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  • Q1 GDP revised to decline of 1%  [View news story]
    Textbook definition of 'dead cat bounce' - eminently predictable given Congress' refusal to pass any fiscal stimulus, leaving entire burden on monetary policy from FED. Way to go, do-nothing Congress!
    May 29, 2014. 09:28 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No "common vision" on Ukraine between U.S. and Russia, says Lavrov  [View news story]
    It's called "offering each side a way to save face." In my way, the most sensible way to accomplish this is through a partition, with Russia getting Crimea and eastern and southern Ukraine and the EU\US getting western Ukraine (west of Kiev). If that means the fascist and neo-Nazi thugs of Svoboda and Right Sector are thrown under the bus, so be it.
    Mar 14, 2014. 03:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No "common vision" on Ukraine between U.S. and Russia, says Lavrov  [View news story]
    Tell that to the Croatians (who departed Yugoslavia) or the Kosovars (who departed Serbia).

    Your historical analogy to the Confederate States of America is a failure, because Crimea never voted to join Ukraine but was administratively transferred to it by Kruschev in 1954.
    Mar 14, 2014. 01:05 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One in six men in prime working age don't have jobs  [View news story]
    The linked article is hiding behind a paywall so could not review it for methodology, as I'm not a WSJ subscriber.

    Surprised that age discrimination didn't surface as I know for a fact, based on personal experience, that it exists for the over-50 cohort. However, arguments from personal anecdote are a pretty flimsy statistical reed, but I'd be interested to hear more about the study's methodology and where, if at all, age-based discrimination lands in it.
    Feb 6, 2014. 02:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why We Are Keynesians  [View article]
    The greatness of Keynes, like the greatness of Karl Marx, is that each man took what had lain plainly before everyone with eyes to see but gave it utterance. (Marx said as much about his own contributions in his 1852 "Letter to Weydemeyer," IIRC )

    Kudos to you for a great response (maybe the best one in this thread, my own notwithstanding :)
    Jan 26, 2014. 08:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why We Are Keynesians  [View article]
    Excellent reply. I would only add that Brooksley Born at the CFTC tried to get the CDOs regulated like commodities, only to be rebuffed by higher-ups in the governmental regulatory apparatus.
    Jan 26, 2014. 03:36 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why We Are Keynesians  [View article]
    Excellent article and much appreciated. I would like to supply an answer to why there is such hostility to Keynes here and at other financial sites like Zero Hedge. I think the hostility derives in large part from historical illiteracy, as those who are hostile to Keynes tend to conflate him, Marx and FDR into one behemoth, understanding neither Keynes, Marx nor FDR.

    One possible suggestion: the general macroeconomic equation makes a lot of stuff click into focus. To wit, when consumer spending or business spending or both decline, government spending must increase to maintain a given level of GDP (the ratio of exports to imports remaining largely unchanged). What made the recovery so anemic, imo, is that modest increases in consumer spending were matched (as you note) by 'austerity' in government spending.

    One other note that Keynes haters fail to address that utterly demolishes their position: in January of 2009, the U.S. economy was shedding 750,000 jobs per month! After passage of the the Stimulus, even though underfunded by a factor of probably 2-3x, the economy since June of 2009 has added jobs each month in an unbroken string. Fiscal measures work and bigger fiscal measures work better.

    All in all, though, great article.
    Jan 26, 2014. 03:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why We Are Keynesians  [View article]
    Great reply (and hat tip for the allusion to Marx' idea of history repeating itself :)

    One surefire sign you're in the presence of "the lunatic right" is when they start bashing the Fed for "printing money" and you realize they mean the phrase quite literally, as if Bernanke and his evil sidekick Yellen are sitting there hand-cranking a printing press.
    Jan 26, 2014. 03:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • China Syndrome: The Next Global Melt Down?  [View article]
    Technical Note for Cliff: I think the ticker 'ICBC' is not linking to the appropriate company in your article. The ticker I have for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is a numeric string ('01398'), although that is for H-class shares.

    Good article, btw. Investors who own shares in Asian funds or ETFs may wish to review those funds holdings. I know I did.
    Jan 20, 2014. 04:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sector Funds: It May Be Best To Keep These To A Minimum  [View article]
    Thanks Tom. Until now, I had never thought to examine my portfolio's performance at that level of sector granularity, not out of lassitude but more because it simply never had occurred to me to do so (until reading your comment, that is). There are some mechanical barriers that make it difficult too, principally that Schwab's portfolio analysis tools do not readily lend themselves to analysis of sector performance.

    That said, I think I largely agree with your point that trying to 'pick' (or 'market time') sectors in any attempt to beat the broader market is something of a fool's errand, at least in my case for sure :)
    Jan 5, 2014. 07:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sector Funds: It May Be Best To Keep These To A Minimum  [View article]
    Good article. How do you feel about using the S&P Global Broad Market Index as a sector benchmark?

    Reason I ask is that Schwab's Portfolio Checkup tool uses that as its standard against which to measure my Schwab accounts. I try to keep my sector allocations within shouting distance of each of the BMI's allocation percentages. (Currently I'm a little underweight in Financials and Consumer Cyclical and a little overweight in Utilities and Energy.) I then use small buys in sector-specific ETFs to keep my overall portfolio allocations within range of the percentages in the afore-mentioned benchmark.
    Jan 5, 2014. 01:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Ticking Time Bomb Under The World Economy  [View article]
    Awesome piece. I had not been following Italy too closely heretofore but will start doing so now. Unreconstructed Keynesian here :)
    Jan 3, 2014. 01:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Ticking Time Bomb Under The World Economy  [View article]
    Best comment on this thread, imho. German industry depends upon European customers to consume its output, a lesson Merkel and the Germans would do well to remember.
    Jan 3, 2014. 01:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Ticking Time Bomb Under The World Economy  [View article]
    I don't know what Spain you travelled in, but the one with which I'm familiar has unemployment rates in excess of 25%. (BTW: those are rates similar to those in the US in, um, January of 1933 when FDR took office.)
    Jan 3, 2014. 01:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ackman Still On Side Of The 'Angels' In Spite Of Mark To Market Loss  [View article]
    Here, in my opinion, is the kill shot:

    "It is mathematically impossible to sponsor a business plan that deliberately promotes an endless chain of recruits without harming the last guy in. It is an absolute certainty that anyone who signs-up to become a distributor once a given geography is already saturated with distributors will end-up failing at the business opportunity.

    1) There will be no retail profits to be earned.

    2) There will be no recruits to be recruited unless you resort to deception."

    Not a single HLF promoter in this thread has engaged your argument here, probably because its logic is indisputable.

    Sincerest compliments on a well-written and well-argued piece.
    Dec 25, 2013. 05:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment