Daily Reading – Wednesday, April 27, 2011

FT Alphaville: Markets Live – Fed press conference special, featuring Gavyn Davies

In anticipation we’ve asked Gavyn a few questions that we’d love to pose to Ben directly if the Washington bureau hadn’t snaffled all the press passes we could. There are other good “what to ask Ben” lists going around, which we’ve linked to below. Our short list features questions that FT Alphaville has posed in recent posts. They might be a little wonky, but hey, what did you expect?

FT Alphaville: The United States of pension shortfalls

These calculations assume an eight per cent return on investment, the median achieved from 1990 to 2009. However, the median return from 2000 to 2009 was 3.9 per cent.

FT Alphaville: S&P has another go at Japan

Amid a stream of gloomy forecasts for Japan’s economic outlook this year, it was a downgrade that had to happen at some point, though some were left wondering whether S&P’s move on Wednesday to cut its outlook for Japan’s sovereign debt from “stable” to “negative” was slightly – err, hasty.

FT Alphaville: Putting the ‘stag’ in stagflation

Abstracting from the snow
We have an economy
On a plateau

FT Alphaville: On the scale of hidden copper stocks

The numbers are large, around 4 million tonnes since the end of 2006. This dates from when global fabricators and others started to understand that a new paradigm in the copper market had begun.

JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN: Eisenbeis: What’s A Central Bank To Do Besides Printing Money (And Pursue A Hidden Agenda?)

“The use of a national currency as global reserve currency leads to a tension between national monetary policy and global monetary policy. This is reflected in fundamental imbalances in the balance of payments, specifically the current account: some goals require an overall flow of dollars out of the United States, while others require an overall flow of dollars in to the United States. Currency inflows and outflows of equal magnitudes cannot both happen at once.”

JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN: The Bankers’ Silver Scam Is Unwinding

In short, Avery Goodman has come to the conclusion that silver is rising because a long term suppression racket has been exposed.

Silver Monthly: Bunker Hunt’s Attraction to Silver: A History of Cornering the Silver Market

The 1983 Hollywood comedy, Trading Places, offered many laymen their first glimpse at the hustle-and-bustle world of commodities trading. The film features a pair of imperious billionaire brothers, the Dukes, who attempt to add to their fortune by illegally manipulating the price of orange juice in the futures market.

The protagonists, played by Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy, foil the brothers’ plot and leave the Dukes disgraced and penniless. But although the movie was a work of fiction, the Duke characters were in fact based on a pair of real-life brothers—Bunker and Herbert Hunt—and their story is truly stranger than fiction.

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