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Mark Bern, CFA

 
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  • It's All Good [View article]
    Great article; well researched! We are in complete agreement in that this is a time to be cautious.
    Nov 6, 2014. 11:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #275, November 3, 2014 [View instapost]
    DG - Good dialogue in the video. Bloomberg nailed it, imho. Funny thing is that I published an article earlier today saying that the Fed finds itself between "a rock and a hard place." I was surprised that they said that. Great minds...
    Nov 6, 2014. 10:48 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed Between A Rock And A Hard Place [View article]
    Thanks for commenting, but your statement at the end seems confusing. Are you trying to say that this recovery has been the same as all others? Because that would be absurd. We have never experienced QE and easy money at such unprecedented levels, at least not in my lifetime of 65+ years.

    I don't want to seem disrespectful. I do appreciate your taking the time to comment. And if readers can gain from your insights I would be happy for you to explain further.

    I agree with you on the definition of M. I am sorry if I was not clear enough on that issue. The increase in the money by the Fed was only one portion of the money pie used to keep the total supply in balance. It was not very effective. If it had been we would be experiencing higher levels of inflation. It just kept us from falling into deflation, imho.

    As to Velocity being fabricated, I cannot say with certainty considering its source. It may well be. But I hope we can agree that the velocity of money growth through credit creation has slowed.

    Prices have not risen much and thus, as you say, to have growth in GDP we must have a rise in transactions. Totally agree. But to imply that the economy is on good footing, if that is what you are intending to do is where I guess we must disagree. With interest rates this low we should be seeing much more credit creation but we are not. That indicates to me that the economy is still sputtering.

    Asset prices have risen (equities, housing) as a result of the excesses of the Fed, but much of the economy is still weak.
    Nov 6, 2014. 10:32 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #275, November 3, 2014 [View instapost]
    LOL! Whether one agrees with the argument or not, it still conjures up a very funny image!
    Nov 6, 2014. 03:11 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #275, November 3, 2014 [View instapost]
    DG - When was the last time Kansas had earthquakes? I noticed at least 4 in the last 24 hours. Highest magnitude was only 3.3 but still...

    Something else seems strange, too: no reported quakes in Japan. I don't ever remember seeing zero quakes in or around Japan for 24 hours.
    Nov 6, 2014. 11:47 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #275, November 3, 2014 [View instapost]
    I would expect the bounce to come after brokerages like LPL Financial announce the intention to reinstate sales agreements of ARCP products. Until then there are very few outlets for ARCP products (assuming these are securitized bonds). To me that will be the trigger and that could happen anytime, but most likely not until brokers are comfortable with the limits of exposure. Just an opinion.
    Nov 6, 2014. 11:31 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September October 18, 2014 To ???.  [View instapost]
    WHO has not updated the number of deaths for over a week. I wonder if it was holding off for a specific reason? Probably not the U.S. elections, though...

    Anyway, according to its latest update the total number of deaths is now fewer than it was over a week ago. If only it were so.
    Nov 5, 2014. 06:54 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #274, October 9, 2014 [View instapost]
    Another factor that doesn't get much attention is the increasing level of difficulty for US companies to operate in China and Russia. Russia, for obvious reasons related to sanctions for it actions in Ukraine, is making life and business very difficult for US operations there. China has most of what it needs for now (intellectually) from US companies and is making it harder for foreign companies to compete against locally owned (often government owned) businesses. Also the changing regulatory environment in China is harder for US companies to cope with than locals and is purposefully so.

    So, the reduced level of growth in major emerging markets will be even less for the foreign competitors. I don't see a full out trade war happening, at least not yet, but we just aren't as necessary as we once were. Thus, US multinationals are likely to see slower growth in their international operations. Add that to the deteriorating sales in Europe (as mentioned by WT above) and slow growth in the US and the overall picture becomes somewhat less than rosy. Just my thoughts.

    I have been selling calls on many of my positions for extra income. When a position gets called away, I am hesitant to reinvest until we have another dip. I did a little buying in the last one, but am back to selling calls again.
    Nov 2, 2014. 09:34 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September October 18, 2014 To ???.  [View instapost]
    WT - You can order online. I think that the company has another outlet somewhere in Pennsylvania. I think it is a family owned biz. Should be quick delivery service from there.
    Oct 30, 2014. 02:45 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September October 18, 2014 To ???.  [View instapost]
    Great graphic! BTW, I think it was discussed here earlier, but just to be sure...

    There are a good number of Liberian workers collecting the dead bodies who are accepting bribes to change the cause of death to something other than Ebola so that families can have a traditional burial. Until that situation is cleaned up, Liberia will continue to be the biggest problem spot, imho. It is also a reason that the number of reported cases and deaths in Liberia are likely lower (how much is hard to say) than reality. But, if this situation continues (bribes, lies) it will probably get worse there.
    Oct 30, 2014. 01:45 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September October 18, 2014 To ???.  [View instapost]
    We have a good one down here in Virginia, too!

    http://bit.ly/1p76tsV
    Oct 30, 2014. 01:38 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #274, October 9, 2014 [View instapost]
    DG - Thanks for sharing. I never would have thought to throw such trash into a fire. Probably a good thing.
    Oct 29, 2014. 11:34 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #274, October 9, 2014 [View instapost]
    DG - I saw this and just had to share with you! New gun owner; target fights back! Hilarious short video.

    http://bit.ly/1tE0Faf
    Oct 29, 2014. 07:28 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September October 18, 2014 To ???.  [View instapost]
    Just looked at the new report from WHO on confirmed cases and deaths from Ebola in W Africa. Good news and bad news.

    Good news: Number of deaths in Liberia was reduced from previous report (this looks like an error to me, though). and the number of deaths overall seems to be slowing down considerably. It may have something to do with the season change from hot/humid to dry as discussed earlier in this thread.

    Bad news: Number of confirmed cases increased by over 3,500 in just the last 4 days.

    Overall, Who says that cases and deaths rate of increase are near plateau levels. But the raw numbers (especially if the deaths in Liberia turns out to be an error) do not project that conclusively, imho. But I am hopeful that we may be near the peak for the season. If it can be eradicated before the next hot/humid season (Spring 2015) we may be out of the woods. But if it is still around and at higher levels than it was last May when next May comes along, we may only be experiencing the crest of the first wave.

    It seems that I read in multiple sources that pandemics (if this turns into one) come in three waves, the second usually being the worst. Let's hope it gets contained sooner rather than later so we don't have to do this all over again next year.
    Oct 29, 2014. 07:19 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator September October 18, 2014 To ???.  [View instapost]
    Good! But the precedent has been set now and none of the health care workers to follow will need to stay quarantined unless they choose to be. That is my primary concern.
    Oct 27, 2014. 03:09 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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