Thursday, 31 July 2008

US Abandoning Capitalism for Socialism

United States Abandoning Capitalism for Socialism :: The Market Oracle :: Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting Free Website

This is a recurring theme lately. Developed capitalist countries resembling the socialist countries from the 80's. Interesting development.

Bear? - Not. Confirmed.

Commenting on yestarday's post - Bear. The confirmation did not take long. :)
I said that day I was expecting the market to go up while the mentioned projection (and some other) were bearish. The projected targets were 4800 and then even further down to 4676.
As we can see, that was the day the market started going up. Today it's around 5000. And I reckon it has some way to go. The support has been confirmed. Actually, I'd like to see it confirmed again. That would mean it is a strong one and that the upward movement can be expected in the future.
Things are going ok. No bad news. Write-offs by the banks are mostly done. We never know what tomorrow brings but at the moment all is ok and hope to see it moving upwards slowly.

Just to update... The current projection from Sonray is 5039, then 5167. Up, up.

The more I look into market analysis the more I'm certain we would've been better off throwing beans on the floor. :)

Market Briefing

Interesting webinar tonight. Held by Options21 online.
The audience asked obvious questions. Where is the market to go from here? Is the bear market over? Will the indexes fall further? The best answers are the simplest - no one can tell the future.
Fundamentally - the market has yet to fall.

There was an analysis of the current situation in the financial markets, relations between banks, financial instruments, and markets. The depth of the current crisis in the US is huge - around 500 trillion.
The presenter stated he does not like CFDs. His preference are options - hedging risk, controlling risk (stop loss). That is an interesting view.

Good advice was to actually ignore the news. The news just reinforces the fear, hysteria, greed, and other emotions. The best source of information from the market is the market itself.

VIX = fear index. Fear index shows lows in the market. Compare fear index with the price graph. This clearly shows how much emotions affect the prices in the market. And that indicates the oversold/overbought securities.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Investitor - Investor - Početna

Here's the first investing-related web site in Bosnia that I know of. Not counting the actual stock market exchange and the site from the securities commission. Then, there are web sites at brokers that offer certain functionality. But this one looks more community oriented and objective. These are just the first impressions. I'll put them to the time test and let's see how they fare.


Sonray analysts predict 1st stop of ASX200 index to be 4800 and then 4676. Let's watch if this will be the case in the next few days.
I think it won't. But, I'm not an analyst and I'm not predicting anything. :D


Australia - Stock Market

The markets are testing the support and confirming it. This also looks like it could go up from now on. It's not only the graphs that tell a story. Have a look at the news. All the forecasts are pretty bad. I have established earlier that forecasts are pretty much useless in terms of predicting the market movement. It is natural that at the darkest hour the situation looks so bad that all the forecast are gloomy. That makes sense. That's one of the reasons markets ARE down. Obviously, that leaves room only to go for the better at that point.
I read that after Merryl-Lynch write-off some are hoping that this might mark the beginning of the end of credit crunch. I hope things go nice and slow from here, markets get to recover properly, and everything goes for the best. There is something in the air that signifies the things are moving in that direction. At least there are no more bad news popping up all the time. Oil is down significantly. Inflation is high and expected to go down as the economy has slowed. None of the major banks went under. Everyone has corrected their earning forecasts for the next 12 months.
Just as I said on Wednesday when markets hit the low, that was the best time to buy. Only it was quite difficult to break through the stigma of bad news and smell of blood surrounding the market at that time. But then there was a short jump, coming back to confirm the support, and now I expect to see upward movement from here.
What do you think? As I said, it's not only the technical analysis that predicts this sort of movement. It's the current situation and various sell-offs that happened recently. There is not much hot air left to sell. Prices are pretty much at the real company values. Whoever is patient to wait for the next bull market can have their savings/retirement/house deposit grow. Hope this is not just a wishful thinking. That's why there is this blog, so we can go back and have a look at the comments in certain periods, while comparing it to the market index graph. :)

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Wizard Clear Advantage MasterCard Payment Options

Since I'm going away for holidays I need to pay my credit card charges and deposit some extra amount as my initial credit limit on the card is low. This card is a recommended holiday money option so I want to have some funds available on the account. The advantage is that ATM and overseas transactions do not draw extra charge, meaning you can have local currency at your destination(s) without extra cost and at current currency exchange levels.

The payment options are (probably) specified on the statement. That's what the web site says. But, I will be away before I get my first statement so I called the call center to find out my options. The card description on the web site states different payment options but no details on how to do it.
Australia Post charges a certain percentage and I hate standing in queues so that option is out.
There are two other ways to pay the card charges (top-up): BPay and Direct Debit.
For Direct Debit, a form is available in the Control Centre for your account. Fill in the form and post to Wizard. I can't wait to see if everything will work out OK with this option but may do that sometimes later.
That leaves BPay, which was my initial idea anyway. BPay biller code is 150615. Posting this number online might save them some calls to call centre. :)
Reference number IS NOT your card number, which I expected it to be. It differs only slightly, so unless one gets her first statement with payment details the call to the call centre is still necessary to get proper payment details.
So, I'm sending in my first payment to cover for the previous months' cost and some extra funds to be available at any ATM I see when I get out of the plane in Europe.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

G7 Socialism

The Greatest Transfer of Wealth in History is About to Unfold :: The Market Oracle :: Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting Free Website

He, he, funny how there are more and more confirmations of how socialism and capitalism changed places. Developed countries are more and more mimicking the former socialist countries. Look at governments saving major banks as if they were state property, at war generals hold press conferences and that is the major source of news (hence the popularity of Al Jazeera in Iraq invasion), etc. At the same time capitalism is growing stronger and merciless in former socialist countries of Russian and China. Well, the last still officially a socialist country. Since Castro left, I reckon Cuba is soon to join the club.
The middle class might be disappearing in G7 countries but is growing in the developing nations.
Guess there is that third level. The one of countries grasping for air and unable to support or develop themselves. But that's another topic.

Economic News and Forecast

The Market Oracle :: Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting Free Website
Here's an interesting site with current economic analysis for the world markets and global economic outlook. I just read some opinions from earlier in the year and now I'm looking for some more recent ones. After all, the market came back in April and May but then continued free fall for several weeks in May, June, and July. With so many conflicting forecast in the previous weeks and months I reckon no one can predict anything with certainty. So, let's at least see what is the state of current affairs.
There are some opinions that this year's presidential elections in the US will change the economic (and obviously the political) climate globally. And for the better.

Market Outlook in February 2008

Here's a piece of (now) old information. The forecast for markets in February was that the 2008 would be a highly volatile year. The US economy would contract for months before resuming growth at the end of the year. Asian economies were expected to remain resilient, benefiting from demand in China and India. Looking at the markets in Australia, Europe, and US - they all go up and down about the same time.
Now I'm interested to find some current forecasts. So far we've seen the credit crunch and the burst of American housing bubble. But, obviously, that was not all of it. These are definitely interesting times.

P/E for Australian Shares

Just reading "Bearish bargains" article (dated 1st August 2008, which is five days away, making me feel as if I'm already in the future :) and confirming the belief that now is actually a good time to buy. Never mind the bad news around and gloomy forecast. That is the driving force of the markets.
I was never a fan of chasing the high growth numbers. Always preferred a lower but steadier income.
Current market data shows that different industries are down from 20% to 40% this year. The result is that price-earnings ratio (P/E) for Australian shares is at the lowest point in the past 12 years at 11.3 times. In comparison, the average ratio over the past 10 years is 15.2. This means that for $1 of earnings you would pay $11.3 now, while the average is $15.2.
In addition, the market is pretty low and the question is how low it can go. At times like this it is a good thing to jump from technical analysis to value analysis. While technical analysis mostly analyzes the price movement, value analysis involves underlying earnings. Which is another aspect of investing - income.
Compared to current, in some opinions high, returns from cash deposits at banks the income returns from shares are still doing better.
And, when the bull returns, it won't take long to reach the levels at which you purchased the shares. Actually, at times like this, picking individual shares is risky and I, as usual, prefer index funds.

High dividend stocks are defensive assets. The dividend prevents the stock price from falling too low. This is visible from the price fluctuation in two Vanguard index funds - Australian Shares vs. High-Yield Australian Shares. The High-Yield fund, which contains companies that pay high dividends, is down way less than the Australian Shares fund. The good thing about income fund is that it is also franked. This year the amount is 105%, meaning some of your other income could be offset this year in terms of tax payments.

Prolonged Fall

According to the news and general opinion out there, the market fall is to continue in the months ahead. Recent bull run was characterized as a Dead-Cat Bounce and the general graph should continue downwards.
The foreclosures are to spread into the prime mortgage area in the US and no one knows when or how it would end. As a result, investors are afraid to put their money into the market and the companies reduce their earnings forecasts drastically. It is a pretty bleach outlook. In terms of time frame, some mention that this situation should go on for about the next year or so. Looking back, the average market downturn lasted about 8 months and the average recovery took about 15 months. This current one is in the midst of it and still within the average. Not really comforting, though.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Entrecard's Popularity

Entrecard's concept is gaining popularity. The membership has passed 15,000. It's an interesting community. Remembering the Freakonomics and the importance of incentives, I believe the idea in this community is very appealing because it provides incentive. It is a system similar to current economic systems in a way that it contains a currency, providers of services, and consumers of services. And yet, members can easily be one or the other and are often both.
This also leads me to conclusion that the online culture is leading us into a world where we will have our online currency, and we will be both providers of services and consumers of services. Not that we are not right now but it will be so much more fluid and easier and faster to change the field of work, to establish contacts, earn credits and spend them - find a product, a gift, travel arrangement, accommodation, etc.
In that way, I'm looking forward to see how things develop for Entrecard community and am enjoying being part of it at the moment.

Monday, 21 July 2008

My First Tag Cloud Ad

Ads - Definitions

Here is the demo of how the tag cloud ad looks like. It is really cool. The terms literally fly in and out of the box. I find it amazing to look at. Makes me wonder what kind of algorithm is behind it. Apparently, Ads-click offers content matching but I wonder if that is any good. Have a look for yourself.


ADS-click. publisher

I have just received an email informing me that the web site was approved and that I am now a publisher in Ads-Click network. Sweet. I'm interested in their advertising tag cloud. They might take AdEngage's place on my sites. :) Let's see how this one goes. None of the others have proven useful apart from AdSense, initially. But that has gone down the drain because of my negligence.
I'm also looking at other advertising networks but many of them high expectations. That confirms my previous post - a good idea first, a great web site next. Only then it can be used for advertising purposes. And that, of course, is only a step towards financial security and, eventually, independence. Some say that web sites are a source of passive income. Well, that may be but only partially. Web sites require an ongoing effort if they are to survive. There are obviously some that get a life on their own once set up properly. And those are probably a real treasure. But, looking at some stories online, those are only a small percentage out there.


I've decided to remove ads from AdEngage. Their glossary is very informative. It clearly states that they do not do CPM ads but only click-through ones.
AdEngage offers CPW ads on all the sites listed in the Site Directory and CPC
through Targeted CPC (RON) ads.
Apart from that, the targeted customers are in North America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Echelon world, as I like to say (sarcastically). Nonetheless, I'm not sure whether ruining the aestethics of the web site is worth a few cents a month, at most.

I'd say my experiment with advertising networks is nearing its end. I find it useless until one has a useful idea that turns into a web site that is actually used for a useful purpose. Then the traffic or returning users may flow and that, then, can be used to place advertisements and turn an income. For as long the site remains useful and active, of course.
Also, I tend to learn what issues are important in creating a successful web site. A good idea, experience and knowledge of what "goes" is the first thing. You might know a few people that need a certain service. There are lots of good ideas. The second thing is a technical knowledge of how to implement. I know a few people with good ideas but no knowledge to implement them. And, the third thing is the infrastructure. I believe that nowadays it is relatively easy to set up a web site.
Right on. Off to learn some Python, I guess... :)

Trading & Taxation in Australia

A few words about trading considerations for Australian tax residents. The following text is copied from June IGMarkets PDS. The latest PDS can be found here. The reading will be interesting for all of you doing trading, since it's tax time.

The following is a summary of the Australian taxation implications of dealing in a Margin Trading Product known as Contracts for Diferences (CFDs), and is based on the taxation laws as at the date of this PDS, and in particular Public Ruling TR2005/15 issued by the ATO on 31 August 2005 under Part IVAAA of the Taxation Administration Act 1953.
It is important to note that the ultimate tax implications to you will depend on your personal circumstances and, as such, you should consult an independent taxation advisor. Further, this PDS represents our understanding of the current view of the taxation laws and our interpretation of Public Ruling TR2005/15. It is important to note that our views have not been endorsed by the ATO and that tax laws and their interpretation are always subject to change.
The following summary represents our view of the current taxation treatment of gains and losses arising from trading CFDs as an Australian Tax Resident as at the date of this PDS. Taxation treatment will depend on your circumstances, and we strongly recommend that you consult an independent taxation advisor before deciding to open an account to deal in CFDs.
7.2 Proft or loss on CFDs
Income Tax
An Australian resident taxpayer generally calculates their taxable income by including assessable income and after allowing for losses incurred in gaining or producing assessable income.
CFDs can be characterised as cash settled Over-the-Counter (OTC) derivative products, in that your dealings with us under the Customer Agreement do not provide for a party to make or accept delivery of the underlying instrument. The ATO takes the view that CFDs are in law categorised as contracts of gaming and wagering, however this alone is not determinative of the tax treatment of gains and losses.
The ATO has taken the view that gains from trading CFDs will be assessable income-
(i) where the CFD is entered into as an ordinary incident of carrying on a business;
(ii) where the proft was obtained in a business operation;
(iii) where the proft was obtained in a commercial transaction for the purpose of proft making; or
(iv) where the proft is made in carrying on or out a proft making scheme.
Further, the ATO has taken the view that even an isolated CFD transaction can be considered to produce assessable income for the taxpayer. It should be noted that the ATO’s interpretation of what would fall within these parameters is very broad and appears likely to include all CFD trading, whether frequent or not.
However the Ruling also contemplates that a gain from a CFD entered into for the purpose of recreation by gambling (and not for a proft-making purpose) will not be assessable as income (or capital gain). The Ruling acknowledges that a taxpayer who enters into a CFD only once, or very occasionally, who has no expertise in the price of the underlying by which the gain or loss of the CFD will be calculated, does not engage in any income producing activities of a character bearing some association or connection with the CFD or its underlying, and in particular who gambles in the ordinary recreational way and who has entered into the CFD in circumstances such that the CFD may be seen to be part of that recreation, may establish that the gain or loss is a product of recreational gambling (and not the result of a proft making endeavour).
The Ruling also concludes that a loss from a CFD transaction where the gain would have been assessable is an allowable deduction.
Capital Gains Tax
While gains or losses would most often be on revenue account because it is
expected that the CFD is usually entered into for a proft-making purpose, where it can be said that there was never any such purpose, then in that event (unless it is for recreational gambling – see above), the gain or loss would be an assessable capital gain.
The ATO’s view is that a CFD contract falls within the defnition of a capital gains tax asset (a CGT asset) under section 108-5 ITAA 1997. However, pursuant to section 118-20 ITA 1997, to the extent a non-CGT provision includes an amount in the taxpayer’s assessable income as a result of a CGT event, a capital gain arising from a CGT event is reduced. This means that, to the extent that profts made from trading CFDs are included in your assessable income, you will not be required to include the amount of the transaction in the calculation of any capital gains tax liability.
The ATO has also expressed the view that losses incurred in trading CFDs can be regarded as capital losses for the purposes of capital gains tax to the extent that they are not otherwise excluded by law. Accordingly, such losses can be set of against any capital gains tax liabilities. However pursuant to subsection 110-55(4) of the ITAA 1997, to the extent that a loss of a CFD is deductible under section 8-1 or section 25-40, the reduced cost base of the asset is reduced thereby reducing the amount of the capital loss.
Paragraph 118-37(1)(c) of the ITAA 1997 provides that capital gains and capital losses arising from “gambling, a game or a competition from prizes” are to be disregarded.
The ATO’s position is that capital gains and capital losses from trading CFDs do not qualify for this or any other exemption in the ITAA 1997.
7.3 Notional interest and dividend adjustments
A share CFD is an agreement between two parties where one party pays to the other party an amount equal to the notional fnancial performance of a share between the time the CFD is opened and the time the CFD is closed. Any dividends paid in respect of the underlying share are notionally credited or debited as the case may be to each party in determining the notional fnancial performance of the share. At no time will you have an interest in the underlying share. An adjustment is also made representing the notional interest on funding of the underlying share position.
Any interest and dividend adjustments are notional amounts, which are unlikely to be characterised as dividends or interest for tax purposes. Instead, these notional adjustments will be taken into account in determining the overall proft or loss on the CFD. The taxation of the overall proft or loss on the CFD is set out at 6.2 above.
7.4 Commissions and other charges
As profts or losses are assessable or deductible by you, any commissions, interest or other fees that you pay to us will be deductible.
7.5 GST
According to the GST Determination GSTD2005/3 issued on 22 June 2005, the
provision, acquisition or disposal of a CFD is a fnancial supply under the provisions of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services) Tax 1999 (“GST Act”) and the GST Regulations and is input taxed, with no GST imposed. Further the supply of interests in CFDs does not constitute gambling supplies, as defned in section 126-35 of the GST Act. A CFD does not therefore in the view of the ATO represent a gambling event.
The commission paid to us at the time of entering the CFD would constitute
additional consideration for an input taxed fnancial supply. This would also apply to any premium for Limited Risk Protection on the basis that this charge is additional consideration for a variation to the ordinary CFD and, therefore, no GST is imposed.

Bull Run

Australia - Stock Market

Hm, no matter what they say in the news this seems like a bull run in the market. Oil fell about 17% which leaves some space for the economy to go forward. I believe the political tensions are relieved. The US is turning to negotiations with Iran and that sets some political stability in the oil region. Also, the lack of demand, resulting from the slowing economy worldwide, reduces demand on the oil reserves.
Today, all the Australian indices are up. Finally, no sector is down, as it was in the near past. Usually, either energy and material stocks went up and the others down or vice versa. Maybe this is an echo of the past few days in the market and now everyone's triggered to enter the bull market. :)
The other issue is psychological. I remember last Wednesday. The psychological pressure on that day was terrible. The market sunk for the past two months and there were only bad news. Almost seemed that could not be worse. Which is usually how it goes. Then, makes one wonder - if it can not be worse it means we're at the bottom. Right?

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Entrecard Credits

This is interesting. Just like a new toy. :D
Some facts I found about Entrecard tonight: Revenue from the site is not cash. But it gets very close. I think this is what has to happen. You might notice various web sites offering virtual money. Money, actually, since any money is virtual. A paper without any significant value. The value it represents is what stands behind it. The same is with this electronic money on the Internet. There are sites like PayPal, AlertPay, e-gold, and so on, that offer financial transactions. The transactions where we exchange goods and services via some currency.
Entrecard credits act the same. You earn them by performing certain activities, like visiting blogs and dropping your entrecard (virtual visit card), and by other people giving you their visit card. Points are also earned by posting to the blog registered with Entrecard. This is a nice feature since the whole idea is to promote blogging and encourage people to create more useful content.
Now, I wonder how to register all my different blogs. Obviously, nowadays, one blog is not enough. There is so many disparate topics out there that it does not make sense to mix them together. This is something I've been contemplating tonight - to put all my posts into one blog and separate them by using tags. But, then, the site would look like a junk yard. It make much more sense to keep blogs separate with their individual history, search, and other blog features.
If you are a blogger, definitely try out Entrecard.


Entrecard is a new and interesting concept in marketing. It evolved from a typical advertiser/publisher relationship. Many people today are both advertisers and publishers, anyway.
Now, the concept is the following... You have a blog. Then you go and create an Entrecard account. This will give you a code to place on the blog. It is sort of an online business card.
Browsing blogs with entrecard sign on them allows you to drop your card to the blog owner. This card goes into their inbox and they return your visit by visiting your blog.
Droping cards and returning visits gives you credits that can be used to advertise. The ads then get placed into your entrecard space on the blog.

It may sound a bit confusing at first but the concept is new and interesting. People who have been using the service praise it as quite useful. I can't help but to try it out for the sheer fun of it. :)

Ad Networks

Online Business

I'm experimenting with other ad serving networks, besides AdBrite. A very few now seems to use CPM concept (cost per thousand impressions). It appears that more sites are focusing on cost per action (CPA) and cost per click (CPC).
I prefer CPM concept. It was interesting to read today that some sites offer subscriptions and function in a way similar to more traditional advertising space. They sell an advertising place on sites for a fee based on time period (daily, weekly or monthly). This way publishers loose incentive to attempt fraud, as it seems to be quite an issue.

Anyway, you will probably notice in this period that there are a few ads across the web site but that will change soon. I want to see if it is worth at all to implement these on relatively low traffic web sites and blogs. Will post findings after a few weeks, probably.



Wow, it is really amazing that people actually make this kind of web sites/blogs and put advertisements on them.
Anyway, as an alternative to AdSense I am experimenting with AdBrite as an ad marketplace. The earnings are extremely low but then, again, so are visits to my web sites and blogs. :)
Having that in mind it is really hard to believe that a blog such as the one linked above can actuall make any earnings from ads. There are only two or three posts and links to AdBrite web site. Probably the owner of the blog is hoping for referrals, in which case he could earn a portion of revenue his referrals make.
I'm starting to get really sick of all these viral and pyramidal schemes on the Internet.

Since I do not own any high-traffic web sites the ads have so far proven to be useless and I might as well remove them altogether. At least they would not spoil the experience of browsing the sites and blogs.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Market Bounce

Sadly, this latest market bounce, according to some technical analysts, appears to be short-lived. The price is up but the volume does not support it as a marker and the money flow indicator points to a selling pressure. This may mean that there is no substance in the latest price rise apart from the SEC commission decision that caused covering the short positions which, in turn, caused the money to flow into the market.
Looking forward to Monday to see how the things turn out further.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Market Is Up

Overnight action in the US pushed Australian market up. Wells Fargo had better than expected results and raised dividends, boosting confidence in financial industry. US Dollar is also up and oil is, naturally, down.
This was a reason enough for the market to bounce a bit more than 1% on the upwards. The two main reasons - the high oil price and the gloomy future of the financials - have softened, allowing the markets to move up again.
Objectively, this could be the perfect time to invest. The future gains are highest at this point. It will be interesting to see how it goes the next couple of days.
ASX has been steady for the first couple of hours during the market hours. Amazing that Australian market is so inert, reflecting what's going in the US.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Wizard Clear Advantage MasterCard

The card arrived in the mail yesterday. It was a new toy for the evening. :) The card can be activated over the phone or on the internet. The phone system is comprehensive. I checked the credit limit, activated the card, and set my PIN over the phone.
Then I registered for the online access. All these things can be done over the Internet, too. The Control Center displays all the relevant information and allows you to change all the mentioned settings and more. The credit limit can be changed through simple request. The approval is automatic and will depend on whether you satisfy the requirements first.
Instead of waiting for the PIN to arrive in a separate mail, I set my own PIN over the phone.
Still haven't used the card but will in the following days. I'm interested to see how will it behave overseas.

BiH Inflation

Thursday, 10 July 2008

What is going on with Iran?

Hm, looking at the markets, the prices oscillate tremendously over the past few weeks. This was, in part, caused by wildly oscillating price of oil. And the oil situation, besides the rising demand, is now shaken by political developments. That turned my attention to what is going on with Iran right now.
The situation doesn't look good. But, in the media, it never does. The media are generally too sensationalist. I need to spend some time finding and analyzing some valid sources of information out there to see what is this latest confrontation caused by.

Talking to people, it is amazing to find that some of them do not believe that world's major oil supplies are located in Iran. Well, OK, that's something to be checked too...
According to CIA World Factbook page about Iran, the oil reserves are 138.4 billion bbl according to Iranian claims. Saudi Arabia's proven reserves are 264.3 billion bbl (all 2007 estimates) and Kuwait's are 101.5 billion bbl. Russia's, in comparison, are only 60 billion bbl. Just for reference, Australia's reserves are 1.437 billion bbl.
Iran is the fourth largest crude exporter in the world according to Reuters.

At this time in the economic cycle this could be the drop that might cause the glass to spill. Onto some work...
The oil reserves are easy to check. The listed numbers are mostly estimates but that should suffice for now. Another issue is the politics. Israel seems to be afraid for their safety since Iran seems to be working on developing a nuclear weapon. Nothing new, in general, but it's a question whether Israel will undertake drastic measures about it. An article in the Economist is a good general source of information, as usual. There might be other interests involved, as well. What I fear is that Israel might be an extended arm of the Hawks - a society for preservation of Good Old Western life style - firearms and oil heaven. Well, sarcasm aside, here are some interesting information in that regard.
Fortunately, the information from the field indicate that a military intervention is not very likely unless someone goes nuts.

This looks like a covert operation to influence the next year's elections in Iran. :)

Friday, 4 July 2008

Australian Market Volatility Chart

Volatility index chart | Calculators & tools | Vanguard

It might feel better seeing that market corrections occur periodically and that the last one, or current one, is not as bad as some other ones and is about average or better.