EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    Finance & Markets

  • DealBook

    Goldman to Pay $3.15 Billion to Settle Mortgage Claims

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  • DealBook

    Valeant and Pershing Square Say They Have Votes for Special Meeting of Botox Maker Allergan

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  • Real Time Economics

    BOJ’s Kuroda Sees Pickup in Global Growth, Japanese Exports

    Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks with the media during the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium at the Jackson Lake Lodge on Friday. AP   The Bank of Japan is sticking to its expectation of an improving domestic economy and gradually rising inflation fueled by its current policies, despite growing skepticism among private analysts about the health of the recovery and the adequacy of the central bank’s efforts. “We at the Bank of Japan do not think it is necessary to change our economic forecast for coming years,” Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda told reporters Friday on the sidelines of the Kansas City Fed’s conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., even though exports have stalled of late and the economy stumbled more than expected in the second quarter after...more

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  • Real Time Economics

    Fed’s Lockhart: Unemployment Rate Overstates Degree of Job Market Progress

    The Federal Reserve can likely wait until the middle of 2015 to begin raising interest rates from rock-bottom lows, given a job market that still shows signs of weakness and inflation that remains below central bank’s 2% target, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said. Mr. Lockhart, in an interview Friday with The Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of the Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole conference, said he remains fairly optimistic about the economy’s growth prospects. He thinks U.S. gross domestic product will average around a 3% annual rate coming quarters. Still, addressing a key topic of the conference, Mr. Lockhart added that he still saw plenty of slack or unused capacity in the job market, meaning plenty of workers are not being employed to their fulles...more

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  • Dealbreaker

    Write-Offs: 08.22.14

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    State Monopolists Don’t Work for You

    I see that some people have become a bit upset with how the police are conducting themselves recently. They declare that the police need to be reminded that “they work for us, not the other way around.” This statement expresses an utterly naive and untutored idea. The police don’t work for us, if by “us” we mean you, me, and at least 95 percent of the rest of the population. On the contrary: we work for them, literally; we work to earn money and acquire wealth that they take forcibly from us for their own support, either by taxation or by outright confiscation (civil forfeiture). The cops don’t work for us; they never worked for us. They work now, as they have always worked, for the government, which is to say, for the small part of ...more

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  • DealBook

    Online Broker Offers Investments in Would-Be Inversion Targets

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  • The Big Picture

    Succinct Summation of Week’s Events 8.22.14

    Succinct Summations week ending August 22nd Positives: 1. S&P 500 made a new all-time high. 2. Existing homes sales increased to 2.4%, the biggest increase in almost a year. 3. Housing starts exploded 15.7% m/o/m, the fastest pace in 8 months. 4. Jobless claims fell to 298k vs the 303k expected and down from 311k last week. 5. Philly Fed index jumped to 28 from 23.9, the highest reading since March 2011. 6. CPI rose 0.1% m/o/m and 2% y/o/y. 7. Housing permits for new construction climbed 8.1%; Permits for single-family homes climbed 0.9%, the highest level since December. 8. NAHB confidence rose 2 points to 55 (analysts expected no change). 9. Markit flash PMI rose to 58, the highest reading since April 2010. 10.  Japanese exports rose 3.9%, slightly better than ex...more

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    The Mythical “Wealth Effect”

    Seeking Alpha has a nice article debunking the tired “wealth effect” concept. We see this phony phrase trotted out endlessly, but it’s helpful to understand it as combining both Keynesian and Monetarist elements: Higher equity prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can spur spending. — Ben Bernanke, 2010 Across all financial media, between both political parties, and among most mainstream economists, the “wealth effect” is noted, promoted, and touted. The refrain is constant and the message seemingly simple: by increasing people wealth through rising stock and housing prices, the populace will increase their consumer spending which will spur economic growth. Its acceptance is as widespread as its justification ...more

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  • Real Time Economics

    Report: The Rising—and Falling—Stars of Global Manufacturing

    It is no secret rising labor and other costs have hampered what was once China’s unstoppable drive to make every widget the world could ever use. But that is only one part of a larger reshuffling taking place in global manufacturing. According to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group—which for several years has tracked the competitiveness of global producers—the old assumptions of low cost versus high-cost regions is outdated. That view held large swaths of the globe, mainly in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, held an unbeatable cost advantage over richer, established economies. But no more, says BCG. “The new map increasingly resembles a quilt-work pattern of low-cost economies, high-cost economies, and many that fall in between, spanning all reg...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    ECB's Draghi: Unemployment in the euro area

