Seeking Alpha

Ironman at Political Calculations

View as an RSS Feed
View Ironman at Political Calculations' Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Reverting To The Mean Or Something More Ominous? [View article]
    Potentially. A lot of things would have to line up just right for such a panic to erupt however (or as we would say in chaos theory, for there to be a cascading failure), and in addition, the things being done to arrest such an event should one begin would also have to fail.

    Jan 11, 2015. 04:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reverting To The Mean Or Something More Ominous? [View article]
    Answering the questions in reverse order:

    Oil extractors = firms directly engaged in exploration efforts for crude oil and removing it from the Earth.

    Other 2B2F banks are involved, but are believed to have limited exposure, even though the dollar amounts are large. See the following article from Julia LaRoche at Business Insider:

    And this from the WSJ:

    See also the following article from Nick Cunningham at, which considers the potential for a crisis in the junk bond sector, which has provided a lot of the financing for smaller oil extractors in particular:
    Jan 9, 2015. 12:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • An Inverse Problem for S&P 500 [View article]
    Wow - *still* bitter (and wrong!)
    Jan 5, 2015. 04:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividends: Boom!?! [View article]
    It's worse than you think - we don't care if it does or not.
    Dec 4, 2014. 04:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Something Weird In The U.S. New Home Market [View article]
    We like to have private sector data sources whenever possible just because of those factors. Zillow indicates more price slowing, but that's looking over all homes - not just new home sales, which we look at because it tells us more about the state of the U.S. economy.
    Dec 3, 2014. 02:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Change In Expectations For The Future For Stock Prices [View article]
    Thank you for your comments. The problem is that the economic data reported by China's government, such as its GDP growth rate (7-7.5%), are widely considered to be unreliable (at best) and garbage (more commonly). The following article, which appeared this past weekend, makes a special aside just to note the issue:

    Here's the key quote:

    "So why, on leaving China at the end of a nearly four-year assignment, am I pessimistic about the country’s economic future? When I arrived, China’s GDP was growing at nearly 10% a year, as it had been for almost 30 years—a feat unmatched in modern economic history. But growth is now decelerating toward 7%. Western business people and international economists in China warn that the government’s GDP statistics are accurate only as an indication of direction, and the direction of the Chinese economy is plainly downward. The big questions are how far and how fast."

    More information about the ongoing unreliability of Chinese economic data reported by its government is available at the following links:

    Hope this helps clarify things! We look forward to your apology.
    Nov 24, 2014. 10:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The S&P 500 Before The Echo Event Ends [View article]
    We used to post our prediction track record (from 2008 to 2011):

    We stopped keeping track when we stopped doing predictions and started doing forecasts instead. As for the accuracy of the forecasts, judge for yourself - here are our results for the first and second quarters of this year:

    We haven't assembled the animation for the third quarter yet, but you can get the picture from the charts included in this article.
    Oct 14, 2014. 11:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The S&P 500 Before The Echo Event Ends [View article]
    Those who can, do. Those who can't and who are upset by those who can, should consider the options listed here that explain why we can:

    Good luck with that!
    Oct 14, 2014. 09:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The S&P 500 Before The Echo Event Ends [View article]
    Yes and no - we have found that there is very little evidence of past stock prices influencing today's stock prices, however what we describe as the echo effect is something that specifically affects the accuracy of our forecasts, which is inherent in our use of historic stock price data as the base reference points from which we make our projections. It's only an issue when those historic prices were the result of factors other than the basic fundamental driver of stock prices and typical levels of noise, where they can skew off the accuracy of our forecasts by several percentage points.

    Even though that might be considered to be a small error, we've been working for nearly a year to work out how to re-obtain our usual higher level of accuracy when the echo effect is present in the data we use for our projections. (Unfortunately, SA's editors chopped out the links that take you through the full chain of our development work - you would need to visit our site to go through them, as well as the late-day updates from 13 October 2014.)
    Oct 14, 2014. 08:31 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Housing Market Data Continues To Support The Bearish View [View article]
    That's a very good observation.

    For the data we use, perhaps a better measure of the overall state of the new housing market would be to multiply the median price of new homes sold by their number of sales, which would effectively tell us what the effective market capitalization of the new housing market is. That information then would tell us whether the market is really experiencing bull or bear conditions.
    Sep 5, 2014. 09:19 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Temporal Trends In U.S. Housing [View article]
    Since we've provided a link to the source data, you're more than welcome to go through that particular exercise yourself. It's not hard.
    Aug 28, 2014. 06:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Summer 2014 Snapshot Of Eroding Earnings Expectations For The S&P 500 [View article]
    The earnings forecast is straight from S&P. The original article at our site includes links to the source.
    Aug 22, 2014. 05:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Diverging Trends For Non-Farm Payroll And Total Employment [View article]
    If by "changing demographics and job and lifestyle preferences" you really mean the sudden development of a very strong motivation to replace the loss of income for doing nothing with the income from a suboptimal job, you're probably right.
    Jul 31, 2014. 02:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Diverging Trends For Non-Farm Payroll And Total Employment [View article]
    We have been tracking Illinois' jobs data specifically because that state is uniquely capable of reporting the work status of individuals who have previously received unemployment benefits (that's the other project that we hinted at in the article - the jobs data simply turned out to be interesting in and of itself.)
    Jul 31, 2014. 02:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Diverging Trends For Non-Farm Payroll And Total Employment [View article]
    Good question!

    In addition to the kind of employment tracked by the Establishment survey, the Household survey includes agricultural workers, self-employed workers whose businesses are unincorporated, unpaid family workers, and private household workers.

    Those are the kinds of jobs that have seen large seasonally-adjusted gains since December 2013 (although we can pretty much rule out any surge in the number agricultural workers, given the more severe than normal winter over much of the nation during the first quarter of 2014 - the other kinds of employment tracked by the Household survey but not by the Establishment survey that are the ones that saw the increases during this period.)

    And almost by definition, all new jobs that are created outside of established organizations would be considered to be "marginal".
    Jul 30, 2014. 11:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment