Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mullen Responds to Concern

The situation in Afghanistan is serious and deteriorating,said Admiral Michael Mullen,Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.He is concerned about eroding public support for the U.S. and NATO mission.The President's strategy is a work in progress as more U.S. troops are put in place.The U.S. is on the way to 68,000 troops in the country by year's end.The situation needs to be reversed in the next 12-18 months.Admiral Mullen,a Vietnam veteran,wouldn't say if more U.S. troops would be needed.A large number of civilian experts are also needed to stabilize the Afghan government and economy.
I recognize we've been there over eight years,the Chairman stated.But this is the first time we've really resourced a strategy on both the civilian and military sides.So in certain ways,we're starting anew.We're just getting the pieces in place from the President's new strategy on the ground now.I don't see this as a mission of endless drift.I think we know what to do.Certainly the numbers are of concern,but this is the war we're in,Admiral Mullen remarked.

Google Added

Goldman Sachs has added Google to its conviction buy list.Google's price target was raised from 510 to 560 dollars.Goldman sees potential for Google revenue growth.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Navy Department Honors

The 2nd Battalion,3rd Marine Regiment,3rd Marine Division,3rd Marine Expeditionary Force,sustained a number of losses in Afghanistan in early August.Killed in action in Farah Province were Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony C. Garcia,21,of Panama City,Florida,a Navy hospital corpsman who died on 5 August;Lance Corporal Travis T. Babine,20,of San Antonio,Texas;Lance Corporal James D. Argentine,22,of Farmingdale,New York;and Sargent Jay M. Hoskins,24,of Paris,Texas-all of whom died on 6 August.The 2nd Battalion,3rd Marine Regiment is based in Kaneohe Bay,Hawaii.
As of last Thursday,776 Defense Department personnel,including one civilian,had died in the Afghan War,536 of them in combat.

Economist Sees Protracted Recovery

Ken Rogoff,a Harvard University economist,sees five years of much slower growth.Depressed home prices,rising taxes and an absent consumer will cause this.The unemployment rate will go over 10%,and it may be seven years before housing prices come back.
I don't think it's gonna be the same,Ken Rogoff said.We're gonna have to have more exports,and rely more on government aid-meaning higher taxes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Russian Subs Follow Coast

Russia engaged in a Cold War-type submarine patrol in recent weeks,sending two Akula nuclear submarines to scout international waters some 200 miles,or 321.86 kilometers,off the U.S. east coast.The Akula has a 3,000 kilometer range and is armed with nuclear cruise missiles.The attack sub has a complement of 62.
Some say the Russians were trying to impress India with the submarines' performance,as India is considering purchasing the Akula.Others hold that Russia was posturing,showing that it is still a strong military power.Of course,it may have been doing both.In any event,the Pentagon wasn't very concerned,noting that Russia has the right to exercise in international waters.

The Recovery Scenario

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has laid out his vision of economic recovery.First,growth will turn positive.Then job loss will slow.Finally,there will be job growth early next year.Indeed,there was already a slowdown in job loss in July,but it must be sustained.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Marine Hero Honored

Corporal Jason Dunham,who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroism in Iraq,was honored by the U.S. Navy on Saturday,when the USS Jason Dunham(DDG109) was christened by his mother,Deb Dunham,at Bath Iron Works in Maine.Several of his comrades from Kilo Company,3rd Battalion,7th Marines were also there,including two whose lives he saved by smothering a grenade,sacrificing himself in the process.Corporal Dunham died on 22 April,2004,eight days after a militant attacked him as the Marines were searching vehicles.
President George W. Bush had presented the Medal of Honor at the White House,and Corporal Dunham was also remembered when the National Museum of the Marine Corps was dedicated in Virginia.The USS Jason Dunham is an Arleigh Burke class destroyer with a complement of 314,and is powered by four GE gas turbines.

A Chief Economist's Forecast

Nigel Gault,Chief Economist with IHS Global Insight,notes that it's quite clear that GDP will start moving up in Q3-4,a rather modest recovery.The biggest concern is the strength of the consumer.It's hard to see the consumer being the engine as in the past.
Keep a close eye on where the main cyclicals are moving,Mr.Gault advises.I don't see Gross Domestic Product getting above 2.5% until 2011,he said.I do see substantial growth in housing and autos next year.Inventories are going to be a big plus going forward,Mr.Gault added.