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  • Weighing The Week Ahead: What Will The Government Shutdown Cost? [View article]
    What is your strategy for dealing with comments by members of the Fed? As we approach the next change in Fed policy, the markets seem vulnerable to remarks by even lesser Fed officials. The media appear eager to run back and forth between dove and hawk officials lately.
    Sep 29, 2013. 09:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Unsteady As She Goes [View article]
    Great point about there being not much political pressure for the Fed to stop doing what their doing. After all, they were not proactive in either the housing bubble or the tech bubble. So, yeah, they will probably be late to the party again this time.
    May 27, 2013. 02:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Broken Record But It's A Good Song [View article]
    The word that seems like a broken record in all of these economic reports is "unexpected". Maybe someone can count the use of "unexpected" in these reports and create a new index.
    May 1, 2013. 10:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Seductive Warren Buffett [View article]
    Actually, I would prefer that "zillionaires" be philanthropic with their "excess" earnings and fund projects like hospitals and schools. They can oversee the project and make sure it is a good value for their money. They could even put their names on the building.

    I would prefer this rather than have the money go to Washington where some Congress person could earmark the funds for their district and put their own name on the building - see Sen. Robert Byrd of WV for just one egregious example.
    Dec 5, 2012. 09:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    If our leaders had focused on pro-growth policies over the last four years, the economy would have grown and tax revenues would have increased.

    Instead, a gigantic reason for the economic malaise, is that the uncertainty and confusion over what lies ahead makes people wait for clarity.
    Nov 30, 2012. 08:40 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • President Obama's proposal to extend the middle-class tax cuts before reforming the tax code and entitlements is a "sucker's game," declares Wilbur Ross. There's no trade-off there, it's just the president saying give me what I want, and I'll agree to talk about the rest later. What's being obscured by Washington is that the fiscal cliff issue isn't about taxes and revenue, but that our country is spending way too much. “You can't solve the bulk of the problem with revenues," Ross says. "It’s not going to happen.” [View news story]
    We could a) raise taxes, b) lower spending and/or c) implement pro-growth policies (cheap energy, lower regulatory burdens for small businesses, less burdensome tax code).
    Nov 15, 2012. 10:07 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Affordable Care Act actually discourages small businesses from growing, says's Robert Weinstein. Buried within 2,700 pages of the Act is a requirement that businesses provide all employees with "acceptable" health insurance coverage, but exempts businesses with 49 or fewer full time employees. For small business owners, this is a glaring disincentive not to grow beyond 49 employees as a result of the costs and additional regulations companies face with 50 or more.  [View news story]
    If you recall how the legislation was passed in the Congress, it was very disconcerting. It was flat out ugly. Members seemed to not really know what was in the bill, bribes were used too get votes, tricks were used in budget scoring, and arcane procedural measures were used to get the bill through. Insurance companies, drug companies, doctors and capitalism were all demonized by the bill's proponents. The implementation was even staged to hide the real impact until after the 2012 election.

    Now that the law has been ruled upon by the Supreme Court, we will find that the law will be used as a political stick to garner campaign dollars and votes in each future election cycle. The Democrat tactics will focus on ever-expanding coverage and increases in spending, and the Republicans will resist a little, propose spending a dime less in the next year's budget and still be portrayed in election ads as pushing Granny in a wheelchair over a cliff. Such fun! I'm sure that they are already crafting the ads.

    The politicians probably did not ask any real doctors how to get costs down because they don't want to hear any of the answers - cut fraud, minimal co-pays for Medicaid patients to prevent overuse, turn away patients who do not belong in the emergency rooms, and make Americans take responsibility for eating right and exercising would have gone a long way.

    Now the IRS will be bigger, doctors will spend more time filling out quality control reports instead of treating patients, and the country will be spending its way to oblivion even faster.
    Jul 7, 2012. 04:57 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Float On: Treasury Tries To Raise Money At Low Rates [View article]
    Thanks for pointing out that the floating rate bond principal will be unprotected from inflation (as well as deflation).
    May 2, 2012. 09:37 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cookies And Zilch [View article]
    I have enjoyed a number of profitable trades over the last few months by shorting when the market spikes after the Euro people announce their latest deal, and then covering a few days later when it inevitably falls apart.

    As for the cookie analogy, imagine that some Zorba-esque people negotiate for more cookies today in exchange for a promise to settle for less cookies in the next year's cookie exchange. (I think there are some French banks that would let you do that.)
    Dec 12, 2011. 11:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Senate votes to table the Boehner debt plan 59-41.  [View news story]
    The baseline budgeting technique used by Congress creates too much confusion for the voters. It also makes it too easy for The Spenders to brand any trimming of the rate of built-in spending increases in the out-years as some sort of drastic cut that will ensure that the nation's children starve and old folks will get thrown out in the snow. The budget "cuts" that people understand are when you spend less dollars next year than you spent this year.
    Jul 29, 2011. 09:28 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Breaking Up to Possibly Make Up - The Greek Saga Continues [View article]
    Happy to have found your commentary on SA. Enjoy you on television, too. Keep up the good work.
    May 11, 2011. 11:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "The president is missing," Paul Krugman writes - or at least his version of what Obama should be: "the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected." By "caving in so completely" on the "terrible" budget deal, Obama "set a baseline for even bigger concessions over the next few months."  [View news story]
    Hard to call it a cave when the amounts in the compromise are so small compared to what needs to get done. Maybe it should be called a cubby.
    Apr 11, 2011. 06:32 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Capture Revisited [View article]
    I keep a list of ex-div dates for select dividend payees with track records of dividend increases. I am happy to opportunistically put idle cash to worK if there is a price dip near the ex-div date. But my list is limited to stocks I would hold long-term anyway.
    Jan 14, 2011. 11:57 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Do Deficits Matter? [View article]
    Deficits only matter when Washington is debating tax cuts.
    Dec 10, 2010. 06:26 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Awful Employment Number, But Investors Act as if Bad News Is Good [View article]
    Congrats on passing the 1,000 follower milestone! I enjoy your commentary.
    Dec 5, 2010. 07:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment