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  • Quantitative easing will do little to boost the U.S. economy, says economist Joseph Stiglitz. Instead, it risks triggering currency and trade wars that will leave the world worse off. Rather than unilateral action, the world needs a “growth compact” aimed at spurring economic expansion around the world. He had hoped that G20 leaders would have started addressing the topic at the summit in Seoul, but now he feels the meeting will be spent dealing with the unintended consequences of the Fed’s action.  [View news story]
    of course it won't. but why does he accept the premise that the Fed acts to help the economy? it acts to help its member banks. if the economy happens to benefit at the same time, then great. do you think for a second Ben would ever support a course of action that happened to be good for the economy but bad for the top 5 banks?
    Sep 21, 2012. 08:01 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • After conducting dozens of interviews and analyzing 100K documents, the CFTC looks set to drop a 4-year probe into the possible manipulation of the the silver market, as it doesn't have enough evidence to take to court, the FT reports. JPMorgan (JPM) is likely to be relieved, having been the subject of accusations that it conspired to drive down the price of silver, although it still faces a class-action lawsuit.   [View news story]
    just out of curiosity, would LIBOR manipulation have "enough evidence to take to court" if there weren't some idiots stupid enough to leave smoking gun emails?
    Aug 6, 2012. 04:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is AutoZone A Little Out Of The Zone?  [View article]
    "with its strong balance sheet"? wow. accts payable is actually bigger than inventory plus cash. they have $(-1.4)B in equity, and that's been steadily getting WORSE. the only reason their EPS is increasing is because they keep incurring more debt and using all cashflow to buyback shares at ever-increasing prices. if their vendors ever tightened credit terms they could be out of business in months.

    their assets are all PPE - physical stores - which obviously isn't liquid. and to make that liquid necessarily requires losing top line rev. and to add some frosting on top, the auto parts market is already saturated - you can't grow earnings 15% a year when you run out of market and the market you do have is subject to margin compression.

    every single insider has been dumping on an epic scale, using borrowed money by the company to provide a bid. within two years there'll be massive shareholder lawsuits, following the ponzi collapse.
    Jun 19, 2012. 10:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Italy faces more scrutiny, not less, following Spain's bank bailout. Italy has over €2T of debt, more as a share of GDP than any advanced economy after Greece and Japan, and is now a guarantor for 22% of Spain's bailout funds. But is also has a relatively healthy banking system, a jobless rate less than half of Spain's 24%, and is on track to rein in its budget deficit.   [View news story]
    "also has a relatively healthy banking system" and "is on track to rein in its budget deficit" literally made me laugh out loud.
    Jun 11, 2012. 02:48 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The various bailout programs used to fight the financial crisis may end up earning a profit for taxpayers, Treasury officials predict. Although losses from TARP are forecast at $60B and those from the rescue of Fannie and Freddie at $28B by 2022, earnings from Fed programs are projected to reach $179B through FY 2015.   [View news story]
    you know what would be better at "earning a profit" for everyone? sheila bair's idea that everyone use the Fed carry trade to make a risk-free $200K a year. what could go wrong? i mean, an iPad2 had more computing power than the iPad so groceries and fuel have stable pricing, right?
    Apr 15, 2012. 03:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed is still set to launch QE3, with an announcement coming as soon as the April meeting, says Goldman's Jan Hatzius, fading what the economic headlines, stocks, and bonds are trumpeting. Yes, the economy is moving, he admits, but the Fed believes it needs to grow faster to bring unemployment down.   [View news story]
    except gold is certainly not behaving as if more printing is on the way.
    Mar 15, 2012. 03:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrarian bulls will take no heart from the latest AAII Investor Survey showing bullish sentiment rising 8.3 points to 48.9% with bears sliding 13.7 points to 17.2%. The long term bullish average is 39%, bearish 30%.   [View news story]
    "The long term bullish average is 39%, bearish 30%. "

    well, sure. but that was before central planning, when fundamentals actually meant something.
    Jan 5, 2012. 01:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bridgewater Associates' dour outlook for the global economy - "What you have is a picture of broken economic systems that are operating on life support" - does not mean stocks aren't a good buy. Co-CIO Robert Prince suggests equities are already pricing in a decade or more of weak growth. If "air pockets" such as Europe blowing up can be avoided, "chances are equities are a pretty good bet."   [View news story]
    got it. so an S&P avg p/e of 15 is "pricing in a decade or more of weak growth". would love to see what this guy thinks that ratio should be if things were ok. and all this after epic amounts of free money and moral hazard.

    also, per Vuke above, Europe is indeed bigger (in dollars, GDP) than the US. and both China and Japan are finally imploding too. but its all just an air pocket. i'm going to go ahead and assume one Roger Prince has a lot of garbage he needs to sell into strength.
    Jan 3, 2012. 01:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The best stimulus the government could do would be something energy-related, says economist David Rosenberg. For example, a natural gas infrastructure build-out "would put legions of Americans to work and eventually lead to much lower energy prices for consumers," which, in turn, would lead to a greater disposable income. (Video).   [View news story]
    if by "help" you mean confiscate the money of productive citizens who have specialized areas of expertise, funnel it to a central planning regime that can't and doesn't know the most effective use for that money, skims 30% off the top for graft and administrative bloat, then decides to pick winning and losing industries based on politics, then yes, you're correct.
    Aug 23, 2011. 07:56 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bernanke is bold, but Obama seems cold. With the new policy extending 0% federal funds rates until 2013, Bernanke has made it clear that this Fed will not sit idly by, Brian Edmonds writes. Now it's time for Pres. Obama to get radical, like Nixon, or at least tell Congress to get back to work and take real steps to rein in government spending and deficits.   [View news story]
    "take real steps to rein in government spending and deficits"

    umm, aren't you operating from a premise here that Obama has the slightest desire to cut spending? and if so, what leads you to believe that?
    Aug 12, 2011. 06:53 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A multi-decade chart shows a fairly tight correlation between retail sales and consumer confidence ... until recent years when the two series have widely diverged. Something doesn't add up.   [View news story]
    and if you don't pay your mortgage that kind of frees up a lot of expendable cash.
    Aug 12, 2011. 03:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer advocates an HFT tax to pay for the added regulatory oversight these transactions require. "If the SEC lacks the ability to oversee high frequency trading, then this needs to be corrected" via such a tax, Daniel Indiviglio writes; it might also curb equity markets' headlong rush into becoming "high-speed casinos rigged against individual investors."   [View news story]
    only three things need to be done to immediately curb the distortions of HFT, stop a new slippery-slope tax scheme (which could indeed impair liquidity), and allow for real price discovery again (and hence a return to actual fundamental investing):

    1) end liquidity rebates. so a single entity can't ping-pong sales between its own subsidiaries for no reason other than the rebate, thereby forcing market participants to actually pay attention to what price they're buying or selling at.

    2) make all bids and offers good for 1 second. this immediately kills all the quote stuffing (fake bids/offers are currently 90% of all action), and possibly hampers front running. it makes sure that the observed market depth and price discovery is real.

    3) get rid of dark pools and require that every quote is printed on a public exchange. this increases real liquidity and reduces volatility because you now can't have giant, market-moving blocks traded at prices unknown to the rest of world. the only argument for the existence of dark pools is so institutions don't get front run by HFT scalpers, but that downside is likely gone if #2 above is implemented along side this.
    May 9, 2011. 09:59 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • You've heard it before: "You just can't time the market!" But a TrimTabs study shows that, yes, you can and should time the market. During the past decade, if you bought when the herd was selling and sold when the public was buying, you would have come out way ahead.   [View news story]
    ok, but what's their advice when all of the public is selling and the Fed is buying?
    Sep 29, 2010. 06:43 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment