Opening Bell: 11.8.06

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Money Pollitics (The Corner)
There aren't many people who cover the space where finance meets politics like Larry Kudlow does. In fact, we'll say he's pretty much the only one, which means we have to trust him. You can probably guess his views on last night events. He notes some weakness in the Asian markets which he's sure is related to the Democrats success, because traders there are worried about dovish foreign policy. And he says that should the results in Virgina and Montana stand, with the Democrats holding, the Senate, then watch out, cause then there's really gonna be some pain ahead. Sure man, whatever.
Accounting firms call for reporting overhaul (Financial Times)
The big accounting firms, that ones that sign off on the accuracy of the 10-Qs think that the whole reporting and fraud monitoring system needs an overhaul. But it's not clear what they want to see happen. They through out some tasty morsels, like replacing the quarterly reporting system with some real-time dynamic numbers. Ok, not anticipating that anytime soon. And apparently they don't want to catch flack if they fail to detect fraud. So they basically want the investment community to make a decision. Let them off the hook, or require companies to undergo full on forensic audits every few years, so that the auditors can do their job. Although nobody likes fraud, it's hard to imagine that investors, on their own accord, would demand that companies spend more on investigating themselves. So if any change happens on that front, expect it to be handed down by higher authorities.
Los Angeles Paper Ousts Top Editor (NYT)
You don't hear many stories about corporate insubordination. It must happen from time to time, but generally it gets swept under the rug. One exception was the case of the editor at the LA Times, Dean Baquet, who stood up to the "suits" at the parent Tribune company, and rejected orders to trim staff. For awhile, there was some real drama and back and forth, but we all know that the side that would win would be the one that paid the other guy's salary. So Dean Baquet is gone, but in reality he's the real victor. In these sorrowful days for the industry, he's a real hero for the old-fashioned journalist. The fresh-out-of-journalism-school, All-The-President's-Men adoring reporter, who just wants a good story and to stand up for those without a voice. Baquet has assured himself a career as a professional journalistic hero, and we imagine he'll probably end up at Columbia, teaching a seminar on something. Even a Hollywood biopic wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility.
@ Web 2.0: Day One Highlights: Ad 2.0; Google CEO; Skype Content
Last year, right around this time, saw the first official Web 2.0 conference, which was accompanied by a deafening buzz. It really captured the flavor of the moment, and confirmed that Web 2.0 would be the label that new internet companies went by. This year, judging by reports, it seems a little different. It's sort of like your favorite out-of-the-way indie film festival that was so cool, but then George Clooney and Renee Zellwegger started going there, and pretty soon you couldn't get a ticket anymore. Now all the big media honchos are in town. And it's all about dealmaking and making money, and not about that young startups looking to live the dream. All the cool things get ruined.


FedEx delivers Boeing a major win (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
We'd been under the impression that there wasn't much Boeing could do to exploit the weakness at Airbus, since Boeing was already so backlogged with demand for the Dreamliner, with no capacity to spare. But, the company is taking orders for other planes, prompting FedEx to cancel a major order at Airbus and put in a buy order for a fleet of Boeing 777 freighters. 15 of the planes, which are still development, will run the company a cool $3.48 billion. So Boeing's still taking order, but you better act fast, because it these prices, they won't last for long!!
Dollar Is Little Changed After Democrats Win Control of House (Bloomberg)
You know, just seeing if we can find any confirming evidence of the Kudlow theory, that Democrats in power equals trouble for US markets. So far in our scans not seeing much, but we'll have to wait until the market opens. The Dollar was down slightly on the events, not enough though to be confident of some relationship. And some traders thing the outcome will be a boon to the Dollar, since divided government may help reduce the budget deficit (which you'd think would be one of Larry Kudlow's big things, but then again maybe not; he's a pretty big believer in the Reagan economic miracle, and balanced budgets certainly weren't part of his formula).
SaskPool makes bid to acquire rival Agricore (Globe & Mail)
The consolidation of corporate Canada continues apace. A few months ago, it was the copper and metals companies that were slinging buyout offers, and counter-offers at each other. All that seems to have settled down, probably because there's nobody left to buy. So it's on to other stalwarts of Canadian industry, like the grainmakers. So Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Inc. has made an unsolicited bid for fierce rival Agricore. The move would create a huge agribusiness, and might help reduce what's seen as major overcapacity. So far Agricore has yet to respond to Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, or SaskPool as its called.
China's October Trade Surplus Soars to $23.8 Billion (Bloomberg)
Here's one deficit that Democrats probably won't be able to narrow. The Trade deficit with China -- the other deficit -- hit a fresh high of $23.8 Billion for the month of October. But at this point, it seems like worry about the trade deficit is a bit pointless. Either it's a harmless mirage of the numbers, or it's so bad that there's really no hope of balancing it out without some economic calamity. Furthermore, it's almost certain that actively taking measures to minimize it would cause more harm than the deficit itself; could anyone disagree with that?

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