There was this lady Hillybilly
Told Obama you look silly,
With your policies so dumb,
Just like your black bum,
And your small black willy.

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All Obama could do was have a big laugh and say “How silly can you get Hilly?”

425obamabarack041807.jpg“We won north, we won south and we won in between,” Obama told a roaring crowd, referring to his victories over Washington and Nebraska. “The Democratic Party must stand for change, not change as a slogan, change we can believe in.”

To deafening cheers Obama, 46, hammered home to party activists that he was the candidate of change, as he laid claim to the Democratic Party’s nomination and down the track the presidency.

Tomorrow’s contests have been dubbed the Potomac Primary, Obama, bidding to be the first black president, is expected to do well in tomorrow’s vote due to the large African-American population in the region.

Hillary Clinton was seen as the inevitable Democratic nominee. She has run a strong campaign, and been an impressive candidate, but much has changed in a short time. Instead of finding a clear path to the White House, has run into the rather extraordinary movement set in motion by Barack Obama.

In reflecting on all of this, I am reminded of a haunting line in one of Bob Dylan’s more memorable songs from the 1960s (Ballad of a Thin Man) It was written in the midst of the upheavals of that period, as the civil rights and anti-war movements and the just-dawning cultural revolution were converging into a social movement.

What is clear now, months later, is that the threads of Obama’s appeal and inspiration, woven together, spring from a powerful philosophy of change that has resonated across generational lines.

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In a bid to remain independent, Yahoo plans to reject Microsoft Corp.’s unsolicited takeover offer, according to reports on the Wall Street Journal’s web site.

Quoting sources familiar with the situation, the Journal reports that Yahoo’s board feels the offer of $31 per share “massively undervalues” the company. A letter spelling out the position is expected to be sent Monday. Yahoo also expressed concern that Microsoft’s offer does not account for risks to Yahoo should the deal be overturned by regulators.

The Journal source said the company would be unwilling to consider an offer below $40 per share, which would represent a $12 billion increase over Microsoft’s original $44.6 billion bid. It is unclear if Microsoft would be willing to increase its bid by such a significant amount.

The two companies have been in discussions about an alliance or merger for more than a year. Yahoo has long hoped to remain independent, believing it can reverse its fortunes and lift its flagging stock price.

In the summer of 2007, investors believed it was possible as well. Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang replaced Terry Semel as CEO and announced he would unveil a new strategic plan for the company within 100 days.

“There will be no sacred cows and we need to move quickly,” he said. But, after the 100 days – and then some – passed, investor patience wore thin, driving the stock lower.

In late January, the slumping Internet pioneer reported a fifth-consecutive quarter of lower profits and warned of “headwinds” for 2008. Yahoo’s battered stock fell to a four-year low, below the $20 per share level, and Microsoft pounced.

Read Yahoo rejects Microsoft bid

wreck_logo227.jpgHow is it that very few investors can make real profits, grow their net worth and consistently beat the market? That’s because it often takes one or more of the following rare traits…

The vision to identify breakthrough products, leaders, and brands.
The knowledge to spot an undervalued gem in a sea of glass
The courage to buy and hold when others are running scared

Occasionally, you’ll come across an investor with one of these valuable characteristics. And it’s likely that person does quite well. But I can’t imagine a person who can offer all three.

That would take two very different and even contradictory approaches…Fortune favors the brave only!!

The global economy looks set for a rocky ride in 2008. But for investors with enough cash in their portfolios this year will offer many opportunities to pick up undervalued assets. Equities in developed markets look particularly cheap.

While economists believe that the US is already in recession, other parts of the world are still enjoying good growth. Nonetheless, lower corporate profitability, inflationary pressure decreased liquidity in international markets and the slow pace of interest rate cuts are likely to spell modest returns across many asset classes.

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wallstreetdrop.jpgNo matter how much you’ve read about trading, or how much experience you have as a trader, it is difficult to trade profitably in a volatile market environment like the one we are in now. A rising market is often perceived to reflect optimism and investor faith. Enthusiasm and rejuvenated interest in the markets rides high. Many investors have multiplied their money manifolds.

Now, is it time to quit? Will the bubble burst? The investor has many questions and very few options before him. Strategies for a rising market are crucial and much depends on the risk appetite of the investor.

Don’t sell into the panic. Don’t buy the greed. This is of course obvious to say, but harder to execute when it is actually happening. When you have extreme market conditions, the individual stock movements can be big and rapid, and they are not necessarily, and in fact, usually not at all, related to fundamentals or economics.

Will the upswing continue? This is a difficult question and much depends on the factors that contribute to the bull run. Many perceive the market to be over-heated and fear to set foot in it. Others view corrections as an opportunity to make quick money. But this calls for quick decision-making and considerable tolerance to risk.

The unfailing strategy is to buy great companies with long track records of rising stock prices and dividends. Pick them low and hold on. Over a long haul, such companies with good fundamentals will not fail you. It is not unusual to find some stocks faring poorly in a bull market and some doing exceptionally well in a bear market. A bull run implies a booming economy, low unemployment rate, high production of goods and low inflation.

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microsoft_yahoo_070724_ms11.jpgMicrosoft is buying when Yahoo is at its nadir rather than when it was ridiculously overvalued. Besides, when you think about it, what other company might make Microsoft’s short list to buy to stay in the game with Google. AOL? Spare me.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates offered California-based Yahoo! An unsolicited takeover offer of $44.6 billion in its boldest bid yet to challenge Google Inc.’s dominance of the lucrative online search and advertising markets.

The offer – made when Yahoo’s share price had reached a two-year low – will be hard for Yahoo’s board to resist because the company’s financial outlook doesn’t instill much confidence. Luckily for Microsoft, it is probably paying half what it would’ve had to shell out a year ago, which is the main reason we’re seeing it.

Leading members of the committee scheduled a hearing on Friday after Microsoft offer. Microsoft and Google are locked in the equivalent of an “arms race” building up computing and storage capacity to accommodate more and more of the world’s web-based computing activities.

Microsoft’s bid to acquire Yahoo! is certainly one of the largest technology mergers we’ve seen and presents important issues regarding the competitive landscape of the Internet. Indeed Yahoo needs Microsoft’s protection and resources simply to as a brand, while Microsoft needs Yahoo’s Web-savvy to help it keep up with the ever quickening metabolism of high-tech.

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moneyjj.jpgLook at any bear market and even at its lowest point you will find stocks that do quite well. Similarly, in any bull market there are stocks that do poorly. It is true that market risk – the danger that a declining overall market may affect your stock – is real. However, investors who have done their homework know the difference between a general market decline and something wrong with their stock.

There’s this bit in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Harry and his friend Ron Weasely go into the dark forest and come upon a giant spider. When Ron, who is mortally scared of spiders, looks like panicking, Harry shuts him up with a stern “Don’t Panic.” A short while later, when the duo are attacked by a huge hoard of giant spiders, Ron turns to Harry and asks matter of factly, “Can we panic now?”

That’s the question that many people are asking about the economy, the continuing credit crisis in that country and the hastening collapse of the dollar. Back in August, when the sub prime crisis first broke, there was a worldwide panic but the US Federal Reserve stopped it by lowering interest rates and generally acting like it was determined to not let things get worse.

Lately, in a testimony before the congress, many seemed to suggest that the worst is yet to come and it could be a lot worse. They admitted that the credit crisis resulting from soaring defaults of sub-prime mortgages had become worse since it first broke in August. Bernanke predicted that growth would fall sharply at least over the next two quarters. He also said the crisis would worsen in the coming months and appeared to hint that the crisis on Wall Street could spiral into a full-blown recession.

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senate.jpgThe $150 billion economic aid package on a fast track to passage in the House faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where lawmakers in both parties are seeking to tack on billions for senior citizens and the unemployed.

The House planned a Tuesday afternoon vote on its plan to speed rebates of up to $600-$1,200 to most income earners while giving tax breaks to businesses.A Senate panel was to vote Wednesday on a $156 billion version, which gives $500-$1,000 rebates to a broader group, including older Americans living off Social Security and wealthier taxpayers, and would extend unemployment benefits. Senate leaders hope to pass it by week’s end, said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The action put the Senate on a collision course with President Bush, who has cautioned against adding to a carefully negotiated package that brought together House Democrats and Republicans, both of whom surrendered cherished proposals to reach a deal. The White House and congressional leaders agree it is critical to enact an economic recovery package as soon as possible to help head off a recession and boost consumer confidence.

“The Senate is threatening to create partisan conflict by trying to put in additional programs,” said Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman.

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22819987.jpg A full-blown dollar crisis on top of a credit crunch and a weakening economy would be frightening. Thankfully, it need not happen. A lot of pressure is being put upon some Governments and, by extension, the Central Bank, to revalue the local currency exchange rate in relation to the US dollar.

Some financial experts are calling for a revaluation, one to take account of the dramatic decline the dollar has suffered over recent months.

Other financiers are saying the time has come for their currency to be del-inked to the dollar and set against a basket of currencies which would reflect a more realistic value of their currency on the world market. So far these calls have been resisted by many, for a number of reasons.

It is not sentimentality that compels a currency to retain the US dollar as its peg, but there is a recognized historical reason for doing so. Until recently, many Gulf countries relied solely upon exports of crude oil and refined products for its export earnings to support the economy.

Oil was and still is traded in American dollars so it made a lot of sense for Gulf , as nascent nations and emerging economies to link its currency to that with which most business would be conducted.

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stock-ticker.jpgA Rate Cut appears to be the only way Wall Street may put the brakes on a steep decline next week, is anticipated from the Fed, and Friday’s monthly jobs data may trigger a comeback for stocks after their January dump. Even after this week’s two-day rally, stocks finished on Friday in the red and remain down sharply for the year so far.

The Federal Reserve’s meeting is expected to result in a reduction of 50 basis points in the fed funds rate, now down to 3.5pc.The central bank’s announcement will come only eight days after the Fed took emergency action on Tuesday and cut rates by 75 basis points. The move was surprising – not only for its size – but also because it came outside of a scheduled policy meeting.

The Fed acted as stocks were falling almost worldwide and about an hour before the market opened on Tuesday after a three-day holiday. The Federal announcement is expected on Wednesday, at the conclusion of a two-day meeting. A blizzard of economic reports, including data that may show contraction in fourth-quarter gross domestic product, and quarterly earnings from several Dow components, as well as a major speech by the president, will compete with the Fed and the jobs data for investors’ attention.

Investors on Wall Street and Main Street are likely to pay more attention than usual to the president’s remarks on his views of economy following this week’s decision on a tax-rebate plan.

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