Tuesday, September 30, 2008


It's truly amazing how politics can stifle efforts to plug the bleeding U.S. economy. To the surprise of many, the much anticipated approval of the $700B Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 didn't happen. An agreement was not reached contrary to the much publicized forecasts made by both political parties over the weekend. Each of them wants to prevent the other from taking credit for this bold move to prevent a meltdown of the U.S.financial markets. With the presidential elections just around the corner, this is politics at play!

Both the Democrats and the Republicans know that a bail-out is necessary. The country has been bleeding for along time now from the bubble burst effect triggered by the mortgage industry subprime crisis. A government intervention in the form of a bail out is long overdue. The situation has placed the Democrats and Republicans alike in a classic "damn if you do and damn if you don't" type of a situation.

Could it be that the Republicans really waited this long before solving the crisis so they can use the issue as a political propaganda to boost the sagging popularity of their candidate?

Could it be that the Democrats intentionally remained passive about the issue since the Mortgage Industry's "bubble burst" happened earlier on so they can pin the blame on the Republicans and wrest control of the white house?

We may never really know. What I do know is that both parties are aware of the fact that something must be done to correct the country's financial woes immediately, because if nothing is done right now it will send the U.S. economy into a tailspin which will send the country and the the rest of the whole world into a long drawn recession. I believe the Democrats realize too that such a scenario will not be to their advantage even if they wrest control of the white house by November because by then the job of reviving the economy will be a herculean job and their white house residency may be short lived if they fall short of expectations.

I am sure by now both parties are trying to map out their own strategies to resolve the impasse. I even believe a solution will be had before the week ends. Each of them just want to make sure that the other will not unduly gain politically from the passage of EESA 2008. Already the stock market made the steepest dive since the last depression! Further delays may cause long lasting damage to the U.S. economy and ultimately the rest of the world.

Below is a short summary of EESA 2008 which amazingly, had to come from Xinhua, China's People's Daily Online (http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90778/90858/90864/6508590.html):

The following is the summary of U.S. financial bailout bill draft, which will authorize the U.S. government the largest financial intervention since the Great Depression.

I. Stabilizing the Economy

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) provides up to 700 billion dollars to the Secretary of the Treasury to buy mortgages and other assets that are clogging the balance sheets of financial institutions and making it difficult for working families, small businesses, and other companies to access credit, which is vital to a strong and stable economy. EESA also establishes a program that would allow companies to insure their troubled assets.

II. Homeownership Preservation

EESA requires the Treasury to modify troubled loans many the result of predatory lending practices wherever possible to help American families keep their homes. It also directs other federal agencies to modify loans that they own or control. Finally, it improves the HOPE for Homeowners program by expanding eligibility and increasing the tools available to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help more families keep their homes.

III. Taxpayer Protection

Taxpayers should not be expected to pay for Wall Street's mistakes. The legislation requires companies that sell some of their bad assets to the government to provide warrants so that taxpayers will benefit from any future growth these companies may experience as a result of participation in this program. The legislation also requires the President to submit legislation that would cover any losses to taxpayers resulting from this program by charging a small, broad-based fee on all financial institutions.

IV. No Windfalls for Executives

Executives who made bad decisions should not be allowed to dump their bad assets on the government, and then walk away with millions of dollars in bonuses. In order to participate in this program, companies will lose certain tax benefits and, in some cases, must limit executive pay. In addition, the bill limits "golden parachutes" and requires that unearned bonuses be returned.

V. Strong Oversight

Rather than giving the Treasury all the funds at once, the legislation gives the Treasury 250 billion dollars immediately, then requires the President to certify that additional funds are needed (100 billion dollars, then 350 billion dollars subject to Congressional disapproval). The Treasury must report on the use of the funds and the progress in addressing the crisis. EESA also establishes an Oversight Board so that the Treasury cannot act in an arbitrary manner. It also establishes a special inspector general to protect against waste, fraud and abuse.

