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Jason Aycock

Jason Aycock
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  • While the BLS reported consumer prices rose 0.5%, the Cleveland Fed's alternative measure (the 16% trimmed-mean CPI, which excludes the most volatile changes) rose just 0.1%, an annualized 1.6%. In the past 12 months, Cleveland Fed's trimmed-mean CPI rose 0.8% and median CPI rose 0.6%.  [View news story]
    The point that Cleveland Fed has is that instead of just excluding food and energy *because* they're volatile, trimmed-mean CPI excludes volatility whatever it is. It's a shift in time focus for sure.

    Because of that, at the least you might consider it more useful than core inflation -- which lets in extreme price changes so long as they're *not* food or energy.
    Jan 14 02:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Just One Stock: The Small Manufacturer Dominating the Rescue Hoist Market [View article]
    Hi Marc ... thanks for asking; it gives me a chance to amplify the description at the top.

    In terms of what we accomplish, the interviews (you can read more at and I think speak for themselves -- for a while now, I've asked money managers what their high-conviction holding is, whether long or short. And then pressed into the fundamental details of why.

    It's not too much more or less than that. The expectation is that you might get a perspective on an aspect of a security or asset class you may have overlooked, or a security like this one that's off the beaten path a bit. Our CEO, David Jackson, has explained the value of "buy-side research" -- not a recommendation for or against a stock, but a description of why a manager like James took the position he did.

    And then down here we can ask questions and debate the merits, or lack thereof. Your second-to-last paragraph is the key one for me: Is it worth the liquidity risk, etc. Someone else may like or dislike its debt/equity ratio, and so on. It's not a recommendation but one person's explanation of a high-conviction position.

    I have yet to meet a security that's for everyone, so -- as always -- your own due diligence needs to inform whether any investment, like BZC or the other stocks and ETFs that get mentioned here, is worth your time and money.

    Feel free to message me if there's anything I can help clear up.
    Jan 13 01:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EIA Natural Gas Inventory: -164 bcf in-line with consensus. Futures -3.5% to $4.07.  [View news story]
    One explanation: forecasts for a warm-up in the Northeast and normal temps in NY and Pennsylvania.

    Dec 16 01:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mortgage delinquencies should drop a steep 20% in 2011, to 5% of mortgages from 6.2%, TransUnion says - though that number would still be historically high: "We think that the mortgage industry isn't out of the woods yet, but it's starting to move in a better direction." The agency says credit-card delinquencies will keep falling, but not as sharply.  [View news story]
    No. Talking about the rate of decline in a rate:
    1.23/6.21 = 20%.

    This is why you see reporters specify the difference between *percentage points* and *percentage* gain/loss. Going from 6.21% to 4.98% is:
    --a decline of 1.23 percentage points
    --a decline of 20%.
    Dec 7 01:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With job openings ticking up to a two-year high in October, why weren't more workers hired? Could be a lag, in which case December's unemployment numbers will look a lot better. Or the jobless aren't trying that hard to find jobs, or are a very bad fit for the jobs that are available - but it's probably all of the above.  [View news story]
    I agree wholeheartedly here. Not only could we use more discussion of mobility in current unemployment debates, the issue is surely going to change the whole idea of homeownership for a generation.
    Dec 7 01:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With job openings ticking up to a two-year high in October, why weren't more workers hired? Could be a lag, in which case December's unemployment numbers will look a lot better. Or the jobless aren't trying that hard to find jobs, or are a very bad fit for the jobs that are available - but it's probably all of the above.  [View news story]
    I think as written this reflects Daniel's conclusion ... he cites reasons why each of these isn't sufficient on its own, then:

