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  • Japan's Keynesian Demise: A Cautionary Tale For Our Times [View article]
    I'm a Canadian, so neither Democrat nor Republican. I consider myself "liberal" and sometimes "very liberal". But, if you insist on seeing everything through political party filters, that's okay. I was just making the point that vindictive wealthier classes can generally spread their pain around as witness the enormous bank bailouts of 2008 and since. This action turned the USA into one of the world's largest socialization experiments ever.
    Aug 18 09:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan's Keynesian Demise: A Cautionary Tale For Our Times [View article]
    While it is not true that 'whatever is good for the rich is good for all' it is certainly true that 'the pain of the rich can be made to be felt by all.'
    Aug 17 09:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Time For Central Bankers To Unwind? [View article]
    The whole Seawright thing is a good example of how it pays not to be too smart. There are way too many unstated assumptions in the 'puzzle' and too many vagaries as well. It is to be assumed or understood that by one 'side' of the card is meant top and bottom (hence cards should be 'flipped' instead of 'turned' because the latter could mean by 180 degrees in the horizontal plane. Equally 'side' could mean left or right; the assumption that the puzzle is about the top and bottom sides of each individual card is not obvious.

    Lastly, in order to be logically correct the test should read "Which two and only two cards in the following set must be flipped (displaying the opposite face) to prove the proposition: If a card has a vowel on one of its two faces, then it has an even number on the other (or, more colloquially, Every card with vowel on one face has an even number on the other - The proposition is ambiguous in that it is not clear whether it is also making the vice versa claim that every card with an even number on one face has a vowel on the other; I will assume not, but proper use of propositional logic would clarify that. That's why mathematics is a precise language of its own.)

    The answer to the if-then form question is indeed E (because we know E implies even) and 7 (because NOT (vowel implies even) is (odd implies NOT vowel). However, if the ambiguous question is implied to mean IFF (if and only if, i.e. if-then and vice versa), then each card needs to be flipped to verify the proposition.

    Rather than being about confirmation bias, this 'test' (and I use the term loosely) is more about unspoken and unwritten assumptions and poorly-worded, vague hypotheses.
    Nonetheless, an educational example for investors and indicative of so much of the 'information' and 'hypotheses' we are subjected to daily.
    Aug 17 09:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan's Keynesian Demise: A Cautionary Tale For Our Times [View article]
    I think Europe's Jean Claude Juncker said (I paraphrase): all politicans know what to do. We just don't know how to get re-elected after. There are probably two or three alternative ways to put the world economies back on track. None of them are easy, none of them are pleasant, all of them will hurt the politicians who first try implementing them. I think everyone is waiting for someone else to make the first move. Then they'll have someone they can blame. Not unlike Russia vs. Ukraine, or IS vs. Syria/Iraw, or Japan vs. Korea/China, or China vs. USA.
    Aug 17 08:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 2 Equity Stories You May Have Missed [View article]
    I keep waiting to see who the 'last fool' will be in this market. Step right up, Japan pension funds!
    Aug 8 06:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Scenarios For A Vulnerable Stock Market [View article]
    It may be possible that Putin is waiting for NATO to make some kind of alliance with Ukraine. This would be in clear contravention of NATO's treaty with Russia and give Putin 'legal' justification for entering Ukraine. Unfortunately, NATO generals seem to be falling into his trap with gusto.
    Aug 7 08:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Call Wall Street's Bluff? [View article]
    Mayhawk - I can't predict the effect but I'm pretty sure one shouldn't make sanguine predictions about investor behavior based on past "wisdom." However, I'm pretty sure that the wrong kind of shock could still cause a disorderly stampede for the exits. And I'm still pretty sure that those who have been buying all the dips will not be able to make themselves sell in time and will ride their gains all the way back to near-zero (when they will finally sell again at the wrong time).
    Aug 2 11:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Call Wall Street's Bluff? [View article]
    Warren Buffet's too oft-repeated homily was for a simpler time when the masses were overwhelmingly ignorant about matters economic and financial. Through great websites like SA, that may no longer be true and the conventional wisdom may have seen its time.

    I certainly wouldn't bet on the ignorance of the investing public as they are out of the game for now. All that's left are the pros, the sharks and the better-informed independent retail investor. Who's to say who's calling the game properly today?
    Aug 1 02:06 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NYSE Margin Debt Explodes To Near-Record High In June: Risk Rank At No. 1 [View article]
    Two points:
    1) If the graph is changed so that the NYSE margin debt and SPY start at the same point on the left of the graph, then it will show that debt rose 'with' the market the last two cycles and is 'leading' the market now. The choice of matching values on the y-axes is arbitrary so this way of looking at the graph would seem just as valid but a bit scarier.
    2) If things start turning south, I would expect equities purchased with margin debt to exit first. That seems to imply several hundred billion dollars-worth of equities being dumped in a hurry. I guess that's how corrections turn into crashes.
    Jul 28 08:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crisis In Ukraine: Path To Peace Or Disastrous Economic Confrontation... [View article]
    That's right. Let's escalate all the way to nuclear war! Screw the Russians (and the Chinese while we're at it). This kind of thinking is nicely building a two-world policy just like Communism did in the 50s to 70s. Only this time, it seems a LOT more aggressive. We actually could use some statesmen (remember those?) to start solving world problems instead of just pushing them towards conflict. Any hope of that happening?
    Jul 21 04:10 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crisis In Ukraine: Path To Peace Or Disastrous Economic Confrontation... [View article]
    It is not opportunistic if the US was neutral on Ukraine, but it is not. It's pushing Europe to increase Russian sanctions that would favor (if not necessitate) LNG imports from the US. THAT is opportunistic manipulation of the worst kind. If, further, the US was at all involved in encouraging the Ukraine to overthrow its president and turn toward the west, THAT is opportunistic manipulation as well.
    Jul 21 04:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What A GDP-Based IMF Would Look Like [View article]
    That's why it's so important to include drugs and prostitution in the EU GDP calculations.
    Jul 21 04:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Implosion Is Near: Signs Of The Bubble's Last Days [View article]
    Of course, there is also massive inflation in food stamps.
    Jul 20 09:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Implosion Is Near: Signs Of The Bubble's Last Days [View article]
    Tack - The answer to your question depends on what the Japanese govt is trying to accomplish and over what time frame. If the goal is to keep the plates spinning as long as it possibly can, then it is on the right track. If the goal is to build a sustainable economy (that might last a few hundred years) and provide some moderate level of a good life for all, then it should probably just default, reset, and try to pick a new starting point. Of course, that would be economic and political disaster (both in the short term of maybe 1 - 10 years) so it will not happen voluntarily. But it will happen, eventually, or something very much like it.

    The problem of having to inflate away our ever-increasing debts cannot be continued without consequence forever. Eventually, we will either run out of willing investors and have to default or have to increase inflation to hugely unpleasant levels. The game has only been sustainable so far because almost all countries are in such a mess that they need to sustain each other's inflation (currency devaluation) but that won't last forever.
    Jul 19 07:36 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crisis In Ukraine: Path To Peace Or Disastrous Economic Confrontation... [View article]
    I hate to say it, but the export of US LNG seems a bit opportunistic. Why not lift sanctions on Iran and allow it to export LNG? Why not Libyan, Cyprian, or Israeli LNG? Why not encourage more nuclear power? Or solar, if you prefer? There are many roads to energy independence or interdependence.

    When the USA immediately jumped upon its excess gas (and subsequent low gas prices) as the solution to Europe's energy problems, how could anyone not think that the Ukraine situation was either being manipulated to the US's advantage or that it was, at least, being exploited rather joyfully?
    Jul 19 06:21 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment