July 27, 2013

Bits Bucket for July 27, 2013

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:01:28

The Fed’s reaffirmed commitment to QE3 is a lucky break for Ownership Society members.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:06:02

If stories like this one contain a grain of truth, I don’t see how the Fed could ever withdraw from QE3, as doing so could lead to Armageddon for the wealthiest players in the global financial system, with trickle-down negative wealth effects for everyone else.

In short, QE3 is too big to fail.

Sudden stop to Fed’s QE ‘could knock 40% off global equity prices and 20% off top-end London property’
By Matt West
PUBLISHED: 05:37 EST, 23 July 2013 | UPDATED: 08:36 EST, 23 July 2013

World equities and properties in London’s most exclusive postcodes may already be in the grasp of an asset bubble that could end in a 20 per cent collapse in prices, according to new research.

A former Bank of England economist warned London’s inflated high-end house valuations are vulnerable to a sudden unwinding of the US Federal Reserve’s $85billion (£57billion) monthly asset purchase programme.

Danny Gabay, now of Fathom Consulting, warned central London properties are overvalued by at least 10 per cent and that if the Fed acts too abruptly it could spark a fall in the price of equities as well as other assets, including central London property values.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-07-27 09:51:23

‘World equities and properties in London’s most exclusive postcodes may already be in the grasp of an asset bubble that could end in a 20 per cent collapse in prices, according to new research.’

I thought about Tulip Mania as I was reading the paragraphs here. Wonder if there were analysts back then that warned about the risk of going all in on them? Almost like a million paper-cut Black Swans omni-present. Yeah sure, buy some real estate here or there as it seems the game is to sell to greater fool again. This is how economies purge dumb money I guess.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 10:48:01

“Wonder if there were analysts back then that warned about the risk of going all in on them?”

Probably so, though they didn’t have the internet available to circulate their warnings to anyone who could read.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:16:07

The Bernanke Conundrum
Posted on 24 July 2013 by admin
by EconMatters, EconMatters.com

Ben Bernanke gave a press conference after the last Fed decision where he laid out the Fed’s plans for exiting their stimulus program and the market to put it bluntly freaked out with Bonds yields soaring, and all other asset classes selling off sharply. The Fed didn’t like the reaction, especially with bond yields jumping much higher than they ever anticipated, and immediately sent numerous Fed governors to the media trying to talk back the market, again especially bond yields.

The Definition of a Bubble

The fact that the market would react so dynamically without the fed actually doing anything, and only talked about slowly transitioning from QE purchases in a tapering fashion with a rather drawn out process through the summer of 2014 means the federal reserve has created massive bubbles in several asset classes.

This is the very thing they were lecturing everyone about on how fed policy going forward would be different this time and that they finally learned their lesson after the 2007-08 financial crisis caused by having the fed rates too low for a prolonged period in order to stimulate the housing industry.

Well not only has the federal reserve kept the fed funds rate too low for far too long a period, but they injected billions and billions of dollars into asset classes with their various outright purchase programs which had the effect of pushing many asset classes several standard deviations beyond their normal sustainable levels through normal market conditions. This is the definition of a bubble all over again!

The Conundrum

The catch 22 is that they cannot exit now without markets and asset classes freefalling back to natural sustainable levels, yet markets are at hundred year highs! The real problem is that if they cannot exit now, then they push markets and asset classes even higher artificially to even more unsustainable levels! The drop becomes even more pronounced a la the Tech bubble where stocks trading in the 100′s dropped to zero, silicon valley had their fire sale for property as all the business built up around unsustainable market valuations came crashing back to reality.

robcartervn 8 pts

Fed is bribed and lobbied to know well every dime stimulus they give goes to 1%’ers who must bank somewhere safe and only place is Govt bonds to support more stimulus to load 1%’ers profits further and must find safe investment now Bonds are also dangerous USA can Detroit also.

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 08:33:11

if they exit QE the two ponzi schemes go right into the $hitter again.

Comment by United States of Moral Hazard
2013-07-27 14:39:10

Dude, you better pray that the Bernanke doesn’t taper. Your equity-funded lifestyle will be over. No more steak and lobster, and new cars funded by your sh!tshack.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 19:01:43

It would be so righteous for Bernanke’s successor to end QE3 and the associated massive flow of wealth away from America’s middle class into the hands of the 1%, that it almost seems like an inevitability. For how long can deep-pocketed investors buying any assets whatever and holding on until the Fed further inflates their value remain a smart investment strategy until it isn’t any longer?

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-07-27 09:02:53

They realized that without a bubble we’re broke. So now they’re in the business of managing bubbles rather than preventing them.

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 16:39:39

your so right brother.

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Comment by Neuromance
2013-07-27 19:43:05

This is the “Riding The Tiger” problem. Can’t get off without being eaten.

Comment by rms
2013-07-27 23:11:11

“This is the “Riding The Tiger” problem. Can’t get off without being eaten.”

+1 That’s a great way of stating it.

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Comment by Neuromance
2013-07-28 15:50:02

Thanks, I originally read it here, in a story about some Indian company scandal: http://www.economist.com/node/12903424

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 05:52:16

Is it really luck? I’m seeing more houses come on the market in my hood as prices go up. Came home yesterday afternoon and the house on the corner had a sign in the yard. 2900 ft for 359k

Comment by Strawberry picker
2013-07-27 06:23:26

Previously sold last for???

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-07-27 06:27:52

As it that’s a bargain…. LOLZ

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Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 06:29:37

235k nov 2011 as a short sale. the previous owner was in the military and had to leave for florida for his duty.

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Comment by My failure to respect women is unacceptable
2013-07-27 07:50:45

Will it sell for 359k?

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 08:30:05

maybe close, who knows

There are two houses the same size across the street listed for 339k. problem is they back up to a major road. how much do you deduct for road noise? I would think at least 10%.

So 339 * 1.1 = 372900

The house seems to be good value compared to the two comps that back up to the road. I suspect it will sell before the other two do.

when selling its all bout your competition.

Comment by My failure to respect is unacceptable
2013-07-27 16:19:52

Rapture September 13, 2013

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 10:31:01

July 27, 2013, 11:36 a.m. EDT
Fed’s Lacker wants quick QE exit: reports
By Greg Robb

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The Federal Reserve must move swiftly to end its asset purchase program, according to Jeffrey Lacker, the president of the Richmond Fed Bank, according to reports of an interview with a German magazine on Saturday “We must make our exit from the bond-buying program quick,” Lacker said. The Richmond Fed president has never been a supporter of the $85-billion-a-month asset purchase program. He does not vote on policy decisions this year. But his remarks show that some senior Fed officials will be pressing their colleagues not to delay plans to taper the asset purchases.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-07-27 13:28:19

Or is it all just an act to make us think that sanity will prevail if we just have patience? A type of good cop/bad cop game designed to keep the more suspicious part of the population thinking it’s better to wait and see?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-07-27 18:53:43

Carl nails it again.

For years Lacker has been the voice of reason yet his talk never materializes into action. Its a game perpetrated by evil men. A scam.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 10:35:51

Artikel kommentieren
EXKLUSIV Federal Reserve Bank
Ende der Anleihenkäufe in Sicht
von Angela Hennersdorf

Der Präsident der Federal Reserve Bank von Richmond, Jeffrey Lacker, fordert einen schnellen Ausstieg aus den Anleihenkaufprogrammen.
Der Präsident der Federal Reserve Bank von Richmond Jeffrey Lacker Quelle: REUTERS

„Wir müssen den Ausstieg aus dem Anleihenkaufprogramm zügig umsetzen.“ Das fordert Jeffrey Lacker, Präsident der Federal Reserve Bank von Richmond, im Interview. Lacker rechnet sich Erfolgschancen aus: „Bei den jüngsten Fed-Treffen kam ein Ende dieser Anleihenkäufe in Sicht“, so Lacker. Die Inflation sei noch recht niedrig, die Arbeitslosenquote in den USA schneller gesunken als erwartet. „Diese Verbesserungen auf dem Arbeitsmarkt reichen aus, um mit einem Ausstieg aus dem Kaufprogramm zu beginnen. Als Erstes sollten wir so schnell wie möglich die monatlichen Hypothekenanleihenkäufe beenden“, sagt er.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 11:10:33

27.07.2013 = TODAY’S NEWS, IN GERMANY.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 11:45:14

I note that since the publication of this article, the Fed’s clarification of their position on QE3 has spurred the stock market on to a high frequency series of record closes.

May 29, 2013, 6:00 a.m. EDT
4 ways the end of QE will surprise everyone
Commentary: End of central bank buying could benefit most markets
Stories You Might Like
Today, Detroit. Tomorrow, Hometown, USA
‘Bubbles Forever’ and stock crashes forever too
By Matthew Lynn

LONDON (MarketWatch) — It didn’t take much to bring the bull market of 2013 to a juddering halt. Just a few words were enough.

In testimony last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted that the program of quantitative easing that has propped up the economy and the markets over the last three years could come to an end before Christmas comes around.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 12:06:10

This Marketwatch writer seems hopelessly confused, as his argument assumes that although QE3 drastically suppressed Treasury bond yields, its reversal will have no reciprocal effect. Never mind the panicky increase in Treasury yields this spring on the mere hint that QE3 may, at some point in the indefinite future, end: When yields are suppressed to artificially low levels, they will stay low forever!

He fails to grasp that the Fed only partially controls long-term Treasury yields, with the remainder due to market forces (e.g. bond traders not under the Fed’s control), or that the end of QE3 would be tantamount to a decrease in the Fed’s market influence in the form of reduced yield suppression.

His suggestion that QE3 will be suddenly eliminated is a nonsensical strawman; clearly the first actual move to end it will be heralded by the announcement of a gradual phase out with an infinite-lived option to increase the level of QE3 if market conditions suggest the need, and that will only happen after repeated jawboning sessions by FOMC members such as the one that led to a 1%-ish rise in long-term Treasury yields this spring.

If what he really meant is that by the time QE3 ends, most of the air will have already been let out of the bond market bubble, thanks to repeated Fed warnings that spark mini-selloffs, interspersed with market reassurances from the FOMC of no plans to end QE3 in the near future, then I agree.

May 29, 2013, 6:00 a.m. EDT
4 ways the end of QE will surprise everyone
Commentary: End of central bank buying could benefit most markets
By Matthew Lynn

Three, bond yields stay steady. Again, the conventional analysis is that it is the central banks printing money that is keeping bond yields at their lowest levels in half a century or more. Withdraw it, and yields will spike sharply upwards — after all, without that artificial stimulus, there will be no buyers. Even worse, there will be a flood of bonds on the market as central banks unload the hundreds of billions they have accumulated on their own balance sheets during the last three years.

Three, bond yields stay steady. Again, the conventional analysis is that it is the central banks printing money that is keeping bond yields at their lowest levels in half a century or more. Withdraw it, and yields will spike sharply upwards — after all, without that artificial stimulus, there will be no buyers. Even worse, there will be a flood of bonds on the market as central banks unload the hundreds of billions they have accumulated on their own balance sheets during the last three years.

The trouble is, it isn’t going to happen.

