Thursday, January 24, 2008

Another Rogue Trader

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- French banking group Societe Generale said Thursday it has uncovered a massive 4.9 billion-euro ($7.1 billion) fraud linked to a single rogue futures trader.

Rest of the story of the $7.1 Billion dollar loss.


Does it bother anyone that the Federal Reserve was so easy to hit the easy button and cut rates by 75 basis points? The 0.75% rate cut the week before the scheduled Federal Reserve meeting shows how out of control the thinking of the Fed truly is. It would be helpful if they would at least give the illusion of being in control and having a plan. It is widely expected that the Fed will follow up this event, with another interest rate cut next week. They have shown they do not have the foresight to predict the economic conditions over the next few quarters; it would be helpful if they would keep a couple bullets in the gun for a rainy day, and not act on the fluctuations of the stock market. Let us do that.

Well with interest rates going down, the returns on savings accounts and money market accounts will now have zero chance to keep ahead of the rate of inflation. This has forced some people to look into stocks that pay significant dividends. One was mentioned in a previous post, and below is a another that is the result of a recent screen. 8.6% Dividend.

FPO - First Potomac Realty Trust(click to enlarge)

First Potomac Realty Trust operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It owns, develops, and operates industrial and flex properties in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, as well as in Virginia and Maryland. As of December 31, 2006, the company owned 65 properties comprising approximately 10.4 million square feet. The company has elected to be taxed as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. As a REIT, it would not be subject to the federal income tax, provided it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. First Potomac Realty Trust was founded in 1997 and is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Some other stocks on the radar are some Warren Buffet past favorites.

KMT - Kennametal Inc.(click to enlarge)

Kennametal, Inc. manufactures and supplies tooling, engineered components, and advanced materials consumed in production processes. The company provides consumable metalcutting tools and tooling systems to manufacturing companies of various industries. Its metalcutting operations include turning, boring, threading, grooving, milling, and drilling. The company's tooling systems consist of a steel toolholder and cutting tool, such as an indexable insert or drill made from cemented tungsten carbides, high-speed steel, or other hard materials. It also provides engineering services, including field sales engineers identifying products and engineering product designs. In addition, the company engages in the production and sale of cemented tungsten carbide products used in mining, highway construction, and engineered applications requiring wear and corrosion resistance, including compacts and other similar applications. Further, it manufactures and markets engineered components with a proprietary metal cladding technology; and sells metallurgical powders to manufacturers of cemented tungsten carbide products. Additionally, Kennametal provides application-specific component design services and on-site application support services, as well as offers engineered component process technology and materials, which focus on component deburring, polishing, and producing controlled radii. The company offers its products and services to mine operators and suppliers, highway construction companies, municipal governments, and manufacturers of mining equipment. It sells its products through direct sales force, integrated supply, independent distributors, and sales agents, as well as through Internet primarily in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. The company was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

BNI - Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.(click to enlarge)

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides freight rail transportation services in North America. The company transports various products and commodities, including consumer, industrial, coal, and agricultural products. The consumer products include automotives, such as motor vehicles and vehicle parts, as well as perishables and dry boxcar products, including beverages, canned goods, and perishable food items. It also transports other consumer goods, such as cotton, salt, rubber, and tires. The company offers transport services for industrial products, including construction products, such as clays, sands, cements, aggregates, sodium compounds, and other industrial minerals; and building products, including lumber, plywood, oriented strand board, particleboard, paper products, pulpmill feedstocks, wood pulp, and sawlogs. Burlington Northern Santa Fe also transports chemical and plastic products, such as caustic soda, chlorine, industrial gases, acids, polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride used by automotive, housing, and packaging industries, as well as feed stocks to produce other chemical and plastic products; and petroleum products, including liquefied petroleum gas, diesel fuels, asphalt, alcohol, solvents, petroleum coke, lubes, oils, waxes, and carbon black. In addition, the company provides transport services for agricultural products, including wheat, corn, bulk foods, soybeans, oil seeds and meals, feeds, barley, oats and rye, milo, specialty grains, ethanol, fertilizers, oils, malt, and flour and mill products. As of February 15, 2007, it operated a railroad system consisting of approximately 32,000 route miles in 28 states and 2 Canadian provinces. Burlington Northern Santa Fe was founded in 1849 and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.

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