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  • In a year when safer investments generally paid off and risky bets didn't: Dow +5.53%, S&P -0.003%, Nasdaq -1.8%, Russell 2000 +5.45%, Nymex crude +8.15%, Brent crude +13.33%, natural gas -32.15%, copper -22.71%, Comex gold +10.18%, U.S. dollar -3.22% vs. euro, 10-year Treasury yield -43.57% to 1.88%.  [View news story]
    Both Russel 2000 and Nasdaq are down for the year. You should correct the article.
    Dec 30 11:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • States and cities may not be defaulting in waves yet, says Meredith Whitney, but they're cutting back spending and heavily contributing to signs of a double-dip recession. Job cuts announced by non-financials such as Merck are about to get a lot worse as municipalities are "forced to cut back on issuing contracts."  [View news story]
    Her call on defaults "is playing out exactly as I thought it would," she said.

    ROFL!!! She truly has no shame. Wasn't supposed to be 100 billion in defaults in 2011?

    Jefferson county has only 3.3B in sewer bonds and Harrisburg about 0.3B in incinerator bonds. I am holding my breath for remaining 96 billion in defaults in remaining 5 months of 2011.
    Aug 1 07:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • David Rosenberg feels like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: "Whenever the fiscal and monetary spigots are turned off, we go into a soft patch." While the Fed likely won't make waves at tomorrow's FOMC meeting, his prediction of a "99% chance" of a recession ahead means QE3 is sure to be "next year's story."  [View news story]
    The only 99% I can see is that David Rosenberg is a joke. He is a TV personality, not an economist. Just check his track record - last time he was bullish was in May 2008. He's been consistently wrong since then.

    It just doesn't get you on TV to say there is a 50/50% of something.
    Jun 21 06:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How the Employment Situation Is Actually Continuing to Improve [View article]
    Good job Scott. I always get a chuckle how the morons above cannot comprehend simple tabular data and prefer personal attacks instead.

    The employment rate actually went up by 105K based on the household survey in May. If you couple this with lay-offs in government, you would get at the pretty decent numbers in private employment considering the low expectations.

    Now for you high-school dropouts above. Here's some econ 101:

    1. Employment to population ratio reflect demographics, not unemployment. Retiring baby boomers may have something to do with the trend (try to connect the dots). There are no "many economist" believing that unless you consider yourself "many"

    2. Fed does not buy stocks, only government-backed bonds. It also does not print money. Only Federal Government can do it

    3. The non-farm PRIVATE employment was up. Please take lessons on how to read data in simple tabular format

    4. London Underground is a form of transportation, not a political movement..oh wait..this is from "Fish Called Wanda"
    Jun 3 07:04 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deflation is still the greatest threat to the economy, Mish Shedlock says, with QE2 merely reflating financial assets and pumping up commodity prices, most of which will "plunge" in the coming months. Shedlock sees gold as a beneficiary of deflation driven by debt de-leveraging, which he thinks will accelerate as the global economy grinds to a halt.  [View news story]
    Just look at his Sitka capital (the fund he works for) performance first before you listen to this guy...I guess the things are so bad there that they stopped publishing monthly investor letters.

    Gold is rising because the real short-term rates are negative, which is impossible in a deflationary environment...
    Jun 2 06:08 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Louie of Nomura has a contrary view of Hong Kong property, saying there is no bubble, just a world class city with not nearly enough supply to meet demand. Unless China goes away or Hong Kong turns its back on progress, expect real estate prices to keep rising.  [View news story]
    "In our view – unless China suffers a hard landing or Hong Kong shuts its doors and turn its back on being a “World City” – the upward trend for property prices is likely to continue."

    Hmm... This of course assumes that China has a real economy, not a real-estate based ponzi-scheme?
    Jun 2 01:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The good news is we only lose $14B. The White House releases a report saying of the $80B in bailout money spent for the auto industry, less than 20%, rather than the 60% projected two years ago, may be lost. Is it election season already? Full report here (pdf)  [View news story]
    So the the remaining 14B should come out of UAW pension fund commitments since taxpayers should be paid ahead of UAW.

    Am I missing something here?
    Jun 1 04:44 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This time is different, says Stephen Roach, arguing why the China "development miracle" will continue. The crux of his case seems to be that smart central planning really can abolish the business cycle and direct a massive nation and impossibly complex economy exactly where it wishes it to go.  [View news story]
    Here's by far the funniest part:

    In 2009, about 280,000 domestic patent applications were filed in China, placing it third globally, behind Japan and the United States.

    What is he smoking? What patents? Did he take this line from Chinese Communist manifesto?

    China has ZERO respect for intellectual property. Just go to one of Beijing "copy-market" where they openly sell crappy knock-offs of Western brand.

    It remains to be seen if China can rise above low-end manufacturing. They only succeeded in copying, but not innovation.

    To say China is innovative is ludicrous. US got Apple and Google, Japan got Toyota and Mitsubishi, Korea has Samsung and LG. What does China have? Huawei (cheap crappy appliances) and Lenovo (IBM PC rejects)?

    I don't think Roach has ever been to China, or at least never stepped out outside his luxury hotel.
    May 27 03:02 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Causing Silver's Slide? [View article]
    What's the saying for "full me three times.."? Apparently, buying tulips twice in last decade ( and houses) taught an average investor nothing...
    May 5 04:44 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Commodities Carnage Soros' Fault? [View article]
    It's not anyone's fault. Smart investors started to get out before QE2 expires. The retailers will be holding bags full of cheap silver and yellow metals (as always)...
    May 4 03:46 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Not throwing in the towel, but "an acknowledgment of what the market internals are flashing at the current time," David Rosenberg turns bullish on equities. "The (greenback) is on a one-way ticket south ... for now it is being viewed as fodder for the global liquidity and risk-on trades."  [View news story]
    David's timing to turn bullish now is nothing short of comical. I agree it's probably time to sell since his last 2-year track or so record is impeccably wrong.

    What's truly said that demagogues like him still get invited to speak on TV, conferences, etc. when he should have been "laughed out of town" by now. "Investment strategist" is one of few professions where accountability is completely absent.
    May 4 01:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The "Age of America" at an end, to be overtaken by China? "Give us a break," IBD says. Not only does China face formidable hurdles that will make it tough to keep growing at current rates, but the IMF doesn't even use correct data in its "politically motivated" report.  [View news story]
    Brett Arends is an embarrassment to WSJ (he is probably good enough for Marketwatch where you get what you pay for). He apparently does not understand the difference between PPP and nominal GDP.

    He actually admits in the last paragraph that IMF contacted Marketwatch to inform him that he is clueless:

    In a statement sent to MarketWatch, the IMF confirmed the report, but challenged my interpretation of the data. Comparing the U.S. and Chinese economies using “purchase-power-parity,” it argued, “is not the most appropriate measure… because PPP price levels are influenced by nontraded services, which are more relevant domestically than globally.”

    The IMF added that it prefers to compare economies using market exchange rates, and that under this comparison the U.S. “is currently 130% bigger than China, and will still be 70% larger by 2016.”
    Apr 26 07:24 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In praise of Jim Cramer: "Watching Jim on 'Mad Money' is sometimes like watching an impending train wreck. Jim’s a little crazy, a little off the deep end, but it’s either the kind of crazy we all see a little of in ourselves, or the kind of crazy we all wish we had."  [View news story]
    ..more the kind of crazy we all have a bit but would love to not have at all in order to hang on to our money.

    Cramer is a living manifestation of greed, fear, mania, and stupidity of an average investor. His entertainment value is derived from the same source as Glenn Beck's (train wreck is apt term):

    "Hey, look, this guy is an even bigger idiot than me and he has his own show! Maybe there is hope in my life."
    Apr 25 05:27 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wake up S&P: The U.S. Can't Default on Its Debt [View article]
    The author is absolutely wrong. US can choose to default even if it can print its own currency. If the budget deficit gets completely out of control, the government has two unpalatable choices: inflate its way out by printing (described in the article) or make bondholders take a haircut (default).

    The latter choice may be preferable for all parties because it's more certain and transparent (parties can agree on orderly restructuring) unlike Fed indiscriminately buying debt no one else wants with printed money leading to a currency collapse and hyperinflation. The bondholders would obviously hold the bag in either scenario.
    Apr 21 11:56 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The crude oil market is paying little attention to a weekend statement from oil minister Ali Naimi that Saudi production has been cut nearly 10% since February. This will cause the lowest level of OPEC output since the world economy was at a standstill 2 years ago, and gives truth to ideas that Saudi production overcapacity is a myth.  [View news story]
    I think the article says exactly the opposite. The demand is actually falling because of high prices:

    Ali Naimi, the kingdom’s oil minister, has revealed that Saudi Arabia sharply reduced sharply its oil production last month – by a hefty 800,000 barrels a day – because of lack of demand
    Apr 19 09:57 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment