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Recommended Stocks & Mutual Funds in the News

Below are updates of our recommended stocks and mutual funds as well as market news.

11/15/2008 --- LIBOR Inches Down, World Economic Leaders Meet Today

This week saw further improvement, although slight, in the interest rate for bank-to-bank loans (LIBOR). After falling 53% in a month, Libor inched down this week to finish at 2.24%. The spread between LIBOR and 3-month treasuries (the TED spread) stands at 2.1%, a huge improvement over the 4.6% rate from five weeks ago. Once the TED spread gets down to its usual 0.4% rate, this will signal that the credit markets are operating in their normal range.

World leaders of G-20 (Group of 20 industrialized and developing economies that account for roughly 90% of the global gross domestic product) are meeting today to improve transparency in the financial markets to ensure regulators don't allow a repeat of the current financial crisis. Plans also call for making the global financial system more accountable to investors while also creating an "early warning system" to prevent speculative investing that leads to bubbles.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel commented that world leaders are working on a plan "that includes almost 50 actions that have to be implemented by the end of March. There shall be no blind spots," she said. "I believe there is here a great common will to ensure that such a crisis is not repeated."

One action plan would involve all nations enacting government spending plans to act as economic stimulus on a global basis, but consensus has not yet been reached.

Another meeting of the G-20 is tentatively set for the spring, when Barack Obama will be acting President. If the G-20 can calm investor fears, this could go a long way to ensure the market bottom has been reached. Many stocks are already priced as if another depression is imminent, but financial policies already in place make that a very remote possibility. Successful action-plans by the G-20 could then make it readily apparent that we are "only" in a recession and that prices of many stocks have been driven too low.

***

G-20 participants: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, and the United States.


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