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Monday, September 29, 2008


Filipinos in general couldn't careless as to who will win the upcoming U.S. presidential elections. Most of them are too pre-occupied with their day-to-day struggle for survival to even bother about it. Besides, there's nothing much anyone here can do for any favored candidates if ever they have any. However, immediately after campaign started in the U.S., there was one section of the Philippine business community that went abuzz with some election rumors which somehow found its way to the country. Word quickly got around the business community here that Obama will close all call center operations outside the U.S. Obama is not in favor of outsourcing call center services and would want these jobs offered to Americans and confined to the U.S. only. According to the spreading rumor, an Obama win is bad news for local call center companies here.

Call center companies are actually making very significant contributions to the Philippine economy. Not only do they provide easy-to-land employment opportunities to the ever growing local work force here, they have also triggered significant adjustments in salaries and wages of white collar workers. Before the proliferation of call center outfits in the Philippines, local companies feasted on hiring underpaid, over qualified workers who were left with no choice but to accept whatever employment opportunity that comes around their way. Now, these local employers need to adjust wages to compete with job offers made by call center companies to the great benefit of the local workforce.

If the rumors are true and if Obama does win the elections in November, it will be goodbye time for the call center companies and hello once again to low wages and widespread unemployment. However, a McCain win will be a welcome relief and will mean a continuance of the call center contribution to the local economy.

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Yes! That is his name - Takayuki. My wife and my three daughters fondly call him Taka. His parents moved in to our neighborhood while his mother was still pregnant with him barely a year ago. His father is a Japanese national while his mother is a Filipina. Yuki was born a month before I left for the U.S. I still remember seeing him being taken out in the mornings by her mom for his daily sunning sessions. What I never expected was this slinky eyed baby will be the jewel of the eyes of my wife and my three daughters.

My own daughters are grown ups now although all three are still attending college. Having grown up together with barely a year each in between them, they never really had the joy and the experience of taking care of a kid brother or sister. So all three have always been fond of babies. They, including my wife never really mind babysitting for neighbors. In fact they love it. There is a different joy and excitement in the house when there is a baby around.

At one time when one of my daughters came home from school, she chanced upon Taka crying so hard in the hands of his mom. My daughter, a nursing student, offered to help. The mom without hesitation, handed over the crying Taka to her and lo and behold the baby stopped crying. My daughter was allowed to bring Taka home to the delight of everyone in my house. From then on, Taka became a regular in the house. And lately, I heard that the baby Taka sleeps over frequently with my daughters. There is not a day that Taka won't be at our house after my daughters come home from school because whoever among them comes home first will pass by our neighbor's house and borrow the baby.

Today, a certain sadness is felt by everyone in the house. Taka is going home to Japan with his family on October 9. All that will be left will be the fond memories of this adorable, slinky eyed Takayuki. My daughters and my wife know that baby Taka is too young to ever remember the 3 young misses who adorably love him so much and the misses's mother who Taka has also learned to call mom. For posterity's sake, and to at least perpetuate the memory of my family's lovely experience with baby Taka, I am posting their pictures together in my blog.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008


I have been using the Japanese Candle Stick Charts in trading the spot foreign currency market since I came across Steve Nison's book "Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques" second edition sometime in early 1990's. I was assigned in Singapore then. My "batting average" and profitability did improve significantly when I incorporated the newly acquired knowledge from this book into my daily trading regimen. When Nison's second book ("Beyond Candlesticks") came out, I was already assigned to our San Francisco office. By that time, I have proclaimed myself as a Nison follower and a Japanese Candlestick chart fanatic. (I wouldn't trade without taking a closer look at candlestick charts first!) The second book was actually a big let down to me. I was expecting to read trading techniques using the candlesticks since the first book dealt mainly on the discussions about what the candlestick is. Nison wanted to come out with a clear cut guideline on how to use Japanese Candle Stick Charting Techniques in trading the various financial markets in the second book, unfortunately much of his discussions was made with the benefit of "hindsight". His dissertations were based on past price movements which were already known to him at the time of the book's writing. So, l resigned myself to doing my own experimentation and interpretations based on real live market feeds with a focus on the forex market with which I was passionately involved with. At about this time, Nison was, I believed, doing the same thing although much of his work was focused on the stock market. (Many of his website contents and cd's came out 8-10 years after his first book was published.)

Before anyone accuses me of being a charlatan, I wish to clarify that I am not claiming to be an expert on the use of the Japanese Candle Stick Charting Technique here. My intention for this blog post is to share with you my experiences and difficulties in using this remarkable charting technique which has now become a necessary fixture in every trader's desktop.

For backgrounders, let me brief you on what the Japanese Candlestick Chart is.

Candlestick charts are said to have been developed in the 18th century by legendary Japanese rice trader Homma Munehisa. The charts gave Homma and others an overview of open, high, low, and close market prices over a certain period. This style of charting is very popular due to the level of ease in reading and understanding the graphs. Since the 17th century, there has been a lot of effort to relate chart patterns to the likely future behavior of a market. This method of charting prices proved to be particularly interesting, due to the ability to display five data points instead of one. The Japanese rice traders also found that the resulting charts would provide a fairly reliable tool to predict future demand.

The method was picked up by Charles Dow around 1900 although Dow's version (bar charts) was way different from Nison's (candle stick charts).

(Charles Henry Dow was an American journalist who co-founded Dow Jones & Company Company with Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Dow also founded The Wall Street Journal, which became one of the most respected financial publications in the world. He also invented the famous Dow Jones Industrial Average as part of his research into market movements. Furthermore he developed a series of principles for understanding and analyzing market behavior which later became known as Dow theory, the groundwork for technical analysis.)

Steve Nison, on the other hand is regarded as the “Father of Japanese Candlesticks.” Based on his intense study of original manuscripts on Japanese Candlestick charts which were exclusively translated for him, Nison was literally the author of the first books ever written and published about the subject.

I have been trading currencies long before Nison's first book came out. I was properly schooled in the Western methods of technical analysis (to my dismay and confusion). So, when I came across Nison's book, I was an instant convert, and with good reason.

One of the many mistakes I made as a start up trader at that time was to over indulge myself with using the various Western methods of technical analysis like Stochastics, MACD, Momentum Index, Elliot Wave Theory, etc. My over-indulgence with these technical tools made me mistakenly believe that the markets must move according to the technical models I have so painstakingly pieced together. My technical savvy made me forget the fact that markets are moved by real people, traders who buy or sell because of personal conviction or belief in a particular fundamental. My over indulgence with my better than average technical analysis skills made me forget that the basic objective of these technical tools I so fondly acquired through these years is to approximate the underlying sentiment of the market so as to come up with a calculated future market direction. I totally lost sight of the basic fact about charts and what they are supposed to provide us - the real underlying sentiment of the market, its hesitation, its strength! I totally ignored the basic thing about charts - that every chart is suppose to tell us a story, the story of the greater majority of traders trading at that particular time, whether they are buying or selling or staying on the sidelines; or whether they are buying/selling with conviction or on mere speculation!

Nison's Japanese Candlestick Charting Technique made me remember and made me go back to basics! The vivid graphical presentation of the underlying market sentiment by Japanese Candlestick charts is so simple and so remarkably clear that you are able to discern immediately market strengths and weaknesses. It so vividly reveals the over-all emotion the market has at any given time. To me, it serves as an effective radar that measures, detects, and translate market movements no matter how big or small they may be. It is so super sensitive that it is able to graphically illustrate (in the form of varying candlestick formations) the real story behind every market movement. It is so damn effective that I became an instant convert and a fanatic user of it. I really can never trade any market without first taking a close look at a Japanese Candlestick chart and read the story it wants to tell me.

The mystery of Japanese Candlestick Charts is in its simplicity. The myth lies in its usage.

(Next: Understanding Japanese Candlestick charts.)

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Thursday, September 25, 2008



American Censored News, Disinformation, Propaganda
Videos and Special Reports To Shock & Awe You!

This is how a fellow blogger (one of my favorites) who goes by the name of Euroyank aptly describes the seemingly spreading financial meltdown in the U.S. Of course, the “House of Cards” is his critical reference to the financial empire of his native country the United States of America. Originally from Europe, Euroyank migrated to the U.S. with his family at a tender age. Growing up in America made him realize many disenchanting things about the country which a lot of his fellow Americans neglected to see. His disillusionment with the state of affairs in his own country made him go back and settle down in Europe (and so the moniker of Euroyank or the Yankee in Europe). His site is a video blog depicting what he sees as the lies, half truths, and deceit perpetrated by his government on its own people. Properly titled The New Order, the blog advocates for change… (Change to what is yet unclear to me)! However, each video post in this site is published evidence supporting his remarkably truthful political point of view. This site (as well as his other sites) is good reference material for lateral thinkers who wants to make an honest to goodness assessment of the current state of affairs in the “Land of Milk and Honey”. Loaded with video documentaries, this site is a shocking revelation of what America is according to the author. Devoid of fancy website design, Euroyank’s site is a straight forward expression of his personal political conviction. Visit it and see for yourself what I am talking about. I am sure, like me, you will include the site in your blog roll and subscribe to his feed.

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The recent filing of bankruptcy by the giant Lehman Brothers followed by the massive bail out efforts of insurer AIG by the U.S. government created quite a stir in the global financial markets. Yet, the perceived widespread financial meltdown as a result of these two major incidents was seemingly prevented from happening by the concerted and immediate defensive actions of several major central banks. What the central banks actually did is yet to be reported by the media. Coming at the heels of the long delayed moves by the U.S. government to solve the “bubble burst” problems of the mortgage industry, these two incidents were indeed dampers to U.S. efforts to revive the sagging U.S. economy.

However, I personally do not credit the central banks for the prevention of widespread financial meltdown from happening. I believe the Lehman and AIG incidents have long been anticipated by the markets and considered by many as a delayed reaction to the housing industry woes. These are incidents they knew were going to happen sooner or later. And though the breaking news was shocking for a while, many analysts believe much of it has already been factored into the current price of the slumping dollar. Many, including myself, look at the current situation as an opportunity to buy into the dollar near term (4 -6 months). The short and minor rally by the USD after U.S. finally announced its moves to solve the mortgage industry problems points to the possibility that it is “bottom picking” time for the USD.

While many will be sidelined by the uncertainties of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections with good reason, I still believe the dollar (and the U.S. economy) is poised to rebound after taking a long beating attributed to the “bubble burst” scenario. For one thing, the U.S. domestic market cannot get worst than where it is right now. With the coming Christmas season, domestic consumption is bound to improve, so it is with employment data which traditionally makes an upturn at about the same time every year. Also, any further slump in the USD will be met by the traditional demand for the U.S. currency by multi nationals looking to repatriate profits to their respective headquarters.

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  • 1. Thou must first know thy self and thy market well.

Trading stocks, currencies gold, or commodity futures, or any other securities(fast moving markets) via the internet can be terribly taxing! Before you decide to plunge into it you must know offhand if you are ready to lose a lot of good night sleep for just monitoring the markets; or if you have the stomach to take frequent roller coaster rides during peak market activities (like watching your investment tremendously grow within seconds just to see it melt down in the next)! You must know first if you have the discipline to be able to maintain your cool during wild and wide price swings and still be able to call the shots objectively according to your pre-determined trading objectives. This means you should not to let fear overshadow you when the market moves against your position, nor allow greed to take the better of you when the market is in your favor. Remember always that markets are frequently unpredictable and that you must learn to adapt to its peculiarities fast otherwise it will eat you up alive.

  • 2. Thou must deal only with registered brokers.
Make sure the broker is registered! If the broker is based in the U.S., contact the Securities andNASD executive office on K Street in downtown ... Exchange Commission (SEC) and also check with your state securities regulator as well. You can research the investment online using the SEC's EDGAR database at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml. To contact your state regulator call the North American Securities Administrator's Association (NASAA) at (202) 737-0900 or online at http://www.nasaa.org/home/index.cfm. You may also contact the Commodity Futures Trading Association (CFTC) at http://www.cftc.gov/ and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) at http://www.finra.org/index.htm. The rule of the thumb you must use here is “avoid the unregistered and junk the brokers with recorded complaints.”

For non-US based brokers, you must demand verifiable documentations from the broker regarding their affiliations and representations. Some online brokers are merely introducing brokers (IB), meaning they act as marketing representatives for a bigger broker, in which case you must demand to see the IB contracts and investigate the affiliation of the principal broker. Other brokers “white label” for their principals. Their websites may appear and have the looks of a big broker when in fact they are mere affiliates of other brokers. Don’t deal with white labelers if they don’t publish their principals. White labelers make money through an additional spread of a pip or two built in into their price quotes. While I don’t have anything against white labelers who are affiliated with established brokers of good standings, I would advise you to avoid them unless they have incorporated more add-on features or services other than those offered by their principals to justify the additional cost to you.

Big Daddy's suggestion that you deal only with registered brokers is not being biased against overseas brokers. It's just that online investors must always be provided with a forum or a venue to file any claims they may have against their online brokers in the future. And at this point in time,only U.S. based brokers can provide us with this safety net.

  • 3. Thou shall shall not invest money you can not afford to lose!
One of the major pre-placement considerations an investor must make is determining theBanknotes from all around the World donated by... amount of capital he will be using. There is not set rule for this. In fact, everything is left to the discretion of the investor. However, one must understand that every investment involves a certain amount of risk. Placing an investment (online or otherwise) is in reality a form of risk-taking with the hope that the placement will generate a certain amount of profit after a while. However, the presence of the entailing risks also tells us that there is a possibility of losses. In fact, in fast moving markets the likelihood of losing all of your investment is all too real. This is the very reason why you must not invest more than your 'risk capital'. Risk capital is that part of your liquid assets or your wealth which if lost will not affect your lifestyle or your family's way of life. Never ever invest money meant for your your family's daily subsistence. Doing so will make an emotional wreck out of you. You will turn out to be an emotional trader; setting aside fundamentals; trading out of fear of losing the money on which you and your family depends on; holding on too long to losing positions hoping the market will finally turn into his favor. Once you become emotional trader you start trading on false hopes which ultimately lead you to disaster and the total loss of your investment.

  • 4. Thou shall not use unprotected computers!
Never use computers, whether at an airport, library or an office when accessing your financial accounts or records. Make sure you only enter confidential information on websites with the "locked padlock" icon in the browser frames (must have https at the beginning of the web address) Avoid using public wi-fi facilities in accessing your account or executing your online trades. Hackers are everywhere nowadays. It is advisable to do your online transactions only at the comforts and confidentiality of your abode. Turn off and unplug the computer you are using for trading when you are not on trade.

  • 5. Thou shall not trade without a plan!
Never attempt to trade without a trading plan. A good money manager does not buy or sell out of whims and intuitions. No matter how long his experiences have been in trading a particular market, the successful investor/trader always prepare a plan before taking a plunge, so to speak. His every action stems from a careful study of a particular security, commodity, or currency contract. He always has a sound fundamental basis (underlying economic data) and/or a reliable technical view for the following trading decision parameters:

o the choice of item/market to trade, (which security, commodity, or currency)
o the specific position to take (whether to buy or to sell)
o the specific price range on which the position will be executed (entry point)
o the targeted price objective or exit point on which the trade must be closed

All these trading decision parameters must be clearly defined and set before executing any trade. Never attempt to trade fast moving markets online in the same manner and with the same do or die spirit as in p lacing bets on online gambling sites. Every trading decision must be based on a trading plan and every trading plan must be followed to the letter.

  • 6. Thou shall not execute orders without trading stops!
Every trading plan must incorporate trading stops which shall act as a safety nets to limit your losses in case the market moves unfavorably against your established positions. There is no set or fast rule for creating your stops. However, in establishing your initial position you need to set your initial stop with a wider range - taking into account the highs and lows of the trading range established for the day, the proximity of your entry price to historical turn points (chart supports and resistance levels), and your tolerance level as dictated by your initial equity. (Make it a point that your initial stop must not be beyond the price level where it will eat up more than 20% of your equity). When the market starts to move in your favor, adjust your initial stop turning it into a trailing stop in the direction of the price movement. You must adjust your trailing stops tighter and tighter (closer to the spot price) as prices approach historical turn points or significant technical price levels (such as those established using the Fibonacci theory).
Stops are vital to your becoming a disciplined investor. They help you decide without hesitation when to cut a losing or winning trade. They prevent you from becoming an emotional trader and a perpetual loser. But most important of all,trading stops limit your actual loses. I have seen people lose all their investments in one single session because they adamantly held on to losing positions in the hope that the price will soon make a turn-around. I have also seen people who have reached their profit objectives but out of greed, held on to their positions. And when the market whipsawed they ended up losing everything.

One of the main attractions of trading on line is the fact that most brokerage houses offer trading opportunities on margin basis (where you are allowed to put up only a fraction of the cost of the contracts you are buying or selling). This ratio may vary from broker to broker. While this is an advantage to the investors since it allows them to maximize the returns on their investments, it can also work against them because high margin ratios can also wipe out their equity fast in very volatile markets. For the more experienced traders who are incorporating strict money management strategies into their trading plans, the margin ratio may be a non-issue. However, for the ‘newbies’, trading with a lower margin ratio (between 50:1 and 250:1 ratio) will keep them in on volatile markets and allow them ample time to react to rapid price changes in the market place. At the same time, the lower margin ratios allow investors to avoid margin calls because it provides them elbow room to make the necessary adjustments on their positions (like temporarily freezing their positions by executing an opposite trade) thus temporarily avoiding actualizing losses. Investors must remember that brokers are not required to issue margin calls when an account falls below the required maintenance margins. They can just go ahead and cut your positions at a loss. Investors need to read, remember, and understand the fine lines in the brokers’ agreement regarding margins and margin calls.

Most online brokers offer demo trading on their sites which allows you to open demo accounts and trade live markets using only virtual money. This is a good chance for you to hone up your trading skills in real live market situations without risking your own money. You may do demo trades for as long as necessary (although some online brokers allow you only a maximum of 30 days to use their platform). Never open a real account unless you already feel comfortable with yourself, your trading plan, the broker’s trading platform, and the volatility of the market you are trading. If you are not yet satisfied with the outcome of your initial demo account, then go ahead and request for an extension of the demo account or, better still, open other demo accounts with other online brokers. Do not forget that trading volatile markets requires a large amount of self-restraint and discipline so never rush to a decision at all times.

You must update yourself with everything that is going on in the financial marketplace. The internet has plenty of sources for real-time financial news updates, commentaries, and forecasts and projections. You must find time to go through the more important items which are relevant to the market you are trading. Do not look only or limit your search to information favoring your current position in the market. You must also be sensitive to contrary news, opinions, and forecasts. Use favorable factual data and information as your basis for initiating your trades. On the other hand, use any contradicting information, opinion or forecast as your basis for setting your trading stops (whether they should be tighter or wider). Subscribe to newsletters from as many online brokers as are available. Most important of all, you must sharpen your skills at digesting all of the available information you happen to go through and be able to create an informed and calculated trading decision from the same as fast as the need arises.

Online investments depend a lot on your uninterrupted internet connections with your broker. Your trading could be adversely affected if for example your internet connection is down at the time the market makes a major move. You can lose a big opportunity to cash in on that market movement, or lose an opportunity to cut your loss if you happen to be on the other side of that market movement. There may also be instances where even the broker’s system breaks down due to heavy traffic, or computer glitches, or other natural calamities which may prevent orders from being filled. The online investors must be prepared for such contingencies. They must be familiar with the broker’s alternative options in case they cannot access their accounts online. And this should include automated telephone trading, fax orders, and direct phone dealing arrangements. All these alternative trading options must be arranged with your brokers prior to instituting your initial trades.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Increase your Technorati Authority

While tinkering with the settings of my Blogger account yesterday, I changed some settings i.e.,I simplified the URL name so it will carry the name Traders' Hub. It was too late for me to realize that my established links will not find my site after that. I panicked after comingto the realization that I threw away 3 months of hard work. I rushed over immediately to Technorati to make the necessary changes but guess what? Stupid me! When I couldn't make the changes in my registered URL, I added the new address and deleted the old one thinking the rankings will automatically pass on to the new address since it is basically the same blog! But hell, I lost everything! My ranking and links! Poor, poor me. I started contacting everyone in the various networks I am affiliated with. I even got into a nasty exchange of posts with another blogger who just added me as a friend. He thought my frantic effort to recover my lost linkages was an unwelcomed solicitation for new links. (Although I do admit I took a jab at it with a line or two in a broadcast I sent out to my communities). He resented the message. Smarting from the rebuff from the guy, I consoled myself with the task of rebuilding my links. Thank God, because I saw this post from another blogger friend and so I jumped into writing this post as per his instructions hoping this would really do miracles for me.

The original post is from Brad Blogging site (http://bradblogging.com/more-traffic/give-and-go-technorati-authority-increase-anyone/) but I stumbled on it at my friend's site (My Ideas For You - http://myi4u.me/). I believe in what he said. I believe it will help us increase our Technorati Authority. Guess I don't have much choices anyway. If it works, share it with others.

1. Copy all the LINKS below into a blog post of your own.
2. Add your link to the list
3. Comment on this post so that your link will be updated
4. Watch your Technorati Authority sky-rocket

Friday, September 12, 2008

Swamped With Fraud Alert Calls

All the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) have been swamped with "Fraud Alert Calls lately after clients of the largest home mortgage company in the U.S., the Countrywide Home Mortgage Loans informed their clients by snail mail that their confidential personal data may have been compromised. It seems one of Countrywide's employees who have access to the company's confidential files, stole all information about its clients and sold it to a still undidentified third party. Included in the stolen information are sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and expiry dates, birthdays and other pertinent information vital to any credit transaction. While the matter is still being investigated, Countrywide advised its clients to immediately inform any one or all the three credit reporting agencies to tag their accounts with a Fraud Alert. This is a free service provided by the credit reporting agencies to anyone who wishes to avail of it. The initial tag will stay for 90 days with an option for the client to extend it for the next seven years.

Simply put, the fraud alert is a notice attached to the client's credit files. What it does is it informs creditors that the account may have been compromised and may possibly be used by identity thieves. So every time a client whose credit file has been tagged with a fraud alert avails of a credit facility like using a credit card or opening a new one or applying for any form of loan, the creditor is immediately informed of the delicate situation. Extra care is taken by the creditor who has the option to require the client for other proofs of identity. In the store front, if you swipe a credit card with a fraud alert tag, you will be required to produce other supplementary ID's more than what is normally asked for. It is a preventive measure to avoid identity theft but may also cause some delay in credit processing. But hey, this is definitely better than having your card or your credit facility be used by thieves!

If you are one of Countrywide's clients, you better make the call now! Countrywide Financial to which the Countrywide Home Mortgage is affiliated with, is a large conglomerate. They are into home mortgage loans, banking services, and insurance. We are not exactly sure whether the stolen information is limited only to clients of Countrywide Home Mortgage. There is a distinct possibility the guy may have hacked the whole caboodle of confidential information from the conglomerate. Besides, the fraud alert service is free!
Toll Free Number: 1-888-766-0008

Toll Free Number: 1 888 397 3742

Toll Free Number: 1-800-680-7289

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bulatlat.com's Photo of the Week

While surfing the various discussion groups at Blogcatalog one day, I chanced upon one invitation which was inviting blogger members to blog about international political figures. I was quite surprised that she mentioned "Gloria" the Philippine president among the figures she wants bloggers to blog about. This made me wonder if truly "Gloria" is that internationally famous. (I wonder if they really knew who Gloria really is or whether they have a real grasp of the Philippine politics?).
Anyway, after coming across a "Photo of the Week" feature on a Filipino website (bulatlat.com), I remembered the blogcatalog blogger and her discussion topic. I tried looking for her discussion group again hoping to be able to share with her the Bulatlat.com link. But with thousands of discussion pages at the site, I soon tired out after browsing 50 pages. So, much as I don't want to put any political color to my blog, I just went on and decided to make this post hoping she'd stumble on my site one of these days so she can get a glimpse of "Gloria" from the standpoint of people "not so close to her".
This photo of the week was posted by the site(www.bulatlat.com) in reaction to "Gloria's" latest State of the Nation Address and her government's on-going tri-media ad campaign dubbed as "Ramdam ang Kaunlaran" (Feeling the Progress). The photo shows shanties amidst the background of tall buildings - a perrenial scene of spreading poverty throughout the country. The photo itself is a political statement by the photographer and counters Gloria's misinformation drive designed to hoodwink her countrymen and the international community into believing that the country is indeed progressing.

CLIPS FROM http://www.bulatlat.com/

Contributed to Bulatlat
Volume VIII, Number 30, August 31 – September 6, 2008

There's this grating commercial on Philippine networks showing select "success" stories
under the current political dispensation. The commercial declare in the end,
"Ramdam ko ang kaunlaran!" which translates, "I feel the progress."
Yeah, right!
(Caption provided by Photographer)


Here are some figures concerning the peoples' rating of gloria from the Ibon Foundation, a non-profit, non-government entity dedicated to providing real economic data and other information about the country:

More relevant facts from Ibon Foundation:

Consumer Price Index (2000 = 100)

July 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Philippines 121.8 130.5 138.8 142.4 159.8

NCR 121.9 132.8 142.2 146.0 158.6

Areas outside NCR

Agricultural 121.8 129.5 137.3 140.8r 160.4

Non-Agricultural 121.8 129.5 137.3 140.8r 160.4

Source: National Statistics Office

Purchasing Power of the Peso (in Peso: 2000 = 100)
July 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Philippines 0.82 0.77 0.72 0.70 0.64

NCR 0.82 0.75 0.70 0.68 0.62

Areas outside NCR
Agricultural 0.82 0.77 0.73 0.71 0.62

Non-Agricultural 0.82 0.77 0.73 0.71 0.62

Source: National Statistics Office
Inflation Rate (in %)
July 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Philippines 6.6% 7.1% 6.4%2. 6% 12.2%

NCR 6.4% 8.9% 7.1%2. 7% 8.6%

Areas outside NCR
Agricultural 6.7% 6.3% 6.0% 2.5% r 13.9%

Non-Agricultural 6.7% 6.3% 6.0% 2.5% r 13.9%r-revised

Source: National Statistics Office

Want to know how"Gloria"is viewed by a growing number of her own countrymen? Look at these pictures!

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