Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Federal Reserve Keeps Target Rate Range Unchanged, Plans Purchasing $300 Billion of Longer-Termed Treasuries

Bill Gross, the head of bond powerhouse Pimco, the same that bets against the government and manages sme portfolios for the TARF, has said buying longer-termed Treasuries isn't as good and effective a government policy as bailing out banks and repurchasing mortgage-backed notes. Maybe, I don't really know -- the thing is the Fed today announced a programme to repurchase $300 billion of long term Treasury debt. This will prop up the government debt holdings of Pimco as well as China. Ah! And Pimco will keep buying ... at good prices.

The Fed kept the fed Funds rate range between 0 percent and 0.25 percent. Please click on Link 1 for Bloomberg News' transcription of the FOMC decision, and Link 2 for the story by Reuters.

Link 1

Link 2

New Issuance -- Panama Reopens 2015 Bond; Size at $323 Million, Signalling Risk-Taking Remains Limited (Update)

Issuer: Republic of Panama
Ratings: Ba1 / BB+ / BB+ (stable/stable/positive)
Maturity: Reopening of 7.25% Notes Due March 2015
Size: $323 Million
Price Guidance: $101 Area
Format: Senior Fixed Rate Global Notes
Use Of Proceeds: General Budgetary Purposes
Books: Morgan Stanley & Co. / UBS AG
Timing: Today, March 18

New Issuance -- Israel Offers Benchmark Size, 10-Year Bond on Sale Today

ISSUER: State of Israel
ISSUE RATING: A1 / A

SIZE: Benchmark Size in U.S. Dollars

TENOR: 10 Year

PRICE GUIDANCE: Equivalent Treasury Yield + 287.5 Basis Point Spread

FORMAT: Global SEC-Registered Fixed Rate Notes

BOOKRUNNERS: Citigroup Inc. / Deutsche Bank AG / Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

TIMING: Today

One in Three Colombians Believe The Country is a Democracy. Urrgghh!

A government survey found that 35 percent of Colombians (about one in every three) said the country is democratic. About 10 percent were clear-cut -- they said it isn't; fifty-five percent said the country is not a strong democracy. About eight in every ten said democracy is the best system of government.

Yes, people are not stupid. Yesterday the Prosecutor General, a radical Catholic man called Alejandro Ordoñez, scrapped a process against two government officials for their alleged involvement in bribing lawmakers. Ordoñez will not proceed with the disciplinary investigations against Social Welfare Minister Diego Palacio and current ambassador to Rome Sabas Pretelt de la Vega (a former Interior Minister) -- both were suspected of having bribed former congresswoman Yidis Medina to vote for an amendment to pass the re-election of Uribe. Ordoñez's decision will further taint the image of judicial institutions in Colombia.

Click on the link to read the results of the poll, in a Caracol Radio story (the story is weak and badly written, let me say to you.)

According to the DANE, the government statistics agency, more than 15,000 people were interviewed in 24 cities. President Alvaro Uribe wasn't available for comment, when sought by this blog, said one top press aide. He said we could get comments from Jose Obdulio Gaviria, Uribe's Rasputin, on the poll. We declined -- we don't like being brainwashed.

Why The World Should Be Permanently in Recession: The Cases of Russia and Venezuela

God, have mercy of these two!

I am sorry Otto, I am not giving my cherry away, not yet!

Yesterday, Russian President Dmitry ''The Puppet´´ Medvedev vowed to press ahead with a rearmament program seeking to quash NATO's military expansion close to Russia's borders. The Puppet and U.S. President Barack Obama will meet early next month to discuss the economic crisis and ... uhhmmm geopolitics. Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov went beyond remarks made by the Puppet. Serdyukov accused the U.S. of trying to push Russia out of its traditional sphere of influence -- the former Soviet Union countries -- in order to secure energy and commodity supplies. Jesus!

Then we have the President of the Bolivarian Revolutionary Pathetic Republic, formerly Venezuela (otrora a great country, now ruined by ten years of Chavismo) seizing airports and ports from regional governments -- read the opposition -- after the president's cronies passed his long-sought re-election amendment. Why I say the world should be permanently in recession? Because these stupid presidents are using the wealth of their countries to pursue nuke weapons, curtail political opposition in their countries, create alliances with allies to spark regional imbalances (the case of Venezuela and Ecuador hinders Colombia's war against the FARC and drug traffickers) and all that. Countries like Iran do the same -- annoy its neighbours and put the world under more stress.

Capitalism has bolstered these regimes that treat democracy like a tool of their leaders, have little of pluralist and much of oppressive. I know there are too many sympathisers of Mr. Hugo Chávez in this region. Shame on them -- I do wish the world was permanently in a recession to impede people like Chávez or The Puppet from carrying out their stupid projects.