Chart of the Day: Spreads Relative to Historical Highs

Interesting chart via a recent IMF report:

Spreads_relative_to_historical_high

The chart above comes from Gary E., who also sends along this commentary: 

Angel Gurria,  Mexico’s external debt negotiator in the 1980′s and
-90′s and later Finance and Foreign Minister, (now Secretary-General of the OECD) used to take a beating
from the arrogant bankers he was forced to sit across the table with.
Wow, the tide turned! Now the banks are begging the governments they
once called "deadbeats" for capital. Beware, my emerging market
friends, once (or maybe if) the G7 christens their ‘inflation fighting
aircraft carrier’, the tide will turn.

Not
unlike the 1970′s, EM is almost purely an inflation trade. And have you
seen Eastern Europe’s current account deficits? Bulgaria’s 21 percent of GDP
CA deficit financed by foreign real estate speculators?   Nevertheless,  look at
how the trade of buying historical highs and selling historical lows has paid.

Angel Gurria must be laughing now – about "20-year old traders in tennis shoes."

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Source:
Spreads relative to historical highs
January 2008
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/gfsr/2008/01/pdf/chap1.pdf

Category: Credit, Derivatives, Economy

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Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Inflation, Retail

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Category: Federal Reserve

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Category: Credit, Derivatives, Federal Reserve

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Category: Weblogs

Jobless vs. Unemployed

Category: Currency, Economy, Employment

Joseph Stiglitz On The Economy

I have been meaning  to post this since Thursday morning : An interview with Joseph Stiglitz, the Columbia Professor who is a Nobel Prize-winning economist, with his overview of the economy.

Stiglitz recent books include Globalization and Its Discontents (2003) and Making Globalization Work (2006).

The professor pulls no punches — about the economy, President Bush, and Fed Chair Bernanke.

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click for crappy WMV video
Stiglitz

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Sources:
Stiglitz on the Economy
CNBC
Thurs. Apr. 10 2008 | 7:00 DT[08:07]

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=708404472

Joseph E. Stiglitz Home Page
University Professor
http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/

Category: Economy, Employment, Video

Friday Evening Jazz: Kind of Blue

KINDA blueA few months ago, Hale took an eclectic look at some of the lesser known works of Miles Davis. Tonite, I want to go in the opposite direction, and simply focus on one disc: Kind of Blue.

Why? Not only is Kind of Blue Davis’ best-selling album, it may very well be the best-selling jazz record of any artist, of all time. Even though it was released almost 50 years ago, it still sells over 5,000 copies per week today. In addition to its commercial success, it has come to be described by many Jazz critics as the greatest jazz album of all time.

Writing in AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted: “Kind of Blue isn’t merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it’s an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of “So What.” From that moment on, the record never really changes pace — each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It’s the pinnacle of modal jazz — tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality.”

The one jazz record to own even if you don’t listen to jazz — the band is extraordinary: John Coltrane,  Julian “Cannonball” Adderley on saxophones, Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. I recently received a remastered CD of kind the album, thus retiring my scratchy hiss and pop laden vinyl version.  (And another intelligent CD pricing: $7.47 at Amazon)

For those of you looking for some , check out NPR:  Kind of Blue (54 minutes)

videos after the jump . . .

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Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music