Here’s what you need to know as you leave work today:
- Weak February consumer credit numbers sent the markets into a tailspin as Fed data showed a 5.5% month-over-month decline.
- Short term Greek credit rates are getting hammered as private investors have begun to pull out of the economy. 6-month Greek debt bills now yield 6.60, and have a 313 bps spread against the German bund.
- Today’s treasury auction resulted in lower than 4% yields, a positive for markets. We believe this is a sign of a flight to safety away from what is now perceived as risky European debt.
- Alan Greenspan humiliated himself testifying before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, refusing to apologise or acknowledge his mistakes. Jim Grant complained that Greenspan was never willing to acknowledge those who were right and, “just wanted to be liked.”
- Ben Bernanke has outlined the ageing population as the biggest threat to U.S. economic growth. This points out the fact that the civilian employment ratio is likely to continue to decline.
- The DJIA (.60%), S&P 500 (.49%), and NASDAQ (.20%) are all down at close.
- Crude oil, natural gas, and heating oil have all fallen off over 1% as a result of the negative consumer credit data, which implies lower demand.
- Gold has shown a sharp gain of 1.3%. The U.S. dollar is slightly up against the euro and pound, and slightly down against the yen.
- AIG is up 10.53% today.
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