Thursday, September 04, 2008


The good folk at are barking up the same tree as I. The nuance just added by Stratfor is the question, What is Dick Cheney up to?

Stratfor reports a sudden quiet in regard to Iran. Government chatter boxes have been tight lipped for two weeks. As I mentioned this morning, suddenly the USS T. Roosevelt is on a pleasure cruise, instead of a mission to Iran. Strange sounding sentences have been uttered by President Sarkozy in regard to nuclear refinement in Iran. The last 7 million barrels of stored Iranian oil was sold to Japan. Japan bought other oil from Iran. Sarkozy made the first European head of state visit to Syria in five years and Condi Rice is about to break a 50 year record by visiting Libya. Rice has told North Korea and Iran that Libya is the model they need to follow. It seems that Libya might be about to receive a nice reward for its settlement of issues with the USA.


The UN-IAEA negotiator has declared that Iran's refinement of nuclear fuel is no longer an impediment to direct negotiations! This action backs up the statement of Sarkozy. It backs up the earlier report of the Jerusalem Post that says that senior US negotiators are now involved.

A few days ago, I emailed I did not get a direct response, but the report they sent today shows they are now barking up the same tree as I. Before their report, I was aware that Cheney has meetings scheduled in several locations. Stratfor says that several of those locations would be suitable for direct talks with Iran. Of course, Cheney's visit to Georgia once again shows the connection of proposals dealing with Iran and Russia. This is all complicated stuff, but the pressure on all parties to complete these agreements is enormous. The deal I have been talking about for at least a couple of years is ever so close?


After Sarkozy's meeting with the PM of Syria and the mediator from Turkey, additional direct talks were scheduled between Syria and Israel. Just as we have learned to expect, the top Israeli negotiator has walked away. Parties from both sides of the Israeli question find it politically attractive to walk out on any meeting set up with the other side. The action of walking-out wins a few brownie points back home; it shows that the negotiator is not about to give away the store while showing that compromise is going to be necessary.

Walk-outs should not be taken too seriously. It took a long time to get direct negotiations lined up. It means the two sides have already agreed to the important stuff. The final meetings are more about show.

The US market is getting slammed hard today. The heavy losses are once again in energy and basic materials. Capital goods companies such as Caterpillar are getting slammed (a huge company down 6% in one day). This shows that the demand for machines to mine basic materials are no longer in great demand. Boeing Aircraft is another capital goods example of big stocks getting hit.

Investors who are convinced that the decline in oil and materials is temporary have been buying companies such as US Steel on the dips. The problem is the dips started soon after the 191 peak in June and it is dipping again today to $111. It takes a lot to move these giant companies and the US Bond market is the "big boy" that can make it happen. The 10-year is down to 3.66%.