Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Seeing the forest for the trees

Lots to cover in a relatively uneventful market (back in the market's heyday, it was always clear that the real money went on vacation on the last two weeks of August - that trend seems to be back this year).

In perhaps the most linked to article I've ever seen on financial websites - Doug Kass said today that the market has seen it's high point for 2009. Again, this wouldn't normally be news but Mr. Kass perfectly timed a call in March that a "generational low" was in place and people should buy the market. His new call, coupled with extreme bullish readings could make for some interesting trading in the weeks to come.

Zero-Hedge definitely has a negative view of the economy and they use a ton of fancy charts to prove their point. If you're bored it's worth clicking through the 72 page document because they make a pretty compelling argument that things are getting worse not better.

I'd add that some really smart, really connected feet on the street keep reporting back the same info. Business is getting worse, not better despite what the stock market seems to be saying.

The End of the End of the Recession

Other interesting reading around the web tonight.....

Monster survey shows 34% of workers surveyed have 1 week of savings or less

If You Were Laid Off Without Severance, How Long Would your Savings Cover Your Living Expenses?
One Week or Less: 34%
2-4 Weeks: 16%
1-2 Months: 16%
3-5 Months: 14 %
6 Months or Longer: 20%

By doing some basic math you can see that 66% of surveyed workers have less than 2 months of savings. As unemployment rises this has potentially devastating implications.

Now that we've invested millions and billions into the Ethanol pipe dream comes word that Ethanol is so 2008 --- Algae is where it is at today....

Last month ExxonMobil-- which has been publicly skeptical of other biofuels in the past -- invested up to $600 million into a collaborative R&D program with Synthetic Genomics, a startup founded by J. Craig Venter.

Venter's previous firm, Celera Genomics, was a key player in sequencing the human genome. Synthetic Genomics is looking at, among other approaches, the use of tweaked metabolic pathways in algae to boost the plant's oil production. The startup received an earlier investment from BP a few years ago, but this one by ExxonMobil has raised eyebrows both for its size and because of the giant's track record.

"ExxonMobil has always been like the grinch that stole clean tech," says Udupa. "And then all of a sudden they're investing a lot of money in this one algae company."

The complete opposite of twitter - - they require a minimum of 1,400 characters per post (versus twitter's MAXIMUM 140 characters). So if your random thoughts tend to be more Tolstoy-like than Reader's Digest condensed version maybe woofer could be right for you :)


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