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  • The Dow Jones Economic Sentiment Indicator - measuring the tenor of newspaper coverage of the economy - rose in August to 45.8 from 42.8 previously. It's the indicator's first rise since March, and the ESI's creators claim such a move - especially if sustained - tends to be a leading indicator of economic activity. [View news story]
    The smart indicators are looking at the election polls.
    If it looks like 4 more years of gridlock, strong unions, higher taxes, income redistribution schemes, open borders, increasing unemployment, money printing (QE-3), war on available energy, Obamacare, and massive debt, then the market will trend down.
    Sep 2 11:57 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As the government lurches toward a shutdown, David Stockman says "Bring it on... it’s the wakeup call that we really needed. The fools inside the Beltway are borrowing $100B month in and month out, and there’s nobody left in the world buying except the central banks... There’s no way that’s sustainable or viable."  [View news story]
    This is nothing more than a cock fight to see who's still got the bigger stick. The real fireworks will come when the Harry Reid - Tax and Spend Donkey brigade tries to rise the debt ceiling. The Republicans will shut the government down and it won't be for just a weekend.
    Apr 8 07:08 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Despite further deterioration in Egypt over the weekend - military jets buzzed the capital and opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei claimed the departure of President Mubarak is "non-negotiable" - the Saudi stock market traded up 2% Sunday, perhaps portending a better than feared open for U.S. markets on Monday.  [View news story]
    I saw a sign this morning that makes me believe that somebody in the oil industry knows something we don't. Gas went from 2.97 a gallon yesterday in a Birmingham suburb Walmart to 2.87 today. I kid you not.
    I worked in Cairo for a short while. Their traffic sucks, but they are smart people. I trust and hope they can work things out.
    Jan 30 02:02 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • After a 72% Y/Y rise in the XHB, the housing recovery rates the cover at Barron's. "We're in the early stages," says Lennar (LEN) President Rick Beckwith. The industry could triple in size to 1.8M housing starts in the next 3-4 years, says Ivy Zelman, who thinks Lennar could earn $5.30/share in FY15 vs. $0.48 last year. A more speculative play is Beazer (BZH), which isn't yet profitable, but has eased short-term liquidity fears with recent capital raises. [View news story]
    To improve the housing market, we would need a catalyst to turn around the employment numbers. Last month alone we had 368,000 folks quit looking for jobs and go on food stamps, or re-training, or disability or early retirement. That is why we were able to produce only 90,000 jobs and still show a bogus improvement in the unemployment figure. If that keeps up, you get a depression, not a housing boom.
    Sep 8 11:20 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The tobacco industry faces a crucial vote in California where Proposition 29 could slap a $1-a-pack tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products, with proceeds going to fund cancer research. Industry players Altria Group (MO), Reynolds American (RAI), and others have spent close to $50M in an attempt to prevent a yes vote in the state from spurring additional anti-smoking tax measures to crop up around the U.S. Poll watchers say the vote set for June 5 in the Golden State is too close to call. [View news story]
    Kind of suspect that the tax money will lose its way to the cancer research fund and end up in some California Teachers Union pension fund. Just an educated guess based on the fate of the 911 victims fund. Who saw that coming?
    Jun 2 11:54 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nassim Taleb told us of the rare, unpredictable events that our minds are poorly equipped to deal with: "black swans." So what about the swans that are flashing neon because their imminent arrival is blindingly obvious? A debt-ceiling cataclysm looks more certain every day, and yet investors are closing their eyes.  [View news story]
    Tiger - Are you joking? The T-Caucus (not actually a party) has nothing to lose by standing up to Reid and Obama. If they cave, they lose the next election. If Obama wants a deal, he has to convince Reid to suck up and eat a mile of the House's demands, or their ain't no deal. They got nothing to lose and they aren't married to your typical left-of-center Repubs in the Senate so they aren't going along to win a popularity contest.
    Jul 23 01:03 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nassim Taleb told us of the rare, unpredictable events that our minds are poorly equipped to deal with: "black swans." So what about the swans that are flashing neon because their imminent arrival is blindingly obvious? A debt-ceiling cataclysm looks more certain every day, and yet investors are closing their eyes.  [View news story]
    Stocknerd: 10-4 on that. Why are so many people bitching because we are shutting down a dysfunctional government for a few weeks?

    We need to shave some of the fat off Google and Apple anyway cause I ain't buying the price tag they have now.

    Come on people, let the little investors pick the bones of the vultures for a change. If you aren't prepared for a shutdown, then you are probably just a dreamer and will most likely get your lunch eaten one way or another - that simple.
    Jul 23 10:37 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tim Geithner bids TARP farewell by debunking five TARP 'myths': (1) That TARP cost hundreds of billions (ok). (2) That TARP was a gift for Wall St., not Main St. (hmm...). (3) That TARP was a quick fix (wasn't it?). (4) That the banking sector is even more vulnerable now to systemic risk (?). (5) That TARP was a Republican ploy to take over the economy.  [View news story]
    Blaming the Republicans "specifically" for TARP when Democrats had full control of the House and Senate sounds like another one of those "Escape Blame" cards Administration bureaucrats like to play.
    Oct 10 11:07 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold at $10,000 an ounce? Don't laugh, says uber-bull Shayne McGuire. "The world does not need to end for gold to go hyperbolic," he says, arguing that if rising inflation prompts pension funds and other big players to move as little as 1% of total global stocks and bonds holdings into the metal, the price of gold could easily jump tenfold.
     [View news story]
    Four years ago, a Toyota mid-size sold for $17,000.
    Gold was 475 or 38 gold coins per car.

    Today the same car sells for 19,000.
    Gold is 1360 or 14 coins per car.

    Today you could buy close to 3 mid-size cars with the same number of coins that you needed for one car 4 years ago.

    So why would anyone try to sell an investment like that?
    If it's cash you need, the bank has plenty of that laying around.
    Oct 30 06:07 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Talk about a bad hangover: It would take 107 months for banks to sell their inventory of foreclosed homes, up from a similarly bad 103 months reported in April. The backlog looks like it will continue to grow, as failed mortgage mods are prompting a new wave of defaults and home sales slowed sharply after the government's stimulus program ended.  [View news story]
    I'm afraid the words "sell their inventory" was a poor choice of words. The fancy Realty cars hauling around fresh buyer is a thing of the past around here anyway. I'll take one off their hand and promise to take good care of it. But what they would call a sale, I would have to call an auction to the lowest bidder.
    But fear not - Ben will come to the rescue with his QE2 caper and the banks will live happily ever after.
    Oct 30 05:23 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • We know about the laws of supply and demand, but what if economics violates the laws of physics? Some academics are arguing that a model for consistent economic growth ignores diminishing energy supplies. As one professor puts it: "Neoclassical economics is inconsistent with the laws of thermodynamics."  [View news story]
    Mike, please, get a flippen clue. The financial system has been evolving in the wrong direction for 100s of years. To say that any one president had the power to totally screw things up, even when congress was controlled by another party is sheer buffoonery. Please, Mike, do some research.
    Oct 24 10:13 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What you probably won't hear from the Chairman at Jackson Hole: "No, we'll not do QE3 because QE2 simply didn't work. It temporarily jacked up stock and food and energy prices, but it resulted in zero hiring, zero new business activity and zero real estate market amelioration."  [View news story]
    There isn't anyone here with half a brain that bought that crock N bull story about deflation. It was designed to monitize the debt - something they said they would not do. Well, here's a fact, kids - they lied to you and they will do it again. And again!
    Aug 21 12:02 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • So the U.S. lost S&P's AAA rating for the first time in a 70-year history; so what? Mark Thoma says this is S&P erring on the only side it can after blowing the pre-crisis situation. Always pragmatic Warren Buffett says solvency's not an issue when the debts are all in currency the U.S. can print; inflation, that's another story. Ready to buy on this coming dip?  [View news story]
    Fact - Stealing Sewer Caps is not a sign of an impending crash.
    Sealing Stops signs would be.

    When you vote in a pro union, socialist schooled, community organizer, you will get what you got. All theory and not much else. Lots of liberal big government entitlements, a nanny state and all the debt that comes with it.
    Aug 6 10:12 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pres. Obama played the Social Security card in debt ceiling negotiations - "There may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it" -  but there are several ways the Treasury Department can juggle payments to make sure seniors get their checks even if the Aug. 2 deadline passes, Washington Post's Glenn Kessler writes.  [View news story]
    Does this guy ever think before he opens his mouth?
    Same for Biden...

    I saw the POTUS. the other day babbling like a confused individule. Sure enough - No Teleprompter.
    Jul 13 11:45 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Treasury's Geithner warns Congress again with direct details: Inaction on the debt ceiling will drive interest rates up, household wealth down, "catastrophic" defaults on entitlements and service member pay - and a double-dip recession.  [View news story]
    Wait? My crystal ball is back into focus:

    Boehner will demand cuts equal to the Debt limit increase.
    Obama and Reid will bust out laughing and report on MSNBC with dire reports that the Republicans are about to kill Grandma, crash the economy, and starve the masses.
    The sheeple will rise in anger that Boehner would dare to cut any of their hard earned government freebies.
    The polls will put the popularity of a Conservative just above that of the black plague.

    In the end, the House does not own congress and the Prez will not sign anything he does not like.
    It reminds me of the picture of Mickey Mouse flipping the bird to a large Hawk about to pounce on poor ole Mickey. No good endings!
    May 14 04:53 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment