January 17, 2015

Bits Bucket for January 17, 2015

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

RSS feed


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-17 01:28:11

Oil prices only go up (unless they are dropping like a rock!)…

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-17 01:29:19

It amazes me when attorneys pretend to be economists, and make total jackasses of themselves in the process.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-17 06:33:13

Sounds like you are a little upset about being proved wrong once again.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:19:30

In which of your strawman arguments?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 10:52:43

Dan… question for you.

What business sector is paying?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:57:42

I have to guess it is some kind of hedge fund, where the strategy is to sell long bets on China’s economy to greater fools who have been tricked into believing the “7.5% growth forever” story.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 07:22:47

What’s more is that a business sector finds it so important to deceive the public that they’ll pay an attorney to achieve that aim on the internet.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 07:56:39

Aren’t there any laws against fraud in this country?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-17 08:16:53

Can’t refute what I say so engage in ad hominem attacks? A lot of missing posts but I will assume that they will post and not repeat. However, we just had the largest drop in oil rigs in decades. And I would not be surprised if we did it on a percentage of working rigs it would be the highest ever. Seeing tea leaves of another big drop. Last week the Bakken play saw a six rig drop. However, North Dakota is already showing that next week they will report an eight rig drop. You two were arguing that the cost of drilling would drop enough to allow the shale oil drilling to continue, but I do not see any sign that the costs of drilling have dropped enough to close the gap sufficiently between oil prices and drilling costs to allow enough shale oil to be produced to avoid $80 a barrel oil by the end of the year. Some costs are coming down but capital is more expensive or non-existent so working shale oil rigs will continue to drop.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 10:01:11

And the largest collapse in crude prices in 7 years.

Look out below.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:20:30

It’s telling that you took the comment about fraud personally.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:22:08

“However, we just had the largest drop in oil rigs demand in decades.”

Fixed it fer ya.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2015-01-17 11:20:27

“…but I do not see…”

Yes, that is quite apparent.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 11:32:57

Serious flaws in the “strawman” argument:

1) If a producer can make money at $45/bbl, why would they stop producing?

2) Given the collapse in global oil demand, who is going to buy when prices go back above $100/bbl?

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2015-01-17 08:49:22

Anyone can be an Internet attorney. Did I tell you I passed the bar in 20 states? Oh, and I was in the top .1%, too.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2015-01-17 09:06:31

Remember when the fake attorney told us oil had bottomed at $55, then it promptly dropped below $45? Obama must have “spiked the dollar” with his secret button in the White House.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:25:07

Is that the same dude who said China would grow at 7.5% forever, then backpedaled without apology to saying they would grow at 7% forever?

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2015-01-17 11:21:31

Revisionists gonna revise.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 17:26:29

Lawyers gonna lie.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 18:05:55

It’s what they’re best at.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 23:53:59

It’s typically what they’re paid to do.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 09:48:45

It is below $1.80 this morning in my part of Phoenix.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:26:22

$2.239 at CostCo last night…heading ever closer to that magic $2 threshold, despite CA’s new global warming tax.

Comment by Rvenue Collector
2015-01-17 10:34:34

Speaking of costco, they had JW Blue Label 750ml for 179 dollars…if anybody here is interested.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 10:51:50

I’ll have to compare that to Total wine’s JW.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-01-17 13:26:46

That reminds me of a paraphrase of Reagans’ line about the Democrat party. I didn’t leave single malt scotch, it left me. (BTW, I know JW is a blend, but you get the drift.)

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2015-01-17 13:43:00

That’s how I feel about the Republican Party- I didn’t leave it, it left me.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-17 11:21:41

despite CA’s new global warming tax

Remind me: how exactly is CA planning to stop global warming with the revenue generated by this tax?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 15:56:33

The progressives in Cali did not count on any California voter to ask such a question. But I see you are in Colorado, not in California.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-17 17:43:14

If true, I guess Gruber was correct on the state of the CA voters…

Not Colorado here—I’m in WA state.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-17 13:19:11

Paid 1.54 at Costco.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-01-17 13:24:07

Is it still a paper glut?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 14:13:25

Seems like more of a paper shortage.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-17 01:30:57

Is it safe to assume the hiccup over the Swiss franc is completely over with little impact on markets?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-17 01:32:23

Surge of Swiss Franc Triggers Hundreds of Millions in Losses
Brokerage FXCM Gets Rescue Package; Deutsche Bank and Citigroup Suffer Big Hits
Brokers around the world are crumbling in the wake of the Swiss National Bank’s shock decision to remove the cap on its currency. WSJ’s Tommy Stubbington reports. Photo: EPA.
By Ira Iosebashvili, Andrew Ackerman and Alexandra Wexler
Updated Jan. 16, 2015 7:02 p.m. ET

Banks, brokers and individual investors were left with hundreds of millions of dollars in losses a day after an unexpected surge in the Swiss franc sent shock waves through markets.

FXCM Inc., a major U.S. retail foreign-exchange broker, emerged as the biggest victim so far and had to be rescued by an emergency $300 million lifeline from investment firm Leucadia National Corp.

Shares of FXCM, one of the largest retail currency brokers in the world, were suspended on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday after the company said client losses on Swiss franc trades threatened to put it in violation of regulatory capital rules.

The two-year loan, with an initial interest rate of 10%, is “designed to maintain FXCM’s financial strength and allow it to prosper going forward,” said Leucadia Chief Executive Richard Handler .

FXCM didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 08:05:45

This is bigger than qratering oil prices.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:30:02

The cool thing is that oil, gold and U.S. stoxx all went up in the wake of the Swiss currency avalanche. Who could have predicted that risk asset investors would go on a buying binge in the immediate aftermath of this massive monetary policy shock?

Curiouser and curiouser!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 11:10:15

Stock market snaps 5-day losing streak as energy shares rise
Higher oil prices boosted energy shares and led the stock market out of a 5-day slump. (Mark Lennihan / AP)
By Associated Press
Stocks rise as energy shares get boost from oil prices

A surge in oil and gas companies pulled the stock market out of a five-day slump on Friday, as the price of crude swung higher.

Oil prices jumped after the International Energy Agency predicted drillers would cut production this year. Exxon Mobil, Chevron and other energy companies led all 10 sectors of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to gains, climbing 3%. Oil’s seven-month slide had cut its price by more than half.

“Lower oil prices on the whole are supportive of economic growth worldwide,” said Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede Trust. “They’re very helpful for Japan, Europe, China and India. It’s clearly a good thing.”

The S&P 500 index gained 26.75 points, or 1.3%, to finish at 2,019.42.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 190.86 points, or 1.1%, to close at 17,511.57, and the Nasdaq rose 63.56 points, or 1.4%, to 4,634.38.

The rally came at the end of another rough week for the market. Since the start of the year, worries about the strength of the global economy and falling oil prices have weighed major indexes down. Even with its strong performance on Friday, the S&P 500 still lost 1% for the week, its third straight weekly drop.

“There has been a lot of conflicting information to digest, recently,” said Anastasia Amoroso, a global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Amoroso said the big question has been whether the recent slump in oil prices will lead to other problems, such as deflation, a downward spiral in prices that could put companies out of business. “Are low oil prices a good or a bad thing?” she asked, rhetorically. “For stocks, deflation is not so great.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-17 09:23:07

“initial interest rate of 10%”

So much for cheap credit. Maybe they should have asked for a mortgage or a car loan.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-17 12:46:38

“Banks, brokers and individual investors were left with hundreds of millions of dollars in losses”

So who were the winners?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 13:10:19

Obviously anyone with a Swiss bank account loaded with francs was a winner, as well as Swiss government bond owners. In case it hasn’t registered with some readers, a government bond is no more nor less than a promised schedule of fixed future payments in a fiat currency. Hence when the value of the currency increases, the value of bonds tends to go up, too.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-17 15:10:19

I was just wondering who was on the other side of all those 100s of millions (billions?) of dollars worth of bets that went wrong. We’ve heard about the losers, who were the winners? Someone made some scratch, and it wasn’t just Swiss savers.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-17 15:29:28

We’ve heard about the losers, who were the winners?

+infinity; I have been wondering the same thing. All of those trades have two sides. Who got the inside scoop from the central bankers??

Comment by jane
2015-01-17 20:07:39

Who got the ten-bagger windfall from swiss franc -

Coming out in public would make that entity a target. IMHO, it’ll come out in 1Q earnings calls in April. That kind of vig is going to leave a trail.

If there are is nary a whisper on the earnings calls, we may be sure that it disappeared into some deep pockets which lie outside of the disclosure domain. Pockets so deep, that they could have whispered that this was the moment for the policy change. Could be some new alliances in the making. Deep pockets may deign to make friends whole, while keeping hold of the other end of the choke chain until the next fortuitous moment for action.

It’s intriguing. Will the next George Soros reveal himself or remain forever in the shadows?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-17 01:33:22

Is the rally in Treasurys finally history?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2015-01-17 01:34:46

Credit Markets
U.S. Treasurys Post Biggest Weekly Rally in a Month
Demand for Haven Bonds Climbed Amid Uncertain Global Growth Outlook
By Min Zeng
Updated Jan. 16, 2015 4:12 p.m. ET

U.S. government bonds in the past week posted the biggest price rally in a month as demand for haven bonds climbed amid an uncertain global growth outlook and a deflation scare in Europe.

The market extended its weekly winning streak to a third week. A stunning policy shift Thursday from Switzerland’s central bank hammered that country’s stock market and generated sharp swings in currencies world-wide, adding to investors’ anxiety and boosting the allure of holding highly liquid U.S. government debt.

People are scared, and they want to protect their assets,” said Andrew Brenner, head of international fixed income at National Alliance Capital Markets in New York. “Given what the Swiss did [Thursday], there is a flight to quality. There is also fear that central banks will not be able to prop up markets forever.”

Comment by scdave
2015-01-17 09:35:33

“People are scared, and they want to protect their assets,” ??

Thats how I see it…That IMO, is why you see some pay incredible prices for some assets they believe have a relative degree of safety or stability…They may lose some of its value in a price decline but a half-pie is better than no pie at all….

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 09:54:38

In other words, dump non-cash assets.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Rvenue Collector
2015-01-17 10:10:56

Yep…losing money in housing is such a grand comfort. LOL

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 09:52:34

There has been a rush to municipal bonds over the last three months or so as well. Yields are dropping faster than interns panties in the 90s Oval Office. But the NAV of my municipal bond funds are doing quite well. Could be a doube digit percentage gain, and I have dumped tons of money per month in these since the year 2002.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:31:29

“Yields are dropping faster than interns panties in the 90s Oval Office.”


(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 12:06:36

Hanging in there Mr. Bear. Notice VGSIX still doing well? It yields 3.57% while my tax free AZ munis yield 3.6%. A few years ago I was not enthused about dividends or income but getting older, it’s nicer. And the VWESX and savings bonds are pili g up regular monthly gains.

At some point I’m going to be able to rent a really modern, sparkling place in a cool nabe on my investment income, and that is before digging into retirement accounts.

Comment by oxide
2015-01-17 17:32:07

IIRC, the dropping panties were not those of the intern.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-17 17:44:42

Though I do seem to recall testimony about someone showing off their new thong…

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 19:21:22

Then how did the cigar get…ugh, nevermind.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 23:57:03

For that matter, I don’t believe what dropped could accurately be described as “panties.” Granted this may depend on what the definition of “is” is.

Comment by rms
2015-01-18 01:59:30

“The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” :)

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 02:39:22


Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 04:44:12

New York Times - Romney Signals Interest in 2016 Run for President

SAN DIEGO — Mitt Romney made it clear publicly on Friday night what he has spent the last week conveying in private to Republicans across the country: He is considering another presidential campaign.

“I’m giving some serious consideration to the future,” Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, told a group of Republicans gathered here for the party’s winter meeting.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 06:08:31

The suspense is killing me. Will Rasmussen predict another Romney win?

Comment by azdude
2015-01-17 06:15:18

who do you think has the most money to get on tv and appeal to voters?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 06:15:49

I want George W. Bush to run again, this country needs his proven leadership back at the helm of the White House

Grover Cleveland sat out a term too before he came back, and look at everything he accomplished in his last term

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 06:32:07

Which candidate will be the darling of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan in 2016?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 06:34:11

Ask Ted Cruz’s wife

BTW listening to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal live right now, the Republican callers have been especially enlightening this morning, the first segment today on the news that 2014 was the hottest year on record was pure comedy gold

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-01-17 07:10:25

“Which candidate will be the darling of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan in 2016?”

Stop with the jokes, Shirley. You’re killing me.

Since both candidates are owned (bought and paid for) what difference does it make who gets in?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 08:04:13

My own better judgment is that we’d be much worse screwed if the President was literally in bed with Goldman Sachs* rather than just figuratively. But perhaps the distinction matters little in a Neocon oligarchy.

* For clarification, I am referring to AlbqDanEsq’s man Ted.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-17 08:26:24

And what difference does it make, Hillary is also own, hard to lose when you own all the candidates.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-17 10:45:56

Our scientists have determined that Climate Depot is sponsored by ExxonMobil.

Our scientists have further determined that does not create a conflict of interest.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2015-01-17 08:55:27

Has anyone in the history of the US ever wanted to be President as bad as Mitt Romney? The guy will never get my vote on that account alone. Narcissists SUCK.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:32:56

Didn’t you read the MSM news? He’s still thinking about whether or not to run…hasn’t decided yet.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 03:34:33

An incalculable loss for the badge lickers and uniform fetishists

“Many European countries, and France in particular, already have robust counterterrorism laws, some of which American authorities have studied as possible models. But the terrorist rampage at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices and the Hyper Cacher market prompted calls to go even further. Valérie Pécresse, a minister under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, said France needed its own version of the USA Patriot Act, which gave the United States more authority to collect intelligence and pointed America’s surveillance apparatus at its citizens.

Politicians and civil rights advocates on both sides of the Atlantic bristled at that suggestion, and at a string of arrests in which French officials used a new antiterrorism law to crack down on what previously would have been considered free speech. One man was sentenced to six months in prison for shouting support for the Charlie Hebdo attackers. Up to 100 others are under investigation for remarks that support or tried to justify terrorism, authorities said.

Dominique de Villepin, the former French prime minister, warned against the urge for “exceptional” measures. “The spiral of suspicion created in the United States by the Patriot Act and the enduring legitimization of torture or illegal detention has today caused that country to lose its moral compass,” he wrote in Le Monde, the French newspaper.


Comment by scdave
2015-01-17 09:39:13

In light of the french attacks, I suspect we (USA) better prepare for even less privacy…

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 03:38:59

Because George Soros must have paid off all those thermometers

New York Times - 2014 Breaks Heat Record, Challenging Global Warming Skeptics

“Last year was the hottest on earth since record-keeping began in 1880, scientists reported on Friday, underscoring warnings about the risks of runaway greenhouse gas emissions and undermining claims by climate change contrarians that global warming had somehow stopped.

Extreme heat blanketed Alaska and much of the western United States last year. Records were set across large areas of every inhabited continent. And the ocean surface was unusually warm virtually everywhere except near Antarctica, the scientists said, providing the energy that fueled damaging Pacific storms.

In the annals of climatology, 2014 surpassed 2010 as the warmest year. The 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1997, a reflection of the relentless planetary warming that scientists say is a consequence of human activity and poses profound long-term risks to civilization and nature.”


Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 04:00:37

Now this is what you call “real journalism”

Washington Post - Meet the couples who will be part of history in the same-sex marriage battle

“For Vitale, his relationship with his husband, Robert Talmas, 44, is as traditional as any couple’s could be.

Vitale, 46, said the couple was first brought together by the 1997 death of Diana, Princess of Wales. They were living in the New York area, had met through mutual friends and had gone with a group on vacation to Massachusetts. When the news of Diana’s death was announced, their friends went to a club. Vitale and Talmas, a human resources director, watched the news all night.

“We were devastated and we just connected,’’ Vitale recalled. “We kind of knew that we would spend the rest of our lives together.’’


Comment by rms
2015-01-17 18:59:12

“We were devastated and we just connected,’’ Vitale recalled. “We kind of knew that we would spend the rest of our lives together.’’

The humanity is touching. Where’s my silk handkerchief?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 04:03:59

Another Drudge link (not written by real journalists)

New York Post - Senator’s husband stands to profit big from government deal

“The US Postal Service plans to sell 56 buildings — so it can lease space more expensively — and the real estate company of the California senator’s husband, Richard Blum, is set to pocket about $1 billion in commissions.

This feat of federal spousal support was ignored by the media after Feinstein’s office said the senator, whose wealth is pegged at $70 million, had nothing to do with the USPS decisions.”


And because real journalists get paid to ignore things like this, see also:


Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 04:19:21

As long as they stay dumb enough to ink their names on mortgages for $500,000 starter homes then it’s all good

Wall Street Journal - Test Finds College Graduates Lack Skills for White-Collar Jobs

“Four in 10 U.S. college students graduate without the complex reasoning skills to manage white-collar work, according to the results of a test of nearly 32,000 students.

The test, which was administered at 169 colleges and universities in 2013 and 2014 and released Thursday, reveals broad variation in the intellectual development of the nation’s students depending on the type and even location of the school they attend.

On average, students make strides in their ability to reason, but because so many start at such a deficit, many still graduate without the ability to read a scatterplot, construct a cohesive argument or identify a logical fallacy.

“Even if there is notable growth over four years, many students are starting at such a low point they may still not be proficient at the point of graduation,” said Jessalynn K. James, a program manager at the Council for Aid to Education, which administered the test. The CAE is a New York-based nonprofit that once was part of Rand Corp.

The exam, known as the Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus, measures the intellectual gains made between freshman and senior year. The test doesn’t cover subject-area knowledge; rather it assesses things like critical thinking, analytical reasoning, document literacy, writing and communication—essentially mimicking the baseline demands for professionals.”


Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 04:23:45

How do you say fundamental transformation in French?

Wall Street Journal - Immigration and Islam: Europe’s Crisis of Faith

“The terrorist assault on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7 may have been organized by al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen. But the attack, along with another at a Paris kosher market days later, was carried out by French Muslims descended from recent waves of North African and West African immigration. Well before the attacks, which left 17 dead, the French were discussing the possibility that tensions with the country’s own Muslim community were leading France toward some kind of armed confrontation.

Consider Éric Zemmour, a slashing television debater and a gifted polemicist. His history of the collapse of France’s postwar political order, “Le suicide français,” was No. 1 on the best-seller lists for several weeks this fall. “Today, our elites think it’s France that needs to change to suit Islam, and not the other way around,” Mr. Zemmour said on a late-night talk show in October, “and I think that with this system, we’re headed toward civil war.”


Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 04:31:51

Scripting a narrative

Frightened Brooklyn Jewish Community Asks for More Security


Scripting a narrative

British Police to Increase Anti-Terror Patrols in Jewish Areas


Scripting a narrative

Jim Clancy out at CNN After Anti-Israel Twitter Rant


The only solution to this religious violence is more violence

America needs another trillion dollar war

Your narrative has been scripted

Comment by Neuromance
2015-01-18 10:28:43

Mid-1964: While campaigning for president, Johnson says, “We are not going to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” Yet, behind closed doors, he is planning to escalate the role of America in the war. — PBS Timeline of Vietnam

Being the world’s largest debtor nation is not conducive to being the world’s policeman as well the ultimate decision maker on who rules their own country.

If countries in the Middle East wants to organize themselves as purely Islamic societies, and they’re not going to f–k with us, really, what business is it of ours? Certainly we have interests in the region, and some local terror Mafia doesn’t have any business telling us what we can and cannot do.

If the Middle Easterners want to shape their region, their own boys should be the ones spilling their blood to get it done. Not our boys.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 04:36:47

Can I has Rapture plz?

New law would move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

“On Tuesday, US Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Dean Heller (R-NV) proposed a law that would remove the president’s authority to invoke national security as a reason to ignore Congressional resolutions on moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

According to the measure, called the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2015, the White House would be required to identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel even before the embassy is physically moved.”


The only solution to this religious violence is more violence

America needs another trillion dollar war




Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 10:26:39

Politicians are insane. They are trying to kill us all so that their Armagadden will come true.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 10:28:25

Except one thing. Jeebuz won’t return.

Comment by Rvenue Collector
2015-01-17 12:49:33

Why does the Cruz care more about Israel than his home country Canada?

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 13:52:21

You know and I know why. It is the same reason why the USA gets blowback for its policies in the Middle East and your neck and my neck are on the sacrificial block. Of course these politicians and their offspring will not go into combat.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 14:14:40

Wait a minute…we aren’t about to get another one of them foreigners trying to get himself elected President, are we?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 04:42:26

Scripting a narrative

Telegraph - Belgium deploys troops on the street after anti-terror raids

“Belgium on Saturday began deploying hundreds of troops to patrol the streets after security forces smashed a suspected Islamist “terrorist” cell planning to kill police officers.

The soldiers could also eventually be deployed to the industrial eastern city of Verviers, where early on Friday security forces killed two suspected Islamists in a huge raid on an alleged jihadist cell planning to attack police in the country.

Belgium is now on a high level of terror alert for all police forces with heightened warning for Brussels and Antwerp.”


The only solution to this religious violence is more violence

America needs another trillion dollar war




Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-17 10:54:39

The Hegelian Dialectic

The Anti-Human Principle
U.S. Pavlovian Conditioning

Revolutionaries in government have created economic chaos, shortages in food and fuel, confiscatory taxation, a crisis in education, the threat of war, and other diversions to condition Americans for the “New World Order.”

The technique is as old as politics itself. It is the Hegelian Dialectic of bringing about change in a three-step process: Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis.

The first step (thesis) is to create a problem. The second step (antithesis) is to generate opposition to the problem (fear, panic and hysteria). The third step (synthesis) is to offer the solution to the problem created by step one: A change which would have been impossible to impose upon the people without the proper psychological conditioning achieved in stages one and two.

Applying the Hegelian Dialectic, and irresistible financial influence, concealed change agents seek to dismantle social and political structures by which free men govern themselves — ancient landmarks erected at great cost in blood and treasure.

Their objective is to emasculate sovereign states, merge nations under universal government, centralize economic powers, and control the world’s people and resources.

http://www.fhu.com/hegelian.html - 27k -

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-17 04:52:02

A nation of broke @ss loosers junkies

Prescription painkillers’ overuse has become ’silent epidemic’, US warns

“In 2012, Americans received nearly 260 million prescriptions for opiate painkillers. Now, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a white paper that reports “a dire need for research” to make up for the “scant” evidence that opioid painkillers should be used to treat chronic pain.

The NIH white paper condenses the final work of a seven-member panel that was convened in September to study the place of opioids in medicine. That panel, comprising independent experts in psychiatry, epidemiology and other disciplines, wrote in its full report that “the prevalence of chronic pain and the increasing use of opioids have created a ‘silent epidemic’.”


Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2015-01-17 09:02:41

Big Pharma is the ultimate gateway. Get ‘em hooked on innocent looking little white pills, then watch them end up with a needle in their arm on some dingy alley way.

Comment by scdave
2015-01-17 09:44:11

then watch them end up with a needle in their arm on some dingy alley way ??

Likely because they cannot afford or have access to get the same chit the legal way…So the dingy either dies or goes to prison while the teacher at your child’s school is as high as a kite…

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 06:16:27

For every wildly successful trade in a deflationary world, there is a sad sack sucker who loses a bundle at the Wall Street casino.

Comment by Muggy
2015-01-17 06:27:58

I wonder if Andrew Lahde is back in the game?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 06:31:56


Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2015-01-17 11:25:10


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-17 06:44:25

While we give all our money to the FSA, from China Daily:

BEIJING — China’s top electricity company State Grid announced a record investment plan for 2015 on Friday to fund its large-scale grid construction.

State Grid plans to spend 420.2 billion yuan ($68.7 billion) on grid infrastructure in 2015, up 24 percent year on year.

The growth is much faster than a 14.1 percent increase in 2014.

The company will start to construct 64,000 km of alternating current (AC) power transmission lines and 13,000 km of direct current lines in 2015.

AC lines, over 46,000 km in total, will be put into operation this year.

State Grid will also build ultra-high voltage (UHV) and “smart” transmission lines. It will start pre-project work for four power links connecting China with Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia and Pakistan.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-01-17 07:36:46

“… and 13,000 km of direct current lines in 2015.”

Are there any electrical gurus out there who would know why this should be, why they would build out DC transmission lines?

Comment by aNYCdj
Comment by Combotechie
2015-01-17 10:26:49

Thank you for that.

Learn sumtin’ new every day.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-17 09:34:48

I wonder that too.

Comment by shendi
2015-01-17 16:04:06

The DC power lines must be for electric locomotives. Typically the old technology uses DC motors for accelerating a train. However, these days the power electronics allow for better control and acceleration using AC motors.

Even with the losses (inductance & capacitance) AC technology is superior to DC and less costly. When you look at the system in its entirety, the end result is a driver or a motor. For a given power rating the AC motor is much smaller in size (& weight) compared to a DC motor. The AC motors are less expensive to maintain (primarily brushes). Further for locomotives, AC motors offer a way to safely recover power from regenerative braking.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 17:25:59

Canternary and third rail commuter systems are all DC no?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by measton
2015-01-17 20:45:21

Massive amounts of power can be moved via dc superconducting lines through buried cable. Good in congested areas.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Dman
2015-01-17 08:16:13

You neglect to mention that the reason for all that spending is that an agreement with the U.S. forces them to do it. China has a third world reliance on coal. Hopefully, this will catch them up with the rest of the developed world and they will quit dumping hydrocarbons into the atmosphere.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-17 09:50:14

No, they were doing it prior to the agreement.

Comment by Rvenue Collector
2015-01-17 10:07:38

Inconvenient truth…..doesn’t support the narrative.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-17 10:00:47

There is no “agreement”. There was merely polite flattery. That and you fall into the trap of thinking electricity a clean energy source. It isn’t an energy source at all. On top of that, China is not a “developed” country, it’s a developing country, mostly abjectly poor but immense.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 06:48:35

Masters Of Rage sign in

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 15:53:45


Comment by Rvenue Collector
2015-01-17 07:29:30

Stop the war on womyn!

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson will be in court next week for a half-day trial to determine whether his 24-year marriage was valid in the first place, or if his wife was still legally married to another man when they wed. **SNIP** Lolita Grayson filed paperwork accusing her husband of failing to pay her credit cards, refusing to provide financial support for their children. She also said, in an interview with WFTV-Channel 9 , that she had been forced to apply for a food-stamp card.

Comment by aNYCdj
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:43:53

Regardless of whoever was primarily responsible for that particular domestic dispute, I think they made a great decision to get a divorce.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:51:27

It probably won’t help Grayson on his day in court that he looks like a Mafia hit man.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Rvenue Collector
2015-01-17 07:39:28

Former UnitedHealthcare executive to lead CMS, the agency in charge of o’care.

Cant make this stuff up.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 07:42:54

Positive economic news…… Now you’re talking!

Hudson County, NJ Sale Prices Plunge 6% YoY As Inventory Billows


Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 07:55:19

Ya know… thinking about this mess. What is it that makes the Frauderal Res think they can stop deflation when their very actions exacerbate it?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:50:15

I don’t think it is so much about stopping deflation as it is putting it indefinitely on hold through more hair-of-the-dog stimulus.

Of course everyone knows what eventually becomes of alcoholics who too often resort to the hair-of-the-dog hangover cure. The question is whether economies fare better or worse over time.

Comment by Ella58
2015-01-17 12:00:24

I’m gonna guess “worse over time”?

I think this delayed deflation is one of the key reasons behind Japan’s 25 year stagnation - by stair-stepping deflation gradually instead of allowing one large deflationary shock, the Japanese central bank insulated their citizens from the potential benefits of deflation (ie the gap between consumer prices falling immediately while wages fall more slowly) and the benefits of mass deleveraging. Thus all the bad parts of deflation with none of the good. And we are absolutely following in their footsteps.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-17 08:03:08

Didn’t work in Region I that’s why the Bam and Biden looked so pissed.

The Hegelian Dialectic: Offering Communistic Solutions to Fabricated Crises

David R July 29, 2014

Using the concepts of the Hegelian Dialectic, the powers that be create the global conditions that lead to fear and uncertainty, allow the targeted populations to demand “predetermined solutions,” and then reluctantly act as if they must go along with the demands to give the appearance of carrying out the people’s will. It’s all designed to get you to willingly accept what you once wouldn’t, global communism.

The formula is simple, create the problem which persuades the people to beg for a solution and then give it to them. This system of persuasive arguing was devised by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and would later become the framework for Karl Marx’s “Dialectical Materialism,” which, of course, eventually became the framework for communism. Like Marx, Hegel was a statist and believed that humanity owed allegiance to an all-powerful state that directed every aspect of our lives.

Republicans and Democrats give the illusion of opposition, but in reality they are pushing the same agenda while using their minor variances in policy initiatives as a means of bringing you to do their bidding. Whenever you hear the word compromise, you can assume that compromise was already a “predetermined” decision, and is being offered simply to give the illusion that two opposing parties can work together.

Another good example is Global Warming, where people have been conditioned to believe that two hundred years of human activity is ruining a planet that is allegedly six billion years old. The United Nations has already announced that global communism is the best way to fight global warming. They argue that the problem is so big and so complex that only a global government with complete control over the world’s resources can solve it. This is despite the fact that Antarctic sea ice is hitting new record highs, confounding the climate models predicting otherwise. The formula works the same here: Create a crisis, cause fear and discontent, get people to demand your predetermined solution and then give it to them.

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/07/hegelian-dialectic-offering-communistic-solutions-fabricated-crises/#7wohQkw90vWyWRoH.99

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 08:12:28

Got your seat belt buckled? Did you shed debt? Did you exit from dead and depreciating assets like houses?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 10:55:49

I sure hope my family members can offload the several houses they own free and clear before the next Minsky moment arrives. I’m optimistic for my parents, since we have collectively decided to sell for whatever the market may bear, which may not be much. Lil Sis has bigger problems, since my BIL is unwilling to give houses away at a dime less than he believes they are worth.

Comment by Bluto
2015-01-17 12:13:58

Thanks to the HBB (and OTM) I knew what was coming in early 2007 and decided to sell my house, by listing it at about $10K (about 3%) under the going rate I had a buyer under contract within a week…had I been greedy I might have got much less in the long run and been in the bad position of chasing the market down as many did in 2007 and 2008. I’m now seeing lots of overpriced houses sitting on the market locally (northern Calif) and when prices are dropped at all it is often by a trivial amount like a few thousand dollars, maybe 1% or so…

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 13:12:49

Unfortunately for my family members who are supposedly trying to sell three houses within the foreseeable future, the market seems to be stalling out right now similarly to what happened in 2007-08.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Muggy
2015-01-17 11:38:54

“Did you shed debt?”

One must acquire before one can shed.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-17 11:59:16


Comment by Muggy
2015-01-17 13:20:26

New shirt:

Original Shunner

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Muggy
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 14:16:08

Beat Debt

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-17 20:35:50

Debt beats?

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-17 10:15:19

All Gruber all the time all day all night.

Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber Gruber

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-17 10:24:17

Got Gruber?

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-17 10:31:19


Posted on 16th January 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

BLS, CPI, lies

Government data reports are so funny. The blaring headlines today tells us that prices dropped in December. We are all saving billions from the drop in oil and gas. Hallelujah!!!

The corporate MSM never digs into the numbers to get the real truth. These reports and their distribution to the sheep are designed to keep you sedated and calm. Facts are not necessary. How this data pertains to your everyday life is not important to the .1% who control the flow of information.

Here is a link to the detailed inflation numbers by category. We already know they massage these numbers to achieve a happy ending, but even the massaged numbers tell an entirely different story than the one peddled to the masses by the government and corporate media.


Below are the annual price increases for items that might impact your life on a daily basis:

http://www.theburningplatform.com/…/ - 103k -

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-01-17 16:36:09

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-17 10:31:19


Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-17 10:34:50

Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver: I could use my own money, the twenty-five dollars I got in the bank.

Wally Cleaver: I thought you were saving that to go to college.

Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver: Larry says he never heard of a college you could go to for twenty-five dollars.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 13:56:25

Mrs. Cleaver: “Wally, easy on the Beaver.”

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 11:04:40

Funny blurb in today’s dead tree edition of UT-San Diego:

Total estimated interest that an average U.S. consumer will pay over his or her lifetime, according to Credit.com. The figure, which is based on credit scores and size of mortgage, credit card debt and car loans, varies widely from state to state. In California, it was $368,745. The highest was $451,890 in Washington, D.C., and the lowest was $129,394 in Iowa.

It reminds me of the punchline from my all-time favorite Mormon church talk:
“Them that understands interest, gits it. Them that don’t understands it, pays it.”

Comment by rms
2015-01-17 23:42:40

It reminds me of the punchline from my all-time favorite Mormon church talk: “Them that understands interest, gits it. Them that don’t understands it, pays it.”

I know several Mormon families, and they all apparently “don’t understands it.”

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-18 19:18:42

My wife has Mormon siblings that “don’t understands it”!

But so long as the global central banking cartel keeps subsidizing, incentivizing, and bailing out debtors, they should be just fine.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 11:13:34

Get out of stoxx while the getttin’s good. You have been warned, and I’m just passing on the warning which others have made in the MSM.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 11:17:20

Eventually one of the myriad recent or current stock market storm warnings is going to correctly predict a storm!

Storm Warning for the Stock Market
Several key figures suggest that the long bull run may be coming to an end.
By Jonathan R. Laing
Jan. 16, 2015 9:28 p.m. ET

We’ve witnessed five stock market swoons since last August, including two declines alone this month. Yet in the first four instances, the market averages came roaring back in V-shaped recoveries to make new highs. And only in one of the slides, in October, did stock indexes even flirt with correctionland, a 10% fall in prices.

Of course, the book has yet to be completed on the most recent decline, which started on Jan. 9. Perhaps it ended when stock prices rose on Friday after five straight sessions of decline. We’ll see. But one thing seems clear: Stock-market price volatility, after several years of quiescence, seems to have lapsed once more into a period of atrial fibrillation.

Big macroeconomic uncertainties are currently buffeting the stock market, but isn’t that always the case. The relentless drop in oil and other commodity prices has investors on tenterhooks over global deflation fears. A punk number in December retail sales has shaken confidence in the power of the U.S. recovery. Then last week’s decision by the Swiss National Bank to let their currency float against the euro shocked the currency markets.

We’ll leave such weighty macro issues aside for the time being to look at some more mundane technical stock market factors. These might give investors some pause in the months ahead, after six years of rallying stock prices.

For example, how often have we heard that the Standard & Poor’s 500, currently trading at a price of 17.8 times its trailing 12-month earnings, isn’t wildly expensive compared with the measure’s historical average price/earnings ratio of around 15? Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist of Wells Capital Management and a longtime stock market bull, has hewed to that view, particularly in light of the seeming pickup in steam of the U.S. economic recovery last year.

Thus he admits to having been somewhat discomfited when he recently chanced upon figures compiled by finance professor Kenneth French of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. The numbers, from the CRSP database at the University of Chicago, detail stock prices and returns on all listed stocks going back to 1926. Nobel Prize–winner French found, for example, that according to midyear annual data, the median U.S. stock price in 2014 stood at a post-World War II high of over 20 times earnings.

The median price-to-cash-flow ratio, at 15, was also at a postwar high. In fact, the median P/E alone had jumped from around 12 at the depth of the Great Recession in 2009 to the aforementioned 20-plus.

To be sure, market-capitalization weighted indexes like the S&P 500 have sold at even more outlandish P/E ratios—more than 30 times during the 2000 dot-com mania. But high median valuations covering literally thousands of listed stocks, equally weighted, can likewise lead to trouble. “It’s the very stealth nature of the overvaluation without the obvious, headline-grabbing signs of overexuberance” that Paulsen says concerns him.

He points out that after previous highs of the median P/E in 1962 and 1969—periods most comparable to today’s broad-based high valuations—nasty selloffs of 27% and 35%, respectively, occurred.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 11:29:57

Warning: Bond rates are going negative
By Matt Egan
January 16, 2015: 3:56 AM ET

Investors are so nervous that they are basically willing to lose money when they buy some government bonds.

It’s part of the latest fad in finance that’s all the rage: “going negative.”

The yields on government bonds in Europe and Japan have dipped into the uncharted waters of negative territory. That means buyers of those bonds are essentially taking a loss just to hold onto those assets. They think their money is better off losing a few cents than putting it elsewhere.

It’s basically a fee for fear,” said Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx. “Fear of deflation, fear of volactility in other capital markets and general fear of the known.”

Below zero: Just look at Switzerland, where the yield on bonds fell further into negative territory this week after the country’s central bank dropped a bombshell on investors by scrapping a currency cap.

In addition to allowing the Swiss franc to trade freely against the euro, the Swiss National Bank lowered a key interest rate further into negative territory, from -0.25% to -0.75%. That’s like a bank charging customers to park their money there instead of paying them interest.

Switzerland isn’t alone in going negative. The yield on short-term government bonds of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands are all sub-zero. Even short duration U.S. bond rates are barely above zero.

The Swiss central bank is trying to get people to spend and invest more instead of putting their money in the bank or in cash-like assets like short-term government bonds, but investors just keeping buying up these safe haven assets, sending yields even lower.

The whole move is shocking. You have to take out a microscope to see the yields on a lot of this paper,” said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group. “People are strangely willing to pay for liquidity.”

No playbook for this: All of this is unprecedented in the history of modern finance. Yields of major government debt typically stay above water.

It’s a glaring warning sign of deflation. We’ve never really had deflationary fears throughout such a widespread part of the world before,” said Phil Camporeale, a multi-asset specialist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

Central bankers and investors are still scarred by Japan’s experience with deflation when a scary spiral in lower prices caused more than a decade of lost growth.

The current system has many things to commend about it but the one thing that makes it brittle is deflation. If prices don’t go up to encourage people to buy, their proclivity not to consume kicks in,” said Colas.

As a central bank you have to manufacture inflation otherwise the wheels come off the whole construct,” he said.

Europe is ‘Jaw-dropping’: Alarm bells went off when consumer prices shrank in the eurozone in December for the first time since the Great Recession.

Fearing deflation, the European Central Bank is set to launch a massive new stimulus program aimed at boosting growth.

But the ECB printing press is also knocking yields further into negative territory. The thinking goes that if Spain, with all of its economic problems, can sell five-year bonds at less than 1%, then German bonds at -0.05% aren’t an awful deal, at least relatively speaking.

It’s a bit jaw-dropping. It all makes you wonder: Do we really have a functioning global banking system when rates are essentially zero?” asked Colas.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 11:38:32

3 red flags causing the market to panic
By Patrick Gillespie
January 14, 2015: 11:52 AM ET

It might not be as cold as last year’s Polar Vortex, but some winter warning signs are popping up for the U.S. and global economy.

Here are the three red flags spooking the stock market with the Dow dropping over 300 points at one point before closing down 187. They go deeper than the oil price meltdown that has received so much attention.

1. Americans are pulling back on spending. Retail sales dropped 0.9% in December, the critical holiday shopping month, compared to November. It was worst monthly plunge since the Polar Vortex halted much business activity last January. Consumer spending drives the U.S. economy, so any major pullback is alarming, especially around Christmas.

Consider that experts were only predicting a 0.1% drop in December.

While many shoppers have enjoyed low gas prices, gas stations were hit hard at the pump in December. Gas sales plummeted 6.5% last month, by far the biggest drop of any retail category, according to the Commerce Department. December’s gas decline was more than double what it was in November.

The news is not all bad: food and furniture businesses saw sales rise in December. But even some positive retail sales did not offset the overall loss in sales.

2. Keep an eye on copper’s dramatic fall: One growing global worry is the steep decline in copper, which is used in many products and is often viewed as good gauge on how China is doing. The price of copper hit its lowest price since 2009 on Wednesday at $2.46. Copper is down nearly 7% this week alone.

Investors are fleeing commodities, like copper, as oil prices continue to fall. Copper is also priced in dollars, which makes it less attractive to foreign buyers as the dollar strengthens.

The rapid decline in copper is raising fresh concern about the health of Asia and other emerging markets, although Capital Economics notes there wasn’t a clear catalyst for the large drop between Tuesday and Wednesday.

3. The global economy looks even worse: Worries are growing that the global economy is deflating. The World Bank slashed its global growth projections this week for 2015 from 3.4% to 3%. The World Bank also cut its expectations for 2016. Plunging oil prices are hurting OPEC nations, while Japan and Europe continue to suffer from deflation.

Japan’s government recently approved its highest annual budget, while the European Central Bank plans start an economic stimulus program soon. Leaders from nations that rely heavily on oil exports, such as Venezuela and Qatar, are convening this month to help save their economies from further decline.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 11:41:24

Let’s consider a few current economic facts:

1) The entire planet is looking towards America as the only hope for pulling the global economy out of its persistent malaise.

2) 67% of the U.S. economy is driven by consumption spending.

3) U.S. households are broke, as evidenced by the recent pullback in consumer spending.

4) The dollar is at a multi-year high, which portends a drop in U.S. exports.

Any thoughts on the implications?

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 15:51:54

Meanwhile technology keeps improving. Lots of great apps for your smartphone and the security work opportunities get better and better. Technology just might usher in rapid decentralization of everything in our lives within our lifetimes. I am working on decentralization technology in software now. My main hobby. It is much more than crypto currency, which itself, will replace the central bank dinosaurs and its permanent war funding.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 16:56:17

Bitcoin might be dead. It doesn’t matter.

The price of a Bitcoin has slumped 43 per cent in the first two weeks of 2015, causing many to ask if the biggest economic experiment in decades has been a failure. But that misses the really interesting point, says Matthew Sparkes - what comes next?

By Matthew Sparkes, Deputy Head of Technology
11:23AM GMT 15 Jan 2015

Bitcoin is having a very bad 2015. From a price of $314 per coin on New Year’s Day it slumped 43 per cent to a low of $177 yesterday.

Media coverage has taken one of two angles: either proclaiming its demise or speculating as to the cause of death. Both miss the bigger issue, which is the exciting, anarchic, empowering technology which Bitcoin is giving birth to. And which the price crash may endanger.

Firstly - and let’s zip over this quickly - is this the end of the Bitcoin experiment? Certainly, a trend line from November 2013 to now, extrapolated forwards, intersects worthlessness sometime later this year.

Will that happen? Nobody can know.

Economic predictions are unreliable at the best of times, with centuries of historic data, so claiming to be able to prognosticate an unprecedented experiment in crypto-currency is foolhardy.

In any case, the experiment is new and most Bitcoin Whales got in early and cheap. The way you feel about a $177 Bitcoin has a lot to do with what you paid for it. If you bought in January 2011 you paid just $0.38. A year later you spent $15.11, and a year from that you’d have been stung for $854.

So, what’s causing this crash? Bitcoin exchanges are unregulated and market fluctuations can be as unusual as they are unexplainable. A cryptography nerd who mined coins as an experiment in 2010 could have found himself a millionaire many times over in 2013, holding so many coins that cashing-out moved markets.

Other manipulations occur which are more intentional and less benign.

Some suggest that the recent Bitstamp hack could be behind losses, which is probably true to some extent. But the exchange honoured all lost coins and has since re-opened for business, so it seems unlikely to be the only cause. Especially as the price was already sliding before it happened.

The crux of the issue, the important point which should be made, is this: Bitcoin the currency may be dying, but it doesn’t matter because Bitcoin the technology is thriving.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 19:26:46

Block Chain, the technology, is thriving…


Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-18 00:00:05

It’s fascinating, but beyond the scope off my interests to delve into it.

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-01-17 11:29:51

One chart that says it all — the “pause” is over

More HBB’ers should accept climate change. As climate change worsens, economies will falter, causing the price of homes to fall. If you are a housing bear, climate change is your friend.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 14:11:49

All I know is the climate is not stable enough for me to predict a house I obligate to will be inhabitable 20 years from my purchase. Or that fertile farmland I buy now will be fertile in 20 years.

I love Phoenix but it is experiencing the heat island effect and the summer lows get higher every year it seems. You would think that would draw in even more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and moderate things more.

A sister of mine lived in Tempe with her boyfriend in the late 80s and she said the rainstorms in the summer were like clockwork, starting at midnight usually. I spent two or three entire summers in Phoenix and never encountered such regular storms. In Tucson, in he 1990s the heavy rain would start at 4pm, like clockwork.

The heat island effect has been blamed for chasing away monsoons.

So why pretend change in your environment will not happen? Plunking down $hundreds of thousands is a huge gamble on climate.

Best to rent…everything.

Comment by Muggy
2015-01-17 11:52:54

My new neighbors are moving back to NY next week. They didn’t even last one month. LOL.

Florida. Look before you leap, my friends.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 12:06:48

My new Chinese neighbors are parking their car with the passenger-side wheels on the sidewalk these days. I felt really tempted to call the police last night, just to find out whether this is legal.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-17 15:44:23

It should not annoy you. If they have a yapper dog keeping you awak then maybe yeah. But…Yeah call a cop. I am sure nothing can go wrong with a cop around (eyes rolling).

Comment by rms
2015-01-17 23:47:20

“My new Chinese neighbors are parking their car with the passenger-side wheels on the sidewalk these days.”

They couldn’t do that so easily in Portland, OR. :)

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-18 00:01:05

True; would probably end up running over a street person.

Comment by Muggy
2015-01-17 14:10:47

The new and improved Goon.


Comment by Muggy
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 14:27:12

The only game in town for investors is the epic struggle of central bankers to overcome the fundamental force of deflation. If you can figure out how this tension will resolve, you can easily make a bundle of money.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-18 00:43:53

The Bond Market Is Warning of Huge Trouble Ahead
Collapsing long-term yields reflect rising debt-deflation fears.
By Anthony Mirhaydari,
The Fiscal Times
January 15, 2015

Something odd is happening in the government bond market: Interest rates are pricing in a debt-deflation cataclysm.

How else can you explain the fact that the yield on the U.S. 30-year bond hit a record low of 2.4 percent on Wednesday? Or that Japanese and German 10-year yields are plumbing record lows? Or that five-year yields of bonds issued by Eurozone safe havens Finland, Germany and Switzerland are in outright negative territory?

Something is very wrong here.

For the U.S. 30-year yield, current levels have dropped below the lows set during the 2008 financial panic and 2012 pre-QE3 slowdown. And this is down from the post-recession high of 4.85 percent set in 2010 and a recent high of nearly 4 percent set in late 2013.

With stocks not far from late December’s record highs, with job growth surging, investor confidence at extremes, consumer and small business confidence high, GDP growth strong and the Federal Reserve telling everyone it’s preparing for its first interest rate hike since 2006, the bond market’s message comes off as downright weird.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-17 15:41:35

Senator’s husband stands to profit big from government deal

By Richard Johnson
January 16, 2015 | 5:48pm

Ever wonder how lowly paid lawmakers leave office filthy rich?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is showing how it’s done.

The US Postal Service plans to sell 56 buildings — so it can lease space more expensively — and the real estate company of the California senator’s husband, Richard Blum, is set to pocket about $1 billion in commissions.

Blum’s company, CBRE, was selected in March 2011 as the sole real estate agent on sales expected to fetch $19 billion. Most voters didn’t notice that Blum is a member of CBRE’s board and served as chairman from 2001 to 2014.

This feat of federal spousal support was ignored by the media after Feinstein’s office said the senator, whose wealth is pegged at $70 million, had nothing to do with the USPS decisions.

When the national debt is $18 trillion, a billion seems like small change.

pagesix.com/2015/01/16/senators-husband-stands-to-profit-from-government-deal/ - 109k -

Comment by aNYCdj
2015-01-17 16:33:10
Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 18:07:47

This calls for celebration.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-17 16:50:45

Because the animals were there first…

Mountain Lions on the Loose in Los Angeles

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-17 19:17:05


Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-18 00:27:23

A Hedge Fund With $830 Million In Assets Went Bust After The Swiss Franc Surge
Reuters and Business Insider
Jan. 17, 2015, 1:55 PM

Hedge fund manager Marko Dimitrijevic is closing his largest hedge fund, Everest Capital’s Global Fund, having lost almost all its money after the Swiss National Bank (SNB) scrapped its three-year-old cap on the Swiss franc against the euro, Bloomberg news reported on Saturday.

Citing a person familiar with the firm, Bloomberg said the fund had been betting that the Swiss franc would decline. The fund had about $830 million in assets at the end of 2014, according to a client report cited by Bloomberg.

It said an Everest spokesman would not comment on the fund and Dimitrijevic did not return calls.

Everest Capital, based in Miami and specializing in emerging markets, still manages seven funds with about $2.2 billion in assets, Bloomberg said.

The SNB triggered big losses around the globe on Thursday when it removed a three-year-old cap on the value of the Swiss franc against the euro, allowing it to soar.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-18 00:44:53

Are y’all ready for another round of panic?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-18 00:49:01

2 Ways Crashing Oil Prices Could Trigger the Next Global Financial Panic
By Adam Galas
January 17, 2015

The recent crash in oil prices, the worst since the financial crisis, has left investors in oil-related stocks reeling, but U.S. consumers are cheering as gas prices have plunged nearly 40% to their lowest levels in five and a half years.

This has led some economists and analysts to speculate that declining energy costs will serve as a strong global economic stimulus. In fact, Citigroup estimates that low oil prices will contribute over $1.1 trillion in extra spending money to global consumers in 2015.

However, while most people are cheering oil’s fall as they drive past the pump, some analysts are also warning that the severity and speed of oil’s fall increases the risk of another financial panic, one on a potentially global scale. Here are the two biggest risk factors that could bring about such a worst-case scenario.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-18 00:52:47

Sunday 18 January 2015
Swiss franc shock triggers mortgage panic for wealthy homeowners
It’s a bad time to be a Russian billionaire owning a chalet in the Swiss Alps
The world’s largest Swiss flag is fixed by climbers on Mount Saentis (2502 metres/8209 feet above sea level) near Schwaegalp in the eastern Swiss Alps. The flag measures some 120 by 120 metres (394 by 394 ft)
Existing homeowners who hold a mortgage in Swiss francs will see their loan-to-value stretch following an announcement from the national bank that it has scrapped the euro currency peg. Photo:
By Anna White, Property correspondent
12:49PM GMT 15 Jan 2015

UK homeowners that hold a mortgage in Swiss francs will see their monthly repayments shoot up after the country’s central bank abandoned its currency peg to the euro, experts have warned.

Switzerland abandoned its exchange rate control and cut interest rates to -0.75pc this morning, sending the franc soaring against the single currency and the pound, triggering mortgage holders to panic switch to another currency.

Buying homes with Swiss francs loans was very popular at the height of the last boom, as the currency was seen as a safe haven investment and sterling-Swiss franc was a good pairing, explained Jeremy Cook, chief economist at the currency firm World First.

But following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and onslaught of the global financial crisis, the pairing has never really recovered.

“While there won’t be many people who have newly taken on such mortgages, there will still be some who hold that debt,” he said. “Following falls today, these loans will be 12pc more expensive.”

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-18 07:26:23


Comment by Neuromance
2015-01-18 11:18:29

State Capitalism and the US mortgage market.

So the value of a house comes from the ability to “consume” it - use the benefits it provides. And for sufficiently large mortgages, tax advantages. And finally, value comes from the ability to flip the house for more money in some timeframe.

The government and central bank have aggressively encouraged speculation in houses, by guaranteeing virtually the entire mortgage market. They take speculative debt and turn it into a government-backed security. After the 2008 financial crisis, the mortgage market was nationalized. Before, it was a public-private hybrid. But that model imploded. However the profits to top political donor companies, and the personal portfolios of politicians and treasury officials had to be protected.

The question is where does it go from here? Will expenditures on the state-owned-enterprises (Fannie, Freddie, FHA, USDA, VA, etc) be sufficiently small as to be continued indefinitely? What about the millenials’ desire to buy houses? What about peak debt?

There’s been no significant reform in the system. Too Big To Fail - which allows big financial companies free reign to engage in risky activities and yet be insured by the taxpayer, still exists. Creative destruction at the top has not been allowed, where it is most desperately needed. This was the core benefit of the government interventions - it protected the positions and fortunes of the architects of the crisis. To be fair, most politicians have survived the elections since 2008, so the electorate seems to be generally okay with it. I expect the government to remain under regulatory capture for some time.

It seems to me the question really is, will the FIRE sector tell politicians to make changes to the system due to falling profits? Mel Watt has already loosed up credit standards at the big State Owned Enterprises, Fannie and Freddie. Loosened credit standards are the easiest way for the FIRE sector to make money, with government insuring the debt. Mr. Watt assiduously avoids any mention the toll low credit standards take on the marginal buyers, as running marginal buyers through the wringer is very profitable for the FIRE sector.

Ultimately, house prices are where they are due to government and central bank intervention. This is generally considered a positive point for existing asset holders. Bob Toll said that the new paradigm would be that young people would live with their parents till their 40s and then when they buy, when they have a second child, and they’ll pay 45-50% of their income to service the debt. The only reason for this is government and central bank support of house prices. Will this model be acceptable to millenials?

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Trackback responses to this post