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In The News – Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 Edition
Posted Dec 17 2014 7:00AM
  • Islamic militants strike again in Pakistan. Taliban militants kill 126 in Peshawar, most of them students.  This has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. This is uneducated, ignorant people terrorizing the rest of the world. They don’t deserve anything except to be wiped from the face of the earth by any means possible.  

  • Apparently China’s holding of U.S. Treasuries has fallen to the lowest level since February 2013.  With Russian interest rates at 17% who can blame them? Not really. It’s more a function of the Chinese economy than anything else.

  • While Russia isn’t an important trading partner of the United States, they are to some European countries. Austria is apparently the largest along with Finland and Poland. The U.S. has 1.4% of sales exposed to Russia. Not even a rounding error.

  • The bad news just keeps getting worse for Russia. Israel just found another massive offshore gas field.  Israel’s evolvement into a Middle East energy power has interesting ramifications for their relationship with their neighbors. American firms are already acting as intermediaries due to the politically difficulty of the Arab governments importing gas from their sworn enemy. It will be interesting to see if economics can overcome politics.

  • Bill Gross may have the last laugh on this one. PIMCO is getting hammered by their Russian bond holdings. You heard that right. Some really smart guys thought Russian bonds were attractive. Almost every bullish ruble option contract registered in the U.S. has been made worthless; and foreign-exchange brokers in New York and London told clients they’re no longer taking ruble trades.”