EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    Finance & Markets

  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for October 26, 2014

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

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  • naked capitalism

    The Unattainable Illusion of Meritocracy

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  • naked capitalism

    Can Capitalism and Democracy Co-Exist?

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  • The Big Picture

    Big Hero 6

    Trailer 1 ~~~ Trailer 2

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  • The Big Picture

    Execution

    1. Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is everything. 2. We do not live in a pitch economy, almost no one is buying ideas, they’re buying companies, they’re buying something active that is generating capital. 3. We’re all Missourians today, that’s right, we all live in the SHOW ME state. We want to see evidence of your success, of the implementation of your idea, we don’t just want to hear you talk about it. 4. Ideas are in the air. Many people are working on similar breakthroughs at the same time. While you believe your idea is unique, there’s a good chance someone else is aware of it and is trying to achieve the same goal and is working while you sleep. 5. Talk is cheap. That’s why it’s so hard to get someone of power to...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Schedule for Week of October 26th

    The key report this week is Q3 GDP on Thursday.There will be an FOMC meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the FOMC is expected to announce the end of QE3 on Wednesday.----- Monday, October 27th -----10:00 AM ET: Pending Home Sales Index for September. The consensus is for a 0.8% increase in the index. 10:30 AM: Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey for October.During the day (Monday or Tuesday): Q3 NMHC Apartment Tightness Index.----- Tuesday, October 28th -----8:30 AM: Durable Goods Orders for September from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a 0.9% increase in durable goods orders.9:00 AM: S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for August. Although this is the August report, it is really a 3 month average of June, July and August prices.This graph shows the nomi...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 423 Institutions

    This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.Here is the unofficial problem bank list for Oct 24, 2014. Changes and comments from surferdude808: It was the fourth time in 2014 for the FDIC to close a bank on back-to-back weeks. Other than the failure, two other removals pushed the Unofficial Problem Bank List count down to 423 institutions with assets of $133.4 billion. A year ago, the list held 670 institutions with assets of $234 billion.Northwestern Bank, Traverse City, MI ($849 million) and The First National Bank of Wyoming, Wyoming, DE ($302 million) found their way off the list through unassisted mergers.The National Republic Bank of Chicago, Chicago, IL ($994 million) failed after operating under a formal action since April 201...more

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  • The Big Picture

    MiB: Paul Krugman

    This week’s Masters in Business Radio show at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm on Bloomberg Radio 1130AM and Siriux XM 119 (it also repeats all weekend). Our guest this week is Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate, Princeton professor of economics and New York Times columnist and blogger. You can listen to the show live here. Shortly after the show, you can stream it at Soundcloud or download the one hour, 20 minute podcast here or on iTunes. Yes, all of the prior Podcasts are finally on Apple iTunes. Next week, we speak with Ralph Acampora, founder of the Market Technician’s Association. ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Goldman Sachs: FOMC Preview

    Excerpts from a research piece by economist Kris Dawsey at Goldman Sachs: US data have generally been solid since the last FOMC meeting, with a few exceptions. However, concern about downside risks to global growth increased—echoed by Fed communications—while financial market volatility rose considerably. The market-implied date of the first rate hike shifted out by roughly a quarter to 2015 Q4.Our analysis suggests that recent developments should have a limited effect on the Fed’s baseline expectation for growth in the near-term, although downside risks to inflation are more pronounced. The FOMC will probably acknowledge recent foreign developments in the October statement, but an explicit shift in the balance of risks for the US outlook to the downside would be ...more

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Saturday links: penny stock punishment

    The weekend is a great time to catch up on some posts that were either too long or simply didn’t fit in during the week. Hope you enjoy! Investing Retail investors back but are doing things differently this time around.  (Josh Brown) James Montier on the mistake that is the idea behind shareholder value maximization.  (CFA Institute) The ugly story of how the hype around marijuana-related penny stocks went bad.  (Men’s Journal via FT Alphaville) Why you need to wary of financial advice.  (Brian Lund) Personal finance Some states provide 529 plan investors with big incentives.  (Morningstar) Millennials are embracing the 401(k) plan.  (Time) Four basic propositions for investing in retirement.  (Rekenthaler Report) An interview with Bill Sharpe on longevit...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 10/25/14

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    For Every Reckless Borrower There Is A Greedy Investor

    It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Markets that were hottest during the recovery saw the largest slowdown in home-value growth in the third quarter, Zillow said. The Bay Area definitely makes that list. The news gets even worse for Bay Area homeowners. Zillow expects year-ahead home-value appreciation in the Bay Area to grow just 2.9 percent, not even meeting the company’s national projection of 3 percent. Third-quarter inventory of Bay Area homes on the market jumped 20.2 percent from a year ago. Homeowners are likely to feel the chill as more people decide to sell before the slowdown turns into price cuts. It’s too late, Zillow says, noting that 37 percent of listings on its site nationally had at least one price cut in the past ...more

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for October 25, 2014

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

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Book Bits | 25 October 2014

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  • DealBook

    Botox Maker Allergan Pleaded for Goldman’s Help in Valeant Fight

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Markets mixed, UK economy decelerates, US and Chinese home prices fall

    Markets were mixed on Friday. The S&P 500 rose 0.7 percent to extend its gain for the week to 4.1 percent, the best since January 2013. However, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.3 percent to trim its weekly gain to 2.7 percent, still the best this year. Economic data on Friday were also mixed. The UK economy decelerated in the third quarter, growing by 0.7 percent compared with 0.9 percent in the second quarter. The services industry grew 0.7 percent in the third quarter, down from 1.1 percent in the previous quarter, while manufacturing output grew 0.4 percent, down from 0.5 percent. In the US, new home sales rose 0.2 percent in September but data for prior months were revised down. The median sales prices fell 4 percent in September from a year ago, the first decline since...more

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    Looking for Introductory Materials on Austrian Business Cycle Theory?

    Michael Pollaro, Mark Thornton, and I went looking for some good introductory materials to help newcomers understand Austrian Business Cycle Theory. Pollaro posted this helpful article over at Forbes, noting: Indeed, we would say that without ABCT investors are at a competitive disadvantage, for it is only through ABCT that one can truly understand what is underpinning the economies and financial markets of today. And he links to several resources including this journal article by Joseph Salerno, and this very easy breakdown by John Cochran. There are many other resources, Mark and I might point you to as well. For starters, there is Rothbard’s Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure, and Richard Ebeling’s collection of essays, including works by Hayek,...more

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  • DealBook

    Roku, Video Streaming Service, Is Said to Consider I.P.O.

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  • Dealbreaker

    Write-Offs: 10.24.14

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  • DealBook

    Weekend Reading: Watching Europe’s Bank Stress Tests

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  • Real Time Economics

    5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

    The main event next week will be the Federal Reserve policy meeting, when it is widely expected that the Fed will announce the end of bond-buying.

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  • Dealbreaker

    JPMorgan Tried To Find A Legal Way To Hire Chinese Powerbrokers’ Children

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  • Dealbreaker

    Lucrative Sinecure Just Can’t Compete With Screwing With Bill Ackman

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  • Real Time Economics

    The U.S. Housing Market in 10 Charts

    How’s the housing market doing? The answer is that it depends on your time frame. Looking back against 2011, when prices and sales hit bottom, the market is clearly improved. Compared with last year, the pace of sales gains have slowed, but they’re not getting dramatically worse, either. Prices are up around 5%, slower than the year before but enough to quiet fears of a new bubble. Sales are flat to down. Ten charts help provide some context to the housing figures for home sales, construction, inventory and prices that are reported every month. Think of it as a report card, one that’ll be updated regularly with each new data point. ...more

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  • FT Alphaville

    When will the SNB end FX intervention and start raising rates?

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    Why Money Doesn’t Measure Value

    Mises Daily Friday by Robert Murphy: Robert Murphy, contra Real Clear Markets and Forbes, explains why money is not like a ruler and doesn’t measure value.  

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  • Real Time Economics

    5 Ways Falling Oil Prices Are Helping the Economic Numbers

    Dropping energy prices—a big positive for the economy—are filtering through recent economic data. Here are five ways gasoline prices have been a factor in recent reports.

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Confidence to spend

    This slide is from Mario Draghi’s presentation to the European Union council today. As the caption states, he says it shows that investment is suffering from a lack of confidence. But it perhaps more clearly shows that private investment has suffered as public investment has been slashed. And public investment is nothing to do with mercurial confidence — it’s something governments control! A “you first” approach to investment is not going to get us very far. ...more

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Friday links: personalizing the market

    Quote of the day Ben Carlson, “When you personalize the market, you fall into the trap of trying to be right rather than trying to make money.”  (A Wealth of Common Sense) Chart of the day If you blinked, you missed the junk bond rebound.  (Income Investing, Lex) Strategy Ten lessons learned from Shelby Davis.  (Novel Investor) Don’t buy expensive stocks.  (Millennial Invest) The eternal struggle: mean reversion vs. momentum.  (Adam Grimes) Even institutional investors can’t help but chase returns.  (Larry Swedroe) Amazon Amazon ($AMZN) is testing investors’ patience.  (Quartz, NYTimes) Is it time to break-up Amazon?  (Medium) Companies Procter & Gamble ($PG) is getting out of the Duracell battery business.  (Bloomberg, WSJ) W...more

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    Patrick Barron: The End of the US Dollar Imperium

    Jeff Deist and Patrick Barron address the issue of monetary imperialism. How does the US use the dollar as a weapon of economic and cultural power? How long can it last? What might the unprecedented collapse of a worldwide reserve currency look like? And how do the BRIC nations and Asian central banks fight back? Patrick Barron is a private consultant in the banking industry. He teaches in the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and teaches Austrian economics at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, where he lives with his wife of 40 years. Also available at Stitcher and Mises.org. ...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    The myth of buying a home and staying put: Tiny home in Pasadena reaching peak prices as square footage decreases.

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  • FT Alphaville

    Now showing: last ever episode of Barroso TV

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  • FT Alphaville

    The case for quotas in the British judiciary

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  • footnoted*

    What’s $8m to Google?

    For most of us, $8 million is a lot of money. But for a company the size of Google, it’s probably safe to say that it’s the equivalent of sofa change. Still, even we were surprised by this exhibit attached to the 10-Q that Google filed yesterday. In the letter, which was dated July 18, 2014, Google agreed to forgive an $8m cash award that former Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora was supposed to pay back within 30 days if he left the company prior to April 25, 2015. The condition was spelled out pretty clearly in this letter dated April 27, 2012. In that letter, the company said it made the $8m award to Arora “after discussion with Nikesh and in light of his personal circumstances”. Arora’s last day at the company was Sept. 7, which seems to i...more

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Podcast Friday: ballooning fees

    Every week brings a slew of new podcasts and videos. Meb Faber argues that podcasts are the perfect medium for discussions about finance and investing. You can also check out last week’s links. Tell us if there is anything we missed. Enjoy! Zack Miller talks with Chris Costello, CEO of Blooom, about investing your 401(k).  (Tradestreaming podcast) Barry Ritholtz talks with Jim Bianco of Bianco Research.  (Big Picture) An interview with Charley Ellis about the downside of ballooning manager fees.  (Enterprising Investor) Passive investing is a powerful strategy but requires discipline to succeed.  (Sensible Investing) Lessons from the CEO of Sonos, John MacFarlane, on how to build a hardware company.  (GigaOM) Marc Andreessen talks with Peter Thiel author of Zero...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    US Equity Sectors Review | 24 Oct 2014

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Initial Guidance | 24 October 2014

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Markets rally amid positive economic data

    Markets resumed their rally on Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 1.2 percent and the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.7 percent. The US 10-year Treasury yield rose six basis points to 2.27 percent. Oil and copper also rose. Positive economic data on Thursday helped boost markets. In the US, Markit's preliminary manufacturing PMI for October showed a fall to 56.2 in from 57.5 in September but remained well in expansion territory while the Chicago Federal Reserve's national activity index jumped to +0.47 in September from -0.25 in August. US economic growth is likely to be maintained after the Conference Board's US index of leading indicators rose 0.8 percent in September. Economic data for the euro area on Thursday were also positive. Markit's preliminary composite PMI for the region f...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Hedge Funds and Position Crowding

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  • DRS » Blog

    The LIBOR of a thousand faces

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  • DRS » Blog

    The LIBOR of a thousand faces

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  • The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

    The Butterfly Machine

    Photo Credit: whologwhy || Danger: Butterfly at work!There’s a phenomenon called the Butterfly Effect.  One common quotation is “It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.”Today I am here to tell you that for that to be true, the entire world would have to be engineered to allow the butterfly to do that.  The original insight regarding how small changes to complex systems occurred as a result of changing a parameter by a little less than one ten-thousandth.  Well, the force of a butterfly and that of a large storm are different by a much larger margin, and the distances around the world contain many effects that dampen any action — even if the win...more

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  • Macro Man

    If I Could Turn Back Time

    So is this A-B-C or 1-2-3?   Inquiring minds want to know.  While the recent SPX rally provided quite a bit of overlap with waypoints from the downdraft, suggesting that recent weakness was indeed corrective, other indices have not.   The jury, therefore, is still out, as yesterday's price action indicated.The slightly-below-expectation CPI print was presumably enough to raise the hackles of at least a few deflationistas, but really, in the grand scheme of things, it's merely trading water in the range of the past couple of years.In fact, Macro Man was rather interested to observe that in the latest edition of the Financial Crisis Observatory's quarterly Cockpit publication, they identified several negative bubbles in commodity markets, as well ...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    November Vote: Do the Swiss Believe in Gold?

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Stocks mixed as US inflation stays muted, Japan's trade deficit widens

    Stocks were mixed on Wednesday. The S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent but the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.7 percent. Helping to boost markets on Wednesday were continued reports of the European Central Bank buying bonds, this time Spanish covered bonds, after reportedly having bought French and Portuguese securities earlier this week. The Federal Reserve may also be able to continue to support markets with monetary stimulus after US consumer prices rose just 0.1 percent in September. Meanwhile, though, the Bank of Japan's monetary policy has apparently helped push down the yen without helping Japan's trade balance. Japan's trade deficit rose 1.6 percent in September from the previous year. While exports rose 6.9 percent, imports also rose by 6.2 percent....more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Hedge Funds: Good Run for India, but Troubles in Brazil

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Time to make it easier for people to get loans with lower credit and lower down payments: FHFA looking seriously at making it easier for cash strapped Americans to take on mortgages.

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  • Macro Man

    A Hobbesian correction?

    So now that the dust has settled (if only for the time being), what are we to make of it all?  Is there another sting in the tail for equities, or was this merely a Hobbesian correction (e.g., nasty, brutish, and short)?We may find out soon enough.  A few short days after the market was in abject panic, and we're already at the tell-tale 1900-1905 region on Spooz.  As a refresher, this is not only the region of the 200 day moving average (a break of which saw the downtrade accelerate), but also a level that has prompted a reaction on previous visits as well.Gun to the head, Macro Man would take the side of the market resolving higher over the next month or so.   While it's true that VIX has already fallen very sharply since it touched 30 (an "ol...more

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Does The Secular Stagnation Theory Have Any Sort of Validity?

    In a number of blog-posts (Paul Krugman’s Bicycling Problem, On Bubble Business Bound, The Expectations Fairy) I have examined some of the implications of the theory of secular stagnation. But I haven’t up to now argued why I think the hypothesis that Japan and some parts of Europe are suffering from some kind of secular stagnation could well be a valid one. Strangely, while I would suggest the most obviously affected countries are those mentioned above, most of the debate has centered around the US economy. Since it is not at all clear that the US economy is actually suffering from either a liquidity trap or secular stagnation at this point, this has lead many to question whether the idea might not be ill-founded. The Economist, for example, in a revue arti...more

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  • Ticker Sense

    October 20th 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 (-)... ...more

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    Don't Blame IBM. Blame Wall Street

     Well the biggest stock-market levitation act since HP under Mark Hurd is going the way of all levitation acts: IBM is throwing in the towel on its $20 EPS "roadmap" (reportedly mocked as "roadkill" in some internal IBM quarters) and admitting what anybody with a calculator and the IBM 10Ks before them has understood for some time--it is exceedingly difficult to grow earnings regularly, not to mention with to-the-penny precision, when your sales are falling, hard, nearly everywhere, quarter after quarter...no matter how many people you lay off, how many "one-time" charges you take, how many lagging businesses you sell at fire-sale prices, how many shares you buy back at whatever price, or how often you try to direct the gaze of Wall Street's Finest to shiny ne...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Rental fury: The trend for renting continues to grow stronger. Housing starts jump largely on the back of multi-family housing starts.

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    Janet Yellen, are you really so unaware you are also one of the equal opportunities killers?

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Open Letter to the Economist on Catalonia – J’accuse

    Those who have interest in neither Catalonia nor the issue of journalistic standards will probably find this posting long, tedious, and not especially interesting. Perhaps you might like to stop at this point. Those of you who are interested in one or other of these, well, I invite you to read on…..  To The Editors Of The Economist I am writing this missive addressed to you as I am outraged, nay scandalized, by the level of your reporting on the Catalan question. The source of my discontent are two recent pieces – both signed by one GT – the first of which appeared on the Charlemagne Blog (Getting to “sí”, 19 September 2014), while the second was published under the rubric The Economist Explains (Catalonia’s independence movement,14 Octobe...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    New Residential Construction Report: September 2014

    Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed mixed results with total permit activity and total start activity improving while single family permit activity declined since August.Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, declined 0.5% from August to 624K single family units (SAAR), but increased 1.1% above the level seen in September 2013 and still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005. ...more

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  • The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

    Meeting the “Bond King”

    Photo Credit: ~Sage~ || King of the Beasts, eh?It was winter in early 1995, and I was wondering if I still had a business selling Guaranteed Investment Contracts [GICs].  Confederation Life had gone insolvent the August prior, and I noticed that fewer and fewer stable value funds wanted to purchase my GICs, because our firm was small, and as such, did not get a good credit rating, despite excellent credit metrics.  The lack of a good rating kept buyers away.Still, I felt I needed to try my best for one more year or so, despite my feelings that the business was dying soon.  With that attitude, I headed off in January to sunny Southern California, to attend GICs ’95, something my opposite number at AIG referred to as a Schmoozathon.Schmoozathon?  Well, you too...more

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  • VIX and More

    Fear Poll: Fed/QE, Ebola and Technicals Top Worry List

    Stocks may be in the process of putting in a bottom, but with the VIX hitting 31.06 yesterday at the same time VIX futures were setting new volume records, investor fear and anxiety is as high as it has been since the 2011 European sovereign debt crisis. As the VIX and More Fear Poll results reflect, the current situation is particularly difficult for investors to grapple with because there is so much disagreement about what the biggest worry is and how some of these fears may be connected. In the chart below, I have summarized the almost 400 votes from some 35 countries, with the U.S. accounting for 65% of all respondents. It is worth noting that the responses appear to be somewhat headline driven, as yesterday Ebola topped the list of worries, only to be supplanted...more

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  • Macro Man

    A Fed poll

    Well, that was...exciting.  The long-awaited return of volatility has arrived with quite a fanfare (or is that a requiem?), with yesterday's whip-saw price action unlike anything observed since the US downgrade furore in 2011.How crazy was it?  Macro Man got one of those "eurodollars screaming higher, no offers in sight" texts from one of his brokers yesterday morning, even though neither of us are currently in a seat.   One can only presume that plenty of punters who are in seats got similar messages, if not shoulder taps from risk managers.Indeed, the late-session selling that has characterized so much of this "meltdown" in stocks is highly symptomatic of both margin call-related selling and rebalancing from the uber-leveraged-ETF-that-separates-th...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    No, You Can’t Get a Drink at 5 AM

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  • DRS » Blog

    The Extraterrestrial nature of the Extraterritoriality rules

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  • DRS » Blog

    The Extraterrestrial nature of the Extraterritoriality rules

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  • The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

    Mantra: Interest Rates Have to Rise, Interest Rates Have to…

    Photo Credit: Beto Vilaboim || No, you are not crazy — it *is* hopelessI thought of structuring this post like a fictional story, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it good enough for publication.  Well, truth is often stranger than fiction, so have a look at this Bloomberg article pointing at a 37% loss in the ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT).A few points to start with: shorting is hard.  Leveraged shorting is harder.  I think I have reasonable expertise in much though not all of investing, and I put most shorts in the “too hard pile.”That said, I have taken issue with the “interest rates can only go up” trade for 8-9 years now.  It is not a major theme of mine, but I remember a disagreement that I had with Cramer...more

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    How could our bank regulators have fallen for our bankers’ so childish and selfish arguments?

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  • VIX and More

    VIX and More Fear Poll

    Which of the following makes you most fearful, anxious or uncertain about the stock market?

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  • DRS » Blog

    UK-US bigwigs meet for G-SIB resolution

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  • DRS » Blog

    UK-US bigwigs meet for G-SIB resolution

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Retail Sales: September 2014

    Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest nominal read of retail sales showing mixed results in September with sales dropping 0.3% from August but rising 4.3% on a year-over-year basis on an aggregate of all items including food, fuel and healthcare services. Nominal "discretionary" retail sales including home furnishings, home garden and building materials, consumer electronics and department store sales declined slightly, falling 0.14% from August but rising 2.16% above the level seen in September 2013 while, adjusting for inflation, “real” discretionary retail sales declined 0.38% on the month but rising 0.33% since September 2013. ...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – October 15 2014

    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications. The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases. The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) decreased 9 basis points to 4.08% since last week while the purchase application volume decreased 1% and the refinance application volume ...more

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    Why Europe should be scared having the ECB, under Mario Draghi, being the supervisor of its 120 most significant banks.

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    About $7500 raised thus far for Standish-Minsky

    Russell Standish asked me to thank those who have donated to keep him available for the Minsky project: A total of about $7500 has been raised to date. I have set up the payments now so that they go straight to Russell’s PayPal account. One user did ask about alternative payment methods; Russell’s comment was that bank fees make a direct bank account transfer only worthwhile either for an Australian donation, or for a very large sum from a non-Australian bank account. I am continuing to explore other potential funding options–and there are a couple of promising leads. But until they come through, continuing support from the community would be most welcome. ...more

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  • VIX and More

    Largest SPX Pullback of 2014 Hits 6.4%

    Every time there is a pullback, it seems as if I receive multiple requests for an updated version of the table below. With the S&P 500 index reeling and still trying to find a bottom, this looks like a good time to put the current pullback in the context of the 27 most significant peak-to-trough declines from new highs since the SPX bottomed in March 2009. Note that the current 6.4% decline from the September 19th high of 2019 is roughly average in terms of duration, but makes it the second largest pullback in percentage terms since 2012, just eclipsing the January-February 2014 pullback, when emerging markets (EEM) and Crimea were weighing heavily on the minds of investors. Keep in mind that as ugly has things have been in the SPX, the Russell 2000 small cap inde...more

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  • Ticker Sense

    October 13th 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 (-)... ...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    September 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • footnoted*

    GT Technologies warned in August

    There’s been a lot of hand-wringing over the past few days about GT Technologies, which as most people know, filed for bankruptcy earlier this week. In the press release, CEO Tom Guttierez said that “today’s filing does not mean we are going out of business; rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet.” Investors didn’t quite see things that way. The stock declined over 90% on Monday and has spent the past few days gyrating wildly (up about 50% on Tuesday, down 40% so far on Friday). What’s really interesting here are the number of people who have expressed shock — shock — over what...more

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  • Emerging markets

    Malaysia mega-merger seeks central-bank approval

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

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

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  • Emerging markets

    IMF struggles for relevance

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Cultural Capture and the Financial Crisis

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  • Emerging markets

    Asian bankers bathe in Alibaba afterglow

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  • Ticker Sense

    October 6th 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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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    $1700 raised for Standish-Minsky so far

    Thanks to all those who have chipped in to help keep Russell Standish available for coding Minsky. The proverbial person with deep pockets hasn’t yet materialized, but about 25 people with shallower ones but generous souls have chipped in a total of just under $2000. Keep Russell Standish on the Minsky ProjectLevel 1 - $10Level 2 - $50Level 3 - $100Level 4 - $500Level 5 - $1000Level 6 - $5000Other Amount: Your Email Address (and comment if you wish to add one) : I’ve now altered the Paypal link on my site so that the payments go directly to Russell’s Paypal account. Please keep the donations coming, and encourage others to help out as well. ...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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    August 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • A Dash of Insight

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

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

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  • A Dash of Insight

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

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

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  • A Dash of Insight

    The Sound of Silence

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

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  • Felix Salmon

    Post Felix

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

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  • Felix Salmon

    The Piketty pessimist

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

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  • Economix

    Economix Meets the Gales of Change

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  • Economix

    Economix Meets the Gales of Change

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  • Felix Salmon

    The most expensive lottery ticket in the world

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

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  • Economix

    Mortgage Reform Is Worth the Small Extra Cost to Borrowers

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  • Economix

    Mortgage Reform Is Worth the Small Extra Cost to Borrowers

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  • Economix

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

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  • Economix

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

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  • 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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  • 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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