    "It's most plausible, however, that all of these explanations are playing a part simultaneously. There is likely some lag, which unemployment benefits have increased since they allow workers to be pickier. Openings aren't likely a perfect match for the experience and location of job seekers."
    Dec 7 01:31 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This is probably pretty light for Farrell; at least in this one he doesn't explicitly talk about the impending end of capitalism ...
    Dec 7 01:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market preview: Stock futures tumble and the dollar weakens after the disappointing jobs report; S&P benchmark -0.6%. European shares turned negative on the news. Brent crude hit $91/barrel in European trading before fading, and gold added $10. Ahead on the calendar: factory orders, ISM non-manufacturing survey.  [View news story]
    Leslie Nielsen R.I.P.
    Dec 3 10:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's little surprise that everyone was tapping liquidity via the Fed's Primary Dealer Credit Facility in 2008 (notably MS, BAC and separately Merrill Lynch, GS, BCS, Bear Stearns (JPM) and Lehman Brothers). Turns out Lehman wasn't the biggest user of the program by far. (Fed programs data dump)  [View news story]
    Actually the "Turns out" construction should hint at the important idea here, which is that many observers did think that Lehman was hitting it harder than others. It just means that that perception was way off. It's not precise, but then the exact numbers are in the link, and you can graph, spreadsheet and analyze to your heart's content.
    Dec 1 02:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As Boeing (BA -2.1%) continues to look into last week's electrical fire that suspended test flights of the 787 Dreamliner, the company is flying two other 787s back to Seattle with FAA approval.  [View news story]
    Thanks, po folks -- I have clarified this item a bit to avoid confusion with the A380 issue.

    It's Boeing that acknowledged there was a fire on the Dreamliner -- of 30 seconds in duration -- but it was electrical in nature (in the aft electronics bay).
    Nov 16 01:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Treasury sells $29B in new seven-year notes at 1.97% (.pdf). Bid-to-cover ratio of 3.06, vs. a recent 2.94; indirect bidders take 50.2%, vs. a recent 50.1%. Direct bidders take 5.5%, vs. a recent 10.2%. Treasurys build on earlier strength: the 30-year yield -0.03 to 4.02%; 10-year -0.07 to 2.65%; 5-year -0.10 to 1.23%.  [View news story]
    To add to David: Primary dealers are required to bid, and they often turn around and sell on the secondary market, depressing prices ... so, active participation from direct and indirect bidders is considered bullish for bonds.

    Bid-to-cover is an indication of interest, so in this case $3.06 was bid for every $1 of debt that ended up sold.
    Oct 28 01:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Warren Buffett has put an investment manager into pole position to succeed him as CIO at Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) - and it's the new guy. Todd Combs, 39, of small fund Castle Point Capital, is hired to oversee a significant portion of a roughly $100B portfolio but is "not going to take over the whole investment function as long as I'm around," Buffett says. Two candidates, including Li Lu, took themselves out of the running for the job. (PR)  [View news story]
    There will still be a split of his duties on his passing, but Buffett makes it sound like Combs will certainly be the one leading the investing. From the story:

    "The billionaire investor described the announcement as a 'significant step. If I die tonight the board has something in place.' "
    Oct 25 11:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Its $950M bailout repaid, Lincoln National (LNC) is going long-term bullish on commercial real estate - though finding assets that meet underwriting standards is "very difficult." More than two-thirds of Lincoln's CRE portfolio as of June 30 had a loan-to-value ratio of less than 65%.  [View news story]
    Thanks, fixed this. Indeed, what's a trillion here or there.
    Oct 18 03:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Just One ETF: Small-Cap Composition Makes for a Brazilian Consumer Play [View article]
    Brazil's finance minister said the 4% IOF was for fixed-income investments, and not stocks or foreign direct investment -- but I would welcome an expert closer to the ground who can say what it might mean overall for ETFs (and their holdings).
    Oct 7 02:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Just One Stock: Hitching a Ride on Returns of 'Canada's Warren Buffett' [View article]
    This market cap discrepancy is due to multiple sources reporting the shares outstanding are closer to 22M than the 20.5M from the quarter ... that's accounting for the difference, depending on exactly which share number is used.
    Sep 14 01:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment