journalists can continue to conduct interviews without applying to the authorities for permission.The move has been welcomed by the main organisation representing overseas media in China."If properly implemented, we believe this will mark a step forward in the opening of China's media environment," said Jonathan Watts, president of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China. The club called on the authorities to make sure police and local officials respected the freedoms. Correspondents say the move to extend the more liberal rules has been eagerly awaited and is a sign of China's commitment to allow foreign journalists more freedom to report on a permanent basis.

Golf and the American Presidency

Not long after he turned over the Oval Office in 1909 to his friend and hand-picked successor, Teddy Roosevelt wrote a letter to President William Howard Taft, urging him to discontinue his rounds of golf at Chevy Chase Country Club. Photos of America's leader spending afternoons on the links, former President Roosevelt warned, sent the wrong message to the public, especially in the wake of the Panic of 1907, when the government intervened to rescue the banking system.President Taft, a lifelong golfer who, to put it mildly, needed the exercise, told Teddy to mind his own damn business. Angrier words were exchanged, spilling over into issues of policy. Three years later, still gnashing his teeth at Taft's betrayal, former President Roosevelt threw his hat into the presidential ring as a last-minute third-party candidate. The Republican vote, effectively split, resulted in the election of an obscure governor from New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson President Taft continued to play golf throughout his life, helping to legitimize the sport, although it remained within its firmly etched class lines. (Teddy stuck to tennis.) Forty years later, President Eisenhower's unapologetic embrace of the game dissolved many of its elitist associations and golf completed its journey to middle-class respectability.Presidents have played the game ever since with varying degrees of skill and obsession, but without fear of backlash or rebuke. Until May of this year, when President George W. Bush -- whose family ties to the patrician roots of American golf reach back three generations -- announced that he was giving up the game. Photos of the commander in chief on a golf course while our armed forces remain at war overseas, he had determined, were good for neither morale nor image. A few months later, that president's image appears beyond repair, and the country, indeed the world, faces a crisis of grave portent and vast uncertainty; May 2008 suddenly seems like the good old days. (from the Wall Street Journal)

China stokes the engine

The message from China is clear. It is determined to keep growth at a high level especially now that it is in a position to dominate the world economy. Today it confirmed more of its rural strategy aimed at stimulating growth and wealth in its rural economy. The government will substantially boost consumption of rural residents and eliminate absolute poverty in rural areas by 2020, said a communique issued at the conclusion of the CPC.Per capita rural disposable income in 2007 was 4,140 yuan ($605), a year-on-year gain of 9.5 percent in real terms. A rise of at least 6 percent is expected this year, according to the government annual report issued in March. The rural population mired in absolute poverty was reduced to 15 million last year, down from 250 million in 1978.The country faces challenges in rural development and reform, but will firmly push forward with the task, the communique said. The rural areas have the capacity to keep China's economic development on the boil by stimulating local demand for domestic production.

Friday, October 17, 2008

OZ banks No fear ANZ talks turkey

THE ANZ has ignited a mortgage rate war, becoming the first bank in more than a decade to cut its standard variable rate independently of a move from the Reserve Bank. Late yesterday(17/10), the ANZ announced a cut in standard variable mortgage rates of 0.25% to take effect Monday week.The Australian economy will be on on the doubt.

Big artificial bang today on Wall St

80 million options expire today so expect some wild swings on the DOW

Owners of the contracts on stocks, indexes and exchange- traded funds have until today's close to take advantage of the rights granted by the calls and puts they own. Investors are preparing for the possibility that market makers will boost volatility by buying and selling stock to hedge the risk of the options they have facilitated. Expect fireworks!!!

George Bush and his last pathetic stand

President Bush today said the United States' ''serious financial crisis'' has moved beyond Wall Street.(WOW! What insight!) But he says Americans can be confident government actions will set things right over time (Time?!!! How much time George?)

The president cautioned that it will take time(again How much time George?) to thaw out the frozen credit system so that people and businesses can get the loans they need to get the economy moving.Bush, offering his(dodgy) reassurances in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Friday 17 Oct., said the rescue moves are ''big enough and bold enough to work.''He says the U.S. is working with European nations (George! Have you heard about China and the rest of Asia? and have you conveniently forgotten your Middle East mates?) to resolve what has become a global crisis. He said, ''We're determined to overcome this challenge together.' Hmm! First time George has used the together word...He will go down in history as Unilateral George! The architect of global failure and division!!

LIBOR rates improve

LIBOR rates continue to edge down tonight bringing the prospect of some rejuvenated interbank lending closer . The lowering of the LIBOR rates signal a melting of the credit squeeze. Bring it on!

Montec Chinese partner in Corporate play

The Chinese Governement announced today that seven milk producers, including Sanyuan, plan to bid for Sanlu Group Co this weekend, the company shamed in last month's milk scandal, according to today's International Finance News. Sanyuan has a joint venture with watch this space.

Owen Hegarty and Citadel on to a Monster

High grades announced today from this sleeping elephant.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vendor Terms Resurrected In the Housing Market

For people out of the housing market the credit squeeze sees the re-emergence of vendor terms. Bargain hard on the asking price and then take the vendor terms within your budget...and you may have a good entry into your own house.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

China Plans Land Reform

The proposed policy involves two major changes: allowing peasants to engage in the unrestricted trade, purchase and sale of land-use contracts and extending those contracts to 70 years from 30 years.Large agricultural companies will then bid for these leases,improve land productivity and also offer employment to rural workers. Senior leaders, including Mr. Hu, intend to push the policy changes through this week. The policy is aimed at increasing the wealth of the poor rural sector and thus keeping China's growth on track by maintaining internal demand to balance the global slowdown.

Old Australian Pottery Prices Soar

If Ebay is any guide the prices of old Australian Pottery are soaring. Check out the prices of Campbell, McHugh, Bennett, Bendigo (particularly their Waverly Ware)....and an "up and comer" McCredie. Better than gold at the moment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

China continues milk shake up

The Chinese government ordered a recall on Tuesday of all milk products produced before Sept. 14 that are still on the shelves so the products can be tested for the toxic chemical melamine.
The government announced limits for allowable traces of melamine last week. If the recalled products meet the new standards, they will be put back on the market, the government said. Dairy products thought to have a real risk of melamine contamination were already recalled weeks ago, right after the milk crisis first emerged. The recall announced Tuesday was an effort by the government to show the public that it was enforcing its new trace melamine limits.All good for Montec..which so far has a clean slate.

Monday, October 13, 2008

BC IRON Director tops up

Notice that a Director has topped up at these bargain prices...and this Iron Ore developer is part of the Ian Gandel stable. ..along with ALK (which has 16% of BCI) and AGS. Watch with interest especially when iron ore demand gets cracking.

Owen Hegarty Mining in Saudi Arabia

Interesting to note that Owen Hegarty is listed as a senior advisor to Citadel Resources (CGG) a small Australian junior active in Saudi Arabia. It seems they may have a huge copper, gold and zinc deposit at Jabal Sayid. CGG own 50% and a wealthy Saudi family the rest. The Saudi Gov't will fund 50% of the start up costs through a Sovereign development fund. This one will be followed with interest.

Great opportunity to play Kingston Heath

Kingston Heath have their annual Charity Day on Nov 28 this year. Its a great day for $100 all up...will miss it this year as I will be away...look up their web site and get in early.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A rebound at last on the ASX

The Australian share market has surged 5.5 per cent at close as blue chip financial and mining sectors rebounded, European leaders rushed out measures to support their banks and the federal government guaranteed bank deposits. Lets hope now for a run in the junior mining. AGS must surely be attractive at current levels on the basis of B4M uranium let alone the gold at Maldon.

Absolute stunner of a wine

The 2007 Torzi Matthews "Schist Rock" shiraz was tasted again last night. It just keeps getting better and better. Unfortunately it seems to sold out across the country.

Chinese milk scare not scary for Oz investor

Small dairy operator Montec acquired a new 5% share holder this month when Real Estate agent Phillip Riolo of Bilambill Heights went on a buying spree. Montec an Australian Company is developing and selling dairy products in the Chinese market.It has come out of the scandal with a clean reputation so is worth watching it seems