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Latest comments  |  Highest rated
  • U.S. Economy: Dismal News, Dismal Outlook [View article]
    A perma-bear is always wrong as is a perma-bull. You should not act on them although it is sometimes useful to listen to their arguments. It tends to explain about 35% of the market sentiment.

    As for being unable to stop deflation, never underestimate the power of the government to spend more than it has or can afford, especially when the Federal Reserve is in agreement.
    Jul 5, 2010. 02:50 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Russell 2000, S&P 500 Confirm Bear Market [View article]
    Actually they are still early. Although long term fundamentals for the US puts us in a bad situation a few years down the road, the markets have proven an uncanny ability not to care much about the future more than a quarter or two. Thus, a full bear market meltdown dropping double digits below the death cross in the S&P500 is probably not going to happen.

    The reason being, corporate profits of good companies are too strong. Even so, there is evidence the run up was too broad based and controlled by fund managers and proprietary high frequency trading. The market has been trading everything up pretty much in sectoral tandem. This is the result of fund managers trying to mirror their indexes rather than outperform, and computer models that can't distinguish one stock from another save the difference between beta and the likes. There is no alpha in their brains. When the market starts divergence between what is good (growing revenue and profits) from those that aren't I will call this a healthy market. So far I'm not seeing it.
    Jul 5, 2010. 02:26 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stocks May Surprise by Year-End [View article]
    Tomcat is right most of the time, the death cross is a bottoming signal except for the 10% or so when it is not. Then it is a big drop into the abyss. If you can protect yourself a little when it happens at a low cost it isn't always a bad thing. Nothing spoils a day like double digit losses, especially if it happens in a day.
    Jul 5, 2010. 02:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Trading Week Outlook: July 5 - 9, 2010 [View article]
    Scary rallies or scary drops. It depends on which way you bet. If you talk about a market collapse it tends to be a pretty clear drop, no funny business. That is why I believe in volatility more than a double dip at this point, no one expect the numbers not to bounce in the summer. That still doesn't rule out a double dip, it just shoves it further down the horizon.

    Last week the market discounted what it probably should have the week before, however, the Euro crisis discount has yet to unwind even though things seem to be much calmer there. So is the market perfectly efficient, certainly not, but I'd say it is inefficient only in the volatility spread and the margin between what you can buy and sell a security for (the real cost of buying and selling). Right now it is less efficient, thus the market is very choppy.
    Jul 5, 2010. 02:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Keeping Our Depression Real [View article]
    Personally, I think the facts are bearing out what I have said before. We will have a business recovery as productivity rises and margins expand, but it will be hard to make that translate into a robust economic recovery anytime soon. The stock market should rise on better corporate earnings, but that doesn't mean life will be better for the general public. In fact, it could get worse.

    Usually stock market recoveries begin on the back of job losses, not on their creation. Furthermore, I'd go so far as to say that recoveries are more robust with a smaller government than a larger one even if they add to overall employment meaning government jobs are a drain on society much more than a boon.
    Jul 4, 2010. 03:13 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Blogging Is Like Being Bad at Math [View article]
    Numbers can lie just as easily or even easier than words. Watching the news "facts" reveals that all to clearly.

    Surveys have margins of error and must be conducted in a way to weed out other factors that could pollute your results. Fox or CNN news surveying its own viewers means absolutely nothing about the general state of the union.

    Unemployment numbers and other statistics are a result of a process. Logic is needed more than sheer processing power and numbers. Comprehension is more important than being able to do the equation.

    In reality, you don't need to be a math professor to see what's going on in the economy or what's wrong with various statistics. One need not invent a new unemployment methodology to prove the fallacy of the existing one. Skepticism and critical thinking tend to trump math because we live in a dynamic world where what worked today doesn't always work the same way tomorrow.

    The one big flaw of Keynsian thinking is that they see money supply as a game of numbers more than the real effect. They are all off in math lala land which has nothing to do with how the rubber meets the road. Behavior science would be better at explaining why the stimulus has failed and will continue to fail. Rarely is government much more than a tax on society. That is how people see stimulus and government actions so far. And so far they have yet to be proven wrong.
    Jul 4, 2010. 03:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Employment Depression [View article]
    The more costly and the harder it is to fire people the less willing employers are willing to take the risk and hire someone. As you can see, apparently employers feel that the costs are already too high. If we saddle them with more costs the next recession might easily become a depression.
    Jul 4, 2010. 02:42 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Today in Commodities: Market Fireworks [View article]
    Sliding oil is great for the summer driving season. Unfortunately, recently there has been a strong correlation between it and the market/economy as we have seen. Of course, oil also rises on a weaker dollar which tends to boost the market as it did last year.
    Jul 3, 2010. 12:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economic Illiteracy in Congress Is Simply Frightening [View article]
    Lars: Sadly you are correct.
    Jul 3, 2010. 12:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Job Market Theoretically Booming [View article]
    Apparently they think the baby boomers are dying off at record numbers, far faster than those entering the job market. Next thing you know they will be saying we need to ease immigration because there is not enough people to fill jobs. Regardless they need to calculate total jobs in the US and total % of people working between the ages of 18-70. I suppose you can exclude those considered disabled, handicapped, etc. A falling unemployment number due to people giving up on looking for work does no one any good and obscures the economic issue we are looking for: total wages and hours worked rising which gives rise to a higher velocity of money.
    Jul 3, 2010. 12:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Lead: A Patriotic Investment Option [View article]
    I was thinking that you were going to mention something that was produced in the US. Gun ownership is not really patriotic although it is a right in our constitution that is often under attack. Unfortunately like manufacturing, most mining is going overseas as well, probably due to environmental regulations although heavy metals and gold mining and such tends to contaminate the environment quite a bit (using cyanide, etc).
    Jul 3, 2010. 12:19 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economic Illiteracy in Congress Is Simply Frightening [View article]
    I have to second this statement. It is hard to believe that Congress and the government as a whole does not know what is going on. A few billion misallocated, I can understand. Hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars going out to special interest groups and financial companies, come on! Even a elementary school kids understands what is wrong about what is going on in Washington.

    As for Pelosi, she should know better that continued unemployment benefits comes at the cost of all those working. Yes, as I mentioned, this is a trifle compared to the hundreds of billions going out the door on other things. They are still asking you not to look behind the curtain at out $1.6 trillion dollar annual deficit. That's where the real Washington fun is.
    Jul 2, 2010. 01:14 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AIG-Taiwan Deal Appears Hopeful [View article]
    I share equal concern about China investing in Taiwan financial companies given their ambition to taking over the island. The world should not bend over backwards to appease a company that is an embarrassment to America. Nor should have America bent over backwards paying off Goldman Sacs and others for their bad derivatives contracts. Our government is chock full of people making billions off of AIG at the taxpayer's expense.

    A weakening of Taiwan to China is a much greater threat and would be much more costly to the US than the $2 billion it would gain from selling AIG's unit.
    Jul 2, 2010. 01:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Typical Pause in the Recovery? Maybe for Greenspan [View article]
    Short term for him may mean uhhh 4 years or more. Mind you, he lowered rates for a short term which lasted his entire tenure at the Federal Reserve. I do have to congratulate him on his recent statement that the US should start cutting their deficit and spending now. Apparently, it's so much easier to say "do the right thing" when you are not in a position of power to do anything.

    Greenspan, you're still an idiot and now a hypocrite as well!
    Jul 2, 2010. 01:05 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • June Unemployment Falls for the Wrong Reason [View article]
    You are correct in general, however, might I point out that generally recoveries begin not because of lower amounts of workers but higher productivity. We have seen consistently higher productivity and yet recovery is not forthcoming. This may be because the government and Federal Reserve are preventing the other historic component of a recovery from happening, allowing prices to fall in order for supply and demand to re-adjust and forcing unproductive or overbuilt areas of the economy to pare down or shut down.

    Banking is not shrinking and construction has not dropped to the levels needed for a housing recovery until very recently. The excesses must be wrung out before recovery begins. With the mindset of government trying to preserve the past, that may take years if not decades. Welcome to the new Japan.
    Jul 2, 2010. 01:01 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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