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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Thursday, May 31, 2007

China twiched it's economic muscle today, with the government announcement of a rise in the cost of stock transactions..
Triple, in fact, from .1% to .3%..
Now granted, it is a move that was aimed at an internal demographic.. those who decided, once dealing in stocks was legalised by the Chinese government, that working the market with the family savings was more profitable than letting it accumulate a meager interest payment..
Now if there's one thing the Chinese do enjoy, is gambling.. games of chance.. and they will study the rules of the game assiduously to increase their chances of winning..
Millions of Chinese, in fact, play the markey daily, whether it e a large, or a small sum they might be manipulating, they have a common goal, and that is to 'win'..
Some 300 thousand new trading accounts were opened last month across China..
Some analysts said the dip in share prices was only likely to be temporary...
The World Bank now predicts China's economy will expand 10.4% this year but says it does not appear overheated.
The Bank had previously expected a 9.6% rise for 2007.
That's almost a full percentage point higher..
Now back to the government's move today.. the tripling of the Stamp Duty on stock trades..
It may take some of the smaller players out of the game.. bumping the value of solid companies as more look for gain, plus security..
But.. as 'some analysts' have said.. this could simply be a blip.. a correction in the value of companies that had inflated assets.. or unconfirmed contracts..
But what is of greater interest is the effect it had on Western markets..
The falls in Shanghai depressed sentiment in other trading .. all of the major European indices trading lower though they clawed back most of the losses by the close of play.
London's FTSE 100 was down 0.1%, with the benchmark French and German markets each 0.2% lower, while Wall Street reversed early falls.
However, the same 'some analysts' have warned that a stock market 'bubble' is being created
Last week former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan warned that the Chinese stock market could undergo a dramatic correction.
With the value of the yuan, and the Chinese government's refusal to consider a devaluation.. we could see some serious reprecussions throughout the Economic Community..

Meanwhile.. back at the ranch..
We have an odd phenomina here.. whereas inflation is rising, meainly because of the housing market and the inflated state of real estate..
The US has rising inflation, mainly because of the housing market.. one which involves the de-valuation of property, and the loss of equity to those who bought at what they thought were secure prices, and ended up evicted.. their house re-posessed because of high interest rates..
Yet theirs is the same as ours.. at 5.25%..
And to complete the contrast.. we're talking about some houses in the States who were lured into buying a 'starter house' at a floating rate, for affordable payments.. And some of these houses were only $30Athousand..
That wouldn't buy a lease on a storage space in London..
The cost of living, in general, is the highest among the EU countries..
Our cars cost more.. our food costs more.. we're the most heavily taxed, when the 'hidden' taxes are taken into effect..
Yet, for some inexplicable reason, while re-posessions are at a record high, the majority of those here who have mortgaged their children's future have managed to hang on.. and watch their equity grow..

And perhaps just one more point..
Tony has disappeared from the International State. It's all on George now, so it seems..
Now George is coming under fire from all directions, with some of the shots hitting home.. His funding Bill made it through without a clause giving a definate date for the start of troops withsrawals.. or for setting out what reprisals will be leveed should the deadline for 'peace' not be met..
But there are those who are not happy about that at all..
And in Iraq itself.. their 'Parliament' cannot seem to get past religious differences..
Another criticism of the Funding Bill is a hydrocarbon law that would ensure the fair distribution of oil revenues ..but little progress has been made on this and other areas of reconciliation.
It's Shia v Shi'ite.. and it would appear they can't even pretend to reconcile enough to govern..

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