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

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Well.. it would appear the mob has yet to be sated..
And not just London.. violence and looting in Birmingham, a police station set alight in that city..Liverpool.. Bristol as well.. A Sony distribution center in Essex.. some half an hour from the City, is at this moment burning out of control.. eclipsing any blaze yet in London.. Not to minimize those buildings and businesses in the City which are burnt out shells..
But by far the worst is being played out in London.. the Boroughs of Croydon.. Hackney.. Ealing.. Peckham..
It is literally unbelievable.. kids in their early teens to men with dollys.. breaking into and looting shops right down their respective High Streets..
A four storey furniture store burning so fiercely, it can only be compared to the Blitz..
Police are saying, and quite rightly so, that this thievery is the driving force behind these riots.. That the mob, in any of the cities affected, is driven by nothing more than loot.. The average member of the crowds on the streets this morning couldn't even tell you who Mark Duggan was..
We can only hope that this insanity will burn itself out.. no pun intended..
But not tonight..

An update.. Cameron met with his major players in a COBRA meeting this morning.. and has recalled Parliament to deal with this countrywide phenomena..
This starts with a warning.. that the police will 'vigorously' enforce the law tonight.. 16 thousand police will be patrolling London.. and after three nights running riot, they're fed up..
And so too, is the silent majority.. Communities in Liverpool have instituted a voluntary curfew and plan on patrolling their own streets.. And while this might be seen as a return to vigilante mentality, these locals walking their beat will be armed with mobile phones..
This civil unrest.. this enormous display of mob mentality.. should be close to collapsing under it's own weight.. But if we see thousands on the streets of our major cities tonight.. the odds are we'll begin to see more fatalities..
One man was shot in his car last night.. Police were not involved in that one..

And in the early hours of the evening.. violence has broken out in Manchester.. Reports indicate crowds of youths in their hundreds have attacked a major shopping center..
Nothing yet from the City, but there will be as this fourth night of violence kicks off..

We mentioned yesterday, that Barack was going to address the nation, with the focus to be the economy.. He did his best to issue assurances that we'll all pull through this.. but other than platitudes, he had nothing to add.. He even found time to comment on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.. about the only bright light left on his tree..
The didn't impress the markets though..
The Dow closed more than 600 down.. the FTSE down 187.. losses posted across the board in all European markets..
Fears were were also reflected in the price of gold and oil..
Gold.. always seen as a safe investment in times of economic uncertainty.. jumped to a new record high of $1,697/troy ounce..
Meanwhile.. the price of oil slipped further.. reflecting concerns that weak global growth could lead to a fall in demand..
If the Western markets follow those in the Far East.. they'll open down in the morning.. And the question rears it's ugly head.. 'How long will this sell-off continue and how far will it go..?'
As for the opening markets along the Pacific Rim.. Asian equity markets were sharply down early Tuesday as investors fearing a possible global economic slowdown continued to flee stocks..
Japan's Nikkei 225 index plunged 4.4% to 8,699.52 in the morning session, while Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX-200 index lost 5.1% to 3,782.20. New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index was down 3.7% to 3,069.08..
Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at Sydney-based stockbroker CMC Markets, said a major concern was that the U.S. economy was slowing down..
Confidence in the future of the worlds largest economy is of grave concern to Asian business, which is to a large extent.. export based.. And the US buys more than any other trading partner..
It remains to be seen what Barack might decide to slap an import duty on.. and what with the state of the Greenback.. the value of their contracted goods diminishes on a daily basis..

A record was set today on Wall Street.. four consecutive days of losses exceeding 100 point per..
The sell-off hasn't stopped yet.. and as Asian markets closed down across the board.. European markets opened to a trend that couldn't seem to be shaken..
Bank shares remained among the worst hit with RBS down 8%..
HSBC was down 5%.. Barclays by 4.8% and Lloyds by 3%..
However, there was better news on the bond markets where the yield on both Spanish and Italian government bonds fell for the second day..
Mind you, the intervention of the European Central Bank is the reason Spain and Italy were, for the second day running, able to reduce the rates of their government bonds.. and investors understand that a bailout call comes from either Italy or Spain, this whole house of cards could collapse..
It will be interesting to see the report of the meeting of Eurozone Finance Ministers.. just what can realistically be done, without deviating from austerity measures and risking a credit downgrade, is what will doubtless be mooted..
One more factor these Ministers must take in, are the riots in the UK..
The underlying causes are common to all Europeans.. and what is sweeping London could just as easily be Rome.. or Paris, again.. or Berlin..

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board sketched a dim outlook for the economy today, suggesting it will remain weak for two more years.. As a result, the Fed said it expects to keep its key interest rate near zero through mid-2013..
It's the first time the Fed has pegged its “exceptionally low” rates to a specific date.. The Fed had previously said only that it would keep its key rate at record lows for “an extended period.”..
Stocks plunged after the statement was released, but then shot up shortly after.. The Dow Jones industrial average.. sank more than 176 points, then recovered its losses and gained more than 120 points in late-afternoon trading..
Investors shifted money into the relative safety of long-term Treasurys, whose yields fell.. The Fed's two-year time frame for any rate increase underscored a stark reality: A sluggish economy and painfully high unemployment have become chronic..
The Fed did hold out the promise of further help down the road but did not spell out what else it might do.. and analysts are left scratching their heads, wondering just what magic federal financiers might have up their sleeves..

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