Stock markets remain caught between the actions of central banks frantically trying to fend off a total economic meltdown on the one hand, and a worsening economic and corporate picture on the other.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Index has fallen to its lowest level since October 2002. It is noteworthy that it took five years for the Index to increase from 7,500 to 14,000, but only 16 months to wipe out the entire 2002-2007 advance.

I have just returned from a business visit to a rather morbid Europe, with the sight of thousands of people queuing for unemployment benefits in Ireland still foremost in my mind. The fact that a number of this week’s video clips refer to the dire situation in Europe, and specifically the crisis in a few Eastern European countries, therefore comes as no surprise.

But although gloom prevails, money-making opportunities do exist as highlighted by John Murphy ( and Dennis Gartman (The Gartman Letter) who expect gold bullion to keep shining.

CNBC: McCulley & Leuthold – investment strategies for a volatile market
“Paul McCulley, managing director at PIMCO, and Steven Leuthold, chairman of Leuthold Weeden Capital Management, share their best strategies for this market environment.”


Source: CNBC, February 18, 2009.

Bloomberg: Obama pledges $275 billion to stem mortgage foreclosures


Click here for the article.

Source: Bloomberg, February 18, 2009.

CNBC: Dimon – housing plan “well designed”
“President Obama’s housing plan is very elegant and well-designed, according to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.”


Source: CNBC, February 18, 2009.

Yahoo Tech Ticker: Whalen – “nationalization” of Citi and BofA inevitable
“In the past few months, an increasing number of economists have become convinced that the best ‘fix’ for the banking system is a government takeover and restructuring of companies like Citigroup. And some voices in the government are finally supporting this idea. Over the weekend, Senator Lindsey Graham said he thought ‘nationalization’ has to be considered, because he doesn’t want to throw good money after bad.

“What would this mean, exactly? The government running our banks for the next decade? No, says our guest Chris Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics. ‘Nationalization’ is a poor word to describe the process. ‘Receivership and restructuring’, along the lines of what the FDIC did with WaMu, is the right way to think about it.”


Source: Yahoo Tech Ticker, February 18, 2009. Peter Schiff slams TARP 2
“Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, takes on Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s banking relief plan in a special ‘lightning round’ session.”


Source:, February 15, 2009.