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Three huge things European are due to happen overnight our time:


  1. David Cameron will find out whether he will be the next pommy PM. The Tories and Lib Dems are meeting right now to see if they can stitch something together. If it does happen, my understanding is that the Conservatives will get their way and, in return for electoral reform, will jump straight in to slashing and burning the Brit economy and being actively skeptical of euroland. David Cameron has stressed that he wants a deal by Monday morning their time. If the Lib Dems walk away and move towards a Brownless Labour, then seeing that they would also need a number of the independents to come on board, I guess we would have days of the UK being leaderless. It seems to me that more and more people are losing patience with Gordon Brown's undignified behaviour in not resigning so it seems that in any scenario, he is finished.



  2. Angela Merkel risks losing control of the upper house of the German parliament as a result of today's election in Germany's largest state, North Rhine-Westphalia. Possibly more importantly, from my investing perspective at least, is if the voters confirm the message that recent polling has been sending - that the overwhelming majority of Germans are against giving money to bail out the southern Europeans. In that case it may be that not only the Brits but also the Germans about to become far less enthusiastic about helping out Club Med. The little french poser may end up hogging centre-stage, but as the last major player standing.



  3. And Mr Sarkozy's grand plan to rout the speculators is be released overnight.
The expected result will be that by the time the local markets open there will be much less uncertainty in Europe than there was when our markets closed last Friday. But if any one of these three developments go pear-shaped then we will be entering a totally new segment in this slow-mo train crash (as K1 used to say: are we there yet?).



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What would you do if you were in Cameron's and the Tories shoes, knowing the pain the country must go through to address its problems :-


1.) Would you Govern and more than likely not get elected for at least a decade and a half after you put the country through the grinder to get it back into a sound position.


2.) Let Brown do it as he has no other choice.

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Hi both; BROWN MUST GO.--regardless


If ever we, as players on the small stage (ASX) have oportunities, that time is NOW!


Great to see the BHP CEO not mincing his words tonight.


One thing I would love to see BANNED, and banned for all time is Computer Trading, the utter chaos it caused last week worldwide.


UP the civilised Revolution--enough is enough!

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Gold and Silver will be the safest plays, but their will be huge volatility as Governments and Central Banks do not want the public to run to precious metals



Hi Mungo--its gradually sliipping out of any governmental control, bring it on.

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One thing I would love to see BANNED, and banned for all time is Computer Trading, the utter chaos it caused last week worldwide.




It aint going to happen. Yes it may or may not be a level playing field but has it ever been. Might as well ban online trading & make it law that one can only trade though a Full service broker once again this aint going to happen.


Or people could actually adapt & learn to trade in TODAY'S market environment. or source platforms & training using the same tools that the BIG boys use. Am I the only one that has done this ?.

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As a general observation as it applies to computer trading:


The Stock Exchange of whatever country was originally designed to be a medium of raising Capital to allow companies to start up, and expand.


Shares of such companies over the decades made profits & paid dividends, and became a must have for pension funds.


IF Computer Trading is to be the norm rather than the exception it must follow that every single share owner must become a computer trading whizz, the alternative appears to be that the computer trading whizzes will denude the business world of capital.



My simple questions are:


1:Is this a desirable course of action--and what can regulatory authorities worldwide do to stop it?


2: If computer trading takes over what future is there for pension funds and individual stock holders?

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Well Angela Merkel, and the idea of bailing out Greece, efffectively got rolled in the German state election held on the weekend ...




... Gordon Brown is still British PM but the Tories and the Lib Dems have brought in the pizzas, obviously on the assumption that they have a long night of negotiations still ahead of them ....




... and I can't find anything new on a Google news search about the massive program that Prez Sarkozy pre-emptively announced.


So nothing happened over the weekend to steady the euroland ship. Should make for an interesting day locally.


As an aside, as to whether David Cameron should accept the poisoned chalice of goverment. He's an alpha male, the leader of a political party, if he even has half a gonad I would imagine that he will jump at the opportunity, on the assumption that he and his team can do better than anyone else. His problem is that he could not win the election outright even as the UK struggles through one of its worst recessions and labour has a leader as inept as Mr Brown (who reminds me of the character Antonio Salieri in the movie Amadeus).

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I can't beleive they still don't know what caused it - was all this done intentionally?????????? dunno


(Reuters) - There is no evidence that last Thursday's mysterious U.S. stock market meltdown was caused by a cyberattack, a U.S. counterterrorism official said on Sunday. Asked on the "Fox News Sunday" program if a cyberattack was behind the nearly 1,000-point drop in the Dow, John Brennan, President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser said: "There is no indication that it was."


Brennan said securities regulators were still trying to determine the cause of Thursday's sudden drop in the Dow Jones industrial average.


"They are looking at the causes for that ... So they are looking at whatever possibilities that were out there," he said.


The stock slump occurred during rising market concern about the Greek debt crisis and is believed to have been exacerbated by at least one large erroneous trade, labeled by some as a "fat finger," or inaccurate key stroke.


Market participants have speculated high-frequency and algorithmic trading magnified the wild swing.


Securities and Exchange Commission officials are considering new curbs to slow stock trades when markets are plunging, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Saturday.


(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Jackie Frank)



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The 'robots' that could ruin Wall Street

* By correspondents in Washington

* From: AFP

* May 10, 2010 8:26AM


FEDERAL regulators should address the "casino environment" on Wall Street where computerised high-frequency trading can trigger market-shaking turmoil, a US senator says.


Senate Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd pointed to the new phenomena of automatic programs - trading robots - buying and selling stock in nanoseconds as a possible cause of last week's meltdown that was felt around the world.


The market fell nearly 1000 points within minutes before rebounding.


High-frequency trading uses mathematical models and computers to buy and sell huge numbers of shares in milliseconds.


It accounts for two-thirds of all stock trading in the US, and proponents say it makes the stock market run more smoothly by efficiently connecting buyers and sellers.


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One theory for Thursday's decline was that high-frequency traders pulled out of the market briefly.


But Jeff Wecker, chief executive of Lime Brokerage, which caters to more than 100 high-frequency trading firms, said his clients bought and sold stocks more - not less - during the steepest drop.


"They're the reason the market rebounded as rapidly as it did," he said.


The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are investigating the cause of the drop.


- Did a single trader mistakenly punch in the wrong number of shares when making a sell order, maybe mistyping "billion" instead of "million" and setting off a market-wide panic (known as the "fat fingers" problem)?


- Did high-speed trading robots that are supposed to make markets work smoothly go haywire, sending stocks into a nosedive?


- Most important to anyone with money in the stock market: Could it happen again?


Maybe the scariest part was that no one could unravel what happened.


Thousands of trades reversed


While the cause remained unknown, market officials said thousands of trades made during the plunge were being canceled because they were "clearly erroneous." Some companies, including consulting firm Accenture, saw their share prices briefly fall to as low as a few cents.


New York Stock Exchange Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer told CNBC that his exchange canceled 4000 trades.


At Direct Edge, the third-largest U.S. exchange, employees worked through the night reviewing some of the 10 million trades made Thursday and found 2,000 that had to be canceled, said chief executive William O'Brien.


BATS Global Markets, one of the largest U.S. trading networks, had to cancel 540 trades.


Nasdaq declined to give a number.


We must control these robots - Senator


Mr Dodd said his committee will hold hearings on last Thursday's events.


But he said for now the priority is for the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to come up quickly with answers for dealing with high-frequency trading marked by a lack of marketwide circuit breakers to prevent the market from spiralling out of control.


Mr Dodd said he did not see a need for new legislation. The financial overhaul bill now being debated in the Senate does have early warning systems to detect problems such as having circuit breakers at only one exchange, he said.


"You shouldn't have a crisis like this happen before noticing that," he said.


Mr Dodd noted that the freefall on Wall Street occurred when there was good economic news: a sharp growth in jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector. "So you are getting sort of this casino environment that's appearing in our markets," he said. "It does not reflect what's going on in the real economy."

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