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Features of the week

What's happening in the world of commodities, derivatives, and global stock markets? All this and more, ahead. Enjoy our, "Features of the week".

1. CRB index suffers its worst monthly drop in 28 years.

2. The Short View: Commodities and inflation.

3. Are we trading against Hank Paulson? (Hat tip: BMB)

4. Financial sector has 7 of 10 best days in 2008.

5. Global stock market performance round-up via Investment Postcards.

"In spite of a “teaser” of a rally and stock markets holding their July 15 lows, equity markets were still in the red for the month of July. The MSCI World Index was down 2.5%, with the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-4.2%) faring even worse."

6. Frank Barbera charts the US dollar, stocks, and commodity markets.

7. Gary Dorsch explores the arcane world of commodities and currencies.

8. "The Cost of Socialism" - John Browne, Euro Pacific Capital.

"Over the past few decades, the United States has steadily evolved from a nation of ‘producers’ to one of ‘consumers’. The change has been celebrated by politicians and economists as proof of America’s arrival at the top of the global economic food chain. In reality, the development has depleted the nation of its hard-earned wealth, and has led us to the brink of ruin."

9. FASB: OK for USA to turn Japanese. Take it, Barry:

"Just when you think there is a glimmer of hope that some of these ne'er do well, lying, cheating, sniveling, cowardly bank CEOs might finally be forced to step up to the confessional and tell all, this comes along: FASB Postpones Off-Balance-Sheet Rule for a Year.

Which makes me wonder: How precarious is the financial health of the US banks and brokers that they need yet another year before they can, oh, I don't know -- disclose what they own on their balance sheets?"

10. Plans for a central clearing house for credit derivatives.

11. Soros' global macro successors shine in first half of 2008.

12. When and why the credit crisis began.

13. Keys to successful trading and investing: the company you keep.

14. The 'Experience-Stretching Hypothesis' - Financial Philosopher.

"It is my unscientific guess that most people who would say that they are truly "happy," would also say that their happiness is not a function of obtaining an end -- it is one of finding pleasure in the act of pursuing happiness, which is the means to an end, illustrated in a common metaphor, the journey -- with little or no consideration for where the journey will take them."

15. Video: A conversation with Charlie Munger.

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