Nice Apple Ipad Review Video By PC Magazine

Check out this Apple Ipad review by Tim Gideon of Pcmag.com. This thing looks "off the hinges" imho. If interested Walt Mossberg of All Things Digital did a review a few days ago.

Jim Grant and David Rosenberg Debate Treasury Bond Yields (Video Link from 3/23/2010)

There was a "great debate" on March 23, 2010 between Jim Grant (Interest Rate Observer) and David Rosenberg (Gluskin Sheff) on if Treasuries are for losers. Jim Grant thinks "T-bonds are trash" and David Rosenberg is an "optimist on the T-bond because he's a pessimist on everything else", the FT moderator said.  Watch the full debate video at Jim Grant's website here. Hopefully it is still up.  Below I put up quotes from both sides that I found interesting. I also recommend you watch the Marc Faber, Nassim Taleb, Hugh Hendry debate on Treasuries.


Master of Business Card Throwing Video (Samsung Digital Camcorder H205 Launch)

Watch this guy throw a business card like a Hira-shuriken (Ninja throwing star). It was an ad for the new Samsung Digital Camcorder H205 and was filmed with it. He can pop a balloon on the ceiling of a gym with a business card.

Icahn Dumps Blockbuster In March 13D Filing, $BBI Financial Trends and Senior Subordinated Notes At 20.25

Remember Icahn was buying Blockbuster in 2005. I thought there was some kind of 2004 Kmart real estate play going on but turns out they mostly lease space.  Six months ago they announced they were closing 960 stores or 5.5 million square feet of space through 2010 (Costar). It looks like the no late fee and quasi-netflix plan didn't hit the ball out of the park.  Maybe flooding the market with $1 dollar kiosks will save the day or perhaps sell overseas assets. Numbers speak louder than words so check out Blockbuster financial trend analysis over 10 quarters (revenue growth %, revenue, net income, net margin % and shareholder's equity, interest coverage and Netflix revenue revenue trend) courtesy of Wikinvest.  I also provided charts of BBI stock, $300 million subordinated notes and Icahn's liquidations.  First watch this video.

Hydropower In Central Asia, Rogun Dam Project - Guest Post

This is a guest post by Philip H. de Leon of OilPrice.com.

The Hydropower Solution in Central Asia: yes but…

Surfing the wave of the hype for renewable energy such as hydropower and the invitation by the United States to many regional countries to get involved in the efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, Tajikistan is bringing back to the table the Rogun hydropower dam project. Rogun, conceived in Soviet days, was planned to generate 3,600 megawatts but the collapse of the Soviet Union halted the completion of this project. Now an independent country, Tajikistan, one of the poorest in the world, sees Rogun as a central element for its energy independence and a source of severely needed foreign currencies that could be earned through the export of electricity.

That effort comes at a time when clean energy is seen as the panacea to reduce the world’s dependency on polluting fossil energy, just like using olive oil was once seen as a solution to reduce cardio-vascular diseases. The push for clean energy is laudable but an expensive undertaking. Its implementation remains sketchy in poor countries where the lack of long-term political, economical and social visibility is a deterrent for foreign governments, companies, multilateral institutions and venture capitalists from making long-term costly investments. The “let’s all hold hands and save the environment” speech quickly dies when the practicality of such projects are plugged into the picture.

China PMI Reaches 57, Copper Demand To Slow, Mortgage Bond Yields Jump, March CMBS Delinquencies Up

Here are some interesting articles I just read. Get ready for some charts.

Jiangxi Copper Says Demand Growth to Slow on Power Spending Cut- Bloomberg
M&A Creeps Higher as Cross-Border, Hostile Deals Spur Recovery - Bloomberg
CMBS Delinquencies Up Sharply In March (Trepp/Real Point) - Zero Hedge
Will Government Debt Risks Derail The Expansion? (Bond/Swap Spreads) - JP Morgan
Fed Ends Its Purchasing of Mortgage Securities - New York Times
Mortgage-Bond Yield Spreads Jump as Fed Exits Market - Bloomberg
China's manufacturing activity picks up in March - MarketWatch
Overtaking the Dollar: The Three Phases of Yuan - Economic Forecasts and Opinions
ADP Says U.S. Companies Unexpectedly Cut Payrolls - Bloomberg
Fannie Mae Releases February 2010 Monthly Summary - PDF
General Growth files exit proposal, auction rules - Reuters
Starwood Said to Raise $2.8 Billion for Real Estate Funds - Bloomberg
How to Corner the Gold Market by Janet Tavakoli (3/30) - Huffington Post
Marijuana legalization will be on California ballot (3/25) - Reuters

Walt Mossberg Reviews the Apple Ipad, Hits Stores April 3

Walt Mossberg of AllThingsDigital reviews the Apple Ipad below.  It hits stores this Saturday (4/3) for $499.

El-Erian's Outlook: 10-Y Treasuries Yield 2.75-5%, US Growth To Slow During Second Half of 2010 (Pimco)

I recommend you read this long CBS Money Watch interview with Pimco's Mohamed El-Erian.  He gives his outlook on Treasury yields, US growth, unemployment, inflation, sovereign debt in Europe/Brazil and attractive bond markets.  Below are quotes regarding 10-year Treasury yields and US growth going forward.
"The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond will bounce around between 2.75 percent to 5 percent until the end of 2011."

"Look for growth rates to be an annualized 4 percent to 5 percent in the first half of the year. Growth will likely slow in the second half to an annualized 2 percent." 
Read article at - CBS Money Watch
10-Year US Treasury Yield at 3.84% (stockcharts.com)

July Call Option Activity in CYB, Trading Band Expansion Related or Shorts Covering ($CYB, $CNY, $USD/CNY)

There's been interesting activity going on in the Chinese Yuan ETFs lately. Remember the strong volume in $CNY (Market Vectors Renminibi/USD ETN) on 3/22 that brought it up about 5%? Now there appears to be option activity in the WisdomTree Yuan ETF ($CYB) (hat tip OptionMonster).   As you can see 1,956 July 25 calls traded at 0.40 with 11,433 open and 1,750 July 26 calls traded at 0.17 with 15,819 open.  The volume was way UNDER open interest so I'm thinking the volume could've been shorts covering or perhaps a spread.  Thoughts?  On the put side >=July, 2010 there are 33,000 July 25 puts open and 10,000 October 24 puts open, so it's hard to tell who's positioning/hedging which direction.  Keep an eye on the Renminbi aka Chinese Yuan going forward.  If China ever de-pegs from the Dollar it would change the whole macroeconomic game and bring volatility to CYB, CNY and CNY/USD. See charts and CNY/USD trade live below.

Moscow Metro Suicide Bombings, The True Causes - Guest Post By OilPrice.com

Guest post by OilPrice.com on the Russian bombings, enjoy.

The True Causes Underlying the Moscow Metro Bombings

The tragic news of the 29 March twin suicide bombings of two Moscow Metro stations during the morning rush hour has produced outrage worldwide, with the Kremlin quickly adding that the attacks were carried out by the Caucasus Mujaheddin, a northern Caucasus-based militant Islamist guerrilla group that claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Moscow to St. Petersburg express train last November.

The grim death toll can be seen as yet another statistic in the Kremlin’s ongoing war with Chechnya separatists that erupted in December 1994. Underneath and driving the savagery of the last 16 years is a resource that few commentators note – oil.

Options Running Out For Argentina In Falklands Oil Fight - Guest Post

Here is my first guest post by OilPrice.com.

Argentina Running Out Of Options In Falklands Oil Fight

As Argentina's oil battle with the United Kingdom rages on, the only other obstacle the South American country can throw at oil companies planning to drill near the Falkland Islands is to interdict U.K. ships or equipment - but regional expert Riordan Roett doubts the Argentines are “stupid enough to do that.”

This would be a “very dangerous move” on the part of the Argentine government, said Roett, director of Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington. Argentina, which went to war with the U.K. in 1982 over Falklands’ sovereignty, is “very careful” about challenging the British in reaching the islands, Roett noted.

Explosion Hits #Moscow Metro, Soros and Kaiser Bid For BSE, Goldilocks Environment For Leveraged Credit, China's Geely Buys Volvo for $1.8 Billion, Greece To Launch Syndicated Bond...

Update:  Moscow Metro Blasts Kill at Least 34, Ministry Official Says - Bloomberg


25 people killed and several injured by two bomb blasts in Moscow metro - The Nation


Two blasts hit Lubyanka station and Park Kultury station in Moscow - Guardian


Soros and Kaiser (Argonaut) bid for 4% of BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) - Business Standard

"This is “an almost ‘Goldilocks’ environment for leveraged credit markets, JPM"  - Bloomberg

China's Sinopec "net profit up 116.5% on the previous year to Yuan 61.76 bil." -PlattsOil Twitter

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group buys Ford's Volvo Cars unit for $1.8 billion - AP

Head of Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund missing after glider crash - AP

Swiss Frac ($USDCHF, $FXF) action, charts - Previous post

"Greece to launch a syndicated bond Monday or Tuesday" - FT.com

Chinese exchanges launching stock futures on April 16 - MarketWatch

Swiss Franc ($USD/CHF) Filled Gap Down On Sunday, $FXF In Clear Downtrend Since November, Watch USD/CHF Symmetrical Triangle

The US Dollar quickly filled a gap down on the Swiss Franc moments ago. It hit a low of 1.058 and then charged higher to 1.068 where it stands now. The long term view of $USDCHF shows a symmetrical triangle with an inflection point approaching. $FXF (the Swiss Franc ETF) has been in a downtrend since late 2009. It needs to break above that level to commence a new uptrend (imo).