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  • Despite the Dow's impressive 21% run off its October lows, Dennis Gartman says he's still "wild-eyed" bullish on stocks right now. He's throwing caution to the wind, insisting that stocks can and will go much, much higher in what he describes as a “multi-year secular bull market.” He's in good company right now, other mega-bulls such as James Paulsen of Wells Capital and Laszlo Birinyi are also touting the rise of the secular bull.  [View news story]
    "Despite" should read "Because of"
    Feb 10 05:45 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Iconic Reagan-era economist Arthur Laffer pops up to provide guidance to Kansas lawmakers - telling them (no surprise) they should keep cutting taxes to find prosperity. Laffer unleashed: "If you tax people who work and you give money to people who don’t work; do I need to say the next sentence? Don’t be surprised if you find a lot of people not working."  [View news story]
    When it means not working, or not taking an undesirable job, people will find ways to get by on their unemployment "insurance" for as long as it lasts. This is not really debatable. When you subsidize anything, e.g., unemployment, you get more of it.

    Alternatively, as a response to rg.williams' comment on people finding jobs "to fuel their dreams," many peoples' dream apparently is to collect money for not working. Go figure.
    Jan 20 03:13 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The House approves the $1T omnibus spending bill by a margin of 296-121, sending the bill to the Senate for a likely vote over the weekend. Democrats were viewed by analysts as giving up the most ground over last minute revisions, as the prospect of a government loomed larger. [View news story]
    "as the prospect of a government loomed larger"

    what a great editorial slip
    Dec 16 02:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Post Credit Bubble Fiscal Austerity Leads To Depression [View article]
    If Jason and like-minded people are living in the past with their archaic understanding of monetary systems, then Tim and like-minded futurists must be excited about the logical conclusion of their arguments: all US citizens can stop working and retire rich if only the US government will print enough of its sovereign currency. Unfortunately, notwithstanding the illusion of wealth that can last for a surprisingly long time, real value and wealth cannot be created out of thin air.
    Dec 4 08:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • While markets are experiencing some of the same troubles seen in 2008, the situation now is fundamentally different, Citigroup's (C) Vikram Pandit says. "We learned yet again what happens to the world when leverage rises to levels that are unsustainable, and we're still living through that today in the form of what is going on with the governments, including our own."  [View news story]
    Fundamentally different now, eh? Well, if the head of Citigroup says we're better off now, it must be true. Except I can't help but think Vikram's predecessor said something in late 2007 about dancing until the music stops ....
    Nov 7 05:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A federal judge gives his approval to a $410M settlement in a lawsuit against Bank of America (BAC) claiming it had charged excessive overdraft fees. Roughly 30% of the settlement will go to plaintiff's lawyers, an amount some thought excessive and tried to challenge.  [View news story]
    Actually, yes, 30% is well within normal range for plaintiffs' lawyers who take cases on contingency basis. Before condeming it, consider that without the lawyers, the plaintiffs would get nothing. Consider also that lawyers who take cases on contingency risk getting nothing, no matter how many hours and years and dollars they put into the case.
    Nov 7 05:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Dow Panic Of 1907 And The 2008 Financial Crisis [View article]
    Markets are people, and people never change.
    Nov 1 10:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Timothy Geithner tells senators the America Jobs Act will spur economic growth in the U.S., citing independent economists who project 1.9M new jobs and a 2% GDP from the legislation. (Live hearing)  [View news story]
    Hey, that's less than a quarter million dollars per job, right on par with the other stimulus plans.
    Oct 18 11:18 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deflationista Gary Shilling is even bearish-er, if that's possible: 30-year Treasury yields "might go back to 2.5%... The forces of deleveraging in the world are greater than the Fed can handle. We’re marking things down to equilibrium... We had a big selloff [in stocks] but I really suspect that this is a pause before things drop further" to S&P 800.  [View news story]
    Just because a few trillion imaginary dollars have held up nominal stock prices doesn't mean the perma bears have been wrong for the past dozen years.
    Sep 28 09:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • In a Q&A session today, Bernanke calls the nation's weak labor market "a national crisis," noting "we've had close to 10% unemployment now for a number of years, and of the people who are unemployed, about 45% have been unemployed for six months or more... This is unheard of."  [View news story]
    My kingdom to hear Bernanke apologize and/or admit that his understanding of economics and history is fatally flawed.
    Sep 28 09:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • As the markets swoon and GDP forecasts get slashed, year-end targets for the S&P 500 are coming down as well. Barclays is cutting its target to 1325 from 1450, Wells Fargo to 1250 from 1390, and Ed Yardeni to 1150 from 1250. Yardeni also expects a retest of the July 2010 low of 1022.  [View news story]
    These forecasts are just so darn useful!
    Sep 12 07:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The U.S. Postal Service fires a shot across Washington's bow by proposing to cut 120K jobs through union-prohibited layoffs, and to withdraw its employees from federal health and retirement plans. The proposal requires the approval of Congress, but, if passed, could have serious ramifications for government workers, as well as the national labor movement.  [View news story]
    Serious question: Is there any material difference between Obama and Bush on issues of economic or foreign policy? Bush started the wars and the bailouts and the stimulus, Obama kept his foot on the gas pedal. They both get their money from the same sources and they both support the same Fed regime.

    Best I can tell, republicans want grow the authoritarian state through the warfare state and religious zealotry, and democrats want to grow the authoritarian state through the welfare state. Bottom line is the same, more or less.

    p.s. it's no coincidence that the most ravaged and destructive industries in this country are/were the most unionized: steel, railroads, airlines, automakers, government ....
    Aug 11 09:25 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Education pays off, especially in this economy. The unemployment rate for adult workers with a bachelors degree or higher was only 4.4% in June and relatively stable through the past three years. The rate was 8.4% for adults with some college or an associates degree, 10% for adults with a high school education, and 14%-plus for those without a high school degree.  [View news story]
    Outstanding student debt exceeds total credit card debt now and a lot of those college grads are severely underemployed. So while education is good, it's not as black and white as the sellers of higher education would suggest.
    Jul 12 03:42 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ron Paul decides not to run for re-election in 2012, and instead will focus on his 3rd try for the presidency. The libertarian may also find some extra time for pet projects like Fed-bashing and bringing back the gold standard.  [View news story]
    Too bad for the House, losing its only principled member.
    Jul 12 02:32 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QE3: To Be or Not to Be? [View article]
    It is essentially the only play in the Fed's playbook. There is zero chance the Fed stops doing everything possible to stimulate, notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence of failure.
    Jul 12 09:46 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment