Wikinvest Wire

Another interesting coincidence?

Monday, May 21, 2007

After reading of recent developments regarding John Crudele's request to learn more about the President's Working Group on Financial Markets under the Freedom of Information Act, two quick screen shots from two websites make the queries of the New York Post writer all the more interesting.

The first is from Wikipedia and shows the now familiar glare of former Goldman Sachs chief Hank Paulson who now serves as U.S. Treasury Secretary. Note the date when Mr. Paulson assumed office - July 3, 2006.

The second screen shot is from the always-handy site where a little red arrow has been added to a two-year chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average indicating the date when Mr. Paulson took office.

Now, conspiracy theories are looked upon around here with equal parts curiosity and skepticism, but the two graphics above really are pretty interesting. Anyone paying close attention to these sorts of things can't help but notice how the tide turned last summer.

Considering the plunge in gasoline prices last fall after Goldman Sachs re-weighted the world's most popular commodity index causing the forced liquidation of $6 billion in futures contracts and you have to at least stop and wonder. Of course the commodity index was sold to Standard and Poors earlier this year with the company never explaining how a market-based index could change its unleaded gasoline weighting from 6 percent to 2 percent.

Did the world reduce its gasoline consumption that much in 2006?

Things have dramatically improved since the new Treasury Secretary has been on the job, especially if you work on Wall Street. On Main Street, however, it's a different story - after lower gasoline prices from late last year spurred renewed demand that creaky refineries proved unable to meet in early 2007, prices at the pump have soared to new all-time highs.

Anyway, the quest of John Crudele to learn the truth about what is commonly referred to as the Plunge Protection Team (PPT) continues - lawyers are now on the job:

We'd love to help the U.S. Treasury comply with our request for information about the Working Group on Financial Markets.

So The Post's lawyer is sending the following letter, reminding the government of its legal obligations under the Freedom of Information Act.

Dear Mr. (Hugh) Gilmore:
Director, Disclosure Services
U.S. Treasury

I write to protest the failure by the Department of Treasury to process Mr. Crudele's request for documents relating to the Working Group on Financial Markets.

As you would be aware, under the Freedom of Information Act, the Department is required to process such requests within 20 working days: See 5 U.S.C. S. 552 (a).

Mr. Crudele lodged his request for documents almost 10 months ago. Yet he has yet to receive any document from the Department of Treasury or any explanation for the Department's failure to produce documents.

There's more to the letter, signed by The Post's lawyer, that I won't quote here.

But it essentially recaps that in my last column I showed how the Treasury's FOIA bureaucracy said it wanted to respond to my request "ASAP," even though our original letter seeking information about the secretive Working Group was sent nearly a year ago.
Mr. Crudele is wished well in his search for the truth but this leaves the lingering question of whether the performance of the Dow is just another interesting coincidence or something more?

If not for the many observers seeking to explain how the U.S. stock market has become disconnected from the U.S. economy, then the question would probably never come up.

It's probably just another coincidence.


Anonymous said...

Last fall's "plunge" in gas prices proved to be relatively short lived. Will the recent run on Wall Street prove to be short-lived as well?

On, Jon Markman predicts Dow 21,000, while Bill Fleckenstein says to get ready for another 1929.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the current run up in stocks looks more and more suspicious since it started last August. About the same time as when the housing bubble started to deflate.

Anonymous said...

On Markman & Fleckenstein: Measure the DOW in gold or real goods, and both are probably right.

These markets are a joke. Every single day is an up day.

Anonymous said...

I say DOW 40,000! Believe It!

This quote from th Aden forcast, "In other words, the Federal Reserve has made in plain it will do whatever it takes to keep the economy going. And if inflation and a weak dollar are the result, which they will be, then so be it."

Anonymous said...

If you add another arrow to show when the FED stopped hiking interest rates, it will almost sit on top of the red arrow.

The Fed stopped hiking on June 29.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the global crude oil production numbers from the EIA website I notice there was a nice boost in production for 4 months. Those months were July, August, September and October. The two countries contributing to the boost were UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Sounds like a helping hand extended for the Bush family.

Anonymous said...

Last summer there was a lot of talk about what happens to stocks when the Fed pauses -- they usually go down, not up.

jmf said...

hello from germany,

here is the s&p500 vs

gold, oil, houses, yen, euro, pound tec

jmf said...

here the correct link

Anonymous said...

His predecessor had a similar market surge but the market’s rise didn’t start until a month after he took office.


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