EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    Finance & Markets

  • DealBook

    Pimco Says Rush of Money Out of Its Funds May Be Slowing

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  • DealBook

    SoftBank to Invest $250 Million in Legendary Entertainment

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  • Real Time Economics

    Fed’s Dudley Remains Worried by Problems in Wall Street Culture

    NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley lamented ongoing signs of ethical lapses on Wall Street, and fretted the problems may have become ingrained in the trading community, complicating efforts to reform the fundamental structure of financial markets. “Accusations have recently surfaced related to business practices within foreign exchange markets,” Mr. Dudley said Thursday. While the nature of these problems are different than what emerged in the practice of setting market-based short-term interest rates, “the common theme is the willingness of a small number of market participants to behave improperly and contribute to a decline in confidence in the integrity of benchmark rates specifically and of major financial institutions more g...more

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  • DealBook

    Dow Says It Will Sell More Businesses

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Jobless Claims Closing In On 14-Year Low

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  • FT Alphaville

    A gratuitous Stick Internet chart (plus some GoPro news…)

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  • Calculated Risk

    Reis: Apartment Vacancy Rate increased in Q3 to 4.2%, First quarterly increase since 2009

    Reis reported that the apartment vacancy rate increased in Q3 to 4.2% from 4.1% in Q2.  In Q3 2013 (a year ago), the vacancy rate was at 4.3%, and the rate peaked at 8.0% at the end of 2009.Some comments from Reis Senior Economist Ryan Severino:The national vacancy rate increased by 10 basis points to 4.2% during the third quarter. This is the first quarterly increase in vacancy since the fourth quarter of 2009. This is something that we have been warning about for some time. The national vacancy rate has been below 5.5% since the third quarter of 2011, a virtually unprecedented run. Ultimately, market conditions that tight were going to serve as a catalyst for new construction activity. Although the surge in construction occurred a bit late, due to the fallout fro...more

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  • Dealbreaker

    Will Crisis-Era Litigation Ever End For Banks?

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  • naked capitalism

    Randy Wray: Rising Tides Lift All Yachts – Why the 1% Grabs all the Gains From Growth

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  • The Big Picture

    10 Thursday AM Reads

    My morning train reads: • Job Woes Linger in 29 States as U.S. Recovers Unevenly (Bloomberg) see also Jobs, Outliers, and Elections (Statistical Ideas) • A NYC Wealth Management Firm Created A Super Cheap Way For Young People To Get Professional Investment Help (Business Insider) • Six things investors need to know about October (USA Today) see also And the rest of the year (TRB)   Continues here           ...more

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  • Dealbreaker

    Opening Bell: 10.02.14

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  • Real Time Economics

    BOJ Considering Signaling Flexible Time Frame for 2% Target

    The Bank of Japan is likely to start playing up the flexible nature of the time frame for its 2% inflation target, as doubts spread that the central bank will achieve that level by a widely perceived deadline of spring next year. BOJ officials are considering flagging to investors that, while the central bank is committed to bringing about 2% price growth, it is wrong to think that the bank means to achieve it precisely two years from the launch of its aggressive stimulus measures in April 2013, according to people familiar with the bank’s thinking. Signaling greater flexibility in the interpretation of the bank’s time frame of “about two years” would likely prompt investors and economists to re-calibrate their views on what policy action the bank might take in...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 287,000

    The DOL reports:In the week ending September 27, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 287,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 293,000 to 295,000. The 4-week moving average was 294,750, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 500 from 298,500 to 299,000. There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. The previous week was revised up to 295,000.The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 1971.Click on graph for larger image.The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decre...more

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  • DRS » Blog

    AIFMD Q&A – Latest Update

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  • DRS » Blog

    AIFMD Q&A – Latest Update

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  • Emerging markets

    Bankers call for progress on Asean Exchanges project

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  • The Big Picture

    Reminder: We’re coming to D.C. October 15-16th

    A quick reminder that later this month, myself and some staffers will be visiting clients and prospective clients in the Washington, D.C. area. Some of you are familiar with our investing philosophy, but this is an opportunity to have a more in depth, personal conversation. If you are interested in meeting with us, hearing our views, or simply having a discussing about your own personal financial planning, give us an email or call. Send email to Info -at- RitholtzWealth -dot- com, with the subject “DC Trip.” Or call 212-455-9122 and ask for Erika.     ...more

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  • The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

    Possible Bond ETF Problems

    Photo Credit: Penn StateThere have been a few parties worrying about crises stemming from ETFs, because they make it too easy for people to sell a lot of assets in a crisis.I think that fear is overblown, but I don’t think it is non-existent, and I would like to use a bond ETF as an example of what could be possible.Most bonds don’t trade every day.  Only the most liquid bond issues trade every day, and they form the backbone for pricing the bonds that don’t trade.But how do you price a bond when it doesn’t trade?  It’s complicated, but let me try to explain…When a less liquid bond actually has a trade, the bond pricing services take note of it.  They calculate the yield spread of the less liquid bond versus similar bonds (similar...more

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  • Real Time Economics

    Grand Central: World Torn Between ECB and Fed Paths, WSJ Survey Shows

    The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, October 2, 2014: Sign up for the newsletter. Highlights Hilsenrath’s Take: World Torn Between ECB and Fed Paths, WSJ Survey Shows Draghi Says ECB Hopes to Get at Root of Eurozone’s Economic Problems What to Watch at the ECB Meeting Bank of England Asks Government for New Powers Over Housing Argentina’s Central Banker Replaced HILSENRATH’S TAKE: WORLD TORN BETWEEN ECB AND FED PATHS, WSJ SURVEY SHOWS For a useful overview of the state of global central banking, it’s worth reviewing The Wall Street Journal’s third quarter outlook for central banks in 25 economies as far south as New Zealand and north as Norway. The report draws out two important points about the state of central ...more

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  • DRS » Blog

    The WM/Reuters 4 pm London fix caught pants down

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  • DRS » Blog

    The WM/Reuters 4 pm London fix caught pants down

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 10/2/14

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  • naked capitalism

    Naked Capitalism – An Irreplaceable Resource

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    An Attitude That Prices Have Recovered Too Quickly

    The Napa Valley Register reports from California. “The average sold price of a Napa County home declined 9 percent from $522,500 in July to $475,000 in August, according to Bay Area Real Estate Information Services. During the same time period, the number of homes sold decreased 31.5 percent, from 146 to 100. ‘The months of July and August were much slower than the previous months,’ said Nadia Valenzuela, a Realtor and current president of the Napa chapter of the North Bay Association of Realtors. She attributed that slowdown to reasons that include families going on vacation during the summer, a shortened summer school vacation period, ‘and buyers watching the interest rates and viewing the inventory to see if prices would reduce to get a better...more

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  • FT Alphaville

    Markets Live: Thursday, 2nd October, 2014

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  • The Big Picture

    MoneyBeat’s Quarterly Quota

    Click for larger graphic Source: WSJ

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  • The Capital Spectator

    US Nonfarm Private Payrolls: September 2014 Preview

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  • FT Alphaville

    The (early) Lunch Wrap

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for October 2, 2014

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

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Stocks fall, global manufacturing slows

    Stocks fell on Wednesday. The S&P 500 tumbled 1.3 percent while the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.8 percent. The US 10-year Treasury yield fell 10 basis points to 2.39 percent. Economic data on Wednesday were mostly uninspiring. US data showed that manufacturing growth slowed in September. Markit's US manufacturing PMI slipped to 57.5 last month from 57.9 in August while the Institute for Supply Management’s index fell to 56.6 from 59.0. Other US data on Wednesday showed that the private sector added 213,000 workers in September but construction spending fell 0.8 percent in August. In the euro area, Markit reported on Wednesday that its manufacturing PMI for the region fell to 50.3 in September from 50.7 in August. The new orders sub-index fell to 49.3 from 50.7. Another re...more

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    Assistance for Minsky required

    To anyone out there with deep pockets–or to lots of people with shallower ones–I need financial assistance for the Minsky program. I have been waiting for funding from a source that I’ll reveal once it finally comes through, but it has now been delayed for over six months from when it was first mooted to arrive. If I am lucky, it will come through in January–another 4 months away. The problem is that I may lose my programmer by then to the vicissitudes of having to earn a living. I have been the architect of Minsky, but Russell Standish has been the builder, and I was incredibly lucky to secure his services when the project began 3 years ago. Now he has gone over 6 months without an income, partly because he has not marketed his skills to other potential emplo...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Thursday: Unemployment Claims, Q3 Apartment Vacancy Rate

    An interesting article on foreign buyers of U.S. real estate from Dionne Searceyoct at the NY Times: Indians Join the Wave of Investors in Condos and Homes in the U.S.Foreign buyers now make up 7 percent of total existing-home sales ... Of those, Indians represent 6 percent of the purchases, spending $5.8 billion, up from $3.9 billion over the same period a year ago and on par with buyers from Britain.Canadians have long bought American property and still do so in big numbers, with purchases centered for the most part in Arizona, Florida and more recently in Las Vegas. Canada still accounts for the largest share of buyers, but China is the fastest-growing source of clients, according to the realtors’ group.And Chinese buyers are bigger spenders. Their real estate purc...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Old-Line Oil and Coal are Techno and Exciting These Days

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  • Dealbreaker

    Write-Offs: 10.01.14

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    Kirchener to Investors: “You’re Meanies for Lending Me Money”

    Well, she didn’t actually say that, but she might as well have. Her position is that the investors who loaned her regime money are now “terrorists” for wanting to be repaid, noting, in a speech at the United Nations, that “terrorists are also those who destabilize a country’s economy through speculation.” Of course, Argentina wouldn’t even have needed those investors if the government had simply stuck to spending only what it collected in tax revenues. Instead, over the past decade, Argentina has been on a spending spree. Kirchener, when she made these remarks, was perhaps anticipating Monday’s legal development in which Argentina was declared in contempt of court for refusing to pay its debts. Now, as Christopher Westley ...more

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    Greenspan on Gold (again)

    Alan Greenspan once vigorously defended the gold standard, before taking command of the world’s largest printing press. Now back in civilian life, and lacking any opportunity to put his professed principles into action, Alan is again friendly to gold: The broader issue — a return to the gold standard in any form — is nowhere on anybody’s horizon. It has few supporters in today’s virtually universal embrace of fiat currencies and floating exchange rates. Yet gold has special properties that no other currency, with the possible exception of silver, can claim. For more than two millennia, gold has had virtually unquestioned acceptance as payment. It has never required the credit guarantee of a third party. No questions are raised when gold or direct ...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Who needs a mortgage? How the traditional mortgage market is stuck in low gear and reflects an underlying lack of demand for home buying.

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    Houses Fall Down

    [Note: The following data analysis was commissioned by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  This will be the first of a series of posts using this analysis.  My colleagues on the project are Raphael Bostic from USC, and Heather Schwartz and Lois Davis from The Rand Corporation.  Thew views in this blog are my own].John Weicher developed a really nice technique for following the evolution of the housing stock using the American Housing Survey.   The really nice thing about the AHS is that it is a panel of houses, so one can see when they are "born" (are built) and when they "die" (are demolished).With the assistance of USC Ph.D. student Xize Wang, we used John's method for calculating the evolution of the US housing stock between 199...more

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  • Abnormal Returns

    What books Abnormal Returns readers purchased in September 2014

    A monthly post looking at what books Abnormal Returns readers purchased at Amazon in the prior month is a great way to scan the month’s most popular finance and investing books. Three new books jumped into the top ten including Zero to One, The Education of a Value Investor and Deep Value. Here are the books (combined print and Kindle) that our readers purchased most often during September 2014: The Top 10 Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel Statistics Topics by Salil Mehta It’s Not All About “Me”: The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone by Robin Dreeke The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment by Guy Spier Deep Value: Why Activist Investors ...more

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Wednesday links: forewarned is forearmed

    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 Robert Seawright, “Things rarely turn out the way we expect. We never have everything covered. Life happens. Act accordingly. You have been warned.”  (ThinkAdvisor) Chart of the day High yield spreads have been on the rise for awhile now.  (Business Insider) Strategy How major asset classes performed (or not) in September.  (Capital Spectator, Bespoke, ZorTrades, Horan Capital) How have REITs performed during periods of rising interest rates.  (A Wealth of Common Sense also WSJ) Why do we use volatility as a proxy for risk?  (StreetEye) Do bond investors earn the term and default premia?  (Larry Swedroe)...more

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    The September Issue of The Free Market is Now Online!

    The September issue of The Free Market, the Mises Institute’s monthly,  is now online! September’s issue features a new book review from David Gordon, and on the 100th anniversary of World War I, Hunt Tooley reflects on modern views of the war: In his new book Money, Steve Forbes offers a new scheme for tying the dollar to gold.  But, of course, things are not what they seem, and in the Forbes plan, there is no true gold standard to be found. David Gordon writes: Imagine that someone wrote an eloquent book about price and wage controls. The book showed how attempts to control prices led to economic disaster. Faced with an abundance of incontrovertible evidence that demonstrated the bad effects of these measures, an informed policymaker would find only one ra...more

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  • Macro Man

    Things that make you go hmmmmmmm

    Equities:   Continuing to trade off the back footFixed income: Finally catching a bit of a bidDollar: Evidently invincible, making multi-year highsHmmmm....(As an aside, did you know that the largest weekly gain for EUR/USD in Q3 was 12 pips?  And it did it twice?  And that those were the only two positive weeks for the euro all quarter?)...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    ADP: Private-Sector Payrolls Rise 213k In September

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  • DRS » Blog

    Even ESMA misses EMIR reports submission deadline

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  • DRS » Blog

    Even ESMA misses EMIR reports submission deadline

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  • The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

    Inevitable Ineffective Banking Regulation

    Photo Credit: Michael DaddinoI am mystified at why people might be outraged or surprised that the Federal Reserve does a poor job of overseeing banks.  The Fed is an overstaffed bureaucracy.  Overstaffed bureaucracies always tend toward consensus and non-confrontation.I know this from my days of working as an actuary inside an overstaffed life insurance company, and applying for work in other such companies.  I did not fit the paradigm, because I had strong views of right and wrong, and strong views on how to run a business well, which was more aggressive than the company that I worked for was generally willing to do.  Note that only one such company was willing to hire me, and I nearly got fired a couple of times for proposing ideas that were non-consensus.This sho...more

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for October 1, 2014

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

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    What hath CalPERS Wrought? And Why?

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    US consumer confidence and home prices fall, eurozone inflation slows

    Global economic data on Tuesday were mostly negative. In the US, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell to 86.0 in September from 93.4 the month before, the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas rose 6.7 percent in July from the previous year but fell 0.5 percent from the previous month, and the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer fell to 60.5 in September from 64.3 in August. In the euro area, inflation slowed further to 0.3 percent in September from 0.4 percent in August while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 11.5 percent in August. In China, HSBC's manufacturing PMI was unchanged at 50.2 in September from the previous month but was below the preliminary reading of 50.5. In Japan, industria...more

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Tuesday links: being the market

    Quote of the day Neil Irwin, “It might sound great to beat the market. But when you are as big as Calpers and Pimco, in important ways you are the market.”  (The Upshot) Chart of the day The decline in commodity prices, including oil, is getting serious.  (Business Insider) Markets The decline to-date has been pretty tame.  (The Reformed Broker) Seasonality is looking up for the stock market.  (The Fat Pitch, Ryan Detrick) Keep an eye on natural gas.  (Andrew Thrasher) Companies eBay ($EBAY) acknowledges the inevitable and plans to spin-off PayPal.  (Dealbook, Recode, Quartz, Business Insider, Stock Spinoffs) The balance sheet issues/opportunities at Yahoo ($YHOO) are too big to ignore.  (Bloomberg) On the future of Apple ($AAPL) and Google ($GOOG)...more

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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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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Game of Thrones, The Wire, and the New York Fed

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  • footnoted*

    Comment letter ahead of BofA’s $8M Fine

    Yesterday, the SEC announced a $7.65m fine for Bank of America Corp. related to internal controls deficiencies and regulatory capital misstatements related to complex securities it bought as part of its acquisition of Merrill Lynch in 2009. What’s surprising is that a comment letter that was made public earlier this month previewed this. In that letter, the SEC said it was concerned with the company’s disclosure about revisions to regulatory capital amounts and ratios in its first-quarter report, which we flagged for footnotedPro subscribers on May 1. We thought it was interesting to highlight this not just because of yesterday’s news, but because it’s rare to see that sort of quick cause and effect when it comes to comment letters. Now, obvio...more

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  • Emerging markets

    Modi makeover ignites India’s banking leaders

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    The bank regulatory establishment, Basel Committee, Fed, ECB, FDIC, BoE, FSB, IMF (and FT) believes this… do you?

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  • The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

    AIG Was Broke

    Photo Credit: RonThere’s a significant problem when you are a supremely big and connected financial institution: your failure will have an impact on the financial system as a whole.  Further, there is no one big enough to rescue you unless we drag out the public credit via the US Treasury, or its dedicated commercial paper financing facility, the Federal Reserve.  You are Too Big To Fail [TBTF].Thus, even if you don’t fit into ordinary categories of systematic risk, like a bank, the government is not going to sit around and let you “gum up” the financial system while everyone else waits for you to disburse funds that others need to pay their liabilities.  They will take action; they may not take the best action of letting the holding company ...more

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    US consumer spending rises, eurozone economic sentiment falls

    There were mixed data on the US economy on Monday. US consumer spending rose 0.5 percent in August and income rose 0.3 percent. However, pending home sales fell 1.0 percent in August. In the euro area, the European Commission reported on Monday that its economic sentiment indicator for the region fell to 99.9 in September from 100.6 in August. In the UK, data on Monday showed that mortgage approvals fell to 64,212 in August from 66,100 in July, lending to non-financial businesses increased by 817 million pounds last month and unsecured lending to consumers rose by 898 million pounds. A GfK report on Tuesday showed that its UK consumer confidence index fell to -1 in September from +1 in August....more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Key Alpha-Oriented Law Firms Merging

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  • Ticker Sense

    September 29th 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 (N) Fallond Stock Picks (+) Global Economic Intersection (-)... ...more

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  • Macro Man

    Snap back to reality

    Are markets starting to come to grips with the end of QE and the concomitant focus on rate lift-off?  Or is this simply the seasonal risk-asset weakness in September-October that used to be par for the course before central banks decided to control asset prices by virtual administrative diktat?  Or even one of those occasions where markets decide to react to geopolitical developments, be it the war against IS or the protests in Hong Kong?For sure, the bread-and-butter fixed income markets have not sold off nearly as much recently as they did during the taper tantrum last year.  Then again, there's been quite some time to adjust to the idea of an eventual tightening, and in any event markets know that that it will be the arch-dove Yellen, as opposed to unk...more

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    Comments on: IMF WP 14/169 "Reconsidering Bank Capital Regulation" Connel Fullenkamp and Céline Rochon

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    The Southwest housing mania is overheating: California, Arizona, and Nevada leading the way once again with unaffordable housing markets.

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    How the price of a Martini reveals the property value of a city

    A Hendricks Gibson is basically a commodity (although the bartender does need to know what she is doing). But a good Gibson at the Starlight Lounge in LaCrosse, Wisconsin is $8; at the Roof Garden at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills is $16; at the King Cole Bar of the St. Regis Hotel in New York is $22. Let's say the cost of the cocktail, including labor, but exclusive of real estate, is $7. Then the implicit rent you are paying for sitting in a bar in LaCrosse is $1; in Beverly Hills on a rooftop is $9; and in NYC is $15. If one consults Zillow, one will find that this ratio of 1:9:15 for real estate in LaCrosse, BH and Manhattan is pretty close to the truth.One key thing--all these drinks are served in competitive markets--there is true thickness in bars in t...more

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    More than "The Voice" and "American Idol" we need a TV competition to elect better bank regulators.

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    How Piketty's care with language can improve economics

    When I was a freshman in college, I read Fogel and Engerman's Time on the Cross.  I loathed the book, because it implicitly endorsed the idea that it is OK, "in the interested of science," to dehumanize those African-Americans that were placed in bondage by viewing them as capital (I loathed it for other reasons as well, but that is for another time.) It also contributed to the broad view currently within much of mainstream economics that it is (1) acceptable to treat human beings as objects, and (2) that it is embarrassing to embrace humanity.  I was embarrassed that the book helped Fogel ultimately won the Nobel Prize in economics.I thought of Fogel and Engerman again when a recent review in the Economist of Edward Bishop's The Half Has Never Been Told compl...more

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    Active vs. Passive in Global Investing | Financial Planning

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    Gross Loses Pimco Power Struggle With ‘Stunning’ Exit - Bloomberg

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  • Macro Man

    A poem for Bill Gross

    So.   FarewellThenBill Gross.You builtPIMCO andBecame known asThe BondKing.But itSeems you wereA bitOf a jerk.Good luck atJanus.  A godWithTwo faces.What couldGo wrong?- E.J. Thribb   (age 17 1/2)...more

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  • footnoted*

    An unusually special award at Sigma-Aldrich

    Earlier this week, there was big news in big-pharma when the German pharmaceutical giant Merck KGaA announced plans to buy Sigma-Aldrich Corp. for $17 billion. The $140 a share price represented a 37% premium to Sigma-Aldrich’s closing price. Since that announcement on Monday, Sigma-Aldrich has filed 16 separate documents with the SEC, or somewhere north of 400 pages — from the transcript of the post-announcement call to the Powerpoint presentation to something called employee talking points, which was presumably designed by HR-types to reassure employees that they still have a job, at least for now. But it was this 8-K filed late on Thursday that really jumped out at us: in the filing, Sigma-Aldrich says it is making a “special award” of $500,00...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Real Homes of Genius: Pasadena small home market. Quick sales and people targeting foreign buyers.

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued September 25 2014

    Today’s jobless claims report showed an increase to both initial and continued unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims remained below the closely watched 300K level. Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims increased 12,000 to 293,000 claims from 281,000 claims for the prior week while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims increased by 7,000 to 2.439 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 1.8%. ...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    New Collection on Medium

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    The overdue Copernican Revolution in Economics

    This is the talk I gave at the first conference of the International Student Initiative for Pluralism in Economics, held in the beautiful German town of Tuebingen, Germany on September 19–21 2014. I cover Minsky, money, complexity, the role of debt in aggregate demand & aggregate supply, and the economic crisis. I spoke too fast and covered topics at too high a level for many of the undergraduate students in the audience who are part of the rebellion against the dominance of economics tuition and research by Neoclassical economics. I hope putting it up here gives those students and others a chance to “hit the pause button” and go through my talk more slowly. Click here for the Powerpoint slides (with embedded data and Minsky files) ...more

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  • Ticker Sense

    September 22nd Blogger Sentiment Poll

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

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    Making sense of Scotland the Brazen

    Scotland voted 55:45 to remain in the UK, but the very fact that the vote was even close was a serious shock to the political establishment in Europe. UK Prime Minister David Cameron had originally allowed only a Yes or No vote on full independence in the referendum, rather than a three-option poll including the “Maybe” of a greater devolution of power from Whitehall to Edinburgh, in the belief that the No vote would be so resounding that it would terminate the independence movement permanently. The Maybe, he believed, might well have got across the line, when in general he and the Tories didn’t want to cede any power north of Hadrian’s Wall. Click here to read the rest of this post. ...more

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    The Japanisation Of Europe

    By now it should be clear that the monetary experiment currently being carried out in Japan (known as “Abenomics”) is fundamentally different from the kind of quantitative easing which was implemented  in the United States and the United Kingdom during the global financial crisis. In the US and the UK QE was implemented in order to stabilize the financial system, while in Japan, and now the Euro Area (EA) the objective is to end deflationary pressures and reflate economies which are arguably caught in some form of liquidity trap. In particular it is hard not to draw the conclusion that something structural and more long-term is taking place in Japan, and that that something is only tangentially related to the recent global financial crisis. One plausible explan...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Changes

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Does Abenomics Work? – The Doubts Grow

    Is something in the air? Do I detect a change in consensus on the way things are going in Japan? Certainly a slew of articles have been published in the financial press over the last month questioning where the Abenomics experiment is headed for. The general conclusion seems to be that wherever it is it is certainly not the originally designated endpoint. Thus the Economist. “It is crisis mode in the Kantei, the office of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister. A succession of awful data has pummelled his economic programme, which consists of three “arrows”: a radical monetary easing, a big fiscal stimulus and a series of structural reforms. On September 8th revised figures showed that GDP shrank by 1.8% in the second quarter, or by 7.1% on an annualised basis,...more

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  • footnoted*

    Evertec execs line up to enjoy Puerto Rican tax holiday

    You’ve probably heard (or at least read) about the new law in Puerto Rico. Just two weeks ago, the New York Times noted that former “hedge fund honcho” — their words, not ours — Alex Lemond had decamped there to take advantage of a change in the tax code that benefits wealthy newcomers to the island. A more recent development — known by its formal name of Act 77, which was signed into law at the beginning of July — provides additional benefits to income generated from options. (This memo from Deloitte provides a good overview of what’s otherwise boring tax lingo). Yet, despite the law being in place for three months, we haven’t seen it really mentioned in the filings. But that changed late Friday afternoon — ot...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    August 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Emerging markets

    Doubts raised on Singapore-Taiwan exchange link

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Industrial Production: August 2014

    Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released their monthly read of industrial production and capacity utilization showing a decrease in August with total industrial production falling 0.10% since July but still rising 4.12% above the level seen in August 2013. Capacity utilization also declined falling 0.37% from July but rising 1.23% above the level seen in August 2013 to stand at 78.81% ...more

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  • Ticker Sense

    September 15th Blogger Sentiment Poll

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

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Their Eyes Were Watching Vlad

    Occasionally, representatives of Germany’s Left party (Die Linke) will complain about being tagged as the successors to East Germany’s communist party. Well. As part of the German parliament’s debate about the budget and foreign police, Gregor Gysi, parliamentary leader of Die Linke, spoke out forcefully against further sanctions against Russia. He called them “absolutely counterproductive.” He added that they provoked Russian countermeasures and hurt the economy. Rational policy, in his view, would be to lift the sanctions immediately. Not to be outdone, Sara Wagenknecht, Gysi’s first deputy, said that economic warfare with Russia was damaging and “playing with fire.” She added that NATO maneuvers and EU sanctions were making the...more

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    Berkshire Hathaway: Wholesaler of Death?

     Now that we have your attention with that admittedly provocative title, we are going to kill two birds with one stone here. Bird One is the fact that we haven’t posted anything in two months, mainly because whatever odd silliness visible in the darker corners of Wall Street seems irrelevant in a world where Vladimir Putin can invade his neighbors, take territory and shoot passenger planes from the sky while the civilized world sputters about such things not being fit for 21stCentury-type behavior before moving onto actual 21st Century-type behavior like Tweeting about how sad it is that Joan Rivers died. Bird Two is something I’ve always wondered about when it comes to Berkshire Hathaway. But before getting to that, let me repeat...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Employment Situation: Nonfarm Payrolls and Civilian Unemployment August 2014

    Today's Employment Situation Report indicated that in August, net non-farm payrolls increased by 142,000 jobs overall with the private non-farm payrolls sub-component adding 134,000 jobs while the civilian unemployment rate declined to 6.1% over the same period.Net private sector jobs increased 0.11% since last month climbing 2.12% above the level seen a year ago and climbing 1.34% above the peak level of employment seen in December 2007 prior to the Great Recession. ...more

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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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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    July 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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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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  • 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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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    June 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The Oil Drum writers: Where are they now?

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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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