The Morning Rant

19/10/11 -- Spain has had it's debt rating cut two notches by Moodys with a negative outlook attached.

Argos has reported a 71% fall in half year profits saying that sales of electronic items have been particularly hard hit. The average Joe in the street is clearly tightening his belt and putting his plans for a widescreen surround sound home cinema on hold.

The minutes of the Bank of England's MPC meeting show that they all voted in favour of QE this month, although there were different ideas on the amount needed. That's a pretty sharp turnaround from September when only one committee member wanted further QE.

Incredulously the minutes also show that they reckon that there is "little further upside" in the outlook for inflation.

The Guardian is reporting that France and Germany have struck a deal to increase the eurozone's rescue fund from EUR440 billion to EUR2 trillion ahead of this weekend's summit of EU financial leaders. They obviously think that they are going to need it. And they are.

A 48 hour general strike is underway in Greece.

Ukraine's Ag Minister says that the country will export 27 MMT of grains in 2011/12 despite the fact that it's only shipped out less than 4 MMT in the first three and a half months of the campaign. He'd better nip round the the President's office pretty sharpish with a pen then.

SE Australia is gearing up for what this report calls "what is shaping as one of best grain harvests for years" - the main problem now is the large volume of old crop still in storage, they say. Grain harvest rush looms

With bumper production also expected in Western Australia we could be in for a record wheat crop this year. Abares currently peg production at 26.2 MMT, marginally behind last season's record 26.3 MMT, yet output in WA this year is seen doubling.