January 19, 2014

Bits Bucket for January 19, 2014

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

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Comment by Brett
2014-01-19 01:00:19

I inherited half a million bucks

What in the world in the world can I do?

Comment by Brett
2014-01-19 01:01:29

Go ahead and judge me, I was drinking

Comment by HappyShibe
2014-01-19 02:03:37

Buy Dogecoins while they’re still bubbling away. And have another drink. Congrats!

Comment by MacBeth
2014-01-19 08:06:32

Why the congrats? Brett doesn’t earn a congratulations for inheriting wealth.

No offense, Brett. I am certain you are grateful for parents who didn’t spend themselves into oblivion.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:14:51

“I am certain you are grateful for parents who didn’t spend themselves into oblivion.”

There is something to be thankful for (and a rarity!)…

Comment by In Colorado
2014-01-19 16:03:55

Why the congrats?

For his good fortune.

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-19 05:55:53

donate it to the blog homy.

Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-19 06:35:33

And then go oil city!

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Comment by oxide
2014-01-19 06:49:50

Is this Brett in Austin, or did I confuse that with another poster?

+1 for going Oil City, but they may lose a lot to taxes that way.

Comment by Sir Alan Greenspan
2014-01-19 10:10:48

If so, now he’ll be able to afford those downtown Austin rents!

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 10:50:07

I’m sorry for your loss.

Comment by Muggy
2014-01-19 06:45:03

What do you want to? IIRC you are single…

I think the worse thing you could do is buy stuff (boat, house, car, etc.).

I’d say

1. Pay off debt
2. Invest like BILA
3. Live the way you have been living.

If you are under 35 *DO NOT* make any big decisions. Something happened in my mid-thirties… we all mature in our 20’s, but I didn’t totally get the way the world works until my mid-30’s. Ask yourself, what would Ben, Blue, BILA, do? Not much. At least nothing sexy and spectacular. Something prudent.

What do you want to have in 10 years?


Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 07:17:00

Give it to Obama so he can save the Dusky Gopher Frog.

and pay for the no-bid contract that built the Obamacare site

Obamacare Website Company Had Ties to Obama Fundraising …
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/cgi-federal-scrutiny-obama-fundraising/2013/10/27/id/533310 - 90k - Cached - Similar pages
Oct 27, 2013 … CGI Federal, which secured a $678 million no-bid contract to build … While the

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 07:18:56

Snap up a California McMansion before the deep-pocket all-cash investors get the last one available!

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-19 07:33:57

100,000 in fees and permits to build on the coast?

Supply is being limited. Get in while you can.

Comment by MacBeth
2014-01-19 08:02:59

First and foremost, recognize how fortunate you are. Few people inherent money.

Then, recognizing your good fortune, don’t do anything stupid. Sit on the cash for a while (like a year or more) to make sure you don’t do something stupid.

Comment by ibbots
2014-01-19 08:04:28

Sounds like a good time to get some nominal asset protection strategy going, just in case. Some planners will overkill a situation like this. Holding the assets solely in your name is somewhat risky, doing a full blown limited partnership is overkill depending on what your balance sheet looks like.

An llc may work for you, coupled with a good umbrela policy, a sound investment strategy, and will/trust, and you’re all set.

Comment by MacBeth
2014-01-19 08:14:06


I like your mindset, inch-by-inch. Time for Brett to slow his thinking down and take his time. He likely is the beneficiary of someone else’s careful planning, sacrifice and slow but steady progress.

$500,000 is a great deal of money. Typically it takes 2-3 decades for those starting from scratch to see that kind of number on the horizon. Most people never attain that kind of wealth, despite hard work and respectable educations.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-19 13:30:01

“$500,000 is a great deal of money. Typically it takes 2-3 decades for those starting from scratch to see that kind of number on the horizon. Most people never attain that kind of wealth, despite hard work and respectable educations.”

Considering we’re mobbed by statists and LIEberals, why is this a surprise?

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Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-01-19 13:34:40

LLCs for asset protection are very tricky.

I was thinking about self directed IRA LLCs last fall as a way to protect my IRA from wealth confiscation by the US government. But I read up on them. They are very tricky and if you do not find the right advisor, you may not shelter it from taxes after all!

My company’s financial advisor is with UBS and I asked him about self directed IRA LLCs. He says they don’t do them. He did offer an investment scheme I never heard of before called “managed futures.” It kind of works well in volatile situations - I have enough assets to get in, but I don’t understand that stuff for one. I don’t understand options either. I do not bother with those things I do not understand.

I think you are better off being a creditor to the U.S. like China is. But stay in shorter term securities. Invest through a broker and you are therefore an institutional creditor, not a small time creditor. The U.S. government’s last thing it would want to do is default, so your institutional short term notes will have far more safety from confiscation than an IRA or 401k. Very far more. You can probably set this up through a Vanguard funds representative who specializes in high net worth investors and they might be able to set you up in a way that you are an institutional investor with Vanguard. Your status would essentially be like China’s or Japans.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-01-19 13:42:12

Vanguard Flagship - for high net worth individuals. $1,000,000 in Vanguard assets gets you in.

Vanguard Flagship Select - for individuals with $10,000,000 or more in Vanguard assets.

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Comment by reedalberger
2014-01-19 11:24:49

Donate it to your local communist front group.

Viva la revolución!!

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-01-19 13:21:01

Today if I inherited $500,000 here’s what I would do: Get out of the most risky asset class that it’s in. If it’s in the “lowest risk” - cash, fine. Park it in Treasury Direct T-bills (there is no FDIC limit and no expense, it’s far safer than a bank). Redeem $2,100 per month of it to invest in stock index funds. dollar cost average it into a low expense stock index fund, perhaps a global Vanguard Admiral index fund. I would do VFWAX and VEMAX, both low cost Admiral index funds. The first one is into all international and the second is emerging markets. You figure moving $500,000 over 240 months (20 years) and you would be moving around $2,083 per month into the stock index funds. Those two funds have over 2,000 companies and over 900 companies, respectively they invest in. Also a good pick is VTCLX, a tax-managed large U.S. stock index fund that outperforms the Vanguard 500 index fund. That will give you U.S. exposure, but I would be primarily investing international.

The advantage of that is you have a cash cushion for emergencies, over long periods such as 20 years you will have safety from depressions, the assets you have in T-bills are also safe. You can put this investing on auto pilot and keep your current lifestyle which should also involve contributing to your company’s 401k to get matching contributions.

You have a great position of being able to take opportunities of higher paying jobs whereever and whenever. You can rent in the meantime and live cheap, break a lease when the job with a 20% increase in compensation appears 2,000 miles away (and relocation paid for) or become a contracting consultant in your career. That is exactly what I did in the early 2000s.

As Muggy said, I would not go out and buy up “things”. I have seen people do exactly that and end up back where they started.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-01-19 13:22:53

If it’s already tied up in stock index funds I would still shift it all to cash (T-bills) first at this point in time and then slowly shift it back into mostly international stock funds.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 13:25:36

Good advice, Bill. I’d probably do something similar myself if $500K suddenly dropped out a helicopter into my lap.

Comment by Patrick
2014-01-19 13:37:03


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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 13:58:47

You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But my observation since starting to read and post here resembles a statement some of the regulars bring up on occasion:

The market can stay irrational for longer than you can stay solvent.

That goes double for short positions, which normally have an expiration date. I suppose if you ‘know’ a crash is going to eventually happen, there might be a clever way to parcel out a large amount of money over time into a series of short positions; e.g. park the $500K under the financial equivalent of a mattress as Bill suggests, but instead of DCA into stocks, ladder a series of short positions over your investing horizon on the assumption that a black swan will ultimately make you wealthy before you run out of money. How to execute this strategy is beyond my level of expertise, but you might check on whether Nassim Nicholas Taleb has any advice to offer, or even a fund which pursues such a strategy.

I once tried taking a short position in home builder stocks on the presumption that the market would notice the incipient crash I saw coming, but it took Mr Market ‘longer than expected’ to wise up to the situation, so the crash didn’t happen until after my short position expired. Lesson learned.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.

– Benjamin Franklin

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-01-20 01:07:18

so the crash didn’t happen until after my short position expired.

Short positions don’t normally have any expiration associated with them.

Options positions do have very clear expiration dates, though.

Were you holding puts rather than being short the stocks? I was using both puts and naked short positions on builders during the run-up to the crash, and it worked out quite well for me (thought it would have worked out better for me if I had appreciated the effectiveness of the Fed pumping sooner).

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-01-19 13:43:33

thanks PB!

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Comment by AnonInDC
2014-01-19 15:53:57

OK to tell us on the blog. BUT if you have not told anyone don’t. Don’t tell your friends, neighbors, co-workers or relatives. Guess if you are married tell the spouse. But if you are just living together with a partner unless it has been very long term 15 - 20 years and seems stable don’t tell.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-01-19 20:00:42

Very good advice AnonInDC.

My siblings do not know my net worth - they have no need to know. I do have them as beneficiaries though. My coworkers know I’m cheap and that I couldn’t care less about real estate - Just about everyone else is making mortgage payments (suckers!). They know I drive an old car too.

My frugality and lack of interest in going out in the evenings and my “couldn’t care less attitude” about whether or not getting a girlfriend has them scared.

Comment by AnonInDC
2014-01-19 15:58:48

This might be a double post sorry if so, computer trouble.
Brett, If you have not told anyone DON’T. Don’t tell friends, co-workers, neighbors, relatives, etc.. If you’re married ok to tell spouse. If you’re living together with a long term (15 - 20 years) and things are working fine maybe OK to tell them.

Comment by Janet Felon
2014-01-20 00:21:25

Quit drinking. Otherwise you’re going to blow the money, and your life.

Comment by Carl Morris
2014-01-19 04:21:52

Ugghhh. People’s Square is scam artists every ten feet. Who would have thought a monument to Communism would end up being a giant scam?

Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-19 06:38:29

That’s awesome in a weird ironic way. Of course I suppose it’s hard to compete with the irony of the name “People’s Square” anyway.

What are the scams?

Comment by Carl Morris
2014-01-19 20:05:19

Mostly just pimps and hos. But also some nice kids from “out of town visiting the big city” who are looking for American tourists to hang around with and it’s actually just a scam to take them to places and get them to pay the bill while in cahoots with the place to divvy up the spoils.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-19 20:58:14

“Mostly just pimps and hos”

Realtors and prospective debt donkeys.

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Comment by Janet Felon
2014-01-20 00:27:12

Chinese pimps and hos actually made me laugh.

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Comment by ibbots
2014-01-19 07:48:41

That’s funny.

Kinda how it is in the west too though, maybe not as prolific, but the same notion, looking for easy marks.

Comment by Amy Hoax
2014-01-19 04:23:29

Living in a rental will never feel like a real home.

Comment by Muggy
2014-01-19 06:46:17

So true!

They’re not going to young forever, either!

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 07:21:39

Renting a real home from a Deadbeat LL will never feel like a rental.


Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-19 07:39:05

Pimping covetousness. Happy to lie for a buck.

Last night I was watching a slideshow streamed through my appletv to my big screen tv. Pretty much every digital photo taken of my family. Randomly shuffling thousands and thousands of photos. It’s all I can do not to cry when I look at my kids and how beautiful they were and still are and all the great times we’ve had.

Every single one, christmases, thanksgivings, birthdays, etc. were in a rental. It really doesn’t matter a lick, unless you have to work so hard and such long hours to pay for your “home” that you never even see your family. Then you are a loser in a big house.

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-01-19 09:41:40

You’re a fortunate human.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 13:13:33

“…a loser in a big house.”

Christine Brun Special to the U-T
12:01a.m. Jan 18, 2014

Imagine discovering that the house you recently built is too big. No, you didn’t read that incorrectly! It is possible for a home to be overly spacious and to feel almost cold. Once a client told me, “Love grows better in small places.”

Over the holidays, I was talking with my daughter-in-law, who, along with my son, is building their family dream home. They are typical of many Gen-X couples: educated, active, family oriented and basically happy with their choices in life so far. They have two little ones under the age of 4 and have immersed themselves in satisfying parenting. This house is already seen as a warm gathering spot for friends and extended family alike.

Our conversation was about my “kids” asking some friends, who had just built a home of their own, if they had any advice to share. To my surprise, the only complaint that the young couple had was that their house was too huge!

Comment by Carl Morris
2014-01-19 20:06:32

To my surprise, the only complaint that the young couple had was that their house was too huge!

Sometimes it requires sacrifice to get rich.

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Comment by azdude02
2014-01-19 05:58:00

I wonder how many treasuries yellen will have to buy next year to keep it all afloat?

Comment by taxpayers
2014-01-19 06:19:09

last time fed/gdp at this ratio was 1938

maybe a ww3 would fix things

Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-19 06:41:29

Creative destruction.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 07:26:01

Don’t even suggest this kind of stuff, or some dimwit academic might get a ‘theory’ and start to pander it to the PTB as the way out of our mess.

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Comment by tj
2014-01-19 07:25:53

maybe a ww3 would fix things

that what keynesians believe. wars, hurricanes and threatening space aliens make for good economic growth. except it’s all krap.

all that stuff is just ‘destructive’ destruction or ‘busy work’. both destroy wealth.

creative destruction happens through obsolescence. keynes and krugman never understood that.

Comment by MacBeth
2014-01-19 07:42:06

Heck, policy is policy.

Climate “change”, ObamaCare, the NSA - all are destructive.

Problem with a WWIII is that it might destroy the serfs in the process. Serfs are to be milked dry, not slaughtered.

Therefore, do not expect a WW3.

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Comment by tj
2014-01-19 07:54:51

Climate “change”, ObamaCare, the NSA - all are destructive.

yes, but what is your point?

Problem with a WWIII is that it might destroy the serfs in the process.

the PTB don’t care about ’serfs’. the problem with war isn’t only that it kills lots of people, it’s also that it destroys much of what was painstakingly built and still used. still needed. war sends you technologically back in time.

Serfs are to be milked dry, not slaughtered.

they’ll be slaughtered without a second thought if they get in the way of the PTB.

Comment by Janet Felon
2014-01-20 00:36:40

I plan on standing up for the serfs in such a scenario, and if I’m taken out, I’m going out with a bang and my name in the history books until the end of time.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-01-19 07:26:57

maybe a ww3 would fix things

I wonder how many nukes would be used? Would Pakistan and India wipe each other out? Would North Korea cream SK and Japan? Who would be at the receiving end of Russia’s, China’s, the USA’s, Britain’s, France’s and Israel’s arsenals? Who else will join the club?

Comment by tom cruz bustamante
2014-01-19 09:54:57

Would Pakistan and India wipe each other out? Would North Korea cream SK and Japan?

I have no doubt whatsoever that USA will be the first and the second country to use Nuclear weapons on civilians.

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Comment by oxide
2014-01-19 06:48:39

Yesterday’s debate about list price vs. sale price was actually two parts.

My argument with HA was his assertion that Movoto was trustworthy because it used recorder data, while Trulia was an NAR site because it only posted NAR data. Both of his assertions were false. I answered, with link evidence, that it was Trulia which used sales data from the recorder’s office (not NAR), and that it was Movoto which posted list price data from the NAR. Despite my asking, HA has not posted any sales data from Movoto yet, no matter what the source.

The second part of the debate was that “listing prices are falling, therefore sale prices are going to fall.” Since this point was never articulated, there was some argument before I was able to extract the concept that was being conveyed. Do selling prices follow list prices? Well of course. And actually, list prices follow selling prices too. Yo hello, it’s a feedback loop, it’s nothing new, we’ve been discussing it for years. If comps are raised, homeowners raise their prices too. But here’s the problem: the rise in list prices is greater than linearly proportional. Owners raise their prices a little more than comps would suggest, to a “wishing” price. But if prices fall a little bit, owners lower their prices less than comps would suggest, which is less than linearly proportional, or known as “sticky on the way down.” (for the record, in science and engineering, this is called a hysteresis). None of this is new.

That said, HA has been posting decreases in list prices. Although Movoto’s list prices are gleaned from NAR data (and therefore they cannot be trusted, according to HA himself), falling list prices indicate that prices are going to fall. Question is, how much? The same proportion as the fall in list prices? That is, will a 10% drop in list result in a 10% drop in prices? Maybe someone at HBB can analyze some 2012-2013 data to see if these lagging proportions are linear.

If you want to tickle your noodle, add inventory into the feedback loop. A price raise also leads to a rise in inventory, a price decrease leads to a fall in inventory. Is inventory linearaly proprotional to list or sale price? Doesn’t seem to be. There are too many other factors, like job market, or Janet Yellen, or whatever quarterly numbers Blackstone needs to hit that month.

Comment by “Uncle Fed, why won’t you love ME?”
2014-01-18 18:07:21
Movoto interests me because it posts inventory numbers. It seems fishy that Zillow and Trulia don’t post inventory. That is the most important trend to follow.

I don’t know what you mean by “posting,” but Zillow always shows the number of houses for sale, and breaks them down into For Sale, Pre-Foreclosure, Foreclosures, Sold, and it filters by whatever variable you want, including # days on the market. No, they don’t compile them into pretty graphs or trends for you, but the data is there for you. And while Zillow doesn’t include foreclosures in their trends, they do ID the foreclosures. The best way to compile foreclosures is to filter by “sold” and sort by cheapest prices. So they aren’t hiding it. (for what it’s worth, they do hide price history.)

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-19 07:48:17

You got taken to the cleaners by a realtor. You got taken to the woodshed by me. Now lets get back to business.

Arlington, VA housing prices down 10% YoY

Arlington, VA housing inventory up 34% YoY



Now go ahead.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 07:54:42

Here is a quick question for you or anyone else involved in this debate over the quality of real estate statistics:

How would the ideal statistical summary of the U.S. housing market look? And are we there yet in any way, shape or data source?

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-19 08:13:37

prices need to keep going up to keep banks solvent, enough said.

the whole economy rests on rising home and stock prices in this modern age.

I know you dont agree with it but how are you going to change it? Deflation is evil to a banker.

In your utopian world it appears you feel home prices should be lower and more affordable. I dont really disagree in a sense.

The way this economy has developed is by the use of a lot of leverage. Peoples paychecks are highly leveraged. You use to be able to have all the finer things in life with one paycheck, now its two paychecks. Now those two paychecks are being stretched thin to keep up with all the monthly payments. Bottom line is bankers are getting a bigger cut every year.

All the money printing is starting to take a real toll. The easy way of a problem is to keep throwing money at it. The real problems are not being addressed.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:18:03

“In your utopian world it appears you feel home prices should be lower and more affordable. I dont really disagree in a sense.”

I would prefer a capitalistic economic system where the market sets prices and allocates capital to different sectors of the economy rather than backroom deals between politicians and developers.

Of course it goes without saying that this would be the end of the massive largess that politicians and the economists who work for them have funneled into the coffers of the housing industry in recent years.

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Comment by In Colorado
2014-01-19 09:56:46

I would prefer a capitalistic economic system

I fear that system is no likelier to exist than the so called proletarian paradise.

Comment by oxide
2014-01-19 08:31:43

P-bear might be asking what sort of statistics and graphs we would like to see, not the direction on the graphs.

One trend I would like to see is how much of one’s income is now spent on mortgages. Examples: how many incomes there are per household as a function of time (rental and buy), what median PITI is as a function of time adjusted for inflation, % of median PITI as a % of househould income as a function of time.

I think this would give us a big picture of whether housing now is similar to historical norm in housing. My guess at a trend would be that households in general have lost one tier in their standard of living since the golden age of the middle class, at least in housing. I live in a Cold War rancher probably meant for an upper working class, or low-middle class single-income family with 2.3 kids and dog. This house now requires either two low-middle class incomes or one professional income. That’s down a tier. For rentals, renting used to cost less than buying. Now, rentals are about the same, and many people need two incomes to afford the rent. LL’s have raised rent accordingly.

Elizabeth Warren did something similar in The Two Income Trap, but she was more qualitative.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:42:23

“P-bear might be asking what sort of statistics and graphs we would like to see, not the direction on the graphs.”


Comment by taxpayers
2014-01-19 08:15:19

motovo doesn’t have enough data points.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-01-19 09:05:55

‘doesn’t have enough data points’

Last night I made spaghetti. When I was cooking the pasta, I would test a noodle, keep cooking, check a noodle again until it was done. Should I have tested every noodle in the pot?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 09:10:35

“Should I have tested every noodle in the pot?”

You bring to mind one of my biggest beefs about how some people think about statistics. You don’t always need a sample of more than 30 observations to obtain ’significance’: Often times a sample of size one will do.

- How many times did the Wright brothers need to get their airplane up into the air to prove the possibility of flight?

- How many home sellers need to drastically reduce their list prices to prove a local housing market is crashing?

I’d argue in both cases that a sample size of less than 30 could provide convincing evidence.

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Comment by tom cruz bustamante
2014-01-19 09:12:35

You are night…only NAR does….the gobmint does……and if they don’t they will make $hit up to bamboozle you.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2014-01-19 08:42:09

“My argument with HA”

That was your first mistake. HA is a caricature.

HA is a fictional character whose sole purpose is to irritate and stir things up. Place HA on your ignore list and your life will be more pleasant.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-19 12:05:06

Not really but Thats besides the point.

The reality is that not a single one of you donkeys and liars have the intestinal fortitude to ignore the truth.

Let me tighten that yoke before you resume your laboring.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-01-19 09:45:17

The minutia has you confused about the macro situation. Prices will rise or fall based on the buyer’s ability and willingness to pay. We are still in a bubble, so the ultimate fate of willingness is clear. We are in deflation, so the direction of ability is clear.

So-called sellers can wish for whatever they like.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 07:11:01

Landowner Losing $36 Million Because the Government Wants to Protect…Frogs

Lily Dane
The Daily Sheeple
December 13th, 2013
Reader Views: 1,035

Cute little fella, isn’t he?

That’s a Dusky Gopher Frog. In 2012, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature listed the species as one of the top 100 most endangered in the world. Also known as the Mississippi gopher frog, the amphibian was historically found across parts of southwest Alabama, southern Mississippi and southeast Louisiana.

Currently, the entire population of these frogs is estimated to be around 250, and they live in only three ponds, all in south Mississippi: Glen’s Pond, Mike’s Pond and McCoy’s Pond.

The government wants to protect the species – and is willing (and able) to prevent landowners from developing land that might be hospitable to the frogs.

Edward Poitevent owns land north of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana. He wants to build offices and homes on the land, and could provide safe high-ground housing to people who would like to move away from areas that were flooded during Hurricane Katrina.

He can’t move forward with his development plans, though, because the government decided 1,500 acres of his property should become a preservation area for the frogs.

None of the frogs currently live on Poitevant’s land – they all live in Mississippi. In an interview, Poitevent told John Stossel that the Fish and Wildlife Service certified that the frog has not been seen in the state of Louisiana since 1967. Pointevant’s land currently has no ponds or the longleaf pine tree the species needs to survive.

The species hasn’t been seen in the state in over 50 years, but that isn’t stopping the government from making Poitevent’s privately owned land a critical habitat for the creatures. The land has been in his family for generations; Poitevent’s great grandfather started a lumber company after the Civil War and the property remains an actively managed tree farm.

When Stossel contacted Fish and Wildlife Service officials for information, they were “not available” to talk with him. He notes that they posted a video on YouTube that says they work “with” landowners: “The Service has many voluntary partnership-based programs that can provide technical and financial assistance to manage species.”

Fantastic – but the government’s handbook on how to work with them is a whopping 315 pages long and is riddled with legalese.

Stossel also notes that landowners, in response to the schemes of environmentalists, tell each other, “If you find an endangered species, shoot, shovel and shut up!” He points out that the suggestion is mostly a joke, but it does happen and is an example of how government regulations can backfire.

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/landowner-losing-36-million-because-the-government-wants-to-protect-frogs_122013 - 69k -

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-19 07:47:21

the landowner should be compensated for his economic loss.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 07:58:55

“Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up”
Celebrating 30 years of failing to save endangered species
Ronald Bailey | December 31, 2003

On December 28, 1973, President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) into law. Congressman John Dingell (D-Mich.) looks back on the years since then and swoons: “Without this law, there might not be a single bald eagle or peregrine falcon in our skies. No manatees or cut-throat trout in our waters, and no gray wolves or grizzly bears in our forests. This monumental legislation has, quite literally, saved our natural heritage while allowing the U.S. economy to grow at record rates,” read a press release Dingell’s office issued earlier this week.

When one sees such an unqualified endorsement of a major piece of regulatory and environmental legislation from a congressman as respected as Dingell, one realizes there has to be more to the story. Indeed, it’s not at all clear the ESA has actually done any clear good for endangered species, much less for humans. Nor is it clear that those two goods go together.

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-19 08:17:53

regulating more people out of business and creating more bureaucracy along the way. One of the reasons home prices keep going up so high.

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Comment by Carl Morris
2014-01-19 20:15:34

Shoot, shovel, and shut up is almost a religion in Wyoming, home of grizzly bears and wolves that the rest of the country seems to value far more highly than humans in places they don’t live.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 20:45:44

Living in close proximity to large, ferocious, voracious predators might result in a rather different perspective than looking at pictures of them in nature magazines or footage of them on TV shows about wildlife.

Comment by Carl Morris
2014-01-20 01:24:09

It does. And it means almost nobody there votes D regardless of other issues. Because it’s always the Ds that push that stuff. And then they call them stupid for voting that way, having no clue (or even any real interest if it involves any responsibility on their part) why they vote that way.

It’s not so much that the animals live there that’s the problem. It’s that in D world you’re not allowed to defend yourself against them and if you have a problem with it you should move to where the other civilized people live.

Therefore, shoot, shovel, and shut up.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:06:00

Worst law ever? (And I note this was passed on a Republican president’s watch.)

Bad for Species, Bad for People: What’s Wrong with the Endangered Species Act and How to Fix It
by Brian Seasholes

Executive Summary

The Endangered Species Act (ESA), passed in 1973, was designed to recover species to a level at which they are no longer considered endangered and therefore do not require the Act’s protection. Unfortunately, the law has had the opposite effect on many species. The ESA can severely penalize landowners for harboring species on their property, and as a result many landowners have rid their property of the species and habitat rather than suffer the consequences.

Over 1,900 species of plants and animals — 1,351 domestic and 570 foreign — are currently considered by the federal government to be in danger of extinction. Once a species is listed, they are subject to a variety of conservation efforts, including federal recovery plans that can include a wide variety of measures including habitat protection. However, these conservation efforts rarely, if ever, consider the total costs of species recovery to federal, state or local governments, and especially to private landowners.

The greatest problem with the Act is its land-use control provisions. These provisions penalize public and private landowners by:

- Fining landowners up to $100,000 and/or sentencing them to up to one year in jail for harming one eagle, owl, wolf or other protected species, or even its habitat, whether the habitat is occupied or not.

- Prohibiting, or tightly regulating, otherwise normal and legal land uses, such as farming, lumbering, construction, human habitation or even visiting the land.

- Providing no compensation landowners for the loss of land value, loss of income or lost use of land.

- Extending regulations to land that isn’t currently occupied by an endangered species — but might be suitable for the species’ breeding, resting, roosting or feeding.

- Subjecting millions of acres and millions of human residents to land use regulations for a single protected species.

Yet, private landowners are the key to successful endangered species conservation, because 78 percent of these species are found on private land. However, because landowners are penalized for harboring species, many of them take actions to rid their property of the species either by killing them or by applying a “scorched earth” policy that makes actual or potential habitat unsuitable through such activities as plowing, prematurely cutting trees or clearing brush.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 08:08:26

“the landowner should be compensated for his economic loss.”


UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is the action plan implemented worldwide to inventory and control all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all energy, all education, all information, and all human beings in the world. INVENTORY AND CONTROL.—-Rosa Koire

In a nutshell, the plan calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners. It is assumed that people are not good stewards of their land and the government will do a better job if they are in control. Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body. Moreover, people should be rounded up off the land and packed into human settlements, or islands of human habitation, close to employment centers and transportation. Another program, called the Wildlands Project spells out how most of the land is to be set aside for non-humans.

U.N. Agenda 21 cites the affluence of Americans as being a major problem which needs to be corrected. It calls for lowering the standard of living for Americans so that the people in poorer countries will have more, a redistribution of wealth. Although people around the world aspire to achieve the levels of prosperity we have in our country, and will risk their lives to get here, Americans are cast in a very negative light and need to be taken down to a condition closer to average in the world. Only then, they say, will there be social justice which is a cornerstone of the U.N. Agenda 21 plan.

Agenda 21 policies date back to the 70’s but it got its real start in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro when President Bush signed onto it. Click here to see a list of the countries that signed UN Agenda 21. President Clinton took office the following year and created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development to implement it in the United States. Made up of federal agencies, corporations, and non-profit groups, the President’s Council on Sustainable Development moved quickly to ensure that all federal agencies would change their policies to comply with UN Agenda 21. A non-governmental organization called the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives, ICLEI, is tasked with carrying out the goals of Agenda 21 worldwide. Remember: UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is a global plan that is implemented locally. Over 600 cities in the U.S. are members; our town joined in 2007. The costs are paid by taxpayers.

http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/ - 41k

Comment by reedalberger
2014-01-19 11:57:12

Logan’s Run comes to mind.

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Comment by Janet Felon
2014-01-20 00:48:41

You never own land. It’s a lie. You pay for the right to pay the government for the opportunity to work within their framework of what that land is designated for, and they will slow you down the whole way, extracting fees all the while. It’s a sham. They want to maximize taxes and control.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 07:17:47

Does Rasmussen suggest that Ted Cruz would fare better than the last flock of Republican presidential candidates came out in a national election?

Comment by In Colorado
2014-01-19 07:33:50

Some people believe that Hilary or whoever the Dems nominate would be a slam dunk. At this point I’m not so sure. Regardless of how “progressive” this country has allegedly become, there is a huge sense of disappointment with the Dems. It doesn’t matter whether or not it’s their fault that the economy is anemic, they will be held responsible. Plus all of the NSA scandals won’t help.

Whether or not the GOP should nominate Cruz is another matter. That he was born in Canada could become a liability, and from what I have seen of him, he isn’t terribly appealing to moderates.

Anywho, 2016 is a LONG time from now.

Comment by albuquerquedan
2014-01-19 15:32:24

I saw something interesting today driving around ABQ. Two cars traveling together one with Maryland plates the other with New Mexico plates, had bumper stickers that read I’m ready for Hillary. I am guessing Congressional staff. But what is interesting that three years before Obama is out of office, the bumper stickers suggest someone wants to put distance between Hillary and Obama.

Comment by AnonInDC
2014-01-19 16:55:45

Not sure about how great Hillary will be as a candidate. Maybe good at raising money - important. But just imagine the negative TV ads. The Bosnian snipers that turned out to be a little girl offering a bouquet. Is Hillary that delusional or power hungry she say or do anything? The Youtube clip of Juanita Broderick describing Hillary’s visit to thank for her for silence after Bill raped her. The Benghazi “What difference does it make?” comment. Hillary was supposed to invincible last time. Really if she was not the boss’ wife would she ever have been elected even dog catcher? Esp. after the debacle of Hillarycare. Had she not been the boss’ wife she would have had her headed handed to her and shown the door rather than rewarded with a Senate seat.
She’s the Edsel of politicians. For those too young to know what the Edesl was Google it.

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Comment by jose canusi
2014-01-19 07:37:28

Does it? Sheesh. I guess now that Christie has shot himself in the foot, they’re starting to throw the sh*t against the wall and see what sticks. A-dan suggested a Cruz-Paul ticket. My entry is Sessions-Brown (as in Scott Brown). But it would never fly with the neos.

Comment by MacBeth
2014-01-19 07:56:21

To heck with the NeoCons. And to heck with all Democrats, too.

All are progressives.

Why no internal fight on the Democrat side? Not a peep. We see the in-fighting only on the Republican side.

Do all Democrats approve of what now passes as leadership and government policy? It appears they must. Otherwise, we’d see an uprising on that side of the aisle, too. But we don’t.

Do Progressives actually represent the entrenched status quo? The old way of thinking? With 85%+ of all DC-area voters voting for progressives on a regular basis, it seems the argument could be made.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2014-01-19 08:09:28

The 2014 election year will be a yawner. In 2016 I wonder if the Republican convention will get major protests by ancaps and libertarians. Will people finally show they had enough of the rigged one party system? Or will the people pretend there is a difference between the R nominee and the D nominee for president, then we will have to wonder again in 2020?

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Comment by tom cruz bustamante
2014-01-19 09:18:01

Why no internal fight on the Democrat side? Not a peep. We see the in-fighting only on the Republican side.

“Winning” hides a lot of deficiencies as they say in sports.
Also, dems are not an ideological party (not that R are either), but a collection of misfits whose only goal is to extract as much as possible for their groups or cause. These groups will always cut deal…

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Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2014-01-19 07:44:11

Thuck fugernment and the RINO Party. Cruz has recently denounced the legal marijuana in Washington and Colorado. This is why I say conservatives are not libertarian. Any celeb pundit is lying when he calls himself libertarian and wants the stupid drug war to continue.

The so called terrorist threat and the drug war are the only two excuses the government has to do NSA spying on us and IRS spying on our finances. Conservatives are “stoopid” for not seeing it for what it is.

Comment by taxpayers
2014-01-19 08:18:27

cruz/west or west/cruz

= gop win
dnc would lose too many race voters to win.
Whoops, meant to say historic voters,yo

Comment by ibbots
2014-01-19 08:28:01

Cruz is somewhat unvetted as well as very polarizing. His views helped him here in TX but would be a handicap on a national level.

His appeal is pretty limited. He may be better suited for a VP role, even then, he would be a liability. People would show up just to vote against him.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:44:05

“Cruz is somewhat unvetted as well as very polarizing. … His appeal is pretty limited. … People would show up just to vote against him.”

So in other words, you think he would make a perfect Republican presidential candidate then?

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Comment by In Colorado
2014-01-19 10:02:21

Cruz is somewhat unvetted as well as very polarizing. His views helped him here in TX but would be a handicap on a national level.

His fundy background won’t endear him to moderates.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2014-01-19 10:18:03

‘cruz/west or west/cruz’

Or Clinton or Christie.

The pre-election process of telling people who’s an “acceptable” candidate is underway. It’s silly to think the people should decide.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 07:28:43

Are you hanging in there at this point with your bond fund(s)?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 07:36:06

“If bond yields continue rising toward a long-run average of 4.5% or 5% in coming years, as the economy continues to recover, that would mean a losses on 30-year bond prices of some 15%, he says.”

It’s pretty funny to see an economist warn now on something that already took place with last year’s increase in 30-year Treasury yields.
As I have long maintained, the most accurate predictions address what has already occurred but isn’t widely perceived.

Sunday Journal
How You Can Survive a New Era in the Bond Market
Think High-Dividend Stocks, International Bonds and ‘Junk’ Bonds
By Tom Lauricella
Jan. 18, 2014 8:37 p.m. ET

For investors, last year’s losses in the bond market should serve as a wake-up call that the era of big bond-market returns is over. For the foreseeable future, many say meager returns and occasional losses will be the norm.

With the Federal Reserve having pushed interest rates to record-low levels to boost the economy, bond-market math means returns for the next five to 10 years should be in the low single digits at best, market pros say.

That doesn’t mean investors should abandon bonds. That’s especially the case for those, such as retirees, who need to protect their portfolios against significant price swings.

But for many investors, particularly those with very long time horizons, it may call for notching down the level of U.S. government bonds in favor of higher-returning investments, including conservative stocks, even if that means greater short-term ups and downs in a portfolio.

Worst Loss in 19 Years

Last year, the Barclays (BARC.LN -0.64%) U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, the most commonly used benchmark for the bond market, lost 2.1%. That marked its first decline since 1999 and the worst performance since 1994.

“2013 is a taste of what we may be seeing the next couple of years,” says Shawn Rubin, a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley.

The problem is essentially that interest rates had been pushed so low by the Fed that there is nowhere to go but up. Bond prices and yields move in the opposite direction.

This marks a sea-change for bond investors who have enjoyed a bull market going back more than three decades.

From 1981 through 2012, the Barclays Aggregate index posted an average annual total return of 8.9% a year. During that time, stocks in the S&P 500 index returned 12% including dividends. More recently, from 2000 through 2012, bonds returned 6.3% while stocks returned 3.5%.

How bad will things be from here? A rule of thumb is that investors can estimate future returns based on current bond yields.

Wesley Phoa, an economist and portfolio manager for American Funds, does the math using the U.S. Treasury 30-year bond yield, which is currently just south of 4%.

If bond yields continue rising toward a long-run average of 4.5% or 5% in coming years, as the economy continues to recover, that would mean a losses on 30-year bond prices of some 15%, he says.

With that paper loss on the bonds offsetting the slim payouts from the bonds, “you might get a 3% [total] return for long-term Treasurys,” Mr. Phoa says. “You are going to earn substantially less than on stocks.”

Vanguard Group has an even more muted forecast, predicting broad bond-market returns in the 1.5% to 3% a year range, says Joe Davis, head of the firm’s investment strategy group. For investors whose financial plan calls for earning 5% or 6% on bond returns through a conservative portfolio, “that’s going to be almost mathematically impossible.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 07:38:41

And now, for something completely different…

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 07:41:43

Sovereign-debt markets
Following a new script
Bonds are proving unexpectedly popular so far this year

Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

THE advance billing for government bonds in 2014 was that they would be shunned by investors, hopeful for higher returns in equities and fearful of monetary-policy tightening as America’s central bank started to phase out its bond-purchasing programme. That may still turn out to be the case, especially if the recovery flourishes. But the first reel of the show has not conformed with those expectations. Bond markets have fared surprisingly well.

Instead of rising since the end of 2013, yields on benchmark ten-year bonds, which are inversely related to prices, have fallen in America and Europe (see chart). Yields on US Treasuries have slipped from 3.01% to 2.88%; on British gilts from 3.03% to 2.86%; and on German bunds from 1.94% to 1.83%. Yields on emerging-market sovereign debt have been spared the rise many were fearing.

Some bond markets in the once ostracised periphery of the euro area have done particularly well. In Portugal, which needed a bail-out programme in mid-2011, yields have dropped from 6.2% at the end of 2013 to 5.3%. This steep fall was helped by a successful sale of five-year debt on January 9th, which raised €3.25 billion ($4.4 billion) in an issue that attracted total orders of over €11 billion. Two days earlier a sale of Irish ten-year bonds was also heavily oversubscribed.

The good start reflects factors that are specific to America and to Europe as well as common influences. American bond yields, which set the tone for global markets, had already risen a long way since last summer when the Federal Reserve first mooted “tapering” its $85 billion-a-month asset-purchasing programme. That sent a shock rippling round the world that was felt most of all in emerging markets, where yields surged. The Fed’s failure to start the taper in September, as many observers had expected, brought temporary respite. But after the Fed’s decision on December 18th to lower this month’s purchases to $75 billion, ten-year US bond yields had risen from around 1.6% at the start of May to 3% by the end of 2013.

Signs of a burgeoning American recovery underpinned both the rise in yields on US Treasuries and the Fed’s decision last month to start tapering. But disappointing jobs figures released on January 10th punctured the increasingly optimistic mood. Economists had expected employers to add around 200,000 jobs in December; the actual number was a lowly 74,000. The unemployment rate, based on a separate household survey, fell from 7% to 6.7%, but this was largely because of people dropping out of the labour force, which at 62.8% of the adult population has slipped back to where it stood in October, the lowest level since 1978.

The poor jobs figures may be an aberration, caused by unusually cold weather last month. But they were enough to prompt traders to wonder whether the Fed might be more cautious than they had imagined in phasing out its asset purchases, let alone in raising interest rates. That unemployment has now fallen close to the 6.5% threshold at which the Fed had previously said it might start raising rates no longer matters. In December it said that it would keep its benchmark rate at its current low “well past the time” the unemployment rate falls below 6.5%.

Another reason for a rethink about bond markets is low inflation. In America the price index targeted by the Fed (which aims at 2% inflation) has been rising by less than 1%. In Britain consumer-price figures published on January 14th showed inflation hitting the Bank of England’s 2% target, after four years above it. The fillip to bond markets from low inflation is stronger still in the euro zone, where consumer prices rose by just 0.8% in the year to December and core inflation (stripping out volatile items like energy and food) fell to a record low of 0.7%.

An environment where the risk is of deflation rather than inflation is proving a potent incentive for some investors to take a punt on bonds in southern Europe. Dismal sovereign credit ratings will remain a barrier, although these typically lag behind the markets. High government and external debt will continue to deter the more cautious. Nonetheless, Portuguese bond yields, which for most of the past four years have been much higher than those for emerging markets, are now at parity with them.

The gains in bond markets have contrasted with a setback in equities in the first half of January. Global stockmarkets have fallen by 0.3%, with America’s S&P 500 taking a particular tumble on January 13th, when it fell by 1.3%. Investors who fear that last year’s spectacular rally went too far may have started to reconsider where to put their money.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 07:46:37

It looks as though bovine institutional investors decided to buy when everyone was buying and to sell when everyone was selling.


People Are Way Under-Invested In The Bond Market
Walter Kurtz, Sober Look
Jan. 17, 2014, 11:45 AM

Directional investors/traders remain heavily short or under-invested in the bond market. For example the CFTC commitment of traders shows speculative investors, particularly the smaller ones, being quite short the 10y note futures.

Institutional investors are also heavily under-invested in bonds. The so-called “real money”, such as pensions, endowments and insurance firms were overweight duration (holding higher bond positions than their targeted allocations) when yields were the lowest (back in 2012). Now with higher yields, these same investors (after being whipsawed by the market) are running duration levels that are the lowest since 2008.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:22:18

Could anyone with the inside dope on Citi’s and Goldman’s bond losses please share? Enquiring minds want to know… (could sure use a post from FPSS or Polly about now!).

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 09:17:07

Citi profit disappoints as bond trading revenue drops
By David Henry and Tanya Agrawal
Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:09am EST
The Citibank logo is seen at branch in Washington April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc posted weaker-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday, as lackluster bond-trading results weighed on overall revenue.

The third-largest U.S. bank said its fixed-income revenue fell 15 percent to $2.33 billion in the fourth quarter from the same quarter last year, in what it called a “challenging trading environment.” The bond trading results lagged rivals’ including Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The bank still posted rising profit, helped by cost-cutting, but the size of the decline in bond trading revenue surprised many analysts. Much of the drop came from falling client activity in corporate bonds and secured debt, said Jon Gerspach, chief financial officer, on a conference call with reporters. Rising bond yields have cut into demand for issuing and trading corporate debt.

“We just saw a fall-off in client volumes,” Gerspach said. When asked if there was any explanation, he responded, “No, it’s just what we saw.”

Citigroup’s fourth-quarter adjusted net income rose to $2.60 billion, or 82 cents per share, from $2.15 billion, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier, the bank said. The adjusted results strip out items including costs associated with layoffs and restructuring, and accounting adjustments linked to changes in the value of the company’s debt.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 95 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The average estimate came down 10 cents in the last two weeks, partly in expectation of weak fixed-income market revenue.

“Although we didn’t finish the year as strongly as we would have liked, we made substantial progress toward our key priorities in 2013,” Chief Executive Michael Corbat said in a statement.

The results reflect the difficulties that Corbat faces as he tries to turn around the third largest U.S. bank. He took the reins of the bank in October 2012, after directors pushed out Vikram Pandit, and has been trying to lower costs while boosting revenue.

Corbat has had more luck with costs than revenue. Operating expenses fell 13 percent to $11.93 billion during the quarter, while revenue fell 1 percent to $17.78 billion.

Citigroup’s operating expenses in the quarter included $809 million in legal and related expenses, down from $1.3 billion a year earlier, as the bank worked to leave behind legal troubles that stemmed mainly from the mortgage crisis.

But its legal troubles might not be over. A source told Reuters on Wednesday that U.S. regulators sent investigators to its London headquarters as part of an international investigation into alleged manipulation of the global currency market.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:27:32

Investment Banking | News Analysis July 16, 2013, 5:41 pm
Despite Fears, Bond Market Is Functioning Fine
Comments by Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, contributed to a sell-off in bonds in recent weeks. But the turning point in the markets barely dented bank earnings.
Dominick Reuter/Reuters

There may be less reason to fear the big, bad bond market.

With $38 trillion of bonds outstanding, any large and negative moves in bond prices have the potential to damage the wider financial system.

This occurred during the financial crisis of 2008, when mortgage-backed bonds plunged in value. It also happened during the European debt crisis, when losses piled up on sovereign bonds. Banks that held large amounts of such bonds suffered huge hits to their balance sheets, and bailouts became necessary.

So how is the financial system faring after the turbulence that swept through the bond market? Pretty well, judging by the latest financial results from Wall Street banks.

In the last few days, the three big American bond-trading firms — JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs — all reported second-quarter financial results that were helped by healthy bond trading revenue.

That’s somewhat remarkable considering the amount of pain in the bond market during the quarter. The selling started in early May, and became particularly intense after Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, said the central bank might pare back the enormous bond-buying programs it has undertaken to support the economy.

This turning point in the markets barely dented the banks. In the second quarter, Citigroup reported revenue of $3.4 billion in its fixed-income division, which trades bonds, currencies and commodities, as well as derivatives linked to those assets. Citi’s revenue was 18 percent up on the same quarter in the previous year. Over the same period, JPMorgan’s fixed-income revenue rose by 17 percent, and Goldman’s climbed 12 percent.

Things could still go wrong, though.Some analysts believe that the most recent downturn shouldn’t be seen as the decisive test for the post-crisis bond market. When the Federal Reserve actually does stop buying bonds, the convulsions could be far greater than those seen in the last month.

“When tapering kicks in, the market will look very different to this,” Will Rhode, a principal of Tabb Group, a firm that analyzes market infrastructure, said. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 19:10:10

Having trouble figuring out to do in an era of extreme investing uncertainty? Why not turn to an expert adviser for guidance on how to invest your meager savings?

The accuracy of equity research
Consistently wrong
Bear market or bull, analysts give bad advice
Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

IT IS no secret that equity analysts at banks do not always give the best investment advice. In 2001 Eliot Spitzer, the attorney-general of New York state, exposed their habit of heaping praise on undeserving firms with which their colleagues hoped to do business. Some had advised clients to buy stocks they had referred to in private as “junk”, “crap” and “shit”.

But it is hard to talk up dud firms when markets are falling, and anyway, there is little business to be won at such times. So it might have been reasonable to assume that analysts’ recommendations are better in bearish markets than bullish ones. New research, alas, suggests this is not so: the advice analysts give in bad times seems to be even worse than the boosterism they peddle in good.*

Roger Loh of Singapore Management University and René Stulz of Ohio State University looked at analysts’ forecasts of profits and the buy or sell recommendations they issued for the period 1983-2011. Their predictions, it turned out, were less reliable in falling markets than in rising ones, even after making allowances for increased volatility in such times. Analysts’ forecasts of profits for the next quarter were out by 46% more during periods of financial crisis than at other times, for instance.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 07:58:02


Divide and conquer. That is the oldest trick in the book for tyrants to use on the unsuspecting population as they attempt to hide their evil agendas in plain sight. The fact is…there is no fundamental ideological difference at all between the rhetoric that is put out by the Republican and Democratic parties. The evil genius of this is to make Americans think there is a difference. It’s a classic “good cop” “bad cop” scam. It’s to make you think you have a choice…..and you don’t!

Understand, the Democrats and the Republicans are puppets for the international bankers that control both sides and the joke is on the gullible American public. Here is how the scam works. The powers that be don’t want a United America. So they created an unconstitutional two party system to split the nation, (more on that later). They then sell the Republican agenda to the religious right, the more affluent and the big corporations. They then sell the Democratic agenda to the minority groups, the less affluent and to the gay and lesbian movement.

Now you have these two groups at war with each other and their followers don’t realize they are backing the same agenda for both sides. It’s a big psy/ops operation and the followers on both sides are clueless! What is that agenda of the instigators of the Dems/Reps that is unknown to the public? It’s really very simple…..They want to do away with the Constitution, they want to pass laws that take away your freedoms. They want to take away private property and to make it so there are two sets of people…the rulers and the slaves…they ultimately want to set up the New World Order.

They then make it an emotional issue (between gays, Christians, minorities, affluents, less affluent, Republicans and Democrats) so the interest groups on both sides don’t/can’t see what the real issue is and who the real enemy is. They then make it so they have powerful groups on both sides. If you align yourselves with the Democratic party and you voted for Barack Obama in the last elections, you have been deceived. If you align yourselves with the Republican party and you voted for Mitt Romney in the last elections, you have been deceived.

The two party system is unconstitutional and is the main reason your freedoms are being eroded. Since our inherent God given rights and freedoms are no longer recognized by the tyrants who own both the Republican and Democratic parties, we are now subject to the will of the unconstitutional Federal Reserve fraud which controls our money and illegally takes a third of your paycheck with the equally illegal IRS serving as their goons and hatchet men. We are being controlled by the Illuminati backed Goldman Sachs/Federal Reserve and the Rothschild/Rockefeller agenda that hates our freedoms! That’s right, it’s not the Muslims that hate your freedoms but it’s people you know very well and foolishly put your trust and faith in.

http://theconspiracyzone.podcastpeople.com/posts/43733 - 51k -

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:11:24

‘The fact is…there is no fundamental ideological difference at all between the rhetoric that is put out by the Republican and Democratic parties. The evil genius of this is to make Americans think there is a difference. It’s a classic “good cop” “bad cop” scam. It’s to make you think you have a choice…..and you don’t!’

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

– from George Orwell’s Animal Farm

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:12:24

I’m more bitterly cynical about the two American political parties now than ever…and lovin’ it!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:13:47


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Comment by jose canusi
2014-01-19 08:26:59

Wasn’t there a show once upon a time called “Love American Style”?

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-01-19 11:28:46

I think a lot more Americans are saying this these days compared to 2012. But I think many of the same will still vote this year and 2016 and pretend they are making a difference, then get p.o.ed again at Congress and the President.

I won’t vote. Game’s over for me.

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Comment by inchbyinch
2014-01-19 18:16:25

Good choice. Every 4 years the US voter gets hope-ium. Same $hit, different boss. Same for the 100 and 435. I haven’t voted in 12 years.

Comment by tom cruz bustamante
2014-01-19 09:41:50

I have a theory that there are 3 major parties in USA; D, R & the status-quo parties. The status quo party always wins.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 10:05:26

cognitive dissonance

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:37:28

Care to guess how much San Diego County median home prices have increased from February 2012 through June 2013? (Hint: “No bubble here.”)

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:41:22

The answer (according to the Sunday dead tree edition of UT-San Diego): 36%.

And now for the other important tidbit of information on the front of their business page:

“Typical new mortgage in the county”
February 2012 $1,150/mo
December 2013 $1,695/mo
Percentage increase: 47%

Either the economy is coming back like gangbusters or the housing market is up a creek without a paddle…hard to say which!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 08:49:22

Buy now or get priced out forever, by the Fed tapir!

Fed taper could hit housing market
Soaring mortgage costs already discouraging local buyers
By Dan McSwain
5 p.m. Jan. 18, 2014
Prospective homebuyer Michael Lin tours one of the model homes in the Maricel at Torrey Highlands development. Prospective homebuyer Michael Lin tours one of the model homes in the Maricel at Torrey Highlands development. — Howard Lipin / U-T San Diego

The stakes are high for San Diego’s housing market as the Federal Reserve tapers the national economy off super-low interest rates.

Some experts think interest rates have been held back more by sluggish global growth than by Fed stimulus, so the “taper” that began this month won’t matter much. Then again, nobody can reliably forecast short-term rate movements.

And there’s little question that higher rates would hurt potential homebuyers. Already, skyrocketing mortgage payments may have chased away enough demand to halt price growth.

Further increases would pile a new problem onto the region’s housing market, which is distorted by a chronic supply shortage and soaring costs caused by local and federal government polices.

Waiting has certainly punished potential buyers lately. A typical new mortgage in San Diego County hit a modern low of $1,150 a month in February 2012, but by last month it had jumped nearly 47 percent to $1,695.

Most of the increase came from home prices, which surged 38 percent in less than two years.

Last summer the action shifted to interest rates, which have climbed from 3.5 percent to nearly 4.5 percent for the average fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage. That run-up started in May, when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke outlined his plan to gradually reduce bond purchases the central bank began in September 2012 to keep rates low.

Maybe it’s a coincidence, but San Diego’s soaring housing market leveled off at almost precisely the same time.

The median price has inched up less than 1 percent since June, when it was $416,500, to $420,000 in December, according to DataQuick, a San Diego-based reasearch firm.

In contrast, the median had shot up 36 percent before the announcement from $305,000 in February 2012, when the typical payment reached its low.

Now that the Fed has begun its “taper,” what comes next is anybody’s guess.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 08:52:34

The Hows and Whys of Gold Price Manipulation

Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler
January 18, 2014

The evidence of gold price manipulation is clear.
The deregulation of the financial system during the Clinton and George W. Bush regimes had the predictable result: financial concentration and reckless behavior. A handful of banks grew so large that financial authorities declared them “too big to fail.” Removed from market discipline, the banks became wards of the government requiring massive creation of new money by the Federal Reserve in order to support through the policy of Quantitative Easing the prices of financial instruments on the banks’ balance sheets and in order to finance at low interest rates trillion dollar federal budget deficits associated with the long recession caused by the financial crisis.

The Fed’s policy of monetizing one trillion dollars of bonds annually put pressure on the US dollar, the value of which declined in terms of gold. When gold hit $1,900 per ounce in 2011, the Federal Reserve realized that $2,000 per ounce could have a psychological impact that would spread into the dollar’s exchange rate with other currencies, resulting in a run on the dollar as both foreign and domestic holders sold dollars to avoid the fall in value. Once this realization hit, the manipulation of the gold price moved beyond central bank leasing of gold to bullion dealers in order to create an artificial market supply to absorb demand that otherwise would have pushed gold prices higher. The manipulation consists of the Fed using bullion banks as its agents to sell naked gold shorts in the New York Comex futures market. Short selling drives down the gold price, triggers stop-loss orders and margin calls, and scares participants out of the gold trusts. The bullion banks purchase the deserted shares and present them to the trusts for redemption in bullion. The bullion can then be sold in the London physical gold market, where the sales both ratify the lower price that short-selling achieved on the Comex floor and provide a supply of bullion to meet Asian demands for physical gold as opposed to paper claims on gold.

The evidence of gold price manipulation is clear. In this article we present evidence and describe the process. We conclude that ability to manipulate the gold price is disappearing as physical gold moves from New York and London to Asia, leaving the West with paper claims to gold that greatly exceed the available supply.

Why does the Fed need seven years in which to return 20 percent of Germany’s gold? The answer is that the Fed does not have the gold in its vault to deliver. In 2011 it took four months to return Venezuela’s 160 tonnes of gold. Obviously, the gold was not readily at hand and had to be borrowed, perhaps from unsuspecting private owners who mistakenly believe that their gold is held in trust.

Western central banks have pushed fractional gold reserve banking to the point that they haven’t enough reserves to cover withdrawals. Fractional reserve banking originated when medieval goldsmiths learned that owners of gold stored in their vault seldom withdrew the gold. Instead, those who had gold on deposit circulated paper claims to gold. This allowed goldsmiths to lend gold that they did not have by issuing paper receipts. This is what the Fed has done. The Fed has created paper claims to gold that does not exist in physical form and sold these claims in mass quantities in order to drive down the gold price. The paper claims to gold are a large multiple of the amount of actual gold available for delivery. The Reserve Bank of India reports that the ratio of paper claims to gold exceed the amount of gold available for delivery by 93:1.

Fractional reserve systems break down when too many depositors or holders of paper claims present them for delivery. Breakdown is occurring in the Fed’s fractional bullion operation. In the last few years the Asian markets–specifically and especially the Chinese–are demanding actual physical delivery of the bullion they buy. This has created a sense of urgency among the Fed, Treasury and the bullion banks to utilize any means possible to flush out as many weak holders of gold as possible with orchestrated price declines in order to acquire physical gold that can be delivered to Asian buyers.

The $650 decline in the price of gold since it hit $1900 in September 2011 is the result of a manipulative effort designed both to protect the dollar from Quantitative Easing and to free up enough gold to satisfy Asian demands for delivery of gold purchases.

Around the time of the substantial drop in gold’s price in April, 2013, the Bank of England’s public records showed a 1300 tonne decline in the amount of gold being held in the BOE bullion vaults. This is a fact that has not been denied or reasonably explained by BOE officials despite several published inquiries. This is gold that was being held in custody but not owned by the Bank of England. The truth is that the 1300 tonnes is gold that was required to satisfy delivery demands from the large Asian buyers. It is one thing for the Fed or BOE to sell, lease or rehypothecate gold out of their vault that is being safe-kept knowing the entitled owner likely won’t ask for it anytime soon, but it is another thing altogether to default on a gold delivery to Asians demanding delivery.

Default on delivery of purchased gold would terminate the Federal Reserve’s ability to manipulate the gold price. The entire world would realize that the demand for gold greatly exceeds the supply, and the price of gold would explode upwards. The Federal Reserve would lose control and would have to abandon Quantitative Easing. Otherwise, the exchange value of the US dollar would collapse, bringing to an end US financial hegemony over the world.

http://www.infowars.com/the-hows-and-whys-of-gold-price-manipulation/ - 89k

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-19 09:27:29

quite interesting

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-01-19 09:08:10

‘The NSA Speech: Obama Accepts the Logic of Staying Terrorized’

‘If the vision he laid out Friday prevails, mass surveillance on innocents will continue and we’ll never enjoy pre-9/11 privacy again.’

‘Yes, terrorism poses a scary threat to our safety. But as horrific as the September 11 attacks were, as much as we mourn the 3,000 people who died in those attacks, and as much as we ought to guard against future attacks, the loss suffered that day is not comparable to the existential threat posed by the U.S.S.R. The balance between security and liberty ought to be tilting toward the latter, even as surveillance on a scale unprecedented in U.S. history is expanded yearly.’

‘The whole War on Terror has unfolded according to similar illogic. National-security leaders behave as if preventing even a single terrorist attack is so important that, to marginally decrease its likelihood, it was incumbent upon us to torture prisoners, invade Iraq, and establish a system of mass surveillance on hundreds of millions of innocents to identify a tiny minority of terrorists. So long as the NSA is charged with stopping every Boston bombing-style attack, and given more power until it can do so, it will verge toward totalitarianism, because no society can stay free and eliminate the risk of terrorism. That truth is one that can never be found in Obama’s speeches.’

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 13:21:13

“So long as the NSA is charged with stopping every Boston bombing-style attack, and given more power until it can do so, it will verge toward totalitarianism, because no society can stay free and eliminate the risk of terrorism.”

So far, so good.

Oh wait…

Comment by tj
2014-01-19 09:39:29

‘If the vision he laid out Friday prevails, mass surveillance on innocents will continue and we’ll never enjoy pre-9/11 privacy again.’

the terrorists won that one.

National-security leaders behave as if preventing even a single terrorist attack is so important that, to marginally decrease its likelihood, it was incumbent upon us to torture prisoners, invade Iraq, and establish a system of mass surveillance on hundreds of millions of innocents to identify a tiny minority of terrorists.

it was the best excuse they could muster to limit our liberties. if it wasn’t this, it would have been something else, because we no longer hold to our principles.

So long as the NSA is charged with stopping every Boston bombing-style attack, and given more power until it can do so, it will verge toward totalitarianism, because no society can stay free and eliminate the risk of terrorism.

the author doesn’t understand the full danger. they want totalitarianism. they’ll use any excuse to get it. he’s part of the problem because he doesn’t see it.

That truth is one that can never be found in Obama’s speeches.

no truth can be found in obama’s speeches.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 10:30:24

If I had a son, he wouldn’t look like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

Obama: ‘I would not let my son play pro football’

By Justin Sink
January 19, 2014, 10:10 am

President Obama said that he believed NFL players “know what they’re doing” and understood the impact that concussions could have on their long-term health in an interview with The New Yorker published on Sunday, adding that he would not let his son play pro football.

http://thehill.com/ - 128k

Comment by albuquerquedan
2014-01-19 10:37:52

China and its quest for oil in troubled lands:


Comment by albuquerquedan
2014-01-19 10:42:20

From article:

The stakes could not be higher for China, the largest investor in South Sudan’s oil sector, as fierce fighting continues between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those of his former deputy.

Some of the largest oil fields China operates are in areas controlled by fighters backing Riek Machar, the country’s vice-president until he was sacked in July.

Oil production has already dropped by 20% since the onset of the conflict three weeks ago and more than 300 Chinese workers have been evacuated.

The spectre of their Libyan experience also weighs heavily on the Chinese minds - project after project now lies deserted because of heavy fighting during the Arab Spring uprising of 2011, inflicting huge losses on China.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 11:13:37

Obama lets Chinese own U.S. energy resources

Beijing acquiring major ownership in oil, natural gas across nation

Published: 01/21/2013 at 8:30 PM

NEW YORK – The Obama administration is quietly allowing China to acquire major ownership interests in oil and natural gas resources across the U.S.

The decision to allow China to compete for U.S. oil and natural gas resources appears to stem from a need to keep Beijing economically interested in lending to the U.S. The Obama administration has run $1-trillion-plus annual federal budget deficits since taking office that likely will continue in the second term.

http://www.wnd.com/2013/01/obama-lets-chinese-own-u-s-energy-resources/ - 83k -

Comment by reedalberger
2014-01-19 11:29:18

Let’s round ‘em up and…

Cuomo: ‘Extreme conservatives … have no place in the state of New York’


January 17, 2014

“Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the current “schism” in the state Republican party is a smaller version of the split causing so much damage in Washington, D.C., and that “conservative Republicans … have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.””

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 12:06:46

“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents — number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child,” Obama said on July 3, 2008, at a campaign event in Fargo, N.D.

“That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic,” said candidate Obama.

Senator Obama calls Bush “unpatriotic” for adding trillions to debt …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyLmru6no4U - 121k -

U.S. National Debt Clock : Real Time
http://www.usdebtclock.org/ - 92k - Cached - Similar pages
US National Debt Clock : Real Time U.S. National Debt Clock.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 12:27:57

Here is the direct quote from his book pg. 405

For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists” and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it. -David Rockefeller

Comment by tj
2014-01-19 13:07:10

did that jerk just admit to being part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the USA?

of course if you’re a ‘one-worlder’, you have to be against the best interests of any individual country by definition..

the arrogance and hubris are both amazing..

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-01-19 15:26:07

Gold and the S&P 500 index:



In 1975 to mid 1976 gold did the opposite of the S&P 500 index.

But stocks started going down in early 1976 and gold still drifted down, to somewhere between $100 and $140 per ounce. Then something happened. Gold blipped up a bit, then plateaued a couple months, then made a long sweep up to over $800 per ounce the next four years and outshone stocks.

The same time, interest rates were cranking. At the same time, 30 year bond yields went from 6% to 8%.

To get the same conditions, wages will have to really go up. So there will have to be some other catalyst for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium to go wildly up. Partial confiscation of bank accounts, 401ks and IRAs. Significant tax increases. Amnesty to millions of illegals and granting them our savings in social security.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-01-19 16:16:52

The second link broke. It was a chart of course dated 01/01/1975 to 12/31/1979

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-19 15:49:32

Realtors are corrupt liars…. watch your wallet

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2014-01-19 16:35:27


Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-19 18:32:31


http://weeklyworldnews.com/headlines/54396/katherine-webb-vs-kate-upton-in-lingerie-bowl/ - 59k - Cached - Similar pages
2 days ago

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 18:44:45

Now that there makes me want to go out and buy a house TODAY!

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2014-01-19 18:49:50

Go ahead and hate the equity, I know you’re just jealous.

haters gonna hate

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-19 19:23:57


Comment by AFC Champions 2014
2014-01-19 19:03:55

You will respect the equity.

Comment by DenverDonkeys
2014-01-19 20:00:52

We’re going to looze Feb 02


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 20:52:38

A closely-watched pot never boils over.

– Folk proverb

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 20:54:09

Jan. 17, 2014, 6:00 a.m. EST
Early bull Jim Stack grows cautious
Opinion: Bull market is aging, a big correction is coming
By Howard Gold

One of the first independent advisers to call the current bull market is now raising a cautionary flag.

James Stack, president of Stack Investment Research, warns subscribers to his newsletter, InvesTech Research, that the 5-year-old bull is aging rapidly. Although he hasn’t recommended selling stocks just yet, he says risk is rising and has one eye on the exits.

Attention must be paid. Early in his career, Stack, along with the late, great Marty Zweig, predicted the 1987 stock market crash. Twenty years later, in August 2007, he wrote: “We are taking steps to reduce exposure as warning flags increase.”

But unlike some perma-bears who never know when to quit, Stack turned bullish again in early 2009. I remember a conversation at a conference in Orlando that February in which he made the case for a new bull market while I was still very doom-and-gloom. It was one of those moments in life (oh, yes, I’ve had a few) when I should have kept my mouth shut and listened — and then bought stocks.

Since then, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (SPX -0.39%) has rallied 170%. Over the past 15 years ending in December, an InvesTech model portfolio tracked by the Hulbert Financial Digest has gained 8.3% annually, easily outperforming the Wilshire 5000’s (WINDX -0.37%) 5.4% yearly returns — and with a third less risk.

In a telephone interview from his headquarters in idyllic Whitefish, Mont., last week, Stack pointed out that 2013’s nearly 30% gain in the S&P was the 10th largest in the last 85 years.

“I don’t think anyone who was positive on the outlook for 2013 could have expected the size of the advance we’ve seen…,” he told me.

Meanwhile, he said, economic trends are “all entering 2014 in strong fashion,” presenting “little probability of a recession in the first half or three quarters of the year.”

Standard & Poor’s rating service has published their outlook for the corporate environment in 2014. The report indicates several trouble spots but suggests a steady pace for business this year. S&P head of corporate ratings .

But, he wrote in his most recent newsletter, “a strong economic outlook doesn’t negate the possibility of a bear market. The stock market leads the economy, and market peaks precede the start of recession by 5.5 months on average.”

All in all, he told me, “both macroeconomic and technical [indicators] still support more bull market highs in 2014.” But he’s getting worried.

“Technically we’re about 15% above long-term historical valuations,” he said. The S&P 500 trades at 19x trailing-12-month earnings, vs. an average of 17x trailing earnings.

And then there’s the calendar, particularly the four-year presidential cycle, which is of great interest to technicians and market historians. “The middle two quarters of a midterm election year are historically the weakest,” he said.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 20:57:38

Asian Markets Trading Weak Ahead Of Key China Data Release
By RTT News, January 19, 2014, 10:07:00 PM EDT

(RTTNews.com) - Asian markets are trading weak on Monday as markets are tense ahead of the release of key China data, which could show that the regional powerhouse experienced its slowest annual growth since 2000.

The Australian market is trading weak after a mixed lead from Wall Street and concerns about data to be released on the Chinese economy. China is Australia’s single biggest export market.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 21:05:17

January 20, 2014 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES
Posted on January 19, 2014 09:28:21 PM
T-bonds expected to fetch higher rate

REISSUED three-year Treasury bonds are expected tomorrow to fetch a rate higher than the three-year papers’ yield at the secondary market as investors continue to react to the US Federal Reserve’s move to gradually scale back its stimulus program and expectations of higher inflation this year.

Bond traders, interviewed by phone last Friday, said the government securities — with remaining life of two years and three months — could fetch a rate anywhere from 2.75%-3.25%, 24.93-74.93 basis points higher than the three-year papers’ yield at the secondary market. At the secondary market last Friday, the three-year debt papers fetched 2.5007%.

The forecast range is also higher than 2.054% average rate the three-year papers got when they were reissued in July last year.

The three-year papers were first offered at the April 23 auction, where they fetched a 1.625% coupon rate.

“The rates will be higher at the auction on Tuesday as investors consider the effects of the Federal Reserve’s scaling back of its bond buying program,” a trader said in a phone interview.

US Treasury yields, which are tracked by ROPs, local government and corporate securities and other sovereign bonds, have risen since last month when the Federal Open Market Committee — the policy-making body of the US central bank — announced a $10-billion reduction in its $85 billion monthly bond purchases.

That move — spurred by signs of an improving US economy — is expected to eventually lead to a hike in interest rates.

In a separate phone interview, another trader said: “Investors will demand higher yields on expectations that inflation will be higher for the year.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 21:08:02

Bloomberg News
German Growth Probably Eased in Fragile Europe Recovery: Economy
By Stefan Riecher, Jana Randow and Rainer Buergin
January 15, 2014
A Shopper Carries a Shopping Bag Past Tram Lines in Berlin
Private consumption climbed 0.9 percent in 2013 while government spending rose 1.1 percent, today’s report showed. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Germany’s economic growth probably slowed last quarter in a sign of the fragility of the euro area’s nascent recovery.

Gross domestic product in Europe’s biggest economy probably increased about a quarter of a percent in the three months through December, compared with 0.3 percent in the third quarter, the Federal Statistics Office said in Berlin today. Full-year growth was 0.4 percent, missing the 0.5 percent median estimate by economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The nation’s 2013 budget deficit was 0.1 percent of GDP, compared with a prediction for a balanced budget.

Germany, the first of the Group of Seven nations to report fourth-quarter growth data, is key to sustaining the recovery in the 18-nation euro area, where unemployment is at a record high and bank lending is still contracting. The European Central Bank held its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.25 percent last week and President Mario Draghi said risks to the regional economy remain on the downside.

“Germany’s weak 2013 GDP growth highlights the impact of the euro crisis even on the strongest euro-zone economy,” said Christian Schulz, an economist at Berenberg Bank in London. “On the positive side, consumption growth was resilient in 2013 and the beginning global recovery should allow Germany to grow at trend rates in 2014.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 21:58:46

6:46 pm Jan 17, 2014
New Warnings From an Investing Pioneer
By Jason Zweig

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide — and no one to get unbiased advice from.

Judging by my inbox, that is how a lot of investors feel. U.S. and most international stocks, bonds and real estate are all at least moderately overpriced by historical standards; cash offers a negative return after inflation; and most market pundits have a vested interest in their advice.

For some forthright suggestions on how investors should think about today’s markets, I turned to investing pioneer Dean LeBaron, one of the most original and open-minded financial thinkers I know of. His motto has long been: “Look for the questions that are not being asked.”

For decades, the name of the game for investors has been to make as much money as possible. From now on, Mr. LeBaron thinks, the prime directive will be to “lose as little money as possible.”

He warns, “If we are in a transition period, then the person who is in the most danger is the one who has recently done well, because he’s done well on things that are about to change.”

In Mr. LeBaron’s view, the easy-money policies of central banks, including the Fed, have created what he calls “administrative markets”–in which prices are set at least partly by government policy rather than by market forces.

But, he worries, that can’t last forever. “In complex systems, the dynamics are predictable but the timing isn’t,” he says. “It’s like adding a grain of sand one at a time to a pile: You can’t tell when it will collapse, but you know it will.”

Mr. LeBaron, who invests only his own money nowadays, has no exposure to the U.S. stock market; the only bonds he owns are inflation-protected U.S. Treasurys.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 23:21:01

“…administrative markets…”

That guy’s comments are among the most insightful I’ve ever seen in an MSM article. The hi-larious thing is to listen to commentary on the likes of CNBC and similar financial news outlets attributing all asset price movements to ‘investors’ as though the Man Behind the Curtain didn’t exist.

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