EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    Finance & Markets

  • The Big Picture

    Amy Winehouse, Back To Black (Acoustic)

    Amy Winehouse died 4 years ago last week (July 23, 2011). She was a singular talent:  

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  • Calculated Risk

    Fannie Mae: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in June, Lowest since August 2008

    Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in June to 1.66% from 1.70% in May. The serious delinquency rate is down from 2.05% in June 2014, and this is the lowest level since August 2008. The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%.Note: These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".Click on graph for larger imageThe Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate has only fallen 0.39 percentage points over the last year - the pace of improvement has slowed - and at that pace the serious delinquency rate will not be below 1% until 2017.The "normal" serious delinquency rate is under 1%, so maybe serious delinquencies will be close to normal in 2017.  This elevat...more

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  • Dealbreaker

    A Sight For Cristina Kirchner’s Sore Eyes

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  • Calculated Risk

    Restaurant Performance Index declined in June

    Here is a minor indicator I follow from the National Restaurant Association: Dampened Outlook Causes Restaurant Performance Index Decline in JuneAs a result of a somewhat dampened outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined in June for the second consecutive month. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 102.0 in June, down 0.4 percent from May and its lowest level in nine months. Despite the decline, June represented the 28th consecutive month in which the RPI stood above 100, which signifies continued expansion in the index of key industry indicators.“Although same-store sales and customer traffic levels remain...more

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  • Real Time Economics

    5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

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  • The Big Picture

    Succinct Summation of Week Events (7.31.15)

    Succinct summations of events for the week ending July 31, 2015 Positives: 1. Durable goods increased 3.4% in June, above the 2.6% expected. 2. Case-Shiller home price index rose 4.4% y/o/y. 3. Weekly jobless claims rose to 267k off historically low levels; still very positive number. 4. July Markit services PMI rose to 55.2 from 54.8, a rebound from the lowest read since January last month. The average year to date is now 56.3 and remains below the average seen last year of 57.1. 5. Chicago PMI rose to 54.7, the highest reading since July 6. Japanese labor force participation rate rose to 60%, the most since September ’10, the size of the labor force increased by 390k and the number of employed rose by 340k. Negatives: 1. Consumer confidence came in at 90.9, a ten-...more

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  • Dealbreaker

    Would I Be Caught Dead Wearing Anything From Yanis Varoufakis’s Closet? No But That Doesn’t Make Him A Criminal: Greek Prime Minister

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  • FT Alphaville

    Some optimistic charts out of the euro area

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  • Dealbreaker

    Why Sue JPMorgan When You Can Sue JPMorgan AND Its Lawyers?

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  • naked capitalism

    2:00PM Water Cooler 7/31/15

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  • Calculated Risk

    Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in June, Lowest since November 2008

    Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in June to 1.53%, down from 1.58% in May. Freddie's rate is down from 2.07% in June 2014, and the rate in June was the lowest level since November 2008.Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%. These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".  Note: Fannie Mae will report their Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate for May later today.Click on graph for larger imageAlthough the rate is declining, the "normal" serious delinquency rate is under 1%.  The serious delinquency rate has fallen 0.54 percentage points over the last year, and at that rate of improvement, the serious delinquency rate will not be bel...more

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  • FT Alphaville

    A Cambrian robotic explosion

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Friday links: flat markets

    MarketsThe comprehensive case for a major market top. (athrasher.com)Market breadth is not a on/off indicator. (theirrelevantinvestor.tumblr.com)Emerging markets are not all that oversold yet. (shortsideoflong.com)StrategyOn the use of managed futures as a portfolio diversifier. (managed-futures-blog.attaincapital.com)Ugh. The forecasting record of a "gloom and doomer." (etf.com)CompaniesIf you bought big oil stocks for the buybacks.... (wsj.com)What Microsoft ($MSFT) learned from the Nokia debacle. (nytimes.com)Symbols: $MSFT T-Mobile ($TMUS) is gaining ground on the big three. (slate.com)Symbols: $TMUS TrendsThe biotech boom may wane but dividends will accrue to patients. (valuewalk.com)Silicon Valley is going to have to retrench. (csen.tumblr.com)FinanceHedge funds a...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Who Benefits from Bailouts?

    I always find it amusing whenever someone expresses surprise that the financial bailouts for Greece haven’t benefitted Greek citizens. “Bailout Money Goes to Greece, Only to Flow Out Again” in the New York Times is just the latest example. “The cash exodus is a small piece of a bigger puzzle over why — despite two major international bailouts — the Greek economy is in worse shape and more deeply in debt.” Unfortunately, this is a feature of bailout, not a bug. A plethora of financial rescues during the past decades has proven quite convincingly that this isn’t an aberration. Follow the money instead of following the headlines. That’s how you learn who profits from a bailout. Look around the world — Japan, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Ireland, ...more

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Podcast links: putting the tech in biotech

    Podcast bizWhere does advertising cross the line for podcast hosts? (nytimes.com)PodcastsSean McLaughlin talks with Mike Bellafiore author of "The PlayBook: An Inside Look at How to Think Like a Professional Trader."* (blog.stocktwits.com)Brian Koppelman talks with Divya Narendra about Facebook ($FB) and SumZero. (slate.com)Symbols: $FB A talk with Jerry Parker about trend following. (bettersystemtrader.com)Tim Ferriss talks with Jane McGonigal about her new book "SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games."* (fourhourworkweek.com)James Altucher talks with Oliver Burkeman author of " The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking."* (jamesaltucher.com)How cheaper ...more

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  • naked capitalism

    More on the Systemic Risk of Bank IT Systems

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Macro Markets Risk Index: US Trend Remains Modestly Positive

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Greek politics and poisonous statistics – an on-going saga

    Why the Troika and the EU member states find it so difficult to trust Greece The word “trust” has been mentioned time and again in reports on the tortuous negotiations on Greece. One reason is the persistent deceit in reporting on debt and deficit statistics, including lying about an off market swap with Goldman Sachs: not a one-off deceit but a political interference through concerted action among several public institutions for more then ten years. As late as in the July 12 Euro Summit statement “safeguarding of the full legal independence of ELSTAT” was stated as a required measure. Worryingly, Andreas Georgiou president of ELSTAT from 2010, the man who set the statistics straight, and some of his staff, have been hounded by political forces, also Syriza. F...more

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  • Real Time Economics

    This Year’s Busiest Home-Building Markets Favor Apartments

    Of the 10 busiest U.S. markets for home construction, those that grew the fastest in this year’s first half from the same period a year ago generated more than half of their construction as multifamily complexes rather than detached, single-family homes. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES The busiest and fastest-growing large metro areas in the U.S. in the first half of this year have something in common: an affinity for apartments and condominiums. Commerce Department data released this week show that, of the 10 busiest U.S. markets for home construction, those that grew the fastest in this year’s first half from the same period a year ago generated more than half of their construction as multifamily complexes rather than detached, single-family homes. So what does ...more

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  • Real Time Economics

    Big U.S. Cities Lead the Way in Economic Recovery

    Not a single city with a population above 300,000, such as Philadelphia, reported that economic conditions had worsened over the last year and 23% said they had improved greatly. BRUCE BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES Bigger is better for American cities these days. That is one of the findings in a new report from the National League of Cities that looks at the economic health of cities across the country. Overall, cities have seen marked improvement in their economic well-being from a couple of years ago. Forty percent of mid-sized cities with a population of 100,000 to 299,999 reported that local economic conditions had greatly improved during the past year. That is compared with just 20% of cities with fewer than 50,000 residents. No big cities with populations over 300,00...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    A Delicate Balance For US Macro Outlook Via Treasury Yields

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 7/31/15

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Initial Guidance | 31 July 2015

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    The Bust Doesn’t Destroy Wealth

