Odds ‘n Sods:

One of my recent web searches turned up this interesting site: Owl’s Nest Plantation–a supplier of herbs and spices, in bulk quantities.

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Administration Iraq Study Group considers a partitioned Iraq
. Don’t they remember what happened when Pakistan was partitioned from India?

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Reader D.W. sent us a link regarding the collapse of the Amaranth Advisors derivatives trading firm: A $6 billion gamble gone bad. Here is a quote from the article: “The hedge fund Amaranth Advisors, which is preparing to shut down after losing more than $6 billion because of bad energy trades, expects to cut about 60 percent of its work force within a week. As many as 250 of Amaranth’s 420 workers will be dismissed, said Charlie Winkler, the company’s chief operating officer… …The firm said it is seeking an orderly process to sell about $3 billion of remaining assets and return proceeds to investors.”

See my recent article on derivatives for some background about the wider implications of hedge trading.