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Carlos Lam  

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  • CMI's Growth Index Continues to Slide [View article]
    I've also followed the CMI for a while. Sadly, the "commentary" on the CMI website used to be updated about every 30 days, yet it is still stuck on "November 23, 2010." I've also noticed what CW has described and am beginning to doubt the usefulness of the CMI data.
    Jan 6, 2011. 03:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold to Go Below $1,300? [View article]
    Disagree with you on QE-3. I predict that Dr. Bernanke will begin buying municipal debt this year to ensure that muni yields don't rise to "unsustainable" levels.
    Jan 6, 2011. 03:52 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Risk of Rising Oil and Gas Prices [View article]
    You are correct that foreign governments control the price of oil. However, as the Federal Reserve prints more dollars, each individual dollar is worth less. Accordingly, the foreign governments want more individual dollars for each barrel of oil they ship to compensate for the decline in value of each individual dollar.
    Jan 6, 2011. 03:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Risk of Rising Oil and Gas Prices [View article]
    This is precisely why the Federal Reserve's actions are so pernicious: the Fed may succeed in apparently boosting the price of assets held by individuals (stocks), but the unintended consequences of its actions can cause severe problems for the everyday man (higher gasoline & food prices).
    Jan 5, 2011. 07:12 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold to Go Below $1,300? [View article]
    I think her post indicates that any move lower would be temporary, as she specifically states that she is a long-term bull.
    Jan 5, 2011. 07:09 AM | 28 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Where We Are and Where We're Headed in 2011, Part 2: Predictions [View article]
    You are correct. The Swiss's civil society was forged in battle during centuries when Swiss mercenaries were often forced to face each other on the field of battle. Those civil society institutions, however, have been preserved by the very fact that the Swiss are well-armed. It is far too easy for a central government to encroach upon institutions developed over centuries if the populace is not well-armed.
    Jan 4, 2011. 06:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan Does Not Face a 'Looming Demographic Squeeze' [View article]
    Davewmart, it's not that productivity gains are impossible but that they are speculative. In the US during WW2, for example, a lot of older people returned to the workforce to produce materiel for the war. As Prof. Robert Higgs noted, however, the older workforce--though no longer using horses and buggies--was STILL not as productive as the male twentysomethings that were placed under arms for fight the war. Older Japanese workers MAY be very productive, but stats show that younger workers have some clear advantages over older ones.
    Jan 4, 2011. 06:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan Does Not Face a 'Looming Demographic Squeeze' [View article]
    Davewmart, you hit the nail on the head. With less domestic savings, the Japanese will eventually have to look overseas to roll over JGBs.
    Jan 4, 2011. 06:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan Does Not Face a 'Looming Demographic Squeeze' [View article]
    No, you're the one using pathetic, unprofessional attacks: www.project-syndicate....

    You are correct that I'm not Japanese, but Japan's savings ratio has been declining and is now about 2%. Declining domestic savings coupled with a high public debt level means that Japan will have too seek external funding for its debt.
    Jan 4, 2011. 06:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Where We Are and Where We're Headed in 2011, Part 2: Predictions [View article]
    bob, a country can never have "too much 'freedom.'" The Swiss link to their cantons is true; power in Switzerland is very decentralized, though their central government often tries to arrogate more power to itself. Perhaps its continual failure to do so, though, is thanks to the well-armed Swiss citizenry? ; )
    Jan 2, 2011. 07:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan Does Not Face a 'Looming Demographic Squeeze' [View article]
    Only a "progressive" think tank policy wonk would call a falling population a "benefit." A falling population means less production and innovation; on an island like Japan with very little immigration, this means the kiss of death. Moreover, the writer totally ignores the atrocious debt level facing the Japanese government; when Japanese retirees begin consuming more because of retirement, JGB interest rates will necessarily rise because the huge domestic savings pool will no longer exist.
    Jan 2, 2011. 07:02 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Where We Are and Where We're Headed in 2011, Part 2: Predictions [View article]
    Dude, if you want the feds to issue me a "huge rifle" and a case of ammo, I'm game!
    Jan 1, 2011. 09:14 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Where We Are and Where We're Headed in 2011, Part 2: Predictions [View article]
    Actually, the Swiss have a higher per capita firearm ownership rate than do Americans, and their violent crime rates are far lower.
    Dec 31, 2010. 07:57 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TARP: Was it a Success? [View article]
    1) We don't have all the info yet. The taxpayer still hasn't gotten back all his money, will still have to pay interest on the original $700 billion because the government didn't have that money sitting around, and will still have to pay (and has done so) in terms of reduced purchasing power. The fact that the TARP was bipartisan is irrelevant: both parties spend money faster than it comes in.

    2) My sons and I shouldn't have to bear the burden of increased debt and less purchasing power because you didn't keep an eye on your Big Bank's practices. To be sure, perhaps deposit insurance lulled you into a false sense of security. You are externalizing the cost of your mistake onto the backs of others, a fact which I believe is unjust.

    3) Many credit unions now have community charters, which means that residents of a certain community--no matter who they work for--can become members. You can also bank online and take advantage of smaller local banking that way. To be sure, you can join PenFed (the Pentagon Federal Credit Union) by paying a one-time fee to join the Nat'l Military Family Ass'n or Voices for America's Troops, both of which are open to anyone. You can then use ATMs at many local CUs for free.

    4) See (2) above. You don't pay attention to your bank or CU's finances means you should bear the consequences thereof.
    Dec 29, 2010. 11:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TARP: Was it a Success? [View article]
    LOL! So my sons get more debt piled onto their shoulders because you chose to place your money in a troubled bank instead of a healthy institution, such as a credit union? Unbelievable.
    Dec 29, 2010. 06:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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