Swiss Stocks Continue to Fall

BuffaloReport (Milan) – SNB decision still put pressure on Swiss Stock market.


On Friday, the second day after the decision of SNB to scrap a 3 year old cap on CHF price, Swiss stocks continue to go down. Swatch and Richemont have the highest losses up to 6,3%. Markets have concerns on the profits of Swiss exporters and some huge banks have reviewed their forecasts.

Nowadays, about 40% of Eurozone export goes to Eurozone countries. And such a decision, made by SNB on yesterday, may lead Swiss companies to losses.

SMI index shows decline of the Swiss stock market in total. Today it was down by 4,3%.

The other problem is that the ECB may implement its QE programme next Thursday. Markus Huber from Peregrine&Black thinks that speculations on those events may provide further EUR fall and rise of CHF. And this will create more troubles to Swiss export to the Eurozone countries.



Oil prices downtrend is negative for global economy

BuffaloReport (Minks) – G5 economies benefit from the Oil prices downtrend. However, their global impact is negative.

Commodities market still shows no sign of recovery, as Copper prices have joined the downtrend and have lost 25% of their last year value. Some experts think that this will boost the G5 economies growth. However, it is bad for the global recovery.

The pressure on commodities is still very high due to the latest World Bank’s forecasts on the global growth. The oversupply of Oil markets may be explained by weak recovery in the world’s biggest economies.

On the other side, there is OPEC with its unwillingness to cut oil extraction because of competition with US Oil market newcomers. Despite a very slow recovery in EU and Asian countries, OPEC is still deaf to the new challenges. In such situation, most of US Oil companies may have difficulties as the breakeven price for them is around 65$ per Brent barrel.


CPI in Britain pressures on Cable

BuffaloReport (Warsaw) – Weak inflation data contribute to the prolongation of the GBP/USD downtrend

UK inflation results show that the situation is more serious and requires some additional action. CPI y/y has fallen to 0,5% from 1,0% in November. The pair was testing 1,51 level after the news. However, right now the price is higher.

The main direction of the Cable is still downside. The next aim is at 1,5033. Following to the today’s stats, Mark Carney will write a letter to the Chancellor. It is required by the monetary policy remit.

UK inflation continues to show negative dynamics. Today’s data shows, that inflation is on the lowest levels since the beginning of the 21st Century. It strengthens expectations that Bank of England will have to hold rates at their current level for longer.

For the moment, British economists and financial authorities avoid to speak about risks of deflation. However, there is almost no doubts that BoE will remain cautious for the next half a year period.


EUR/USD is Under Pressure as Draghi ponders deflation risks

BuffaloReport (Minsk) – Draghi invokes politicians, EUR/USD goes down

EUR/USD continues its downtrend this year as the European Central Bank president Mario Draghi says that the risks of deflation in Eurozone are still tangible. Today in the morning during his interview to German Handelsblatt, the ECB head underlined again the possibility of more instruments to be applied in the beginning of the year.

He invokes politicians to conduct all necessary reforms, decrease tax burden, and to remove all obstacles on the way to Eurozone recovery as soon as possible. However, the main idea was that the ECB is ready to act. The level of inflation is still low, and the long period of stagnation in this field may be very dangerous to the Eurozone economy.

This ECB president’s speech revived fears, that this central bank will act again in a very short period of time, the EUR/USD has renewed its low and right now is trading below 1,21 (at 1,2030 to be exact). The mid and long term outlooks are also negative. EUR may continue to fall against US Dollar in the next few weeks and months.

The reason of the pressure lies not only in today’s interview or in the current monetary policy, conducted by the ECB. Markets are awaiting the FED to raise rates this year (according to the latest forecasts, in the next 6 months, however, we think, it could be done no sooner than in September).

The difference between monetary policies, conducted by the Fed and the ECB was the reason for the last year’s fall of EUR against USD from 1,40 to 1,21 approximately. This tendency may have its extension in the first quarter of 2015.



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Truth matters!

“To write the truth as I see it; to defend the weak against the strong; to fight for justice; and to seek, as best I can, to bring healing perspectives to bear on the terrible hates and fears of mankind, in the hope of someday bringing about one world, in which men will enjoy the differences of the human garden instead of killing each other over them.”I.F. Stone’s creed

Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one. A.J. Liebling

No matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up. Lily Tomlin

“The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed… The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly… it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.”Nazi Propaganda chief Josef Goebbels .

“Truth matters.” Senator Barbara Boxer

Revisiting past part-2

Timothy Egan: John Roberts’ America (NY Times). Anonymous outside donors have already spent $23 million trying to influence this year’s Colorado election, with anonymous Republican interests outspending Democrats by nine to one. This is a result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens-United decision, the one that said that a corporation spending millions of dollars in secret and an ordinary citizen writing a letter to the editor were exercising the same Constitutional right. The important thing to keep in mind about totalitarianism is that it often comes about through legal means. Hitler didn’t take away people’s rights: he got the legislators and the courts to do that dirty work for him, and they did it willingly and self-righteously. (22 October 2010)

Angela Jolie’s rape fantasy (LA Times). Rape was an instrument of war in the Bosnian conflict. Angela Jolie wants to make a film about that war in which, reportedly, a Bosnian Muslim woman raped by a Serbian camp commander falls in love with her rapist. Hardly anyone has seen the script. She says it is part of her campaign to bring healing to the region, still scarred 15 years after the end of the war. Women’s groups there say the film’s plot is an insult and an outrage, that it trivializes their suffering. Jolie has already shot part of the film (which she wrote, produced and is directing) in Hungary. The Bosnian minister of culture recently revoked her permit to shoot the film there. Two members of Jolie’s production staff were confident that the permit would be reissued, saying this was just a “hiccup.”

New York’s crooked politicians (State of New York Office of the Inspector General). The scathing 308-page report detailing the various ways State Senate leaders violated the law when they rigged the choice of who would build NYC’s first casino by favoring a bidder who was feeding money to Democratic political candidates. These bums aren’t just influenced by the lobbyists and contributors; they are led by the nose. And in the process, they cost the citizens of the state billions in lost revenue. (22 October 2010)

Tea Party Nationalism (NAACP). The huge and meticulously researched and detailed report that tells you everything you need to know about the Teabaggers: where they are, who they are, what they’re really angry about, how they feel about Jews and people of color, what factions exist among them, how they link to nativists, birthers, and other racist groups, and far more. (22 October 2010)

Is Ginni Thomas just stupid? (Jezebel). Opinionators are coming up with all kinds of theories to explain Ginni Thomas (Mrs. Clarence) 7:30 a.m. phone call to Anita Hill asking her to apologize for telling senators 19 years ago that Clarence had some pretty weird office behaviors. Maybe it’s time to invoke Occam’s Razor and opt for the simplest explanation of all. (22 October 2010)

Uganda newspaper targets homosexuals (Boston Globe). An Ugandan newspaper ran a front-page story with photos, names and addresses of what it said were the country’s “100 top homosexuals.” A bright yellow banner across the page read, “Hang them.” After a visit last year from some U.S. conservative Christian ministries leaders, a bill was introduced in Parliament that would have made some acts of homosexuality punishable by death and others punishable by life in prison. And you thought Carl Paladino was off the scale with his raving about paraders in speedos who liked to rub bodies! (22 October 2010)

The Kochtopus (MSNBC). Matt Taibbi joins Keith Olberman to discuss the billionarie Koch brothers, who are organizing meetings with other billionaires, Fox News personalities (such as Glenn Beck, shown in a tux with a skull & bones cummerbund) and government officials (Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia among them) to ward off attacks on the American Way of Life, such as anti-pollution laws and taxes. (22 October 2010)

Health Insurance, Banking, Oil Industries Met with Koch, Chamber, Glenn Beck to Plot 2010 Election (Think Progress). Some of the scary details undergirding the Taibbi-Olberman conversation in the previous item. You remember that line in Godfather II when Michael Corleone says, “If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone”? The Kochs and their chums would change the third clause to go, “is that you can buy any election and any politician.” (22 October 2010)

Bruce Jackson: V.S. Naipaul in Babel ( Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul opened the fourth season of Just Buffalo’s “Babel” series at Kleinhans Hall on October 19. Here are 20 photos from the event. (21 October 2010)

Stanley Fish: Crisis of the Humanities II (NY Times). Maybe the defenders of the (fiscally-starved) humanities in public universities are losing all the time because they’ve forgotten what a university actually is. (19 October 2010)

In Climate Denial, Again (NY Times). With one exception, none of the Republicans running for the Senate—including the 20 or so with a serious chance of winning—accept the scientific consensus that humans are largely responsible for global warming….They are re-running the strategy of denial perfected by Mr. Cheney a decade ago….Until the end of the 1990s, Republicans could be counted on to join bipartisan solutiions to environmental problems. Now they’ve disappeared in a fog of disinformation, an entire political party parroting the Cheney line.” (19 October 2010)

Bill Maher: Who’s Crazier: Linda McMahon or Carl Paladino? (YouTube). Carl Paladino’s campaign for governor of New York is such a mess you’d think it would be hard to satirize. It is. Bill Maher doesn’t need satire: he just quotes the facts, in all their glorious absurdity. The winner of the crazier title, says Maher, is Paladino, who is “Real life piss-your-pants-yell-at-pigeons-or-a-park-bench crazy.” (This terrific item was pulled because HBO threatened legal action. Well, there’s always Salon’s This Week in Crazy.) (16 October 2010)

The Clock ( A clock with ALL the numbers. You may want to use the pause key in the upper right as it cycles through the categories. (11 October 2010)

Paladino the homophobe (NY Times). Carl Paladino’s first political foray into voter-rich downstate was to Howard Beach, a neighborhood famous for being the home of former mob boss John Gotti and for being the place where a gang of baseball bat-weilding local kids caused the death of a young black man whose car had the bad sense to break down in their neighborhood. Thuggo’s back in town, this time delivering an anti-gay rant to a crowd of Orthodox Jews in Williamsburg. He’s got three boroughs and all of Long Island to go. (11 October 2010)

Paladino the greaser (Buffalo News). Carl Paladino says he hates the kind of politics where officials do the bidding of big donors. Who would know about that relationship better than he? Paladino has greased the palm of just about every New York politician who might swing a deal, a tax break or big public bucks his waay, and as a result he has become very, very rich. He’s promised a lot of things, but consistency is not one of them. (11 October 2010)

Paladino the hypocrite (NY Times). He says he’s running to undo a system where rich guys can buy politicians cheap and thereby get richer, but all the rich guy Carl Paladino has done for years has been to buy politicians cheap and thereby get richer. Either he lacks memory or he’s a cynic or he’s a hypocrite or he thinks the voters are very, very stupid. Or all of the above. Probably it’s all of the above. Who has played the system better than the very rich Carl Paladino, who is currently spending a fortune trying to convince voters he’s “just a regular guy from Buffalo?” (9 October 2010)

J.M. Coetzee: On the Moral Brink (New York Review of Books). An insightful, informed and ranging review of Philip Roth’s new novel, Nemesis, by novelist and Nobel Prize laureate (and quondam UB English prof) John Coetzee. The novel is ostensibly about Newark during the polio epidemic of the early 1940s, but it is also about plagues, guilt, responsibility, choice and the act of authoring. It is one of Roth’s shorter works, but very much a part of the series of works on living in words and coming to terms with death that has characterized the second, astonishing, part of his long career. The New York Times Book Review dumbed it all down by making the book the subject of its lead idiot-review of the week (Leah Hager Cohen, “Summer of ’44”). As it has several times in recent months, it gave an important book to someone who led off by telling us of her ignorance of the author’s work and who then went on to demonstrate that even though she did a brief flurry of catch-up reading to get ready for this assignment, she was able to find little to talk about other than her self. A sample: until this summer, Roth’s books caused her nose to wrinkle until “it could wrinkle no further in distaste” because “these are for boys.” Like that, and she doesn’t get any better. A few months ago, the Times assigned an important very long book to someone who began by telling us he loathed long books and had difficulty finishing them. You want to know why we really need NYROB and why NYTBR is best used for wrapping fish? Read these two reviews and you won’t ask that question again. (8 October 2010)

Michael Cunningham: Found in Translation (NY Times). This beautifully-written op-ed, by the author of “The Hours,” is one of the best essays we’ve seen about the writer’s voice, the act of writing, and the relationship between writer, reader, and work. (5 October 2010)

Amanpour tanks (Politics Daily). Why is Christiane Amanpour bombing on ABC’s “This Week?” For starters, she’s not a good ole boy with years of elbow bending with other Beltway GOBs, she’s really smart, she is very well informed about world affairs, and she’s a woman. (1 October 2010)

David Cole: What to do About Guantánamo? (New York Review of Books). During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to close the U.S. gulag in Cuba, the prison in Guantánamo. He hasn’t and isn’t close to it. He has also fought attempts to hold anyone accountable for abuses committed in the name of “the war on terror.” But turning a blind eye to our own crimes does us continuing harm. “The challenge posed by what to do about Guantánamo is inextricably tied to our collective failure to confront the wrongs of the past. As long as we fail to look back, Guantánamo’s future—and the future of our policies regarding ‘enemy combatants’ held there and at other detention sites around the world—will continue to be tainted, encased in soundproof glass, a secret hidden from no one but ourselves. Successfully restoring the rule of law in our struggle against terrorism may not require the release of all detainees held without criminal conviction, but it does require accountability for the crimes committed by some of the United States’ highest officials.” (28 September 2010)

Who’s more easily conned by reality TV and fake movies like ‘I’m Still Here': The media or the public? (LA Times). You know that “reality shows” are anything but. The Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary I’m Still Here is a much more elaborate affair than any of that foolishness, and it has reviewers and critics in a tizzy. Buffalo Newsreviewer Jeff Simon not only fell for the hoax (which he reviewed as if it were what it appeared to be), but pretty much refused to back off his initial evaluation even after it was all revealed for what it was. What are the “real” documentary filmmakers and photographers going to do now? Roger Ebert looked at 30 movie reviewers (Simon didn’t make the cut) who were conned (9), thought it was fake (6) or weren’t sure or questioned the veracity (18).

John le Carré on Why He Won’t Be Reading Tony Blair’s Iraq War-Defending Memoir (Democracy Now!). Novelist and former M.I. 5 spy David Cornwell tells Amy Goodman tells why he won’t buy or read Blair’s rationalization of his collaboration with George W. Bush in an unjust war, and why he turned down the request by The Guardian to interview Blair. “For me,” Cornwell says, “there are very few absolutes about human behavior. But I think a leader who does take his country to war under false pretenses is simply not an acceptable person. I don’t think that we should be weighing the rights and wrongs of that. It seems to me to be quite simply wrong.” (28 September 2010)

Revisiting past part-1

Mary Elizabeth Williams: The clumsy, beautiful Rally to Restore Sanity (Salon). “On a flawless autumn afternoon at the nation’s capitol, a crowd that ‘Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart fancifully referred to as 0 million’ strong came together to declare their allegiance to one nation under reason, good manners, respectful disagreement. What they — and we the viewers at home — got was an odd mix of Comedy Central fake news shenanigans and deeply passionate rhetoric. It didn’t always work perfectly, but then, the American dream rarely does.” (31 October 2010)

Israeli Jews at odds with liberal brethren in US (Washington Post). If you ignore the foundational and continuing crime (ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and expropriation of Palestinian land), and the fact that it doesn’t have a constitution, Israel for a while looked more like a democracy than any of its neighbors. That phase is just about over: it is rapidly turning into one more Middle-Eastern theocracy. (31 October 2010)

Uri Avnery: Bread and the Circus (Gush Shalom). Which practice—asks Israeli war hero Uri Avnery—is more invidious to the state of Israel: the unending corruption of its high government officials or its unending theft and occupation of Palestinian land? (30 October 2010)

Roger Ebert: Why I Loathe Top 10 Films (Wall Street Journal). IMdB top 10 lists are mostly voted on by people who have never seen a black and white film (hence few votes for Citizen Kane, Maltese Falcon, Metropolis or Rules of the Game). Most of the others are on sites that make their money on page hits, so they’re set up for you to go click-click-click with the mouse. Only a very few are compiled by people who know diddly-squat about movies. (30 October 2010)

Jon Stewart Sings: “Fox News, Go Fuck Yourselves” (YouTube). Jon Stewart’s closing riff at the “Rally to Restore Sanity” was one of the sanest, smartest and most decent statements by a tv commentator since Edward R. Murrow hung it up before most of you were born. It’s not on the web yet; as soon as it is, we’ll post it. In the interim, here is one of Stewart’s great musical critiques of Fox News. You’ll have no difficulty figuring out what he & his chorus are chanting and singing in all the bleeps. (30 October 2010)

Robert Fisk: The Shaming of America (Independent). “As usual, the Arabs knew. They knew all about the mass torture, the promiscuous shooting of civilians, the outrageous use of air power against family homes, the vicious American and British mercenaries, the cemeteries of the innocent dead. All of Iraq knew. Because they were the victims. Only we could pretend we did not know. Only we in the West could counter every claim, every allegation against the Americans or British with some worthy general – the ghastly US military spokesman Mark Kimmitt and the awful chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Peter Pace, come to mind – to ring-fence us with lies. Find a man who’d been tortured and you’d be told it was terrorist propaganda; discover a house full of children killed by an American air strike and that, too, would be terrorist propaganda, or ‘collateral damage’, or a simple phrase: “We have nothing on that.'” (30 October 2010)

Donations Dropped 11% at Nation’s Biggest Charities Last Year (Chronicle of Philanthropy). Erie County Executive Chris Collins has cut all county funding to arts organizations, except for ten he considers moneymakers. Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino is running on a campaign that promises to cut support services to the poor and elderly. State support for arts and public welfare organizations is drying up everywhere. Nevada, which a few years ago was expanding its university faster than any other state, is now cutting jobs and services just as fast: it has no income tax, minimal sales tax, and gets most of its state income from gambling and real estate, both of which have tanked. Most nonprofits depend at least as much on private contributions as on public dollars. That supply is shrinking as well. (30 October 2010)

Amnesty International Calls for Review of Cuban Five Case (Prensa Latina). The Cuban Five got long prison sentences in 1988 in the U.S.because they tried to preventinternational terrorism coming out of private groups in Florida. Their imprisonment is, to use a term from one of the dons in Godfather, an infamia, a bloody disgrace. U.S. officials won’t even let their wives visit them. (30 October 2010)

Arts Council’s budget cut by 30% (BBC). The US isn’t the only place where the pols who don’t read or go to theater or look at art have decided that the work of making books or putting on theater or making art isn’t worth as much support as before. Bloody dolts. (30 October 2010)

Mike Leigh cancels Israel visit to protest loyalty oath (Haaretz). British director Mike Leigh has cancelled a scheduled visit to Israel after the Israeli cabinet decided to “approve an amendment to the Citizenship Law last week requiring non-Jews to pledge allegiance to Israel as a ‘Jewish and democratic state.'” He said he’d considered cancelling after the deadly Israeli commando road on unarmed passengers on the Gaza-bound aid floatilla last year and also after the government announced it would resume construction of settler housing in expropriated Palestinian land. The new law, he said, “is the last straw.” (30 October 2010)

The lawyer who laundered political contributions (McClatchy). Because of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United last year, corporations and wealthy individuals have been secretly pouring millions of dollars into this year’s election campaigns. This may be the most bought-and-sold Congress since Nixon. Meet the lawyer responsible for the selling of American government to the highest bidder: James Bopp Jr, from Terre Haute, Indiana. (30 October 2010)

Ten MORE egregious lies from 2010 campaign ads (Albany Times-Union). Buffalonians may think no politician can trump state senator Antoine Thompson for flat-out straight-faced lying. Thompson recently moved into the leading ranks of the “Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes” contenders when he issued a statement saying that a report showing he’d taken thousands of dollars in the recent Aqueduct vote-buying scandal vindicated him completely. “Vindicated,” “implicated,” they’re just words, right? But it turns out Thompson has plenty of company, and the scoundrels are all over the country. Here are some of the champion liars at work. (30 October 2010)

Keith Olbermann: If the Tea Party wins, America loses (MSNBC). If you’re thinking the Teabaggers are just a bunch of hypocritical, self-serving right-wing fruitcakes, take a look at this listing of major Teabag candidates for the House and Senate (there are a lot of them) and their key issues (anti-immigrant, anti-Social Security, anti-Constitution, anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-income tax, anti-Obama, anti-black, anti-Muslim). Yeah, they are a bunch of hypocritical, self-serving right-wing fruitcakes—and they are the biggest party of hate and loathing and bigotry and ignorance we’ve ever had. (29 October 2010)

Betrayed by a Mafia Underboss (NY Times). Even the geniuses who wrote “The Sopranos” couldn’t make up nicknames like these. The Buffalo Report Editorial Squad’s favorites are Louis Ha Ha, Michael Nose, Vinny Gorgeous, Nicky Mouth, Louie Electric, and Patty Muscles. (29 October 2010)

Rod Watson: Collins keeps grabbing, but we just watch (Buffalo News). Erie County Executive Chris Collins has savaged county budgets for medical clinics, day care centers, libraries, and cultural agencies. He’s purged the comptroller’s office, so it is now just about impossible to check on what he’s doing with the public money he has been sucking back into his own office. He’s run his own candidates for the legislature to make sure it will sit and squat when he tells it to sit and squat. Chris Collins is rich; his family doesn’t use any of those slashed services. They’re just for poor people and working people, most of whom don’t bother to vote in county elections. The lobbyists and rich get the government they pay for; the rest of us get the government we vote for—either actively or by default. (28 October 2010)

Steve Kornacki: How we know Clarence Thomas did it (Salon). The problem at the confirmation hearing for Clarence Thomas (Bush I’s most cynical & enduring gift to the nation) wasn’t weakness in Anita Hill’s testimony; it was gutless Democrats who didn’t follow through on it. (28 October 2010)

Roger Ebert: Hefner as cultural hero (Chicago Sun-Times). It’s easy to dismiss Hugh Hefner as someone who “objectifies” women and turns them into sex-objects, but that misses the point. First of all, notes Ebert, guys didn’t and don’t need Hefner to run that seminar: they’re hard-wired that way. Hefner just put it out there, made it human, and in the process produced some of the best and most influential magazine journalism of the past 60 years. And he has long been one of the great fighters for civil liberties. So what if he gets silly with his surgically-enhanced “girlfriends?” Considering his very real contributions, he’s entitled. (27 October 2010)

Carl Paladino vs. his aunt (NY Times). Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor of New York, figured out a way to turn his aged and ailing aunt’s house over to his mistress. How nice for her. What do you suppose he would he do if he were governor? What experience is it, exactly, that he says he would bring to Albany to improve civil life in New York State? (27 October 2010)

Carl Paladino vs. the blacks (Buffalo News). Carl Paladino and his goodbuddy Larry Quinn insist that Paladino isn’t a racist, that sending out racist emails is just something Good Ole Boys do. Doubtful, but let that one go: take a look instead at Paladino’s political contributions over the past decade. If you follow the money you see that other than one campaign in which he gave one black politician money in the hopes he’d defeat another black politician Paladino didn’t like, and a very few contributions to black politicians already in office, just about all of his contributions—$452,589 out of $468,787—went to white politicians or campaigns designed to drive blacks from office. If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck…. (27 October 2010)

Frank Rich: The Rage Won’t End on Election Day (NY Times). It’s well and good to laugh as Carl Paladino’s hate-filled & idea-short gubernatorial campaign crashes and burns, but the Radical Right’s rage over living in a country with a Black president hasn’t and won’t abate one bit. It’s scapegoat time in America, and there is room under the Big Tent of Rage for all the varieties of Teabaggers and their associates. There have been big-time haters on the political scene before, but this is the first time they’ve had a powerful television network (Fox News), the Internet, and billionaires’ backing. “We shouldn’t be surprised that this year even a state as seemingly well-mannered as Connecticut has produced a senatorial candidate best known for marching into a wrestling ring to gratuitously kick a man in the groin.” (22 October 2010)