George Hadley walked through the singing glade and picked up something that lay in the corner near where the lions had been. He walked slowly back to his
"What is that?" she asked.
"An old wallet of mine," he said.
He showed it to her. The smell of hot grass was on it and the smell of a lion. There were drops of saliva on it, it had been chewed, and there were blood
smears on both sides.
He closed the nursery door and locked it, tight.
- From The Veldt by Ray Bradbury, (1920-2012).
- China cut interest rates for the first time since 2008 in a bid to stoke growth and defend against the European debt
crisis, almost like throwing up a massive wall, a great wall, even. The People’s Bank of China cut the one-year deposit rate to 3.25 percent starting
tomorrow and said the one-year lending rate will fall to 6.31 percent from 6.56 percent. The PBOC also said banks will be able to offer a 20-percent
discount to the benchmark lending rate, up from the current 10 percent. Back in May, the country’s ruling State Council said that risks to the economy were
growing. I guess that the risks had grown quite enough, thank you.
The biggest challenge today will be in understanding and communicating how a quarter-point rate cut in China will be transmitted through the global
economy and financial markets. Lending has dropped in China and the rate cut is intended to spur companies and consumers alike to borrow, which in turn
stokes demand for goods and services both domestically and from abroad. Can lower Chinese lending rates offset Europe’s impact on the global economy? Will
the cuts be enough to lift industrial commodities from their recent funk (Maybe Prince, who turns 54 today, can help with the funk)? The Australian and
Canadian dollars became the world’s favourite currencies the last time China cut rates and introduced stimulus in 2008; will it happen again? For stock
investors, is it suddenly time to take another look at the likes of Teck, Hudbay and other miners? The oil companies?
Today’s action by the People’s Bank of China may enliven Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s visit with the Senate Joint Economic Committee at 10:00
a.m. ET. Bernanke will deliver a prepared statement at the top of the hour before facing a series of rambling political statements from committee members
that may or may not end with the upward lilt of a question. At some point, he will be asked about jobs, and there will be a question or two on the impact
of the European debt crisis buried in the rhetoric somewhere. We’ll cover the Q&A.
Bernanke’s testimony also comes a day after Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen told an audience in Boston that a “stalled” improvement in the jobs market and
worsening financial conditions may result in more monetary easing by the central bank. The Fed’s next meeting is June 19.
Among the stocks we’re watching today is Lululemon, which reported a 25-percent jump in same-store sales in the first quarter and beat
the average earnings expectation by 2 cents. The company said, however, that it sees second-quarter profit in a range of 28-30 cents US a share, compared
with an average estimate of 33 cents. Full-year earnings per share and revenue are also seen coming in just short of analysts’ consensus forecasts. Perhaps
Tom Jones, who turns 72 today, could help sales with a new tour; all those Groovy Girlshorts, Premium Technikinis and Foxy Lulu Hotshorts flung from the
audience will have to be replaced.
There’s still more work to be done on the Barrick story. I’m interested in hearing more about the company’s strategy now that Aaron
Regent has been replaced. Will the focus return to gold? Is the new CEO Sokalsky cut from the same cloth as Munk? Is Barrick more of a “buy” today than
yesterday? How many investors have had a change of heart, as Dean Martin asked in his 1955 hit. Martin would have been 95 today.
Every morning Managing Editor Marty Cej writes a "chase note" to BNN's
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