EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    Finance & Markets

  • The Capital Spectator

    Major Asset Classes | July 2014 | Performance Review

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Construction Spending: June 2014

    Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released their latest read of construction spending showing slumping results for June with total private construction spending, single family construction spending and non-residential construction spending all declining over the month. On a month-to-month basis, total residential spending declined -0.3% from May climbing 7.4% above the level seen in June 2013 and remaining well below the peak level seen in 2006.Single family construction spending declined 1.40% from May rising 8.5% since June 2013 remaining well below it's peak level reached in 2006.Non-residential construction spending declined 1.6% from May but rose 11.2% above the level seen in June 2013 and remaining a well below the peak level reached in October 2008.The foll...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Employment Situation: Nonfarm Payrolls and Civilian Unemployment July 2014

    Today's Employment Situation Report indicated that in July, net non-farm payrolls increased by 209,000 jobs overall with the private non-farm payrolls sub-component adding 198,000 jobs while the civilian unemployment rate declined rose to 6.2% over the same period.Net private sector jobs increased 0.17% since last month climbing 2.16% above the level seen a year ago and climbing 1.22% above the peak level of employment seen in December 2007 prior to the Great Recession. ...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Employment Situation: Unemployment Duration July 2014

    Today's employment situation report showed that conditions for the long term unemployed were mixed in July while still remaining distressed by historic standards.Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more increased to 3.155 million or 32.9% of all unemployed workers while the median term of unemployment increased to 13.3 weeks and the average stay on unemployment went declined to 32.4 weeks. ...more

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  • DRS » Blog

    Execution of best execution

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  • DRS » Blog

    Execution of best execution

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  • Real Time Economics

    Economists React to July’s Jobs Report: ‘Not Weak, But…’

    U.S. nonfarm employers added 209,000 jobs in July, slightly below forecasts and slower than earlier gains, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2% from June. But employers have now added 200,000 or more jobs in six consecutive months for the first time since 1997. Getty Images Economists were mixed in how they view the report: some have called it “encouraging,” while others consider it “disappointing.” It is a sign of how far the U.S. economy has come in recent months that the 209,000 increase in non-farm payroll employment in July will probably be viewed as a disappointment in the markets. The consensus forecast was as high as 230,000. Admittedly, the unemployment rate also edged up to 6.2% last month, from 6.1%, but that increase was principally be...more

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  • FT Alphaville

    All those US indicators: what did we learn this week?

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  • Calculated Risk

    ISM Manufacturing index increased in July to 57.1

    The ISM manufacturing index suggests faster expansion in July than in June. The PMI was at 57.1% in July, up from 55.3% in June. The employment index was at 58.2%, up from 52.8% in June, and the new orders index was at 63.4%, up from 58.9% in June.From the Institute for Supply Management: July 2014 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in July for the 14th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 62nd consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.The report was issued today by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The July PMI® registered 57.1 p...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Payrolls, Income & Spending: The Trend Remains The Same

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  • The Big Picture

    10 Friday AM Reads

    My pre-fishing reads (continues here): • Bears Who Won Big During Finance Crisis Are Growling Again (WSJ) • Emerging markets have more room to run. (A Wealth of Common Sense) The hare gets rich while you don’t. Back the passive tortoise (FT Alphaville) • Teaching Your Children How to Invest (Meb Faber) see also 3 reasons investors have it good (MSN Money) Continues here     ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Final July Consumer Sentiment at 81.8

    Click on graph for larger image.The final Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for July was at 81.8, down from 82.5 in June, and up from the preliminary July reading of 81.3.This was close to the consensus forecast of 81.5. Sentiment has generally been improving following the recession - with plenty of ups and downs - and a big spike down when Congress threatened to "not pay the bills" in 2011....more

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    Mises Weekends – Guido Hülsmann: Inside the Mind of Mises

    Jeff Deist and Guido Hülsmann discuss Hülsmann’s years spent writing Mises’s biography (‘Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism’), the serendipitous discovery of Mises’s papers in Moscow that made the book possible, how Mises endured and kept working as Europe burned, and how Mises’s personal sacrifices helped pave the way for Austrian academics working today. Available in these formats: YouTube: http://youtu.be/zte838-4HQ4 Mises.org: http://mises.org/document/7562/Guido-Hulsmann-Inside-the-Mind-of-Mises Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=34982620 ...more

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  • FT Alphaville

    All aboard the US$ flow merry-go-round!

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  • Real Time Economics

    The Unemployment Rate Was Higher, but the Employment Rate Held Steady

    The U.S. unemployment rate increased slightly to 6.2% in July and a broader rate that includes discouraged workers also ticked up to 12.2%, but don’t be discouraged. Those numbers rose mostly for the right reason. People wait in line for the Cleveland Career Fair. Associated Press It looks like people who gave up during the recession and slow recovery are encouraged by recent gains and are coming back into the labor force. Last month, the Journal noted that economists have been expecting this trend to take hold, but too often they have been wrong. One month’s move isn’t enough to declare the wounds of the recession are healed, but after some stagnation earlier this year, the numbers suggest movement in the right direction. The jobless rate is calculated by t...more

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  • DealBook

    French Telecom Iliad’s Flaky Offer for T-Mobile US

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  • DealBook

    Scientific Games to Buy Slot Machine Maker Bally for $3.3 Billion

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  • Macro Man

    Le jeu est fait

    As the digital clock ticked over to 8.30, Bond watched his screen carefully.  Le Chiffre showed his hand, and while it was a good one, somehow it wasn't quite as good as Bond had feared.   Looking at his own position, he exhaled and felt the tension drain from his body.  Bond's hand was superior.  He had won.Bond accepted the congratulations of his fellow agents with dispassionate grace.  Somehow, he almost felt disappointed.   Defeating Le Chiffre had almost been too easy.  So much for Research Section's warning to expect an adversary as dangerous as SMERSH or Blofeld's SPECTRE.After taking a last swig of coffee, Bond rose from his chair and strode purposefully out the door in the corner of the trading floor.  He punche...more

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    Hollywood and the State: A Longtime Partnership

    Mises Daily Friday by Salmaan A. Khan: Hollywood has a long history of joining forces with the US government. In recent decades a complex system of subsidies and direct assistance from various government agencies in the making of movies has helped bring the state and the entertainment industry even closer together. ...more

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  • Real Time Economics

    Inflation Still Below Fed’s 2% Target

    Consumer prices grew tepidly in June, a sign inflation pressures remain below the Federal Reserve’s target. The price index for personal consumption expenditures—the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation—climbed 1.6% in June from a year earlier, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was down slightly from May’s year-over-year gain of 1.7%. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, so-called “core” consumer prices rose 1.5% in June from a year earlier, matching May’s pace. From a month earlier, overall prices rose 0.2% in June and core prices climbed 0.1%. Both were slower month-over-month increases than May’s advances. The Fed targets 2% annual inflation as a sign prices are stable and the economy is growing at a healthy pace. Consumer price growth,...more

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  • The Big Picture

    There really never has been a better time to be an individual investor

    Tadas Viskanta in the founder and editor of Abnormal Returns which has garnered a loyal following in the investment blogosphere. He is also the author of Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere. ~~~ Two and half years ago in this space I published a post arguing that there had never been a better time to be an individual investor. To me the thesis seemed obvious on its face. However many commentors were skeptical about the prospects for investors in a post-financial crisis world. Unfortunately they missed out on what turned out to be a roughly 50% total return in the S&P 500 over that time period. The post wasn’t a market call, per se. The thesis would still be valid if the stock market been flat (or down) over t...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    July Employment Report: 209,000 Jobs, 6.2% Unemployment Rate

    From the BLS: Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.... The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +224,000 to +229,000, and the change for June was revised from +288,000 to +298,000. With these revisions, employment gains in May and June were 15,000 higher than previously reported.Click on graph for larger image.The first graph shows the monthly change in payroll jobs, ex-Census (meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed to show the underlying payroll changes).This was the sixth month in a row with more than 200 thousand jobs added, and employment is now up...more

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  • DRS » Blog

    EC to ESMA- spot FX, here’s a hint

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  • DRS » Blog

    EC to ESMA- spot FX, here’s a hint

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  • FT Alphaville

    The iron index screen

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  • DealBook

    Morning Agenda: Markets Fall but Strategists Shrug

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  • The Big Picture

    Wall St Bullishness vs Equities Complacency

    Funny to wake up after yesterday’s selloff to see two such diametrically opposed views from major investment houses:    

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    It’s As If Someone Had Flicked A Light Switch

    It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Panelists answered the following: Do you feel positive about the direction of the national housing market? Richard Place: ‘If you own a house you have to feel positive about the trend. One of the reasons you buy a house is to make money off the investment. It’s a no-brainer.’ “Marty Richman: ‘No, I believe that many local and regional bubbles still exist. California housing costs, in general, are way out of line with income. The state has a financial interest in inflated housing prices – that is why they did nothing about the last bubble until it burst.’” “Did you hear that pop? Listen closely, there it goes again. According to my analysis of MLS data, Boston&...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 8/1/14

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for August 1, 2014

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

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  • The Aleph Blog

    A Different Look at Neglect

    It’s good to look at stocks that not everyone else is looking at.  A little neglect can be a good thing.Companies that are a little illiquid.Companies with a dedicated shareholder base; they don’t sell at the drop of a hat.Companies with control investors that don’t give outside passive minority investors the short end of the stick.Companies that have odd business models that have most investors ignore themCompanies in boring businesses.Let’s look at this top down, looking at neglect by market sector.  Days to turn over indicates how rapidly stocks are traded.  A high number means they trade more slowly.SectorMarket Cap ($M)Dollar Volume ($K)Days to turn over05 – Consumer Non-Cyclical1,536,8077,274,59221107 – Financial3,511,04116,7...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Humanity May Face Choice By 2040: Conventional Energy or Drinking Water

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  • naked capitalism

    GAO Report on Too Big to Fail Strives to Be All Things to All Observers

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  • Macro Man

    Casino Royale

    The scent and stink and sweat of a trading floor are nauseating at eight in the morning.  Bacon sandwiches and lashings of hot black coffee on top of the previous evening's excess are sufficient to blow an ill wind through even the most iron of constitutions, and in the close quarters of a trading desk there is a palpable atmosphere of discomfort.   Then the soul-erosion produced by trading- a compost of greed and fear and nervous tension- becomes almost unbearable as the senses awake and attempt to revolt from it.James Bond sat at his desk and looked at the bank of multi-coloured numbers flashing merrily on his trading screens.  He told himself to stay focused, to not get distracted by his neighbour exhaling heavily and fanning himself with a folded...more

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Markets fall as Argentina defaults

    Stocks fell sharply on Thursday. The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 1.5 percent, weighed down by a 2.0 percent fall in the S&P 500. In particular, Argentina's Merval Index plunged 8.4 percent on Thursday after the country defaulted for the second time in 12 years after the failure of last-ditch talks with holdout creditors. Argentina's bonds and currency also fell. Economic data on Thursday had been mixed. In the US, the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer fell to 52.6 in July from 62.6 in June. However, in the euro area, inflation slowed to 0.4 percent in July from 0.5 percent in June even as the unemployment rate fell to 11.5 percent in June from 11.6 percent in May. Germany in particular reported some positive data on Thursday. German unempl...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    The Skorina Report is Surfing the Age of Asset Management: Will the tide of global AUM lift all asset-management boats?

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    Big Mac and the Dollar

    Using McDonals’s Big Mac as the standard, the US Dollar looks relative firm compared to some other currencies. The chart below from The Economist looks at the purchasing power of currencies relative to the Big Mac in 2009 and 2014. A half dozen currencies have been relatively weak compared to the dollar and a half dozen have been in line with the dollar. Only the Norwegian Kroner and Swiss Franc have been relatively strong compared with the dollar over the time period. In a world currency war, most currencies, including the dollar could be losing purchasing power in an absolute sense. Some central banks have helped their currencies slim down. The Swiss franc’s decline is thanks in part to the Swiss National Bank. It put a styrofoam lid on the franc’s value w...more

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  • Dealbreaker

    Write-Offs: 07.31.14

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  • Dealbreaker

    Investment Bank League Tables: Bangability Edition

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  • Dealbreaker

    Two-Letter App Will Not Have Four-Letter App Making A Mockery Of Its Business Model!

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Thursday links: no actionable information

    Quote of the day Noah Smith, “Macro-tainment contains no actionable information.”  (Bloomberg View) Chart of the day Homebuilders have been having a rough time of it.  (@jessefelder) Bonds Why a tick up in Treasury yields shouldn’t be all that surprising.  (Sober Look) Stocks and bonds are once again moving together.  (Afraid to Trade) Sectors Beware the weakness in the financial sector. (Andrew Thrasher) Taking a closer look at the energy sector.  (Millenial Invest) Strategy Patrick O’Shaughnessy, “Some of the outperformance of the value strategy comes because it forces you to never own the really expensive, popular stuff which tends to do terribly in the market.”  (Patrick O’Shaughnessy) Momentum profits are highly va...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    ISM Manufacturing Index: July 2014 Preview

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  • DRS » Blog

    Senior managers gripped by the regulators’ claws

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  • DRS » Blog

    Senior managers gripped by the regulators’ claws

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    A Big Rebound That Seems To Be Backfiring

    The Denver Post reports from Colorado. “Richmond American Homes is breaking new ground in its Peoria Place community — but not in a way that some real estate agents and buyers like. The new development’s homeowners association limits rentals to 15 percent of homes in the community. Homes rented out must be on two-year leases and the HOA board must approve any tenants. ‘I am in the information-technology industry, and at any time, the job market could change,’ said Scott Stevens, who signed on the dotted line to buy a home at Peoria Place in March. If he relocated for work, Stevens said he would want to return to metro Denver at some point, which renting out his home would allow him to do.” “During the housing downturn, many “a...more

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  • The Aleph Blog

    Social Security Troubles

    We have known for many years that Social Security’s Disability Trust Fund was in far worse  shape than the Retirement Trust Fund, which is also not in good shape.  The rolls for Social Security Disability have risen dramatically since 2009, with many applying for disability amid a time where jobs are hard to find.  Personally, I think that people should plan for their own possible disability, and it not be something that the government covers.That said, the disability trust fund will run out of money in 2016.  The most likely result in my opinion, is that  the disability trust fund will borrow from the the retirement trust fund, accelerating the insolvency of the retirement trust fund, currently scheduled to make a change to payments in 2026, when it has on...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    What is Right & What is Wrong With the Sharpe Ratio?

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    US economy rebounds, Fed monetary policy unchanged

    US economic data on Wednesday were positive. The economy rebounded in the second quarter, growing at a 4 percent annualised rate after having shrunk at a 2.1 percent rate in the first quarter. And the third quarter appears to have started well, with an ADP report showing that companies added 218,000 workers in July, exceeding the average for the year. The Federal Reserve left monetary policy unchanged at its policy meeting on Wednesday though. "Labor market conditions improved, with the unemployment rate declining further," the Fed said in a statement. "However, a range of labor market indicators suggests that there remains significant underutilization of labor resources." Also on Wednesday, the European Commission reported that its economic sentiment index for the euro...more

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  • The Aleph Blog

    Redacted Version of the July 2014 FOMC Statement

    June 2014July 2014CommentsInformation received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April indicates that growth in economic activity has rebounded in recent months.Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that growth in economic activity rebounded in the second quarter.This is another overestimate by the FOMC.Labor market indicators generally showed further improvement. The unemployment rate, though lower, remains elevated.Labor market conditions improved, with the unemployment rate declining further. However, a range of labor market indicators suggests that there remains significant underutilization of labor resources. More people working some amount of time, but many discouraged workers, part-time workers, lower paid...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Renter nation: The 2000s are highlighting a big shift from homeownership to renting. The number of single family homes now used as rentals is at a record high.

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Wednesday links: losing their legitimacy

    You can keep up with all of our posts by signing up for our daily e-mail. Thousands of other readers already have. Don’t miss out! Quote of the day Justin Fox, “(C)orporate taxes resemble Prohibition in the late 1920s: a set of laws that have lost their legitimacy, and can be flouted with little or no loss of social status.”  (HBR) Chart of the day Paul Kedrosky, “Always fun watching what happens with a public equity when everyone leans wrong way. Small deltas have massive consequences.” (@pkedrosky) Markets The gold and silver miners have bounced. What next?  (Market Anthropology) Traders hate the agricultural commodities.  (Short Side of Long) China’s stock market rally is attracting some attention.  (WSJ) Industrial stocks are fal...more

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  • footnoted*

    No penny-pinching at Family Dollar

    Family Dollar Stores Inc. may have been looking to prevent its flock of penny-pinching consumers from migrating to big discount retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with its move to merge with Dollar Tree Inc., but the deep-discount firm didn’t penny-pinch when it came to making payouts for CEO Howard Levine, who is set retain his post once the merger is complete. In one of its nine filings yesterday related to the proposed merger, Family Dollar Stores disclosed that Levine is in line to get a potential $5 million in payout, including salary, bonus and restricted stock units. Here’s the relevant part of the filing that details the potential payout: “Pursuant to the Retention Letter, following the Effective Time, Mr. Levine will (a) receive an annual ...more

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  • Macro Man

    Encore Une Fois

    Yesterday's discussion of financial market versus real economy leverage prompted Macro Man to spend some time hanging out with FRED to do some digging.  What follows are the fruits of his labours.   Although he retains his caution not to expect daily updates henceforth, let's have a look at leverage encore une fois.As a couple of commenters noted, overall leverage in the economy as measured by total liabilities as a multiple of GDP has steadily declined since the crisis, albeit while remaining at historically high levels: The decline has been largely driven by two sectors.  The first of these is from households/nonprofits, which is unsurprising given the environment of tight credit conditions, uncertain employment prospects, and weak income growth th...more

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    US home prices fall but consumer confidence highest since 2007

    Economic data on Tuesday were mixed. In the US, home prices fell in May, with the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 cities declining 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, its first fall since January 2012. However, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 90.9 in July, the highest level since October 2007, from 86.4 in June. In Japan, the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent in June from 3.5 percent in May. However, the ratio of job offers to job seekers hit 1.10 in June, the highest since June 1992. Japanese household spending fell 3.0 percent in June from the previous year. However, this was an improvement over the 8.0 percent and 4.6 percent declines in May and April respectively. In the UK, mortgage approvals jumped 8 percent to 67,196 i...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Eurex Clearing and DB Group: New Paper on CCPs

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Tuesday links: reinventing the wheel

    This is an early edition of the linkfest. Check back in tomorrow for more link goodness. Quote of the day Adam Grimes, “You do not want to be reinventing the wheel with every trade, but, rather, you want a fixed, disciplined process, and a trading plan that clearly lays out what you will and what you will not do in the market.”  (Adam Grimes) Chart of the day Coal stocks look to be making a bottom.  (All Star Charts) Markets The ERP is not stable. (Andrew Smithers) Farmland investing is going to get commoditized.  (AlphaBaskets) Why does everyone focus so much on the US stock market?  (Patrick O’Shaughnessy) Strategy Stocks are not bonds, and vice versa.  (Blackrock Blog) Avoid those who peddle “can’t lose arguments.”  (Barry R...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    What happens when investors pullback form the housing market? Cash sales volume down 21 percent in California year-over-year. Sales volume remains incredibly low as inventory builds up.

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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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  • Ticker Sense

    July 28th 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 (+) Elliot Wave Lives On (+) Fallond Stock Picks (-) Global Economic Intersection (-) GEI... ...more

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    The revolt of (part of) the top 1% of the top 1%

    What are your preconceptions about the author of a book with the title The Next Economic Disaster: Why It’s Coming and How to Avoid It? Academic? Leftist? Anti-capitalist? Anti-banker certainly? Prepare to drop them all, because the author is none of the above. Taking the last first, the majority of his career has been in banking — and as a founder and CEO. Click here to read the rest of this post.   ...more

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    Great expert bank regulators of Europe, why do you believe in this regulatory nonsense?

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  • Institutional Economics

    The Financial System Inquiry and Macro-Pru

    I have an op-ed in Business Spectator endorsing the sceptical approach to macro-prudential regulation taken in the Murray inquiry’s interim report: Macro-prudential policies are seen as providing policymakers with a more targeted set of policy instruments that might complement or even substitute for changes in official interest rates. However, these instruments also implicate policymakers in making much finer judgements about risks to financial stability as well as the more traditional concern of monetary policy with price stability. A blunt instrument like monetary policy encourages caution in making such judgements. By contrast, more targeted counter-cyclical quantitative controls are a standing invitation to micro-manage credit allocation, but do not in thems...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    The drought of young California home buyers: Unaffordable housing reigns supreme as first time home buyers squeezed out of market. Of 7,000,000 completed foreclosures since 2005, 1 million occurred in California.

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    Mark Carney violates the ethics of Adam Smith that he himself emphasizes.

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    Comment on BoE´s Sir Jon Cunliffe´s speech, July 17, 2014, on the leverage ratio in bank regulations.

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    Are the students revolting, or is it economics?

    Mainstream economists have long ignored the dynamics of private debt, money and banks to their detriment. Now more than ever, a realistic and non-orthodox approach to economics is needed. Last week I made my first overseas trip on which I ticked the box ‘Australian resident departing permanently’. It’s given me cause to reflect on my career as an academic economist (and part-time journalist) in Australia. This week, I commenced a new role as Head of the School of Economics, History and Politicsat Kingston University, London, 41 years after my life as an economist began in 1973. That’s not when my PhD was approved, nor when I got my first academic job, but the date on which I participated in the student revolt over the teaching of economics in a dispute that le...more

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  • Ticker Sense

    July 21st Blogger Sentiment Poll

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

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  • footnoted*

    Irony alert: A One-Time Benefit That’s Actually Three Times

    The irony that we often see in SEC filings may go largely unnoticed by most. But here at footnoted, we try to keep a close eye on that. Much of this we point out via our twitter feed (see here and here and here for a few recent examples). But this  8-K filed by Scansource a few days ago with news of renewed employment agreement for its top executives, set our irony-alert a-flutter. Take a close look at the disclosure related to CEO Michael Baur’s new employment agreement, especially the last sentence: “Mr. Baur’s Amended and Restated Employment Agreement provides for, among other things, (i) a base salary of $850,000 per year; (ii) an annual variable compensation opportunity of a maximum amount of 150% of his base salary based upon performance and the ...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    June 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Institutional Economics

    Rent or Buy: Does it Matter?

    A RBA Research Discussion Paper on whether Australian housing is over-valued attracted considerable media attention. The (unsurprising) bottom-line was that Australian housing is currently fairly valued based on the user-cost approach, but that the average household might be better off renting now if, ‘as many observers have suggested,’ future real house price growth is less than the historical annual average rate of around 2.5% since 1955. As it turns out, the ‘many observers’ actually referenced in the paper are the RBA itself, which makes one wonder whether the RDP’s conclusion is part of the RBA’s broader jaw-boning effort directed at expectations for future house price appreciation. In fact, the RBA’s RDP makes an excellent case for the view that w...more

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  • footnoted*

    A downgrade to first class for ex-Ford CEO

    Yesterday, Google announced that former Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally was joining its board and was appointed to the company’s audit committee. That news was widely covered, with much of the coverage focusing on Google’s quest for a driver-less car. Not included in much of the coverage, but part of the 8-K that Google filed yesterday was the additional disclosure that director K. Ram Shriram would be stepping down from the audit committee to make room for Mulally. But the thing that really caught our eye was the letter agreement attached to the 8-K spelling out the terms upon which Mulally joined Google’s board. It’s been over two years since a new director joined Google’s board. The last one, which we footnoted at the time, was Diane Gre...more

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Spain and the IMF: Round the Bend or Out of the Woods?

    “Spain has turned the corner”. With this stark statement the IMF opened it’s annual Article IV consultation report for 2014. Naturally the statement rankled, with this author among others, because at first sight it seems to be saying something which on closer reading of the report you find it isn’t. At best it’s misleading, possibly from a PR point of view intentionally so, but then Article IV reports are supposed to be more sober, measured assessments. One Spanish journalist summed up the surprise many felt in the following tweet. Dear IMF, You can’t say “Spain has turned the corner” and “the unemployment remains unacceptably high” in the same paper It’s silly Yours, C  What I suppose the authors...more

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    The good, the bad and the ugly of the Murray inquiry

    The Murray inquiry's observations on financial advice, household debt and super are commendable, but its boneheaded proposal for the government to underwrite RMBS is a concern. A government report is always a Parson’s Egg, and I’ll start with the parts of this one that were excellent. These were its wariness about and observations on superannuation, financial advice and household debt. The raison d’etre for superannuation in the first place was that it enforced “saving for the future” by individuals, and one doesn’t save money by going into debt. That was the reason that borrowing by superannuation funds was banned in the first place when the system was designed. The decision by the Howard government in late 2007 to remove this ban was one of the worst decis...more

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  • Ticker Sense

    July 14th 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 (-) Elliot Wave Lives On (+) Fallond Stock Picks (+) Global Economic Intersection (-) GEI –... ...more

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    Okay FINRA, Who Had The Call From The FHFA?

     Last night at 4:05 PM E.S.T. the news hit Bloomberg that the Federal Housing Financing Agency was proposing an astoundingly, stupidly strict set of standards for private mortgage insurers who do business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the net effect of which would be to reduce the availability of credit for home buyers at the very time that credit is needed to keep our economic recovery going. We are not here to explain the issue, only to point out to FINRA, the self-policing body in charge of sniffing out strange behavior in the public markets, the enormous--nay, ginormous--option trades in the two publicly traded stocks most affected by the proposed standards just hours before the news hit the tape, betting on a drop in those stocks. Those two stocks...more

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  • Institutional Economics

    Eight Housing Affordability Myths

    I have published a new Issue Analysis with the Centre for Independent Studies, Eight Housing Affordability Myths. In the paper, I show how a number of highly persistent myths about the nature of housing markets, the dynamics of house prices and the drivers of housing affordability condition public policy to focus on excessively on housing demand at the expense of housing supply....more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    How to Get Thrown Out of a Luxury Hotel

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Multipliers and adding up

    Bank for International Settlements 84th Annual Report, page 11 – Second, as growing evidence suggests, balance sheet recessions are less responsive to traditional demand management measures (Chapter V). One reason is that banks need to repair their balance sheets. As long as asset quality is poor and capital meagre, banks will tend to restrict overall credit supply and, more importantly, misallocate it. As they lick their wounds, they will naturally retrench. But they will keep on lending to derelict borrowers (to avoid recognising losses) while cutting back on credit or making it dearer for those in better shape. A second, even more important, reason is that overly indebted agents will wish to pay down debt and save more. Give them an additional unit of i...more

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Japan Inflation At A 32 Year High?

    Just in case anyone was in any doubt last weeks newspaper  headlines blared it out for us loud and clear – Japanese inflation is back, and has even hit levels last seen in 1982. (Click on image below for better viewing). In fact consumer prices in Japan rose at an annual rate of 3.4% in May according to the Bank of Japan’s preferred measure, driven higher from one month to another by the growing impact of the April sales tax hike. The May surge in inflation follows a previous jump to 3.2%  in April, up from 1.3% in March. Apart from the tax hike, the delayed impact of last years yen devaluation is still being felt: electricity charges rose 11.4% year on year in May, gasoline was up 9.6%, while fresh seafood prices climbed 14.3%. However, str...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Corporate Political Contributions and Bad Faith, Whatever That Is

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    Life in Wartime, or, One More Reason Why Companies Leave America

     These are the headlines on my Bloomberg for Annie's, the organic mac and cheese maker whose shares have fallen from unsustainable heights as the difficulties of running a public company while trying to meet the impatient quarterly targets of impatient quarterly-minded investors finally overcame the euphoria of a company that seemed to be in the right place at the right time. And this is one more reason why companies are leaving America. For the record, I like the new CFO (who helped flag the filing deficiencies) and would not bet against the company mending its ways. Nor would I blame them for moving to Ireland to get the Pittsburgh Law Office of Alfred G. Yates, Jr, the Lifshitz & Miller Law Firm, Brower Piven, Levi & Korsinsky, LLP, the Fo...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    May 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Larry Summers and Finance

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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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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    Shambling Towards Affordability: Housing Valuations Surpass Pre-Bubble Peak

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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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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    Berkshire Hathaway: Beyond Buffett

    If this is failure, I want more of it.”—Charlie Munger “The only succession for Ajit Jain is reincarnation.”—Warren BuffettOmaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2014.It’s one year later, and I’m driving in pre-dawn darkness through downtown Omaha to the 2014 Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting, which, up until about a week ago, was looking like another cakewalk for Warren Buffett. After all, Berkshire’s net worth increased 18% in 2013, representing a staggering $34 billion jump in value.  And while, as some wet-blanket observers have pointed out, Berkshire’s 18% gain paled in comparison with the S&P 500 (up 32% including dividends—its best year since 1995), a $34 billion increase in value would be a grand slam home run for any company, in an...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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  • VIX and More

    The Correction As Seen in the ETP Landscape

    Since stocks bottomed in March 2009, I have periodically been publishing an SPX pullback table and occasionally a plot of all those pullbacks and their duration. The recent selloff in stocks, however, has been anything but an SPX pullback. I toyed with the idea of presenting comparable data for the NASDAQ Composite or NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX), but here again, the selling has been disproportionate in some areas of the NASDAQ universe, even though it has been hit harder than the SPX. This time around I have opted instead for a chart that shows the peak-to-trough drawdown across the equity ETP universe, focusing on sector groups that I believe are among the most important to watch. [source(s): Yahoo, VIX and More] The data above cover only 2014 and indicate the maximum...more

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  • VIX and More

    Low Volatility: How To Profit From a Quiet VIX (Guest Columnist at Barron’s)

    Today I was once again a guest columnist at Barron’s, penning Low Volatility: How to Profit From a Quiet VIX for the venerable Barron’s options column, The Striking Price. ; While this is my thirteenth turn as guest columnist, much to my surprise this is the firsts time that “VIX” has appeared in the title.  Since everyone seems to be talking about how low the VIX is, whether the VIX is broken, etc. I thought it would be an appropriate time to share some of my thoughts on the subject. In the Barron’s article I make the point that while mean-reversion trades when the VIX spikes higher has been a viable strategy over the years, the mean reversion approach has not fared nearly as well when the VIX dives substantially below its long-term mean, which happ...more

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  • Emerging markets

    A ham-fisted flotation strategy

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  • Emerging markets

    South Korea escapes Asia’s rising risks

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  • Emerging markets

    Dollar DCM volume hits record in Asia

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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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  • VIX and More

    CBOE RMC 2014: A Retrospective

    Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending the CBOE Risk Management Conference (RMC) in Bonita Springs, Florida. Now that the conference is over and the CBOE has posted most of the presentations, I thought I would take a little time and offer a retrospective look at some of the content that caught my attention. Before I do that, I am compelled to tip my cap to Russell Rhoads, whose indefatigable and prolific efforts were responsible for capturing many of the details of the conference. Russell’s posts and those of Matt Moran made it possible for anyone to have a virtual front-row seat throughout the proceedings. Their efforts in conjunction with the RMC are archived at the CBOE Options Hub with the CBOERMC tag. From my vantage point, I thought it particularl...more

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    Behavioral finance and investment from Berkely

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    Fama on the history of Market Efficiency--MUST WATCH!

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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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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    Hannah Harris Green in The Guardian on Race, Crime and Television

    She writes:The First 48 is an A&E true crime reality show that documents real police investigations for the first 48 hours after a homicide report, including what happens inside interrogation rooms. If this sounds dangerous and ethically questionable, that's because it is. Police accidentally killed a child as A&E's cameras rolled, and a legally innocent man came to beknown as a murderer after of his appearance on the show. Catastrophes like these have led to lawsuits, and now many cities refuse to work with The First 48.......This portrayal is not representative of American crime statistics. Although homicide arrests are disproportionately high among African Americans, about the same total number of white people are arrested i...more

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    Blackstone Unit Wins in No-Lose Codere Trade: Corporate Finance - Bloomberg

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow has issues with sifting and winnowing.

    A geography professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Rachel Slocum, made the mildly controversial point in an email to her students that Republicans in the House of Representatives had brought about the partial closure of the US government, and had therefore brought about the closure of the US Census web site.  This closure prevented her students from completing their assignments.  She never used abusive or offensive language.Her point raised howls among the conservative blogasphere and media; when confronted with this, her boss, UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow, publicly reprimanded her for expressing a factually based opinion to her class.  In my view, it was his job to back her--not to agree with her opinion, but rather to defend he...more

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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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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    The Windy City and The Foggy City

    Hannah Green writes:ERNEST HEMINGWAY famously wrote of Paris, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." For half a century, Hemingway’s nostalgic vision of the city of lights has made undiscovered literary geniuses wish that they could be unemployed in Paris in the 1920s instead of unemployed wherever they live, now. Last year, Teju Cole’s debut novel, Open City, offered a different kind of literary city. The main character, Julius, who resembles Cole, wanders the streets of New York, conversing with the city’s residents and falling into reveries about music, history, and literature. Most of the people he speaks with are immigrants, ...more

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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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  • Accrued Interest

    IS HALLIBURTON A BUY?

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  • Accrued Interest

    Is it Time to Sell Blackberry?

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  • Accrued Interest

    Three Oil Stocks to Consider

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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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  • The Street Light

    Government Job Destruction

    Another jobs report in the US, another month where part of the private sector's job creation was undone by continued job destruction by the government sector. The 15,000 additional jobs lost in April brings total job losses in the government sector since January 2010 to over 500,000. While the US has not quite been experiencing European-style austerity over the past two years, that's still a pretty tough headwind to fight as it emerges from recession. ...more

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Otaviano Canuto is Senior Advisor on BRICS Economies in the Development Economics Department, World Bank, a new position established by President Kim to bring a fresh research focus to this increasingly critical area. He also has an extensive academic background, serving as Professor of Economics at the University of Sao Paulo and University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil.

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