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An Indiana Grain Welcome To Our Friends At Wycoff

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

This afternoon, the founder and president of Indiana Grain, Thomas Grisafi was fortunate to enjoy a brief encounter with one of our friends at Wyckoff Hybrids Inc. If you're unfamiliar with Wycoff, all you need to know comes from a great quote posted on their website:

"The goal when we first pro

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U.S. Manufacturing Index Drops to 26-Year Low

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Manufacturing in the United States contracted last month at the most rapid pace in 26 years as the credit crisis deepened and companies reduced orders.

According to the Bloomberg newswire, the Institute for Supply Management's factory index dropped to 38.9, worse than anticipated by economists su

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Ethanol Maker VeraSun Files for Bankruptcy

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

VeraSun Energy, an ethanol producer that we at Indiana Grain recognized had failed to foresee a drop in corn prices earlier this year, filed for bankruptcy protection a few hours ago on Monday morning.

The Sioux Falls, S.D.-based company said it will continue to operate during bankruptcy, includi

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Let's Not Fool Ourselves

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

On the eve of what could be the most momentous presidential election of our lives, let's stop fooling ourselves for one brief moment.

Whether John McCain or Barack Obama wins tomorrow, there's an excellent possibility that one year from today, the economy and our blooming recession may be worse t

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A Sell Signal for Commodities?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain paid close attention to a story on the Bloomberg newswire this morning that suggested that the recent record plunge in commodities may be signaling that the U.S. is headed for the longest recession since 1981, shortly after Ronald Reagan became president and the economy began a n

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Fed Rate "Must Not Be Low For Long"

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

"The Federal Reserve must not forget about inflation as it battles recession, or leave interest rates too low for too long next year," Jeffrey Lacker, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President said this morning. "It is crucial that we not allow expectations of future inflation to ratchet higher

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McCain Shows His Sense of Humor on SNL

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

With three days to go before the elections and polls showing him trailing, Republican presidential candidate John McCain appeared on NBC's late night comedy show "Saturday Night Live," poking good-natured fun at his campaign.

We at Indiana Grain found particularly amusing the opening skit, where

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Ideal Weather Looms Large

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Temps pushed above the 70 degree mark yesterday for most areas west of the Mississippi River, and we might even top those levels in some places today.

According to our friends at Agriculture.com, Sunday through Tuesday should be an exceptionally warm time frame for the Plains and western Corn Bel

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Will November Prove Calmer Than October?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Stocks may continue to be volatile in November but many analysts predict that the brutally wild weeks of October have seen an end.

The presidential election should give the market a bounce in the week ahead, but the focus will quickly shift back to the economy when jobs data is released Friday.

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Export Demand for U.S. Cash Grain May Be Changing

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

With the USDA reporting a precipitous drop off in sales of corn to foreign nations during the last ten days, some analysis are exploring the possibility that export demand for U.S. cash grain may be changing, even though, conversely, foreign purchases of soybeans hit a marketing-year high.

Yester

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Happy Halloween From Indiana Grain

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain are wracking our brains this morning trying to decide if stocks and commodities have a trick or a treat in store for us today.

If the overnight trend continues, which saw stocks fall in Europe and Asia, extending the MSCI World Index's worst monthly slump on record, further co

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Intrade Hits The Mainstream

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain watched CNBC with great interest this morning as Intrade.com was once again introduced as an increasingly well known and - dare we say - respected barometer of all things politics.

Futures traders and sports books are setting overwhelming odds that Obama will win the presidenc

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McCain Faces Biggest Pre-Election Hurdles in Modern Era

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Republican presidential candidate John McCain goes into the campaign's final weekend a "bigger underdog than any victorious candidate in a modern election."

With four days until Election Day, national polls show his Democratic rival Barack Obama leading by an average of 6 percentage points, and b

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GM, Chrysler Merger Delayed

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

A deal to merge General Motors and Chrysler has been halted after the Bush administration ruled out funding for it, putting any merger on hold until after the U.S. presidential election, CNBC reported Friday morning.

The development adds a new element of uncertainty for the embattled U.S. auto in

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Two Stocks That Could Double

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

On the distant investment horizon, Oakmark Fund portfolio manager Bill Nygren sees some bright lights, according to CNBC.

"As a long-term investor, if you think about normalized P/Es being mid-teens multiples, if you think about growth having been deferred a couple of years, rather than eliminate

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American Express to Cut 7,000 Jobs

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Never leave home without it.

But if you work for American Express, you may be leaving for home without your job.

American Express announced on Thursday that it would cut 7,000 jobs, lower compensations, reduce operating costs and scale back investments to save $1.8 billion in 2009 as it strugg

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Bring on The Bull For Commodities

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Improving macroeconomic conditions inspired a long overdue rally in U.S. grain markets Wednesday that saw limit-up moves for several spot futures contracts.

Cash contracts finished 20 cents higher for oats, 30 cents higher for corn and 45-46 cents higher for wheat, and they settled 58 1/2 cents

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Will The Rally Last?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Despite Wall Street's brief, last-minute selloff, Asian and European stock markets traded higher Thursday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Average, for example, closed 10 percent higher on international efforts to "provide liquidity to emerging markets and global prospects of lower borrowing costs."

CNBC'

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Wall Street's Jobless Return to School

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Bryan Gunderson told Bloomber News how he tried to master the intricacies of structured-equity investments until he lost his job at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Now he's learning how to make mixed drinks.

Shortly after picking us his last check in August and getting no job offers from more than 100 r

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Boon Pickens is Laying Low

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Boon Pickens may soon be blogging with us at Indiana Grain.

After all, he's got a lot of time on his hands these days. For now, the billionaire is out of the markets.

Pickens' BP Capital has been hammered by the credit crunch, shrinking by nearly two thirds so far this year alone. According t

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Fed Cuts Rates Half Point To Lowest Level in 4 Years

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate by a half-point, as expected, pushing the federal funds rate down to 1 percent.

The worst financial crisis in a century has forced the Fed to employ all the weapons in its arsenal-including cutting interest rates to near historic lows-to try to keep the

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The Commodities Comeback

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

W ae Indiana Grain are elated to see crude oil, copper, wheat and sugar lead the biggest commodity surge in at least five decades on expectations that lower borrowing costs will aid a rebound in demand for raw materials.

The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials rose as much as 6.4 perc

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Crude Oil Rises; Rate Cut May Revive Fuel Demand

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain may want to fuel up the tour bus before prices at the pump start to sting again.

Crude oil is on the rise today following signs that efforts to unfreeze credit markets are beginning to work and that central bank interest-rate cuts may help restore demand.

Oil advanced as m

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Durable Goods Orders Get Surprising Boost of 0.8%

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The Commerce Department has just announced that new orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose unexpectedly in September by 0.8 percent, led by surging demand for defense goods and transportation equipment,

Wall Street economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast a 1.2 percent decline in Sep

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What Goes Up Must Come Down?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The "gravity" on Wall Street is enough to make Newton roll over in his grave.

The Dow gained a massive 11% in Tuesday's trading session, although there weren't as many happy faces on the floor as the casual investor might expect.

As we've seen, big rallies this month have been followed by mass

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The Sad State of Hedge Funds

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Every day, hedge fund investors receive letters explaining why their savings are down more than fifty, sixty, sometimes even seventy-five percent. Just as frustrating is the typical investor's growing concern over what their portfolio managers intend to do about their shrinking fortunes.

The majo

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How Low Will Corn Go?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The CBOT corn market has fallen 50% from its highs this summer deep into three dollar territory at one point. Dragged down by the huge sell off in the financial markets, the grains have been suffering this fall, and there's no clear answer to where the bottom is located or when it will come.

So f

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China Cuts Interest Rates for Third Time in Eight Weeks

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

In case Governor Sarah Palin is joining us on Indiana Grain this morning, let me clarify the headline. No, this doesn't mean Chinese food is getting cheaper.

China cut interest rates again to stimulate growth as the global financial crisis threatens to severely undermine the world's fourth-large

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Hedge Fund Novel Pits Sister Against Sister

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain have a great idea. We're going to write a book about electronic trading and then sue each other over ownership rights just for the added publicity to help book sales.