Central bankers know that the quickest way to trash the economy is to allow bond yields to rise sharply. They are only going to end QE once government and corporate debts are under control, and they certainly are not going to hike interest rates at the same time as they are ending QE. True, bond yields are not going to fall any further — it is hard to get lower than just about zero. But they will hold steady for a long time after QE ends.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 19:09:02

Best investment right now: ASSUME THE CRASH POSITION.

July 27, 2013, 8:14 p.m. ET
Retirees Face High Stock Prices and Low Bond Yields
The Best Investment Right Now May Simply Be Cash

Conventional wisdom usually advises older investors and retirees to balance a portfolio of bonds, stocks and annuities to squeeze the most from their savings during the third stage of life.

But recent events on Wall Street and in Washington, including a booming stock market and Federal Reserve warnings about “tapering” its easy-money policy, suggest those investors may need to junk conventional wisdom and think again.

Stocks may be too expensive, while bonds are likely to fall as the Fed pulls back and interest rates rise.

The best asset for many investors right now may simply be cash—money-market funds or short-term certificates of deposit. That’s especially true for retirees, who rely on their low-risk investments for both income and capital preservation.

The stock market has been hitting new highs, amid growing hopes that the economy is rebounding from the long slump. Last week the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed near its all-time high, set July 23. Likewise, the S&P 500 index was just 0.2% below its record; investors are sitting on thumping gains of 18.6% since the start of the year.

But rising stock prices produce risks as well as gains. At current levels, U.S. stocks offer a paltry dividend yield of just about 2.1%—meaning a retiree investing $100,000 in the S&P 500 will earn just $2,100 a year in dividends.

Stock prices are now at very high levels compared with average corporate earnings for the preceding decade, or compared with the replacement cost of corporate assets—two indicators that many economists note have in the past been very good predictors of stock-market returns. When shares have been this expensive on such measures in the past, they have usually turned out to be a poor investment.

The interest rates on bonds have picked up from the historic lows seen earlier this year, but they remain very low by long-term standards.

The 10-year Treasury note offers a yield of just 2.5%, and the Barclays index of corporate bonds isn’t much better at 3.2%. Inflation-protected Treasury bonds are so expensive they offer a guaranteed loss of purchasing power for the next seven years.

The picture is little better for immediate annuities, insurance products that allow retirees to convert a lump sum into a guaranteed income stream for life. According to Hersh Stern, an industry expert and the head of ImmediateAnnuities.com, a comparison website, payout rates on annuities remain little improved on the record lows seen a few months ago.

A 65-year-old man investing $100,000 in an immediate annuity today would lock in an income of about $535 a month for life, says Mr. Stern. In early 2009, the same amount would have generated an income of $675 a month.

We are in a historic situation, according to new research by David Blanchett, the head of retirement research for investment research company Morningstar, Michael Finke, a professor of financial planning at Texas Tech University, and Wade Pfau, professor of retirement income at the American College.

There are no historical periods in the United States where comparable low bond yields and high equity valuations have occurred simultaneously,” they wrote in a recent paper.

Comment by Lemming with an innertube
2013-07-27 05:05:42

I can live with the uncertainty in the economy and the housing market. What really causes me angst is living in the eastern time zone and having to wait HOURS before the conversation gets started!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:09:20

How many West Coast peops do you expect to be up at 5am?

Comment by Lemming with an innertube
2013-07-27 05:28:35

The old ones (like me)?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:34:27

Who you calling old (besides yourself)!? ;-)

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Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-07-27 06:00:21

5:37 for me. Always an early bird

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:18:19

Are U.S. stock markets nearing another peak?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:28:55

Hulbert on Markets
3 Signs the Market Is Near a Top
One study of bull market peaks over the past 80 years finds eerie similarities with current conditions.

We may be closer to a major market top than most investors think.

That at least is the conclusion that emerged when I compared the current market environment to what prevailed at major market tops of the past century.

To be sure, there are some dissimilarities as well. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re not peaking. No two tops are exactly alike. As Mark Twain famously said, even if history does not repeat itself, it does rhyme.

With that thought in mind, I examined all 35 bull market tops since the 1920s. I searched for patterns in the performance of not only the market itself, but of various internal market factors, such as earnings and price/earnings ratios. I was also interested in how small company stocks tend to perform in the months leading up to a top, both in their own right and relative to large-cap stocks. Likewise, I searched for patterns in the relative returns of growth and value stocks.

I relied on several extensive databases: Yale University Prof. Robert Shiller’s database of Standard & Poor’s 500 earnings and P/E ratios, as well as a database showing the relative performances of small- and large-cap stocks, as well as of the growth and value styles, maintained by Eugene Fama of the University of Chicago and Ken French of Dartmouth. To determine when bull and bear markets have begun and ended, I relied on the precise definitions employed by Ned Davis Research, the quantitative research firm.

Here’s what I found.

Market rises steeply before bull dies

The typical bull market comes to an end following a period of extraordinary performance. In other words, some of a bull market’s best returns are produced right before it dies.

This is important to know if you thought that this bull market would, before it breathes its last, begin to slow down and go through a period of modest performance. That’s not typically the case: On a price chart, the average market top looks more like a pointed mountain peak than a plateau.

While it is of course possible that the next market top is more like a plateau, it would be the exception rather than rule: Since the 1920s, the average bull market has gained more than 21% over the 12 months prior to a top — more than double the long-term average.

Interestingly, the stock market recently has produced a return that is quite similar to this average 12-month gain prior to market tops: The S&P 500 over this period is up nearly 23%.

Riskiest stocks shine before market tops

…the historical record suggests the stock market is a particularly risky affair over the 12 months prior to market tops. The margin between the average value and average growth stock over those 12 months is nearly double that historical average; the same is true for the margin of the average small-cap over the typical large-cap.

Ominously, recent experience adheres to this pattern. The value-over-growth margin over the past 12 months has actually been nearly triple the historical average (Fama and French define value as riskier than growth). Though the small-cap sector hasn’t outperformed the large-caps by as big a margin, it still is well ahead over the past 12 months.

P/Es at market tops

I had fully anticipated, when focusing on price/earnings ratios, to find that they are at extreme levels at market tops. But that is not what I found.

On the contrary, the average P/E for the S&P 500 has been 18.7 at bull market tops since the 1920s. That’s only modestly higher than the 16.8 average over the entire eight-decade sample.

The reason I think this comes as a surprise is that valuations did indeed reach extreme levels at the top of the Internet bubble, and that memory lives on. The S&P 500’s P/E ratio rose to above 30, in fact, in early 2000.

But if we step back from that recent experience and think about it for a moment, it makes sense that P/Es won’t always be at extreme levels at bull market peaks. That’s because the stock market anticipates economic downturns by quite a few months, on average. By the time earnings have stopped growing and turned downward, the bull market has long since been over.

the S&P 500’s current P/E, at 17.9 when calculated on the basis of trailing earnings…is only marginally less than where it stood on average at past bull market tops — 18.7.

Comment by My failure to respect women is unacceptable
2013-07-27 08:07:35

Whenever it is, the next collapse will be spectacular.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-07-27 09:43:01

Emerging markets are underperforming the S&P 500. And this is both in the 12 months and 15 years terms.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:36:28

He who panics first panics best.

Goldman’s Blankfein: The worst absolutely will happen

July 26, 2013, 10:24 AM

What makes things interesting, potentially, is that given enough time, absolutely everything happens. Even, and maybe especially, the bad stuff. That’s the definition of infinity, according to Lloyd Blankfein, who said he learned to expect the worst when guiding Goldman Sachs GS -0.05% through the 2007/2008 financial crisis.

Not only should you think things could happen, you have to think everything will happen. Risk management (is) training yourself so well to anticipate the possibility of things that when things happen and the gun sounds, you get off the block so quickly that other people think it’s a false start,” he said.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-07-27 10:24:39

‘Risk management (is) training yourself so well to anticipate the possibility of things that when things happen and the gun sounds, you get off the block so quickly that other people think it’s a false start,” he said.’

Isn’t that what HFT accomplishes, sort of?

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-07-27 13:30:27

HFT is just about getting everyone else to buy as high as possible and sell as low as possible during normal trading. I don’t think HFT is optimized for disasters…it’s more likely to cause them.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:40:04

July 27, 2013, 7:02 a.m. EDT
‘Bubbles Forever’ and stock crashes forever too
Commentary: Warning of new ‘Irrational Exuberance’
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — “Bubbles Forever” screams Yale economist Robert Shiller’s headline in Project Syndicate. “Bubbles Forever” is a brain scan of today’s collective insanity sweeping through millions of investors searching for a “new, new normal,” something better than today’s uncertainties.

“You might think that we have been living in a post-bubble world since the collapse in 2006 of the biggest-ever worldwide real-estate bubble and the end of a major worldwide stock-market bubble the following year. But talk of bubbles keeps reappearing — new or continuing housing bubbles in many countries, a new global stock-market bubble, a long-term bond-market bubble in the United States and other countries, an oil-price bubble, a gold bubble, and so on.

‘Bubbles Forever’: irrational exuberance wants a ‘new, new normal’

Yes, bubbles are forever, bouncing around our brains. Until the next crash. Then, denial, our brain hibernates … erasing the pain, losses … memory’s suppressed … the next bubble mania heats up … like now, a new virus spreads, metastasizing … feasting on bullish market news, short-term profits … a new addiction, disease, virus takes over the brain … exploding into a neurological social-media experience … consuming America’s collective brain … slowly climbing a new wall of worry … building to a new critical mass, a new flash point, then ignition.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-07-27 09:49:30

For those few people who diversify, we don’t give a hoot about bubbles. Other assets in our portfolios will become the next bubble. My stocks have done too well the last 53 months, which is why I am selling them now. But I started shifting some into emerging economies and still shifting into gold.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 11:01:29

Those who diversify across all asset classes except for dollars may find themselves behind the eight ball if the U.S. economy goes Japanese with the end of quantitative easing.

But since you are fully diversified, I am sure you have an ample cash component to your portfolio as a hedge against a Japanese-style 20-year deflation.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 11:08:57

P.S. I know everyone assumes long-term bonds are toast now, but there are potential future states of the world where they would be the best place to park your portfolio.

But since you are diversified, I am sure your portfolio has a healthy allocation to bonds…

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-07-27 14:59:10

Yes and yes to the previous.

I shudder to think about people in my area of Cali big on image with no parachute in case SHTF. Renting and staying debt-free means you have freedom to shift quickly geographically in case some disaster happens.

My former company stock popped a couple of days ago, again, higher than expected earnings and revenue. 8% gain from here and I will bag $38,000…More cash!!!!

Comment by rms
2013-07-27 18:08:29

“My former company stock popped a couple of days ago, again, higher than expected earnings and revenue. 8% gain from here and I will bag $38,000…More cash!!!!”

My daughter is getting her wisdom teeth pulled this Monday, sans insurance, so that means $2,500….Less cash!!!!

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 05:54:07

buy into the ponzi known as facebook.

Stocks are way overvalued. just wait till wall street decides its time for another cleansing out the herd.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 06:04:12

At this very moment, the pigs are getting fattened up for the next mass slaughter. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Next up: Luaus for everyone!

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 06:24:31

I think retail investors have learned a few things from the last cleansing.

The stock market is pretty much based on psychology. People are basically trading pieces of paper around. This market has been trading off of bernake and the printing press for years.

Is an economy based on printing more money and adding more debt really doing good? Can you really fool the people?

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 06:34:07

“I think retail investors have learned…”


Someone forgot to tell stock funds there’s no ‘rotation’
Published: Friday, 26 Jul 2013 | 9:57 AM ET
By: Bob Pisani | CNBC “On-Air Stocks” Editor

There’s no Great Rotation, but inflows into stock funds continue:

Lipper reported $5.3 billion inflows into stock mutual fund and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) this week — but there was also $4.56 billion in inflows into taxable bond funds. However, much of that cash went into high yield funds, which has in fact seen large outflows in June. The loser was money market funds, which saw outflows of $12.68 billion.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2013-07-27 05:34:23

This may fall under the category of looking at the past with 20/20 vision.

In hindsight, was this a sign of a market top in gold back in 2011? Note the time stamp on the article.

foxbusiness (dot) com/markets/2011/09/15/trump-accepts-gold-instead-dollars-from-tenant/

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:41:46

Soon to come article URL:


Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-07-27 10:27:52


Will rent for pancreas next.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 05:37:56

Pentagon Spokesman: Public Affairs Must Change With Times

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2013

Little said commanders must be open and honest with the media. The department can’t hide bad news stories, he noted.

“When bad things happen, the American people should hear it from us, not as a scoop on the Drudge Report,” he said.

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=120522 - 39k -

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-07-27 10:30:12

I heard about most things from the news outlets. Here, avoid getting scooped by getting rid of the news outlets.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 11:44:31

“avoid getting scooped by getting rid of the news outlets.”

Or you coild go this way.

Sharyl Attkisson: ‘I think I know’ source of computer breaches

By Erik Wemple, Published: June 18 at 8:22 am

“I think I know” who breached the computers, Attkisson told O’Reilly, though she insists she’s not “prepared” at this point to disclose the culprit.

What Attkisson was prepared to say at this point is that the invasion appears related to her work as a journalist. From the transcript:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2013/06/18/sharyl-attkisson-i-think-i-know-source-of-computer-breaches/ -

Watergate Was For Amateurs: Justice Department Spied For Months On Associated Press Reporters

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/13/2013

“secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.”

The AP story which must be read to be believed:

The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters

“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know,” Pruitt said.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-13/watergate-was-amatuers-justice-department-spied-months-associated-press-reporters - 232k

Comment by 2banana
2013-07-27 05:40:35

Is it 1982 again?


Chinese developer buys LA site for $1b project
China Daily | July 27, 2013 | By MICHAEL BARRIS

Shanghai’s Greenland Holdings Group acquired a site in downtown Los Angeles from a California teachers’ pension fund on Friday to build a $1 billion project that will include a hotel, office units and residences. The property purchase marks the latest foray by Chinese developers into overseas markets.

The state-owned real estate developer – which is building China’s second-tallest tower – acquired the 25,600 square-meter site from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the second-biggest US pension fund. “We have a signed agreement for purchase of the property,” said Michael Sicilia, media-relations manager for CalSTRS. He would not disclose the purchase price. The company expects to begin construction in six to nine months, he said.

Chinese developers are moving into the US and other overseas markets as China’s leadership maintains residential-property curbs aimed at holding down skyrocketing prices. Greenland said earlier this month it planned to spend 10 billion yuan ($1.63 billion) on overseas property projects this year.

“We are extending the China market abroad, and we prioritize our investment to countries where Chinese immigrants, students and tourists like the most,” Greenland Chairman Zhang Yuliang was quoted as saying in a statement Friday.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-07-27 09:54:18

In Torrance a few years ago a new Japanese-influenced hotel was built, walking distance to the Asian market near Western and Carson. My Asian gal friend stayed at that hotel a few times. She is first generation American. I think very very few guests are non-Asians, or if they are Asian-American, very few would be second generation or more…

Comment by ahansen
2013-07-27 11:47:59

Before the internment of WW2, about 40 Japanese families formed a cooperative that farmed a significant portion of the hill. The site of the Torrance hotel was for many years afterwards (into the 1990’s at least) a well-loved local strawberry/corn farm. Sorry to hear it’s gone.

I believe the former sites of Annie (Ishibashi) (ohhhh, those strawberries) and the Kumekichi family stands on PVDW were recognized as an historical monument.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:43:21

Did the Plunge Protection Team intervene beginning at 2pm EST yesterday? Because gold and stock prices were selling off until then, only to collectively go into hyperdrive for the rest of the day.

Just sayin’…

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:44:47

Make that 11am EDT (2pm PST)…

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 05:55:25

of course they did. this is not a market dude. this is the market for wall street and the banks, friends of bernak.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-07-27 07:09:56

I think a lot of this manipultion has to do with the easy access most people now have to stock prices. With computers everywhere people can see moment-by-moment what is going on with the prices of their holdings, which hasn’t been the case until recently (recently meaning the past several years).

The most interesting stock price a stock buyer is interested in is the price of the stock he just bought. If he gets instant feedback and updates on the price of this stock then he will get to enjoy the feeling of elation if the price goes up and suffer the pain of despair if the price goes down. And since he has a computer he can easily react to these emotions - this feeling of elation and this feeling of dispair - by taking action of some sort, such as buying or selling.

If the feeling is one of elation then he will want to extend and intensify this feeling and thus will tend to buy more stock. If the feeling is one of despair then he will want to end this feeling - get some sort of relief - and he will do this by getting rid of what it is that is causing the feeling of despair which is the stock that he owns that is falling in price.

Which means an emotion-driven guy who has instant feedback to prices and immediate access to buying and selling will tend to buy at the top of the swing and sell at the bottom of the swing. And who is at the other end of this buying selling? The market pros, that’s who.

This has always been the case - this emotional selling at the bottom and emotional buying at the top - but it hasn’t been as easy to do before because before one did not have ready access to the market.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 10:53:21

So let me get this straight:

You believe some kind of decentralized surge of emotion-laden buying sentiment simultaneously lifted all the stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial, S&P 500 and Nasdaq stock averages plus gold in a simultaneous burst of irrational exuberance beginning sharply on the hour of 2pm EDT yesterday?

I had no idea these sentiment vibes could travel so quickly!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 11:06:59

Actually the sentiment bump was global in scope, as evidenced by the spike in the Global Dow stock price index starting at 2pm EDT yesterday. Could it have been due to a solar burst which simultaneously woke stock market bulls around the globe from their lethargy?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:48:12

Who picks the winners and the losers in the global economy? For instance, why through Detroit under the bus while propping up Wall Street in perpetuity, and who makes these decisions?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:50:14

“throw” not “through” (clearly I need coffee…)

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 05:55:16

July 26, 2013, 3:19 p.m. EDT
Today, Detroit. Tomorrow, Hometown, USA
How Detroit’s bankruptcy filing will have national repercussions
By Chuck Jaffe, MarketWatch

Back when I was a rookie reporter at the Detroit Free Press nearly 30 years ago, the big debate the staff had over lunches was which would go bankrupt first: the big automakers or the city. And which experience would be worse.

You could make arguments for each possibility, but most of the staffers thought there was no way either event would ever actually happen. They insisted that the early signs of trouble were an anomaly or something that could be reversed before it became a calamity.

Having just earned my degree in economics, I thought back then that both were possible — many years in the future — and that bankruptcies for the Big Three would be bad for the city, but that a bankruptcy for the city would be bad for the entire country.

Sadly, what was once little more than a theory is now a reality, but what’s worse is that so many people — like my old colleagues — don’t recognize what the city’s financial woes mean on a national level.

Lessons from Detroit’s bankruptcy for you

The city of Detroit is about $20 billion in debt to over 100,000 creditors. The Detroit bankruptcy serves as a warning beacon for everyone expecting a pension and other retirement benefits. Chuck Jaffe explains on MoneyBeat. Photo: AP.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 06:13:56

Which parts of Detroit will get bailed out versus left in the desert for the carrion birds to pick over the rotting carcass?

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 07:46:27

union country, all the blue areas.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 14:04:20

“Detroit’s decline really began with the middle-class migration to the suburbs in the 1950s, which accelerated after the 1967 race riot…”

How many other American cities followed similar patterns of post-1950s decline?

Washington DC
St Louis

Updated July 26, 2013, 6:19 p.m. ET
Saving Detroit From Itself
A federal bailout would only reinforce the city’s corrupt political culture.

The AFL-CIO and its friends are mourning Detroit as a victim of capitalism, claiming the government has a moral obligation to rescue the bankrupt city. This is a nice political fable, but the hard truth is that Motown is a victim of its own political vices and a bailout would merely forestall the necessary rehab.

One myth is that Detroit is a victim of the U.S. auto industry. But the city’s breakdown preceded the decline of GM, Ford and Chrysler and has continued despite their resurgence. American car makers have been doing better for three years, but Detroit is getting little benefit because the industry long ago left the city. Michigan’s jobless rate has fallen to 8.7% from 14.2% in August 2009, and the rate is now 6.2% in suburban Dearborn (Ford headquarters), but still 16.3% in Detroit.

Detroit’s decline really began with the middle-class migration to the suburbs in the 1950s, which accelerated after the 1967 race riot and election of labor organizer Coleman Young as mayor in 1973. During his 20-year reign, Mr. Coleman ignored crime, inflamed racial tensions and built a patronage machine. (See Steve Malanga’s history nearby.)

Local politicians bought union support with generous labor agreements. Pensions were sweetened retroactively. In good investment years, retirement funds issued bonus checks. Until two years ago public-safety officers didn’t have to pay a penny to their pensions and could retire at 55 with roughly 85% of their salary, a 2.25% annual cost-of-living increase and nearly free health benefits.

While the average pension is $30,000 for public safety and $19,000 for other municipal workers, these figures are skewed by workers who retire early with reduced benefits or on disability. A quarter of retired officers receive disability pensions, which pay two-thirds of salary. Fifty-four retirees are under the age of 20 and earn pensions that average $23,300, according to a 2011 actuarial report.

The actuaries mention as a footnote that the retirement tables “may include records with defective birth dates.” Detroit’s pension funds, like most of its municipal agencies, keep sloppy records. About 70% of the city’s financial journal entries are booked manually.

Misrule has resulted in the nation’s highest violent crime rate, worst schools, blight and corruption. A former mayor, city treasurer and several pension-fund trustees were recently indicted for corruption. The general counsel for the pension funds this year was charged with securing kickbacks for trustees, including a $5,000 check presented as a birthday gift at a soiree, in return for a nice raise.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 06:21:11

Detroit retirees ask Obama for pension help
July 26, 2013, 3:56 PM
By Matthew Heimer

In today’s political climate, the odds of Washington approving another Detroit bailout seem about as good as those of Carlos Danger winning New York’s mayoralty as a write-in, but public-sector unions are giving it their best shot. The AFL-CIO, whose member unions represent some of Detroit’s 21,000 retired city employees, issued a statement Thursday urging President Obama and Congress to approve federal aid that would keep retirees from facing pension cuts as part of Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings.

The White House hadn’t responded yet to the AFL-CIO statement as of Friday afternoon, but the Obama administration is seen as unlikely to try to act on Detroit’s behalf; Republican senators, meanwhile, have introduced legislative amendments this week explicitly barring Congress from directing special aid to Detroit or any other financially troubled city, as Megan R. Wilson notes today in the political newspaper The Hill.

Though details are far from being hammered out, parties on all sides of Detroit’s financial debacle have assumed that any bankruptcy plan will result in cuts to public-sector pensions. City pension officials say that the average municipal pensioner receives about $19,000 a year, and that firefighters and police officers – who don’t qualify for Social Security – collect about $30,000 annually. Since Detroit’s is the largest municipal bankruptcy ever filed, public-sector workers in other financially shaky communities are eyeing the proceedings nervously to see what kind of precedent it might set, as MarketWatch’s Chuck Jaffe writes in a column today.

Public-employee unions have been arguing that Michigan’s state constitution, which states that accrued pension benefits in the state “shall not be diminished or impaired,” forbids any cuts in retirees’ benefits. On Wednesday, Steven Rhodes, the federal bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit’s reorganization barred unions and creditors from pursuing that argument in Michigan state courts, but Rhodes did say that they could make their case in his own court.

Comment by 2banana
2013-07-27 05:45:19

Get out of New Jersey!


Which State Is Headed in the Wrong Direction at the Fastest Rate?
Townhall.com | July 27, 2013 | Daniel J. Mitchell

There are all sorts of ways to measure the burden of government spending.

The most obvious approach is to look at the share of economic output consumed by the public sector. That’s what I did, for instance, when comparing fiscal policy in France and Switzerland. And it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyhow) that Switzerland’s comparative frugality helps to explain why its economy is much stronger than the French economy.

It’s also good to know whether a country is heading in the wrong direction or right direction. If one country has a bigger government but has implemented reforms that slow the growth of the public sector, it may have a better future than another country where government currently is a smaller burden but the long-term fiscal outlook is grim.

For this reason, I was very interested in the data showing that most European nations actually increased the size of government in recent years – notwithstanding all the hyperbole about “savage” and “draconian” austerity.

And if you look at personal income growth on a state-by-state basis, adjust it for inflation, and then compare it to spending growth, you get some interesting results.

It turns out that North Dakota is the state that most satisfies Mitchell’s Golden Rule, followed by South Dakota and Alaska. West Virginia and South Carolina stay in the top 10, but they drop to 4 and 9, respectively.

New Jersey, meanwhile, takes over as the worst state, followed by Arizona and Louisiana.

Not only has New Jersey been the biggest failure based on my Golden Rule, it also doesn’t have a lot of breathing room. If you look at this info-graph on state debt, you can see that it has the nation’s 7th biggest debt load. In other words, the Garden State’s politicians have been making a bad situation even worse.

And since New Jersey also has a punitive death tax, the obvious message is that productive people should flee the state. Which is exactly what’s been happening. Thanks to migration, about $70 billion of wealth escaped between 2004 and 2008 alone.

But be careful where you move. Other states that get back marks on both spending and debt are Ohio, Illinois (gee,what a surprise), and New Mexico.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-07-27 10:36:06

‘Thanks to migration, about $70 billion of wealth escaped between 2004 and 2008 alone.’

That’s a lot of dinero. You could fund a few things with that kind of money. Wonder if a hedge fund could buy those people and take their 2 and 20 from them.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-07-27 14:57:30

Yep, NJ is going down for sure. North Carolina has seen a lot of influx from NJ, especially the Cary area.

Camden and Newark will be on the bk bucket list.

Comment by 2banana
2013-07-27 05:49:02

Public unions + free sh*t army + long term democrat rule = bankruptcy and ruin for any city

How Do Ponzi Schemes End?
Townhall.com ^ | July 27, 2013 | John C. Goodman

What’s the most important lesson to take away from the bankruptcy of Detroit? It’s that when governments promise benefits they are unwilling to pay for, the system can very quickly come to resemble something designed by Bernie Madoff. Like many other cities around the country, Detroit promised police officers, firefighters, teachers and other public employees pension and post-retirement health care benefits, but was unwilling to set aside the money needed to fund those benefits.

The city attracted workers with a total compensation package that included current wages and future benefits. Since the future benefits were substantially unfunded, they can be paid only if future taxpayers pay them. But the future taxpayers never agreed to this deal. If they do pay, they will be paying for services delivered in the past. If they don’t pay, they won’t have to sacrifice any current city services.

So guess what? The future taxpayers have flown the coop. Louis Woodhill summarized the situation in a column for Forbes:

“Detroit’s bankruptcy filing lists about $18.25 billion worth of debt. This amounts to $26,838 for each person still living in Detroit, which is equal to an unsupportable 176% of annual per capita income. Slightly more than half of Detroit’s debts ($9.20 billion) represent the unfunded liabilities of the city’s retirement benefit plans, including both pensions and other post-employment benefits.”

Now here is something interesting - did you know that it is illegal under federal law for a private corporation to do what Detroit did? Any private company setting up a defined-benefit pension plan is required by law to fund that plan each and every year. Defined-benefit plans are plans that promise a specific pension benefit during the years of retirement, such as 60 percent of final pay. They are to be distinguished from defined-contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans, that are always funded because the employee is only entitled to whatever is in the account.

As the unfunded liability for a city rises, it can fall into a death spiral. The city initially raises taxes to pay for its promises. In response, the private sector contracts as individuals and businesses move to less burdensome locales. The more people there are who leave, the higher the rates have to be. Meanwhile, the quality of the city services declines as more of the city’s revenues are used to pay for retirement benefits instead. That in turn encourages an even greater exodus of the people and businesses that form the tax base. As the Wall Street Journal explained:

“For years Detroit has been gutting services and sucking taxpayers dry to finance retirement and debt obligations. Nearly 70% of parks have been closed since 2008, and four in 10 street lights don’t work. The city has cut its police force by 40% in a decade. Response times are five times longer than the national average, and it has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. Meanwhile, Detroit residents pay the highest property and income taxes in the state. Last year its business tax doubled. About 40% of revenues go toward retirement benefits and debt, much of which was issued in the last 10 years to finance pension contributions. Payments on $1.6 billion of pension-related certificates of participation consume nearly every dollar of property tax revenue.”

The lesson for the rest of us should be clear. It really doesn’t matter whether public employees are under-paid or over-paid. What matters is that city government pay for whatever they promise at the time the promise is made and do not try to shift those costs to future taxpayers.

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 08:19:23

CA is on the same path

Comment by spook
2013-07-27 09:37:25

“For years Detroit has been gutting services and sucking taxpayers dry to finance retirement and debt obligations.

Good article regarding the economics of Detroit’s fiscal implosion. But no effective solution can occur without putting demographics on the table. In the book Black Bourgeoisie by E. Franklin Frasier (1957) he reveals a longstanding agreement among the elites that public education would serve as a “sponge” to soak up excess black college graduates unable to gain employment in the private sector.

It was an open secret backed by the full faith and CREDIT of the power structure

The excess layers of “fat” and “gristle” in the form of administrators and programs that produce no visible improvement in student achievement is a result

When this process is extended to all city services, the result is Detroit.

E. Franklin Frasier is the rare example of a person willing to risk his career in order to tell the truth; he pissed off a lot of elite Negroes and their white liberal “sponsors”.

His book proves that The best way to crack a conspiracy is for one of the conspirators to confess.

Comment by ahansen
2013-07-27 11:53:52

Has it not always been thus? There is only room for so many princes in any given society. Teaching, historically, (along with the clergy) has been where the also-ran pretenders go.

Would you prefer they live out their lives on unemployment, or rather put what they’ve learned (at great public expense) to use tending the next generations?

Comment by spook
2013-07-27 16:14:08

I don’t know if its always been like that.

“Would you prefer they live out their lives on unemployment, or rather put what they’ve learned (at great public expense) to use tending the next generations?”

No, but I think more private sector experience would help black people become smarter and as a consequence, less dependent on white people. There is a big difference between doing a job well, and doing it well, on a budget, and turning a profit.

Ive lived in dee-cee; the comfortable middle and upper class black people government workers are some of the least likely to tamper with the “plantation”. Especially the ones “tending the next generations.”

This is not a criticism; they have seen what happens to black people who are not “team players”. The difference between DC and Detroit is OPM.

How long can that last?

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-07-27 16:31:16

How do you give someone private sector experience? Seems like by its nature it has to be ‘gotten’, not ‘given’.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-07-27 19:42:39

There is a big difference between doing a job well, and doing it well, on a budget, and turning a profit.

You said a mouthful there. In a lot of ways a big company job can be a lot like a government job. This last couple of years has been my first time at a company so small that every penny counts and everybody pulls hard and well or they aren’t around long. It’s amazing how different it is from government or big company work.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 06:09:18

With Bernanke rumored to be soon be leaving the Fed, it’s frightening to contemplate what crackpot macroeconomic theories may motivate the next Fed chairman.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 06:11:46

The Too-Narrow Monetary Policy Debate
By Reihan Salam
July 26, 2013 10:54 AM

As the Obama administration deliberates over who will succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chair, there has been a steady crumbeat of criticism against Larry Summers, the former NEC chair and Treasury secretary who is perhaps the most distinguished, and controversial, Democratic economic policymaker of his generation. A bloc of Democratic senators has voiced its opposition to Summers in a letter to the White House, and leading members of the left-liberal intelligentsia has been sharpening their knives. Ezra Klein, among others, has raised the specter of sexism, the argument being that Janet Yellen, a highly-regarded academic economist who currently serves as vice chair of the Fed, has lost ground to Summers in part because she is a woman. The battlelines have been drawn under the assumption that while Yellen is closely aligned with Bernanke in her support for the Evans Rule and the successive rounds of quantitative easing, Summers is more skeptical. Wonkbook quotes Robin Harding of the Financial Times:

Lawrence Summers made dismissive remarks about the effectiveness of quantitative easing at a conference in April, raising the possibility of a big shift in US monetary policy if he becomes chairman of the Federal Reserve. “QE in my view is less efficacious for the real economy than most people suppose,” said Mr Summers according to an official summary of his remarks at a conference organised in Santa Monica by Drobny Global, obtained by the Financial Times.

To champions of quantitative easing, these are fighting words. Scott Sumner, a leading advocate of nominal output targeting, is among those who’ve been very critical of Summers. Matt Yglesias juxtaposes Summers’ skepticism about monetary stimulus, which Summers believes will lead private firms to undertake costly, inefficient boondoggles, and his enthusiasm for fiscal stimulus, which suggests a perhaps misplaced belief that the public sector is better about making decisions about long-term investments than the private sector. It’s a smart critique, and it does seem as though the extent of anti-Summers sentiment has undermined the former Treasury secretary’s prospects.

What I find interesting, however, is that there is a neglected position in our monetary policy debates, which is that we may well need inflation as part of a broader strategy of accelerating deleveraging and returning to full employment, but that quantitative easing is not the best way to achieve this goal. I associate this view with Ashwin Parameswaran:

[U]nlike most Fed critics who tend to be conventional “austerians”, I’m a strong critic of asset-price based monetary policy and an equally strong advocate for combined monetary-fiscal stimulus in the form of direct cash transfers to households. I support helicopter drops not just because it is fairer and more “neutral” in its impact on income distribution than quantitative easing. I support helicopter drops because it is the parachute that prevents the hard landing if we stop quantitative easing. I support helicopter drops because it is the most free-market of all macro-stabilisation policies. Rather than bailing out banks and firms and propping up asset prices, helicopter drops simply mitigate the consequences of macroeconomic volatility upon the people. I support helicopter drops because it helps us build a resilient economic system as opposed to chasing the utopian aim of perfect macroeconomic stability. [Emphasis added]

Comment by ahansen
2013-07-27 12:17:48

“…Janet Yellen, a highly-regarded academic economist who currently serves as vice chair of the Fed, has lost ground to Summers in part because she is a woman….”

The same Larry Summers who ridiculously suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a “different availability of aptitude at the high end.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 12:22:08

Summers vrs Yellen could be a great mud wrestling match!

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 12:29:39

P.S. I recall once hearing through the academic rumor mill the suggestion that Janet Yellen may have ghost written some of her Nobel Prize winning husband’s, George Akerlof’s, economic journal articles.

I have no evidence to support or refute this suggestion, but the current discussion of Summers or Yellen as potential Bernanke successors reminded me of it.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 13:19:41

I find it somewhat surprising that Obama would favor the white male supremacist Fed chair candidate over one with the potential to become the first female fed chair.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 13:22:43

In Fed chair race, Obama’s loyalty to Summers could be key
Published: Saturday, 27 Jul 2013 | 9:00 AM ET
Eamon Javers | CNBC Washington Reporter

The oh-so-subtle behind-the-scenes battle to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve could come down to something as simple as a conference call.

When candidate Barack Obama was prepping for a crucial meeting in 2008 with President George Bush and his GOP rival, John McCain, in the thick of the fiscal crisis, Larry Summers took a lead role prepping the candidate on urgent economic issues. The meeting proved a turning point for Obama’s campaign as he pulled away from Bush in the polls.

Subsequently, Summers was joined by heavyweights Robert Rubin and Warren Buffett on semiregular calls with Obama about the economy.

Not on the calls: Janet Yellen, the other presumed candidate for Fed chair.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 13:23:48

Admittedly, ‘male supremacist’ may have been a slight overstatement…

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 13:56:10

Updated July 26, 2013, 7:03 p.m. ET
Summers Faces Hit on Potential Fed Nod Over His Wall Street Ties
Work for Citigroup, Nasdaq Could Be Fuel for Critics

WASHINGTON— Lawrence Summers, one of the leading contenders to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, is serving as a paid consultant to Citigroup Inc. and other financial institutions, roles that are likely to draw the focus of people who don’t want him to get the high-profile job.

Mr. Summers, who remains on the Harvard University faculty after a tumultuous tenure as the school’s president in the mid-2000s, also advises or consults for a number of other financial firms.

These include stock-exchange operator Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., hedge fund D.E. Shaw, venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and asset-management and advisory firm Alliance Partners, according to people familiar with the matter. His consulting for Citigroup and Nasdaq hasn’t previously been reported.

Scrutiny has been rising in recent days on Mr. Summers and current Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen, the two economists who have emerged as the likeliest candidates to become the next Fed chief. Mr. Summers has some strong advocates inside the Obama White House, where he headed the National Economic Council.

A group of Democratic senators, meanwhile, is circulating a letter backing Ms. Yellen, noting her “solid record as a bank regulator” as president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.

A senior White House official said Friday that the president won’t announce his choice of a successor to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke before the fall. Mr. Bernanke’s second four-year term ends in January, and he hasn’t indicated interest in reappointment.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-07-27 19:49:30

Is Summers prepared to answer to allegations he posted pictures of his member on Facebook?

Comment by rms
2013-07-28 00:25:24

After watching that 60 Minutes episode where Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers force Brooksley Born from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) so they could loot the our country, I find it appalling that Summers would ever be considered as a chairman of the Federal Reserve bank. Disgusting!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 06:23:47

Remarks by Governor Ben S. Bernanke
Before the New York Chapter of the National Association for Business Economics, New York, New York
October 15, 2002

Asset-Price “Bubbles” and Monetary Policy

I am very pleased to have this opportunity to address the National Association for Business Economics. Thank you for inviting me.

My talk today will address a contentious issue, summarized by the following pair of questions: Can the Federal Reserve (or any central bank) reliably identify “bubbles” in the prices of some classes of assets, such as equities and real estate? And, if it can, what if anything should it do about them?

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 08:02:04

all they can do is clean up the mess by printing more cash and putting the govt more into debt. Taxpayers pick up the tab for wall street to profit.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 06:26:34

October 23, 2007, 9:57 AM
Helping the Fed Target Asset Prices
Real Time Economics HOME PAGE »
By topeditor

A perennial debate among central bankers these days is whether they should target asset prices. Even those who agree that doing so might mitigate booms and busts ultimately conclude the practical obstacles are almost insurmountable. Among them: how to incorporate asset prices into their inflation goals?

Joseph Carson, director of global economic research at Alliance Bernstein, thinks he has the answer. He’s created a “broad price index” combining consumer prices, producer prices and asset prices. “The weighting scheme is designed to approximate the relative importance of each sector in the overall economy, with consumer prices given the dominant share, followed by smaller shares allotted to producer, real estate and equity prices,” he says.

The index registered strong surges in both 1999-2000 and 2004-2005, a signal that the Fed’s monetary policy was too easy at the time, he says. On the other hand, at present it is growing at about the same rate as core consumer prices, suggesting Fed policy is about right.

“Maintaining a balance in both the real and financial economies is the key to achieving macroeconomic stability, and this requires policymakers to expand their horizons when they seek to make decisions with far-reaching ramifications,” he says.

Still, using such an index doesn’t remove many of the other obstacles that central bankers cite to incorporating asset prices into their monetary policy. Economists have over the years established considerable theoretical justification for stabilizing consumer prices — it reduces “menu costs” (the effort of frequently updating prices), it helps consumers and businesses distinguish between relative price changes (which signal whether to reallocate resources) and inflation (which does not), and it helps smooth the business cycle because when inflation is high it also tends to be volatile, requiring more frequent, and aggressive, responses by monetary policy.

The theoretical justification for doing the same with asset prices is less developed. A bubble does distort the allocation of capital, but when does a rise in asset prices reflect a bubble rather than benign forces raising the present discounted value of the asset’s income-generating capacity? A central bank that tried to stabilize asset prices in the latter case would do more harm than good. Mr. Carson’s index doesn’t provide a ready answer to that question.

Moreover, while critics have often said the Fed has contributed to or failed to prevent asset bubbles, the Fed can point out that the broad economy has yet to pay a significant price as a result.

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 06:27:15

Whoever takes the punchbowl away will be seen as the devil and the one who ruined the economy. Bernake will be gone by then and they will have someone else to blame. who would want the job?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 06:30:36

“…who would want the job?”

A Paul Volcker type (i.e. somebody who is willing and capable of doing what needs to be done while ignoring the political blowback…)

Comment by 2banana
2013-07-27 06:45:31

in the age of obama and the free sh*t army???

Never going to happen.

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Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 07:24:05

I wish i could loan money to myself.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 10:56:45

“I wish i could loan money to myself.”

Technically the Fed buys bonds from the Treasury, which makes the value of said bonds go up. But since the Fed presumably has lots of existing Treasurys on its balance sheet, they enjoy asset ownership portfolio wealth effects as a result.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 12:18:25

“in the age of obama and the free sh*t army???

Never going to happen.”

I assume you realize it was a Democratic president who appointed Paul Volcker? (Sorry to have to shoot down another one of your partisan strawmen…)

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-07-27 15:11:26

I assume you realize it was a Democratic president who appointed Paul Volcker?

And Ronald Reagan who fired Volcker and replaced him with Greenspan.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 17:09:40

It’s also worth noting that Volcker, Greenspan and Bernanke are all Republicans. :-)

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-07-27 17:23:05

Volcker, Greenspan and Bernanke are all Republicans. :-)


Paul Volcker, a Democrat,[12] was appointed chairman of the board of governors for the Federal Reserve System in August 1979 by President Jimmy Carter

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 18:56:06

I guess my recollection was wrong on Volcker. Perhaps because I knew he was a cigar-chomping banker who didn’t mind sending American workers into the unemployment line for the sake of snuffing out rampant inflation, I always assumed he was a Republican. Democrats are rumored to be more tolerant of high inflation if it helps avoid high unemployment.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 10:42:55

I believe any of several QE3 hawks on the FOMC might be up to the job (e.g. Richmond Fed President Lacker).

Fed’s Lacker Says Exit From Bond-Buying Program Must Be Quick
The U.S. central bank must end its bond-buying program quickly and an end to the program was “in sight”, a senior Federal Reserve official said in a German magazine on Saturday.
July 27, 2013, Saturday

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 20:31:16

July 27, 2013, 10:21 p.m. ET
Larry Summers ‘Failing Up’ to the Fed
Mess Up at One Job, Get a Better One

If you saw the movie “The Social Network,” you saw a portrayal of the Winklevoss twins complaining to Harvard President Larry Summers that some twerp named Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook.

Mr. Summers shooed them away, not recognizing the value of the website, which turned out to be worth billions, or their claim against Mr. Zuckerberg, which became worth a couple hundred million.

In 2006, Mr. Summers resigned as Harvard’s president following a faculty no-confidence vote. He’d sparked one controversy after the next, the least of which was suggesting that women didn’t have the aptitude for math and science.

He also supported a Harvard professor who bought Russian stocks while designing Russia’s privatization plans—a scandal that led to Harvard paying $26.5 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit. Then he lost Harvard about $1 billion by investing its money in derivatives—instruments he wanted to keep deregulated during his days in the Clinton administration.

Another movie that involves Mr. Summers—the 2010 documentary “Inside Job”—portrays him as a key villain in the 2008 financial collapse. The former U.S. Treasury Secretary (under Bill Clinton) declined to be interviewed for the film and afterward had the temerity to complain that it had “all its facts wrong.”

Mr. Summers is a master at “failing up.” Screw up at one job, get a better one. He’s now considered a front-runner to replace Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in January.

Mr. Bernanke’s response to the financial crisis has been to digitally print trillions of dollars and give most of it to the biggest banks that caused the crisis. This seems to have averted another Great Depression, but at what cost? Eventually, the Fed must ease this money out of the system. And any time Mr. Bernanke even suggests he might do this, the stock market nose dives, spoiling the whole high-wire act.

Mr. Bernanke is smart enough to step away before the Fed must unwind this unprecedented position. This task will be like defusing a roadside bomb—and the man to do it is Larry Summers?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 20:36:54

It’s a great article!

One reason why the middle class is still suffering is because Mr. Obama has a knack for putting the same people who ruined the economy in charge of fixing the economy.

In his first term, he reappointed Mr. Bernanke, who had misread the subprime-mortgage crisis. Then he put Tim Geithner—head of the New York Fed as the financial world collapsed—in charge of the Treasury. He also relied upon Mr. Summers to craft a stimulus plan that was too small and didn’t include enough investment in infrastructure.

The result is an economy that still oozes with corruption and isn’t really growing.

Meantime, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are starting a bitcoin investment fund.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency for Internet transactions. Some say it’s a new model for money. Others call it just another Ponzi scheme. But one of bitcoin’s appeals is that it can’t be manipulated by the Fed.

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Comment by rms
2013-07-28 00:13:22

“With Bernanke rumored to be soon be leaving the Fed, it’s frightening to contemplate what crackpot macroeconomic theories may motivate the next Fed chairman.”

+1 I hope they grew up playing with a Wham O giant bubble maker.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-07-27 06:26:19

Economic recovery is HERE…right in front of our noses…..

Half of Affordable Care Act call center jobs will be part-time

7,000 people applied for the 204 jobs. According to the Contra Costa Times, however, “about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits


Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 06:38:21

Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin under scrutiny over two jobs

By Stephanie Condon /
CBS News/ July 26, 2013, 10:51 AM

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin — already under the microscope because of her husband’s lewd behavior — is facing tough questions from a senator concerned about the nature of her employment at the State Department.

Abedin, a longtime aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, worked for a little under a year as a “special government employee” for the State Department. During that period in 2012, she was also working as a consultant for a private firm called Teneo, giving private investors information about the government.

It has been reported that Ms. Abedin earned approximately $135,000 from the State Department while receiving $355,000 in consulting income for representing outside clients, as she remained a Federal employee and a trusted advisor to Secretary Clinton,” Grassley wrote. “This raises important questions about whether her dual role was adequately disclosed to government officials who may have provided her information without realizing that she was being paid by private investors to gather information.”

Grassley asked the State Department and Abedin to respond to 17 questions, as well as a request for all documents relating to communications between the State Department and Teneo, or clients represented by Teneo. The State Department and Abedin responded, giving the specific dates of her employment and confirming that she read State Department ethics guidelines before becoming a “special government employee.” They also explained that Abedin, as a State Department employee, “advised” Clinton and supervised the operations of her travel and schedule.

Nevertheless, Grassley said in a statement Friday that neither the State Department nor Abedin has handed over any of the documents he requested.

“The purpose of my inquiry is to shed light on whether the program is being used as intended, not just by Ms. Abedin, but more broadly, as well,” he said. “The State Department and Ms. Abedin should be willing to show the documents involved in administering the program to demonstrate good stewardship of tax dollars and the public interest… Putting up a stone wall raises a lot more questions about how the program is being used than it answers.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57595659/weiners-wife-huma-abedin-under-scrutiny-over-two-jobs/ - 109k -

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 07:44:34

Bill Clinton: Teneo Capital No Longer Paying Me

Posted: 03/02/12 12:02 AM ET

WASHINGTON — Former President Bill Clinton has ended his paid relationship with the global financial consulting and private equity firm Teneo Capital, he confirmed in a statement Thursday night.

Clinton’s statement was in apparent response to a New York Post report that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had forced her husband to leave the firm to avoid the perception of conflicts of interest. The Post also reported that longtime Clinton aide Douglas Band was leaving the Clinton Global Initiative to focus on Teneo.

Band, in fact, is not leaving the Clinton Global Initiative, said Clinton. As for his own situation, “I did not sever my financial relationship with Teneo. I changed it,” Clinton said. “Because of the invaluable help I continue to receive with my business relationships and speaking engagements, as well as with CGI and other philanthropic activities, like the Ireland investment conference, I felt that I should be paying them, not the other way around.”

In November, The Huffington Post first reported Clinton’s professional relationship with Teneo, founded by Band and Declan Kelly. The Post report said Secretary Clinton believed “the former president has ‘damaged’ the ‘Clinton brand’ by entangling himself and his organizations in arrangements that could appear questionable.” As HuffPost reported in November, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was also brought on by Teneo to serve on its paid advisory board.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/bill-clinton-teneo-capital_n_1315067.html - 346k -

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 08:12:34

Bill Clinton: Teneo Capital No Longer Paying Me

Posted: 03/02/12 12:02 AM ET

The Huffington Post first reported Clinton’s professional relationship with Teneo, founded by Band and Declan Kelly

“I couldn’t have accomplished half of what I have in my post presidency without Doug Band,” Clinton said. “Doug is my counselor and a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative, which was created at his suggestion. He tirelessly works to support the expansion of CGI’s activities and my other foundation work around the world. In our first 10 years, Doug’s strategic vision and fundraising made it possible for the foundation to survive and thrive. I hope and believe he will continue to advise me and build CGI for another decade.”
Bill Clinton’s Aide, Now in the Story

By Lois Romano
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Who is this guy?

For more than a decade, Douglas Band has tried to hold fast to the rules of his trade: Stay close to the client from morning until night, guard all roads (and all phones) to the client and keep your mouth shut.

Band had an early moment in the spotlight when he was interviewed by independent counsel Kenneth Starr because Band had once escorted Monica Lewinsky to a White House ball. The date was memorialized in a photograph for which Band was offered (and turned down) a great deal of money by media outlets. It was ultimately was turned over to Starr by the president’s lawyer, David Kendall.

Friends and family say Band has tried to stay close to his roots, despite the 24/7 demands of the job. Every year he makes a point of attending a reunion with about 20 college friends. He has also brought his family into his fast-paced world. His brother, Roger, an emergency medicine physician and professor at the University of Pennsylvania hospital in Philadelphia, serves as Clinton’s personal physician on overseas trips. His parents, Myrna and David, this month hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at their home in Sarasota . And of course, when Band worked at the White House, everyone got a personal tour.

“I had no idea what a big deal his job was” at the White House, says Roger Band. “When he took us into the Oval Office, I was like, ‘Oh, cool, what, did some guy let you in?’ Then I saw his name on the speed dial.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/26/AR2008022603422.html - - Cached - Similar pages
Feb 27, 2008

Comment by My failure to respect women is unacceptable
2013-07-27 07:52:47

What’s the woman to do? She married a bum…he has no job…can’t get another job.

Comment by azdude
2013-07-27 08:00:01

support him of course

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 08:28:42

The Teneo Way

For CEOs and global leaders, the organizations they run and the worlds in which they operate offer great opportunities and equally significant risks. Although navigating turmoil and uncertainty is not a new challenge for chief executives, the interconnectedness of the issues they face and the speed at which these challenges evolve, expand or even evaporate are unprecedented.

Teneo believes that three core disruptors are changing the lives of CEOs:

1. Technology and social media

2. Financial market volatility

3. Geopolitical uncertainty

With these disruptors as a backdrop, Teneo embodies an entirely new approach to CEO advisory services, an approach that stems from a worldview we call the Teneo Way. The Teneo Way is based on the insight that, while the fundamental roles and responsibilities of modern leaders have not changed, the environment in which they develop and execute strategy has been radically transformed. These environmental changes make it harder than ever for a CEO to maintain the integrity of his or her strategy, and they demand a new mode of strategic counsel that:

■Looks at the world through the CEO’s eyes
■Is always senior-led and highly specialized
■Ignores traditional silos
■Gives chief executives the ability to see around corners and lead their organizations deftly
This is the vision behind Teneo and the Teneo Way.

Teneo uses six integrated businesses – Strategy, Intelligence, 360, Capital, Restructuring and Consulting – to guide the leaders of corporations, governments and not-for-profit institutions through this uncertainty. Our experts work together to diagnose problems, devise and execute treatments and monitor results, all from the CEO’s perspective. Success requires an approach that integrates innovation, communications and execution across the client’s entire organization. Seamless, efficient and confidential – that is what distinguishes the methodology embodied in the Teneo Way.

http://www.teneoholdings.com/the-teneo-way/ - 116k -

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Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 08:36:36

Teneo Capital

Teneo Capital provides the investment banking acumen and experience that CEOs and senior leaders need to grow their business, unearth new opportunities and thrive in today’s complex global environment.

Teneo Capital is an independent investment bank providing strategic and financial advice on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, capital raising, valuation and capital markets transactions. Our senior team of investment banking professionals collectively has advised clients on over $525 billion in transactions around the globe.

Our clients range from public and private corporations to foundations and partnerships, investment funds, governments and family offices. To best serve our clients, we leverage our deep industry expertise and product knowledge along with Teneo’s extensive global network.

http://www.teneoholdings.com/bios/michael-caulfield/ - 108k -

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-07-27 16:03:43

■Looks at the world through the CEO’s eyes
■Is always senior-led and highly specialized
■Ignores traditional silos
■Gives chief executives the ability to see around corners and lead their organizations deftly
This is the vision behind Teneo and the Teneo Way.

Scary stuff.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 10:38:04

“Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin under scrutiny over two jobs

By Stephanie Condon /
CBS News/ July 26, 2013, 10:51 AM

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin — already under the microscope because of her husband’s lewd behavior…”

Proposed short version of headline: WEINER UNDER MICROSCOPE

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 11:38:57

The next time this summer I hear a news story about the sordid sex lives of politicians, I think I’m going to hurl.

Bunga bunga!

Bob Filner, You’re No Anthony Weiner (or Mark Sanford)
By Susan Milligan
July 26, 2013

This Nov. 7, 2012 file photo shows U.S. Rep. Bob Filner during a news conference in San Diego.

Bob Filner, you’re no Anthony Weiner.

Filner, the Democratic mayor of San Diego and former member of Congress, is being accused by a series of women (one of whom has filed a lawsuit) of sexually harassment. We’re not talking about sending graphic (and really not at all sexy; just gross) texts to a willing participant, as Weiner so distastefully did. We’re talking about someone accused of asking a staffer to turn around (in public) and putting his hand on her ass. We’re talking about someone accused of actually putting women into headlocks and trying aggressively to kiss them.

This isn’t just disgusting or, as Filner has obliquely suggested, a failure to show proper respect to women. Nor is it merely making “sexual advances,” as much of the media has described it – a term that likens this behavior to a 15-year-old boy getting shot down after he tries to grab his date’s hand. This is molestation verging on sexual assault. It’s sexual harassment, and it’s illegal.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 17:17:17

In City Weary of Scandal, Calls Grow for Mayor of San Diego to Step Down
Published: July 27, 2013

SAN DIEGO — In November, when Bob Filner became the first Democrat in two decades to be elected mayor here, he celebrated with his fiancée at his side in Old Trolley Barn Park, where he thanked hundreds of supporters who had showed up.

Mayor Bob Filner announced on Friday that he would take two weeks away from City Hall to seek intensive behavior therapy.

But after a week in which seven women publicly accused him of sexual harassment, it was all but impossible to find any Filner supporters in Old Trolley Barn Park. And Democrats and Republicans have been — at least temporarily — united on an issue: their insistence that the mayor resign.

Rather than mollifying his critics, the mayor’s announcement on Friday that he would take two weeks away from City Hall to seek what he described as intensive behavior therapy has only further angered many residents, who complained that he was dragging the city through the mud in hopes of salvaging his own career.

“I’m bummed. I voted for him,” said Mona Mukherjea-Gehrig, 46. “Can you change in two weeks? That’s a joke. What are you going to do in two weeks?”

Her husband, Dwayne Gehrig, who had not supported Mr. Filner last fall, agreed.

“I don’t think two weeks of therapy is going to set a lifetime of a certain pattern straight,” said Mr. Gehrig, 45.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 20:34:05

“Mayor Bob Filner announced on Friday that he would take two weeks away from City Hall to seek intensive behavior therapy.”

Hopefully Filner’s sex rehabilitation treatment will work out better than Weiner’s did.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 09:05:53

The Teneo Way

“Abedin, a longtime aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, worked for a little under a year as a “special government employee” for the State Department. During that period in 2012, she was also working as a consultant for a private firm called Teneo, giving private investors information about the government.”

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 10:04:20

It’s easy to “spot a revolution from a million miles away” when your buddies planned it.

Teneo’s Declan Kelly delivers Bill Clinton, keeps expanding
Tipperary native becoming a global player in business

By KATE HICKEY,IrishCentral Editor
Published Friday, June 22, 2012, 7:59 AM

In the foyer of Teneo Holdings impressive headquarters on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan there is an old Coca-Cola machine that looks like something out of a time capsule.

For just a dime you can pull out an old Coca-Cola bottle and drink like it was 1955.

When you enter Teneo itself however it feels like the future.

Teneo’s newest business is Teneo Intelligence, which uses algorithms to predict future trouble spots around the world and models how such events will effect markets.

They then sell the information on to major companies.

It is run by an ex-CIA figure who Teneo CEO Declan Kelly, 43,says can spot a revolution from a million miles away.

Coke CEO Muktar Kent is one of Teneo’s clients, recommended by Donald Keough, the former Coca Cola president, who still plays a hugely influential role in that company as a major shareholder and board member.

Keough, a legendary figure in American business and currently chairman of major investment bank Allen and Company, has unabashed admiration for Declan Kelly and how he has burst on the scene in corporate America.

“I’ve wandered around in the world of consultants for a very long time he says from his office in Atlanta “and Kelly is the best.”

During his tenure major U.S. corporations including Citi, NYSE, Seagate, Dow Chemical, GE Energy and others announced they were creating new jobs there.

He also played a major role in securing the recent Clinton-led economic conference on Ireland in America

Kelly himself is utterly at home in the cutthroat environment in America. He is known not to suffer fools willingly and is clearly a young man in hurry.

But it his connection and bond to President Clinton that has opened up major avenues to him.

In a business where power and influence is everything he has the 800-pound gorilla in his corner.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Teneos-Declan-Kelly-delivers-Bill-Clinton-keeps-expanding-159992925.html - 59k

Comment by jose canusi
2013-07-27 10:22:33

“Teneo’s newest business is Teneo Intelligence, which uses algorithms to predict future trouble spots around the world and models how such events will effect markets.”

ROFL! Go for it, Teneo. Because we all know how effective algorithms are in the online advertising business.

Me, I’ll just gut a calf or goat or dog or something and read its entrails.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-07-27 10:45:46


Al Gore invented that.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 22:32:18

I finally got it!

Al-Gore-ithm (d’oh!)

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 10:53:31

What are algorithms?

Is that another word for information you get from people who work for the State Department, ex-CIA figures, former Presidents of the United States and people they had on speed dial when they were in office to predict future (palnned) trouble spots around the world to know ahead of time how such events will effect markets?

If it is then that’s the information they sell to major companies.

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Comment by jose canusi
2013-07-27 11:11:26

+1. Lol, algorithms. You mean the mathematical modeling that software “engineers” use to place Google ads and hose companies into thinking they’re buying “targeted” advertising? You mean like the ads for Montelongo and Zillow I see at the top of the blog when I visit it? What a joke. Oh, wait, wait, you mean the mathematical modeling that traders use to place their bets? You mean like how Stevie Jabba the Hutt Cohen could spot those “patterns” just by looking at the crawl?

Algorithms. Code for “inside information”. As for selling it to major companies, wouldn’t that be a sort of shakedown? Pay us and we’ll let you know what we’ve got planned. Don’t pay us and yer scrude. Blackmail.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 11:37:16

“Pay us and we’ll let you know what we’ve got planned. Don’t pay us and yer scrude. Blackmail.”

OK, I’ve got it.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-07-27 10:17:31

Well, this sucks. First Joey Covington, now JJ.


RIP, dude. Thanks for the tunes.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 12:03:43

U.S. Army Buying ‘MILLIONS” of Rounds Of Russian Ammo And Popular Civilian Firearms
Submitted by emalvini on Fri, 07/26/2013 - 09:44
in Current Events
ALERT! U.S. Army Buying ‘MILLIONS” of Rounds Of Russian Ammo And Popular Civilian Firearms

Compelling proof Dept. of Defense is also drying up firearms and ammo supply.

Kit Daniels
July 26, 2013

The U.S. Army is now looking to stockpile nearly 3,000,000 live rounds of Soviet-era Russian ammo popular with civilian shooters.

A U.S. Army solicitation posted July 18 on the Federal Business Opportunities web site asks for “non-standard” ammunition from vendors which includes:

- 2,550,000 rounds of 7.62×39mm ball ammo
- 575,000 blank rounds of 7.62×39mm ammo and
- 425,000 rounds of 9×18mm Makarov ball ammo

http://www.dailypaul.com/293888/alert-us-army-buying-millions-of-rounds-of-russian-ammo-and-popular-civilian-firearms - 112k -

Comment by P.T. Barnum
2013-07-27 13:53:31

Instead of spending money by buying up ammo the PTB should be spending money by offering shoot-offs with prizes ans such given out to the best shooters.

The participants in the shoot-offs would have to use their own money in buying up the ammo and as a consequence the ammo supply - and the money they spent on the ammo supply - would go poof as it got used up.

Plus, if you are a member of the PTB that is interested in making lists, you can make a list of just what firearms are owned by whom.

Comment by P.T. Barnum
2013-07-27 15:11:53

To intice anti-government gun nuts to attend these shootoffs set it up so as to make these gun nuts think that anti-government groups are the sponsors.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 12:33:18

You lanlords out there may want to pick up a Glock and put on some Body Armor before you go see a “disgruntled tenant” about a complaint they filed.

Florida Shooting: Landlords Killed In Hostage Standoff

by Andrew Gruttadaro
Sat, July 27, 2013 9:25am EDT

The deadly standoff took the lives of the landlords of the building, according to the Miami Herald. Italo Pisciotti, 78, and his wife, Samira Pisciotti, 68, were shot 15 to 20 times in their fourth floor apartment in the building they managed, which is located near 46th Street and West 16th Avenue in Hialeah.

The couple’s daughter, Shamira Pisciotti was on the scene when chaos broke out, and says she heard multiple gunshots and then saw people fleeing their apartments. “I saw my mother’s dead body,” Shamira told the Miami Herald. “She died the moment she was shot, but it looks like my dad was still alive after he was shot.”

The identity of the shooter has not yet been revealed, but Shamira believes he may have been a disgruntled tenant — Italo and Samira had gone to see one who had filed a complaint just before the shooting. “It seems like he was the one who shot my mom and my dad,” she said.

This is just an awful tragedy. We can’t imagine the state of grieving the Hialeah community must be in right now. Our hearts go out to everyone involved in this horrible incident, especially the friends and families and the people who died.

http://hollywoodlife.com/2013/07/27/florida-shooting-hostage-standoff-apartment-building/ - -

Comment by jose canusi
2013-07-27 13:37:07

Back in the day, Hialeah was a garden spot, with a classy racetrack, lots of green space, stately palm trees waving in the breeze.

Now it’s a teeming, festering, depressing hole.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-07-27 16:18:37

Miami Beach was a hot spot, then a semi-slum, and is now a hot spot again.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 13:49:07

Free Mansion Alert!

Boca Raton homeowner wins multi-million dollar foreclosure suit after legal misstep

by Kim Miller

A Boca Raton homeowner whose waterfront mansion has been in foreclosure since 2008 had her case voluntarily dismissed by her lender Thursday in Palm Beach County court after a legal misstep during trial.

Because the case is so old, homeowner attorney Roy Oppenheim said the bank may run into trouble trying to refile it. There is a 5-year statute of limitations on foreclosures.

Homeowner Valerie Kaan bought the 13,000-square-foot home in 2003 for $8.4 million. Her loan was for $6.8 million from Washington Mutual Bank, which was later purchased by JP Morgan Chase. The outstanding balance as of Thursday was up to about $10 million with late fees, taxes and insurance, Oppenheim said.

“I always tell my clients that a good settlement is usually in everyone’s best interest but in this case, for some reason, the bank did not recognize their own foibles,” Oppenheim said. “Maybe this will send a message to banks that when people come to the table in good faith with a reasonable offer, they should more seriously consider it.”

Oppenheim said Kaan was in negotiations for a short sale and loan modification for two years before negotiations broke down.

Chase declined comment.

At Thursday’s foreclosure trial, Oppenheim said the bank tried to introduce the original “wet ink” note, which had allegedly been lost previous to the 2008 foreclosure filing.

But because the bank did not amend its pleadings to include the note or notify the borrower and the court that it existed, the move violated civil procedure, Oppenheim said.

The court docket reflects that the original note was filed in the case in 2009, but its existance wasn’t included in Thursday’s pleading.

The voluntary dismissal was signed by Circuit Judge Roger Colton. He also gave Kaan attorneys’ fees and costs.

“Our firm _ three lawyers _ were saddled up ready to go to trial and they sprung on us at the last minute a new set of facts,” Oppenheim said. “It was trial by ambush and judges won’t put up with that.”

Associate lawyers Jeff Sherman and Jacquelyn Trask worked on the case with Oppenheim.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 26th, 2013 at 2:02 pm and is filed under Florida economy, Foreclosures, Mansions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/realtime/2013/07/26/boca-raton-homeowner-wins-multi-million-dollar-foreclosure-suit-after-legal-misstep/ - 79k -

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 13:52:57

Bank pays its attorneys with Hardest Hit money and still takes Florida woman’s home

by Kim Miller

More than $17,000 in taxpayer money went to save a Pinellas County woman’s home from foreclosure through Florida’s key prevention program but her lender repossessed the property anyway after using some of the money to pay off its own attorneys.

Sandra Morales, 68, received $17,102 from Florida’s $1 billion Hardest Hit program. Of that, her lender, Florida Central Credit Union, used $4,600 to pay its own attorneys’ fees and “other expenses,” according to court documents. A final foreclosure judgment of $184,292 awarded in April in favor of the credit union included another $4,462 in attorney’s fees.

On Wednesday, the credit union bought the house back at a final foreclosure auction for $72,900.
Although Morales was eligible to receive more money from the Hardest Hit fund, the credit union stopped participating in the program, cutting her off from additional funding.

“They will flip it,” said Morales, a 20-year former FEMA employee who traveled the country helping victims of major disasters. “They have already made money on it and took Hardest Hit money and got the house.”

The Palm Beach Post wrote about Morales’ struggle to keep her home in a May story about how the Hardest Hit funds can be used to pay lender attorneys’ fees but not those of homeowners.

The Treasury Department determined in 2010 that legal aid for borrowers was not allowed under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. One of Florida’s original proposals to use Hardest Hit money was rejected because it included $25 million for legal counseling and representation for homeowners.

“Even though it’s a good-intentioned program, it is a funnel to the banks,” Morales’ attorney Rory Rohan said in the May article. “The end result seems to be the banks get the money and the homeowner doesn’t get the house.”

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation, which oversees the Hardest Hit program, is not required to monitor how banks apply the money to homeowners’ accounts, so there is no way to tell how much is being used to pay down principal balances and late fees as opposed to bank court costs.

U.S. Special Inspector General Christy Romero said there a many things in the Hardest Hit program that are legal, but that should still be reviewed.

“I do have a question why so much of the money is going to administrative fees rather than the homeowner,” she told The Post earlier this week in an interview following the release of the quarterly report to Congress on the Troubled Asset Relief Program. “My biggest takeaway from the report is that Treasury has a responsibility to ensure that the help to homeowners is sustainable.”

Romero’s office is auding Florida’s Hardest Hit program.

The Hardest Hit program was tumultuous from the start. It has faced national criticism for a hasty debut — some states were given just one day’s notice that they were getting money, according to a 2012 federal progress report — and for failing to garner lender participation.

State housing authorities scrambled to assemble programs to distribute the money and recruit banks willing to take it.

Florida’s pilot program began in 2010 in Lee County with just one lender participating, according to the report from the Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

Florida now has 274 mortgage servicers enrolled and two main programs.

About 45,000 Florida homeowners have submitted applications for assistance, including 5,137 in Palm Beach County as of March 1.

Homeowners can receive up to 12 months of mortgage payments with a cap of $24,000 and up to $18,000 to reinstate a delinquent first mortgage. A second program provides a one-time payment of up to $25,000 to bring a mortgage current.

The Hardest Hit program is meant to act as a bridge to keep a person in their homes while they look for employment or a higher-paying job.

his entry was posted on Friday, July 26th, 2013 at 8:23 am and is filed under Foreclosures, Housing affordability, Housing boom, Job market, Mortgage fraud. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Comment by P.T. Barnum
2013-07-27 15:40:23

“Even though it is a good-intentioned program, it is a funnel to the banks.”

These are the best type of programs, these good-intentioned ones. If the program was designed with bad intentions then it wouldn’t garner any support and if it didn’t garner any support then the program would not be enacted and the banks would somehow have to do without.

Let no FB dollar be left behind.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-07-27 16:30:56

Uh oh, Leathers is bad mouthin’ Huma.

Anyway, I know I’m getting on in years and I hate to impose on this board again, especially after having to ask what a “Fluffer” was a couple of yeas ago. But could someone explain to me how these people have “phone sex”? Now I know how to have sex, been having that with girls and women since 9th grade in 1975, but there was never a phone involved. I get how Carlos was sending Leathers the pictures and everything but how the hell were they having sex over the phone at all, much less twice a week between June 2012 and November 2012.


How does a man fake it?

Weiner’s sext partner says wife Huma Abedin is in it for power and fame


Posted: 1:07 AM, July 27, 2013

Anthony Weiner’s cyber mistress says he fakes it — with his wife.

“It almost feels to me like it’s more of an arrangement, or a business relationship, than a marriage,” Sydney Leathers said of the perv pol and his humiliated spouse, Huma Abedin.

Leathers offered a half-hearted apology to Abedin “for the pain she probably feels” — though she told “Inside Edition” she believes the Hillary Clinton aide loves being in the political limelight.

“I do think that is probably part of it,” Leathers said, when asked if she thought Abedin stays in her marriage “for the power, for the fame, for the stature.”

Leathers — who described herself as “a political junkie” and “nerd” — also dished more dirt on what she said was a nearly six-month “dark and dirty” Web affair with the peter-tweeting Weiner.

She and Weiner had phone sex at least twice a week between June 2012 and November 2012.

“I think it was a fantasy thing for both of us,” she told the show, which aired yesterday.

At the same time, Weiner was publicly boasting about being a stay-at-home dad to his and Abedin’s newborn son, who was only 4 months old when the horndog took up with Leathers.

Weiner, she said, was “acting out” on the steamy phone sessions and his sexting was constant.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/huma_gets_coldcocked_8oUD9uUPXq2F50JzHQ4pyJ - 81k

Comment by ahansen
2013-07-28 00:22:31

Assuming you’re serious here, phone sex does not mean engaging in sexual congress with an actual telephone. It means using said instrument to facilitate communication of mutual vocalizations to a distant partner, all while taking matters into one’s own hands.

(Or pretending to when you’re actually checking your FB page while making the appropriate grunts and moans.)

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 22:33:57

How is the Chinese economy shaping up these days?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 22:42:03

Updated July 24, 2013, 10:59 p.m. ET
Stalled Project Shows Why China’s Economy Is Wobbling
The $91 Billion Caofeidian Industrial Zone Is Mired in Debt and Unfulfilled Promise

CAOFEIDIAN, China—A $91 billion industrial project here, mired in debt and unfulfilled promise, suggests part of the reason why China’s economy is wobbling – and why it will be hard to turn around.

The steel mill at the heart of Caofeidian, which is outside the city of Tangshan, about 225 kilometers (140 miles) southeast of Beijing, is losing money.

Nearby, an office park planned to be finished in 2010 is a mass of steel frames and unfinished buildings. Work on a residential complex was halted last Christmas, after workers completed the concrete frames. There is even a Bridge to Nowhere: a six-lane span abandoned after 10 support pylons were erected.

You only need to look around to see how things are going,” said Zhao Jianjun, a worker at a plant that hasn’t produced its steel-reinforced plastic pipes for months. “Look north, west, east,” he said, gesturing to empty buildings.

The Ruins of China’s Slowdown
View Slideshow
Gilles Sabrie for The Wall Street Journal

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 22:46:18

China’s Industrial Profits Growth Moderates as Economy Cools
By Bloomberg News - Jul 27, 2013 9:01 AM PT

Growth in Chinese industrial companies’ profits slowed in June as the economy cooled, costs rose and prices fell on moderating demand and overcapacity.

Net income increased 6.3 percent from a year earlier to 502.4 billion yuan ($82 billion), the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday, down from a 15.5 percent pace in May. Profit from main business operations fell 2.3 percent after an 8.8 percent gain the previous month, it said.

China’s stocks fell for a third day on July 26 on concern the nation’s growth will slow further after the government ordered cuts to production capacity in 19 industries to tackle oversupply that’s hurting prices and profits. At the same time, the State Council this week offered limited support for the world’s second-biggest economy, saying the nation will accelerate railway construction, give tax breaks for small companies and cut fees for exports.

“In terms of policy, one thing is clear — there will be no stimulus package,” Zhu Haibin, chief China economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in an interview in Beijing on July 26. The government is trying to make fiscal policy more effective by using savings from curbs on administrative spending and extravagance for “stimulus-style fiscal policies such as tax cuts for small companies and expanding VAT reform,” he said.

On monetary policy, the central bank is seeking to “activate the existing credit stock” by squeezing speculative lending and directing funds to support the real economy, he said.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 22:50:06

So long as America’s stock market keeps going up, this news is of little concern.

China’s Economic Hard Landing: Think Twice Before Gloating Over China’s Slowdown
By Moran Zhang
on July 27 2013 11:21 AM
Whatever the government does, the slowdown will continue — it’s just a question of duration and pace. REUTERS/Stringer

For those who were anxious over the voraciousness of the modern Chinese economy — the country’s breakneck development since the 1980s, its mounting influence over global trade, its expanding ownership of other nations’ debt — China’s current slowdown may seem welcome, in a perverse way. For years, the largely unstated admonition has been: Seriously, China, slow down.

Yet the reality is that a major Chinese economic slowdown could spark a crisis of monumental proportions, damaging every economy in the world, and the Chinese government has yet to show how it will prevent that from happening. After overseeing what may well have been the fastest growing economy in human history, China is trying to come to terms with how to manage its inevitable slip — to minimize the damage while putting in place structural reforms involving improvements in tax and exchange rates and minimizing cozy government relationships with companies to enable long-term recovery and sustainability.

No one knows if they will succeed, and the stakes are high — for everyone.

“The slowdown in economic growth that Chinese policymakers seem to be accepting or maybe even attempting to engineer is not going to be smooth … it’s going to be a bumpy ride,” observed Robert King, senior economist at the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center in Mt. Kisco, N.Y. “It’s a very dangerous move.”

Yet analysts say the government has no choice but to accept the reality of a long-term downturn. All signs indicate that time is running out on China’s current economic model, which has relied on throwing mountains of cash into building factories and roads and employing millions of poor people in the manufacture of iPads and blue jeans. With most of the low-hanging fruit picked, China’s leadership faces the potential for far worse: A credit collapse, wasted resources, debasement of the country’s financial sector and faltering global partnerships.

For the first time in recent history, China’s leadership has shown a willingness to tolerate short-term pain in the interest of setting the economy on a more sustainable path, but so far it has been unable to deliver the needed structural reforms. Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund revised down its growth prospects for the entire world, and China stood out as one where they don’t see a bounce-back coming.

In their charts, the global economy, the industrialized countries, and even the emerging markets as a whole, they slow down in 2012, they are kind of flat in 2013, and then they bounce in 2014,” King said. “But in China, this slowdown just continues. Once you start to have expectations that are centered around a lower level of growth, then there’s lots of ability to slip significantly below that.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-07-27 22:59:18

The world should prepare for a Chinese economic slump
July 26, 2013 6:01 PM By PETER GOLDMARK
Photo credit: AP | A construction worker sets up scaffolding in Shanghai, China. (July 22, 2013.)

China announced a series of steps last week to attempt to stabilize its economy. China’s economy is in trouble, and the recent moves are part of Act I in what threatens to be a long drama. And for outsiders, there’s no way to judge the extent of the trouble and what specifically is going wrong.

Suppose you’re in charge of an air traffic control system that has to track and guide the takeoff and landing of thousands of aircraft every day. Now imagine there’s one huge plane whose instruments aren’t working, and whose crew has the habit of not telling the control tower what it’s really doing. Not a pretty situation — but a fair analogy for where China is economically right now.

History teaches us that dictatorships breed endemic misreporting. This is because most officials live in fear of retribution for real or imagined sins, and they understand that the way to get ahead is to stick to the party line and tell their bosses what they want to hear. And so everyone who works with official Chinese statistics assumes those figures are “cooked.”

The Chinese economy is large; its gross domestic product is roughly $8 trillion. The broad outline of the problem is this: For several decades China has grown by investing in production for export — and exports did indeed grow rapidly. But following the global crash of 2008, demand for Chinese exports declined. So the Chinese government poured money into domestic investments for housing, new factories and infrastructure like airports, roads and rail lines. Most of this money came one way or another from state-backed credit, so the incentive for economic actors was to get hold of lots of those loans and not worry much about risk; after all, the state was behind the massive investment drive and wouldn’t want companies or local government vehicles to go belly up.

But for the economy to grow and the state-backed loans to be repaid, those investments have to produce a return. And it looks now like there may be too many new ports, too much expensive new housing, too many new factories whose goods don’t have buyers — and too many bad loans.

Comment by rms
2013-07-28 20:58:10

Are the Waltons gonna have to work again?

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