Archives for September 2013

Time to Buy Volatility Again?

Courtesy of John Rubino. The following chart tells two stories. The first is that the deficit spending and debt monetization of the past few years has calmed the markets. Volatility (more accurately fear), as measured by the VIX index of S&P 500 options, has meandered back below 20, implying that most financial market players are […]

No, the Fall of Lehman Didn’t Cause the Financial Crisis

Barry Ritholtz of The Big Picture discusses the 2008 financial meltdown and the elements contributing to it. Excerpt: The decades leading to the crisis were a unique period in American history. Under Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to below 2 percent for three years and to 1 percent for more than a year. […]

The Boxed-In Fed

Courtesy of Pater Tenebrarum of Acting-Man Exit, shmexit…as our readers know, we have always been among those who have argued that the Federal Reserve will never truly 'exit' from its 'unconventional policies'. At least not for any appreciable period of time – which is to say, we have occasionally held that it might try to reduce […]

QE: Because Nobody’s Got Any Better Ideas

In support of quantitative easing.  QE: Because Nobody’s Got Any Better Ideas Courtesy of It's Not That Simple (originally published on 5/29/2013) QE: What you’d call a bit of a controversial policy. Asset prices have shot up recovering pre-crisis highs. Meanwhile the real economy – especially those bits that affect the poor and the young – remain […]

Giant Deadly Hornets Kill Dozens In China; Venom Dissolves Flesh and they Can Spray It

Courtesy of Mish. I have received hundreds of emails regarding my post Attack of the “Digger Bees”. Many suggested getting an EpiPen® (epinephrine) Auto-Injector‎ for Liz and we will do that. Many pointed out that “digger bees” are not bees but rather wasps. That is something I knew but did not mention in my post. […]

Is the U.S. Headed in the Right Direction?

Courtesy of Mish. Polling Report has an interesting data series on Direction of the Country. Here is the question: “In general, do you think things in the nation are headed in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track?“ The polls were conducted by Bloomberg, CBS News/New York Times, NBC News/Wall […]

AN 1873 LETTER ON LUCK VERSUS SKILL

In trading stocks, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is mistaking luck for skill.   AN 1873 LETTER ON LUCK VERSUS SKILL This article was written on March 3, 2013 by David at Crosshairs Trader Blog, Dept. of Wisdom We often confuse luck with skill, especially in the stock market. In fact, Michael J. Mauboussin has written a worthy read on separating the […]

The Renminbi: Soon to Be a Reserve Currency?

The Renminbi: Soon to Be a Reserve Currency? BY JOHN MAULDIN I get the question all the time: when will the Chinese renminbi (RMB) replace the US dollar as the major world reserve currency? The assumption behind such questions is almost always that the coming crisis in US entitlement programs will force the Fed to monetize even more […]

We Are Seeing An All-out Defense of the Status Quo

Last week, Lars Schall interviewed Jesse of the Cafe Americain. Here's the beginning:  “We Are Seeing An All-out Defense of the Status Quo” On behalf of Matterhorn Asset Management, financial journalist Lars Schall talked with Jesse, the host of the popular financial web site Jesse’s Café Américain, about, inter alia: his interest in precious metals; why […]

Future of Medicine: Meet Sedasys – Your New Robot Anesthesiologist

Courtesy of Mish. Johnson & Johnson’s new sedation machine promises cheaper colonoscopies, but anesthesiologists, among the highest paid physicians, don’t like it one bit. It’s yet another case of robots replacing humans. Please consider the New York Times article Robots vs. Anesthesiologists. Anesthesiologists, who are among the highest-paid physicians, have long fought people in health […]

The “Right Value” of the Indian Rupee

Courtesy of Mish. Reader Manish, from India, pinged me today regarding a statement made by India’s Finance Minister that the Right Value of Rupee is 59-60 to a Dollar Asserting that the right value of rupee is 59-60 to a dollar, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said that government will make all efforts, including extending […]

Smart City and Energy Harvesting, An Infographic

Courtesy of www.econmatters.com. By EconMatters Staff As part of the global sustainability initiative, countries (and cities) around the world are shifting into high gear working towards becoming part of the “smart cities”.  For example, on 10 July 2012, the European Commission launched the Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership.  The partnership proposes to pool […]

Guest on Main Street Out Loud Today at 6PM

Courtesy of Larry Doyle. I welcome the opportunity to return to Main Street Out Loud this afternoon at 6pm. MAIN STREET OUT LOUD is hosted by Rudi.  In his own words:“The show covers political issues, local, national and international.  We also cover the daily issues that concern each of us on Main Street, whether resident or business owner.   Rudi […]

Government Shutdown is a Fantastic Idea

Courtesy of Mish. Looking for a reason to support a government shutdown? If so, please consider Obama Stripped to Skeleton Staff in a Government Shutdown. A U.S. government shutdown means President Barack Obama will have fewer people to cook meals, do the laundry, clean the floors or change the light bulbs, according to a White […]

Don’t Cry For Me, Ben Bernanke

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here. By Simon Johnson, originally posted at Project Syndicate Financial volatility since Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s announcement in May that the Fed would “taper” its monthly purchases of long-term assets has raised a global cry: “Please, Mr. Bernanke, consider conditions in our (non-US) economies when you determine when […]

Mirror, Mirror

The Epicurean Dealmaker discusses the Twitter phenomenon. I'm not a big fan of Twitter and only check it out occasionally, usually when a little bit tired and bored.  Mirror, Mirror Courtesy of The Epicurean Dealmaker   La belle et la bête (1946) – Jean Cocteau “You’ve never seen death? Look in the mirror every day and […]

Barry Ritholtz posts the Top 10 Bank Fines since Meltdown

Who should pay for the legal violations? Shareholders? Tax-Payers? Management? Should the Federal Government take back the bonuses?  Top 10 Bank Fines (Post 2008-09 Crisis) By Barry Ritholtz  Fines here, fines there, fines everywhere! The Wall Street Journal discusses the proposed $11 billion dollar JPM fine, but buries the good stuff in this morning’s article on Jamie Dimon (This […]

Bank Robbers and Middle-Class Tax Hikes

Courtesy of Mish. When asked why he robbed banks, William “Willie” Sutton allegedly replied “because that’s where the money is.” The story, however, is false. Although he stole an estimated $2 million over his forty-year career, Horton denied ever saying that. A journalist made it up. His life was quite interesting though, including a stint […]

The Big-Picture Economy, Part 5: The State, Taxes And The Shredding Social Contract

Courtesy of Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds The social contract is fraying as those paying most of the income taxes are being squeezed from above and below. The government–known as the state in political science circles–is fundamentally a social contract between the governed and the governing Elites. The governed agree to cede control and power to the […]

IMF Proposes Eurozone Fiscal Union, Banking Union, Harmonized Employment, Common Unemployment Scheme, Firewall Tax

Courtesy of Mish. In the biggest nannycrat proposal ever, the IMF announced it’s vision for the United States of Europe (without using that name to describe the proposal). Via translation from El Pais, please consider IMF suggests common unemployment benefits for the eurozone. The IMF proposes more discipline, more fiscal integration, and the creation of […]

More Housing Data Says Bubble Will Rage On, Fed Will Never Learn

Courtesy of Lee Adler of the Wall Street Examiner The Case Chiller Index reported earlier this week that the median US house sale price in July was up 12.4% year over year. This severely lagged and smoothed index actually represents the 3 month average contract price of repeat sales only, with a time mid point of […]

BOJ’s aggressive QE finally brought down JGB yields

BOJ's aggressive QE finally brought down JGB yields Courtesy of Sober Look The Bank of Japan was able to lower Japanese government bond yields after an unexpected spike earlier this year (see post). The 10yr JGB is now yielding around 70bp, corresponding to about minus one percent of real yield. The central bank continues to […]

Home Sales Contracts Slow, But Strongest August Since 2006 As Supplies Tighten

Courtesy of Lee Adler of the Wall Street Examiner The NAR reported a decline in the number of contracts to purchase existing homes in August, with a seasonally adjusted decline of 1.6%. That was better than economists’ consensus expectations of -2.3%. Fooled again! Too pessimistic again. Economists don’t seem to be able to get a […]

Housing Recovery Is An Illusion While Housing Inflation Rages

Courtesy of Lee Adler of the Wall Street Examiner The new home sales industry remains extremely depressed, with activity near historical lows in spite of the biggest August sales increase in 7 years. Housing may not be a drag on the economy, but the idea that it’s making a positive contribution is not supported.  Meanwhile […]