The problem is – there is no place to hide – problems wherever you look

I wish we had more reasons to be cheerful but as a 20 year student of astrology, I can unfortunately confirm that the tough times will be around for a while and we have not seen the darkest hours yet – they are due starting Q4 2009 – 2012. We have to grow with the problems and start to get prepared – what we saw until now was the wake up call, I am afraid to say.

Some excerpts from Bloomberg:

Argentine Bonds, Stocks Plunge on Pension Takeover Speculation

By Drew Benson and Bill Faries

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) — Argentine bond yields soared above 24 percent and stocks sank the most in a decade on speculation the government will seize private pension funds and use the assets to stave off the second default this decade.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will unveil a new pension fund plan at 4 p.m. New York time today, the country’s social security administration said in a statement. Fernandez will nationalize the system, giving the government control of $29 billion in retirement accounts, La Nacion reported, citing government officials it didn’t identify.

“It’s horrible,” said Jaime Valdivia, who manages $1 billion of assets for Emerging Sovereign Group in New York. “We’re going back to the dark ages. Not even in times of the worst financial stress did the government ever think about taking over the private pension system.”

Fernandez has struggled to raise cash to cover growing financing needs as the global financial crisis drives down prices on the country’s commodity exports and erodes demand for higher- yielding, developing-nation debt. The government’s borrowing needs will swell to as much as $14 billion next year from $7 billion in 2007, RBC Capital Markets, a Toronto-based unit of Canada’s largest bank, said today.

Fed to Provide Up to $540 Billion to Aid Money Funds (Update4)

By Craig Torres and Christopher Condon

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve will provide up to $540 billion in loans to help relieve pressure on money- market mutual funds beset by redemptions.

“Short-term debt markets have been under considerable strain in recent weeks” as it got tougher for funds to meet withdrawal requests, the Fed said in a statement in Washington. About $500 billion has flowed out of prime money-market funds since August, a Fed official said.

The initiative is the third government effort to aid money- market funds, which in stable times are a key source of financing for banks and companies. The exodus of investors, sparked by losses from the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankruptcy, contributed to the freezing of credit that threatens to tip the economy into a prolonged recession.

“The problem was much worse than we thought,” Jim Bianco, president of Chicago-based Bianco Research LLC, said in a Bloomberg Television

French Bistros File Record Bankruptcies as Le Big Mac Reigns

By Ladka Bauerova

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) — It’s lunchtime in Paris and the packed restaurant has neither checkered tablecloths nor carafes of red wine. It’s a McDonald’s and the French are lovin’ it.

While rising prices and record low consumer confidence drive the French to throw their culinary pride to the wind and embrace le Big Mac, traditional bistros are hurting. About 3,000 independent French restaurants filed for bankruptcy in the first half, a record 27 percent higher than the same period a year earlier, according to Paris-based statistics office Insee.

“A hamburger patty and fries in a bistro around the corner from my office costs almost twice as much,” said Alexandre Cavanel, a 27-year-old computer programmer, as he tucked into his 8 euro ($10.70) double cheeseburger menu meal with colleagues at a McDonald’s in Paris’s Opera district.

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~ by behindthematrix on October 21, 2008.

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