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  • CPI comes in slow again [View news story]
    They're in the headline, not core CPI.
    Oct 22, 2014. 01:00 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: 14 Nanometer Production Looks Like A Go [View article]
    It's low, certainly. But it's better than having a ROI of 0 for more powerful but not any more efficient CPUs. Of course, some people may actually need more processing capabilities, but they're already either served by their workstation lines or can justify the cost of more powerful CPUs by comparing the waiting time with employee cost.
    Mar 17, 2014. 10:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: 14 Nanometer Production Looks Like A Go [View article]
    The only problem with this thesis is that the question arises: "What will cause consumers to upgrade?" The type of consumers you reference are already not constrained by processing capabilities, the CPU (and likely, the GPU as well) are already more than sufficient to run whatever software they're running. Truly, the only thing that actually increases the value proposition in these cases is lower operating cost, ie, more power efficient. Because of this, Intel is actually doing the prudent thing from a business perspective.

    Even most gamers, the enthusiasts of the consumer space, don't need a top of the line CPU to max out settings, the GPU is almost always the limiting factor. What does a more substantial CPU offer you anymore? VMs, or more future proof (which is a silly design criteria to start with). And if you're going with VMs, the decrease in power consumption is quite lovely.
    Mar 17, 2014. 01:18 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Job gains of 175K beat forecasts; UE rate up to 6.7% [View news story]
    What you said doesn't make any sense. They revised previous months higher. Seriously, just scroll up the page and look at the announcement.
    Mar 7, 2014. 06:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Job gains of 175K beat forecasts; UE rate up to 6.7% [View news story]
    You're 100% wrong on this. On employment numbers the trend has been to revise numbers higher, and has been for quite some time now. Seriously, go back on seekingalpha and look at the jobs report announcements. They're usually increases in the revisions.
    Mar 7, 2014. 06:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford unveils new F-150, built mostly with aluminum: Will customers approve? [View news story]
    They'll make some up in higher prices due to better MPG and towing capacity, but I think they'll also eat some of it, as evidenced by their profit forecast for the year. If it works out though, it will be great for them as it really will help them throughout their lineup, but I think margins will be a bit compressed with this model to start out.
    Jan 13, 2014. 11:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford To Fund Its Pension Fully By Mid-Decade [View article]
    Everyone moved new employees to new systems, but legacy employees and already existing retirees still have the same wage and/or pension structure. There was an attempt at a buyout of pension obligations, but it wasn't nearly as expansive as say GM's efforts. Furthermore, GM sold some of their pension business to an insurance company, further reducing their pension exposure, which is something Ford didn't do.
    Jul 26, 2013. 12:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel's New Tablet Processor Beats The Best ARM Chip By A Huge Margin [View article]
    Antutu is a pretty worthless benchmark, it's hard to draw any useful conclusions from it. Exophase gave a good description here, but you needn't take his word for it, you can see it from David Kanter and Francois Piednoel as well(with their recent twitter back and forth

    I expect Silvermont to be a great chip, but I don't expect that Antutu is going to be relevant in discussing its merits.
    Jul 6, 2013. 11:03 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Inflation Could Infest The United States [View article]
    On the food inflation:

    That's food commodity inflation, one part of the total cost of food. There's a reason food prices in third world countries have significantly more volatility than food prices in developed countries: most food in developed countries has a large part of the cost in processing. I welcome you to try and demonstrate, using actual (aggregate) product prices, any significant food inflation since 1980 above and beyond the normal inflation rate. You may get a percent or two, but not much more than that. Even on the case of food commodity pricing, going over a 30 year stretch, you're not going
    to find much inflation there either.

    What theory do I have? That of Shadowstats being wrong and having numbers grossly different than reality? If that's the case, I have yet to see any evidence, reasonable or otherwise, to the contrary, and I've provided other analyses that agree with my point. What facts have I twisted?

    And what do you mean? In the quote I used, *I explicitly kept in the part where he says he uses the BLS numbers*. I didn't hide anything. And for what it is worth, it's amusing to see him argue his way out of that point, because the BLS numbers that he is "using" (from the BLS itself: ):
    "A number of other points also can be made. First, the
    sizes and effects of the changes implemented by the BLS
    have been overestimated by critics. The introduction of the
    geometric mean formula to account for product substitution has decreased the rate of change of the CPI by less
    than 0.3 percentage point annually, not by 3 percentage
    points annually as some have claimed. In the case of owner’s equivalent rent, it is not at all clear that the long-run
    impact has even been in a downward direction. Hedonic
    quality adjustments introduced in the last 10 years have
    had a very small impact on the all-items CPI."

    This was the BLS's response to questions about its CPI methodology. In John William's rebuttal (which I linked to earlier), he attacks things like hedonic adjustment and geometric weightings as concepts, a fair enough point, it's a worthwhile discussion how CPI is calculated, but never ever reconciles his numbers with what the BLS says the adjustments actually are. He's never done it, he's never released his methodology for someone to check. All he's ever done is say "I'm using the BLS numbers" with absolutely no demonstration of what he's actually done. This is why the missing academic paper he has been promising is so damning. He's never had anyone check his work, and considering how when you actually do check his work against basically any other source it is wrong; it's indicative of the fact that he is not using good methodologies. And given what the BLS has stated in the paper above, it can't even be reconciled with his claims of the BLS changes affecting such a large degree of the calculation.
    Mar 14, 2013. 05:29 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Inflation Could Infest The United States [View article]
    They don't pay for it, by and large, they'll cut benefits. Almost all the gap is due to Medicare and healthcare costs in general, and despite the protestations of democrats, there's going to be cuts. Changes like means testing, chained CPI (which, iirc, cuts the medicare deficit over 50 years by like 20%), and differences in delivering care (some of which enacted by ACA) all will contribute to cheaper healthcare costs in the future. Beyond even that, raises in payroll taxes (already done), shift to generics and a healthcare regime that requires less testing, along with changes to medical malpractice should all combine to making that deficit quite small.

    I'm not saying he's making stuff up, I actually agree with the concern over unfunded liabilities. But the thing with these particular liabilities is that they're not set in stone, and the above changes should be enough to get pretty close to eliminating medicare's unfunded liabilities.

    And for what it's worth, he doesn't believe in John Williams either.
    Mar 14, 2013. 02:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Inflation Could Infest The United States [View article]
    Your links here argue against you. If you look at the long term graph of food prices linked in the article about thanksgiving food, the inflation (CPI-adjusted) number for food is flat. If you look at their numbers for long term prices, that gives inflation of ~2% since 1986. That argues that at least for food the CPI has been a relatively accurate gauge of price change, I have no idea what you're arguing about.

    Your points about John Williams methodology are also wrong. He has stated himself :"I do not recalculate the CPI, only adjust for the reported, aggregate biases, generally using the BLS numbers."

    So, yes, he does just take the BLS numbers and add some %, though that % increases over time to account for compounded "errors"

    And of course, he's been claiming that he's going to have an academic do a study with him, and that hasn't materialized after the 4.5 years that that link above has been out.

    More rigorous studies about inflation from similarly minded people put a long term gap (inflation-CPI) at about 1%, far short of the numbers that John Williams is claiming:

    So, no, Shadowstats is not a reputable source.
    Mar 14, 2013. 02:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Inflation Could Infest The United States [View article]
    Actually, if you do the calculation, that 483% increase over 37 years corresponds to an annual inflation of about 4.3%. Hardly the stuff of nightmares

    John Williams is not following the same formula, he is making up numbers. He has never released his methodology, and it is very highly likely that he's just taking the BLS numbers and adding a fixed %, as his numbers almost perfectly fit that type of adjustment.
    Mar 14, 2013. 12:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Inflation Could Infest The United States [View article]
    Of course, it's a large basket and I only pulled out a sampling. It is illustrative, however, that the prices that increased the most (education and medical) could barely pace the ostensible inflation rate. But my point still stands, using Shadowstats is a travesty as his numbers are easily and demonstrably wrong. He's not using "the original calculation" of inflation despite his protestations, he's using essentially made up numbers, and it's amazing how many people fall for it. It does not help your credibility relying on such flawed sources.

    The rest of your article, no disrespect intended, has some rather false statements. Deficits have been falling for the last 3 years or so, and they've continued to contract and will continue to contract in the near future. Maybe not as fast as you or I would like, but still, "higher and higher deficits" is pretty wrong.

    There's one huge thing you got right though, and I give you props because most people ignore it. Inflation is as much about expectations than anything else. Psychology, as manifested in the expectations channel, drives quite a bit of change at the margin. I do find it interesting, that even TIPs as you mention indicate a belief in inflation going forward will be pretty moderate, at ~2.5%. Most things are still pricing in relatively benign inflation going forward, so until those things start to get unhinged I have a hard time imagining inflation is a serious concern.
    Mar 13, 2013. 11:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Inflation Could Infest The United States [View article]
    The fed doesn't focus on core CPI, they focus on PCE.

    And the CPI thing is just wrong. It's pretty patently easy to see that, as your chart claims that a broad measure of item costs increased by well over 18x since 1970. This is pretty obviously wrong, and can be easily seen by seeing how prices of things actually changed. Even things like college and medical, which have risen far above general inflation has only managed to pace that increase. Everything else, from transportation, to electricity, to food, has increased by much smaller amounts. Using those CPI numbers, there was no such thing as a housing bubble, as housing prices were cheaper than just about ever.
    Mar 13, 2013. 11:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Silver: Do You Think It Is Breaking Out? [View article]
    Interesting article, but I'd recommend sticking to your strengths, because your detour into mathematics was just wrong on at least some points. Phi, while being a very fundamental constant, by no means "governs all the laws of nature," as most laws of nature do not require phi in the slightest. Examples of laws that don't require it would be thermo, gravitation, E&M, most relations in quantum, and those are only the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Pi is, I would argue, a much more fundamental constant as far as that goes. I would have let this slide if this was a passing reference, but it cropped up numerous times and came in support things far beyond its applicability so I felt I had to mention it. Also, mentioning that it is a solution to a quadratic equation is a meaningless statement by itself.

    Though, as an addendum to your points, the reason phi crops up so often in biology is that phi is the most irrational number possible. Most irrational numbers, numbers that can't be described as a ratio of two integers, can be approximated by a fraction to some reasonable degree of accuracy. Phi, however, is the most irrational, meaning that the best possible fraction describing it is worse than the best fractional approximation of any other irrational number. How in the world does that tie into biology? Well, let's look at the case of a sunflower, whose seeds spiral out in a Fibonacci way. The reason why phi comes up in sunflower seed distributions is because it is the most efficient way of packing the seeds in. Any time you get a fraction come up, it means that your seeds line up after some amount of time. Unfortunately, when they line up, they can lead to gaps. To minimize that, you want them to never line up, and the most optimal way of doing that is with the Fibonacci sequence, which phi is intimately related to.
    Jan 21, 2013. 02:56 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment