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  • Bernanke Vs. Yellen: A Spooky Outlook? [View article]
    "Needless to say, our elected officials appear to be at odds on how to run this economy"

    That's your problem right there. Centrally planned economies never work.
    Oct 31, 2013. 01:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reality Check For Peter Schiff [View article]

    This planet. ["In fact, this spending (which analysts call “primary outlays”) has already fallen from 23.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009 — at the bottom of the recession — to a projected 20.2 percent of GDP in 2013. It is projected to fall further, to 19.5 percent of GDP or lower in the latter part of this decade."]

    That's good. Federal spending should be about 15% of the economy at most. State and local another 5% max.

    There is a simple way to do this - just keep all funding at today's dollar levels. A program that gets $1 Billion in 2013? $1 billion in 2014, 2015, 2016...

    Of course the government likes to grow by at least 3% to 4% a year (regardless of real GDP growth), so this will be "painful" for some agencies. But there is an answer for that too - over time eliminate those ineffective programs and use that money to fund what's left.

    Since we're stuck in 2% GDP growth, it will take a decade or more to get gov't spending down to 15% of GDP. But since inflation is non-existent (according to "official" gov't stats), there should be no problem with NOT raising gov't budgets by 3%+ a year.
    Oct 31, 2013. 12:52 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook easily beats estimates, shares soar [View news story]
    You mean when the stock was at $25 after dropping from the IPO price of $38?

    Did they say during the CC they were seeing decreased youth signups or not? Regardless of what was said a couple months ago at $25, do you think the target market (or actual users) of Facebook might change over time?

    Nothing lasts forever: MYSPACE.
    Oct 30, 2013. 08:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fed boosts speculation about tapering by year-end, stocks slide [View news story]
    Not increasing QE today is seen as hawkish.
    Oct 30, 2013. 08:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook easily beats estimates, shares soar [View news story]
    Just read some of the conference notes.

    Apparently FB is not gaining young users as fast anymore. Eventually FB will be a bunch of middle aged parents posting soccer mom pictures and sharing recipes, then mainly as an AARP recruiting site. Once something loses its "cool" factor with young people it's on its way to the death bed. Myspace.
    Oct 30, 2013. 06:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook easily beats estimates, shares soar [View news story]
    And... It's gone!
    Oct 30, 2013. 06:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Party Like It's 2000 - Before the Giant Space-Frog Strikes [View article]
    Isn't the near universal expectation of a "Santa rally", essentially that no matter what the market WILL rally for the rest of the year a little troubling?

    Even the hardest-core bears seem to concede this point. EVERYONE thinks that between the Fed and spiked egg nog spirits will be high. Nobody expects anything bad to happen. Nobody.
    Oct 30, 2013. 12:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Blackstone Turning On Housing? [View article]
    The smart money is the first to get in, first to get out. Dumb money would be wise to watch what they're doing.
    Oct 29, 2013. 03:01 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Drop In Auto Purchases Pinches Retail Sales In September [View article]
    1. The cash-out or payment-lowering refi boom is over.
    2. The US workforce is the smallest since 1978.
    3. Wages for those with jobs has been growing at 1% or less for the last five years.
    4. Corporate hiring has topped out and layoffs are increasing.
    5. Many small businesses are firing employees to get under 50, or reducing work hours to 29.5, because of Obamacare.

    Just some of the reasons why consumer spending is getting weaker.
    Oct 29, 2013. 03:00 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Uncomfortable Truth About Earnings [View article]
    "Forget running for cover into cash like most of the bears want us to do."

    I've never heard a bear telling someone else to run to cash. What they usually say is "I'M in cash, and I'm not going to buy stocks at these levels". Sort of like Warren Buffet who a few weeks ago said he couldn't see anything worth buying right now.

    The bulls seem to get upset that some other investors refuse to buy into the market's optimistic level right now. After all, they can't really realize a profit until they find someone else to buy what they're holding, at today's levels. In 2006 suddenly there were no buyers for housing, and the housing bulls (Realtors) got really mad at anyone who said that prices were too high. The same thing happens with the stock market.
    Oct 29, 2013. 12:04 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Inflation Of 2% Enough For You? [View article]
    What would be wrong with 0.5% deflation?

    If prices dropped 0.5% a year, then in 10 years something would cost about 4.9% less than it does now. Is there really a worry that "consumers will put off purchases" if prices drop at that rate?

    What is the fear, that someone will say "Well, I'd sure like to buy that car, but I think I'll walk for the next 10 years and save a few hundred bucks when I finally do buy it!"?

    What will people really put off buying - food, clothing, travel, entertainment? Have the Japanese stopped buying these things?

    Inflation is only to help debtors. It does not help consumers or wage earners at all (since wages are flat in real terms over the last 30+ years). It harms savers.
    Oct 29, 2013. 11:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Inflation Of 2% Enough For You? [View article]
    He said RATES of 10%, not inflation of 10%.
    Oct 29, 2013. 11:52 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Consumer Confidence falls sharply to 71.2 [View news story]

    We're supposed to believe that the "man on the street" was worried that funding for the Department of Health and Human Services was temporarily delayed for 17 days, and THAT was what whacked consumer confidence!?

    Maybe it's because a third of the people he knows still can't find full-time work, and because he just got reduced to 29.5 hours due to Obamacare.
    Oct 29, 2013. 11:49 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • John Hussman: The Grand Superstition [View article]
    Great article. You're absolutely right that it was the suspension of "mark to market" that stopped the meltdown.

    Investment banks were given the green light to basically lie about the value of what they had. The Fed would ensure through QE that eventually the MBS would recover some (or most) of their value and allow these banks to slowly unwind. That is still happening today.

    I'd like to mark the value of the 1985 Chevy station wagon I have sitting in my driveway to its future collectable value. I figure in around 2043 that it will be worth $30,000. Right now it's worth $500. Will the Fed buy it from me for $25,000, and hold it on its balance sheet for the next 30 years, like they will with some of the MBS junk they are buying?
    Oct 28, 2013. 12:31 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pending home sales turn lower on Y/Y basis [View news story]
    Maybe slumping housing sales in September were due to the government shutdown that lasted 17 days and started on October 1st, after which all government employees received back pay.

    Oh wait - the NAR's Larry Yun already made this incredibly stupid and diversionary statement.

    The housing recovery is over. Everyone who needed to refi or wanted to buy a house at 25% to 50% of the 2006 high has done so. Best case now is housing increases at the rate of inflation - worst case is another 10% to 20% drop.
    Oct 28, 2013. 12:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment