Friday, October 29, 2010


More on Bomb Scares

CNN carried the bomb scare incidents today, which might have been tied to an event in an airport north of London.

As well, shots were fired at the National Museum of the Marine Corps (the second time in a month).

Why the Weakness?

The market's late weakness appeared to be directly linked to the alleged bomb scares in multiple locations.

On Dr. Nouriel Roubini

I don't expect the media to confront him on his next appearance, but he was plain wrong.

I have also written that Nouriel does not have a concession on being wrong; we are all often wrong, especially in a business where Mr. Market humbles us so frequently.

I try to recognize and admit when I am wrong.

I have written plenty about the media's preoccupation with Dr. Roubini, not all of it complimentary. In many ways, the spotlight on him, even when he is a wrong-way Corrigan, is more the media's fault than his. It seems that in every cycle, the media needs a standard bearer of the bear case, and Nouriel has been that over the past five years.

That said, Nouriel made the following observation on Aug. 25, 2010:

"Third-quarter GDP growth is very likely to be below 1% -- and likely closer to 0% than to a pathetically lousy 1%. So double-dip risk is greater than 40%."

-- Nouriel Roubini

I don't expect the media to confront him on his next appearance, but he was plain wrong.

Stated simply.

Of course, this morning's 2% print was the advance reading, and Dr. Doom has a series of revisions to be proven correct, but I doubt that will be the case. A third-quarter reading well under 1% just seems absurd.

Of course, this post probably precludes me from being invited to one of his fabulous parties.

Diamonds and Rust

This came in from the Rapaport TradeWire on the diamond market.

Polished markets stable with buyers resisting higher prices. Caution returns ahead of Diwali and Christmas holiday periods. ALROSA Oct. sales at $228M and Gokhran sells $28M at large stone auction (91% sold by lot). Gem Diamonds 3Q sales +0.8% to $52M, Letseng prices -2% to $1,680p/ct. De Beers Forevermark sells $200M in jewelry Jan.-Oct. Christie's Dubai jewels sale nets $13M (84% sold by lot). Titan 2Q jewelry sales +37% to $253M, division profit +65% to $29M. JB Diamonds reportedly defaults on $180M loans. India's Sept. polished exports +36% to $2.4B, rough imports +37% to $973M. DTC Botswana workers end two-week strike as wage negotiations continue.


Quote of the week (?):

After two quarters of stagnation, the [3Q luxury spending] index now shows a decline. This portends a holiday period where retailers need to be even more nimble, need to control the supply chain, and in the case of experiences, limit supply more than originally planned. Fifteen months ago I mentioned the downward spiral dating from early 2008 had bottomed out. The subsequent period did show an increase, but it has reached a plateau and is now declining again.

-- Tom Bodenberg, chief economist with Unity Marketing (Source:

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