Tuesday, October 28, 2008


With a recession taking a firm hold on the U.S.economy, and the prospects of a looming Democratic presidency becoming more and more a likely near term scenario, the U.S. financial markets are indeed in a classic "troubled times" market condition.
Market volatility will be ever present and will add up to the confusion of the already confused American investors. We will continue to see short term market rallies prop up by cautious buying binges by bargain hunting long term traders held back by unwinding of still unliquidated positions by leverage traders wanting to simplify portfolios. In bottom searching markets such as what we currently have, we will see frequent roller coaster rides across the board. Seasoned investors will mostly opt to convert most of their investments into cash.
The currency markets will be the logical alternative for short term placements for these 'troubled times'.
Currency markets allow the investors a lot of flexibility during volatile market situations. The investors can easily liquidate positions just as fast as they place them. They can take advantage of short term market rallies and even short sell on plunging markets for short term profits. Where ever the prices turn, up or down, there will be a profit opportunity in the currency markets.
But before we take a plunge into currency trading, let us first get a clearer view of the real market situation.
The current financial crisis the whole world is experiencing now started at the time the U.S. institutionalized sub prime rates in their mortgage industry. It spread globally aided in part and magnified by the globalization of trade and the adoption of a free market economy by most nations which unknowingly was eating up a piece of the pie of the American sub-prime woes. And when the mortgage industry bubble finally burst, the effect is now being felt by everyone in all four corners of the globe.
The U.S. responded, though a bit late, with a financial bailout package. The rest of the industrialized nations reciprocated with their own economic bailout plans. To show their resolve in placing the world economic downturn in check, all the major central banks cut their interest rates in a concerted effort to revive their individual economies as well as the rest of the world. There is no doubt that they are not going to stop at anything to correct the current financial anomaly.
However, despite the resolve of the government authorities and the unprecedented bailout packages installed, the financial markets in the U.S. are still not reacting to the stimulus. Investors are continuing to unwind positions. They are clearing up positions especially in the U.S. equities market and for a good reason.
All these rescue plans are being over-shadowed by the uncertainties being cast by the U.S. presidential elections. The uncertainties of previous presidential elections revolve around the normal questions about the candidates' stand on regular economic and political issues. This year's economic issues are different and have far more profound implications. First, it is a known fact that the sub-prime problems, the root cause of all our financial worries today, were instigated by a legislation ordered by a Democrat president- Bill Clinton in 1995. Second, it is also a known fact now that sub-prime lending was institutionalized by a Democrat dominated Senate and House of Representatives for the past 3 terms. Thirdly, with the Republicans having control of the White House for three successive terms, odds are now in favor of the Democrats wresting control of the same. And finally, the most formidable argument as to why investors are not likely to resume buying in to the U.S. securities market near term is the fact that the electoral polls are showing the Democrat Obama leading in majority of the states.
In short, the million dollar question in the minds of big investors is how will a Democrat President solve a Democrat instituted financial crisis of a global magnitude? Or can he?
To make matters worse, Obama's penchant for declaring his policy of "spreading the wealth" (a socialistic goal) all throughout his campaign sorties is striking fear into the hearts of investors and deepening doubts about his ability to stem the economic downturn.
So, as it is, every dyed-in-the-blood seasoned investor follows one basic rule of investing - "When in doubt, get out!" This is what we see happening in the equities market. This is what we will see for a long while even after elections. Worst, should the Democrats succeed in wresting control of the white house the recession may deepen and even lead to a long drawn ugly depression.
The best strategy under these circumstances is to get out of equities and derivatives. They are likely to be the last to respond to any good changes in the market place and the first to react by liquidating positions when things turn ugly. Unwinding of positions will continue all the way up to the end of the year no matter who wins the elections. And, we should not expect substantial placements in these markets to flow in until after the second quarter next year if depression does not set in.
Your best bet now is to trade the currencies on short term. With market volatility everywhere, the entailing risks are about the same. Trade the day's range and scalp. If you are going long term place your bet on the dollar against Japanese Yen. Anything below 100 yen to the dollar will be a good buy for a 3 to 5 month placement. Place your target at 105 yen and your risk factor at 97.

(As a service for day traders, I shall be running a daily technical commentary using the Japanese Candlestick Chart trading technique which I have used for a long time with a great degree of success starting after the November elections.)

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Sunday, October 12, 2008



With superb rhetorics and media-backed double talk, the Obama-led Democratic presidentialSpeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi annouces Bar... campaign has been zeroing in on economic issues and putting the blame squarely on Bush and the Republicans. With the everyday American feeling the sting of this solely sub-prime triggered crisis, the Democrats are cashing in on the ordinary citizen's misery and exploiting the situation to their advantage by finger-pointing Bush. But what is really the truth about this crippling financial crisis we are all experiencing now? Is Bush really to be blamed for all the suffering every American is encountering now-a-days, and for this reason junk the Republican's candidate McCain?

A factual and revealing editorial by the Investor's Business Daily entitled "America's Second Wake-up Call (http://ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=308530236252361) cited the following documented events leading to the current financial crisis we are presently experiencing:

April 2001: The Bush administration's fiscal budget stated that the size of Fannie and Freddie was "potential problem because financial trouble of a large Government-Sponsored Enterprise could cause repercussions in financial markets, affecting federally insured entities and economic activity."
May 2002: The Office of Management and Budget wanted disclosure and governance principles in Bush's 10-point plan for corporate responsibility to apply to Fannie and Freddie.
February 2003: A federal housing oversight report warned that unexpected problems at Fannie Mae could immediately spread into financial sectors.
September 2003: Treasury Secretary John Snow, in testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, recommended that Congress enact legislation to create new agency to regulate and supervise financial activities of housing-related government entities to set prudent and appropriate minimum capital requirements.
Rep. Frank, the committee's ranking member, strongly disagreed, saying: "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not facing any kind of financial crisis . . . . The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we'll see in terms of affordable housing."
February 2004: The president's new budget again highlighted risks of the explosive growth of these government enterprises and the then-low levels of required capital. It also called for the creation of a world class regulator. The administration determined that housing regulators of government agencies lacked the power and stature to meet their responsibilities and should be replaced with a strong new third regulator.
February 2004: Greg Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, cautioned Congress against taking the strength of financial markets for granted. He too called for reducing the risk by ensuring that housing GSEs are overseen by an effective regulator.
April 2004: Rep. Frank ignored warnings, accusing the administration of creating an "artificial issue." "People pay their mortgages," he told a group of mortgage bankers. "I don't think we are in any remote danger here. This focus on receivership, I think, is intended to create fears that aren't there."
From 2004 to 2008 the Bush administration made 12 more attempts to get Congress to pass legislation to have safer, sounder regulatory oversight of Fannie and Freddie and capital rules. You can see them for yourself on the White House Web site. But here are a couple of examples that show how Democrats resisted:
July 2005: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected legislation on reforming Fannie and Freddie. "While I favor improving oversight by our federal housing regulators to ensure safety and soundness, we cannot pass legislation that would limit Americans from owning homes and harm our economy in the process," he said.
August 2007: Sen. Dodd, another Democrat, ignored President Bush's emphatic calls for Congress to pass Fannie and Freddie reform legislation and called for him to immediately reconsider his ill-advised position.
The Democrats have conveniently swept under the rugs the fact that the very roots of this current financial crisis were the new regulations mandated by Clinton in 1995!PaulsonFreddieFannie

"In 1995, President Clinton mandated new regulations that coerced banks to make significantly more subprime loans to inner-city residents previously viewed as unqualified buyers in high-risk areas. Banks were rated on how well they complied and faced big fines if they didn't do what government regulators wanted." (-IBD Editorial)

Wake up America! The economic woes crippling us today is in truth and in fact the unintended result of a Democrat-initiated and Democrat-supported program which allowed Freddie and Fannie to undertake their anything-goes lending activities.

And who profited from all these but the Democrats led by Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Barack Obama who defended these two agencies to the hilt while receiving sizeable political donations from them.

Political double-talk? .... The whole Democrat presidential campaign is a classic!

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DeNeero Conversation

Thursday, October 9, 2008


What a way to start the week! I got an e-mail from entrecard saying my accounts have been deleted for multiple violations. At first I panicked! 45% of my daily site hits come from entrecard members dropping ec's on my site! I frantically tried to contact support to try to appeal the case. One of the reasons they deleted my account was for having a pop-up advertisement that plays audio on openning. Actually I wasn't aware of such an ad but I do know I have a linkword ad with Linkworth which was just recently approved. I received an email saying the ads will be coming out soon. I never really see the ads. I presume the ads are one of those that pops up only for selected ip addresses. Other than this, I don't know of any applications or widgets or posts in my sites that plays automatic audio. I tried posting a video from Floglo one time but when I noticed it affected the loading time of the site, I deleted the post. The other reason they gave me is for copying content from another site (plagiarism?). In one of my posts (THE BILL AYERS FACTOR IN THE COMING ELECTIONS!), I quoted sections from Wikipedia but I was careful enough to cite the source and even put a link to the site. But, ahh, they still considered this as plagiarism. (I thought Wikipedia is public domain and you are free to cite data and information sources from it?). The other reason they gave me is for not having original content....for plagiarising myself! I have two mirror sites for Swirling Thoughts and they are deleting my EC account for posting similar contents on all three. (I would have gladly deleted my mirror sites had they asked me!) My intention was to nurse all three sites until I am able to generate sufficient readership for each one of them for me to decide to spin them off with their own unique content and identity. And it's kind of funny that EC had to do this to me after that controversial post on Bill Ayers and his links to Obama when I have had my EC account for the past two months..

Anyway, after a while of pondering and sulking for a while, I went to my site analytics and saw that there is still the other 55% non-entrecard visits. My hopes surged once more. A close look at the stats showed that these are unique visits - Mostly coming from my Blog Catalog and Mybloglog communities. These visits are real visits...with purpose...to look at the site that attracted them on the onset from the dashboards of the two social networks.

This made me realize that EC is not a great loss after all. In fact, EC provides artificial website traffic since 90% of the visits are for EC dropping only and the droppers would be in your site only for a few seconds and that's it! To me, this defeats the purpose of blogging. So, I am now back to basics....which is to keep on writing good posts that are relevant and would rouse the interest of site visitors. I believe there is no better way than this because people visit a site a second and a third time (even subscribe to its feed) because they like the content.

I did some SEO work on all three sites and subscribed to Google analytics. I also decided that this will be my last common post on all three sites. I will start creating a unique identity for each of my sites. Swirling Thoughts (http://bigdaddyrichard.blogspot.com/) will be about my random thoughts on life and will delved on general topics of interest to all - sort of a personal journal. Traders Hub (http://bigdaddyrichard-swirlingthoughts.blogspot.com/) shall have contents solely about online investing, foreign currency trading, and forex scam. Big Daddy's Trunkated Ideas (http://bigdaddyrichard.wordpress.com/) will deal on general business topics and political insights.

So for those who have been following my blogs and my topics you may need to visit all three sites after this post to get all of Big Daddy's ideas (LOL)! But ahh, I will install my content widgets on all three sites so that if there is any post that may interest you from myother sites you can just click on the link!

I wish to thank all those who have supported my blogs for the past two months and hope that you will continue visiting my sites. I will strive harder to bring you contents which will be useful and of interest to all of you.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Worst Case Scenario - A Long Drawn Recession

Democratic Party logoImage via Wikipedia
The dismal economic scenario in the U.S. is a boon to the Democrats' efforts to wrest control of the White House. In fact the focus of their political campaign centers on putting the blame for the crippling economic crisis the country is currently experiencing on the shoulders of the Republicans who have held the reigns for several successive terms now. The American electorate who are the first to feel and experience the brunt of the current administration's economic follies are clamoring for change. The Financial Bail-out package, the last gambit of the Republicans, is not helping their candidate a single bit.

In the just concluded second presidential debate, political pundits has called it a draw with neither of the two contenders gaining a clear advantage from the debate. But the most intriguing question of the night which practically sums up what is in every Americans' mind was the one put by one woman in one of the risers in the stage:

“How can we trust either of you with our money when both parties got us into this global economic crisis?”

While Obama kept on interjecting his presentations with jabs at the 8 years of Bush Administration blaming it for the current financial crisis but failing to come out with a clearcut strategy that will directly and immediately alleviate the the plight of the ordinary Americans, It was surprisingly McCain who came out with a bold pronouncement, the night's only new government program: a $300 billion plan to help beleaguered homeowners, which might have made Franklin Roosevelt proud.

With a month to go, it will be a close finish.

However, whatever the outcome will be this coming November, the fact is the U.S. will remain in recession. The extent and duration of this recession will depend on how the new administration will address the entailing economic issues.

As a trader, I have seen this scenario over and over again. And one of the most appalling observation I got from all these is the fact that the "markets" always know best. The financial markets may fall but they always rise up once again and settle on a level that bests reflects the current market conditions or a reflection of improved future market conditions. The current financial crisis triggered by the housing bubble will actually self-heal. In my observation, the markets have fully taken into account the whole sub prime problem and the housing bubble... even over done it! New regulations, bail out packages, stiff fiscal reforms, interest rate cuts are the market signals market players are looking for at this point in time to get markets moving in either direction. Will the economy get worse before it gets better? This all depends on who will be at the helm of the government after the November elections and how market players will view his future fiscal policies. This is why you see the financial markets going sideways despite the approval of the bail out package...market players are watching the elections...taking hints on what directions the main political protagonists...mapping plans on how, when, and where to position in the various markets. If whoever wins the elections has the nod of approval and the seal of confidence of the market players, then you will see an immediate market turn-around. On the other hand, if the one who wins poses more questions than answers, then expect the market to go into doldrums looking elsewhere for market directions.

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Take A Break -It's Sunday!

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseWe have a long week ahead of us monitoring how the Bail-out package is really going to affect the financial markets! The bill was passed by Congress way after the global markets closed. We will see real market reaction this coming week! In the meantime let's enjoy the weekend. Let me entertain you with two videos I stumbled upon at You Tube. ( Yes, I use stumble upon a lot....I get to surf sites I would not ordinarily be able to discover. You should try it yourself.)
Enjoy a short entertainment courtesy of this site:

Here is a bonus video from www.jibjab.com:
( In our first election satire since 2004's "This Land" and "Good to be in DC", we bid farewell to Bush and give Obama and McCain a proper JibJab hazing! And, of course, who could forget about Hillary and Bill? This rip-roaring musical romp gives the election process the proper spanking it deserves!)

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Post Smarter Blogs With Ease!

This is definitely a 'must have' tool for all bloggers!

Every time I write a post, I have to do a google search for images to use to spice up my write-ups. I also often struggle to choose the right tags that will optimize the visibility of my posts with various search engines. Many times, when I do a google web master tool analysis of my sites, I am always swamped with error messages that say the labels I used are preventing google bots from effectively crawling my sites. At times the google bots return "url not found" crawl errors. Well, all these will be history from now on (I hope) because I literally "Stumbled" on a website which provides an amazing application that works well with any hosting platform. This is Zemanta!

Image representing <span class=Zemanta is a free ware browser plug-in which creates smart links, provides contextual pictures and images, suggest proper tags to use for your post. The most beautiful thing about this plug-in is that it does all of the above as you are typing your write up. So,by the time you finish up typing, you have the links, the tags,and the images all ready to be selected with a simple mouse click. Cool indeed! Zemanta makes blogging effortless and fun! Downloading the plug-in and installing it is also a breeze.

This is my first post using Zemanta and I hardly can wait to see how the end product turns out. Try it yourself and see what I mean. Here is the link to the website where you can download the plug-in - http://www.zemanta.com/. You will never regret installing this application! But please do me a favor and return to this post to give me your feedbacks/comments on how you are doing with Zemanta. (You can always uninstall it anyway in case you find it not to your liking.) Cheers!

Important Note For Bloggers: When you click a Zemanta suggested image from the Zemanta sidebar for use in your post and publish it for the first time, you will always get an error that says "your HTML can not be accepted". Simply click the box just below this error message that says 'Stop showing title or body HTML errors for this post" and click the publish button once again.
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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Blogger Banner Exchange - Make Your Visit to My Site Worthwhile!


I am barely two months now as a blogger. And like any other upstart blogger, I want to improveImage representing Blogger as depicted in Crun... traffic to my site and at the same time improve my ranking with such sites as Technorati, Alexa, Google, etc. (You guessed it right! I also want to monetize my blog.) My membership with Entrecard (with their "U drop I follow promo) is helping my daily traffic a lot up to now. (A million thanks to all of my regular EC droppers!) My Mybloglog and Blogcatalog memberships are also doing me a lot of good in accumulating quality readers, gaining good friends and establishing new contacts. To help myself and other upstart bloggers just like me who visits this site, I thought of adopting a "Banner Exchange" program of my own and make the visit worth your while. I found out about this from being a co-sponsor to a blogger friend's blog contest (Help Children - Win EC credits - see the post below with the same title). When the contest got underway and banners and linkages were posted, my ranking improved a lot. From an Alexa ranking of 1,036,00, it improved to 782,000 while my Technorati Authority jumped from 4 to 14!

It is simple and it will do wonders for your blogs. We exchange banners and our links become more permanent and more visible to Search Engines. (I noticed that subscription to rss feeds is not really helping much to boost our ranking.) All you need to do is reserve a section in your side bar or your footer and post my banner code there. I will even make the job easier for you - I will make the banner for you using a screenshot of your site ( or your EC banner if you have one!) Here's what you need to do:

1. Copy the code of any of my banners below and paste it in your site.
2. Click "comment" at the end of this post and post a comment indicating whether you want a new banner or if you want me to use your EC banner ( if you have any). Please post your URL and email address too.
3. Post a message in my shoutbox (at the sidebar) after you've done steps 1 & 2 and you are done.

Every time a new member subscribes to our exchange, I will be sending all of you an updated code so you can update your own. For this site, I placed the banner exchange at the footer!




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Thursday, October 2, 2008


Reflections of Darkness or http://www.hithari.com/ is a personal website of a piano-loving (you’d find piano concert video clips from you tube at the footer of his site), cricket playing, young engineer from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India (formerly Madras). Why he chose such a title for his blog is a mystery to which the blogger needs to post an explanation for. The website is well designed and neat. The dark background of the blog’s design definitely adds up to the mystery (insinuating that his reflections are coming from it?). His posts are actually not reflections of darkness but more like streaming expressions of random thoughts on just about anything the blogger took fancy of. The topicS range from the obscure ( like Phentermine drug) to the most popular (like the U.S. financial crisis and swigs at President George Bush). At 21, the author, a self-confessed, good-looking blog-addict, has lots of time and talent to share with the rest of the blogosphere. His site is definitely worth watching!
Reflections Of Darkness

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Help The Children - Win A Prize!

More than a decade ago, the government adopted a Philippine Plan of Action for Children in order to realize a child-sensitive society. Congress recognized children as a basic sector distinct from youth and students.

There are numerous laws and programs that promote the welfare of children. But children remain the most vulnerable sector in Philippine society. They are the most affected during natural and man-made calamities. About 43.3 percent of the country's population are children.

More than 4 million families are subsisting below the poverty line. Almost 10 million children are undernourished. Most children are suffering from micronutrient malnutrition. Only 33 percent of children are enrolled in daycare and preschool institutions in the country. More than 1 million children of elementary school age are not enrolled.

This is the reason why a couple of Filipino bloggers are encouraging politicians to promote child-friendly governance in all areas.

Spreading the word about the true state of Filipino children in the blogosphere is one way of raising awareness and solicit support. By holding a contest such as this one, will also make it more rewarding for bloggers to join the movement. The contest officially start today (25 September 2008) and will run for a month.


Entering is simple. Earn points by completing certain tasks. The more entries collected, the better chance of spreading the word about the Filipino children and also of winning some Entrecard Credits! So, if you complete a lot of things as opposed to doing just one, your chances of winning will be greatly increased.

Just make sure to keep track of how many points you have earned and post a comment HERE to inform the organizers about your efforts.

It is also important that all relevant words, phrases and blog titles are linked back to the original source. Well, everything you can link to anyway.


The contest will run for a month, 25 September 2008 until 25 October 2008. At the end of the 30 days, entries will be tallied and raffle draws will be made using a random system. Winners will be announced on 30 October 2008.


This contest would have not been possible if not for the generous offers coming from the following sponsors:

  1. Seek No More = 8,000 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
  2. PolitEkon = 2,500 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
  3. Pinay Wife Speaks = 2,500 EC Credits + 125x125 ad space for month
  4. Proud Mommy = 1,500 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
  5. Momma Wannabe = 1,000 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
  6. E-Pamilya = 1,000 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
  7. The Pinay Blogger = 1,000 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
  8. Trader’s Hub = 1,000 EC credits
  9. Swirling Thoughts = 1000 EC credits
  10. A Grateful Heart = 1,000 EC credits
  11. Pinay in States = 500 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month

1 Entry - Subscribe via email to any one of the 11 sponsors listed above, which means each contestant can subscribe to all 11 sponsors and earn 11 entries.

10 Entries – Write a post about the contest and its intention of asking the government to implement the Phil. Plan of Action for Children (must include links to all the hosts/sponsors OR just use this original text)

4 Entries – post the 125x125 avatar shown below, which links back to the Seek No More blog for the duration of the contest. You can just copy the codes shown right below the avatar. Child Welfare EC Contest
<a href="http://seeknomore.blogspot.com/2008/09/child-welfare-ec-contest.html" target="_blank" target="_blank"><img src="http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb55/Sparhawk_photo/ChildsDrawing_125x125.jpg" border="0" alt="Child Welfare EC Contest"></a>
10 Entries - be the TOP commentator of at least one of the sponsoring blogs for the duration of the contest. Even if a contestant topped the comments section of two or more sponsoring blogs, that person is only entitled to 10 entries.


First Prize – 10,000 EC credits plus an ad space in Proud Mommy, Pinay in States, E-Pamilya, Seek No More, Momma Wannabe for a month

Second Prize – 5,000 EC credits plus an ad space in Pinay Wife Speaks, Pinay Blogger and PolitEkon for a month

Third Prize – 3,000 EC credits

Consolation Prizes – 15 blogs will receive 200 EC credits each

This means there will be 18 winners!

That is not all. The first 15 contestants who signs up will automatically received 75 EC credits!

However, consider the EC credits as just icing on the cake. The important thing is that, win or lose, the contestants and participants were able to help spread the word about the need to adopt and implement effective policies that promote child welfare in the Philippines and maybe in the rest of the world too.

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