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Windsun33

Windsun33
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  • The Lost Decade and the Problem of Conventional Wisdom [View article]
    One thing wrong with US GDP is what it counts. For example, one report I read said that hurricane Katrina added 1.4 trillion to GDP. If you keep a house, no GDP is added. If your house gets washed away, and you build a new one, that does add...


    On Dec 30 09:27 AM prudentinvestor wrote:

    > James, I am suprised by your rhetorical question "..Aren’t Chinese
    > economic statistics so bad that economists use electricity consumption
    > as a proxy for GDP? .." I would argue that electricity consumption
    > is a far more meaningful measure than our own calculation of GDP,
    > which, after all, conveniently increases if taxes are raised and
    > the money spent on people to sit around. It also increases relative
    > to China's if the barber in NYC charges $200 for a haircut that costs
    > $2 in China. And so on ....
    Dec 31, 2009. 03:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Lost Decade? Not for Some Asset Classes [View article]
    Just a side note, but Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX) is up 3.29% for the past 10 years, which would put it just below the Large Value Index.

    (FLATX) - Latin America - comes in at 14.94%, while (FSELX) - Electronics - comes in a big loser at -4.62%, even though it is up over 80% YTD.

    So among funds, there is a huge difference even within the same company.

    It was not a Lost Decade if you were in the right place, but a disaster if you were in the wrong one. Ain't hindsight wonderful?
    Dec 31, 2009. 03:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Good News for Continuing Jobless Claims [View article]
    But you forgot to add in those millions of jobs "saved or created" by the stimulous package! ... Oh wait, that line does not fly here either, does it...


    On Dec 31 02:12 PM philais wrote:

    > "This is undeniable evidence of ongoing improvement in the economy.
    > "
    >
    > Does Calafia realize that he is posting on SA?
    > Maybe he does and if that's the case then he thinks that we are all
    > idiots...
    Dec 31, 2009. 02:58 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Timberland Valuations: Has the Correction just begun? [View instapost]
    I am curious - what would be the "rate of growth" of a tree - how many board-feet does a tree gain if left to grow for an extra year or three?

    Should that be entered into the equation?
    Dec 31, 2009. 02:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Good News for Continuing Jobless Claims [View article]
    "...This is undeniable evidence of ongoing improvement in the economy..."

    Uhm.. actually, it is very much deniable. I will be much more impressed when I see the Jan-Feb numbers (both actual and the mythical UC) drop.

    There are still several large layoffs looming, some of which won't really start taking effect until Jan 2010. Just for example, AOL is laying off 1/3 of it's workers.
    Dec 31, 2009. 01:51 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Want to protest the bailouts in a tangible way? Arianna Huffington and former Soros manager Rob Johnson launch a site - with data from Institutional Risk Analytics' Chris Whalen - to help you move money from too-big-to-fail banks to high-quality community banks. Rolfe Winkler: The crisis wasn't all the fat cats' fault, but this is still a great idea.  [View news story]
    Huffington Post is not where I would get my financial advice, but what do I know.
    Dec 30, 2009. 03:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Want to protest the bailouts in a tangible way? Arianna Huffington and former Soros manager Rob Johnson launch a site - with data from Institutional Risk Analytics' Chris Whalen - to help you move money from too-big-to-fail banks to high-quality community banks. Rolfe Winkler: The crisis wasn't all the fat cats' fault, but this is still a great idea.  [View news story]
    It listed two banks in the entire Phoenix metro area that they considered "good guys". One of them (CBKN) shows a loss per share of $5.62 - with a share price of under $4. The other one is a 42 mile drive.

    Maybe not such a great idea.
    Dec 30, 2009. 02:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • "This isn't what I signed up [for]. Where are the big trades, high fives and celebratory closing dinners you promised?" - one of thousands of internal e-mails pointing to internal turmoil at AIG, even as execs put on a unified face of confidence in fall 2008.  [View news story]
    Perhaps Fanny and Freddy will buy it, since they now have unlimited funds.
    Dec 30, 2009. 12:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The government's decision to roll the dice on subsidized housing by keeping Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) afloat is becoming an epic disaster for taxpayers, Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute writes. "The decade-long congressional failure to more closely regulate these two GSEs will rank for U.S. taxpayers as one of the worst policy disasters in our history."  [View news story]
    How about the 17 trillion (and still counting) losses in the housing & RE markets since 2007?
    Dec 30, 2009. 12:24 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ten Best ETFs for 2010 [View article]
    While many of those sectors look good, the low cap on many of them is a bit scary. But I bought 1000 (GXF) anyway - which amounts to what Google Finance says is 1/2 the avg daily volume :D

    Still a bit scary, but GXF is a new fund in a region that is not well covered by ETF's, so hoping that is the main reason for it's low cap.

    Also bought some (XLU) - underperformed quite a bit in 2009, but as cap'n tax dies and energy use goes up, I think utilities will go up - and at least it usually pays a reasonable dividend.
    Dec 30, 2009. 11:07 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • IMF's A Fistful of Dollars: Lobbying and the Financial Crisis finds (gasp) that the riskiest U.S. lenders were also the fiercest lobbyists against regulations related to mortgage lending.
    "Our findings indicate that lobbying is associated ex-ante with more risk-taking and ex-post with worse performance. This is consistent with several explanations, including a moral hazard interpretation whereby lenders take up risky lending strategies because they engage in specialized rent-seeking and expect preferential treatment associated with lobbying."  [View news story]
    What a surprise - I wonder how that translates to GE with the 20 million+ they spend on lobbyists each year for congress.
    Dec 30, 2009. 09:56 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hedge fund manager Eric Sprott, whose fund returned 496% over the past nine years, says investors are delusional. "We're in a bear market that will last 15 or 20 years, and we've had nine of them." Sprott predicts the S&P will collapse below its March low of 676.5, while gold (GLD) is the only asset about which he remains positive.  [View news story]
    Although Sprott has been more correct in the past than most of the predictors, I am not so sure that going heavy into gold is the answer. I also doubt that we will see the S&P collapse as bad as he thinks. On the other hand, I am not selling my (GDX).

    But given his past record over the past 3 years, I am not going to discount what he says completely. His sentiments about the incompetence of governments to manage financial meltdowns are very close to my own.
    Dec 29, 2009. 11:16 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fannie and Freddie: The Gifts that Keep on Giving [View article]
    Artificially propping up housing prices can only go on for so long. As losses mount and the market starts freezing up, something will break. And it will be ugly - but it might take months or years.
    Dec 29, 2009. 12:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Meddling Pols and the Banking Sector: A Dangerous Mix [View article]
    I guess Pelosi forgot to drain that part of the swamp of corruption. Probably because that is her side of the swamp.
    Dec 28, 2009. 11:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • China: The Pace of Change [View article]
    Demographically, China is very similar to Japan 20 years ago. Chin's biggest problem will be that many regions are still not much better off than Zimbabwe, while a few regions are prospering.
    Dec 28, 2009. 02:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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