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  • Why We See Gold Going Lower Long-Term [View article]
    Gutsy, but IMHO incorrect.

    "While recent trends in official sector gold sales have been a major tailwind for gold demand during the last few years, we don't think it would be wise to extrapolate this trend over the long term. "

    Central bank gold sales occurred mainly due to policy stemming from the turn of the millennium, when the developed world thought we were undergoing some sort of transcendent event in economics and world politics. They were wrong.

    Extrapolating the misguided optimism of the late 90s into some sort of long term trend is even more dangerous than what the author is advocating.
    Apr 22 02:00 PM | 36 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • John McLaughlin: More Clueless Economic Banter [View article]

    If I was your neighbor, and we both had very similar incomes, credit lines, etc., BUT you chose to fully tap out all the equity in your house, and max out all of your credit cards, indeed, you'd look a lot more wealthy, and you would seem to enjoy a higher standard of living. I, on the other hand, chose to take boring classes to get my MBA in management and finance, drove a beater, and hadn't replaced my wardrobe in five years. Five years from now, more than likely I'd be the one with the flashy car and Armani suits - and more importantly, less debt than you.

    Now, replace me with Asia, and you with America. Get the point?

    On Apr 16 02:03 PM Cetin Hakimoglu wrote:

    > But look how much the standard of living has risen for Americans
    > since the 40's.
    Apr 16 02:42 PM | 29 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 'Great' Roubini: Wrong Again and Again [View article]
    This article is too one-sided. Although Roubini has not been optimistic (ever), he was much less pessimistic after March of last year. After a good 18 months of following the likes of him, Marc Faber, and Jeremy Grantham, I must say that they've been overall quite helpful in navigating this morass.

    I must also chime in that Roubini's assessment of economic activity is not that far off from truth. However, it is where economic activity became decoupled from markets via monetary activity that seemingly has made Roubini's predictions irrelevant.
    Mar 4 08:14 PM | 27 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ron Paul, likely to chair a House committee on monetary policy, sees the Fed "self-destructing" through its easing: "People are going to desert the dollar. I think the Chinese are hinting that already. They're not wanting our dollars as much as they want raw materials... There is no evidence that creating money creates economic growth."  [View news story]
    The Fed is a convenient scapegoat for the massive deficit spending by Congress. In exchange for monetizing this new debt, the Fed gets a bag of sh*t dropped at their doorstep.

    It's a great deal, really. Congress gets to act inept, have the Fed sweep up the mess, and then they blame the Fed for their own incompetency while they get re-elected. Our political system is one to marvel at...
    Nov 8 06:39 PM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Reasons Why the Goldman Sachs Fraud Scandal Is So Dangerous [View article]
    Goldman has already sold themselves short and bought compound put options on Goldman stock to profit from their own fall!

    Apr 18 06:09 AM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • John McLaughlin: More Clueless Economic Banter [View article]
    What a farce. We've gone from rationing goods and sacrificing parts of our livelihood for the war effort in the 40s to this - instant gratification, spend-to-save-the-world, debt is bliss. If I didn't see it in the WSJ, I would have thought it was simply left-wing propaganda.

    Thanks Mr. Schiff for trying to set us straight.
    Apr 16 01:54 PM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobless Recovery: Fasten Your Seatbelts [View article]
    Great article.

    Something to note is that I've noticed that both of your jobless recoveries just happened to coincide with the latest two recessions we've had. These recessions just happened to coincide with a massive push towards globalization, in particular participation of emerging economies.

    To add two and two together, given that we are now in a globalized society, could a leading indicator be a recovery in these developing countries? Could their job numbers be substituted for what used to be job numbers in America? Given that these nations are poised for growth now, could that be a sign that the recovery is in the works?
    Jul 17 03:52 PM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Credit Card Cancer [View article]
    ED K,

    I believe you've completely missed the point. Mr. Schiff's argument is that this line of reasoning is EXACTLY THE WRONG FOCUS required to solve this problem:

    "...while such actions would certainly keep our phony economy propped up a while longer, it would further weaken the very foundation upon which a real economy will eventually have to be rebuilt."

    Mr. Schiff's argument is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And right now, we need about a ton of cure.

    On Mar 14 03:20 PM ED K wrote:

    > A very timely and informative post.Ms. whitney's thoughts hit the
    > nail right on the head,especially the "RAINY DAY THEORY",great stuff!!!!!
    Mar 14 03:54 PM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Gold's Fall Is Not Final [View article]
    Fascinating. This is probably one of the only bits of technical analysis I've found useful all year.

    "There are no markets anymore, only interventions."

    Amen...except the fact that everyone seems to believe this may be the sign of 'reflexivity' at work.
    Oct 22 12:21 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Another Perfect Storm Brewing for Markets and the Economy [View article]
    "Of course, theoretically it's possible to stand a pencil on its point. I just don't think it's financially wise to bet on it."

    This made me conjure up the image of spinning a top. Indeed, with enough 'spin', you can easily stand a pencil on its point. Extrapolate to politics/media.
    Oct 15 11:50 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will China Implode and Bring the U.S. Down With It? [View article]
    The title of this article is offensive, and is yet *another* attempt to scapegoat problems that are inherently internal to our own situation upon China.

    If China falls, it will be because it was not weak enough to stand on its own. We are currently falling. It remains to be seen if we are strong enough to stand on our own, although articles like this seem to insinuate that we are not.

    If manufacturing jobs return to the US for the reasons cited in the article, it will be for the wrong reasons. It will be because we have become so insolvent as to debase our currency to a level that makes our labor competitive again with the rest of the world. This will not lead to a rise in living standards - indeed, it will lead to a dramatic decline in them, as we will be forced to pay much more than we currently pay for just about anything.

    "Because of strong domestic inflation, China can no longer afford the kind of cheap prices they have offered [in the past]. "

    This comment insinuates that prices in China are rising. It depends upon whether or not wage inflation is rising as fast, if not faster, than domestic prices, something left out of the professor's comment. China's inflation rate has stayed well below their GDP growth rate, and if we correlate wage inflation to the GDP rate, then the typical Chinese citizen has been able to afford much, much more now than what he or she was able to 10, 20, or 30 years ago.

    Internationally, to say that China is experiencing 'inflation' is a misnomer - if their currency appreciates, then imports will become much cheaper for them to purchase, i.e. deflation. If our currency depreciates, then imports (from China and elsewhere) will become much more expensive for us to purchase, i.e, inflation, or more dollars chasing the same amount of goods.

    "It's the world's biggest and fastest-growing economic powerhouse,"

    No it is not...we are by far the world's biggest economic powerhouse. China is indeed the fastest-growing.
    May 9 12:46 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mortgage Fraud - The Root of America's Economic Malaise [View article]
    I think one of the easiest ways to reduce mortgage fraud is very simple:

    20% down payment.

    The best protection the lender has against moral rot is to enforce a bit of integrity in their own business models.
    Dec 27 01:44 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Government's New Credit Approach: Does the End Justify the Means? [View article]
    Attempting to protect credit-card users from themselves is like attempting to protect viewers of Cramer's Mad Money from taking his advice. Futile, and fraught with failure. The consumers made their choice, and now they must sleep in the bed they made.

    The only thing I see as useful is Obama's pledge to make what is in the fine print more readable and prominent in advertising material. However, remember what rolls in front of the screen before every episode of Mad Money? How many avid viewers actually bother to read that message, much less understand it? So goes this proposal...

    Bravo Mr. Schiff again, for providing the voice of reason.
    Apr 25 05:46 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China: Exactly Where Japan Was in the 1980s? [View article]
    This article is total nonsense and fails on many respects.

    1) JX's thesis seems more probable, China is Japan circa 1969, not 1989.

    2) Japan reached the pinnacle of developed world standards when it plunged to the abyss. Its population is aging, and its labor pool more expensive than even here. China has the 'cheap labor' advantage, which in a capitalistic system will always win the jobs. That labor is cheap precisely because we are too expensive - ask a Chinese laborer how much subsidized health care they receive in a given year, and then ask yourself what it would take for you to accept the same.

    3) Unsubstantiated bias bordering on statist (not Chinese) propaganda:

    "Lately, the Chinese economy has been impressing us with its growth: it was growing when the rest of the world was contracting, fast. But Chinese economic structure is not is not superior to the West’s; the Chinese can just cook GDP numbers better and control their economy more effectively through forced lending and spending."

    Let me guess - your father was the late Senator McCarthy.

    "However, these short-term advantages come with long-term consequences – there will be a steep price to pay for them; there always is."

    Wait a moment. WE are paying a steep price for our reckless behavior. China has made all of our crap for next to nothing, your typical Chinese laborer barely has enough money to pay for his own food while somehow saving 40% of his paycheck, and all you can think about his how THEY will pay? Amazing...the hubris (or ignorance) is stifling.

    I will concede that there is a political angle, "Better them than us," when it comes to scapegoating and general politicking, but really. Your rhetoric leaves nothing to be said other than 'good job on protecting our jobs from those Chinese heathens' or 'wow, I bet you have not come within 1000 miles of East Asia'. Neither is encouraging.

    Outside of that, your chart is enlightening (unfortunately the only part of the article that is so). But, you contradict your bearish bias by quoting the following: "Since 2005, China has generated 73% of the global growth in oil consumption and 77% of the global growth in coal consumption. [emphasis are mine] Need I say more?"

    You do need to say more. More on facts, and opinion that is based upon them. Unfortunately, your opinion is about as relevant to the facts presented here as your father's painting is to the subject matter at hand. While well written (the article) and beautifully portrayed (the painting), neither lend credence to whatever misbegotten point you are trying to make.
    Aug 23 10:21 PM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Debate About 'Green Shoots' [View article]
    I don't get the green shoots argument either. A couple of weeks ago, people were talking about an 'inflection point' in the Case-Schiller index for housing. All this means is that the fire's getting under control - it's still blazing in the theater.

    May 15 04:28 PM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment