EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    Finance & Markets

  • The Big Picture

    The Fight To Save The Mighty Honeybee

    Source: ESPN h/t FiveThirtyEightScience

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  • The Big Picture

    MiB: Joe Saluzzi of Themis Trading

    This week, the “Masters in Business” radio podcast features Joe Saluzzi of Themis Trading. He and his partner Sal Arnuk are co-authors of the book Broken Markets: How High Frequency Trading and Predatory Practices on Wall Street Are Destroying Investor Confidence and Your Portfolio. In our podcast, Joe discusses how regulatory changes and a shift in ownership from Non-profit to For-profit status for the exchanges led to a major shift in how markets were structured. These have led to all manners of problems, including the May 6, 2010 Flash Crash. Since then we have seen mini crashes in individual stocks, and more recently, Treasuries and even Currencies. Listen to the podcast live here at 6pm, on Bloomberg, Apple iTunes or SoundCloud. All of our prior pod...more

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    Charlie Named Name

    Ned Isakoff: “You got me blacklisted from Hop Sing’s?”Delivery Man:  “She named name!”—Seinfeld, “The Race”  Like Elaine Benes in that Seinfeld episode, Charlie Munger named name. Two names, in fact: Greg Abel and Ajit Jain. Unlike Elaine Benes’s name-naming, however, the two named by Munger have nothing to do with Communist agitation and the destruction of capitalism as we know it—far from it.   Rather, they have everything to do with Capitalist orthodoxy in its purest, most meritocratic form: who might succeed Warren Buffett as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway under the scenario, as Munger puts it, “Buffett left tomorrow.” Here’s the direct quote from Munger’s comments written for the 2014 Chairman’s Lette...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Schedule for Week of March 1, 2015

    The key report this week is the February employment report on Friday.Other key indicators include the January Personal Income and Outlays report on Monday, February ISM manufacturing index also on Monday, February vehicle sales on Tuesday, the ISM non-manufacturing index on Wednesday, and the January Trade Deficit on Friday.----- Monday, March 2nd -----8:30 AM ET: Personal Income and Outlays for January. The consensus is for a 0.4% increase in personal income, and for a 0.1% decrease in personal spending. And for the Core PCE price index to increase 0.1%.10:00 AM: ISM Manufacturing Index for February. The consensus is for a decrease to 53.0 from 53.5 in January.Here is a long term graph of the ISM manufacturing index. The ISM manufacturing index indicated e...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Releasing Private Equity Limited Partnership Agreements from Carlyle and Grosvenor

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Inflated Prices And Funny Money Spending Patterns

    A weekend topic on credit, deflation and the housing bubble. Reuters, “China’s central bank cut interest rates on Saturday, just days before the annual meeting of the country’s parliament, in the latest effort to support the world’s second-largest economy as its momentum slows and deflation risks rise. Globally around 20 central banks have eased policy this year to counter deflationary pressures driven in part by the plunge in oil prices. The surprise interest rate cut in November, followed up by a February reduction in the RRR that poured fresh cash into the financial system, had little apparent effect on business confidence, although the liquidity was welcomed by the stock market.” “China’s annual consumer inflation hit a five...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Momentum vs. Mean Reversion

    Salil Mehta is a statistician and risk strategist. He served for two years as Director of Analytics in the U.S. Department of the Treasury for the Administration’s $700 billion TARP program. He is the former Director of the Policy, Research, and Analysis Department in the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Salil is on the Editorial Board for the American Statistical Association, is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a fellow member of the American Statistical Association and Royal Statistical Society, as well as being a current dual candidate member of the Society of Actuaries. He is the author of the mathematics book, Statistics Topics.  ~~~ Which is a better trading strategy, momentum or mean-reversion? Try this mathematical thought experiment.  Look at...more

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    What Is Money And How Is It Created?

    These should be two of the easiest questions to answer in economics; after all, money is the one thing that we all use in an economy—surely we know what it is, and where it comes from? Click here to read the rest of this post. ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    February 2015: Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 357 Institutions

    This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.Here is the unofficial problem bank list for February, 2015. Changes and comments from surferdude808: Very busy week for the Unofficial Problem Bank List as the FDIC closed a bank and provided an update on its enforcement actions through January 2015. There were 21 removals this week pushing the list count down to 357 institutions with assets of $109.2 billion. A year ago, the list held 566 institutions with assets of $182 billion. During January 2015, the unofficial list declined by 31 institutions after 25 action terminations, four mergers, and two failures. In addition, assets fell by $13.3 billion during the month, which is the largest monthly decline since $18.1 billion in January 201...more

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Saturday links: dashboard duel

    Apple iCarHow designing an Apple ($AAPL) iCar would be similar to designing a airplane. (thedailybeast.com)Symbols: $AAPL The worst argument against the Apple Car: margins. (vox.com)What would constitute "success" for Apple ($AAPL) in cars? (sixcolors.com)Symbols: $AAPL Google ($GOOG) and Apple ($AAPL) are fighting it out for the auto dashboard. (nytimes.com)Symbols: $GOOG $AAPL Ten commandments for the auto industry for Apple ($AAPL) to keep in mind about the auto industry. (asymco.com)Symbols: $AAPL Why Apple ($AAPL) likely won't be building their own cars. (jalopnik.com)Symbols: $AAPL AutosCustomers are trading in cars more often to get enhanced technology. (bloomberg.com)Toyota continues to push hydrogen cells as the auto energy source of the future. (washingtonpost...more

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    Speaking with George Galloway on Sputnik about HSBC

    I was interviewed by George Galloway on his show Sputnik about the HSBC scandal, and banking scandals in general. Click here to see the show (I can’t embed it here since it’s in Flash format) ...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 2/28/15

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Book Bits | 28 February 2015

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  • The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

    Simple Stuff: On Bid-Ask Spreads

    Photo Credit: Eddy Van 3000This piece is an experiment.  A few readers have asked me to do explanations of simple things in the markets, and this piece is an attempt to do so.  Comments are appreciated.  This comes from a letter from a friend of mine:I hope I don’t bother you with my questions.  I thought I understood bid/ask but now I’m not sure.For example FCAU has a spread of 2 cents.  That I understand – 15.48 (bid) – that’s the offer to buy and 15.50 (ask) – that’s the offer to sell.Here’s where I’m confused.  How is it possible that those numbers could more than $1 apart? EGAS 9.95 and 11.13.  I don’t understand.  Is the volume just so low?  And last price is 10.10 which is neither the ask nor bid price.  Can you please explain?Yo...more

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  • naked capitalism

    The War on Genetically-Modified-Food Critics

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for February 28, 2015

    Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Equity dividend yields exceed government bond yields

    Government bond yields have fallen so much over the last few years that we are now seeing an unusual phenomenon. From the Buttonwood column in The Economist: Buy bonds for income and equities for growth. That is what many a financial adviser will tell you. But it isn't really true any more. According to Citigroup, the dividend yield on the equity market is higher than the 10-year government bond yield in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK. In the US, the two yields are neck-and-neck but equity investors can get an extra cashflow boost from buy-backs. The current pattern contrasts with that of the last 50 years, when equities usually yielded less than government bonds because of the potential for the dividends to grow. It is, however, similar to the pa...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Bank Failure #4 in 2015: Doral Bank, San Juan, Puerto Rico

    From the FDIC: Banco Popular De Puerto Rico, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, Assumes all of the Deposits of Doral Bank, San Juan, Puerto RicoAs of December 31, 2014, Doral Bank had approximately $5.9 billion in total assets and $4.1 billion in total deposits. ... The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $748.9 million. ... Doral Bank is the fourth FDIC-insured institution to fail this year, and the first in Puerto Rico. The last time an FDIC-insured institution was closed in Puerto Rico was on April 30, 2010.This was a decent size bank a fairly large hit to the DIF. ...more

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  • Dealbreaker

    Write-Offs: 2.27.15

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  • Dealbreaker

    Veronica Vain Keeping All Her Options Open

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  • Dealbreaker

    Scam Artist Can’t Bring Himself To Admit He, Carl Icahn Not BFFs

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  • Real Time Economics

    5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

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  • Real Time Economics

    ECB’s Constancio Sees Stock of €4 Trillion Eligible for QE Purchases

    Vitor Constancio, vice president of the European Central Bank, played down worries in financial markets that the ECB will not be able to find enough bonds to complete its “quantitative easing” as planned. Starting next month the ECB plans to buy €60 billion of debt securities a month until September 2016. Some investors worry that top-rated bonds are already in short supply—especially Germany’s, which make up the largest individual chunk of the program. German government debt, or bunds, will account for just over a quarter of the purchases, or around €12 billion each month. Mr. Constancio said the pool of available bonds for purchases is €4 trillion, a “deep” market with “a lot of investors.” “We don’t anticipate that there will be such a probl...more

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  • Real Time Economics

    Fischer: Fed Closer to Rate Rises, But Exact Timing Remains Unclear

    The Federal Reserve‘s second-in-command said Friday raising rates at some point over the middle of the year isn’t set in stone. Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer acknowledged broad-based expectations that the Fed will raise rates at either its June or September policy meetings, but added they could easily be foiled. “We are getting closer” to rate rises, the official said. But he added “things could happen” that would change the calculus for rate rises. When it comes to acting at the meetings favored by market participants, Mr. Fischer said, “I don’t know whether we will or whether we won’t.” Mr. Fischer also said he doesn’t expect the U.S. central bank to follow any sort of predetermined path when the day arrives to begin raising short-term intere...more

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Friday links: endless mediocrity

    StrategyWhat does market sentiment mean in an instant feedback era? (jeffhirsch.tumblr.com)The trading gods think us humans are hilarious. (bloombergview.com)The upside of quant: a focus on things you can control. (systematicrelativestrength.com)Asset allocation funds have a wide range of strategies (and returns). (capitalspectator.com)CompaniesWarren Buffett has been writing big checks for overseas companies. (reuters.com)A big case for JP Morgan ($JPM) is diversification. (brooklyninvestor.blogspot.com)Symbols: $JPM FinanceBridgewater Associates is forming an AI group to help trade its vast portfolio. (bloomberg.com)Why sell-side analysts don't need to be right all that often. (theclassicalliberals.com)Net neutralityA rare loss for the lobby-laden Internet providers. ...more

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Podcast links: retirement optimism

    Podcast bizSlate.com is launching their own curated podcast platform with an array of partners from day one. (mashable.com)Advertisers are putting podcasts back on the menu. (adage.com)Investing and financeBarry Ritholtz talks with Cliff Asness of AQR. (ritholtz.com)James Osborne talks with Meb Faber about asset allocation strategies. (basonasset.com)Leigh Drogen talks with Yinon Ravid of OpenFolio on the value of "buying what you know." (blog.estimize.com)Maybe we all aren't doomed in retirement...Consuelo Mack talks with Joanthan Pond. (wealthtrack.com)An interview with Mark Cuban on a range of topics. (recode.net)How electronic spreadsheets changed the world. (npr.org)PsychologyMichael Covel talks with Christopher Chabris on how our brain often fails us. (stitcher.co...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    “Middle-Class Economics”

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  • FT Alphaville

    Meet the man who could own Aviva France

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  • The Capital Spectator

    10 Funds, 10 Asset Allocation Profiles

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    With their regulatory repression of banks, the Basel Committee and the Financial Stability Board are slaying our economies.

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  • FT Alphaville

    When the commodity rents stop flowing…

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  • FT Alphaville

    Markets Live: Friday, 27th February, 2015

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    A Glaring Piece Of Hubris

    It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Some Puget Sound buyers are paying nearly $100,000 more than the list price for many luxury homes in this market. But that trend is all across the board, not just high-priced homes. Broker George Moorhead of Bentley Properties says a lot of sellers are hesitant to put their homes on the market. ‘There is no place to move to, there is no home,’ Moorhead said. ‘The buyers don’t win, OK, because they are having to overpay for something.’” “Moorhead added that buyers have to be aggressive and be pre-approved for a mortgage before shopping around. If you settle on a home to buy, appealing to the sellers could give you the edge. ‘We are seeing pictures with families with ...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Initial Guidance | 27 February 2015

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  • Macro Man

    A simple model

    So the US economy is not, in fact, falling off a cliff...just yet.  Although durable goods orders are notoriously noisy, yesterday's solid print should assuage at least a few fears about the recent soft tone to some of the data.  That core CPI managed to beat expectations was icing on the cake, as the dollar and US yields both jumped smartly after the releases.   As Hannibal Smith used to say, "I love it when a plan comes together!"Of course, it wasn't all pony rides and lemonade.  Weekly claims were quite a bit higher than expected, albeit in the context of seemingly interminable snowy, nasty weather for much of the country.  Still, the decline in claims seems to have stalled a bit recently; although it's probably too early to read too muc...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    It is hard to feel urban form sometimes.

    I have spent a fair amount of time in Sao Paulo over the past 3-4 years, and always thought it sprawled more than LA, because it takes forever to get from one side of the place to the other.  So was I surprised when I went to Google Earth and looked at both of them from the same elevation. Here is LA:Now here is SP:It is far more compact.  Metro LA has about 18 million people; SP has about 20 million. But it takes about 2 hours to get from Santa Clarita in the west to San Bernardino in the east--the distance between the two is 85 miles; it can take four hours to go just 30 kilometers in SP.  Sao Paulo feels much larger to me....more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Long-Term Infrastructure Debt: The Valuation Issue

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Global stocks touch record high but bonds may be set for crisis

    Global stocks fell on Thursday, but not before touching a record high. The MSCI All-Country World Index rose to 434.4, an all-time high, but fell thereafter to close 0.1 percent lower at 432.88. The S&P 500 closed 0.2 percent lower. The STOXX Europe 600 was the outperformer on Thursday, jumping 1.0 percent to its highest level since July 2007. Meanwhile, US Treasuries followed their equity counterparts down on Thursday even as US consumer prices fell 0.7 percent in January, their biggest drop since January 2008. The fall in US Treasuries comes amid concerns over another possible crisis in the bond market. “The risk in bonds has gone up,” Francesco Garzarelli, London-based co-head of macro and markets research at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, said in a Bloomberg Televisio...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued February 26 2015

    Today’s jobless claims report showed a notable increase to initial unemployment claims and a decrease to insured unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims remained above the 300K level. Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims jumped 31,000 to 313,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “insured” claims declined by 21,000 to 2.401 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 1.8%. ...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    FHFA Monthly Home Prices: December 2014

    Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released the latest results of their monthly house price index (HPI) showing that in December, nationally, home prices increased 0.81% from November rising 5.45% above the level seen in December 2013.The FHFA monthly HPI are formulated from home purchase information collected from mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. ...more

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  • DRS » Blog

    CCP Register updated

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  • DRS » Blog

    CCP Register updated

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    What I would be tempted to say to Mario Draghi of the ECB, if I were Yanis Varoufakis of Greece

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    German satire does Yanis

    Sonny Kapoor just tweeted this, and is simply has to go viral.

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  • The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

    Advice on Organizing Asset Allocations and Managers

    Photo Credit: Roscoe EllisI was reading an occasional blast email from my friend Tom Brakke, when he mentioned a free publication from Redington, a UK asset management firm that employs actuaries, among others. I was very impressed with what I read in the 32-page publication, and highly recommend it to those who select investment managers or create asset allocations, subject to some caveats that I will list later in this article.In the UK, actuaries are trained to a higher degree to deal with investments than they are in the US. The Society of Actuaries could learn a lot from the Institute of Actuaries in that regard. As a former Fellow in the Society of Actuaries, I was in the vanguard of those trying to apply actuarial principles to risk management, both when I manage...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Macroeconomics: The Mainstream and the … Banks

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Pay no attention to the social democrat behind the curtain.

    Perhaps we’ve been watching the wrong German politician throughout the whole Greece/Eurogroup drama. Usually, the Vice-Chancellor of Germany is one of those posts that comes with a lot more dignity than it does power, like the US vice-presidency in the pre-Cheney days when it wasn’t worth a pitcher of warm spit. It tends to be given out as a decorative title to a junior coalition partner, rather in the way Nick Clegg was given the title of Deputy Prime Minister, something which has even less basis in British constitutional practice. But Bernd Hüttemann reminded me of something important on Twitter yesterday, as follows. So true since the vice chancellor and FedMinister @BMWi_Bund @sigmargabriel is EUcoordinator 1st Conf on #euplus #eukon — Bernd Hü...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Searching for deals in Pacoima – Flippers still out in force and loans made during the last bubble still cause distress today.

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    The good, the bad and the foreign: Icelandic lesson for stabilising the Greek banks*

    Ever since 2010, when Greece first turned to the IMF for assistance, the crisis handling has been characterised by too little too late, which is why Greece is still grabbing the headlines. The Greek banks are a serious part of the problem with liquidity crunch and non-performing loans at 33.5% 2010-2014 according to World Bank data. Banks with such numbers can hardly perform their role of stimulating the economy with sustainable lending. Whatever measures Greece will use to tackle its problems the banks have to be dealt with. In October 2008 the three largest banks in Iceland experienced liquidity problems due to a series of mistakes, fickle foreign funding, outright fraud, bad luck and a weak lender of last resort. The Greek banks are in a less dire situation than thei...more

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Send lawyers and money

    Reuters — Greece admitted on Wednesday it will struggle to make debt repayments to the IMF and the European Central Bank this year as Germany’s finance minister voiced open doubts about Athens’ trustworthiness. A day after euro zone finance ministers agreed to a four-month extension of a financial rescue for the currency bloc’s most heavily indebted member, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis gave a frank assessment of Greece’s financial position. “We will not have liquidity problems for the public sector. But we will definitely have problems in making debt payments to the IMF now and to the ECB in July,” he told Alpha Radio. He put no figure on the funding gap. After interest payments this month of about 2 billion euros, Athens m...more

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  • Emerging markets

    From Peregrine to Snowflake – the re-invention of Andre Lee

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  • Macro Man

    Something for everyone

    Janet Yellen's testimony yesterday had something for everyone (except owners of puts, natch.)  Of course, these days 'balanced' outcomes seem to mean 'dovish', as markets are clearly placing the burden of proof upon hawkish developments to justify market pricing.   Given that we're closing in on 9 years since the last rate hike in the United States, that is probably a justified posture.To be sure, there were some things that did sound outright dovish.   The familiar mantra that there is room for further improvement in the labour market was trotted out; at times, one wonders if Yellen would be saying that if the unemployment rate were 0.5% ("when we say full employment, we mean full!")The comments vis-a-vis inflation and foreign risks were not pa...more

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Stocks rise on Yellen comments, Greek deal

    Stocks rose on Tuesday. In the US, the S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to a new record high after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee that an increase in interest rates is unlikely before mid-year as inflation and wage growth remain too low. In Europe, the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.6 percent to a seven-year high. Greece’s ASE Index in particular surged 9.8 percent after eurozone leaders approved a bailout extension for four more months. The hard part for Greece is still to come though. “The conditional agreement to extend the current program is just the first hurdle in a long race,” Maria Paola Toschi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. “We expect the neg...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Tsipras Marched Bravely Forward And … Surrendered

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    ECB, IMF: Unbelievable, Greece’s “Memorandum on Economic & Financial Policies” does not include what Greece most needs

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  • footnoted*

    Goldman Sachs says “People are People”

    Buried in the 405-page tome that Goldman Sachs filed at 9:44 pm last Friday — several hours after the SEC closed its electronic window, which means the filing did not become publicly available until Monday morning — was a very interesting (and new) disclosure that provided some insight into the company’s view of the world and should be welcome news to Goldman’s 34,000 employees. In an age of high frequency trading and big data, the company said that human beings are the company’s greatest resource. This disclosure came buried at the bottom of a 1,500 word risk factor on cyber-security attacks — a risk factor that has grown significantly at many companies this 10-K season, mostly because of the growing number of high-profile attacks on...more

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  • Ticker Sense

    February 23rd Blogger Sentiment Poll

    Blogger Sentiment Poll Participants: 24/7 Wall St The Aleph Blog (-) Biiwii (+) BullBear Trading Carl Futia (+) Dash of Insight (+) Dividend Growth Investor (N) Elliot Wave Lives On Fallond Stock Picks (+) Global Economic Intersection (-) GEI –... ...more

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  • Macro Man

    How ya left?

    So Greece is not, after all, leaving the euro....yet.  The recent agreement was as uninspiring as it was unsurprising, a classic example of the type of can-kicking that has led us to this point, some 5 years after Greece first descended into chaos.That both the arguments and the solutions have not moved on tells us quite a bit about the situation; the interests of the Greeks on the one hand, and the Troika (or, to cut to the chase, ze Germans) on the other, are implacably opposed.   Neither can credibly give ground on the areas of fundamental dispute: the Greeks, because they literally cannot afford to pay and there is no realistic hope of changing that dynamic, and the Troika, because to forgive debt would open a Pandora's box that would likely result in...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    The investor buying party in real estate: In last four years institutional investors have purchased over half a million homes. 2014 was a four year low in investor buying.

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  • footnoted*

    A very good deal at Ross Dress for Less

    Anyone who’s ever shopped at a Ross Dress for Less knows what to expect: fluorescent lights highlighting piles of off-price clothes and shoes. Shopping there is more about the hunt for a good deal than anything else. Judging by this 8-K filed earlier today, a former Ross executive has found an unusually good deal — one most Ross shoppers could only fantasize about. For the next two years, Doug Baker, the former chief merchandising officer at Ross’ dd’s DISCOUNTS, will collect his regular base salary of $960,000. He’ll also get bonuses — up to 75% of his base salary — and accelerated vesting in stock. All told, it works out to just over $7 million. In a curt, one-sentence filing back on Jan. 28, the company disclosed that Baker&#...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Southern California home sale volume for January slowest since 2008: The stalemate accelerates with Orange County seeing a monthly median price drop of $28,500.

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    Should Finance Departments Pay Pigou Taxes?

    The Economist leads me to an article by Stephen G Cecchetti and Enisse Kharroubi: The purpose of this paper is to examine why financial sector growth harms real growth. We begin by constructing a model in which financial and real growth interact, and then turn to empirical evidence. In our model, we first show how an exogenous increase in financial sector growth can reduce total factor productivity growth.2 This is a consequence of the fact that financial sector growth benefits disproportionately high collateral/low productivity projects. This mechanism reflects the fact that periods of high financial sector growth often coincide with the strong development in sectors like construction, where returns on projects are relatively easy to pledge as collateral but prod...more

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  • Ticker Sense

    February 16th Blogger Sentiment Poll

    24/7 Wall St (-) The Aleph Blog (-) Biiwii (+) BullBear Trading Carl Futia (+) Dash of Insight (+) Dividend Growth Investor (N) Elliot Wave Lives On (+) Fallond Stock Picks (+) Global Economic Intersection (N) GEI – Investing Blog... ...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    New Residential Construction Report: January 2015

    Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed worsening results with total and single family permit activity declining since December while total starts also declined 2.0% over the same period.Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, declined 3.1% from December to 654K single family units (SAAR), and rose 5.8% above the level seen in January 2014 but still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005. ...more

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  • DRS » Blog

    What if a CCP fails?

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  • DRS » Blog

    What if a CCP fails?

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  • Emerging markets

    Malaysia’s CIMB mulls next move after merger setback

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  • DRS » Blog

    IRS Clearing- revisions to amendments to endorsements

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  • DRS » Blog

    IRS Clearing- revisions to amendments to endorsements

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  • The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

    A New Exercise in Industry Rotation

    At Abnormal Returns, over the weekend, Tadas Viskanta featured a free article from Credit Suisse called the Credit Suisse Global Investment Returns Yearbook 2015.  It featured articles on whether the returns on industries as a whole mean-revert or have momentum, whether there is a valuation effect on industry returns, “social responsibility” in investing, and the existence of equity discount rate for the market as a whole.There are no surprises in the articles — it is all “dog bites man.”  They find that:Industry returns exhibit momentumThere is a valuation component in industry returnsSocially responsible investing doesn’t necessarily produce or miss excess returnsThere is an overall equity discount rate, which is levered about 20...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    One reason to worry about US inequality...it is really bad for our babies.

    My colleague Alice Chen, along with Emily Oster and Heidi Williams, have a new paper that explains differences in the infant mortality rate in the United States and other OECD countries. Despite its affluence, the US ranks 51st in the world in infant mortality, which puts it at the same level as Croatia.One reason the US performs poorly on the infant mortality measure actually reflects differences in measurement between it and other countries--babies born very prematurely in the United States are recorded as live births, but in other countries might be reported as miscarriages.  Because extremely premature babies have higher mortality rates, their inclusion in the US birth and mortality rate makes the US look relatively worse.Nevertheless, when Chen, Oster and Will...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    What Is Citigroup Hiding From Its Shareholders Now?

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  • Ticker Sense

    February 9th Blogger Sentiment Poll

    24/7 Wall St (N) The Aleph Blog (-) Biiwii (-) BullBear Trading Carl Futia (+) Dash of Insight (N) Dividend Growth Investor (N) Elliot Wave Lives On (+) Fallond Stock Picks (B) Global Economic Intersection (-) GEI – Investing Blog... ...more

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  • Emerging markets

    Malaysia: Banks seek fresh course after merger collapse

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    January 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • footnoted*

    Straight talk in filings?

    SEC filings are not exactly known for their straight talk. Executives resign to spend more time with their families. And there’s never (ever!) any disagreements when the executives or directors or the accounting firms that audit the companies step down suddenly. In other words, it’s not exactly the “Straight Talk Express” So you can imagine our surprise when we came across this 8-K that The Fresh Market filed late in the day a few weeks ago. In it, the company said it “had terminated” the employment of CEO Craig Carlock. I think that most people would read that to mean he was fired. Trust us on this: that kind of language is very rare. It’s also much more direct that what the company used in the press release that announced Car...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Tax Breaks (for the Rich) Are Forever

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  • VIX and More

    Average Annual Normalized VIX Futures Term Structure, 2004-2014

    One graphic I post periodically that never fails to generate a great deal of interest among traders, strategists and other volatility aficionados is my normalized VIX futures term structure graph. From 2008 – 2013, the annual normalized term structure was notable in that almost every year was an outlier in one way or another. For instance, 2012 and 2013 were the two years with the steepest contango in history, while 2008, 2009 and 2011 represent three of the four years (2007 being the fourth) with the flattest term structure. And 2014? It could not have been more average. If one combines all the years from 2004 to 2014 and creates an “average year” (i.e., the wide gray line on the chart) then 2014 (double blue line) comes closest to that average. [source(s): ...more

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  • VIX and More

    The Year in VIX and Volatility (2014)

    This is the seventh year in a row I have offered a retrospective look at the year in VIX and Volatility, which is my attempt to cram some of the highlights of the year in volatility onto one eye chart graphic with a (somewhat) manageable number of annotations. In aggregate, 2014 was a very quiet year for the VIX, with a mean close of just 14.19 for the year, which is the lowest the VIX has been since 2006 and third lowest since 1995. On the other hand, as I recently documented, VIX spikes were common last year, with 2014 registering the third highest number of 20% VIX spikes since the beginning of VIX data, in 1990. In short, the VIX was susceptible to large spikes, but these were typically followed by strong mean-reverting declines. For example, the peak VIX of 31.06 ...more

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  • VIX and More

    Top Posts of 2014

    Since I launched VIX and More some eight plus years ago, I have devoted one post to highlighting the top 25 most-read posts of each year. I do this in part for archival purposes: to see what is important to readers and how their interest in various issues changes over time. I also hope that these aggregations of most-read posts will serve as relatively easily accessible repositories of high-quality material for the benefit of new readers and long-term readers alike. During 2014, the blog saw an extended hiatus for the first time in its history, largely due to events arising from the passing of my father. For this reason, I am limiting the number of top posts for the year to thirteen, largely because Song for My Father* ended the year in the #13 slot. Looking ahead, vo...more

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    From Cleaning Harbors to Feeding Roughnecks: “Next Year in Jerusalem!”

     The Canadian tar sands have been very good to Clean Harbors, a perennial Wall Street favorite that evolved from a disaster cleanup business (for which the company’s web pages still carry a plug at the bottom: “For 24-Hour Emergency Response, call 800.OIL.TANK”) into a diversified industrial service company through 35-plus acquisitions costing about $2 billion over 25 years. The tar sands business came with the 2009 acquisition of Eveready, and so swiftly did CLH expand deeper into so-called unconventional energy (everything from feeding and housing roughnecks in lodges to hauling out drilling waste) that oil and gas exploration and production services went from 0% of the company’s total business in 2008 to 27% in 2012, before the $1.25 billion acquisi...more

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    The NotMakingThisUp Book Review: The Best Least Looked-Forward-To Book I Have Ever Received, John Cleese's "So, Anyway..."

     I received for Christmas the least looked-forward-to book I have ever received: John Cleese’s “So, Anyway…”.   Cleese, of course, is a founder of Monty Python, the wildly successful British comedy group that took male teenagers by storm in the early 1970s and was considered inheritor to The Beatles’ mantle as conquerors of America by none other than George Harrison (according to his friend Eric Idle, another Python).  Cleese is also co-creator, co-writer, producer and star of what has been called the best TV sitcom ever created, Fawlty Towers.   Thus, for a certain generation—i.e. male baby-boomers who came of age when Monty Python was laying waste to all previous notions of what was funny—a book, any book, by John Clees...more

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    For investors, it’s a perfect time to go back to the basics - The Washington Post

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    November 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Mises Institute

    Secession, State, and Liberty

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    October 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Mises Institute

    From Aristocracy to Monarchy to Democracy

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  • Mises Institute

    Secrets About Money That Put You at Risk

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  • Institutional Economics

    Capital Gains Tax Reform in Canada: Lessons from Abroad

    The Fraser Institute has released a new volume on international experience with capital gains taxes. I wrote the chapter on New Zealand, with some reference to Australia. Australia was deemed too similar to Canada to warrant a chapter in its own right....more

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  • The Street Light

    Transfer Pricing Economics

    I'd like to announce that after a long hiatus from blogging, I'm taking it up again in a new forum.  The new blog, Transfer Pricing Economics, is primarily devoted to exploring my particular area of professional specialty, namely "transfer pricing".  If that term doesn't mean anything to you, then feel free to check out my brief explanation of transfer pricing. My aim is to expose and analyze the connections between the arcane world of transfer pricing and broader developments in the economic and financial world. And the connections are significant: the rules and economic logic of transfer pricing have a direct impact on trillions of dollars of international trade every year. So please feel free to check in on and contribute to the discussions about these...more

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    Dark pools in the news: looks at Wall Street's secret trading exchanges (Dark Pools)

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    So what is the CEO to average worker ratio? 511 or 4? Depends on what you report.

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  • Institutional Economics

    I am leaving CIS and returning to financial markets

    This is my last week at CIS. I will be returning to financial markets from whence I came back in 2008. Thanks to Greg Lindsay for giving me a platform to participate in the public policy debate over the last few years. Thanks also to those who contributed to Policy while I was editor over the last 18 months. Policy will continue under a new editor. My new employer won’t be paying me to blog or tweet during business hours, so you will be hearing even less from me on what is already a very low frequency blog. I will still post material here from time to time and link to what I am doing when appropriate. Needless to say, nothing on this web site should be attributed to current or previous employers. This blog has followed me around in various roles since 2003, back whe...more

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  • Institutional Economics

    Wayne Swan on Monetary Offset and the GFC

    Former Treasurer Wayne Swan is releasing some of his briefing notes from the GFC ahead of the launch of his upcoming memoir, The Good Fight. The first instalment from a meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence with the Prime Minister, Treasury Secretary and other senior officials on 4 August 2008 is remarkable for its acknowledgement of monetary offset. Indeed, the notes could just as easily have been written by Scott Sumner: There are three broad considerations the Government would need to keep in mind in taking a decision to engage in discretionary [fiscal] action: • The Reserve Bank through its control over interest rates, determines the overall level of aggregate demand in the economy, and the Bank would likely take account of any fiscal stimulus in its monet...more

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  • The Prudent Investor

    The Coming Silver Shortage

    Click here to go to the The Prudent Investor homepage for more interesting posts.

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  • A Dash of Insight

    Weighing the Week Ahead: More Clarity from the Market Message?

    Do you have an opinion about stocks or bonds or foreign exchange? If so, it is easy to find a market message that will support (or contradict) your viewpoint. The "message" of the market has rarely been this confused. With plenty of important news and data this week, the theme will be: Can we find clarity in the market message? Prior Theme RecapLast week I expected a focus on housing. The short trading week would start with Prof. Shiller (that was right) and end with discussion of pending home sales (also right). In between, there was plenty of filler because nothing much seemed to be happening. I lost count of the number of stories about the driverless Google car – interesting, but not very relevant for the markets. Forecasting the theme is an exercise in plann...more

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  • A Dash of Insight

    Weighing the Week Ahead: Will a Sluggish Housing Sector Derail the Economy?

    In a holiday-shortened week, there is plenty of data. The Case-Shiller home-price index will set the tone on Tuesday morning. After last week's soft housing reports, many will be asking, Will housing weakness undermine economic growth? Prior Theme RecapLast week I expected a focus on bonds versus stocks. It was a light week for data and the bond market rally was an ongoing mystery. That theme was as good as any, but nothing really stood out. The appetite for content created many "fluff" pieces and trading was very quiet. As long as you did not take small moves seriously, there was an opportunity to do some buying at mid-week. Forecasting the theme is an exercise in planning and being prepared. Readers are invited to play along with the "theme forecast." I spend a l...more

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  • A Dash of Insight

    The Sound of Silence

    The insightful investor develops solid indicators and then follows the data. This may seem obvious, but instead…. Many pundits start with the conclusion and then search for evidence.  [For complete appreciation of today's post, follow the links for the relevant music.] There are a number of interesting current examples. In various prior posts I have suggested that these were not really important leading indicators, so I am not flip-flopping by drawing inferences from improved conditions. Others will do that via their silence. I suggest that you recall the scary recent warnings on these themes – now all showing improvement – and note the sound of silence:  Margin debt. Remember how you were supposed to be scared witless (TM OldProf) by this event? It appea...more

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  • Felix Salmon

    Post Felix

    By Shane Ferro Today is Felix’s last day at Reuters. Here's the link to his mega-million word blog archive (start from the beginning, in March 2009, if you like). Because we’re source-agnostic, you can also find some of his best stuff from the Reuters era at Wired, Slate, the Atlantic, News Genius, CJR, the NYT, and NY Mag. There’s also Felix TV, his personal site, his Tumblr, his Medium archive, and, of course, the Twitter feed we all aspire to. Counterparties may have been the brainchild of Felix and the recently departed Ryan McCarthy, but the blog, site, newsletter, and Twitter feed will continue to exist in their absence. It will be run by Ben Walsh and Shane Ferro, with some non-trivial amount of snark. Today we focus on the reason Felix started Counterparti...more

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  • Felix Salmon

    The Piketty pessimist

    By Felix Salmon This chart comes from the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Risks Report, which came out just before Thomas Piketty’s book started becoming the topic of discussion in economic and plutocratic circles.* You can clearly see what you might call the rise of inequality-as-an issue: before 2012 it’s nowhere to be found, but since then it’s been consistently in the top spot. My prediction is that in 2015, thanks to Piketty, the WEF will start talking less about income inequality, and more about wealth inequality. The big question, though, is whether inequality is really much of a risk at all. After all, from the point of view of the average billionaire WEF delegate, inequality would seem to look much more like a reward. Chrystia Freeland has a hopeful...more

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  • Economix

    Economix Meets the Gales of Change

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  • Economix

    Economix Meets the Gales of Change

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  • Felix Salmon

    The most expensive lottery ticket in the world

    By Felix Salmon No Exit, the new book from Gideon Lewis-Kraus, should be required reading for anybody who thinks it might be a good idea to found a startup in Silicon Valley. It shows just how miserable the startup founder’s life is, and raises the question of why anybody would voluntarily subject themselves to such a thing. A large part of the answer is that Silicon Valley is gripped by a mass delusion, compounded by a deep “fake it til you make it” attitude toward success. Why do so many people in Silicon Valley want to be founders? Because every founder they meet is always killing it, crushing it, having massive success, just about to close a huge round, etc etc. At some level, they must know this is impossible: if 90% of startups fail, it simply can’t be the...more

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  • Economix

    Mortgage Reform Is Worth the Small Extra Cost to Borrowers

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  • Economix

    Mortgage Reform Is Worth the Small Extra Cost to Borrowers

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  • Economix

    In Europe, Auto Sales Are Still Low, But They Are Rising

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  • Economix

    In Europe, Auto Sales Are Still Low, But They Are Rising

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  • Accrued Interest

    Getting Involved in Bitcoin

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Capital Gains And Games Now Being Published By Forbes

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Big Changes Are Coming To Capital Gains And Games

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Camp Plan Puts Nail In Tax Reform Coffin For This Year, And Next, And...

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  • The Prudent Investor

    30,000 Protesters Take To The Streets in Nantes, France

    While the world is glued to Youtube live feeds in HD quality to the bonfires in Kiev where one corrupt regime is about to be replaced by another, the economic crisis erupts into fire in the heartland of the Eurozone.30,000 protesters took to the streets in Nantes, France on Saturday, in an ongoing struggle to prevent the building of a new airport.Due to the language barrier and a blackout in EU media this report for the BBC from 2012 shows that fronts are pretty hardened. Protesters claim that the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport in the west of the country is unnecessary and would damage the enviroment while the local government just wants to press on with an agenda obviously abhorred in this town of 900,000.We miss the uproar in the EU about the deployment of pepper spray...more

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  • The Prudent Investor

    You Have No Deposits at the Bank but Only an IOU in Your Hands

    A nice reminder that once you deposit mony at the bank it is not yours anymore. Simply said your deposit is a – currently no interest paying – loan to the bank with little paperwork. Better get it before the bank runs begin. Click here to go to the The Prudent Investor homepage for more interesting posts. ...more

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  • Accrued Interest

    Why You Should Dump Those Shares of Tesla Now

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The Oil Drum writers: Where are they now?

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  • Accrued Interest

    HOW CAN THE MARKET REACTION TO THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AND DEBT CEILING DEBATE BE A GOOD THING FOR INVESTORS?

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The Last Post

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The House That Randy Built

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  • The Street Light

    Cyprus and Eurozone Bank Deposits

    To me, the central issue raised by this week's Cyprus debacle is how it has affected confidence across the eurozone.  To what degree has the possibility of insured depositors at a eurozone bank losing a portion of their deposits affected the mindset of depositors?  To what degree has ECB acquiescence to this possibility undermined the notion that deposit insurance in the eurozone means the same thing in all countries?  And to what degree has the ECB's direct threat to end support for Cyprus's banking system in the event that the government of Cyprus can not arrange sufficient funds to meet its conditions made a farce of its earlier promise to "do whatever it takes to preserve the euro"?These, to me, are the interesting questions prompted by this week's ev...more

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  • London Banker

    Chop Off Their Hands . . .

    President Truman famously called for a one handed economist. The Carolingian kings of France would have accommodated him. They realised that a kingdom required a common currency under the control of the king and well regulated markets to sustain the confidence of the people. At first mints were established widely, spread across the kingdom. Local barons began to profit from debasing the coinage, undermining confidence in the monetary system. So Charles the Bald established mints under his direct control and regulated the issue of coins: C.12. Following the custom of our predecessors, just as it is found in their capitularies, we decree that in no other place in all our kingdom shall money be made except in our palace, and in St. Josse and Rouen, which right in th...more

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  • The Street Light

    When the Fed Chair is an Academic

    The big economic news of the week was, in fact, big economic news: the Fed's announcement of significant changes from past practice in the the quantity of its next round of large scale asset purchases ("unlimited"), and in the timing of any future reversal of this expansionary policy ("a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens").I view this as a pretty fundamental shift in how the Fed hopes to affect the economy.  Rather than trying to push economic activity one way or the other through its management of interest rates (which can alter economic activity through its portfolio-rebalancing and wealth effects, for example), the Fed is now quite explicitly trying to affect economic activity by altering interest rate and inflation expectations.  As...more

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  • London Banker

    For Want of a Nail, the Ship Was Lost

    Imagine a great ship dominating the skyline on a distant sea. Imagine the complexity of that ship: keel, ribs, planks, masts, spars, and an infinite number of less readily named components. Each component was hand-crafted by a craftsman skilled in his trade, to precise requirements, and secured in position to take the stress and strain of a life at sea.Now imagine a crew. They didn't build the ship. The crew are told that the one and only purpose of the ship is to realise a profit for every man jack aboard. Any hand not contributing a profit will be turned ashore. Down below in the ship are nails. Thousands and thousands of nails. Nails are useful. Nails are much sought after in every port the ship enters. Nails can be readily sold and never traced. The crew h...more

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  • London Banker

    Lies, Damn Lies and LIBOR

    I've been hesitant to write about the LIBOR scandal because what I want to say goes so much further. We now know that Barclays and other major global banks have been manipulating the calculation of LIBOR through the quotation data they provided to the British Bankers Association. What I suspect is that this is not a flaw but a feature of modern financial markets. And if it was happening in LIBOR for between 5 and 15 years, then the business model has been profitably replicated to many other quotation-based reference prices.Price discovery is not a sexy function of markets, but it is critical to the efficient allocation of scarce capital and resources, and to the preservation of the long term wealth of investors and the economy as a whole. If price discovery is compr...more

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Richard Wood Richard Wood

Richard has published papers on wages policy, the taxation of financial arrangements and macroeconomic issues in Pacific island countries. Views expressed in these articles are his own and may not be shared by his employing agency. He is the author of How to Solve the European Economic Crisis: Challenging orthodoxy and creating new policy paradigms