    From ECB President Mario Draghi at Jackson Hole: Unemployment in the euro areaNo one in society remains untouched by a situation of high unemployment. For the unemployed themselves, it is often a tragedy which has lasting effects on their lifetime income. For those in work, it raises job insecurity and undermines social cohesion. For governments, it weighs on public finances and harms election prospects. And unemployment is at the heart of the macro dynamics that shape short- and medium-term inflation, meaning it also affects central banks. Indeed, even when there are no risks to price stability, but unemployment is high and social cohesion at threat, pressure on the central bank to respond invariably increases.1. The causes of unemployment in the euro area The key issu...more

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  • FT Alphaville

    Draghi’s speech at Jackson Hole

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  • The Mises Economics Blog: The Circle Bastiat

    How to Help the Mises Institute on Facebook

    As you probably know, Facebook is constantly changing its methods of deciding which posts you see and which you don’t see. Privacy settings change constantly as do settings for your news feed. It difficult to say exactly how these changes affect the number of people who see our Mises Institute Facebook posts, but you can help us extend our reach and the number of posts you see from us. A little known fact is that Ludwig von Mises himself pioneered the “thumbs up” gesture (see photo below), which was in turn adopted by hard-core Misesian Mark Zuckerberg for use on Facebook. Well, that remains unconfirmed, but what is definitely true is that one of the easiest things you can do to make sure more people see our posts is to simply like and share our posts ...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Enjoy Your Weekend Reading on the CAPE

    In our discussion of Mr. Market, we made passing reference yesterday to CAPE, Yale professor Robert Shiller’s 10-year cyclically adjusted price-earnings measure. This led to quite a conversation via a series of e-mails and Twitter posts from an assortment of analysts and asset managers. I received research from or by Cliff Asness, Michael Kitces, Mebane Faber, Jeremy Siegel, Salil Mehta, Stephen E. Wilcox, Doug Short, Wade Slome, Erik Kobayashi-Solomon, Ben Carlson and Jesse Livermore. If you want a crash course in CAPE, spend the weekend digesting what they have to say. Today, I want to focus on the pros and cons of CAPE, giving airtime to all sides of the argument. My main interest in CAPE has more to do with behavioral issues such as confirmation bias by those who ...more

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  • Dealbreaker

    Bonus Watch ’14: Citi Mistmakers

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  • Calculated Risk

    ATA Trucking Index increased 1.3% in July

    Here is a minor indicator that I follow, from ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 1.3% in JulyAmerican Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 1.3% in July, following a decrease of 0.8% the previous month. In July, the index equaled 130.2 (2000=100) versus 128.6 in June. The index is off just 0.6% from the all-time high in November 2013 (131.0). Compared with July 2013, the SA index increased 3.6%, up from June’s 2.3% year-over-year gain. The latest year-over-year increase was the largest in three months. ...“After a surprising decrease in June, tonnage really snapped back in July,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “This gain fits more with the anecdotal reports we are hearing from motor carriers that frei...more

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  • FT Alphaville

    Janet Yellen’s Rorschach speech

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  • The Big Picture

    Weekendend Homework: Sources & Research on Shiller’s CAPE

    I have a fairly long piece coming out looking at CAPE, but for those of you interested, here are the research and resources I used: Fixing the Shiller CAPE: Accounting, Dividends, and the Permanently High Plateau   PHILOSOPHICAL ECONOMICS December 13, 2013 @Jesse_Livermore An Old Friend: The Stock Market’s Shiller P/E, Clifford S. Asness, Ph.D., AQR’s Absolute Return Fund. Q3 2012 letter CAPE and math Salil Mehta, Statistical Ideas, August 20, 2014 Shiller CAPE Market Valuation: Terrible For Market Timing, But Valuable For Long-Term Retirement Planning Michael Kitces, August 6th, 2014 If You Used Valuation, You Would Be Out of Stocks Since 1993, Mebane Faber Research, June 10th, 2014 Don’t put faith in Cape crusaders Jeremy Siegel FT, August 19, 2013 Leaving CAP...more

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  • Dealbreaker

    Russian Imperialism No Threat Compared To Scottish Nationalism

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Friday links: talented graduates

    On the bookshelf: Deep Value: Why Activist Investors and Other Contrarians Battle for Control of Losing Corporations Corporations by Tobias Carlisle. Felix Salmon, “No longer is being an investment banker seen as the best way for a young, talented graduate to make lots of money and achieve great worldly success. Smart kids are moving to San Francisco rather than New York or London.  (FT) Signs of an overheated market.  (The Fat Pitch, Ryan Detrick) Valuation is not a timing tool.  (Barry Ritholtz) On the dangers of outsourcing your market insights.  (TraderFeed) Can momentum be arbitraged away?  (Systematic Relative Strength) Three keys to investing in energy stocks.  (Millenial Invest) Every investor needs a pit crew.  (StockCharts Blog) Silicon valley is ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased 0.9% year-over-year in May

    The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:Travel on all roads and streets changed by +0.9 (2.4 billion vehicle miles) for May 2014 as compared with May 2013. Travel for the month is estimated to be 264.2 billion vehicle miles.Cumulative Travel for 2014 changed by +0.2 (2.9 billion vehicle miles).The following graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven. The rolling 12 month total is still mostly moving sideways ... Click on graph for larger image.In the early '80s, miles driven (rolling 12 months) stayed below the previous peak for 39 months. Currently miles driven has been below the previous peak for 78 months - 6 1/2 years - and still counting.  Currently miles driven (rolling 12 months) are about 2.2% below the previous peak.The secon...more

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  • Macro Man

    Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

    In her Jackson Hole speech today, Janet Yellen released a technical note detailing the construction of the Fed's new labor market conditions index (LMCI), which she cited as among the reasons to maintain an exceptionally accommodative monetary policy.She failed to cite the fact that the index has enjoyed its longest uninterrupted string of quarterly gains in the nearly 40-year history of the indicator, a period which includes a labour market downdraft every bit as vicious as that of the Great Recession.source:  http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/notes/feds-notes/2014/assessing-the-change-in-labor-market-conditions-20140522.htmlMoreover, she also fails to note that the cumulative improvement in the index has taken it to levels at which virtually every prior t...more

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  • Abnormal Returns

    App apathy

    Earlier this week we wrote about the state of the app economy and the idea of how bundling and unbundling help define how software has progressed over time. Not only on the smartphone but on the PC before. Some additional data help demonstrate how the app economy has become somewhat satiated, or some might say stagnant over time. Dan Frommer at Quartz citing a comScore report notes that nearly two-thirds of smartphone users don’t download any new applications in a month. There are a number of explanations for this but it may simply be the case that most users have their needs met by the most used apps. Frommer writes: One possible explanation is that people just don’t need that many apps, and the apps people already have are more than suitable for most function...more

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  • FT Alphaville

    Janet Yellen’s speech at Jackson Hole

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Index: July 2014 Preview

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Strange Bedfellows: A Stronger Economy & Lower Yields

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    Bank regulators hate me when I ask this simple question. They refuse to answer it. They can’t! That’s the real problem!

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  • naked capitalism

    Link 8/22/14

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  • naked capitalism

    New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, the Whale Oil Blog, and International Organized Crime

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    The Market Feels A Bit Surreal Again

    It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Only 95 African-American couples or families applied for home-purchase mortgages in all of Multnomah County in 2012, a paltry 1.5 percent of the total, according to federal data. Six years earlier, before the housing bubble popped, 575 black families or individuals applied for home-purchase loans in the county. African-American families are losing a time-tested way to stabilize their finances while building assets for retirement or economic and social advancement, says Tom Cusack, a retired federal housing official. ‘What are you going to do to accumulate wealth?’ Cusack wonders. ‘You’re not going to get rich or pass along money by putting money into a 1 percent CD.’” “As...more

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  • DRS » Blog

    2014 Credit Derivatives Definitions Protocol out of the gates

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  • DRS » Blog

    2014 Credit Derivatives Definitions Protocol out of the gates

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for August 22, 2014

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

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  • naked capitalism

    Philip Pilkington: Economists – An Anthropological View

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  • The Aleph Blog

    Book Review: Investor Behavior

    Ordinarily, I read all of the books that I review, but when I don’t, I tell my readers. This book I started to read, but I found it so dry that I started skimming it. It̵7;s not that I don’t know the material; it is that I do know it.The book covers most areas of behavioral finance, however, it does it in an academic way.  The book would be ideal for academics and those that appreciate an academic approach to finance, that want to have a taste of many different areas of behavioral finance.There are more engaging books for practitioners and average investors to read — you would even do better reading articles like this from a leading blogger.  (Those at Amazon, please come to Aleph Blog if you want the links.)Summary When I review books, I try to...more

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    S&P 500 makes new record high amid positive US economic data

    The S&P 500 made a new record high on Thursday, rising 0.3 percent to 1,992.37. Positive US economic data on Thursday helped boost stocks. Existing home sales rose 2.4 percent in July, initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 14,000 to 298,000 last week, Markit's preliminary US manufacturing PMI rose to 58.0 in August from 55.8 in July and the Conference Board's leading economic index increased 0.9 percent last month. There were also positive economic data from Japan on Thursday, where the preliminary reading of the Markit/JMMA manufacturing PMI showed a rise to 52.4 in August from 50.5 in July. However, in the euro area, Markit's composite PMI fell to 52.8 in August from 53.8 in July based on a preliminary reading, and the European Commission's consumer conf...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Death of the Dollar: Consequences Worldwide

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    US Congress, you are the legislators, so who of you ordered the banks in the home of the brave to become risk adverse?

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Thursday links: investing favors

    Quote of the day David Merkel, “Like any other thing in investing, no one is out to do you a favor. New stock tends to be offered at a time when valuations are high, and companies tend to be taken private when valuations are low.”  (Aleph Blog) Chart of the day Asset class returns: nobody knows nothing.  (Barry Ritholtz, Novel Investor) Quant Just because the $VIX is low (or high) does not mean it is a buy (or sell).  (Volatility Made Simple) On the advantages of mechanical trading strategies.  (Quantified Strategies via @Whole StreetRT) What does the first half hour trading tell us about end of day trading.  (Alpha Architect) Strategy Why it would be a mistake to trade like George Soros.  (Brian Lund) Warren Buffett is hoarding cash. Why aren’t...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Real Homes of Genius: A search for small homes in Culver City. High prices for 700 and 800 square feet of stucco box joy.

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  • DRS » Blog

    CFTC- what animal are you?

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  • DRS » Blog

    CFTC- what animal are you?

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Jobless Claims Still Trending Lower

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for August 21, 2014

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

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  • The Aleph Blog

    The Victors Write the History Books, Even in Finance

      “It ain’t what you don’t know that hurts you, it’s what you know that ain’t so.” (Attributed to Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Satchel Paige, Charles Farrar Browne, Josh Billings, and a number of others)A lot of what passes for investment knowledge is history-dependent, and may not serve us well in the future.  Further, a certain amount of it is misinterpreted, or, those writing about it, even really bright people, don’t understand the hidden assumptions that they are making.  I’m going to clarify this by commenting on three graphs that I have seen recently — two that I think deceive, and one that I think is accurate.  Let’s start with one of the two, which come from this article at AAII, interviewing Jeremy Siegel: L...more

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Japanese exports rise

    A report on Wednesday showed that Japan's exports rose 3.9 percent in July from the previous year, the first increase in three months. With imports rising 2.3 percent over the same period, the trade deficit narrowed 6.6 percent from the previous year. Investors were unimpressed though. The Japanese stock market was essentially flat on Wednesday as the Nikkei 225 eked out a 0.03 percent rise. Nevertheless, that enabled the index to extend its rally to eight days, its longest since last December....more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Eurekahedge: Europe-Focused Managers Took Hits in July

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – August 20 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 6 basis points to 4.15% since last week while the purchase application volume decreased 0.4% and the refinance application volum...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Homebuilder Blues: NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Ratings August 2014

    Recently, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that assessments of housing activity improved notably in August with the composite HMI index climbing to 55 from 53 the prior month while the "buyer traffic" index rose to a level of 42.Looking at the data, its pretty clear that while there was a bit of a pullback in activity earlier in the year, homebuilder sentiment and, in particular, assessments of buyer activity have improved. ...more

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  • The Aleph Blog

    Ranking P&C Reserving Conservatism

    About 1 1/2 years ago, I wrote a seven-part series on investing in insurance stocks.  It is still a good series, and worthy of your time, because there aren’t *that* many writers freely available on the topic.This particular article deals expands on part 4 of that series, which deals with insurance reserving.  I wanted to do this at the time, but I was short on time, and wrote out the general theory there, while not actually doing the time-consuming job of ranking the conservativeness of P&C insurers reserving practices.Let me quote the two most important sections from part 4: When an insurance policy is written, the insurer does not know the true cost of the liability that it has incurred; that will only be known over time.Now the actuaries inside the ...more

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  • Macro Man

    The impossible trinity?

    Just ahead of the week's big Fed events, and with the sour taste of the BOE's zigging and zagging left in the mouth, Macro Man cannot help but observe an unusual confluence of curious market pricing.  To wit, the SPX is near all time highs, while both bond prices and the DXY have also performed very strongly.Economists are familiar with the term "impossible trinity", referring to the fact that a nation cannot have an open capital account, an independent sovereign monetary policy, and a fixed exchange rate simultaneously.   You can try, of course, but it always ends in tears (see Asia, 1997-98.)In any event, since the advent of the euro as a credible alternative to the dollar as a reserve currency, in market terms it has been something of an impossible tri...more

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Stocks rise as US housing starts rebound, inflation slows

    Stocks rose on Tuesday. The S&P 500 climbed 0.5 percent while the STOXX Europe 600 gained 0.6 percent. The US dollar rose 0.3 percent against the euro as well as the yen. Markets were boosted by better US economic data on Tuesday. US housing starts rebounded in July, surging by 15.7 percent after falling in the previous two months. Building permits jumped 8.1 percent last month. Meanwhile, US inflation slowed in July. Consumer prices rose 0.1 percent last month, down from 0.3 percent in June. Data from the UK on Tuesday showed that inflation there fell even more sharply in July. The inflation rate fell to 1.6 percent last month from 1.9 percent in June after consumer prices fell 0.3 percent in July. Annual house price inflation also slowed to 10.2 percent in June from 1...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Responding to a Challenging Tweet about Front-Running

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    What Is The Risk The Euro Crisis Will Reignite?

    The euro zone crisis is not back — at least not yet. Recent movements in global markets following concerns about Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo really had as much to do with market nerves after a long spell of repressed volatility as it did with the state of the bank’s balance sheet. Despite the current calm, everyone knows that volatility will return one day, and no one wants to be caught on the back foot when it does arrive. So the initial response is to hit the “sell” button and then ask questions. Beyond this context, there is a lack of certainty in the market about which way bond yields for the so-called “peripheral” euro zone countries are heading in the near term — and what exactly the risks associated with holding them really are. R...more

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  • DRS » Blog

    Clearer Prospect for Pension Funds

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  • DRS » Blog

    Clearer Prospect for Pension Funds

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Will the young buy homes? Student loans holding some young buyers back and household formation remains weak in the face of stagnant incomes.

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  • Ticker Sense

    August 18th Blogger Sentiment Poll

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

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  • footnoted*

    From $1 to $675K for new LA Times chief!

    There’s been lots written over the past few days about Austin Beutner, who was named publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times last week. In the press release, the newspaper described Beutner as an “entrepreneur, philanthropist and public servant”. The press release (and most of the subsequent press coverage including this story in the very newspaper that Beutner will be running)  noted how he famously accepted a mere $1 salary when he was named First Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles in January 2010. Given all of that Michelle, being relatively new to Los Angeles, took more than a passing interest when she came across this 8-K filed by the newly spun-off Tribune Publishing Co. in the weekly Friday Night Dump. For one, there’s the $675K in base salar...more

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  • Macro Man

    Here we go again

    So here we go again.Stocks have (probably correctly) looked through ongoing tensions in Ukraine and are within a pitching wedge of the all time highs (well, the SPX at least.) ; At the same time, fixed income markets are rowing merrily down the stream, with many bellwether Eurodollar contracts also close to the top end of the yearly range.(BBG chart courtesy of the world's most deluded fantasy soccer player.)The prices, incidentally, imply rates well below those suggested by the infamous dot scatter plots in the Fed's latest SEP- and indeed most of those before that one.This week, of course, see the release of both the July Fed minutes and the annual Jackson Hole symposium at the end of the week.  The theme for the latter, "Re-Evaluating Labor Market Dynamics" ...more

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    The Italian Runaway Train

    There has been lot’s of debate in the press and in academic circles over the last week or so about whether Italy’s latest contraction constitutes a triple dip recession or simply a continuation of what’s been going on over many many years. This is an interesting theoretical nicety, but in fact what is happening in Italy at the moment goes a lot further than problems faced by a recession dating committee. The real issue that arises in the context of the Euro Area at the moment is a far more specific one. Will the ECB do QE? And if it does when will it push the button? And what could happen if it doesn’t. Perhaps a case study of the Italian case is worth the effort here. What is likely to happen to Italian debt if there is no ECB intervention soon?...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Flippers cutting it close in Paramount and high prices in Bell: A slowdown in sales and aggressive pricing as the summer enters the final stretch.

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    No more champagne, only milk, and which sooner or later could turn sour or even dangerously spoiled

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Abenomics – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    If this week’s economics news is positive then that is good.  But if it’s bad then that’s even better, since there is more potential for it to improve next week, and if it doesn’t, well that’s doubly better since there will be  even more reason for central banks to step in and push up asset prices. Maybe all this sounds peculiar, even perverse, but it would seem to be how many people working in financial markets are reasoning these days. In an article entitled “Why Japan’s GDP Plunge Isn’t As Bad As It Seems”, Bloomberg writer Bruce Einhorn put it like this: The last time Japan raised the consumption tax, in 1997, the economy went into a tailspin. The impact doesn’t seem to be as bad this time, though. ...more

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  • footnoted*

    EZCorp: The gift that keeps on giving

    With a market cap of just over $500m, EZCorp may be one of the smaller companies whose filings we read. But over the years, it has yielded more than its share of disclosures from fat salary raises at the company to mind-boggling retirement packages for its executives, especially for its former CEO and director Joseph Rotunda. So when the pawnshop operator disclosed in a recent  8-K  that Rotunda — who announced his retirement in 2010 — is back as a director at the company, it naturally piqued our interest. And what a comeback! Rotunda, who earlier served as CEO and director for more than a decade, returns at a turbulent time for the company, which recently ousted its CEO, Paul Rothamel, and installed CFO Mark Kuchenrither as interim CEO. This morning, Kuch...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Retail Sales: July 2014

    Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest nominal read of retail sales  showing modest activity in July with sales going flat from June and rising 3.7% 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 0.1% from June but rising 1.68% above the level seen in July 2013 while, adjusting for inflation, “real” discretionary retail sales declined 0.23% on the month and falling 0.34% since July 2013. ...more

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    Considering Economics? Consider Kingston

    If you know any UK secondary school student who is considering doing economics at University, please refer them to this blog post. This Thursday, you’ll find out your A-Level results. Whatever they are, if you are considering doing an economics degree, then I want you to consider doing it at Kingston University. At first glance, that’s something you wouldn’t do if you had a choice, because Kingston rates well down the list in the Guardian League Table. Why choose Kingston—which is at the bottom of the Guardian’s list—if, for example, your A-level results would get you into Oxford, which is at the top? A clue as to why can be found in The Guardian itself—not in the League Table, but in a recent column by The Guardian’s senior economics commentator Aditya...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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  • Ticker Sense

    August 11th 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

    The truth about Australia’s unemployment rate ‘shocker’

    Hey, great news! Australia’s unemployment rate fell by 0.4 per cent last month! Did you hear? You didn’t? That’s funny. I was sure Joe would tell you. What do you mean, it rose by 0.4 per cent? Oh, you’re talking about the ABS figure! Yeah, that’s bad, but if you look at what happened to the Roy Morgan unemployment rate, the news is really good: it’s fallen from 10.6 per cent to 10.2 per cent! If this keeps up, pretty soon unemployment in Australia will be below 10 per cent! Huh? You thought it was 6.4 per cent — and that was bad? Actually, that would be really good if that were true. Herein lies the problem with spin in economic data: sometimes the spin turns your way, sometimes it doesn’t. The ABS uses the internationally sanctioned definition of u...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    July 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • footnoted*

    Walgreen’s CFOs: coming and going

    Walgreen Co., which has been engaged in a very-public soul-searching over whether it should or shouldn’t  leave the country in search of lower taxes saw its stock plunge nearly 15% plunge yesterday after it finally decided to stay put in Illinois. The news generated countless headlines (see here and here and here, for example). The 8-K providing more details was filed less than 3 minutes before the SEC closed up shop for the day on a day when around 500 8-Ks were filed. But with all of this intense interest over to invert-or-not-to-invert, another 8-K filed late Monday afternoon, seems to have largely been ignored.  That one involved details on outgoing CFO Wade Miquelon and incoming CFO Timothy McLevish. Earlier in the day on Monday, the company announced that ...more

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    Help create a graphic novel version of Debunking Economics

    Genevieve Tran, who blogs at Money Big and Small, is teaming up with graphic artist Miguel Guerra and Suzy Dias, who do the cartoons on IDEAeconomics and produce the indi-comic Super Corporate Heroes, are teaming up to produce a graphic novel version of Debunking Economics. Genevieve is putting together a video and has sent out the following call: A request to world-wide friends: if you don’t remember ever learning about important things like how banks, debt or money work (=Economics, Finance!), in high school, could I ask you to submit a video of yourself shrugging and shaking your head? It’s for a kickstarter video to learn about Economics in a non-horrible way: thru comic books! Yes, I’ll give you a first copy!  Any video quality. H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DV...more

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  • Ticker Sense

    August 4th Blogger Sentiment Poll

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

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  • Emerging markets

    How RenCap reflects Russia’s rollercoaster

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  • Emerging markets

    Intesa Sanpaolo seeks size satisfaction

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  • Emerging markets

    FX: Hungary rumbles on

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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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  • Institutional Economics

    Rent or Buy: Does it Matter?

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

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  • 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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  • The Baseline Scenario

    How to Get Thrown Out of a Luxury Hotel

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Corporate Political Contributions and Bad Faith, Whatever That Is

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

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

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

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    May 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Larry Summers and Finance

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  • A Dash of Insight

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

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

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  • A Dash of Insight

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

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

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    Berkshire Hathaway: Beyond Buffett

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

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  • A Dash of Insight

    The Sound of Silence

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

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  • VIX and More

    The Correction As Seen in the ETP Landscape

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

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  • VIX and More

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

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

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  • Felix Salmon

    Post Felix

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

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  • Felix Salmon

    The Piketty pessimist

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

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  • Economix

    Economix Meets the Gales of Change

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  • Economix

    Economix Meets the Gales of Change

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  • Felix Salmon

    The most expensive lottery ticket in the world

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

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  • Economix

    Mortgage Reform Is Worth the Small Extra Cost to Borrowers

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  • Economix

    Mortgage Reform Is Worth the Small Extra Cost to Borrowers

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  • Economix

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

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  • Economix

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

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  • VIX and More

    CBOE RMC 2014: A Retrospective

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

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    Behavioral finance and investment from Berkely

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

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

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Capital Gains And Games Now Being Published By Forbes

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Big Changes Are Coming To Capital Gains And Games

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

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

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  • The Prudent Investor

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

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

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  • The Prudent Investor

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

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

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

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

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

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

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

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

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

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

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The Oil Drum writers: Where are they now?

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    The Windy City and The Foggy City

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

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The Last Post

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The House That Randy Built

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  • Accrued Interest

    IS HALLIBURTON A BUY?

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  • Accrued Interest

    Is it Time to Sell Blackberry?

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  • Accrued Interest

    Three Oil Stocks to Consider

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  • The Street Light

    Cyprus and Eurozone Bank Deposits

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

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  • London Banker

    Chop Off Their Hands . . .

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

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  • The Street Light

    When the Fed Chair is an Academic

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

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  • London Banker

    For Want of a Nail, the Ship Was Lost

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

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  • London Banker

    Lies, Damn Lies and LIBOR

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

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  • The Street Light

    Government Job Destruction

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

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