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Credit Unions and Banks: Like Apples and Oranges

regional-federal-credit-union.gifCredit Unions

  • not for profit
  • return profits to members in the form of lower loan rates and higher savings rates
  • lower fees
  • you are a member
  • members elect a volunteer board of directors
  • member service driven
  • insured by NCUA
  • supported by a network of credit unions; local and worldwide

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Why Traders Around The Globe Are Embracing Social Media

Thomas-Grisafi-Indiana-Grain-CEOThe use of social media in contemporary electronic trading is often mistakenly believed to be a uniquely American phenomenon. In reality, traders around the world are simultaneously - and enthusiastically - embracing social media platforms like Twitter as an ever increasing stronghold of financial professionals discover that the interconnectivity of today's global markets can be better understood through diverse relationships and information sources made possible through the microblogging platform.

Earlier this week, the CMC Markets Group, a leading independent financial services provider, published the second section of the latest CMC Markets "Share Trader Insight Survey: A Look Into What Drives Today's Share Traders." Part 2, entitled "Share traders and social media," puts forward compelling insights into how Australian...

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How The CPU Terminated The Corn Broker

Thomas-Grisafi-Indiana-Grain-CEOIn the 1984 sci-fi classic directed by James Cameron, machines from the future traveled to the past to change the course of human history and enable machines to dominate humans and rule the world. Although this plot may sound far-fetched, it's a pretty realistic scenario playing out for many corn brokers today.

Futuristic CPUs have effectively "terminated" the corn broker. And its easy to see why this is happening and why its ultimately to our advantage. At the veritable "fount of open-outcry floor trading," CME Group says only 10.7 of its volume in January 2011 was traded on the exchange floors. The average daily volume of floor trading was down another 4 percent from January 2010. For all of 2010, in fact, floor trading represented a scarce 12 percent of total volume. Indeed, we've come a long way since 1992, the CME's first...

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IU Researchers: Twitter Can Help Predict Markets

IndianaChamber_clr.gifThis is just wild. According to Indiana University researchers, Twitter may be the greatest economic indicator yet:

Researchers at IU Bloomington’s School of Informatics and Computing found the correlation between the value of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and public sentiment after analyzing more than 9.8 million tweets from 2.7 million users during 10 months in 2008.

Using two mood-tracking tools to analyze the text content of the large-scale collection of Twitter feeds, Associate Professor Johan Bollen and Ph.D. candidate Huina Mao were able to measure variations in public mood and then compare them to closing stock market values.

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Economists: Weak Currencies Could Boost Ag Export Markets

PurdueLogo.jpegExporting nations like the United States are finding that weaker currency spells stronger trade opportunities. That is, if their monetary moves don't first lead to a trade war, said two Purdue University agricultural economists.

At least three major exporting countries -- the United States, China and Japan -- have made direct or indirect moves to depreciate their currencies, which might make their exported goods less expensive in foreign markets. Brazil could soon follow suit.

The United States likely will see record agricultural exports in the year ahead, said Philip Abbott and Chris Hurt. For the year to date, the United States is running a $600 billion trade deficit.

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Indiana Grain CEO Tom Grisafi Featured in Crain's

indiana-grain-white.jpgIndiana Grain CEO Thomas Grisafi is featured in the new issue of Crain's, available Monday.

The article, which chronicles the growth of social media within the financial industry, includes commentary from Grisafi as well as Jon Najarian, owner of Chicago brokerage firm TradeMonster.

“It's not always reliable and not always accurate, but if you can sit and look through the Tweets and know who's sending them, you can decipher them and get a feel for who they are,” Grisafi tells the publication. “It's like the trading pits. You get a sense of the integrity for the Tweeter the same way you did with traders.”

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VantagePoint Intermarket Analysis Trading Software Version 8.3 Released

VPLogo.jpgMarket Technologies, LLC is proud to announce the release of VantagePoint 8.3, the latest version of its award-winning intermarket-analysis trading software. VantagePoint 8.3 offers the same high-quality trend-forecasting performance as earlier versions but with several significant improvements and new capabilities.

VantagePoint 8.3 features numerous enhancements, including newly updated and retrained neural networks, using Market Technologies' patent-pending forecasting technologies to assure that VantagePoint's daily predictions are even more accurate than ever before. In addition, in response to customer demand VantagePoint 8.3 now predicts the market trend direction for over a dozen of the most popular short and...

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A Look at Jobs Growth

state-flag-indiana.jpgUSA Today recently posted Moody’s Economy’s projections of job growth state by state. Indiana’s projection is at .4%, although you might be more interested to look at the sector breakdown, which accompanies the story.

Economic consulting firm Moody’s Economy.com has forecasted U.S. job growth by geographic region and by industry. This interactive was updated August 12, 2010. We will update it each month.

This graphic shows actual job growth through second-quarter 2010 and Moody’s Economy.com’s forecasted job growth for third-quarter 2010 through second-quarter 2014. It covers every state, the District of Columbia and 384 metro areas, broken...

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Uneven Growth, Recovery Detected in The Global Economy

globe.jpgAlthough the world was once primarily bipolar in terms of geopolitical influence, today it is mostly bipolar in terms of economic recovery and growth.

At present, the global economic engines are turning at vastly different speeds and show an uneven growth between East and West. Even within one region the difference in GDP growth is very noticeable in the first half of 2010.

Japan recently revealed that their second quarter GDP grew at 0.1% in comparison with a first quarter gain of 1.2%. China has now officially replaced Japan as the world’s second largest economy and its continued growth, although at a slightly slower pace, indicates that by 2020 China will bypass the US as the largest economic engine in the world.

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Ag Economist: Today's Farmer Should Think Like a CFO

PurdueLogo.jpegFarmers who want to make money in today's unpredictable economy would do well to assume a corporate mindset and think like a chief financial officer, a Purdue University agricultural economist says.

With many farm businesses now multimillion-dollar operations and the operating risk in agriculture increasing, producers should focus more time on the financial side of their business, said Mike Boehlje. CFOs think about profitability, capital structure and debt service, size and growth, risk and financial documentation, and creating shareholder value, he said.

CFO-type thinking will help farmers navigate swings in commodity prices and production costs. Although price volatility is inherent to farming, price fluctuations are greater today than they were in the past.

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Report: Indiana Crop Conditions Hold Steady Despite Weather

PurdueLogo.jpegDespite the unpredictable Indiana weather this spring and summer, the adage "rain makes grain" seems to be ringing true throughout the state as crop conditions remain good.

After heavy rains, flooding, extremely hot temperatures and some delayed planting and replanting, there was some fear that crop conditions might deteriorate as the season progressed.

That doesn't seem to be the case. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service's Aug. 1 "Indiana Crop and Weather Report," 63 percent of corn and 64 percent of soybeans fell in the range of good to excellent, compared with 66 percent for both corn and soybeans for last year.

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