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Steven Hansen

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  • Four Reasons We Can't Call It a Recession - Yet [View article]
    If you fall in love with a particular economic or investing philosophy, I am willing to bet over the short haul you will loose money in times of economic stress as we are experiencing now.

    The game being played between the various central banks and the Fed parallels that of chess masters. Whether this is a recession or not is not important - the economy is not good. This is not the time to be worrying about making money but the preservation of capital.

    Aug 16 11:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Consensus Economist GDP Estimates and Recession Odds [View article]
    The value is that economists have spent their professional career studying economics. Their predictions can be no better than the data they are viewing, how close the economy will follow historical data, and whether their are new influences on the economy which will distort the outcome.

    i would personally not bet on such a divided economic opinion.
    Aug 16 09:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Computing Inflation in Real Time [View article]
    If you would use gold as the indicator, the government would screw with this commodity's pricing.

    It would be good if a non-gov't organization produced an inflation index.
    Aug 15 10:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Five Forces Driving the Euro Down [View article]
    Of the five reasons given for bullish sentiment towards the dollar, none seem to me to explain the massive movement. Oil prices should help both currencies. The economic data is not good in the usa or euro - only comparatively different. The fed interest rate uptick is pie in the sky. And sentiment is emotion.

    No, I think there is a big reason - but it was not stated in this article.
    Aug 15 10:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Complete Failure of Owners' Equivalent Rent [View article]
    If the cpi was not supposed to be a personal cost (inflation) index, then why is so many retirement and other cost/payment adjustments tied to it. The cpi is the defacto measure of inflation on the consumer. This is not logical argument but simply fact.

    I do believe over the long haul the index is valid. In the short haul, however, the cpi is not measuring the distress on the consumer. We need a new short haul indicator which removes discressionary items and measures simply food, shelter, clothing and transport costs.
    Aug 15 09:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rampant Inflation Paints Fed Into a Corner [View article]
    The current economic situation will be revealed within the next six months. Logically it does not look good for any sort of recovery but i lack a nobel prize in economics. I do believe interest rates and inflation are the least of our worries.
    Aug 15 08:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Stock Bottom Doesn't Mean the Bull Is Coming Back [View article]
    I understand the market defies logic in its movements, but where would economic traction be coming from? Certainly not from the poor American consumer. If oil prices return to mid 2007 levels, then economic expansion is in order.

    Aug 15 07:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 7 Companies Raising Dividends In This Tough Market [View article]
    Richie Bros increases dividend to 9 cents? Let me run down and buy a whole sack of this stock. Seriously, Richie Bros doing well is not good news for our economic engine.
    Aug 15 10:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Great Consumer Crash of 2009 [View article]
    The great thing about data is that you are left only with arguing what it means. For sure, we need to sit back for the next six months to see what the horizon looks like. There are many possible senarios even if the USA does not blockade iran - and if it does things will not look good.
    Aug 14 09:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Two Types of Speculation: One Harmful, One Not [View article]
    You are kidding me? there is good speculation and bad speculation. this is rubbish. everybody in the market is trading based on good speculation - to make money.

    if civil penalties and damages could be levied on people who originate or propagate information which is false or information clearly arranged to deceive or mislead - this would be good. but this will never happen, and i am not in favor this as the practical consequences could be enormous.

    i will just settle for keeping my tires inflated.
    Aug 5 10:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investment Strategies in These Times of Transition [View article]
    to me, both a democratic and republican congress focuses on demand side legislation in order to get re-elected. guess what? this is an election year. energy costs have pulled the foundation out from under the economy, and i believe the government should be spending big bucks in bringing energy self-sufficiency to usa.
    Aug 4 12:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • P/E Ratios and Inflation [View article]
    the analysis is not flawed. it is an extrapolation of historical tools. the question is whether this rule works today. my personal opinion is that while price to earnings ratios are somewhat effected by inflation and in the past have paralleled inflation, inflation is not the primary driver of price to earnings ratios, and this is the reason for the lack of precision when plotting price to earnings ratio versus inflation.
    Aug 3 11:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is the U.S. Banking System Safe? [View article]
    actually, i think this article covered too much ground with too little analysis of the impacts of each issue relating to bank solvency. the use of data in this article was excellent, but some conclusions were drawn without adequate foundation. maybe the author of this article had his target audience as somebody smarter than me.

    and some recommendations at the end are disconnected from the analysis done in the article. particularly objectionable to me is advise number 4, to me there is little difference between somebody who knows what the truth is and lies, and somebody who speaks the 'truth' without gaining the knowledge to put the truth in perspective.

    Aug 3 11:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing in Tankers: Ship, Ship, Hooray? [View article]
    why would i want to buy stock in a company where the liability loss caused by one collision will wipe the company off of the face of the world? when i was building nuke power plants in the early 70's, the industry kept saying that nukes were statistically safer than the odds of two 747's colliding on the runway. unfortunately, that very thing happened in Tenerife.

    A point to illustrate that my concerns are justified. for the last 13 years i have been navigating all the seven seas. you would sh*t your pants if you knew the percentage of the time that the watch on the bridge was not only not watching - but not there. even if a particular company has a very dedicated bridge crew, a tanker is very close to the least maneuverable ship on the seas (in other words it cannot maneuver its way out of trouble).

    good luck with your investments.

    Aug 3 10:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirements on Hold [View article]
    to summarize the situation for retirees:

    1) it is unlikely the dow can recover the lost anytime soon (see Planner's comment above). in fact, i believe the dow may be entering an even higher period of volatility. so a retiree is unlikely to recover lost capital anytime soon;

    2) inflation's engines is being ignited by energy increases and the previous declines of the dollar. so whatever the retiree has left will evaporate into an even smaller puddle;

    3) the retiree's house, which most were counting on for a significant contribution to the good life after retirement, has dropped in value. if the deflation of housing values stops today, i doubt it will rise again anytime soon; and

    4) not against owning gold (i do own some), but you can never count on when the price will increase. it is not a reliable investment vehicle to baseload a retirement plan.

    so what to do????

    Aug 3 09:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment