Prieur’s readings (December 29, 2009)

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This post provides links to a number of interesting articles I have read over the past few days that you may also enjoy.

• Dave Barry (The Washington Post): Lowlights of a Downer Year: Dave Barry on the money, madness and misery of 2009, December 27, 2009.
It was a year of Hope – at first in the sense of “I feel hopeful!” and later in the sense of “I hope this year ends soon!”

• Paul Krugman (The New York Times): Stimulus timing, December 27, 2009.
One thing that often becomes clear when we talk about prospects for next year – which worry me – is that there’s a lot of confusion over the timing of stimulus impacts. Even well-informed people will say things like “we’ve only spent a quarter of the money, so let’s wait and see what happens.”

• Tom Petruno (Los Angeles Times): Three key trends for investors and savers in 2010, December 26, 2009.
If we assume that Geithner is right about the absence of another financial mega-crisis in 2010, there are three important trends that either got underway or accelerated in 2009 that also will be crucial for investors and savers in the new year.

• David Bogoslaw (Bloomberg BusinessWeek): Bonds – strategies for 2010, December 24, 2009.
Veteran bond-fund manager Bill Larkin tells Bloomberg BusinessWeek what fixed-income investors can do to boost returns – and protect their portfolios from inflation.

• William Reichenstein (American Association of Individual Investors): Great expectations: earnings estimates and their impact on stock prices, December 28, 2009.
Earnings estimates are an important element for you to keep in mind when you analyze and select stocks. They are a numerical view of expectations, and changing expectations drive stock prices.

• Georgina Lee (Risk): Renminbi set to replace US dollar for trade in Asia Pacific, December 27, 2009.
The Chinese renminbi is taking on an increased role in the Asia-Pacific region, and is expected over time to replace traditionally dominant currencies such as the US dollar and the euro for certain transactions.

• Alaric Nightingale and Alex Kwiatkowski (Bloomberg BusinessWeek): Tanker glut signals 25% drop as 26-mile queue overwhelms demand, December 28, 2009.
A 26-mile-long line of idled oil tankers, enough to blockade the English Channel, may signal a 25% slump in freight rates next year. Traders booked a record number of ships for storage this year, seeking to profit from longer-dated energy futures trading at a premium to contracts for immediate delivery.

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