    It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “A Nobel Prize Laureate is warning that Sydney’s real estate market is showing every sign of being in a dangerous price bubble. Professor Vernon Smith, who was honoured for his work in experimental economics, is in Sydney to talk about global property prices and he spoke to our business editor Peter Ryan. Ryan: ‘What lessons should Australia be learning from the subprime crisis in the United States, which led to the housing crash which triggered the global financial crisis, even though the circumstances are different that Australian holders of mortgages simply can’t drop their key off at the bank.’” ‘Smith: ‘Guard against allowing people to buy homes that last up to 10...more

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  • FT Alphaville

    Markets Live: Friday, 31st July, 2015

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    China stock market ends July with loss

    Chinese stocks fell again on Friday. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.1 percent today to end July with a 15 percent loss, its biggest monthly drop since August 2009. Despite the decline, Chinese stock valuations remain very high. According to Bloomberg data, the median stock on mainland bourses trades at 66 times earnings, higher than in any of the world’s 10 largest markets....more

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for July 31, 2015

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

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  • The Aleph Blog

    Bid Out Your Personal Insurance Policies!

    Photo Credit: Dana || They charge more for “Arrest me red” too!This should be a relatively quick note on personal lines insurance. I’m writing this after reading the piece in this month’s Consumer Reports on Auto Insurance.  I agree with most of it.  For those that are short on time, my basic advice is this: bid out your auto, home, umbrella and other personal lines property & casualty insurance policies once every three years, or after every significant event that changes your premium significantly.Here are a few simple facts to consider:Personal lines insurance — auto, home, umbrella, rental, etc. is a very competitive business, and the companies that offer it all want an underwriting formula that would give them the best estimate...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Overtrading and the Danger of Pro Rata

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  • Abnormal Returns

    Thursday links: a foolish gamble

    MarketsAre high yield bond prices rich or cheap? (garthfriesen.tumblr.com)Three bearish charts. (pragcap.com)StrategyOn the relationship between momentum and price breakouts. (priceactionlab.com)David Fabian's eight favorite investment bloggers. (fmdcapital.com)CompaniesTwitter ($TWTR) needs a new business model. (ftalphaville.ft.com)Symbols: $TWTR FinancePrivate equity is doing a lot of selling but not much buying. (wsj.com)Companies beat earnings expectations on a pretty regular basis. (thesignalnoise.com)ETFsA look at the current MLP ETNs. (news.morningstar.com)Factor investing requires a higher amount of risk tolerance. (ft.com)Monetary policyIgnore the Fed, pay attention to the economy. (bloombergview.com)Additional signs of labor market strength should get the Fed...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Rental Apocalypse: US homeownership collapses to 48 year low while rental rates continue to climb.

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  • footnoted*

    And now: the game changer bonus

    Quick: what do you think about when you hear the words “game changer”? We doubt that it’s a hefty bonus for tobacco industry executives. And yet, judging by this 8-K filed by Reynolds American Inc. yesterday, that’s exactly what it is. Needless to say it was buried in a lot of legalese (read: boring language). But the words “game changer” were actually used to describe the bonus, which is a first when it comes to SEC filings. Based on yesterday’s filing, the new bonus was designed as a “one-time performance-based cash awards to all employees of RAI and its subsidiaries designed to maintain focus on the successful integration of the recently completed acquisition of Lorillard, Inc.” The company closed its $27 billion...more

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Preparations For Growth Can Be Overly Optimistic

    The Los Angeles Daily News reports from California. “New home building is finally showing signs of life around the Valley with several projects underway or in the planning stages, including one that will bring a taste of Manhattan-style living to the well-heeled. The projects are in Sylmar, Winnetka and Woodland hills. Santa Clarita-based Williams Homes Inc. is doing two of them. ‘We made this bet about two years ago,’ Keith Herren, Williams’ executive VP, said of the decision to develop the Winnetka property. ‘We like the San Fernando Valley and we like the City of Los Angeles. There is unlimited demand (for housing.)’” KPHO in Arizona. “People have lost faith in the stock market and they’re apparently getting over the ...more

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    Help make Minsky easier to use

    I’ve just put A$10,000 of my own money towards improving Minsky, the Open Source program I have designed to enable economists to create dynamic and monetary models of the economy. If you support the work I’m doing to help economics escape its 19th century equilibrium fetish, please consider also making a donation to Minsky’s development via Dr Russell Standish’s PayPal account (or via direct debit, using the account details you’ll find below): 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) : Minsky has been programmed almost ex...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    Crisis? Tempted to Flee to Shelter of Big Funds? Bad Idea

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  • The Aleph Blog

    Redacted Version of the July 2015 FOMC Statement

    Photo credit: jonesylife || Oh look, a dozen doves flying at the FOMC!June 2015July 2015CommentsInformation received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that economic activity has been expanding moderately after having changed little during the first quarter.Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that economic activity has been expanding moderately in recent months.No real change.Growth in household spending has been moderate and the housing sector has shown some improvement; however, business fixed investment and net exports stayed soft.Growth in household spending has been moderate and the housing sector has shown additional improvement; however, business fixed investment and net exports stayed soft...more

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    Sir Jon Cunliffe. Tiberius would have regulated banks much better than the Basel Committee.

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  • The Aleph Blog

    Pick a Valid Strategy, Stick With It

    Photo Credit: BKI’m not going to argue for any particular strategy here. My main point is this: every valid strategy is going to have some periods of underperformance.  Don’t give up on your strategy because of that; you are likely to give up near the point of maximum pain, and miss the great returns in the bull phase of the strategy.Here are three simple bits of advice that I hand out to average people regarding asset allocation:Figure out what the maximum loss is that you are willing to take in a year, and then size your allocation to risky assets such that the likelihood of exceeding that loss level is remote.If you have any doubts on bit of advice #1, reduce the amount of risky assets a bit more.  You’d be surprised how little you give up in ...more

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  • Macro Man

    Any change at all?

    So Fed day is here, but Macro Man isn't entirely convinced that we're going to get a tip of the hand either way from Yellen and co.   At this juncture September is clearly live but far from a done deal, consistent with the message that the Fed gave last month and in the intervening period.It's not exactly like the evolution of key inputs has been overwhelmingly skewed in one direction or the other, either.   Since the day before the last Fed meeting, this has what's happened to a number of inputs (or something like them) that they are likely considering:In what should surprise almost nobody, the general theme is that that labour markets continue to strengthen, growth is decent but not spectacular, and inflationary pressures look pretty nonexistent.&n...more

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  • AllAboutAlpha: Hedge Fund Trends & Alternative Investment Analysis

    PwC on Mergers and Acquisitions Activity

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  • Mises Institute

    Business-Cycle Theory in the United States, 1860–1900

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    Corporate governance: the great debate – Director Magazine

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Stock market plunge in China may have "profound impact" on economy

    After plunging 8.5 percent on Monday, there could be more losses to come for the Chinese stock market. From Bloomberg: Chinese stocks will decline by an additional 14 percent over the next three weeks as the market demonstrates a trading pattern that mimics that of the U.S. crash in 1929, according to Tom DeMark, who predicted the bottom of the Shanghai Composite Index in 2013. Bank of America strategist David Cui also thinks that there could be more falls for Chinese stocks. This would the result of excessive leverage, which "means relentless selling pressure", and that "A-shares ex. banks could at least halve". Cui concluded that "what just happened in the A-share market will likely have profound impact on China’s economy and financial system"....more

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  • Ticker Sense

    July 27th Blogger Sentiment Poll

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

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Venice California and riding the waves of housing mania: An area where 1 bedroom will fetch $1 million.

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  • Emerging markets

    SWF: Temasek rides China wave to near 20% return

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  • Emerging markets

    China: Stock meltdown prompts market intervention

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  • Macro Man

    Spot the difference!

    Here are mostly underwater Chinese equity longs crowding through a tiny exit:And here are mostly underwater Chinese crowding through a tiny exit.   Can you spot the difference?In next week's edition, gold traders re-enact the final scene from The Italian Job....more

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  • Macro Man

    A brief history lesson

    Macro Man has been thinking a bit more about commodities recently, and before addressing the upcoming Fed meeting in another post later this week, he thought it would be useful to follow the line of thought.Commodities generally, and gold in particular, have been in the headlines recently given their sharp price decline.  Some, indeed many, commenters have expressed the idea that gold is oversold, below its equilibrium level, due for a bounce, etc.    While short-term momentum indicators have certainly reached oversold levels (and are exhibiting a bit of positive divergence), Macro Man thought it would be useful to put the recent price decline in a longer-term perspective.Obviously, the supply/demand/storage dynamics for commodities can differ dramat...more

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Chinese stocks plunge

    China’s stock market plunged on Monday. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 8.5 percent to 3,725.56 at the close, the biggest decline since 27 February 2007. Recent economic data from China had been negative. On Monday, a report showed that profit at China's industrial firms fell 0.3 percent in June from a year earlier, reversing a 0.6 per cent rise in May. Data on Friday showed that China's factory sector contracted the most in 15 months in July as shrinking orders depressed output. In recent weeks, China's stock market had been recovering after sufferring heavy losses in June and early July. The Shanghai Composite Index fell by a third in the latter period but had rebounded 16 percent since the low on 8 July....more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    Shambling Towards Affordability, Mid-Year 2015

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Ireland and Greece, again

    Hans-Werner Sinn has an op-ed in Saturday’s New York Times calling (again) for a Greek exit from the Euro, a recommendation on which he agrees, as he notes, with Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz. Part of his argument is that is that an official lending “bailout” program within the Euro won’t work because it will impede the necessary decline in local prices to make Greece competitive again within the single currency. His evidence that not getting a bailout improves competitiveness is … Ireland: Take the case of Ireland. Like Greece, Ireland became too expensive, as interest rates fell sharply during the introduction of the euro. When the bubble burst, in late 2006, no fiscal rescue was available. The Irish tightened their belts and underwent...more

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  • Mises Institute

    Business Cycles

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  • Mises Institute

    Money

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  • DRS » Blog

    BRRD Labyrinth Roadmap

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  • DRS » Blog

    BRRD Labyrinth Roadmap

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    Do we really want to bet our economies on government bureaucrats using bank credit better than SMEs and entrepreneurs?

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Los Angeles one of the top area Americans are ditching: Areas losing Americans but gaining people from outside the country.

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  • My voice and noise on subprime bank regulations

    In the case of banks, the Modigliani-Miller Theorem is absolutely inapplicable

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    Death of a Great Australian: Hugh Stretton 1924–2015

    The great polymath and humanitarian Hugh Stretton died this weekend. I can do no better than to reproduce another great Australian’s tribute to him. The following is from Geoff Harcourt. Hugh died last Saturday at the age of 91 after a long illness. I had known him since 1958 when I first came to Adelaide where he was the much-admired Professor of History. In later years we became firm friends, though I continued to regard him with awe and admiration. He was a giant intellect, easily Australia’s most deep and progressive thinker, and a remarkably kind and humane man who lived up to his ideals in many practical ways. Having established an excellent History department, he resigned from his chair so that he could write. The first product of this new phase was The Poli...more

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  • DRS » Blog

    BoE roundtrip on CCP interoperability arrangements

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  • DRS » Blog

    BoE roundtrip on CCP interoperability arrangements

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    More Misinformation about Banking Regulation

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  • Ticker Sense

    July 20th Blogger Sentiment Poll

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

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    Fact-Checking William D. Cohan; Or, Paul Is Not Dead

     TV personality, author and commentator William D. Cohan is grumpy about a lot of things. There’s the Duke lacrosse scandal, for one, about which he’s just publish a “shocking, thought-provoking new book”—according to the description on his own web page. And for another there’s Wall Street, from whence he came, and about which he’s written plenty of grumpy, conspiracy-minded books. Hence it’s no surprise to find Cohan invited to speak at the Sun Valley Writer’s Conference, whose attendees tend to be wealthy, Wall Street-leery arts supporters from L.A. It’s even less surprising that one of the talks he gave to those same attendees was entitled “Who Has the Real Power Now on Wall Street?”—actually, less of a talk and more...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Friedrich Hayek Supported a Guaranteed Minimum Income

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  • Emerging markets

    China stocks: turning a crisis into a catastrophe

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  • Steve Keen's Debtwatch

    Help Renegade Inc. get over the line in the next 70 hours

    Renegade Inc., the media group that produced the Four Horsemen documentary about the financial crisis, is running a Kickstarter Campaign to raise US$45,000 to underwrite its next documentary. Click here to go to Kickstarter and donate. The Four Horsemen documentary has been an independent media success, with over three million views on YouTube. It has also shown at more than three hundred Q and A sessions in seventeen countries. Ross and Megan Ashcroft, the principals of Renegade Inc., want to produce a documentary for the post-crisis–or rather permanent crisis–world in which we now live. They also plan to follow this up with an independent media platform, to give the public something other than the superficial pap that dominates the media coverage of economi...more

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    IMF: Eastern Mediterranean country with unfair debt service requirement

    From new IMF report on a certain country – The case for fiscal adjustment is also grounded in fairness. Without it and with ever more debt, interest payments will soar to some 12 percent of GDP, or about 40 percent of total spending, crowding out essential social programs and infrastructure projects and largely benefitting public debt holders at the expense of the less-privileged. Thus lack of fiscal adjustment is also costly and inequitable. That country where debt service will ever more crowd out social spending and be increasingly unfair: Lebanon. ...more

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  • footnoted*

    Will Hertz’ former CEO wind up having to clawback?

    You’ve probably already seen the news about Hertz Global Holdings finally filing its much delayed earnings. Yesterday, after the markets closed, the company filed its delayed 10-K for 2014, which included restated results for 2012 and 2013 and its first quarter 10-Q for 2015, bringing the company up-to-date in its filings. The news sent the stock, which had dropped over 30% since the beginning of the year, up about 12% on the news. The company’s CEO, John Tague, said yesterday that “Today’s filings are an important step forward, and our attention is now on realizing Hertz’s full potential.” But buried in the nearly 400 pages filed yesterday was this disclosure, which we first highlighted for footnotedPro subscribers yesterday: “Our former C...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Hong Kong Residential Property Prices: HKU-REIS March 2015

    The latest release of the University of Hong Kong's Hong Kong Residential Real Estate Series (HKU-REIS) indicating that, in March, the price of residential properties declined 1.06% since February but still remained 16.57% above the level seen in March 2014. The HKU-REIS is a set of property price indices constructed monthly using a “modified” repeat-sale methodology similar to that of the S&P/Case-Shiller indices yet suited to the Hong Kong property market. ...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    New Residential Construction Report: June 2015

    Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed generally improving results with total permit activity rising 7.4% since May while total starts surged 9.8% over the same period.Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, increased 0.9% from May to 687K single family units (SAAR), and rose 6.0% above the level seen a year earlier but still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005.Single family housing starts declined 0.9% from May to 685K single family units (SAAR) but still remained 14.7% above the level seen a year earlier. ...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Sentiment: July 2015

    Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that overall assessments of housing activity generally went flat in July with the composite HMI index remaining at 60 while the "buyer traffic" index declined to a level of 43 from 44 in the prior month.Overall, conditions for new home construction appear to have remained stable recently but still remain below the peak assessments see prior to the Great Recession. ...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    June 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Ticker Sense

    July 13th Blogger Sentiment Poll

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

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  • DRS » Blog

    ISDA publish EMIR Classification Letter

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  • DRS » Blog

    ISDA publish EMIR Classification Letter

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  • VIX and More

    Seizing Opportunity From Stock Market Volatility (Guest Columnist at Barron’s)

    Steve Sears and I have a running joke that whenever I am tapped as a guest columnist for The Striking Price at Barron’s, we should both start buying VIX calls as inevitably something is going to come along and cause a volatility spike just in time to give me something topical to discuss. This time around I thought China might be the culprit or Greece or Puerto Rico or the Fed or maybe even the NYSE. In fact, it was a cocktail of everything that has turned a relatively quiet Q2 into a much more menacing volatility environment in Q3. In Seizing Opportunity From Stock Market Volatility, which appears today in Barron’s, I turn my attention to small caps (RUT, IWM) and use IWM vs. SPY as a way to think about relative volatility in the context of exposure to China, the e...more

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    When CEOs Are Accidentally Overpaid - Bloomberg View

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  • VIX and More

    Today’s 34% VIX Spike and What to Expect Going Forward

    One of the top posts of 2013 was All-Time VIX Spike #11 (and a treasure trove of VIX spike data), in which I sliced and diced the twenty largest one-day VIX spikes in the history of the VIX. Nineteen of those spikes were in excess of 30% and with all-time #5 arriving later in 2013 and all-time #15 and #16 following in 2014, I was compelled to comment that despite the seemingly low VIX and concerns about complacency, 2014 Had Third Highest Number of 20% VIX Spikes. Fast forward to the present and for all the talk of a low VIX, some forget that the second day of 2015 had a 28.1% VIX spike and then today, we saw a 34.5% VIX spike, the eleventh largest in the history of the VIX and enough to trigger an update to the table of largest one-day VIX spikes below. [source(s):...more

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  • VIX and More

    Longest SPX Peak to Trough Pullback Since 2012

    I have been quiet in this space as of late, but there is nothing like a 34% one-day spike in the VIX to inspire me to dust of the cobwebs and get this place humming again. I will start by updating an old favorite table that invariably is the subject of many requests whenever stocks begin to show signs of a meaningful pullback, as is the case today. Note that the table below includes only pullbacks from all-time highs and only those that go back to the March 2009 bottom. Here 2.75% seems to be a natural cutoff, but I am more apt to include smaller numbers if it took a relatively large number of days to arrive at the bottom. Seen in this light, today’s 2.09% decline in the S&P 500 Index brings the aggregate peak-to-trough decline to 3.7%, but perhaps the most inter...more

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  • footnoted*

    A very good thing for Martha Stewart!

    By now, you’ve undoubtedly read about Sequential Brands’ offer to buy Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Rumors that a deal was in the works sent Martha Stewart stock up above $7 a share last week for the first time 2010. But when the $353 million deal was announced on Monday at $6.15 a share, the stock began falling and the lawsuits and investigations started picking up (see here and here, for example). But Martha Stewart Omnimedia’s largest shareholder — that would be Martha Stewart, who according to this NY Post article stands to make $167 million on the deal based on her stock holdings — seems to have made out fine, judging by filings made by both Sequential and Martha Stewart Omnimedia over the past 24 hours. Late yesterday (the time stamp was ...more

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  • FinanceProfessor.com

    Top-CEO Pay Isn’t Driven By Talent, New Study Says - Real Time Economics - WSJ

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    May 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    I Agree with Milton Friedman!

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    Sgt. Pepper! Joe Cocker! Jimmy Page! Oh, and Warren and Charlie...

                      The best part of this year’s Berkshire meeting—except seeing Charlie Munger in good form, which we’ll get to in a bit—was the movie.            Not the movie itself, but the end of the movie, when the sing-along tribute to Berkshire’s managers, which always used to be set to the tune of “My Favorite Things,” turned out to use “Sgt. Pepper” instead.            That’s some good taste there.    But, actually, the best part of the Beatles-themed piece of the movie came as it died out and, miraculously, the “Sgt. Pepper Reprise”—the best two minutes of The Bea...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    Is Free Trade Good for Everyone?

    Greg Mankiw implies that it is, and that all economists agree that it is.  But it actually isn't.  Who says so?  Economists.In particular, the workhorse theory of International Trade, the Hecksher-Ohlin Theorem, leads to the Stolper-Samuleson Theorem, which shows that when countries start trading with each other, the relatively abundant factor of production in each country becomes better off, while the relatively scarce factor becomes worse off.   In the US context, this implies that opening up trade will leave capital better off relative to labor, and skilled labor better off relative to unskilled labor.Does trade increase the total size of economies?  Yes--this is something that economists do agree on. But in the absence of redistribution--som...more

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  • Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

    Messi Announces Retirement, Reporter Asks About Half-Time Score

     Tom Prescott announced his retirement last night.   You may not have heard of him, but as CEO of Align Technologies (the inventors of Invisalign “invisible braces”) Prescott helped turn a $70 million revenue company with 35% gross margins, negative operating margins and a $127 million market value into a near-$800 million revenue company with near-80% gross margins and 25% operating margins. Oh, yeah, and a $4.5 billion market value, last we checked. More than that, Tom Prescott helped Invisalign develop from a niche product not much liked by the orthodontists who were supposed to use it (it’s far more expensive to them than the old-fashioned wires and brackets, plus, in the early days, before Prescott, the Invisalign treatment was far mo...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    LA has zoned itself out of the ability to house its residents (h/t Matthew Glesne)

    Once upon a time, the zoning in Los Angeles would have allowed for 10 million residents to live within its municipal boundaries.  Greg Morrow, in his UCLA dissertation, "Homeowner Revolution: Democracy, Land Use and the Los Angeles Slow Growth Movement 1965-1992," documents how this was eroded over time:So LA really did create a moat around itself and pulled up the drawbridge.  For those of us who think the blessings of cities should be shared widely, this is a shame....more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    It is hard to feel urban form sometimes.

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

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  • Institutional Economics

    Capital Gains Tax Reform in Canada: Lessons from Abroad

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

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  • The Street Light

    Transfer Pricing Economics

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

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  • Institutional Economics

    I am leaving CIS and returning to financial markets

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

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  • Institutional Economics

    Wayne Swan on Monetary Offset and the GFC

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

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  • The Prudent Investor

    The Coming Silver Shortage

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

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  • A Dash of Insight

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

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

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  • A Dash of Insight

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

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

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  • A Dash of Insight

    The Sound of Silence

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

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  • Felix Salmon

    Post Felix

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

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  • Felix Salmon

    The Piketty pessimist

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

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  • Economix

    Economix Meets the Gales of Change

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  • Economix

    Economix Meets the Gales of Change

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  • Felix Salmon

    The most expensive lottery ticket in the world

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

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  • Economix

    Mortgage Reform Is Worth the Small Extra Cost to Borrowers

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  • Economix

    Mortgage Reform Is Worth the Small Extra Cost to Borrowers

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  • Economix

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

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  • Economix

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

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  • Accrued Interest

    Getting Involved in Bitcoin

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Capital Gains And Games Now Being Published By Forbes

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Big Changes Are Coming To Capital Gains And Games

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

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

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  • The Prudent Investor

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

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

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  • The Prudent Investor

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

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

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  • Accrued Interest

    Why You Should Dump Those Shares of Tesla Now

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The Oil Drum writers: Where are they now?

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  • Accrued Interest

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

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The Last Post

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The House That Randy Built

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  • The Street Light

    Cyprus and Eurozone Bank Deposits

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

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  • London Banker

    Chop Off Their Hands . . .

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

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  • The Street Light

    When the Fed Chair is an Academic

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

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  • London Banker

    For Want of a Nail, the Ship Was Lost

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

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  • London Banker

    Lies, Damn Lies and LIBOR

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

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Aaron Menenberg Policies of Scale

Aaron Menenberg is Foreign Policy and Energy analyst, and a Future Leader with Foreign Policy Initiative. He also co-hosts Podlitical Risk (@podliticalrisk). He is a graduate student in international relations at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Previously he has worked at Praescient Analytics, The Hudson Institute, for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, and at the IBM Corporation. The views expressed are his own, and you can follow him on Twitter @AaronMenenberg. He welcomes questions and comments at menenbergaaron@gmail.com.