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Matt Blackman  

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  • Is ECRI WLI Meaningless? [View article]
    What an entertaining interchange! Thank you Andrew for your comedic routine, perhaps even a first on this site: criticize an indicator that you clearly don't understand, then demonstrate you don't know how to download or construct an Excel spreadsheet or chart then become the target yourself (justly I might add)... To clarify, we're not laughing with you....
    Aug 24, 2010. 12:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is China the Trade of the Century? [View article]
    I have a really hard time taking anyone who invented and seriously advocates his Random Walk myth seriously.

    And now shame on Burton Malkiel who has just added his name to a list of short-sighted economists who support continued Fed secrecy. &

    "Empirical evidence suggests that unaccountable central banks misallocate resources and retard economic growth. Since 1913, the year the Fed was created, the dollar has lost 95% of its value. Easy credit from the Fed has made the US economy debt-dependent."
    Dec 10, 2009. 03:14 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Debt to Income Ratios and the U.S. Savings Rate [View article]
    I call BS on that statistic. Real debt service on $11 trillion of Federal government debt even at just 4% works out to more $500 billion per year which is more than the total deficit in 2008.

    On Dec 03 05:42 PM bbro wrote:

    > The Household debt service Plus Government debt service minus
    > Annual Personal Savings to GDP is 8.65%. This is at its best level
    > since 1995. This ratio averaged 8.23% in Reagan's second term 1984-1988.
    Dec 3, 2009. 08:03 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Debt to Income Ratios and the U.S. Savings Rate [View article]
    Your Total credit market debt/GDP ratio chart is more than a year old. According to Q1-09 data, the ratio is now 373.3% debt/GDP...and debt has doubled since 2000, and up 35% relative to GDP in that time...
    (See Figures 3, 4 and 5 at )
    And this chart does not include the more than $50 trillion in unfunded liabilities like Social Security, Medicare etc...
    Add it all up and you have a total debt (incredible) level of more than $1 million per US household.
    Dec 3, 2009. 07:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chart of the Day: Dollar/Equities Correlation [View article]
    Welcome to a Made in Japan 1990 strategy in the US. Unless I am missing something, we should expect similar performance in the years to come. You can't repeal the laws of nature and natural selection in the corporate world without paying a heavy price.

    We should sent Forest Gump to Washington. His message is something that Congress and the Fed should understand, "Stupid is as stupid does."
    Oct 14, 2009. 01:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Regulation Hobble Capitalism? [View article]
    Interesting article except for the fact that the government can't even come close to enforcing current regulations. Yes, there may be a need for some tweaks to present day regulations but could someone please explain just how is new reams of regulation and an even more bloated government sector is going to help markets?
    Sep 16, 2009. 04:30 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Gold Standard: As Relevant as Ever [View article]
    Great article and a subject that is being pretty much ignored. Just finished Fiat Paper Money: The History and Evolution of our Currency by Ralph Foster which is a must read for anyone with any assets.

    One important lesson from the book standouts out. Without exception , since the the first recorded use of fiat paper money in Szechwan, China in 1024 AD, every fiat paper currency since has suffered a strikingly similar fate. This set of events with different casts played out four more times over the next two centuries in China and then countless times in other parts of the world over the next nine hundred years in just about every civilized nation in the world. And although the characters and locations changed, the plot remained strikingly similar that like a Shakespearian tragedy, could be broken down into five all-too predictable acts including the death of the play’s central character – the currency.

    See a more detailed discussion and link to book at
    Sep 10, 2009. 01:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • America: A Bona Fide Plutonomy [View article]
    Interesting point but Michael Moore has yet again done his best to suck the public into his truth-distorted sensationalist mockumentary world. Those who take him seriously do so at their financial and intellectual peril.

    But the Citigroup findings do bring up an interesting point. Although the top10% income group earned 43% of the total income, in the same year (2006) the top 10% paid 70.22% of total taxes in the US and this proportion has been steadily rising according to the National Taxpayers Union.

    Translation? While the percentage income earned by the top brackets has been rising, the amount the government claws back through higher taxes is rising even faster.

    But if the conclusion that the wealthy have done better through this meltdown versus the Great Depression is true, it means that all the stimulus money has had a proportionately greater benefit to the wealthy - most certainly an unintended consequence of the Obama plan that is designed to take more from the rich. But it would seem that the rich are better at catching the money being thrown out of Fed Reserve and government helicopters....
    Sep 8, 2009. 12:46 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Recession Is Over [View article]
    Anyone who makes such a sweeping conclusion based on one indicator is a few bricks short of a full load. This rally and supposed recovery may be a real recovery but it also has a lot of similarities to past bear market rallies. In other words, your conclusion is little more than wishful thinking at this point!
    Sep 2, 2009. 01:29 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Perils of Data-Fitting [View article]
    Interesting! I saw the Bloomberg chart posted on so did some of my own research pricing the two indexes (SPX and Nikkei) in gold. There is little doubt that the BAC analyst was grasping for straws...

    See chart at

    As you can see from the charts of the Nikkei and SPX (offset 10 years) they have been going in opposite directions for the last five years in real terms....
    Sep 1, 2009. 01:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Marc Chandler's Compelling Perspective in 'Making Sense of the Dollar' [View article]
    Marc C;
    So are you saying then that total credit market debt of $53 trillion (Q1-09) which is 375% of GDP and has grown 35% faster than GDP since 2000 is a good thing? And is such a situation sustainable?

    Here are some fun numbers. Take TCMD of $53 trillion and add total unfunded liabilities of $59 trillion ( = $112 trillion.

    Now divide by the current estimated number of US households of around 118 million.

    Total = $950,000 per US household (unless I've misplaced a zero somewhere). A sobering number but what is more sobering is the rate at which total debt is growing relative to national economic output.

    Chart US Treasury international capital flows (line 30) of the Treasury report and you will see 2 things - 1) A strong negative trend and 2) A rapidly widening gap between US government monthly deficit demand and the supply of Treasury buyers (see 4th chart at ).

    Given the size of debt (govt and otherwise) and the rate at which its growing, how long before debt demand outstrips the supply of dollars from those buying Tbonds? Or is that a healthy thing as well?
    Aug 22, 2009. 03:17 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Unemployment Picture [View article]
    A comparison between today's unemployment rate of 9.4% and that of the 1980s is not valid since the way unemployment is calculated has been drastically altered by successive administrations. If we calculate unemployment as it was before changes were made, the unemployment rate today is 20.6% ( ).
    Aug 8, 2009. 04:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bernanke Is a Man with a Plan [View article]
    I wonder who Bernanke is trying to kid with a piece that opens, "The depth and breadth of the global recession has required a highly accommodative monetary policy..."?

    The Fed's "highly accommodative monetary policy" is what got us into this mess in the first place. The rest of the article represents some of the most blatant spin-doctoring we have seen in the last decade. So what does he mean when he says, "My colleagues and I believe that accommodative policies will likely be warranted for an extended period."? The Fed funds rate is now 0. Will the Fed start paying banks to access the discount window next?

    I wonder how Mr. Bernanke figures the economy and American people will repay the more than $23 trillion (latest total bailout package cost from the special inspector general for the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program..)? Is it any coincidence that Obama's goal is to raise tax revenues 40% by 2013?

    Finally, when are investors going to wake up and realize just how challenging the investment environment will be over the next decade?
    Jul 21, 2009. 02:33 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canada vs. U.S. - Whose Banks Are Safer? [View article]
    Interesting analysis. But anyone who thinks the Canadian housing market will avoid the global downdraft is deluding themselves. Some very good research has been conducted by BMO Capital Market's Doug Porter who showed a very convincing 2 year lag between Canadian and US housing prices. So although the Canadian housing market appears to be in better shape, their downward cycle just began last year and I expect prices here will drop a minimum 25% if not more. The amount of the final correction will depend on how bad this recession gets...

    As long as housing prices fall, Canadian banks will suffer downward earnings pressure which means lower stock prices.
    Feb 16, 2009. 03:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Animal Spirits: Rationality vs. Economics vs. Populism [View article]
    Hold on. Hasn't the cash voucher idea already been tried? The Bush Administration earmarked $100 billion (or so) for tax rebates amounting to around $400 per taxpayer (if I remember correctly) and most intelligent economist and analysts agree that it was a colossal waste of money. Unfortunately, that hasn't stopped the new Administration from adopting a nearly identical program in TARP 2. which is by the way the single most costly item with a $116 billion price tag.

    On another note, thanks again David for your attempt to re-affirm the efficient market hypothesis. Real traders know it for what it is, a complete myth but it keeps bringing investors back to the table so traders can take their money.
    Feb 15, 2009. 04:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment