Credit Crunch & Proposed New Regulatory Agency

July 20, 2008 07:00 PM
Snapshot of news and events for today


Quick links

* Financial markets

* Ag futures

* USDA reports this week

* NWS forecast

* Major media

* Ag media

* Political humorists

Financial markets Major world indicators

Japanese trading...

  • Closed for holiday.

Friday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 49.91 points higher, up 0.4 percent, at 11,496.57 -- up 3.6 percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.3 percent, or 29.52 points, to 2,282.78 -- up 0.4 percent on the week.
  • The 2-year Treasury note was off 11/32, yielding 2.663 percent. The 10-year note fell 26/32 to 4.097 percent. The 30-year bond fell 27/32 to 4.663 percent. 

  • The dollar was at 106.94 yen from 106.70 yen, while the euro bought $1.5840 from $1.5833 late Thursday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures saw losses extend into the close as traders decided to take more weather premium out of the market ahead of the weekend.
  • Soybeans: Futures saw prices slip as the week progressed, doing some minor chart damage to end the week as traders decided to take more profits out of the market ahead of the weekend.

  • Wheat: Futures saw spillover pressure from neighboring pits to end the week, although Minneapolis finished steady to firmer on spring wheat crop concerns. Losses were limited in Chicago on spread unwinding with corn.
  • Cotton: Futures closed weaker on spillover from grain markets.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures saw more bull spreading Friday, with August firmer and the rest of the market slightly lower.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw a short-covering boost to finish the week, but closed just slightly higher in nearbys as traders expect additional cash weakness this week.

Scheduled USDA Reports & Summaries This Week

Agricultural Marketing Service = (A)
Census Bureau = (CB)
Economic Research Service = (E)

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Foreign Ag Service = (F)

National Agricultural Statistics Service = (N)

World Agricultural Outlook Board = (W)






July 21

Grain Inspections (A)
Catfish Feed Deliveries (N)
Catfish Processing (N)
Season-Average Price Forecasts(E)
Crop Progress (N)


Chickens and Eggs (N)
Cold Storage (N)
Feed Grains Database (E)
Wheat Data (E)
Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Citrus: World Markets and Trade (F)
Orange Juice: World Markets and Trade (F)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Livestock Slaughter (N)

Catfish production.
Cattle (N)
Sheep and Goats (N)
Cattle on Feed (N)
Peanut Prices (N)
Monthly Milk Cost of Production (E)

Overview Other reports affecting agriculture
Major media Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact

Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)

  • Markets Police Themselves Poorly, But Regulation Has Its Flaws Researchers say it appears self-regulation in markets does typically fail, but they also note that regulating the markets has its inherent flaws as well.
    Related item:
    We're Asking Too Much of the Fed
    . Commentary item by R. Glenn Hubbard,  dean of Columbia Business School, was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush
  • Businesses Feel Pinch Of Tighter Lending Even Blue Chips Face More Onerous Terms; Individuals Next? Credit conditions are tightening for businesses. The item notes the value of credit held by banks in the second quarter shrank 1.5% from the first quarter, according to Federal Reserve data, the largest three-month contraction since 1948.
    Related item:
    Economists Less Glum Than in April

  • Olympic Athletes Wearing Masks Could Cause China to Lose Face U.S. Committee Developed a Model in Secret; Jarrod Shoemaker Ponders the Dork Factor As the Olympics get closer, more focus is being put on air quality in China and whether athletes will wear masks to protect their lungs. There are diverging views on the issue.
    Related item:
    Beijing Takes Pains to Clear the Air

  • Argentine Democrats Strike Back. The item looks at last week's decision in Argentina where the country's Senate voted down the increase in export taxes on soybeans and other products.
  • A Famed Dry Hole Gets a Second Shot. McMoRan is taking over drilling at the Blackbeard site after Exxon walked away from the project. Exxon had drilled some 30,000 feet and came up empty, while McMoRan believes another couple thousand feet could make the difference in finding natural gas.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

  • Paulson Reassures on Banks, Warns of More Tough Times While insisting the U.S. banking system is solid, Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson said there still may be months of struggle for the system ahead. He said three big challenges facing the U.S. economy include the housing market, financial market turmoil and high oil prices.
  • The Farmland Fix Editorial. To lower food prices, the USDA should allow farming on some conservation land. The paper calls on USDA to allow some Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to be put back into crop production.
Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Fargo Forum (North Dakota)

  • Farm bill efforts proceed Editorial by USDA Secretary Ed Schafer. The USDA chief says farm bill implementation is proceeding in response to a July 8 editorial in the paper.
  • No beef with this business. From Saturday's editions. The item profiles Casselton Cold Storage, a federally inspected meat facility in Fargo, that is keeping its name intact even though it no longer offers locker space to consumers.

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "Whew! Hot in the valley this week, wasn't it? Over 100 degrees. In fact, actually, Phil Gramm said it was a mental heat wave and we're all a bunch of whiners.”

Jay Leno: "Well, Phil Gramm, he's under for calling Americans ‘a bunch of whiners.' He also said, ‘The country is in a mental recession.' See, we're experiencing mental slowdown. That's kind of like President Bush.”

Jay Leno: "Earlier this week the Senate approved a new eavesdropping bill which means they're now allowed to listen to what you say without you knowing it. Yeah, yeah. You know who is really upset about this? Jesse Jackson.”

Jay Leno: "President Bush signed a bill giving phone companies immunity for letting the government spy on its customers without a warrant. Isn't that unbelievable? President Bush said 9/11 changed everything. And you know, he's right. Because violating the Constitution, breaking the law, used to mean jail time.”

Jay Leno: "The other day, the plane that Barack Obama was on had some mechanical difficulties. Remember, he was forced to land? Well, the National Transportation Safety Board did an inspection on the plant. You know what they found? The bolts were fine. The bolts on the plane were fine. But apparently, Jesse Jackson has taken some of the nuts off the plane.”

Jay Leno: Jesse Jackson said he "wanted to cut Barack Obama's testicles off. And Jesse has been on several news programs the last couple of days explaining what he meant by those comments. Do you need to explain that? ‘Cut off your testicles? What could that mean?'”

Jay Leno: "Insiders claim that although Jesse Jackson supports Barack Obama publicly for president, privately, he doesn't like him. You know, it's kind of like Bill with Hillary. It's the same thing.”

Jay Leno: "Anyway, today Jesse tried to reach out to Obama. And Obama said, ‘Keep your hands where I can see them!'”

Jay Leno: "Some people are saying that the media is biased toward Barack Obama. … He does get the better magazine covers. … Look, here's Barack Obama. He's on the cover of Time, okay? Newsweek, Rolling Stone. Now, I don't want to be unfair, but now look at this. Like for example, McCain, he's on the cover of ‘Codger Beat.'”

Conan O'Brien: Today's New York Times, you heard about this? Has once again raised the issue that John McCain may not be eligible to be president because he's not a natural born US citizen. That's what they're saying, yeah. Apparently, McCain was born outside of the 13 colonies.”

Conan O'Brien: "Jesse Jackson says he's trying to put his remarks about cutting Barack Obama's nuts off…behind him. And he says that Obama has accepted his apology. Yeah. In fact, if he's elected, Obama says he'll appoint Jesse Jackson secretary of nut cutting.”

Conan O'Brien: "This week, Barack Obama was endorsed by the US Black Golfers Association. Yeah. Could make the difference, yeah. Not only that, Obama was also endorsed by the Association of Asian Hockey Players.”

Conan O'Brien: "Last night, Hillary Clinton appeared at a fund raiser with Barack Obama, and Obama told the crowd that Hillary rocks. That's what he said. Yeah, then Bill Clinton said the same thing, but he was talking about Hilary Duff.”

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