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  • It's Not Too Soon to Sell in May [View article]
    Cetin, was that really necessary?
    May 18, 2009. 01:33 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's Not Too Soon to Sell in May [View article]
    Bank of America is a great company? -- up 10% today on what? A Goldman conviction buy rating. Hmm. Lemme guess. Merrill's going to reciprocate and rate GS a conviction buy. To the moon, Alice!
    May 18, 2009. 11:16 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Too Early to Dub YouTube a Failure [View article]
    On May 17 03:15 PM jrltexas1 wrote:
    > Google is simply a tool of the State at this point.

    Shh. Think pleasant thoughts and love your neighbor, citizen.
    May 18, 2009. 05:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Just when you thought it was safe to count on cheap gas for another week, this news of volcanic activity in Saudi Arabia.  [View news story]
    !! There is no threat to Saudi oil fields. Swarms of small quakes near Medina are in line with Red Sea geology and tectonics. DO NOT trade on this 'non-news' hokum.
    May 16, 2009. 12:13 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • If Gold Bugs' Fantasies Came True [View article]
    "a private bank that has been in existence for a minimum of 200 years in a segregated vault"

    Perth Mint
    May 16, 2009. 03:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Suburban Housing Markets Are Unsustainable (Part 2) [View article]
    On May 15 05:22 PM Charles Lieberman wrote:
    > It is very real--impossible to ignore, I think--that our country
    > is producing vastly more GDP over the years and that product is growing
    > significantly faster than population

    Goodness gracious, Charles. Are you including government spending and 'tape painting' leveraged velocity in GDP? Think private sector.
    May 16, 2009. 01:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Suburban Housing Markets Are Unsustainable (Part 2) [View article]
    On May 15 09:28 AM EEB wrote:
    > As for the social commentary, I think that everyone keeps missing
    > a central point about laissez-faire capitalism. If one is living
    > in such a system, then it is perfectly rational to be greedy. Mozilo
    > and the others did commit fraud, but it was perfectly rational to
    > do so. The odds of being punished were very low and the rewards were
    > very high. A laissez-faire system is basically telling individuals
    > that money is the only thing of value.

    Er, no. Mozilo could not have existed without Fannie and Freddie, FHLB, VA, FHA, securitization backed by the Greenspan put, etc. It's commonplace and idiotic to blame liberty for the sins of Congress and the Federal Reserve.

    19th century laissez faire capitalism gave you everything of lasting value. Railroads, electricity, telecoms, roads, bridges, oil refining, steel mills, cargo ships, mechanized planting and harverting, and the equity markets to fund crazy new ideas like penicillin, vitamins, aircraft, and supermarkets.

    ----------------
    Jim, your best ever. Thank you.
    May 16, 2009. 12:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This chart of S&P 500 earnings from 1935 to the present gives chilling perspective into the magnitude of the current economic decline.  [View news story]
    Market Sniper: we agree. That's why I have no long term strategy. Central America is not a good option. Australia and Canada are very strict about immigration. Not everyone can afford Switzerland. The "heartland" states like Nebraska and Iowa, rural Pennsylvania and upstate New York are weathering the storm best.
    May 16, 2009. 12:05 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This chart of S&P 500 earnings from 1935 to the present gives chilling perspective into the magnitude of the current economic decline.  [View news story]
    A bit of perspective on the Great Depression. I ran NPV on every year in the 20th century. The *only* positive long run return was buying in 1933-4. The question is therefore whether an analogy exists. I don't think it does, unless you expect another cataclysmic global war that flattens every other economy except the United States AND no social unrest in America AND booming industrial output to build tanks and planes and warships -- all of which seems pretty unlikely.
    May 15, 2009. 11:08 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This chart of S&P 500 earnings from 1935 to the present gives chilling perspective into the magnitude of the current economic decline.  [View news story]
    Where's Cetin? He should be here.
    May 15, 2009. 07:57 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can the Coming Mortgage Reset Bubble Be Absorbed? [View article]
    It's my understanding that refis are being done to book the upfront fee revenue this quarter. I doubt very much that any new lending is done.
    May 15, 2009. 11:59 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gary Shilling was about as close as anyone to forecasting the current crisis in both magnitude and timing. He's sticking to his S&P target of 600, and says the golden era of growth is over. Meanwhile, Peter Schiff says he didn't get the investment theme wrong.  [View news story]
    I like Cetin. Comedy value 10.
    May 15, 2009. 10:12 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed's True Purpose [View article]
    No matter what the statute may say, no matter how much mud, egg, and ridicule they deserve, the Fed's purpose is to create or drain bank reserves. The idea is to contain panic and restrain runaway money creation by lenders (the 'Great Moderation'), which is proving to be a broken model, no better than a bluff. The credit market sets rates. There is wide consensus among banks, large and small, that the Fed plays an important, necessary function. I doubt this is true. Seems more like an article of faith.

    We're nearing a watershed event of some kind, when the Treasury auctions fail. At that point the jig is up and the Fed will be powerless to make or unmake whatever the private market decides to do.
    May 14, 2009. 09:15 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Green Shoots Story Looking a Little Tired [View article]
    Great article. Confirms my thesis that discretionary is kaput.
    May 14, 2009. 07:07 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Another Sign of Recovery: Retail Sales End Free-Fall [View article]
    California food stamp households almost doubled 2008-1Q2009, for instance, so we need to discount retail sales to reflect 'free riders' if you want to use it as a recovery indicator. Maybe the right way to do this is to strip out food and fuel, i.e., use discretionary purchases as an indicator. Maybe compare retail employment. A million retail jobs were cut 2008-1Q2009. I don't see any green shoots.
    May 14, 2009. 05:52 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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