We're borrowing this plan, of course, from Tatiana Hoover, who has sued her sister Natasha Boncompagni, allegi

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US Consumer Confidence Plunges to a Record Low

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

About the only thing in which American consumers still have confidence is...

We'll get back to you.

This morning we learned that US consumer confidence plunged to a record low in October as a worsening financial crisis made Americans anxious about their jobs and pessimistic about the future.

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Revised Report Proves Bullish

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

U.S. farmers will produce fewer corn and soybeans in 2008 than first thought, the USDA estimated in its revised October Crop Production report released Tuesday morning.

For soybeans, the USDA lowered U.S. production from 77.0 million acres to 75.9 million. USDA estimated harvested soybean acres a

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Corrected USDA Crop Report Out Today

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will publish a corrected version of its Oct. 10 crop production. The announcement caused speculation that the agency may revise its official estimate of domestic corn/soybean yields.

It was revealed late Monday that the needed correction will both be released Tu

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Countdown Clock Returns to CNBC

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

It's no secret around Indiana Grain how much we "love" the countdown clock in the right hand corner of the screen on CNBC.

Someone at the network must have decided to restore that ticker's high profile this morning as we follow the minute by minute apprehension building up to the network's exclu

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Berkshire Hathaway Shares Plunge 6%

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Shares of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway fell just over six percent to a 20-month closing low of $105,126.

Berkshire hasn't closed below $100,000 in just over two years.

The stock has moved in an enormous range in the last few weeks, closing as high as $147,000 on September 19. That was

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Good Morning! May We Borrow 10 Billion?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

With this opening question, we're off to the races Tuesday morning with General Motors and Cerberus Capital Management asking the U.S. government for roughly $10 billion in an unprecedented rescue package to support a merger between GM and Chrysler.

As it stands, the government funding would "inc

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Japanese Banks Take a Hit Early Tuesday

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

At this early hour on Tuesday morning, markets in Asia are seemingly unable to decide whether to stay down and move back up. But Japanese bank shares took a hit on expectations of sharp market losses.

Large financial institutions like Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan's biggest lender, saw th

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Farm-Credit Squeeze May Cut Crops

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain took note of a story on the Bloomberg newswire this morning that acknowledged how the credit crunch is "compounding a profit squeeze for farmers that may curb global harvests and worsen a food crisis for developing countries."

The global production of wheat, the most-consumed

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Lock the Doors! Wall Street Refugees on the Loose!

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Bankers and brokers trying to escape the financial meltdown are scrambling to relocate their families, possessions and rarified talent far from Wall Street to places such as Florida, Chicago, Milwaukee, Virginia and Asia.

We at Indiana Grain are looking out for these Wall Street refugees in our

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Getting Serious About The Value of Farmland

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

As we've seen, traders and investors on Wall Street have spent the last few months being bounced around in one of the most volatile periods on record.

We at Indiana Grain have witnessed this trend seep into the grain markets and fully expect it to continue seeping into other parts of the agricult

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A Busy Week Lies Ahead

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain are nervously anticipating two major events this week.

Many economists are confident that this week will mark the beginning of the US economy's entry into a recession and the end of the Federal Reserve's conventional monetary policy to remedy the situation.

Ladies and gentl

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Traders Bid Farewell As Another Pit Fades Away

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana grain were saddened but not surprised to learn today that the Minneapolis Grain Exchange will close its trading pits, effective December 19th of this year.

MGEX, established in 1881, is the only market for Hard Red Spring Wheat, National Corn Index, National Soybean Index, Hard Red

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How a Banking Crisis Affects Farmers

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain have always held a special place in our hearts for farmers. You can imagine how much we were moved today by a fascinating interview with "Farmer Harl" posted on agriculture.com.

Harl, a farmer and retired agricultural economist, was a chief architect of a federal bailout that

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OPEC Makes Cuts

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

OPEC cut oil production targets for the first time in almost two years to stem a collapse in prices.

OPEC decided to lower supply by 1.5 million barrels a day from November, oil ministers said today at the end of a meeting at the group's Vienna's headquarters.

The reduction will be from the e

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Opening Moments From The Floor

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Wall Street is joining world stock markets in a precipitous plunge, with the Dow Jones industrials dropping more than 400 points in the opening minutes of trading.

The growing belief that the world will suffer a punishing economic recession has investors furiously dumping stocks.

Grim news fr

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We're Up Early And We Hope You Are Too

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain this morning, while not fresh, are certainly alert and thankful to still be alive after an overnight scare that likely won't be surpassed by next Friday's Halloween.

Britain's economy shrank, China said the outlook was grim and companies from Japan to France were punished on F

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CBOT Members Make a Bad Trade

Posted:
By:
Comments: 2

We at Indiana Grain can name more than a few full members of the CME/CBOT who should be trading hogs. Why? Because when you act like a pig, it's only fitting to be among your kind.

Watching the value of those seats and stocks plummet today, we had to pull out the old 52 week chart and shake our

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Lawyers Are Dropping Like Flies

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

An interesting story came across the wire today that got our attention at Indiana Grain.

Doctors and lawyers have historically had the most stable lines of work, withstanding economic ups and downs because of the inelastic nature of their service. After all, if you need a doctor or a lawyer, you'

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Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose by a larger than expected 15,000 last week, government data on Thursday showed, reinforcing evidence about the weak state of the labor market.

The Labor Department said that the effects of Hurricane Ike in Texas added roughly

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Bunge's Profits Bungee Jump

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Forbes is reporting this morning that Bunge Ltd., a supplier of fertilizer, oilseeds, and other agricultural commodities, has witnessed its third quarter profits fall 33% as rising sales were offset by foreign exchange losses linked to the devaluation of Brazil's currency.

Bunge reported net inco

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A Word of Support For America's Hedge Funds

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain would like to take a moment to express our solidarity with the hedge fund managers of America.

Last night on Mad Money, host Jim Cramer took a call from an "adoring fan" who expressed her love of Cramer and then pinned much of the blame for the current financial crisis on gree

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A Bright Future for Ethanol?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Although it hasn't received much attention amidst the most volatile markets in a generation, the ethanol industry is surprisingly inching closer to the status of being the "largest supplier of energy in this country." According to numerous recently published reports, "look for a big year for the bus

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Cattle Markets Feeling The Pinch

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Even though economists aren't sounding the panic alarm just yet, some are speculating that the economic downturn is impacting cattle markets in a substantial way.

According to one report, "as the consumer's pocketbook goes, so goes the beef industry." And with the economy continuing to sour, man

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"Wall Street" Reprised

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Earlier this year the New York Times reported that a sequel to 1987's Wall Street is being produced. "Money Never Sleeps" is currently in pre-production with Michael Douglas set to reprise his Academy Award winning role of Gordon Gekko.

According to news out of Hollywood today, the film has a gr

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Welcome, Italy!

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 1

We at Indiana Grain would like to welcome our ever growing international fan base, especially our Italian friends in Milan.

We've been fortunate to develop quite a following in Italy and since some of us at Indiana Grain are Italian, it is particularly gratifying to say the least.

We would al

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Fed May Tap $540 Billion To Assist Money Funds

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain have learned through our secret sources (cnbc.com) that the Federal Reserve may lend as much as $540 billion in a new facility aimed at restoring liquidity for money market mutual funds.

The Fed is launching the new facility to "buy certificates of deposit and commercial paper

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Keeping Markets in Perspective

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

As markets rise and fall with great swings on a daily basis, it's easy to overlook the relative stability that a long-term perspective reveals. It's also vital to understand the difference between markets being "crushed" and over-leveraged traders being "crushed."

Getting caught up in the over dr

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Wachovia Loses $23.9 Billion

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain are a little concerned for our friends at Wachovia this morning.

The bank being acquired by Wells Fargo & Co. reported its third straight quarterly loss this morning, hurt by crumbling mortgage markets and writedowns on securities backed by real estate.

The third-quarter lo

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Tuesday Morning Consensus in Iran

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

There's nothing we at Indiana Grain love more than a consensus.

Iran's oil minister said Tuesday morning there was a consensus to set up a "gas OPEC," after talks with his Qatari counterpart and the head of Russia's Gazprom.

On second thought, we may need to rethink where we stand on consensus

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U.S. Moves Toward Stimulus

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Lawmakers and officials moved toward forging a second fiscal stimulus bill after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke endorsed the idea and the Bush administration dropped its opposition, according to the Bloomberg newswire this morning.

Bernanke warned legislators yesterday the credit crunch

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Can We Stop The Landslide Talk, Please?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Since the final presidential debate was held last Wednesday, many have weighed in on the upcoming election and concluded that an Obama victory is a foregone concusion and that we may be in store for a landslide.

Not so fast.

Presidential races have historically tended to narrow in the days imm

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Bernanke Backs Consideration of Stimulus

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Although we at Indiana Grain aren't yet standing by the mailbox awaiting our next stimulus check, it's clear that we're getting closer to that reality.

Citing a "weak" outlook for the U.S. economy into next year, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, differed with the White House and endorsed

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McCain Likes Being the "Underdog"

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Although we at Indiana Grain see the forthcoming presidential election as much too hotly contested to consider anyone an underdog, Sen. John McCain said Sunday he's "very happy" to consider himself an "underdog."

"We're going to be in a tight race and we're going to be up late on election night.

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Circuit City to Shut Stores

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Circuit City, the major US electronics retail chain, may close upwards of 150 stores and slash jobs along the way, the Wall Street Journal reported this morning.

Just like customers in need of emergency financing to bankroll their essential purchase of a 72-inch flat screen plasma with blue ray p

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On A Sad Note...

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain were deeply saddened to learn over the weekend that an independent futures trader who accumulated more than one million dollars in losses took his own life, telling his wife in a note he was upset because he believed he could "never regain the money."

There is no doubt in this

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Shares of ING Bank Soar on Major Cash Injection

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Investors in financial group ING were elated with a 10 billion euro Dutch government cash injection that resulted in their shares of ING recovering most of their substantial losses from the previous trading session.

Shares in the Netherlands' biggest listed bank jumped 23 percent to 9.03 euros in

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Colin Powell Endorses Sen. Obama

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Colin Powell, a Republican who was President Bush's first secretary of state, endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president Sunday and criticized the tone of Republican John McCain's campaign.

The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said either candidate, both of them senators, is qualifi

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A Crude Awakening Next Week

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Today we learned that OPEC oil producers will cut oil supplies when they meet next week in Vienna and "the reduction must be significant," the group's president, Chakib Khelil, said early this morning.

"There will be a reduction of the output and the reduction must be significant to restore the b

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Palin on SNL? You Betcha!

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain are excited that the "not-ready-for-prime-time-players" are about to welcome someone else often accused of not being "ready."

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is set to appear tonight on NBC's Saturday Night Live.

Whether Palin will interact with Tina Fey,

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Lehman The Focus of Grand Jury Probes

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

At this point, we at Indiana Grain can't help but assume that the folks who brought down Lehman Brothers would likely prefer an alien probe over a Grand Jury probe. But it looks like they're bound for the latter.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which filed the largest bankruptcy in history, is the

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Warren Buffett is Buying Stocks

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Warren Buffett is taking the lead in inspiring Americans to buy US stocks again. And he wants everyone to know about it.

It's time to "get greedy right now," says Buffett, as fear continues to imperil plunging stock prices around the world.

Tapping into the power of the opinion pages of The Ne

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McCain to Letterman: I Screwed Up

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain watched John McCain's late night appearance on David Letterman with great interest last night. And we weren't disappointed.

McCain began by telling Letterman that "I screwed up" by canceling a "Late Show" appearance in September, then faced a sharp round of questioning about S

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Highland to Close Hedge Funds

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Highland Capital Management LP has announced the closure of two hedge funds with assets of more than $1.5 billion after sustaining losses on high-yield, high-risk loans and other types of debt.

Highland had $37 billion in assets under management in early summer but suffered from "unprecedented m

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The Hunt For Plumber Joe

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain this morning are in search of Plumber Joe.

Have you seen him? Maybe you are him... or her.

If so, we want to hear from you.

If you can relate to the person who became internationally famous last night, unclog your thoughts along with the pipes and let us know what you t

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Citadel's Flagship Hedge Fund Down 26%

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

According to a report published in this morning's Chicago Tribune, Citadel Investment Group's premier hedge fund has lost more than a quarter of its total value this year, an unanticipated and somewhat shocking development for a Midwest firm whose success and hard line recruiting of traders has even

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The Forgotten Farmer and His Land

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

On Jan. 23, 2008, farmer Reese Langheim of Pawnee, Illinois paid $324,000 for 80 acres of farmland near his home. Three weeks later on Feb. 15, he sold the property to Boarman Brothers LLC, a family-owned farming company, for $452,000.

That was then.

One of the ignored casualties of the pervas

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Fed Chair Warns that Recovery Will Be Slow

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Ben Bernanke reported this afternoon (amidst another stock market slump) that US government efforts to stabilize financial markets and restore consumer credit may not result in an immediate economic rebound.

``Stabilization of the financial markets is a critical first step, but even if they stabi

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Ticker Practicality

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Are we the only ones slightly unnerved by the perennial ticker on CNBC?

Must we really know that eighteen hours, seven minutes, and twelve seconds remain before "Helicopter Ben" Bernanke speaks? Or that seventeen hours and six minutes are left until the next presidential debate?

As we all kno

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The Future of Fertilizers

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The relationship between stocks and fertilizers is apparent.

And, no, I'm not referring to the fact that most stocks have turned into crap.

We simply can't afford to forget the importance of fertilizer and the prospects for its future. In the last half century, for example, the amount of arabl

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U.S. Retail Sales Slump 1.2%

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

It's times like these when we all learn just how much junk we really buy.

In light of the news this morning that retail sales are on a crash course with gravity, it's easy to see the impact of the economic slowdown in the shopping world. Those of us at Indiana Grain, for instance, are actually co

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Financial Crisis Crashes Into Nascar

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

It's one thing for Wall Street and Main Street to feel the pinch, but we at Indiana Grain are really taking to heart the recent news that the sponsors of Nascar are cutting back on their cravings for flashy hood decals in light of the global economic turndown.

General Motors Corp., Chrysler Corp

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Jim Cramer Gets Bashed

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Perhaps Reuters put it best this morning:

"If you didn't know better, you'd think CNBC was running for office and Fox Business was the down-in-the-polls attack dog. That's the feeling you get watching Fox Business's latest TV ad, which throws CNBC star and stock picker Jim Cramer under the bus an

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Remembering The Lessons of Richard Nixon

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

With only three weeks remaining until the most important presidential election in a generation, many commentators are reporting that the first man past the finish line will be the one to best capture the hopes of the American people.

Not so fast.

Thirty years may have past since Richard Nixon

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A Shake Up On The Forbes List

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

At the rate of wealth destruction that we've seen, Gary Coleman may soon end up on the Forbes list of the wealthiest people in the country.

It's apparent now more than ever that even the billionaires are feeling the pinch.

In response to the slip and slide tendencies of the stock market this m

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Where Have All The Farmers Gone?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

It would seem that the global financial turmoil and the economic slowdown have put (at least temporarily) an end to the commodity bull market of 2008.

Everywhere we look there are market analysts and financial experts weighing in on the commodity markets as they perceive them. Unfortunately, rare

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How Many Records Will Be Broken Today?

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Watching CNBC the last few weeks reminds me of watching Michael Phelps during the summer Olympics. For both, there has been no shortage of broken records and historic firsts.

After trading a one thousand point range last Friday to Monday's unprecedented one thousand point rally, there's no tellin

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What We Hope You "Discover" On This Columbus Day

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

We at Indiana Grain would not only like to wish all of our readers today an extraordinarily happy Columbus Day, we would also like to invite you back every day to see what you can "discover" for yourself.

We revealed a new look for our site today, which will continue to be tweaked and revamped in

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Gov. Palin Pegged a Publicity Hound

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

This morning, we at Indiana Grain would like to openly extend an interview request to Alaska Governor and GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin to publicize her distain for publicity.

*Wink*

As it turns out, the "media shy" VP candidate had a much different PR approach upon taking offi

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"Fast Money" Uses Kobe Bryant's Name in Vain?

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

It's 4:00 pm on Wall Street. Do you know where your political correctness is?

The ball is in Pete Nigerian's court. At least that's what some are thinking at this hour in the wake of the "Fast Money" correspondent's use of Kobe Bryant's name to liken the fear felt on Wall Street to that of the mi

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The Name is Gartman... Dennis Gartman

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 1

The James Bond of the commodity business, smooth market guru, Dennis Gartman, has become an established media celebrity in the wake of the biggest commodity boom in history.

As a result, millions of teenage girls are probably adorning their bedroom walls with posters of this dreamy commodity man.

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Jobless Claims Fall 20,000

Posted:
By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell 20,000 last week, in line with forecasts, as the impact of hurricanes Gustav and Ike eased, government data on Thursday showed.

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits declined to a seasonally adjusted 478,000

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What's The Difference Between a Pigeon and a Stockbroker?

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The pigeon can still make a deposit on a BMW.

As evidenced by almost every news story this morning, even those who make a good living are finding their wallets a little lighter today after sustained weeks of wealth destruction unlike anything experienced in a generation.

We at Indiana Grain,

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Fed Joins Global Rate Cut, Eases by Half Point

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

Central banks around the world Wednesday cut interest rates in a coordinated move amid mounting losses on global stock markets, as the credit crunch continued to seize up lending.

The Federal Reserve lowered its federal funds rate a half a point to 1.50 percent. It also lowered its discount rate

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Has Jim Cramer "Jumped The Shark"?

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

"Jumping the shark" is a phrase used by TV critics and fans to denote that point in which the value or relevance of a TV show quickly declines and just as rapidly begins an unwinding of its former glories.

The question we at Indiana Grain are asking this morning is: Has Jim Cramer jumped the shar

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A "Slow Recovery" Underway

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

There's reason to believe the markets are showing signs of recovery, but much needs to happen before a full rebound can begin to take effect, an array of experts said Tuesday morning.

Coordinated action from the world's central banks, tightening in credit spreads and more work towards addressing

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Where Are FDR & Reagan When You Need Them?

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

It seems to us at Indiana Grain that there is a tangible crisis of confidence that reaches far beyond the masses. Indeed, it extends to the highest echelons of government, as evidenced by the gloom and doom demeanors of elected officials and political pundits alike.

We can't help but wonder when

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It's Contagious! Financial Crisis Spreads to Europe, Asia

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

It's pretty hard not to get sick when you're standing next to someone with the flu.

This morning, Asia and Europe have caught a bad case of the financial bug that continues to spread throughout the world at an alarming rate. And no matter how much we at Indiana Grain would prefer to hide under t

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Job Lossess More Severe Than Predicted

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

For many Americans today, a little pink slip is more than what their wives may have been wearing to bed last night. In fact, a pessimist this morning might report that soon the only job left may be the job of reporting how there are no jobs left.

Of course, we at Indiana Grain are considerably mo

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A Vote of Confidence By The Senate

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

The U.S. Senate approved tax cuts valued at more than $100 billion, including a host of alternative energy credits and dozens of breaks for businesses and individuals, as part of its $700 billion bank rescue bill.

The legislation, which the House likely will act on tomorrow, passed the Senate on

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Taxpayers, Can You Spare A Dime?

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

If Indiana Grain is welcoming any readers from Nigeria this morning, be warned. If you get an email from Washington asking for money, it might be a scam.

In the nation's capitol this morning, members of the Senate are still tentatively optimistic about their ability to preserve the solvency of th

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No Shortage of Players In DC's Biggest Blame Game

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By: Michael Essany
Comments: 0

For those who have seen playground fights result in a more mature resolution than the current partisan gridlock in the beltway, you're not alone. As it turns out, the country remains just as divided as Capitol Hill in reaching consensus on what could be the most expensive bill in a generation.

Ac

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