January 2, 2015

Bits Bucket for January 2, 2015

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

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Comment by Jingle Male
2015-01-02 04:26:17

Whac’s comment yesterday on Japan’s lost quarter century:

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-01 06:23:34
Thanks for sharing your perspective on the timing. I also thought the economic shock of the Great Housing Bubble crash would be fully absorbed by now, and share your fascination that it clearly hasn’t.

A related case is worthy of consideration: Japan’s real estate bust started around 1990 and the aftermath is still playing out after a quarter of a century has passed. In light of this fact, we may only be at the top of the fourth inning by now.

I believe this merits further discussion. Yes, Japan’s economy is a bug dodging windshields. However, it is a relatively closed society and the population is declining. The U.S. is much more open to immigration and our population is growing. We have natural resources, growing energy independence and a rising manufacturing sector. Those are big differences!

Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 06:39:12

is it ok for the BOJ to monetize all the japanese govt debt being issued? What if any is the problem with that?

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-02 09:11:30

Sure it is just fine—as long as no one cares about the value of the yen that they are holding.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 09:54:59

We exchange in dollars here.

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-02 10:06:54

Agreed—so obviously it is fine for me, and not so good for those Japanese folks, who are famous for overallocated to yen in the form of government securities.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-02 09:29:01

It’s different here.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-02 09:30:46

As I recall, it was also different in Japan at the time of their massive bubble as they were running out of land.

Comment by Jingle Male
2015-01-03 03:59:07

I recall the U.S. news stories of 1980’s calling Japan a bubble. The real issue is all the investors who went into Japan, buying distressed assets, betting on appreciation. They have all got stucco.

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Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 04:50:56

Region VIII

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 06:37:44

region viii news

colorado ranked number 5 for in-migration, don’t move here, you’ll be really disappointed if you do


Comment by 2banana
2015-01-02 07:36:28

Denver is in a HUGE housing bubble.

One of the biggest in the nation.

I will move there once it pops. And it will. :-)

See what low oil prices did to the Denver housing market in the 1980s…

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 08:04:47

The survey referenced in the article notes that Texas is the number one state for in-migration

“You work three jobs? How uniquely American” — George W. Bush

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Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-02 12:17:57

colorado ranked number 5 for in-migration, don’t move here, you’ll be really disappointed if you do

I’ve met plenty of people who moved here, and most say the same thing: the job market here sucks. There is a ton of competition for jobs and the pay is low.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 12:49:15

I’m bringing my pile of cash with me.

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Comment by reedalberger
2015-01-03 01:19:21

A huge portion of that In-Migration will be illegal immigrants. Enjoy the fruits of your voting :)


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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-02 09:22:33

Region X; all is well on the western flank.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 05:49:45

The manipulation is clear today. Oil was up earlier about $1.80 per barrel. So what is the response? The U.S. has spiked the dollar by over 1/2% after a 13% rise last year with virtually all that rise coming after Russia reclaimed Crimea. Obama is not only willing to destroy the shale oil industry, he is willing to throw the entire U.S. economy into recession due to an overvalued dollar to keep oil prices down. Too bad the longer he keeps oil down the sharper the rise is going to be. Meanwhile, since Russia is being paid in dollars and it expenses are in roubles, its cost of production continues to go down. Not hard to see who is going to win this economic war.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 06:22:15

Can developing countries even afford Apple products after the sharp rise in the dollar? We seem to forcing them to either buy Samsung or Chinese made products.

Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 06:36:55

I’m curious how they are spiking the dollar?Can you explain this process?

If you want inflation wouldn’t you want a lower dollar?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 07:31:25

Central banks hold other countries’ currencies and can sell them to buy dollars in the futures markets to raise the value of the dollar. It is not hard for the U.S. to get other countries to help it since most of them want their currencies to be lower to gain a trade advantage.

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Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 07:57:27

Isn’t the strength in the dollar really due to weakness in the other currencies its based on?

“Currently, this index is calculated by factoring in the exchange rates of six major world currencies: the euro, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar, British pound, Swedish krona and Swiss franc.”

If you want to import inflation I don’t think you want a strong dollar.

Does the FED really want a strong dollar?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 09:13:32

Does the FED really want a strong dollar?

For political reasons yes (to support the war on Russia), but it does conflict with its wish to promote more economic growth and inflation.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 09:27:43

Could it be that the strong dollar is beginning to hurt the U.S. economy?

(Reuters) - The U.S. factory sector grew at its slowest pace in six months in December, a sign that weakness in the global economy is weighing on the United States.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 55.5 last month from 58.7 in November.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector, and the reading remains well above its two-year average. That means the slowdown appears unlikely to derail a broader strengthening of the U.S. economy.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 09:41:17

WTI down 16 cents, the dollar spiked up by 2/3 of a per cent. Manipulation had an epic fail today. A few weeks ago that would have dropped oil by $5 a barrel.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-02 09:51:21

Russia is a side show. The real war is on borrowers. All those hapless suckers that borrowed up to the eyeballs while the Fed was easing are getting crushed. That is why there are 100,000 grifters and their families either in jail or already beheaded in China.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 09:56:35

There is not a war on borrowers when interest rates are set below the inflation rate. China’s mortgage rates are almost twice our rates and their inflation rate is about the same.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 10:00:12

“Does the FED really want a strong dollar?”

I do.

Remember… An increasingly valuable dollar is your wallets best friend.

Comment by Dman
2015-01-02 10:04:07

So we should all pay higher gas prices to protect the shale industry so that we dont have to buy foreign oil and gas prices will be lower? Doesn’t make sense to me.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 10:39:34

Is it wise to destroy an industry which will raise prices over the medium to long term for a short term decrease in price? Obama is just ensuring that gasoline prices will rebounding to near record levels in November 2016 after the U.S. has lost hundreds of thousands of high paying jobs.

Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 11:19:13

Similarly, we should all pay higher gas prices/taxes to protect green energy? That doesn’t make much sense, either.

Could it be that the market simply is taking both fracking and green energy out to the woodshed simultaneously?

And no, it’s very likely not a result of political gamesmanship. More likely, it’s the insane reliance upon credit during the past 40 years that caused much malinvestment, both in fracking and in green energy.

Had credit not so thoroughly mucked up the capitalistic water, we might have been able to make more clear-headed decisions.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 11:20:01

They destroyed themselves.

Capitalism my friend.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-02 11:23:35

insane reliance upon credit

Also worth mentioning that the insane reliance upon credit was inspired at least in part by openly-manipulated, artificially-insanely-low rates.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 11:30:49

WTI down 16 cents, the dollar spiked up by 2/3 of a per cent. Manipulation had an epic fail today. A few weeks ago that would have dropped oil by $5 a barrel

Now, they have the dollar up .86% and oil is down 9 cents. Actually went positive until they spiked the dollar even higher. Nasdaq down sharply, I would hate to be HP competing against Epson.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-02 11:39:27

“the insane reliance upon credit during the past 40 years…”


Comment by Dman
2015-01-02 12:21:56

If it would bring down OPEC I would pay more for gas, within reason. Unfortunately, the oil companies would just use that as an excuse to suck tens of billions of dollars more out of citizen’s pockets to pad their obscene profit margins. I would pay even more for green energy if it would bring down the oil companies.

Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 12:40:26


None of what you want will happen anytime soon, perhaps not in your lifetime. Economics is not green energy’s friend, and t won’t be for many years.

People wanted a “global village”. You have one. OPEC flooding the world with cheap gas in one of them

BTW, do you have a list of the profit margins for most, if not all, of our domestic oil companies. If so, list them here, please. I’d like to compare those margins with those typical of other industries, such as health, IT, construction, retail, entertainment and government.

What is the profit margin of local, state and federal governments?

Comment by jane
2015-01-02 19:26:13

Dman, if you think the oilco profit margins are obscene, just think: they are for sale! You can go out on your local brokerage website and buy a piece of each of them if you like! Than all of that obscene profit will be in your very own pocket!

Methinks that you are angry at the wrong thing.

Like most others who shrill out your tune, it appears you are gloriously innocent of facts. Do they even register if they fail to prop up your narrow ideology?

Are you one of the “emotions are better than facts” zealots?

Comment by Dman
2015-01-03 04:21:48

I should buy oil stocks to join in on their profit gouging!? Yes, the best way to enjoy the benefits of a cartel is to join in on the fun. With world demand collapsing, and production increasing, oil companies are actually having to compete now, and they don’t like it. They’ll be asking for more tax breaks soon, I’m sure.

Comment by rms
2015-01-02 08:19:12

“Can developing countries even afford Apple products…”

Ironic. They manufacture these things, but can’t afford one themselves. Reminds me of that adage, “The shoemakers kids are barefoot.”

Comment by spook
2015-01-02 09:18:50

“Never work in a restaurant you can afford to eat at.”

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Comment by Jingle Male
2015-01-03 07:17:05

Apple products are made in China!

Comment by rms
2015-01-03 10:18:37

Apple products are made in China!

+1 Yes, I recall the jumpers.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Foxconn Technology Group, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company headquartered in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan. -wiki

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Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-02 06:35:04

The chart here shows that Russia has some of the highest oil extraction costs in the world.


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 07:40:57

GS must be on the short side the trade because this clearly shows the average cost in Russia below $50. Maybe they are just talking about potential fields but it does not address present fields:


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 07:52:42


Not according to this, I think GS is manipulating data to support its trading position maybe it is just using the newest least accessible fields.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 07:56:20

Excerpt from link that is about to post Russia is in the 40s for production costs and these are the high cost areas:

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/51cc00ba-7f85-11e4-86ee-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3NfyhQodt

Energy Aspects, a London-based consultancy, estimates that more than 12 per cent of global oil production would be uneconomic if the majors were to give the go-ahead to existing projects at today’s prices.

Most at risk are those in the Canadian oil sands which has a break-even price of $80 a barrel, US shale plays and other areas of tight oil ($76). Brazil’s deepwater fields ($75) and Mexican projects (around $70) are also vulnerable.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-02 09:55:18

What matters now is the debt, not what it costs today to pump a well.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 10:02:46

Which only supports the belief that the U.S. will lose this war, it is the U.S. shale oil producers that have debt to their eyeballs not the Russian producers.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-02 11:52:28

War? Not likely. The antagonist here is nature. As we pointed out to you all year long, the US shale endeavor was from the start a malinvestment, founded on lies and Ponzi debt schemes. It was doomed to fail right from the start. The collapse will come because the credit has stopped, not because the business has become unprofitable. It already was unprofitable. I doubt any of the hundreds of articles you must be reading trying to get up to speed on the situation mention this one little thing.

Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 12:15:09

the US shale endeavor was from the start a malinvestment, founded on lies and Ponzi debt schemes.”

Neither you, I or anyone else has all the answers here, Blue.

What is interesting is that it is fracking itself that may have punctured any oil Ponzi schemes. Without fracking, green energy may well have become the biggest Ponzi of them all, greater than housing, even.

Fracking = Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 12:20:16

They both require lots of cheap capital and I have talked about the high cost of shale oil for years. It only works with low capital costs. But you are right the same can be said for wind and solar, normalize the interest rates and they are even more uncompetitive.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-02 12:42:38

“Neither you, I or anyone else has all the answers here, Blue.”

For sure, and many of the answers I used to have turned out to be wrong anyway! That leaves a lot of questions.

Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 12:47:58

I know I’m right.

What people tend to forget is that both fracking and green energy are BOTH highly dependent on cheap capital. This means that both are inherently unprofitable at present and in their current form.

The political harpies arguing for either at the expense of the other are simply that: harpies. Dumb as bricks.

What we have learned is that in a pinch (i.e., a war, embargo, etc.), we can bring fracking back on line quicker and better than anyone else. The rest of the world (including terrorists, notably) has discovered we can do this as well. From a geo-political standpoint, our ability to frack is highly notable.

We have yet to learn the same about green energy. Perhaps that, too, will come.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 13:56:25

From a geo-political standpoint, our ability to frack is highly notable.

Yes it is. However, it leaves us highly vulnerable since even a short term price fall causes our production to crash. What use to take years happens in months. A 35% reduction in a well’s production use to take 10-15 years, while a fracked well can lose that much in six months.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-02 14:42:05


Your chart is behind a paywall. Got any charts we can see that show Russia’s extraction costs are so low?

Quite an odd coincidence that the chart I link to, which we can actually see, is skewed, so you say, because Goldman Sachs is manipulating the data. Are we sure your data, which we can’t even see, isn’t likewise manipulated?

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 14:58:22

All you have to do is sign up for free to get numerous stories from the site. It is in the Financial Times.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 15:04:19

This link makes the same point if not as clear on the price:


But as I said it is hardly an impediment to give your e-mail address to have access to numerous stories.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 15:15:45

BTW, there is no way that a country producing from conventional fields that were developed when oil was priced at $40 a barrel or lower has higher or even close to the costs of shale oil wells drilled in the last few years.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 15:42:05

BTW, your chart does not even claim to quantify Russia’s present production costs it claims to only tell the production costs of new fields, virtually all of Russia’s present production comes from old oil fields just like Saudi Arabia’s production, its new fields include shale oil and off shore in the Artic circle which are all the drawing board but not producing:

An excerpt from your link:

The chart below shows the break-even points for the top 400 new fields and how much future oil production they represent. Less than a third of projects are still profitable with oil at $70. If the unprofitable projects were scuttled, it would mean a loss of 7.5 million barrels per day of production in 2025, equivalent to 8 percent of current global demand.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 16:43:05

With a globe awash in oil, prices falling and demand cratering, who cares?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 16:43:31


Comment by 2banana
2015-01-02 07:08:16

And Russia is still pumping like crazy as China demand keeps on going!


Russia oil output hits post-Soviet high, small firms help
Reuters | Jan 2, 2015 | VLADIMIR SOLDATKIN

Russia’s 2014 oil output hit a post-Soviet record high average of 10.58 million barrels per day (bpd), rising by 0.7 percent helped by small non-state producers, Energy Ministry data showed on Friday.

Oil and gas condensate production in December hit 10.67 million bpd, also a record high since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The data showed Russia’s so-called small producers, mostly privately held, increased their output by 11 percent to just over 1 million barrels per day.

Crude oil exports via state monopoly Transneft fell 5 percent to 195.5 million tonnes due to rising domestic demand and refinery runs.

Exports to China reached a new high of 22.6 million tonnes (452,000 bpd), up 43 percent on the year as Russia seeks to diversify its energy customers.

Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 06:10:45

If we have 0 real growth and 3% inflation we still have 3% nominal GDP.

We need inflation folks. That is our only hope. Create more currency and import more inflation via trade.

If you have debt and the value of the currency goes down by creating more, the debt is paid back with dollars less valuable.

On the other hand if you have deflation your dollars become more valuable because they go further.

Like it or not this is the path that has been chosen.

People wont notice 3% inflation right?

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-02 07:27:29

There can be no “good inflation” without wages increasing (like the 1970s) so debts can be paid back with cheaper dollars.

This has not happened in the last 20 years and will not happen in the future.

The only thing today’s inflation will do is destroy the middle class.

And that is exactly what government has done.

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-01-02 09:29:08

Wages are going up. Yesterday minimum wages went up in 20 states; this tends to put upward pressure on wages that are higher than minimum as well. The continued decline in the unemployment rate will help nudge wages up as well. Falling labor participation rates puts upward pressure on wages because the available labor pool to hire is shrinking. Certainly the increase in wages is at a snail’s pace compared to the skyrocketing 1970’s.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 09:52:57


Now do you really believe wages are going to double or triple to meet the grossly inflated prices of everything?

Of course not.

Prices will continue falling until they meet wages.

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Comment by oxide
2015-01-02 10:11:40

No, prices will fall until they meet investors. That’s what happened in late early 2012 to mid-2014 with housing.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 10:48:04

“That’s what happened in late early 2012 to mid-2014 with housing.”

You seem to have completely forgotten about the role of the Fed’s QE3 housing market stimulus, which was announced in January 2012. Investors saw the opportunity to ride the Fed’s housing market subsidy up and jumped on it.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 10:49:39

PS I’m even one of those investors, even though I had to hold my noise while buying real estate assets. Why should I be left behind by a policy that I think is basically wrong?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 11:12:40

Apparently not Donk considering housing demand has been at 20 year lows since 2009.

Remember….. The housing bottom is far lower than that reached in 2009 as resale prices were 200% over long term trend and 1.5x construction costs that year.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-02 11:35:42

the role of the Fed’s QE3 housing market stimulus

It will be really interesting to see how investors respond to falling housing prices when they are not front-running the Fed.

Comment by Shillow
2015-01-02 13:54:48

No, prices will fall until they meet investors. That’s what happened in late early 2012 to mid-2014 with housing.

Will these investors return once the next year or two of most of them getting crushed play out? The hedge fund, AHR model was shown to be a fraud. Once the losses begin to cascade will their model really be brought back?

The bubble is not over until people look at houses as bad investments only fools would get involved in.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-02 14:59:01

‘It will be really interesting to see how investors respond to falling housing prices when they are not front-running the Fed.”

Agreed, although I think they were dancing to the Fed’s tune, not front-running them.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-02 09:54:08

Falling labor participation rates puts upward pressure on wages because the available labor pool to hire is shrinking.

Agree with all of your points _except_ the above one. The participation rate is low because there are fewer opportunities to participate, especially at the low-skill end of the spectrum. We have merely stopped counting these people as unemployed.

That acts _against_ wages going up, because those people are still available to re-enter the labor pool if demand for labor increases.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-02 10:03:57

Wages in total do not go up with minimum wage increases. You cannot legislate wealth and prosperity.

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-01-02 14:16:46

Not sure about that Prime… half of the labor participation rate decline is due to boomers entering retirement. Freelancing is increasing and I’m not sure those numbers are being captured.

@Blue Skye: wealth is not a zero sum game. In a demand starved economy rising wages can result in wealth expansion across the board, including employers.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 14:21:49

“half of the labor participation rate decline is due to boomers entering retirement.”

False. The labor force participation rate began it’s decline when boomers were still in high school.

“Freelancing is increasing and I’m not sure those numbers are being captured.”

“Freelancing” is a buttered up word for chronically underemployed.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-02 17:05:04

“including employers”


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-01-02 10:04:49

Higher imposed minimum wages will mean a wave of lay-offs. Another unintended consequence of meddling by the central planners and politicians.

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-02 10:08:37

Higher imposed minimum wages will mean a wave of lay-offs.

Short-term effect: increased labor costs for those companies forced to comply.

Long-term effect: decreased employment as companies have even larger incentives to offshore any jobs that can be done somewhere else.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-02 10:48:58

A lot of those jobs are in retail, fast food, etc. It would be interesting to know what portion can be offshored.

Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 11:06:18

Longer (still)-term effect: More votes for central planners as the people are encouraged at affix blame on small, medium and large businesses, and capitalism at large.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-02 11:25:29

A lot of those jobs are in retail, fast food, etc. It would be interesting to know what portion can be offshored.

For those that can’t be off-shorted, due to location/proximity requirements, the long-term result will be an increased incentive to mechanize those jobs away.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 11:35:58

Exactly and that is what should happen to minimum wage type jobs instead of importing more people that will not be self sufficient and will always require more tax dollars than they will ever pay.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-02 12:03:07

“Clock out and then clean up. By the way, you are only on the schedule for 25 hours next week.”

Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 12:19:50

Increased minimum wage = fewer hours = more ObamaCare enrollees. BIG WIN!

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-02 12:40:02

For those that can’t be off-shorted, due to location/proximity requirements, the long-term result will be an increased incentive to mechanize those jobs away.

True, but I suspect that the automation will happen anyway. We’re gonna have even more unemployed, and not just in this country.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 14:14:25

True, but I suspect that the automation will happen anyway. We’re gonna have even more unemployed, and not just in this country

The reason why we need to seal our borders now, we will have to support illegals forever since the only jobs they can do will be performed by robots within ten years.

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-01-02 15:00:34
Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 16:52:56

I didnt say you were. Your articles reek of pimping. The fact is the Labor Force participation rate began falling non-stop 37 years ago. Data my friend data. Chronic underemployment is no mystery and it’s not going away.

If you think wages are going to magically double or triple to meet grossly inflated prices, you’re in for the shock of your life.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-02 17:01:18

Do you have your link handy today, HA? The graph in that Us News article shows that the peak was around 15 years ago.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 17:18:48

My mistake. It’s at 37 year lows. Doesn’t much matter in the context of falling prices.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-02 17:42:21

In other words, it’s at the same level that it was at 37 years ago, which was a higher level than the rate was during the previous 30 years.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 18:00:50

67 year old data has no bearing.

The fundamental data is; Falling prices and deflation.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 10:43:30

What happens if all the various trading nations in the globalized economy share your insight and act on it?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 10:57:50

2015 Will Be The Year Of Dollar Danger For The World
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph
Jan. 1, 2015, 8:49 AM

America’s closed economy can handle a surging dollar and a fresh cycle of rising interest rates. Large parts of the world cannot. That in a nutshell is the story of 2015.

Tightening by the US Federal Reserve will have turbo-charged effects on a global financial system addicted to zero rates and dollar liquidity.

Yields on 2-year US Treasuries have surged from 0.31pc to 0.74pc since October, and this is the driver of currency markets.

Since the New Year ritual of predictions is a time to throw darts, here we go: the dollar will hit $1.08 against the euro before 2015 is out, and 100 on the dollar index (DXY).

Sterling will buckle to $1.30 as a hung Parliament prompts global funds to ask why they are lending so freely to a country with a current account deficit reaching 6pc of GDP.

There will be a mouth-watering chance to invest in the assets of the BRICS and mini-BRICS at bargain prices, but first they must do penance for $5.7 trillion in dollar debt, and then do surgery on obsolete growth models.

The MSCI index of emerging market stocks will slide another third to 28 before touching bottom.

The Yellen Fed will be forced to back down in the end, just as the Bernanke Fed had to retreat after planning a return to normal policy at the end of QE1 and QE2.

For now the Fed is on the warpath, digesting figures showing US capacity use soaring to 80.1pc, and growth running at an 11-year high of 5pc in the third quarter.

The Fed pivot comes as China’s Xi Jinping is trying to deflate his own country’s $25 trillion credit boom, early in his 10-year term and before it is too late. He does not need or want uber-growth. The Politburo will more or less keep its nerve as long as China continues to meet its target of 10m new jobs a year – easily achieved in 2014 – and job vacancies outstrip applicants.

Uncle Xi will ultimately blink, but traders betting on a quick return to credit stimulus may lose their shirts first. Worse yet, when he blinks, a tool of choice may be to drive down the yuan to fight Japan’s devaluation, and to counter beggar-thy-neighbour dynamics across East Asia. This would export yet more Chinese deflation to the rest of the world.

At best we are entering a new financial order where there is no longer an automatic “Fed Put” or a “Politburo Put” to act as a safety net for asset markets. That may be healthy in many ways, but it may also be a painful discovery for some.

A sated China is as much to “blame” for the crash in oil prices as America’s shale industry. Together they have knouted Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The bear market will short-circuit at Brent prices of $40, but not just because shale capitulates. Marginal producers in Canada, the North Sea, West Africa and the Arctic will share the punishment. The biggest loser will be Saudi Arabia, reaping the geostrategic whirlwind of its high stakes game, facing Iranian retaliation through the Shia of the Eastern Province where the oil lies, and Russian retaliation through the Houthis in Yemen.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 11:21:54

Sounds as though this will be another great year to have a stash of dollars saved up!

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Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-02 12:43:58

America’s closed economy

Say what? We’re the least closed economy on the planet, and have the trade deficits to show for it.

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Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-02 15:22:29

I think he’s saying we’re not as dependent on exports as most other major industrial nations.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 06:30:30

warmist warming friday

the atlantic - the benefits of being cold

year round warmth is a modern luxury, and one that could be affecting body weight and health


Comment by palmetto
2015-01-02 08:13:09

Heh, I read that one, I’ve heard about the temperature theory of obesity before and thought it was interesting.

Then, too, there are ice people and there are sun people and right now, a lot of ice people live in sun people territory in the US (like the south) and then wonder why they’re miserable and fat.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 09:02:23
Comment by palmetto
2015-01-02 09:34:11

Tee-hee, I wuz chumming the waters for ya. Never heard of that guy. But he’s way, wayyyyy off with his theory, that’s for sure. Because the real “Ice People” happen to be brown and yellow, as in the Inuit and Asiatics who are the inhabitants of the frozen Northern regions, with a few Russo-Nordics thrown in for good measure.

Seems to me like most “whites” are “Temperate People”, neither ice nor sun, doing best physically in a sort of narrow range of temperature referenced in the original article.

Whatever the case, this ice-sun thing is sort of interesting. Because it’s not just a matter of temperature, but noise level as well. Contrast the cacaphony of a rainforest jungle with the winter still of Yellowstone or the Arctic regions. Some people need that cold vastness to calm their psyche. Jeffries may be on to something in that warmer temperatures just make the ice and temp folks mean. But he presents it as inherent in their nature, not as a function of irritation due to living in regions not suited to them physically.

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Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 09:50:46

i don’t know what the h3ll your last paragraph is supposed to say, but it is probably racis

‘cacaphony of a rainforest jungle’

i saw ‘boyz n the hood’ in the theatre on opening day, lolz

Comment by palmetto
2015-01-02 09:56:34

But, then there’s the silence of the desert, so that shoots the rainforest thing all to hell.

Comment by palmetto
2015-01-02 10:09:18

goon, my point was that it seems the sun people are better able to tolerate noise and crowding, which is an advantage in a world where population is on the increase.

ice and temperate folks, not so much. Need more space, less heat, less noise. American ice and temperate people especially, as noted by an Israeli acquaintance who was b*tching to a sun person from Cuba that “Americans need their space”.

Comment by spook
2015-01-02 10:44:36

David Byrne has lived in a brownstone and a ghetto.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-01-02 12:18:16

He’s lived all over this town.

Comment by palmetto
2015-01-02 14:08:09

“David Byrne has lived in a brownstone and a ghetto.”

Really? Me, too.

Comment by cactus
2015-01-02 19:33:36

Jeffries had also advanced a theory that whites are “ice people” who are violent and cruel, while blacks are “sun people” who are compassionate and peaceful.[5] He is a proponent of melanin theory and claims that melanin levels affect the psyche of people, and that melanin allows black people to “…negotiate the vibrations of the universe and to deal with the ultraviolet rays of the sun.”[6]

This is what you go into debt for ? learn stuff like this.

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Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-02 08:43:58

Follow the money Climate change investor speaks.

A Rothschild Speaks - Listen Closely - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3EUzV5_TUs - 471k - Cached - Similar pages

Jan 31, 2012

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 09:13:31

Warmists gonna warm

And now back to your regularly scheduled Drudge Report links

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-02 09:26:50

Today in Sports

Football U vs. Quack Attack for all the marbles

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Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 12:30:05

Football Factory State University have been 12 years without a championship, and the last time they did it was beating the Miami Whoricanes, which wasn’t really much of an accomplishment to crow about

But this isn’t gonna be their year

Lucky Ducks 31 Pluckeyes 20

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-01-02 09:30:32

First time I heard this mentioned was in the book “Life Extension” (1983) written by a rather colorful couple who were all over television at the time. Anyway, they talked about brown fat:

The Body Fat That May Help You Shed Pounds

Back then they suggested cooling areas like the back of your neck and shoulders with ice. I suppose that’s tolerable, but cold showers…nooooo.

Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 10:56:16

I’ve heard that eating one small box of golden raisins during the third hour of a blue moon will extend your life by 3-4 years.

Alas, this only is true if you are situated upon an island in the Indian Ocean. Reports say that the Kerguelen Islands are the best place to consume the raisins, but getting there can be rather difficult.

Time to write a book about these findings!

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-01-02 12:25:06

I’ve heard that eating one small box of golden raisins during the third hour of a blue moon will extend your life by 3-4 years.

I’ve heard if you eat golden raisins soaked in gin it will cure your arthritis. Even if it doesn’t work, you won’t care.

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Comment by Shillow
2015-01-02 14:06:41

I read that book also! I wondered what happened to old Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw. Apparently Pearson has patents in the area of oil shale and tar sands recovery! Coincidence?

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-03 03:11:29

I read that book too. I think they are still alive and kicking. Last I saw pictures they each had gray hair, so the life extension regimen did not seem to keep em eternally young. They ran a bunch of businesses since their days on the Merv Griffin show as regular guests.

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Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 06:42:58

washington post - the gop has a bad habit of appealing to avowed racists


and remember kidz, only white people can be racist

Comment by reedalberger
2015-01-03 01:33:58

We have LGBTQ groups, Hispanic groups, Black Groups, Asian groups, Indian groups and even illegal immigrant groups…why not white groups?

I think non-communist/progressive white people need to start banding together to protect their interests in an increasingly hostile political environment. In fact, it would make sense for non communists of all races, genders and sexual orientations to band together.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-01-02 06:50:17

Oil is still dropping, despite our supposed economic rebound that consists mainly of coerced spending on Obamacare.


Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 06:50:37

“Which brings us to the present day. If the tech mania was based on magic, and the housing mania was based on a supposed fact that was historically untrue, today’s mania is a mania of manias, interlinked and resting on premises that are patently illogical, contradicted by both the historical record and current experience. Those premises are: central planning works, government debt promotes prosperity, and economic growth stems from central banks buying that debt with money they create from thin air. On these premises rest manias in governments, their debts, and central banking.”

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-02 09:31:30


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 11:18:31

“Those premises are: central planning works, government debt promotes prosperity, and economic growth stems from central banks buying that debt with money they create from thin air. On these premises rest manias in governments, their debts, and central banking.”

Gotta love the logic, the conviction, and the hubris!

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-01-02 06:52:04

Dollar up strongly, mainly on weakness of the Yen and Euro. Wonder when Yellen will announce QE 4 and the global race to debase will begin in earnest.


Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 07:38:38

isnt a strong dollar a great excuse to print some more cash?

Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 08:00:10

“In this scenario, stocks are sporting a real P/E of over 140. So much for all of the talk of stocks being cheap or undervalued. If you want to look at REAL earnings, or the REAL state of the economy, this bubble might actually be even more overvalued than the Tech Bubble.”

Got Equities?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 09:16:35

As I said before Obama has created the mother of all bubbles, the treasury bubble, it is bigger than the housing and tech bubble combined.

Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 06:57:36

“Tulips, the South Sea Bubble, the new economy, the housing bubble—at some point the greatest fool has bought into an absurdity and a market that could only go one way goes the other way, precipitously. If the tech wreck was a jump off a thirty-meter platform and the 2008 financial crisis a plunge off the cliffs of Acapulco, the end of this multiple-absurdity mania of manias will be a swan dive from the top of the Empire State Building into a two-foot wading pool.”

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 06:58:05

how’s that new year’s resolution going?

‘the only consistently successful weight-loss method for morbidly obese people (those with a body mass index over 40) has been bariatric surgery. without surgery, morbid obesity is extremely difficult to cure — fewer than 5 percent ever overcome it on their own.

the global weight-loss market is worth an estimated $586.3 billion. and yet, obesity continues to rise at a shockingly rapid pace. more than 1.4 billion adults are overweight, and more than half of the global population could fall into that category by 2030′


Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 10:44:46

And what’s YOUR New Year’s resolution, goon?

Rather than be concerned about others improving themselves to meet your expectations, why not focus on improving yourself to meet theirs?

Surely, there must be something about yourself that others find less than ideal.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 11:38:24

“less than ideal”

I’ve dropped from 185 to 168 and would like to get down to 160 by the time I run the Pikes Peak Ascent half marathon again this August, that is probably “less than ideal” as people are already commenting on how skinny I look now, but that will be 8 less pounds on my aging knees

What’s your walkscore?

Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 12:06:48

Indeed. For now, numerous people are probably better off that your world is all about you.

Maybe once your midlife crisis is over, you’ll become more interested in, and capable of, bringing your best to others.

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Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 12:34:59

“bringing your best to others”

All the unhappy married women I meet on Tinder that get no satisfaction at home will unanimously agree that I bring nothing but the best

What’s your walkscore?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 14:25:22

What you claim:

“All the unhappy married women I meet on Tinder that get no satisfaction at home will unanimously agree that I bring nothing but the best”


All the unhappy married women I meet on Tinder that get no satisfaction at home will unanimously agree that I bring nothing

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 14:52:57

You have to be careful, Lola was always cutting off my quotes like that. :)

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-02 07:16:30

It’s just terrible that the Obamas are subject to such horrible system racism in our country…


Obamas Dine at Restaurant Charging $500,000 for Membership
Weeky Standard | January 2, 2015 | Daniel Halper

President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, spent the first night of the new year at Vintage Cave, an upscale restaurant in Hawaii.

“At Vintage Cave Honolulu, one can enjoy exceptional food and wine at the hands of gifted masters of the culinary arts. ‘Chef’s recommendation’ commands a gravitas guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning palate. Seasoned sommelier’s conduct the process of pairing wine and food with true finesse and style. Secure in the natural embrace of the cave-like environment, guests are encouraged to relax, ‘hit reset’ and escape the ordinary,” Vintage Cave’s description reads on its website.

As Time’s Zeke Miller pointed out, membership at the restaurant can set you back $500,000.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 07:33:17

Oh look, a Drudge Report link. You must have been up all night doing your homework to come up with that hard-hitting Woodward-and-Bernstein scoop. That Obama is such a piece of sh*t limousine liberal, he should be more like the Bush family like how they always rode the Greyhound down to Crawford when they went on vacation.

And on the topic of “real journalism” the Weekly Standard is run by William Kristol, who has NEVER not supported American military action that benefits Israel. Seriously, he lives for this sh*t, and the slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, Christian Zionists just eat that up and happily send all their sons to go die for Israel.

Comment by Michael Viking
2015-01-02 08:08:00

Wow, I guess the link is invalid and the news is a complete lie and has no relevance. You sure showed it with a demonstration of masterful logic. I tip my hat to you.

You must have been up all night doing your homework to come up with that hard-hitting Woodward-and-Bernstein scoop.

I’ll be sure to keep this bon mot for when you post something you didn’t actually sniff out yourself as a real journalist.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 08:23:55

You don’t even know what a “real journalist” is, that’s up to Senator Dianne Feinstein to decide


And on the topic of 2brony’s post, after eight years of the insufferable elitism of Obama, I am looking forward to the GOP nominating a real “man of the people” in the tradition of First Lady Pat Nixon’s cloth coat

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 09:10:44

I think what is real interesting is how the how the real journalists have given Obama a pass on the export of crude oil. WTI use to trade at a premium to Brent due to its better quality and now it trades at a discount due to the glut in the US due to shale oil. This allowed refineries in the US to make gasoline cheaper with the consumer in the US getting a little bit of break not huge but probably 5-10 cents a gallon. Soon that difference will be gone. Had a Republican done this the airwaves would be filled with stories how the president had put oil company profits above the consumer. Obama does it and all you can hear is crickets.

Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 10:33:55

I think so, too.

Not a peep out of anyone about how lower gas prices are perpetuating human’s reliance on gas-guzzlers. So much for walk score, eh? (One best be careful while walking 15-75 miles to the nearby national park every other weekend - might get hit by a car on the way there.)

Ah, well. Destroying fracking is a plus.

So, I guess it’s a wash.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-02 10:33:01

Wow, I guess the link is invalid and the news is a complete lie and has no relevance.

Relevance is a matter of opinion. So the president consumed a meal at a very expensive restaurant. I think that it would quite a challenging to argue that that is a newsworthy event. Something like this is more interesting:

Jose Mujica: Uruguayan President who lives on a ramshackle farm and gives 90% of his earnings away | Daily Mail Online

With trust in Britain’s politicians at its lowest ebb in decades, perhaps those in the corridors of power could take a leaf out of the man dubbed ‘the poorest president in the world’.

There is no chance of Uruguayan leader Jose Mujica being caught fiddling his expenses or paying a clever account to avoid taxes - he barely claims a salary.

The charismatic 77-year-old has refused to adapt his lifestyle to embrace the trappings of power that come with being the country’s figurehead.

Turning down the invitation to live at a luxurious grace and favour residence owned by the state, he instead continues to reside at his ramshackle farm situated a few miles away from the country’s capital city of Montevideo.

The only sign the country’s leader is at home are the pair of police officers who stand guard at the end of his heavily tractor-rutted dirt track.

Mr Mujica gives 90 per cent of his monthly salary, the equivalent of £7,500, away to charity leaving him with just £485 a month to live off.

The part-time farmer’s proudest and most valuable possessions are his tired-looking Volkswagen Beetle and his three-legged dog Manuela.

Water comes from a well which is surrounded by overgrown weeds and the laundry goes not in a tumble dryer but on the washing line outside.


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Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 11:29:06

Then why all the fuss when Nancy Reagan purchased fine china for the White House?

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-02 13:51:11

Gee, that’s so far back that I don’t really remember what the fuss was all about it. That was a different kind of an issue, though, because that purchase was for the White House, not something that was purchased for the president and his wife.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 14:39:43

No, the real issue was the same, should a president during hard economic times be living like royalty.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-02 16:53:51

I doubt that. The Weekly Standard, Fox News, and so forth would discuss these issues even if the economy was booming.

Comment by FED Up
2015-01-02 18:07:15

So if the economy is booming the president should have a dinner with an astronomical price tag on the taxpayers’ dime? It’s that line of thinking that has us $18 BILLION in the hole.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-02 18:30:34

Is there any evidence that the taxpayer paid for their dinner? Or are you referring to the fact that that president’s salary is funded by taxes?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 18:35:44


All that matters is legislating your own family trust fund like thousands of other corrupt elected officials in the last 100 years. It’s all good right?

Comment by FED Up
2015-01-02 19:26:36

Thanks HA, just came back to correct.

No evidence, but does he have a membership and, if so, who paid for it? I think taxpayers have the right to know. If not, no doubt he was invited by a .01 %er. Wonder how many Bankers and Wall Streeters are members?

It happens:

“the college produced a troubling record of payments. $27,931 for dues and fees flowed to the president’s private shooting club.” (public community college)


Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 10:07:20


Don’t blame others for your disappointment in, and distrust of, Obama. You fell for his rhetoric. So did many others.

Buyers remorse sucks…and not just in material objects. Be less evangelistic in your vision of the perfect world and you’ll be less likely to be played the fool next time.

Comment by reedalberger
2015-01-03 01:38:45

Communists got to communist.


Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 07:19:38

And speaking of socialism

Bloomberg - The Pope Blesses the Climate Treaty

“When a church that once felt threatened by heliocentrism sees hydrocarbons as a threat to God’s creation, there is reason to hope that today’s science skeptics will find religion, too”


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 09:31:12

Does this mean you now believe in the “sky wizard”?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 09:57:02

i never said i didn’t believe, dannyboy, but i don’t need some official sky wizard textbook or to be surrounded by a congregation of a thousand thought-conformist sky wizard believers who think their koolaid tastes better than any other flavor of sky wizard koolaid

‘mountains are not stadiums where i satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where i practice my religion’ — anatoli boukreev

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-02 10:05:45

“When a church that once felt threatened by heliocentrism sees hydrocarbons as a threat to God’s creation, there is reason to hope that today’s science skeptics will find religion, too”

Aren’t hydrocarbons one of God’s creations as well?

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-02 07:19:59

I have said it before.

Liberals never think the unconstitutional tactics they use on republicans will ever be used against them some day…

Ignore laws you don’t like? Just EO laws you wish you had?

Only liberals can do that…

Oh wait…


The WaPo is Suddenly Terrified of Executive Orders… And Ted Cruz
Townhall Finance | January 2, 2015 | Michael Schaus

It was as if the editorial board over at the Washington Post suddenly stopped what they were doing, looked up from their work, and dropped their jaws as a (rare) coherent thought suddenly manifested inside their collective brains.

“Wait a minute…” they muttered, as the thought of Obama using executive action played over and over again in their minds. “If he can change the law unilaterally,” a gradual expression of horror engulfed their faces, “then if Republicans end up winning in 2016, they could just — ”

I imagine the rest of that thought was almost unbearable for the liberal clones of Ezra Klein to articulate. But they did manage to spell it out in an Editorial:

Democrats urging President Obama to “go big” in his executive orders… might pause to consider the following scenario: It is 2017. Newly elected President Ted Cruz (R) insists he has won a mandate to repeal Obamacare. The Senate, narrowly back in Democratic hands, disagrees. Mr. Cruz instructs the Internal Revenue Service not to collect a fine from anyone who opts out of the individual mandate to buy health insurance, thereby neutering a key element of the program.

It’s almost too much fun to imagine the nuclear meltdown that would take place in the Leftist media if a GOP President decided to use Obama’s patented style of governance to repealing the contraception mandate, neuter Obamacare, and reinforce immigration law. Heck… With just a phone and a pen the newly elected President could erase much of Obama’s legacy. The mere thought of such actions undoubtedly send some liberals into blind hysterics…

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 07:55:25

If Teddy “Rafael” Cruz can’t get elected president maybe we can make Cuba the 51st state and he can go become governor of his birth state.

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-02 08:16:04

No matter which republican gets elected - the republican will be able to use the following new rules setup by the democrats:

1. Blame the administration before you for at least 6 years for ALL your problems and take no responsibility even when you have a super-majority of your party in the house and a filibuster proof senate

2. Add more the US deficit than ALL the previous administration COMBINED and accounting for inflation and call it “progress”

3. Ignore any laws you do not like and just don’t enforce them

4. Use EO to institute new laws you wish you had. Install “czars” when you can not get confirmation on your wacko appointees.

5. Use the IRS to go after your political enemies

6. Instruct courts to Ignore contract laws to help out your friends (such as the UAW in the GM bankruptcy)

7. Exempt your political friends from laws they helped pass (such as unions with obamacare)

8. Allow the senate to block all bills passed by the house from even being debated so you never have to make a hard decision. Allow the senate to change long standing senate rules to help you install unacceptable judicial and legislative nominations

9. Kill people at will with drones by your word alone. Start military actions and wars without any approval from congress

10. Allow rampant fraud when it helps you politically


It is going to be a great time!

2banana’s Rules on Politics:

Republicans are more than happy to live under them same laws/taxes they want for everyone else. Democrats expect to be exempted from the laws/taxes they want for everyone else.

Democrats never expect the unconstitutional tactics they use on republicans to be ever used against them.

Comment by palmetto
2015-01-02 08:28:39

Pitbull can be his veep, lol.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-01-02 10:07:45

Cruz’s wife, a director at Goldman Sachs, will be our new Empress and the power behind the throne if this so-faux “Tea Party Conservative” is elected by the gullible and easily manipulated.

If you like your crony capitalism, you can keep your crony capitalism.

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-02 11:39:07

After 8 years of obama.

ANY REPUBLICAN looks good.

Now imagine if obama had followed through on his promises.

Decreased the deficits
Not loyal to banks and wall street
Helped race relations
Passed bipartisan legislation
Did not use the IRS to go after political enemies
Did not bomb every country in the middle east

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 12:37:14

And pursued all the above energy policies including opening up offshore areas and nuclear power like he promised.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 08:15:10

MarketWatch clickbait slideshow of the 10 smartest cities in America

1- Boulder, CO
2- Ann Arbor, MI
3- Corvallis, OR
4- Ithaca, NY
5- Lawrence, KS
6- Iowa City, IA
7- Ames, IA
8- San Jose, CA
9- Bridgeport/Stamford, CT
10- Durham/Chapel Hill, NC (Cary, NC = Containment Area Relocated Yankees)

Note that other than #10 (which doesn’t count as the South), none of these cities are in the South

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-02 09:25:09

Other than number 8 and number 10, they’re all college towns, most of which are not large enough to qualify as cities.

Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2015-01-02 09:44:49

How come “smart” does not necessarily line up with “wealthy?”


It happens to be that San Jose is on both lists “smartest” and “wealthy.” But most of the cities in the “smart” list do not get anywhere close to those on the “wealthy” list.

So is “smart” hi IQ? Is “smart” high social intelligence? Is “smart” high EQ?

Social Intelligence (SI) is the ability to get along well with others, and to get them to cooperate with you. - on google
I think if there was a top ten cities of social intelligence, it would be the same as “wealthy” list.

Comment by Rvenue Collector
2015-01-02 09:44:50

Smart Vs College educated?

I hope you know the difference.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 09:58:58

it’s a marketwatch article, they employ amy hoak, what does that tell you?

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-02 12:30:16

Boulder - really?
There is a reason it is called “The People’s Republic of Boulder”.
Statist propaganda me thinks.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-02 14:23:09

There’s a lot of money in Boulder.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 14:35:17

There’s alot of money in any city. And it’s all borrowed.

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Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 08:32:51

Here’s what it’s like in the most dangerous city in the world


And after Obama amnesties 34 million more Free Sh*t Army from Honduras, the Fundamental Transformation will be coming to your neighborhood too :)

Got MS-13?

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-02 09:38:46

“Got MS-13?”


Saw a fine young well tattooed with tear drop and all MS-13 Dreamer working for an Audio-Video company in Jupiter Fl. this year.

Not a very friendly young fellow.

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-02 10:34:38

I have lived and worked in San Pedro Sula.

I have also been all over the middle east.

I will take San Pedro Sula ALL day over nearly any muslim city for danger. Not to mention certain minority run sections of long term ruled democrat cities in America.

Not even going to mention the more fun and things to do in SPS…

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-02 18:14:18

And after Obama amnesties 34 million more Free Sh*t Army from Honduras

The population of Honduras is about 8 million.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-02 20:18:09

“The population of Honduras is about 8 million.”

Not any more.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-02 08:46:51

Tax surprise looming for Obamacare enrollees

By Call it Crazy Follow Fri, 2 Jan 2015, 7:19am

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Here comes the next Obamacare controversy.

Obamacare enrollees who got subsidies to help pay for health-insurance coverage will soon have to reconcile how much they earned in 2014 with how much they estimated when they first applied.

This will likely lead to some very unhappy Americans, as CNN puts it. That’s because those who underestimated their income will either get smaller tax refunds or owe the IRS money.

Subsidies, as the report explains, are tax credits based on actual income. But enrollees got their 2014 subsidy before knowing exactly what they’d make that year. They’ll have to reconcile the two with the IRS during the upcoming tax filing season.


Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 09:18:50

“Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest” — Kim Jong Un

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 12:13:24

“Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds

Up to that point I could not find anything wrong with his statement. His economic war on Russia is just another example of that.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-02 09:27:44

26 degrees F in San Diego County this morning below 500 ft elevation. No signs of global warming around here today, and a good time to keep hibernating.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 09:34:33

warmists gonna warm

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-02 10:00:49

Warming doesn’t have anything to do with weather but weather has everything to do with warming you climate science denier.

Thanks to endless Federal grants they found the Global Warming at the bottom of the ocean.

Program on Climate Change - Centers | UW Research
http://www.washington.edu/research/centers/116 - 20k - Cached - Similar pages
The UW Program on Climate Change is an interdisciplinary program in climate … Funding Information: … College of Arts & Science, Department of Anthropology, Department of Applied Math, Department of Biology, Department of Philosophy,

Oceans Hid the Heat and Slowed Pace of Global Warming

The Atlantic and Southern oceans may be responsible for the slowdown in the acceleration of global warming—but not for long

August 22, 2014 |By Niina Heikkinen and ClimateWire

Newly published data suggest that a hiatus in rising global air temperatures in the 21st century is the result of heat sinks deep in the Atlantic and Southern oceans. The trend is likely connected to roughly 30-year global warming and cooling cycles, according to researchers.

The study could put to rest a long-standing debate among scientists about why air temperature rise had halted after a period of rapid increases at the end of the 20th century.

“We weren’t surprised by the results, but this is the first time we’ve been able to prove it,” said Ka-Kit Tung, a co-author of the study and adjunct professor of applied mathematics at the University of Washington.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/…/ - 77k -

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 10:18:20

warmists gonna warm, phony, warmists gonna warm

check out all this warmth from yesterday, it snowed 3 inches in under 6 hours and never warmed above 20 degrees all day:


see also:


Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-01-02 12:42:36

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-02 10:00:49

Oceans Hid the Heat and Slowed Pace of Global Warming

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-02 18:15:42

No signs of global warming around here today

Your nearly empty reservoirs might disagree.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 18:37:43

I believe California’s semiarid climate predates the advent of climate change hysteria by centuries.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 09:29:00

Securing the Permanent Democrat Supermajority in the land of fruits and nuts

“The DMV expects 1.4 million illegal immigrants to apply for licenses over the course of the next three years”


Comment by palmetto
Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 10:14:27

No made by illegal alien in this country. Union made, union strong.

Comment by Bluto
2015-01-02 12:50:58

Very likely, I wondered about that too…also a good chance that is was assembled in the U.S. by an unskilled person making minimum wage or close to it, have seen job listings for that sort of thing (assembling bicycles, sporting goods, etc.) and the pay was VERY low.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by spook
2015-01-02 10:48:30

wake me up when the shooting starts


Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-02 11:20:02

wake me up when the shooting starts

Careful what you ask for…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-01-02 10:41:13

Dissatisfaction with government and politicians at record levels, yet the sheeple continue to vote for more of the same. What’s Einstein’s definition of insanity again?


Comment by 2banana
2015-01-02 11:28:38

The free sh*t army votes.

And they vote for the candidate that promises even more free sh*t

And the FSA is now almost half of the voting population.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-02 11:50:48

“And they vote for the candidate that promises even more free sh*t”

Obama Is Going To Pay For My Gas And Mortgage!!! - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36×8rTb3jI - 464k - Cached - Similar pages
Oct 31, 2008

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-02 12:27:49

Obama, Obama, Obama!!!!
Where does the money come from - I dunno - Obama - his stash!!!


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Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-02 11:09:46

Two-thirds of cancer cases caused by “bad luck”: Johns Hopkins Medicine study

Random luck plays a significant role in determining whether or not a person is diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime, according to a landmark study from the US.

Bad luck is responsible for two-thirds of adult cancer while the remaining cases are due to environmental risk factors and inherited genes, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center found.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine scientist Bert Vogelstein said the research explains why some people can smoke and drink into their old age while others with healthier lifestyles receive a cancer diagnosis.

Cancers due to bad luck plus environmental and inherited factors.
Cancers due to bad luck plus environmental and inherited factors. Photo: Johns Hopkins University

“All cancers are caused by a combination of bad luck, the environment and heredity, and we’ve created a model that may help quantify how much of these three factors contribute to cancer development,” he said.

“Cancer-free longevity in people exposed to cancer-causing agents, such as tobacco, is often attributed to their ‘good genes,’ but the truth is that most of them simply had good luck.”

The study involved comparing stem cell divisions in 31 cancer types and determining which were driven by the “bad luck” factor of random DNA mutations and which had a higher incidence due to a combination of bad luck and environmental or hereditary risk factors.

Dr Vogelstein said the findings should not be a cause for complacency.

“This study shows that you can add to your risk of getting cancers by smoking or other poor lifestyle factors,” he said. “However, many forms of cancer are due largely to the bad luck of acquiring a mutation in a cancer driver gene regardless of lifestyle and heredity factors.”


Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 11:43:20

This must be a lie.

Because of it were true, then “random luck” could also be attributed to ALL maladies affecting human beings. And we know that simply isn’t true.

Some maladies, of course, are taboo and worthy only of scorn. Conversely, those maladies deemed “acceptable” are the basis of much empathy, concern and taxation.

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-02 12:25:16

Don’t know if you are being sarcastic but…..

I suggest you have a conversation with anyone affected by cancer, patient or loved ones. Sadly my wife - healthy as a horse before being diagnosed with a really nasty form of uterine cancer called leiomyosarcoma 3 years ago - passed earlier this year.

I am utterly convinced as I research this disease more and more - it IS a matter of luck, genetic history and what in affect triggers what is already lying latent in the body.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 12:50:59

Sorry for your lost. Yes, while we can reduce our chances for a life ending illness like most things genetics are more important than environmental factors.

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Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-02 14:19:08

Thanks - I originally thought and did research on wife’s condition being a result of environmental issues - water, food etc. Then after talking with two of the world’s authorities on this sort of cancer it became more and more apparent that it is a crap shoot - a good part of which is and was her genetic pre-disposition. Her family has been raft with cancer through several generations. Many studies now are tracking family history as there seems more and more evidence that latent genetics has alot to do with this - the deal is WHAT triggers cancers of all flavors. No one that I have talked with or read in the research really seems to know.

Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 14:37:27

My point was that if cancer is random, then so are all other human maladies. Most people would reject this notion as they’d have to include all maladies, including those they personally find offensive.

I am sorry for your loss, rj.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 11:24:59

January 1, 2015
Story to watch in 2015: gas prices in California
Written by: Shelley

AB 32, California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 signed by Gov. Schwarzeneggar, handed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) a golden opportunity to turn the screws on anyone using gasoline or diesel in the Golden State.

Effective today, CARB’s so-called “hidden tax” can be applied to gas and diesel.

News reports published the middle of last year peg the expected increase at 15¢/gallon — that’s on top of already existing gas taxes of 68.1¢ per gallon, and will jump California past the State of New York in the sorry race to having the highest gas tax in the nation.

There were also reports of legislative efforts to delay imposition of the tax, but AB 69 by Henry Perea died in committee at the end of November 2014.

According to Gas Buddy, as of today, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in California is $2.663. That puts California as the seventh most expensive state (including Washington, D.C. as a state). The most expensive state is Hawaii ($3.503). The least expensive is Missouri ($1.915).

The gas station closest to my house, an Arco, is selling gas at $2.39. If CARB’s tax goes into effect, that price should rise to $2.54 per gallon.

We’ll keep a watch on the price of gasoline, and publish a monthly article updating not just the price, but any legislative effort to rein in the CARB.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 16:58:26

Gas was selling today for $2.27 at Carmel Mountain Costco in San Diego County. The lines were daunting!

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by 2banana
2015-01-02 11:43:32

GM will declare bankruptcy again in the near future.

With the UAW not getting touched in the last GM bankruptcy with obama throwing out 200 years of contract law to help his political allies:

1. GM still has all the insane legacy costs

2. Has been temporary propped with a huge taxpayer bailout that will never be paid back and new subprime auto loans

Comment by Dman
2015-01-02 13:08:14

New hourly workers make significantly less than their older coworkers, and a new pay scale means they will never have the high wages the previous generation did. Luckily there are plenty of cheap houses in working class neighborhoods for them to move into, which will probably stay cheap for a long, long time.

I doubt that GM or Chrysler will ever have to file bankruptcy again, unless the dollar becomes so strong, foreign manufacturers can use their weak currencies to flood the market with underpriced cars, and I dont see that being allowed to happen. If the economy tanks, every car company will suffer, not just the Big Three.

Comment by MacBeth
2015-01-02 11:47:29

Question: Has GM received bailout/lobbyist/favoritism money at amounts commensurate (relative to its size) as any oil company?

It’s always bemused me that GM is seen as a cut above oil companies when the former is, at best, a fluffer of the latter.

Different bird, same henhouse.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 12:44:21

Add one letter to his name and it spells Obamao

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 13:45:35

Which one of the price pimps launched a dos attack on the HBB?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 14:17:48

Obama’s war on Russia is a state secret, it is the NSA. (jk).

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 16:37:20

Get ahold of yourself.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 17:02:54

What part of JK do you not understand?

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 18:11:25

Falling prices Dannyboy.

Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 18:39:02

Found any work yet?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-02 18:46:59

Oh my word…

Renton-New Castle, WA Sale Prices Plunge 15% YoY; Sellers Slash As Demand Plummets


Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 20:17:50

how many hours per day do you spend on zillow? you need to get a paycheck for your work.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 17:01:07

UK housing crisis: brick stocks hit record low
The number of bricks in the UK has fallen to the lowest level on record as takeover activity builds
The FMB have said that the reason for the brick shortage is because manufacturers mothballed kilns during a drop in sales during the recession
Martin Warner, chief executive of Michelmersh Brick, said: “Every brick we can make is being sold straight away. I am seeing the lowest brick stocks in living memory across the UK.” Photo: Peter Huggins/ Alamy
By John Ficenec
7:45PM GMT 28 Dec 2014

Brick stocks in the UK have reached the lowest level on record as merger mania grips the sector.

Stockpiles of the vital building blocks dipped to 323m at the end of October, down almost a third from 500m in 2012, after stocks of more than 1bn were recorded in 2009, according to monthly reports from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, and the Office for National Statistics.

The UK brick sector has seen a flurry of deals recently. CRH, the FTSE 100 building products company, said on December 15 it had agreed to sell its 115-year-old Ibstock Brick business, plus three other divisions, for £414m in cash and debt to US private equity giant Bain Capital. HeidelbergCement announced on December 24 it had sold its brickmaking business for a purchase price of $1.4bn (£900m) to private equity firm Lone Star.

Ibstock, one of the UK’s three biggest brickmakers, traces its roots back to 1899 and employs just shy of 2,000 people in the UK.

CRH, led by chief executive Albert Manifold, had been expected to sell its entire clay brickwork business, after appointing investment bank JPMorgan to lead the process.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 17:37:10

Everyone Must Check In

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-02 17:56:40

Is the NSA done crashing the site?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-02 18:07:05

Dannyboy, warmists gonna warm, warmists gonna warm

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-02 19:43:53

Oceans Hid the Heat and Slowed Pace of Global Warming

I had just thanked Tarara for posting one of my missing links which allowed me to find this story in the news section, put in Hell hath no fury like a climate scientist losing funding and hit Add comment when it went blank.

How Congress Snuck Changes to U.S. Environmental Policy into the New Budget Bill

The $1-trillion bill keeps agencies from acting on clean air and water and energy

December 17, 2014 |By Joshua A. Krisch and Josh Fischman

It took 1,603 pages of legalese to keep the U.S. government running for another year. That is the length of the 2015 Fiscal Year Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which was approved by the Senate on Saturday to appropriate $1.01 trillion dollars for most federal agencies and departments through September 2015. The bill is on Pres. Obama’s desk waiting for his signature.

A lot of those 11th-hour mandates will affect science and environmental policy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for example, got $8.1 billion. That’s $60 million less than last year and the agency now has to operate at its smallest budget since 1989. But even that money comes with conditions. Although agriculture is a major source of atmospheric methane, Congress forbade the EPA from using its funds to require farmers to report greenhouse gas emissions from “manure management systems.” And the agency is no longer permitted to regulate farm ponds and irrigation ditches under the Clean Water Act.

Here are a few of the key riders and their effects in different areas:


The EPA is not only forbidden from regulating cow manure, it cannot require farmers to obtain permits for gas emissions from cow belches and farts, which the agency says is a major methane source.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cannot take many of the steps required to prevent the extinction of the Gunnison sage grouse, despite the bird’s continued decline.

Pres. Obama is not allowed to fulfill his pledge to give $3 billion to the United Nations Green Climate Fund, designed to spur other countries to respond to global warming.


The Export–Import Bank, the U.S.’s official export credit agency, must loan funds to companies to build coal-fired power plants overseas, reversing a previous ban.

The Department of Energy cannot develop and enforce new standards for more energy-efficient lightbulbs.


The Transportation Department cannot fund most of its current light-rail projects.​​

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-01-02 21:18:41

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-02 19:43:53

The $1-trillion bill keeps agencies from acting on clean air and water and energy

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Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 17:45:07

“The theme refuses to go away. India’s central bank chief, Raghuram Rajan, says QE is a beggar-thy-neighbour devaluation policy in thin disguise. The West’s QE caused a flood of hot capital into emerging markets hunting for yield, stoking destructive booms that these countries could not easily control. The result was an interest rate regime that was too lax for the world as a whole, leaving even more economies in a mess than before as they too have to cope with post-bubble hangovers.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 18:38:43

How is the oil price trajectory shaping up so far in 2015?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-02 18:40:46

Oil Falls to More Than Five-Year Low
Prices Slide on Weak Chinese Economic Data and Reports of Increased Production in Some Areas
Gas prices at a gas station in Cleveland on Wednesday. The average cost of gas in Ohio has dropped below $2 a gallon for the first time in more than five years. Associated Press
By Nicole Friedman and Georgi Kantchev
Updated Jan. 2, 2015 3:23 p.m. ET

Oil prices slid to more-than five-year lows after weak Chinese economic data and reports of increased crude production in some regions.

Crude prices nearly halved last year, the steepest fall since the recession of 2008, as fears of global oversupply and lackluster demand engulfed the market. Data released Friday fueled concerns the oversupply could persist well into 2015.

Light, sweet crude oil for February delivery fell 58 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $52.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest closing price since April 2009. Prices fell 3.7% on the week.

Front-month Brent crude, the global benchmark, declined 91 cents, or 1.6%, to $56.42 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, the lowest level since May 2009. Prices posted a 5.1% weekly loss.

China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index, a gauge of conditions in the industry, slipped to 50.1 in December from 50.3 a month earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday, the lowest reading in a year and a half. A reading above 50 signals expansion.

“We already have way too much oil supply on the market, and any weaker economic number out of China is going to maintain the selling pressure for oil,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade.

Reports that Russian and Iraqi oil production rose in December also weighed on prices, said Carl Larry, analyst at Oil Outlooks & Opinions.

Comment by azdude
2015-01-02 20:09:05

green shoot?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 00:45:05

Yes, if you are watching and waiting for the opportunity to buy oil at fire sale prices, or if you need to fill your car’s gas tank once or twice a week to commute to and from work…

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 01:15:20

Oil Falls to 5 1/2-Year Low as Russia, Iraq Boost Output
By Mark Shenk and Grant Smith
Jan 2, 2015 12:50 PM PT
Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Oil dropped to the lowest in more than five and a half years amid growing supply from Russia and Iraq and signs of manufacturing weakness in Europe and China.

Futures capped a sixth weekly loss in New York and London. Oil output in Russia and Iraq surged to the highest levels in decades in December, according to data from both countries’ governments. Euro-area factory output expanded less than initially estimated in December. A manufacturing gauge in China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, fell to the weakest level in 18 months, government data showed yesterday.

Prices slumped 46 percent in New York in 2014, the steepest drop in six years and second-worst since trading began in 1983, as U.S. producers and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries ceded no ground in their battle for market share. OPEC pumped above its quota for a seventh month in December even as U.S. output expanded to the highest in more than three decades, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

We’re seeing more of the same,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy, said by phone. “The Chinese and European PMI figures signal weaker demand, while there’s ever-increasing supply. Nobody is cutting back on output and now the Russians are posting post-Soviet production highs.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 01:59:56

Industry Outlook
Zacks Equity Research
Energy Prices Crushed: Pull the Plug on These Stocks
by Zacks Equity Research
Published on January 02, 2015

The ongoing oil and gas price plunge is sure to have an adverse effect on most industry components.

Time to Sell These E&P Plays

While all crude-focused stocks stand to lose from falling commodity prices, companies in the E&P sector are the worst placed, as they will be able to extract less value for their products. In particular, we suggest avoiding exposure to mid- and small-cap E&P players.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 02:02:21

Energy Price Plunge Chills U.S. Manufacturing Growth
Posted 01/02/2015 03:08 PM ET

Manufacturing activity grew at its slowest rate in six months in December amid plunging energy prices and a strong dollar, according to Friday’s report from the Institute for Supply Management.

ISM’s U.S. index fell 3.2 points to 55.5, lower than the 57.5 that analysts forecast. Sharp declines appeared in key subindexes such as new orders, down 8.7 points to 57.3, and production, which shed 5.6 points to 58.8. But both measures and the overall reading remained comfortably above the neutral 50 line and point to solid growth ahead.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 00:53:40

What’s up with the divergence between gold and other PMs? Is gold somehow special because it is a “currency”?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 00:58:02

December 29, 2014, 2:29 P.M. ET
Gold, Silver Tick Lower, Copper Rises
By Teresa Rivas

Gold edged down Monday in light trading following last week’s big moves.

Gold for February delivery slipped 0.2% to $1,193.10 an ounce, while silver for March delivery fell 0.4% to $16.09.

Gold ended higher on Friday, following a big move down earlier in the week. As The Wall Street Journal noted earlier today, gold may also be benefitting from Greece’s failure to elect a president, which also pushed down European stocks today.

At recent check, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the iShares Gold Trust (IAU), the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares(NUGT) were all falling. The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was also lower.

Copper added one cent to $2.83 for March delivery, after falling to multiyear lows Friday. Both the iPath Dow Jones UBS Copper Subindex (JJC) fell and the United States Copper Index Fund (CPER) were up in afternoon trading.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 01:04:38

Has anyone else noted the disquieting similarity of the 2014 route in commodities with other such events at points of severe financial dislocation over recent decades (e.g. 1991, 1998, 2008)?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 01:06:39

Commodities Head for Record Losing Run on Oil to Dollar
By Sharon Cho and Morgane Lapeyre
Dec 31, 2014 5:57 AM PT
Photographer: Jamie Schwaberow/Bloomberg

Commodities headed for the biggest annual loss since the global financial crisis in 2008, retreating for a record fourth year, as a global glut spurred a rout in oil prices and a stronger dollar cut the allure of raw materials.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM), which tracks 22 products from crude to copper, fell 0.9 percent to 105.1845 points at 8:53 a.m. in New York, after dropping to the lowest level since March 2009 earlier today. It’s lost 16 percent this year, with crude, gasoline and heating oil the biggest decliners. A fourth year of losses would be the longest since at least 1991.

Energy prices retreated in 2014 as a jump in U.S. drilling sparked a surge in output and price war with OPEC, which chose to maintain supplies to try to retain market share. The dollar climbed to the highest level in more than five years as a U.S. recovery spurred speculation that the Federal Reserve will start to raise borrowing costs next year. Commodities are set for a volatile year in 2015, with crude oil poised to extend its slump, according to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

“What we’re seeing is that supplies from North America have really outpaced worldwide demand growth and as a result, we have a supply glut,” Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston, said by phone. “And that of course has put pressure on prices over the last several months. And as a result, it’s dragging down commodities indexes as well.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 01:10:10

Did the Baltic Dry Index ever recover from the depressed levels seen over the course of the Great Recession?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 01:22:56

fastFT Market-moving news and views, 24 hours a day
Sunk shipping gauge raises global trade fears
11 days ago

The Baltic Dry Index, the gauge of the cost of chartering a large ship that also provides a porthole into current world trade conditions, has fallen for 22 days in a row, placing another question mark over the bumpy global recovery

At the same time as the Australian government reduced its price forecast for iron ore for next year by 33 per cent to $63 per tonne as China’s steel-gobbling housebuilders slowed their expansion amid a property downturn, the Baltic Dry Index has fallen to a reading of 803.

For context, the index, which measures the cost of hiring giant vessels such as Panamaxes for shipping dry goods such as iron ore, coal and grain, started out with a reading of 1000 when it was first published in 1985. The gauge stood at 2,277 a year ago.

Back in September,the World Trade Organisation lowered its forecast for global trade growth this year to just 3.1 per cent from a previous 4.7 per cent, partly due to slower economic expansion and muted import demand, particularly in natural resource exporting regions such as South and Central America.

The lacklustre demand for commodities-exporting vessels, however, may be a hint that anaemic growth will continue into 2015.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 01:31:13

The Specialist
Long/short equity, special situations, growth at reasonable price, contrarian

Dry Shipping: Rates Are At Or Near Bottom But I Still Say Avoid
Dec. 28, 2014 2:53 AM ET | Includes: BALT, DRYS, DSX, NMM, SB, SBLK

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. (More…)

* Rates have to be near a bottom since they are below cost for many shippers.
* Some ships are being taken off line as a result which is bullish.
* But that supply is an uptick in rates away from coming back. I see little hope for recovery in this industry any time soon.

For over 20 days straight, the longest record in years, dry ship spot rights that make up the Baltic Dry Index, or BDI, tumbled all the way down. Even more troubling was that this happened during the fourth quarter which is traditionally a time for seasonally strength in the spot market. Rates got hit again last week during the shortened period, but the 2.6% decline almost felt like it was green compared to a 7% dive last week and a 12% dive the week before.

Dry shipping stocks such as DryShips (NASDAQ:DRYS), Diana Shipping (NYSE:DSX), Navios Maritime Partners (NYSE:NMM), Safe Bulkers (NYSE:SB), Star Bulk Carriers (NASDAQ:SBLK), and Baltic Trading Limited (NYSE:BALT) traded all over the map last week with the notable exception of DRYS outperforming the rest. I attribute that move to a combination of a relief/recover rally couple with market realization that DRYS’s operating strategy, apparently by luck, puts it at an advantage over others in the current operating environment.

As mentioned in my previous articles, the problem for the industry continues to be an enormous glut in the world supply along with softer-than-expected demand not being able to absorb that supply. I don’t see that correcting any time soon. According to shipping analyst Herman Hildan at Platou, “It looks like the market is going to continue being a big disappointment.” He was referring to 2015. At current rates he sees ship owners pulling supply off the market because there is no point in operating ships for a loss.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 01:36:20

Is a 30 pct decline in key global stock market indices in the offing for 2015?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 01:40:15

It seems to get down to a basic question: Is a policy of staving off a global economic slowdown through electronic money printing sustainable?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 01:41:38

FTSE to fall 30pc if global economy derails
Deustche Bank: The 2009 depression avoided by printing money remains unresolved
A large computerised display of the British FTSE 100 index is pictured in London
Printing money has made the global markets very unstable, according to Deutsche Bank. Photo: AFP
By John Ficenec, Questor Editor
7:25PM GMT 21 Dec 2014

Deutsche Bank has warned that the global financial system is still extremely fragile and unsustainable, without central bank intervention.

What’s more, if support is withdrawn too quickly it could derail the global economy.

The credit strategy team at Deutsche Bank, headed by Jim Reid, pose an interesting question:

Are we any nearer to finding a more sustainable financial system? Or have we simply delayed the economic pain and are continuing on the completely wrong path policy wise?

In a report entitled “Plate Spinning”, they state: “The problem for central bankers is that they have inflated certain asset prices to levels where, if they reined in their actions too much, then they would likely see adverse market moves and a loss of confidence in the system.

Central bank “easy money” has inflated stock prices across the world but there has been an absence of any meaningful improvement in the underlying economy.

The stark reality facing investors in 2015 is that the depression which was avoided in 2009 by “printing” huge amounts of money is still unresolved and five years of inflated asset prices have left global markets incredibly unstable.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 01:45:22

China Slowdown Shows Weak Global Economy
Posted by: : John Heffernan
Posted on: January 2, 2015

China’s factory activity sputtered in December, underlining the challenges facing the country’s manufacturers as they fight rising costs and softening demand in a cooling economy.

After a rough 2014, the world’s second-largest economy looks set to start the new year on a weak note, reinforcing expectations that Beijing will roll out more stimulus to avert a sharper slowdown which could trigger job losses and debt defaults.

A property slump is expected to last well into 2015, companies will continue to struggle to pay off debt and export demand may remain erratic, leaving only the services sector as the lone bright spot in the economy.

China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slipped to 50.1 in December from November’s 50.3, a government study showed on Thursday, its lowest level of the year and clinging just above the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. Analysts polled had forecast a reading of 50.1.

“This indicates that industrial growth is still in a downward trend, but the pace (of declines) is slowing,” Zhang Liqun, an economist at the Development Research Centre, said in a statement accompanying the report.

“The current economic situation is in the process of returning to stability from slowing down,” Zhang said.

A similar private survey on Wednesday showed activity shrank for the first time in seven months in December. That survey focuses on smaller companies, which are facing greater strains, notably higher financing costs and problems getting loans.

The official survey looks more at larger, state-owned firms, which have been more resilient to the protracted downturn, partly due to generous government subsidies and better access to credit. Many analysts expect economic growth in the fourth quarter to slow only marginally from 7.3 percent in the third quarter, though a raft of weak data suggest that may be too optimistic.

That means full-year growth will undershoot the government’s 7.5 percent target and mark the weakest expansion in 24 years.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 02:04:49

Did you dump your Treasurys too soon?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 02:07:10

Treasuries Poised for Biggest Return in Three Years Amid Turmoil
By Daniel Kruger Dec 30, 2014 2:08 PM PT

Treasuries are headed for the best annual performance since 2011 as global turmoil and low U.S. inflation supported prices even while the economy improved and the Federal Reserve signaled it’s on track to raise interest rates in 2015.

The 10-year note yield touched the lowest level in a week as crude oil traded near the least in five years and global risk appetite ebbed. The security’s yield advantage over Group of Seven peers was almost at an eight-year high after Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed yesterday to win backing for his presidential nominee, a development that risks severing the nation’s bailout accord. The yield curve, the gap between two-and 30-year yields, was at almost a six-year low.

“It’s the political events in Europe, the disinflation-deflation story that’s persistent together with oil,” said Christopher Sullivan, who oversees $2.3 billion as chief investment officer at United Nations Federal Credit Union in New York. “We don’t have a runaway rally mainly because most people have closed their books well before today.”

U.S. 10-year yields fell two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 2.19 percent at 5 p.m. New York time. They reached 2.17 percent, the lowest since Dec. 23. Yields sank five basis points yesterday, the most since Dec. 16. The price of the 2.25 percent note due in November 2024 rose 1/8, or $1.25 per $1,000 face amount, to 100 17/32.

The yield curve was at 207 basis points after reaching 201 basis points on Dec. 23, the flattest since January 2009, as the shorter-term securities fell amid speculation on a Fed rate increase. Shorter maturities are more sensitive to changes in central-bank policy, while longer-dated debt is more sensitive to inflation, which erodes returns.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 02:09:07

UPDATE: Treasury yields extend drop after ISM data
1-2-15 10:27 AM EST
By William Watts, MarketWatch
German 10-year bund yield drops to 0.5%

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Treasurys gained ground Friday, dragging yields lower, taking cues from lackluster U.S. economic data and a further fall in German bund yields.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note (10_YEAR) dropped nearly 5 basis points to 2.126%, according to online trading platform Tradeweb. The two-year yield (2_YEAR) fell 0.3 basis point to 0.673%, while the 30-year T-bond yield (30_YEAR) dropped 4.8 basis points to 2.701%. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

Treasury prices saw their biggest annual rally in three years in 2014, defying consensus forecasts for yields to rise as the Federal Reserve moved to end its bond purchases. The rally resumed as investors trickled back from Thursday’s New Year’s Day holiday, with yields extending their drop after the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index fell to 55.5% in December from 58.7% a month earlier.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a reading of 57%. A reading of more than 50% indicates growth in activity.

“This is disappointing…and follows the trend seen elsewhere around the world today. Nonetheless, it still suggests that the US economy is growing strongly, roughly at trend of around 3%, which is well above the rate seen in other mature developed economies,” wrote James Knightley, economist at ING.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 02:12:35

By PINCHAS LANDAU \ 01/01/2015 22:47
Global agenda: Impending implosion
German flag. (photo credit:Wikimedia Commons)

For some reason, the received wisdom of the financial world is that bonds are considered safe and solid investments, while equities are considered risky. Not only do most individual investors believe this to be true – they at least have the excuse that their professional advisers told them so – but so do most investment professionals.

These professionals, when pressed, will churn out statistical analysis, based on historical price records, which prove that bonds are less risky.

They will have recourse to Greek letters such as beta, delta and theta.

And when faced with this ineffable mix of science and jargon- based mumbo jumbo, who would be so bold as to argue? Let us, therefore, in the seasonal spirit of goodwill, accept the claim that, historically, bonds have been less risky than shares. Let’s at least allow that government bonds have been less risky than blue-chip stocks and maybe even that junk bonds have been less risky than small-cap shares.

Now let’s move from history to current affairs.

As 2015 opens, the yields on short-term bonds and bills issued by the governments of several developed countries are negative.

To the uninitiated, to the unsuspecting and to those who are just plain ignorant, let me spell out what a negative yield is. It is when you buy a debt obligation at a price that, if you hold the said obligation until maturity, you will be paid back less than you paid in. Repeat, less. As in L-E-S-S.

That’s before any ancillary costs, such as commissions.

So much for theory. Now let’s review the state of the world’s debt markets:

Exhibit C: United States In America, as is well known, the streets are paved with gold – and they even pay you a positive return on your money. A 90-day T-bill, backed by the full faith and credit of Uncle Sam, was offering 0.04% as the year ended – it has been negative at various points over the last year or two, so this is heady stuff.

As for 0.21% on a 12-month T-bill, that may be an offer you can’t refuse – unless you prefer medium-term bonds, such as the 1.65% yield carried by 5-year bonds or even 2.17% on 10-year Treasury.

Better still, for those planning to be around for a long time, is the 2.75% yield on offer for a 30-year Treasury bond.

Now back to historical data – but only as far as 2014.

In the year just ended, 30-year US government Treasury bonds gave investors a total return (interest plus capital appreciation) that was more than triple the return on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and over double that of the S&P 500 Index.

In hard numbers, the ‘long bond’ returned some 25%.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-03 02:14:32

January 2, 2015, 10:51 A.M. ET
2014 Bond Scorecard: Long-Term Treasuries Beat The Odds
By Michael Aneiro

Long-dated Treasury bonds, perhaps the longest of long-shots to perform well in 2014, improbably emerged as the big winners last year, riding a sharp and unexpected drop in interest rates to a 23.19% total return in 2014, according to a Barclays index. The 30-year Treasury yield’s surprise fall from 3.942% at the end of 2013 to 2.749% a year later, per Tradeweb data, fueled outsize price gains for a variety of long-dated, high-rated bonds during 2014.

All of this happened during a year in which interest rates were almost unanimously expected to rise. Investors who had shunned duration (the bond market’s measure of interest-rate risk) in anticipation of rates rising during 2014 instead found that the highest-duration investments were among the top performers. If you saw any of this coming a year ago, kudos.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-03 07:17:29

phony scandals

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