Monday, May 31, 2010

Worrywort Round-up

Items of Interest:

Hundreds die in Indian heatwave -- Death toll expected to rise as India faces record temperatures of up to 122F in hottest summer on record

Times [UK]
Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran -- Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.

The first has been sent in response to Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, a political and military organisation in Lebanon, could hit sites in Israel, including air bases and missile launchers...
Washington Post:
Oil could spew until August, officials say -- As BP readied its latest fallback plan to stop oil gushing from one of its wells in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration and the company warned that the crude could continue flowing until August, compounding threats to coastal wetlands, fisheries and beaches...
Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit:
Breaking: Taliban Using Chemical Weapons Against US Troops? -- Five US troops serving in Afghanistan recently fell ill after a suspected chemical weapons attack. Four or five members fell ill after the attack. One soldier is very sick. They are having trouble breathing...
Wall St. Journal:
Back to the Future: Lessons From the Forgotten 'Flash Crash' of 1962 -- The 1962 flash crash stepped up public pressure on the SEC and Wall Street to clean up trading procedures. But by the summer of 1968, billions of dollars' worth of trades were going astray every month, and the major stock exchanges had to close down on Wednesdays so brokers could get a midweek breather to catch up on processing delays.

The crash of 1962 is a reminder that markets always have been messy and that investors' morale always has been fragile. What's more, the problems the regulators sought to solve nearly a half-century ago are still with us today. They probably will be tomorrow, too...
Business Week:
Chuck Schwab Is Worried About Small Investors. Should We Worry Too? -- Schwab is sitting in his San Francisco office—which has always been spare but these days seems downright spartan—looking out the window at the Bay Bridge and mulling the tortured psychology of the American investor. "Where are they?" he asks, then pauses and lets out a sigh. "This is the most violent period I've ever seen," he says finally. "It was the end of capitalism as we knew it. The whole definition of safety and soundness—what does it really mean any more?" ...
NY Times:
Placing the Blame as Students Are Buried in Debt -- According to the College Board’s Trends in Student Aid study, 10 percent of people who graduated in 2007-8 with student loans had borrowed $40,000 or more. The median debt for bachelor’s degree recipients who borrowed while attending private, nonprofit colleges was $22,380.

The Project on Student Debt, a research and advocacy organization in Oakland, Calif., used federal data to estimate that 206,000 people graduated from college (including many from for-profit universities) with more than $40,000 in student loan debt in that same period. That’s a ninefold increase over the number of people in 1996, using 2008 dollars...

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