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  • My Take on the Latest Federal Reserve Minutes: Painful Details [View article]
    Excellent summary. Thanks for the education.

    "This is how hyperinflation happens..." --- Hmm. I guess that brings us back to being long commodities even at highs? I'm a silver bull now, go figure.... Strange days indeed.
    Feb 16, 2011. 06:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Monday Market Movement - Where Else? [View article]
    If we are (and I hope we are!) the "smart money," who is the "dumb money" ...?

    IMHO, you answered that too: "Ben Bernanke’s hyper-inflationary crazy train" ... "that sucks the money right back out of our bank accounts through currency devaluation."

    So there it is. The dumb money is all those sitting on all the world's dollar reserves. Imagine all the unprotected loot in bank accounts, pensions, annuities, etc. And Ben and his gang believe its their duty to steal it.

    What's the percent of the population that even knows what an options contract is, much less that has the ability to trade them? No, the barbarians are almost at the gates, and the masses are ill equiped to hide their treasures. I get that there could be crazy volatility, and better entry points. But in the long term, this train has just barely left the station.
    Feb 7, 2011. 11:11 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • No Sale Thursday - Will the Dollar Save Retail or Doom Us All? [View article]
    "People (the ones who buy the homes) need to save up ... two years of the average American’s income just to put a 20% deposit down on a new home."

    And with cost of living skyrocketing, that savings rate is toast.
    Feb 3, 2011. 01:01 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Negative-Sum New Reality [View article]
    Musical Chairs ... can't sit down when the music plays, but when the music stops, there's not enough seats for all

    Unlike the kids' game though, some of these players may not be satisfied with loosing their seats.
    Jan 27, 2011. 11:57 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inflationary Thursday - Dow 15,000, Plus $5 Will Get You a Happy Meal [View article]
    Yeah. Heck of a candlestick in silver yesterday. And long term trends are for more ZIRP and money printing. I'm long physical, but wish I had more.
    Jan 27, 2011. 10:27 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Post-SOTU, Pre-FOMC Wednesday [View article]
    So according to the Dem's, we'll achieve all these pie-in-the-sky goals w/o spending anything more. And it's our power to choose. So let's choose unicorns and rainbows, while following the "value" system of anyone doing anything they feel like.

    Well, I do like unicorns and rainbows. But color me skeptical. We all know how this story ends. Like Phil suggests, I hope to not be blindsided by the end game.
    Jan 26, 2011. 11:49 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Today in Commodities: Don't Forget the Fed [View article]
    Hmm... Another chance to buy some Silver Eagles? I love the dip. I may pick some up later this week.
    Jan 25, 2011. 05:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Freaky Friday - Alpha 2 Says 'Cliff Ahead' [View article]
    In the words of Joseph Heller:

    "There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he were sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle."
    Jan 21, 2011. 11:59 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don’t Buy Index Annuities [View article]
    I'm an attorney specializing in commercial litigation. Any time I see a large body of money, sitting unprotected, I expect vultures to circle it.

    That's what I see with all these pension and annuity funds. The people running these funds don't even tell you what they're doing with the money, except in the most general of ways. Is it any surprise when they buy up risk assets from the invest banks, or buy pricey stocks driven up by the HFTs? And all while the government is running up impossible-to-pay debt levels. We have A LOT of systemic risk.
    Jan 19, 2011. 10:10 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don’t Buy Index Annuities [View article]
    "Don’t buy them, and don’t let your parents buy them."

    Man is it ever hard to educate parents about money. These folks at retirement age started working in the post WWII "always up" ecomony, where if you merely did what you were told at the office everything turned out great. They have a hard time grasping that things aren't that way anymore. As a generation, they've utterly forgotten what their grandparents taught them from the Depression and WWII.

    And annuities is where a lot of them will get bit. Never mind that interest rates on treasury garbage are zero percent. An investment company offers an annuity at 5% (true example), and they "guarantee" the deposit. No information is provided on how the annuity gets the 5%, or how they guarantee the deposit. And the old folk don't even ask, but are happy to put their life savings into it. What happens in the next crisis (which we all know is coming), if the Greek bonds purchased with their annuity money default?

    Now, in our family, I'm able to point out the risk factors and intervene a little (despite the blank stares). But there are countless other families who remain utterly clueless about their true risk.
    Jan 19, 2011. 09:59 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can the Unshortable Market Be Shorted? [View article]
    Q: "Can the Unshortable Market Be Shorted?"

    A: Eventually. But I can't say if I'll be solvent by then... ;-)
    Jan 10, 2011. 05:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Trillion Dollar Tuesday - More Free Money [View article]
    Good article by the way. Always enjoy reading them.
    Dec 7, 2010. 11:04 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Trillion Dollar Tuesday - More Free Money [View article]
    "Of course we know that the poor people would only 'waste' it on food, shelter and clothing so our wise government has guided the bailout to the places it will do the most good"

    This blog talks a lot about conservatives vs liberals. Perhaps we're all just "populists" or some other description of using common sense to not screw over the vast majority of the country. For example, one could call me a "conservative," even though I detest what the so-called conservatives in our goverment are up to.
    Dec 7, 2010. 11:03 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Keep Your Head Above the Dollar [View article]
    Excellent points. I'm making plans presuming the Fed will do the wrong thing - pretty accurate so far. The big question is when do we hit the next round of icebergs? I strongly suspect that we're living a "borrowed year." 2012 isn't the end of the world, but it may start to feel like it.

    (See Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: ...The "Green Knight" offers to allow anyone to strike him with his axe if the challenger will take a return blow in a year and a day. Gawain accepts, and beheads him in one blow, only to have the Green Knight stand up, pick up his head, and remind Gawain to meet him at the appointed time.).

    The media describes the Fed's strategies as "untested." That's not true. Money printing strategies have been tried many times before. They just never work. This story only ever ends one way - ugly. Most Americans will be unprepared.
    Oct 31, 2010. 11:02 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thursday: Welcome to 'Flation Nation - Ben and Tim Are at It Again [View article]
    On conservatives (in Texas) - Long ago, we were democrats. Later, we became republicans. Now, we're just disappointed. Both parties have screwed us over royaly. And both parties promise to continue.

    Please don't blame us that we pay a lot more in taxes than Google ever will (2.4%!), and our savings are getting inflated away. We don't like it any more than you do. We just don't believe that the liberals attacking us and our social values are the honest brokers that will set things right again.

    Surely, we're all a little old for fairy tales.
    Oct 21, 2010. 11:58 AM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment