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  • Allana Potash Continues To Drift Amidst Ag Malaise [View article]
    Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for an excellent article. You sound very positive about Allana, but don't own any shares. What would need to occur for you to become a shareholder?

    Sep 13, 2014. 01:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Will Job Growth Sustain The Rally? [View article]

    Welcome back - love your articles and miss them when you're gone.

    I have a question about the bullish and bearish sentiment charts. It makes sense to me that they would be contrarian indicators. For example, when bullish sentiment is high most investors would have already bought the stocks they want, so there are fewer people to buy, so stocks should head down. The problem is I don't see this in the charts. What am I missing? Is there a mathematical relationship between bullish or bearish sentiments and movements in the stock market? If so, does anyone know what this is, how strong the relationship is, and how far ahead it predicts movements? This is mainly an academic question, since I buy stocks when I think they are a good value and try to ignore things such as sentiment. I've always found it curious that you include it, even though I can't see it's value. Help me understand where I'm wrong.
    Sep 1, 2014. 12:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why U.S. Economic Growth Is Poor [View article]
    We measure what we are able to measure, or at least what is easiest. The economy should include all productive work minus all unproductive work, but it doesn't because this is too difficult to measure.

    If I harvest some trees and my neighbor grows some food we've officially done no productive work at all. However, if we sell the fruits of our labour to each other our efforts are counted as part of the economy - even though there is no difference in what was produced. The same goes for countless other things. For example if a parent stays home to raise children, he or she is officially not part of the economy. Yet if that same parent does the same job at a daycare, they are counted as part of the economy. Moreover if that same parent needs to put their own children in daycare in order to go to work, it turns into a double addition to the economy - even though nothing changed insofar as actual work being done.

    Even more troubling are things that are counted as adding to the economy, but actually take away from productive labour. If someone commits a crime and is locked up so that they cannot work, the associated costs are considered to be part of the economy - the wages of the judges, lawyers, police, corrections staff, as well as the costs of prisons that are built and maintained. On a more positive note, if someone voluntarily takes themselves out of the workforce in order to become more productive in the future - in other words gets an education - these associated costs are also considered to be part of the economy. If a company produces something useful, but makes a horrible mess while doing so, cleaning up the mess, while producing nothing of further value, is counted as adding to the economy. Think BP's oil spill, or any other situation where an organization damages the environment then works to clean it up.

    I'm sure you get the idea and could think of many other examples yourselves. Our estimation of the economy is off because some things are harder to count than others.
    Aug 24, 2014. 01:14 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should Pfizer Attempt To Acquire AstraZeneca? [View article]
    Pfizer may be considering things like Astrazenica's partnership with Starpharma - an Australian nano/biotech company that has developed a new drug delivery platform. This platform has shown better efficacy and fewer side effects for cancer drugs in animal studies and is currently undergoing clinical trials. Should this pan out, it means new patents for the same drugs because they are delivered in a different way with significantly enhanced effects. I own shares in Starpharma.
    Apr 21, 2014. 11:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Protecting Your Equity Portfolio For Less - Part V [View article]
    Thanks for the reply - and the article. It seems like a sensible strategy that would protect assets and take some of the worry out of investing.
    Feb 15, 2014. 07:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Protecting Your Equity Portfolio For Less - Part V [View article]
    I've never traded options before. One question that comes to mind is what happens if you have put options on a stock and that stock goes bankrupt/ to zero. Like GM did. Not that I see this happening with any of your recommendations, I just like to consider all angles. I'm guessing that near zero would be the best possible scenario, but zero would mean you lose the ability to sell at all and the options would be worth nothing.
    Feb 15, 2014. 01:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Is The Economic Recovery Stalling Out? [View article]
    You're not missing anything. I suspect you came to the same conclusion Jeff did, although he did not say what his conclusion was - he wants us to actually think for ourselves sometimes.
    Feb 2, 2014. 12:52 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • There's Still Plenty to Worry About [View article]
    Hi IT,

    You answered your own question “why shouldn’t there be an intergenerational transfer back to the young from the old?” earlier in your article when you stated that you have paid into Social Security your entire life.

    It wouldn't be fair for you or I to pay when we're young and working and then pay again when we are old. Yes, the system needs to be adjusted so that it can work, but it would be horribly unfair to take money from us our entire working lives and give nothing back in return.

    By the way, the young have already benefited by being the most priviledged generation to have ever lived - courtesy of their hard-working parents who are heading for retirement.

    Jul 8, 2011. 12:04 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • June Hindenburg Omen Blog [View instapost]
    Lots of us have been reading. :)
    Jun 8, 2011. 07:43 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wind Power Investors Get Another Reality Check [View article]
    The biggest problem with nuclear is not its stability, but its cost. It is only cheap relative to other forms of power if one ignores the cost of dealing with the radioactive waste. The radioactivity lasts for tens of thousands of years. The cost of building and maintaining storage sites, hiring hundreds of generations of people to monitor them, and cleaning up the inevitable leakages will be astronomical.

    While I am amazed at the technological advances human civilization has made, it is incredibly foolish and arrogant to be producing radioactive waste that we don't know what to do with.

    Purposely creating radioactive waste is the stupidest thing people have ever done.
    Apr 10, 2011. 12:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Will the Balance Sheet Recession End? [View article]
    This link only works for Economagic subscribers.
    Feb 3, 2011. 12:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Hindenburg Omen Blog - December, 2010  [View instapost]
    Not a subscriber and can't see it.
    Dec 1, 2010. 05:52 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Recession Is Over, Now Where Are the Jobs? [View article]
    We Canadians pay for health care via taxes, plus also buy private insurance for things not covered such as dental care, vision care, prescription drugs, etc.

    Sep 26, 2010. 12:54 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Recession Is Over, Now Where Are the Jobs? [View article]
    Hi Steve,

    Do you have any info on the ratio between public/private workers? Actually, a ratio between public/private payrolls would be even more interesting to see, since public jobs used to pay less than private ones, but now pay more. I suspect this ratio has been changing over time, with the public sector gaining on the private sector.

    This has to be a huge drag on the economy, since the public sector doesn't actually produce anything and is supported by the private sector. It would really help the economy to reverse this trend (assuming there is one), although the reversal would be disruptive at first. The reversal is already happening at the local and state level as jobs are cut, but doesn't seem to be happening at the national level - probably because states can't legally run deficits, but the federal government can. I wish this were the opposite because I can see the value provided by policemen, firefighters and teachers (for example), but can't see the value in the bloated federal bureaucracy.

    Sep 26, 2010. 12:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • FDIC Quarterly Banking Report: 'Reduced Loan-Loss Provisions Boost Earnings'; Commercial Banker Comments on Loan-Loss Provisions [View article]
    Thanks, John, for clarifying this. I'd read levin 70's comment previously and knew it was a misreading of the chart, but wasn't sure how to read the chart properly myself. Now I know.

    Sep 1, 2010. 06:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment