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Mark Bern, CFA

 
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  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September October 18, 2014 To ???.  [View instapost]
    gg - It appears that there are 2 parts to this problem.

    1. Some states are prohibiting Ebola waste from being disposed of by any means within their borders requiring it to be moved via public roads to another state.

    2. Some states are prohibiting Ebola waste from being incinerated within their respective boundaries, again requiring the waste to be transported via public roads to another state.

    Those two problems are related and the end result is that governments are requiring Ebola waste to be moved via trucks over public roads. That could end very badly if one of those trucks gets into an accident and "spills" its waste. Clean up and residue could cause an unnecessary outbreak. Government is just increasing risk instead of reducing it.

    It seems to me that the smart thing to do is to limit the number of times Ebola waste needs to be handled and to incinerate it as near to the source as possible and as quickly as possible. But government is going to just make the smart thing to do impossible.
    Oct 21 10:41 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could The S&P 500 Fall To 1,625? [View article]
    Robert - Totally agree with your sentiment. I just don't expect the Fed to comply.
    Oct 20 07:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could The S&P 500 Fall To 1,625? [View article]
    jerry - The only thing that may coax the Fed to do something sooner is the midterm election right around the corner. Members of the Fed are supposed to be neutral politically, but they are beholding to some degree to those who put them in power. I suspect the Fed will not want the market to swoon into and through the elections. Thus, I can't help but expect an announcement if things turn back down in equities. Keeping the markets level or rising gives neither party an advantage. A big drop just before would probably go against the sitting POTUS party. Just a thought.
    Oct 20 06:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could The S&P 500 Fall To 1,625? [View article]
    bartpr - It isn't what the Fed can or cannot do that matters. It is what the perception of what the Fed can do that drives the market. If perception changes such that investors lose confidence in the Fed's ability to manipulate asset prices, then the Fed becomes powerless. But as long as enough investors with enough money continue to believe that the Fed is in control that perception will continue to drive asset prices.

    Reality only matters when people understand it. LOL!
    Oct 20 06:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could The S&P 500 Fall To 1,625? [View article]
    Wednesday looked a lot like capitulation in terms of index volatility and movement, but the volume wasn't there. I'm thinking that this is just the short-term bottom. We have gotten a bounce back up to the 200-day SMA level at the close. With a strong break back above 1905 (S&P 500) we could see some more upside. But I want to see that happen with increasing volume to show conviction and then sustain the rally through the rest of the week. If the S&P 500 cannot hold above that level on Friday, we will need to wait some more to see what the prevailing trend will be. I suspect we will know within the next week or two.
    Oct 20 06:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Could The S&P 500 Fall To 1,625? [View article]
    FreeMartket - I totally agree with your statement regarding regulations favoring big firms.

    But I have to say that that we are a world apart on inflation. I agree that it will happen at some point; but I don't expect it to hit us anytime soon. After several $trillion in deficit spending and $3.5 trillion in QE combined with zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) by FED inflation is stalling out below 2%. The big banks have much of the QE funds sitting at the Fed as excess reserves collecting .25% spread at no risk. That is pitiful! But if the banks were confident they could make more on that money they would pump it into the economy causing inflation. Problem is they are afraid to invest it and continue to sit on it. If inflation were a looming problem it would have already hit us.

    The Fed fear deflation! That is why it has continued QE and ZIRP for so long and will not dare to reduce its balance sheet anytime in the foreseeable future. It is also why one of the conservative Fed Governors recently stated publicly that the FED may need to continue QE instead of ending it.

    Europe is near to falling into a deflationary spiral. But QE will probably postpone the inevitable. Aging populations of Japan, Germany, Italy and other developed nations means slowing consumption is coming. That won't cause inflation. I am one of those at the front end of the baby boom generation. We and all of our friends earn less than we did before retirement and we spend less also, trying to make our money last. Sadly, most folks aren't as well prepared for retirement as we were and thus will have even less to spend, especially since those poor souls often have more debt as a % of income. And the boomers are still the pig in the boa constrictor in terms of setting the tone for the economy; not just here but throughout the developed world.

    Of course, this is just my opinion. I respect your opinion, but just disagree. I suspect you will be correct eventually, but just not on the immediate horizon. I would expect that to come sometime during the next decade when the millennial generation (the next large generation) begins to hit its stride in terms of consumption. Right now too many of them are working part time and living with their parents to boost the economy much. Until that happens I don't see gold going up in a sustainable manner; it will likely bounce in response to crises that arise but once the events settle down it will lose steam again and again... until a period of higher inflation.

    Anyway, that's my theory. Good luck with your theory.
    Oct 20 06:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could The S&P 500 Fall To 1,625? [View article]
    jdawg888 - I'm glad someone noticed that difference besides me! Another big question: will the ECB take actual action in the form of implementing QE or will it just continue to promise to do so?

    And from there we need to ask: If the ECB does implement QE, will it be enough to support equities in the US also? Or will EU member banks use the easy, cheap money only in EZ?

    My feeling is that ECB will do too little to start with and only help the EU/EZ economies. Falling Euro means rising dollar (currency values are all relative in value) means more EU exports and probably less US exports to EU. US multinationals with factories in EU will do better, but US economy probably won't get any help.

    Just some thoughts.
    Oct 20 05:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September 14, 2014 To October 18, 2014. [View instapost]
    Best thread on SA, imho! Thanks FPA!
    Oct 20 11:30 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September 14, 2014 To October 18, 2014. [View instapost]
    Just a scare? Hopefully. But if this one turns out to be a new Ebola patient turning up in D.C. area and at the Pentagon, those in charge will take notice and start taking things seriously.

    http://trib.in/1yKZYyU
    Oct 17 04:28 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September 14, 2014 To October 18, 2014. [View instapost]
    It seems that POTUS was just posturing to thwart the attention being garnered by House Reps. calling for travel restrictions from Ebola-plagued nations in West Africa. It was his way of saying we don't need to restrict travel because we have other options.

    Of course it doesn't make any sense, but....
    Oct 16 06:57 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September 14, 2014 To October 18, 2014. [View instapost]
    Changed their minds. No disaster declaration today. But thanks for the heads up, anyway, MJ.
    Oct 16 04:59 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September 14, 2014 To October 18, 2014. [View instapost]
    New article I came across supports Rattie's argument about Ebola going airborne as aerosol. Here is a quote from the article:
    "The working theory about Ebola transmission currently being uttered by the CDC and the agency’s director Thomas Frieden, is incorrect and “outmoded” according to the University of Minnesota CIDRAP report. “Virus-laden bodily fluids may be aerosolized and inhaled while a person is in proximity to an infectious person and that a wide range of particle sizes can be inhaled and deposited throughout the respiratory tract,” University researchers concluded.
    Read more at http://bit.ly/1vhVNYS"

    Article link:
    http://bit.ly/1vhVOfa
    Oct 16 10:22 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September 14, 2014 To October 18, 2014. [View instapost]
    I'll bet he won't go down and do the same with Health Workers in Dallas; at least not for a few more weeks.
    Oct 16 09:54 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September 14, 2014 To October 18, 2014. [View instapost]
    Ooooh, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy! Nothing to fear but fear itself and irresponsible people who can't seem to do the rational thing and stay away from the general population.

    I guess the true understanding of just how contagious this virus can be has not yet sunk in. Too few people who are at risk are taking this seriously and are seemingly unworried about the impact they might have on the general population.
    Oct 15 11:33 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September 14, 2014 To October 18, 2014. [View instapost]
    That is pretty sick, imho. Some people don't take any responsibility for their actions these days. It's always been that way but I suspect it has gotten worse and will likely continue to do so.
    Oct 14 05:33 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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