November 8, 2015

Bits Bucket for November 8, 2015

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 03:05:36

Is infrastructure overcapacity an inevitable eventuality when central planners pursue growth targets in perpetuity?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 03:21:47

Someone commented yesterday on the prevalence of Targets near Walmarts in their area, which reminded me that a new Target and a new Trader Joe’s both opened within a couple of miles of us over the past few months. We now have a choice between two of these fine establishments’ locations in each case, all four stores within ten minutes driving time.

That’s market penetration!

Comment by azdude
2015-11-08 05:52:17

what I have noticed is that every tiny city wants its share of the sales tax pie. So I have seen walmarts real close together along the city boundaries. It makes no sense to have so many stores but each city gets its piece of the sales tax money .

During the recent egg shortage safeway had raised the price of a dozen eggs to 5 dollars. Walmart must of threatened their suppiler cause the price did not go up that much.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-11-08 06:35:53

“So I have seen walmarts real close together along the city boundaries.”

Ah, so.

An observation:

When a city is isolated from other cities and is small enough to justify only one set of city fathers then there are no city boundaries and thus the city council guys get to call the shots.

But when a city grows to some critical mass whereby it splits then there emerges two sets of city fathers - two sets of city councils - and often they do not necessarily like each other (hence the split) and thus they will do whatever they can to screw each other.

Hence consumers get hosed when the city councils have a lock but the hosing stops when there is a split.

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Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 07:12:14

I’m not talking some out of the way place, I’m talking a large city suburb right next to other suburbs and a major metropolitan area. Within my 10 mile radius I have at least 3 big Walmarts and Targets. Plus like 10 grocery stores easy and Walmart and Target also sell groceries.

We have a ridiculous overcapacity. All built on credit. People cannot afford their lifestyles. Housing equity is still letting them hang on.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 07:22:13

PS Three of the four stores I mentioned lie inside the SD city limits.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-11-08 07:35:29

“I’m not talking some out of the way place, I’m talking a large city suburb right next to other suburbs and a major metropolitan area.”

I’m not disagreeing, just stating an observation.

What interests me is that among groups there seems to be a critical mass or some sort that, once reached, causes a split of the group. And once the split occurs the group shifts from the mentality of “we” to the mentality of “us and them”.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-11-08 07:49:56

Within my 10 mile radius I have at least 3 big Walmarts and Targets. Plus like 10 grocery stores easy and Walmart and Target also sell groceries.

We have a ridiculous overcapacity. All built on credit. People cannot afford their lifestyles. Housing equity is still letting them hang on.

It’s possible that people are consuming more groceries than is sensible for them, but it doesn’t seem likely. If average Americans were to cut back on their consumer spending, one good idea would be to spend less at restaurants (including cheap fast food) and more at supermarkets.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 08:25:57

Massive excess capacity my friend. Stay on topic.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-11-08 09:02:46

It’s the drug stores that are three to a corner. There’s not a Walgreen’s in town that I can’t stand in their parking lot, throw a rock and hit a Rite Aid and a CVS. And now Walgreen’s wants to buy Rite Aid, and close a bunch of their stores so they don’t so obviously have a monopoly.

They don’t care about a bunch a concrete and glass boxes that they throw up (for $55 a square!), those are just disposable pawns to them, to be opened, closed, or demolished to suit today’s strategy.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 09:18:04


Single story retail flat plans are running $42 a square.

Comment by The Selfish Hoarder
2015-11-08 07:55:02

I have two Targets within a mile of me. It’s crazy. I only go to one of them to buy my Chinese goods.

Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 10:09:11

And when I said three, I meant three of each, three Targets and three Walmarts. And yep on the CVSs although I’m seeing a lot of the drugstores shutting down.

I wonder what a time traveler from the 1970s would think. All these restaurants, drug stores, department stores, etc. I think they’d be wondering, geez how’d you guys get so rich.

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Comment by The Selfish Hoarder
2015-11-08 14:59:41

It’s worse in Phoenix. Let’s say you are a passenger in a car and you close your eyes after seeing all four corners of an intersection. The driver takes you a mile up the street and you open your eyes. You have to check the sign to be sure you are at a different spot.

CVS, Walgreens, Starbucks, Valero, Shell, Albertsons…

Comment by Anonymous
2015-11-09 13:37:29

There are six Walmarts (three of them Supercenters) or Walmart Neighborhood Markets and four Targets within a five-mile radius of my home on the west side of Las Vegas.

I don’t even want to think about how many CVS and Walgreens drug stores there are around town. There are several on the Strip for god’s sake (and they seem to do a good business).

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 03:33:22

Does the advent of Fed liftoff presage another leg down in commodities?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 03:42:17

Whatever became of all those tankers hoarding oil at sea, hoping to profit when prices recovered to $80/bbl by December 2015?

Here we are in November, and oil prices are still swirling around the toilet bowl, trying to find a bottom. Luckily shipping rates are also super low, thanks to the tanker capacity glut.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 03:44:07

US financial regulation
Banks face fresh pressure on physical commodities
Federal Reserve set to demand more capital cushions to discourage risky behaviour
November 3, 2015
by: Barney Jopson in Washington and Gregory Meyer in New York

Tanker Glut Signals 25% Slump In Freight Rates This Year…An oil tanker is anchored near the Port of Long Beach, California, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009. A surplus of idled oil tankers, which would stretch 26 miles if lined up end to end, may signal a 25 percent slump in freight rates this year. The ships will unload 26 percent of the crude and oil products they are storing in six months, adding to vessel supply and pushing rates for supertankers down to an average of $30,000 a day, compared with $40,212 now. Photographer: Tim Rue/Bloomberg

US banks that handle physical commodities will be forced to hold large new capital cushions under bold Federal Reserve plans to hedge against costly disasters such as tanker spills or gas pipeline explosions.

The Fed wants to use capital charges to discourage banks from risky activities involving hazardous materials that could threaten their survival in the event of a catastrophe, according to people briefed on the matter.

New restrictions would affect banks led by Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, some of which are already rethinking their role in commodities due to pressure from regulators and a decline in profitability in the area.

Senator Elizabeth Warren , a liberal critic of Wall Street, has led Democratic calls for the Fed to put tighter controls on banks’ commodity activities.

Demands for more loss-absorbing capital are likely to be contested by banks, which argue that the gritty business of storing and shipping energy and metals complements their derivatives trading books in oil, gas and copper.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 04:07:53

Oil below $44 after Goldman predicts price crash when storage tanks fill
Analysts say oil supply may not balance with demand in 2016
CBC News
Posted:Oct 26, 2015 12:32 PM ET
Last Updated:Oct 26, 2015 4:17 PM ET
The U.S. production industry has pulled back this year, but storage tanks are still near capacity. That led to predictions of a further price crash when they ‘top out.’
Associated Press

Oil edged below $44 US a barrel on Monday, after another bearish outlook for crude from Goldman Sachs.

Goldman said in a research report that oil prices could go “sharply lower” as storage tanks hit capacity, predicting the oil market would not balance itself in 2016.

West Texas Intermediate oil closed down 78 cents at $43.81 US a barrel on Monday afternoon, while Brent, the main international contract, was down 59 cents at $47.42 US a barrel.

Western Canada Select, a Canadian oilsands contract, had fallen below $30 again to $29.23 US a barrel.

The oversupply of oil worldwide has had storage tanks in Cushing, Oklahoma, at record levels for most of the year. It’s not just crude that is in oversupply, but also refined products.

Goldman Sachs sees further risk to crude prices which are already down 60 per cent from a year ago.

“Distillate storage utilization in the U.S. and Europe is nearing historically high levels, following near record refinery utilization, only modest demand growth (especially relative to gasoline), and increased imports from the East on refinery expansion and Chinese exports,” it said in its report.

Earlier this year, Goldman predicted WTI oil could go as low as $20 a barrel.

Europe also has storage problem

Research consultancy Energy Aspects points to a similar situation in Europe, with crude oil tankers taking slow routes to their destinations while they await space in port storage facilities.

Many oil speculators have been taking long positions in oil, thinking that the market will be balanced next year and prices will rise.

But the continued glut is starting to discourage that strategy.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-11-08 04:28:17

That’s all fine and good as long as you don’t draw any negative conclusions - Mike would then say you are a kook. It’s OK to report the horse hockey is hitting the fan, but don’t say it’s a negative, cuz that might reflect poorly on the gooberment and WPA will be a sad panda and call you names.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 04:38:24

Who gives a flying fark what propagandists like Mikey Mike or WPA have to say? Their comments aee predictably ignorant and ignorable.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-11-08 05:10:56

When I started this blog I didn’t turn the comments on for months. It was suggested to me, and one day I gave it a try. There were probably 5 or 6 people a day visiting. There I was, posting articles about subprime loans and credit rating bungling and the occasional “I went to Orlando and all I got was a condo” thing. I was struck early on when people started saying I should shut up. Why? It’s just me on this free blog with a couple dozen people looking at it ever so often. Since I’ve been interested in these people who want to limit information or viewpoints or discussion.

I might read some thing on a bathroom wall. It may not be true, but I can consider it, reflect, over time evaluate it’s veracity. There will always be this: “Ben, you can’t be serious, you saw that on a bathroom wall! They’re not real journalists”

Most of the media is propaganda. And even propaganda can teach you something if you read between the lines.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 06:05:46

“I was struck early on when people started saying I should shut up. ”

Scream louder. Allow us to to assist;

Doral, FL Housing Prices Crater 18% YoY As Housing Demand Plummets To 20 Year Low

Comment by Combotechie
2015-11-08 06:42:35

“Most of the media is propaganda. And even propaganda can teach you something if you read between the lines.”

Yes. Propaganda works best when the truth is scattered among the lies, among the spin.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 06:56:08

Mikey & WPA typify the left’s ideological blinders and circumscribed little minds, as well as the reflexive lefty desire to ban any and all expression of word or thought that conflicts with the party line as laid down by our commisars of political correctness. That said, I’d hate to see the HBB devolve into an echo chamber where only the prevailing libertarian-conservative viewpoint is deemed as acceptable.

As Ben notes, sometimes a lie reveals more than the truth. That’s why I still read the MSM, and that’s why the approved Establishment memes spouted by Mikey & WPA are so instructive, as they reveal what the Oligopoly is conditioning the sheep to accept as articles of faith.

Comment by The Order Of The Golden Chainsaw
2015-11-08 07:05:29

Buuuut…our propaganda is better than their propaganda.
–Sad Pandas everywhere

Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 07:21:38

I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall for Ben and Goon’s discussion on “the motivations of some of the posters here.” Any gems from that conversation that you can share?

My motivations are pretty much trifold.

1. Much like Howard Beale, I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any longer.

2. I’m pro cop, pro following the rules and anti drug (except pot, a lost cause).

3. I like to rib Lola and his multiple accounts/minions.

Comment by The Order Of The Golden Chainsaw
2015-11-08 07:37:02

Sad Pandas in a nutshell:

Bush bombs Afghanistan and kills civilians - “Bush and Cheney are warmongers. They should be tried for crime against humanity.”

Obama bombs Afghani Hospital and kills civilians - “Still better than boots on the ground” or complete silence on the topic.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 07:37:08

Effective, efficient Lola Management makes for a very well run website.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-11-08 09:28:07

“the left’s ideological blinders and circumscribed little minds”

I don’t believe closed minds necessarily come from any particular compass point.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-11-08 10:33:31

Being dumb don’t mean you’re wrong.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 06:05:32

Whatever became of all those banks that hedged oil production and will now be forced to pay out massively on those derivatives exposures?

Comment by shendi
2015-11-08 08:50:16

I have been following the progress of the Panama Canal expansion - 8 years in the making - for the last three years. It will be completed mid 2016. With China swooning, stuff from Brazil and other SA countries will not meet the anticipated traffic through the canal. I wonder if the revenue projections will be met. It could go down in history as the thing that loaded the debt to an OK country.

Also, with ports and facilities upgraded in the US southern seaboard, from Houston to Florida, the demand for Panamax ships will surely fall. If these post Panamax ships go directly to those ports then the ports of LA and LB will surely see a decline in traffic. It is going to be interesting.

Any thoughts?

Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 10:16:20

Massive excess capacity, even in canals.

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Comment by Anonymous
2015-11-09 14:21:34

Hmm, container shipping doesn’t seem to be booming in general…

“COPENHAGEN, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, said on Wednesday it will slash costs, cut staff by almost a fifth and pull out of vessel orders as trade along the busiest routes in the world, from Asia to Europe, slows down.

The business, part of the A.P. Moller-Maersk conglomerate , is a bellwether for global trade and the shipping industry, which is run mainly by unlisted companies not required to make their assessments or financial circumstances public”

“Elsewhere in the industry, Q3 results posted so far – the $96m net loss reported by NOL on Friday and combined $426m loss from Chinese carriers Cosco and CSCL – illustrate the damage to the carriers’ bottom lines by the sub-economic freight environment.”

Another article suggested the only reason any carriers are remaining profitable–even after layoffs and other cost-cutting measures–is the steep decrease in fuel costs.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 16:48:14

South China Morning Post
Commodities rout and unfriendly regulations further thin foreign interest in China’s mining sector
Overseas investment drops to 11-year low as prolonged industry slump sees abundance of quality projects come on the global market
Eric Ng
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 November, 2015, 10:53pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 November, 2015, 10:52pm
Unfriendly rules have been cited as obstacles to foreign investment in China’s restrictive mining sector.
Photo: Reuters

Foreign investment in China’s mining sector has slumped to the lowest in more than a decade amid the downturn in the commodities industry, which dampened the already low levels of inbound investment over the years due to the sector’s unfriendly regulatory environment.

A relative abundance of distressed quality assets overseas amid the global commodities market rout also means foreign firms are unlikely to make significant investment in China soon, industry observers say.

“With the prolonged downturn in commodities, assets are being forced on to the market at prices that are reflective of the urgency which sellers must act,” John Tivey, the global head of mining and metals at law firm White & Case, told the South China Morning Post. “Given these rare opportunities to secure quality assets in investor-friendly jurisdictions, it’s unlikely international firms will look to China now to invest.

“I can’t see why they would go to China to invest while they can secure quality assets in jurisdictions with a long track record of successful foreign investment in the commodities sector.”

Even before the commodities rout that began more than two years ago, outbound investment by Chinese firms had dwarfed foreign inbound investment in China.

Foreign direct investment in China’s mining industry, covering metals and oil and gas, amounted to about US$300 million last year, the latest official figures show.

It is the lowest in at least 11 years after peaking at just under US$800 million in 2012, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics and Ministry of Commerce cited by commodities consultancy CRU in a report.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-09 00:33:39

Top News
Mon Nov 9, 2015 | 12:50 AM EST
Australia shares tumble to 1-month low as weak commodities, Fed weigh
(Updates to close)

SYDNEY Nov 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares slumped to a one-month low on Monday, falling the most since Oct. 2 as investors fretted about tumbling commodity prices and the risk of a U.S. rate hike in December

The S&P/ASX 200 index skidded 1.8 percent, or 95.5 points, to 5,119.5 at the close of trade. It rose 0.4 percent on Friday.

The market has fallen in seven out of the last 10 sessions, led by a rout in banking stocks on concerns of slowing profit growth. It is down 5 percent so far this year.

New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index dipped 0.4 percent or 21.9 points to finish the session at 6,047.9. (Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-09 00:40:03

Financial Review
Nov 9 2015 at 3:56 PM
Updated 59 mins ago
Commodities hoping for a dovish Fed when December comes

Commodities companies will be watching the US Federal Reserve’s December rate decision like hawks - hoping for doves. Commodities companies will be watching the US Federal Reserve’s December rate decision like hawks - hoping for doves. AP
by Vesna Poljak

Commodities face more pain ahead if the United States Federal Reserve lifts interest rates next month for the first time in almost a decade.

The hike, which markets now estimate to be around a 70 per cent chance of going ahead, is bullish for the US dollar and could point to further appreciation of the greenback in 2016. That means iron ore, copper and oil are less affordable for buyers who trade with other currencies.

After a better than expected outcome for US employment data on Friday, commodities sold-off as anticipation of a rise in interest rates before the end of 2015 grew. On Monday, ASX-listed miners followed suit. Iron ore was down 1 per cent to $US48.21 a tonne and Brent crude oil declined 1.17 per cent to $US47.42 a barrel.

BHP Billiton declined 3.7 per cent to $21.86; Rio Tinto declined 2.5 per cent to $49.53; Woodside Petroleum was down 2.1 per cent to $29.36 and Origin Energy lost 5 per cent to $5.13.

“The correlation between the dollar and commodity prices has stood the test of time this year,” said Ray Attrill, National Australia Bank’s global co-head of foreign exchange strategy. “If you are a non-US dollar based buyer of commodities, it costs you more.”

Slowing activity in China and downgrades to global growth have been bad news for commodity prices in 2015. The supply side of the equation has been slow to respond to changing demand dynamics, exacerbating the collapse in prices.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 03:49:19

The Wall Street Journal
Oil Tankers Are Filling Up and Raking It In
Surging crude-oil output has to go somewhere
With crude output surging, tankers are earning more to move it. Above, a tanker in the San Francisco Bay in April.
Photo: Lynn Doan/Bloomberg News
By Christian Berthelsen
June 25, 2015 7:11 p.m. ET

The oil-tanker market is heating up, a development some analysts say is a warning flare that signals further price declines for crude.

The Baltic Dirty Tanker Index, which tracks the rates to hire oil tankers plying 16 routes, has shot up 25% this month, as global oil output continues to grow. The index is now at its highest level since January 2014.

But an increasing number of these oil cargoes have nowhere to go. Oil producers and traders are rushing to lease tankers while they scramble to find buyers, effectively turning these ships into floating storage facilities. The oil-supply glut has worsened since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries earlier this month decided to maintain crude-output levels.

A recent rebound in oil prices has stalled amid copious supplies world-wide, and many market watchers are bracing for the resumption of a selloff that sent Brent crude, the global benchmark, tumbling to a six-year low in January. On Thursday, Brent fell 29 cents, or 0.5%, to $63.20 a barrel. A year ago, a barrel was $114.

Comment by azdude
2015-11-08 05:55:40

just buy facebook and quit worrying about oil.

Facebook market cap hits 308 billion, more than intel and cisco combined. They actually make something. No bubble here my friends.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 07:25:12

Folks buying FB at today’s prices are tomorrow’s FB’s.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 08:17:02


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Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-11-08 11:38:55

With the gutting of the middle class, virtual entertainment may be the only thing anybody can afford. I’m on the fence about the future of FB.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 04:00:23

The commodities crash has spilled over into shipping.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 04:01:59

Dry-bulk cargo shipping
Hitting the bottom
Worse is still to come for many bulk carriers
Oct 31st 2015

HOW low can the Baltic Dry Index go? That is the question the owners of bulk carriers—ships that carry loose commodities such as coal and iron ore—are asking themselves. Between the start of the financial crisis and January this year, the index—a measure of bulk freight rates—had fallen by 95%. Many in the industry had hoped it would start to recover this year. But there is not much sign of that—and it looks as if more pain is still in store for shipowners.

Overcapacity is the main reason for such low rates. When the index approached an eye-watering figure of 12,000 in 2008, shipyards could not keep up with the orders for new bulk carriers. But then the bubble popped, as demand for commodities collapsed due to the financial crisis, and Chinese economic growth underwent a structural shift away from heavy industry. The index fell to a 30-year low of around 500 in February. There was a modest rebound in the summer, but it did not last.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 04:55:51

FT dot com
China trade slumps on waning demand
Chinese imports drop by nearly one-fifth year-on-year in October while exports dip 7%
3 hours ago
by: Jamil Anderlini in Beijing
A worker monitors the loading of shipping containers at the new container port in Wuhan, in central China’s Hubei province on March 27, 2010, which is undergoing expansion and soon will be the biggest interior harbour in China. The head of the World Trade Organisation, Pascal Lamy, said on March 26 that world trade was expected to grow 9.5 percent in 2010, after suffering its biggest collapse since World War II in 2009. China overtook Germany to become the world’s top exporter with some 1.20 trillion USD worth of merchandise exported in 2009, according to WTO data.
AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s trade with the rest of the world fell sharply in October from a year earlier, with imports of raw materials particularly hard hit as slowing Chinese investment feeds through into weaker demand in the world’s biggest trader of goods.

Chinese imports fell 18.8 per cent in October from the same month a year earlier, a slight improvement from the 20.4 per cent year-on-year fall in September. Sharply lower prices of oil and other commodities also helped scythe the bill.

Exports declined 6.9 per cent in October from a year earlier, deteriorating from the 3.7 per cent fall the previous month as weak global demand and higher Chinese costs led to slumping shipments of the cheap Chinese goods that have flowed to the world in the last decade.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 04:59:45

Home/Forex News Round Up
German Industrial Output Slumps on China Hit
November 6, 2015

Industrial output in German declined for the second straight month in September, adding to ample evidence that weak demand from China, Russia and other developing economies is damaging the country’s economy.

A day after the economics ministry announced steep declines in manufacturing orders, it said Friday that industrial production, adjusted for seasonal swings and calendar effects, dropped 1.1% in September from the previous month. The volume of total industrial output was the lowest in almost one year, at par with last October’s level. By comparison, economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.5% monthly increase in output.

“Businesses have trimmed production somewhat in light of the restrained orders intake in the third quarter,” the ministry said. German manufacturing orders in the third quarter were down 2.8% from the previous quarter as orders from outside the eurozone slumped 8.6%, the ministry had disclosed Thursday.

Comment by azdude
2015-11-08 06:00:03

I guess the volkswagon scandal must be part of that problem too?

Its weird that for a little while they were on the top of their game and then sh@t hits the fan with the emissions scandal. I wonder if there was a disgruntled employee somewhere in the mix?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 07:20:57

An honest employee in a culture of universal deceipt isn’t necessarily “disgruntled.” Sometimes they value their integrity more than the corporate bottom line based on fraud and deception.

Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 10:18:19

This is another one of those mixed feelings things for me. The emissions standards are alarmist nonsense. On the other hand I hate liars, frauds and cheats.

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Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-11-08 11:36:51

The sky in LA has improved remarkably in the las 30 years. I’d say some good came of those standards. Compare to Bejing.

Comment by Anonymous
2015-11-09 14:40:09

You don’t have to believe in human-caused climate change to desire or appreciate cleaner air.

And yes, the air in SoCal is much better now than it was when I was growing up there. Despite the population and the number of vehicles skyrocketing.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-09 15:42:02

Environmentally and health-wise, the place is still a danger.

Comment by palmetto
2015-11-08 10:17:59

“Its weird that for a little while they were on the top of their game”

Yes, during the 1960s with the Bug. Other than that, VW is a case of the Emperor has no clothes, IMO. I’ve had a VW wagon for years now and it’s been a hypersensitive POS almost since day 1. The V-6 engine has been great and so has the body. Just about everything else has sucked. The problems have been constant, and expensive. And yes, it was made in Germany, not in Tennessee.

I’m trying to get rid of it now for a pittance, and it’s not a diesel. Lots of luck with that, I can’t even give it away. I’ll probably have to junk it.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-11-08 15:36:17

What strikes me as odd is that VW was able to take the top sales spot from Toyota. One would think that in the 3rd World that buyers would want a car that doesn’t break, yet they love VW’s.

Then again, I recall when living in the 3rd World that the Germans do a great job of plugging “German Engineering” as somehow being superior in that part of the world. I recall Japanese cars being regarded as “uncool” even though they are far more reliable.

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Comment by redmondjp
2015-11-08 22:53:15

I have had ten Hondas, and two VWs. My 1996 Passat TDi is the funnest, best-handling car to drive that I have ever owned (plus it gets 50mpg). But also the most maddening and unreliable. In the past ten years, I have only put about 35K miles on it (it has sat in the driveway about 50% of the time waiting for me to fix something on it).

The Hondas just run, but they are uninspiring to drive. I daily-drive a 1997 Civic, and my wife a 2001 Odyssey. Pick your poison.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 06:58:29

Reality check for the SJWs and self-appointed guardians of political correctness.

Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 08:10:05

The single easiest thing you can do to fight this SJW political correctness is to vote for Trump.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 08:18:40

He’s an extended middle finger to the Establishment GOP and their Oligopoly puppetmasters. The fact that the MSM is trying so hard to take him down tells me the PTB view him as a threat, which makes him A-OK in my book.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-11-08 08:35:57

The MSM has been going after his main rival for the past few days. RealClear Politics has Trump back in the lead in Iowa.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 09:09:54

Carson has been unmasked as a fabricator despite masquerading as a “Christian conservative” and inspiring alternative to all the amoral sociopaths in high places (like Hillary). It is telling how many on the “religious right” are trying to explain about Carson’s dishonesty - let’s call it what it is - by bleating things like “Ben Carson is NOT a liar” or pointing out that his “embellishments” pale in comparison to Hillary’s whoopers.

Sorry, folks, but a lie is a lie and a lack of basic integrity should disqualify ANYONE for leadership positions, especially the highest office in the land.

Comment by palmetto
2015-11-08 08:49:50

I almost never watch SNL anymore, but I’m glad I watched last night. First time in a long time the show has actually been funny. Trump crushed it, IMO. The scene where Larry David heckled him for being a racist was great, the skit where he “live tweeted” his opinions on one of the sketches was a riot and his White House cabinet meeting was awesome, especially when the Mexican president came in and gave him a check for the border wall and Trump praised him for getting Telemundo to go English language. The final sketch was a little weak, but even then Trump managed a good punch line.

Heh, it was like his appearance on the show suddenly raised the bar for comedy, like the writers and cast were on their game and putting their best foot forward.

I guess, if he can make SNL funny again, maybe he really could make America great again.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 09:11:19

If nothing else, Trump showed he can take a joke and poke fun at himself. I don’t trust people who take themselves too seriously.

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Comment by palmetto
2015-11-08 09:22:20

I enjoyed the Drake sketch, too.

The show was a lot of fun for a change.

The biggest problem I have with the commies is they’re a bunch of humorless pricks, totally devoid of any sense of fun. Completely drab and dreary.

Comment by palmetto
2015-11-08 09:52:14

Case in point: The Atlantic has a ponderous, labored review of last night’s SNL. Needless to say, they didn’t think it was funny. No surprise there.

Most of these folks are on meds, anyway. From what I understand from people who have taken behavior modifying drugs, for the most part they don’t feel much of anything. Jim Carrey described his experience with Prozac as a sort of low level despair.

I think the movie Equilibrium illustrates this well, and the sort of society that springs from it.

Comment by palmetto
2015-11-08 14:10:57

Lol, not to be outdone, The New York Times has weighed in, ripping off the Atlantic. And the Christian Science Monitor wants ta know if NBC should have let Trump do SNL. What a pathetic bunch of hand wringers. Well, they can swallow some Prozac or whatever and enjoy their dull little universes.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-11-08 09:34:55

“maybe he really could make America great again.”

Even funny would be a welcome change.

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Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-11-08 12:09:09

So let me get this straight… you’re upset about people getting upset?

Doesn’t that make you an SJWW?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 07:02:15

As the Oligopoly parasite kills off its host, the productive economy, the banksters war on cash is going to be intensified to identify any and all revenue sources that can be taxed and looted. Forward, Soviet!

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-11-08 07:26:38

“Western NGOs and GOs (Government Organizations) are working hand-in-hand with banks, telecom companies and local authorities to replace cash with mobile money alternatives. The organizations involved include Citi Group, Mastercard, VISA, Vodafone, USAID, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

YES!!! In the middle of every transaction - EVERY TRANSACTION! - there should be positioned A BANKER, a banker positioned in such a way that he gets his cut - gets his cut from BOTH ENDS.

Nirvana, nirvana at last! Pukes work, bankers reap.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 08:19:54

I still pay with cash if at all possible. I will not go quietly into that long goodnight like a compliant little lamb.

Comment by drumminj
2015-11-08 08:40:59

YES!!! In the middle of every transaction - EVERY TRANSACTION! - there should be positioned A BANKER, a banker positioned in such a way that he gets his cut - gets his cut from BOTH ENDS.

This is exactly why I hate using a credit card and try to use cash whenever possible.

Why introduce an unnecessary middleman? Why willingly choose to increase the cost of all goods and services I buy? Why make public a record of anything and everything I buy or do?

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-11-08 09:29:15


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Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 10:21:17

It also forces you to do math a bit and forces the cashiers to also do it — sometimes.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 07:12:37

Unsurprisingly, the urban centers run by WPA and MightyMike’s lib-dem idols are increasingly dytopian basket cases.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-11-08 07:58:35

The 20 worst cities are run by liberal Democrats and the 20 best are also run by liberal Democrats. There’s no pattern there.

Comment by azdude
2015-11-08 08:46:07

Not surprising the 20 worst are all in the golden state.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 10:27:17
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Comment by CalifoH20
2015-11-08 15:26:44

Stay in college, avoid the poverty, live at the beach.

Comment by CalifoH20
2015-11-08 15:37:29

Not everyone is successful enough to live at the beach. You can have NJ and Ohio.

72 degrees here today, should rain tonight.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 17:38:31

Living in poverty is no definition of success Liberace.

Comment by CalifoH20
2015-11-08 18:45:23

Who said anything about poverty? You know all about it, you only get $55 psft to build while craftsman get 4x that in CA.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 19:03:20

You did.

Stay on topic Lib.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 16:37:51

The pattern, which is mentioned in the article for people who bother to read it, is that none of the best small cities are in California but all of the worst are there.

Comment by WPA
2015-11-08 09:38:30

– Drink –

Another Zero Hedge link. Face Moscow and have a shot of vodka, comrade! Thank for you for propagating Putin’s anti-US agitprop, helping to undermine American’s confidence in US institutions.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 10:06:59

Forgive me for not being a good little sheep and getting all my Oligopoly-approved propanda from our corporate media. It certainly isn’t truth-tellers who are “undermining” our institutions.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 10:11:24

Lola…. there is no confidence in US institutions in case you didn’t notice.

Comment by WPA
2015-11-08 10:14:07


Thanks. And I get accused of name calling?

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Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 10:20:40

Your false assertion about institutions Lola. It’s BS.

Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 10:25:53

That’s the least of the accusations you should be worried about.

Comment by WPA
2015-11-08 11:02:49

Your false assertion about institutions Lola. It’s BS.

Mafia Crocks, I have yet to see you or anyone else on here post anything to refute the assertion that Zero Hedge is an agitprop mouthpiece for Putin and the Kremlin.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 11:21:30


The Fed, HUD, Fannie, Freddie, Congress, Higher Ed, all of it is corrupt.

Stay on topic Lola.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-11-08 11:23:54

refute the assertion…

Nobody cares about your assertions, because you are a wingnut.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 14:40:08

Mafia Crocks, I have yet to see you or anyone else on here post anything to refute the assertion that Zero Hedge is an agitprop mouthpiece for Putin and the Kremlin.</i?

It’s a bit more nuanced than that and you know it, WPA, though I see what you did there with classic Alinksy trick of trying to smear by association. The lead writer for ZH is a Bulgarian is is far too pro-Kremlin for my liking. That said, he knows the score about what Wall Steet and the Fed are all about, and most of his commentary is dead on, though no one should harbor any illusions about a possible ulterior motive or agenda. If people are turning to the likes of ZH or RT, it’s because they trust those sources more than the MSM - what does that tell you?

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-11-08 10:16:31

‘In individual interviews with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, both Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Gov. Martin O’Malley cast themselves as the party’s liberal standard-bearers, questioning Clinton’s commitment to the causes Democrats hold dear. Sanders drew a sharp contrast with her on everything from campaign finance reform to foreign affairs.’

‘He noted his opposition to the war in Iraq and his refusal to accept super PAC donations and said he opposes the Obama administration’s recent decision to send special forces to Syria, a position that Clinton supports.’

‘The message intended for Democratic voters was clear: Clinton cannot be trusted to fight hard for liberal values. Clinton, who followed the two men on the stage, largely stuck to her campaign themes, never acknowledging either of her opponents, But she cast herself as a fighter for liberal principles, demurring when asked whether she’s the most hawkish of the Democratic hopefuls and vowing to take on the Koch brothers.’

“Anybody who thinks they can influence what I will do doesn’t know me very well,” she said, responded to a question about the millions of dollars she made from highly paid speeches to Wall Street bankers.’

‘ After seeming to set aside the issue of what he described as her “damn emails” in the first Democratic debate, he appeared to reopen the saga in an interview with The Wall Street Journal earlier this week, saying there are “valid questions” about her correspondence. Aides say he hasn’t changed his position, arguing he long backed continuing the federal investigation into her use of a private server.’

And he was blunt in a Boston Globe editorial meeting on Thursday: “I disagree with Hillary Clinton on virtually everything,” he said.’

‘A day later, Sanders insisted that his comments are rooted not in personality politics but serious policy differences. “I would not have run for president,” he said, “if I believed that establishment politics and establishment economics could solve the very serious problems that we face.”–dem_2016-south_carolina-357b16bb40.html

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Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 10:27:01

We’ll see which party gets in line with their Establishment like nice little drones.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-11-08 10:38:44

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD’s picture

What the?… Who would have thought that the worst are leftist run/controlled?

They just need MORE of your money then all will be peachy.

Then that won’t work so they’ll need more. Then more. Then more…
The Dems (and their behind closed door buddy Repubs) need victims, they need racism.

Without it they are out of business. No voters, no money for programs to be skimmed from and no power.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 07:15:04

Sixty percent of ‘Muricans are on some sort of prescription drugs. That might explain some but not all of the dull-wittedness demonstrated by 95% of the ‘Murican electorate.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-11-08 09:38:29

What does that mean really, 60%? A lot of people get a script for antibiotics once in a while, or for something else not addictive or psychotropic.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-11-08 10:23:23

It probably means nothing. There are probably millions who wake up every morning who take something for high blood pressure or a thyroid condition.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-11-08 12:12:06

Well lets freak out about it anyway! Tree Monkey’s gotta shriek!

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Comment by Oddfellow
2015-11-08 12:32:32

Should a country as dumb and drugged up as we are still have such easy access to firearms?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 16:48:02

A valid question.

Comment by CalifoH20
2015-11-08 18:51:02

Sure, muzzleloaders.

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-11-08 07:21:36

Anybody on the Left coast get to see this?

Air traffic controllers at LAX say the airspace will be used by the military for special operations for a week

By James Gordon For

Published: 10:48 EST, 7 November 2015

Top secret military operations off the Los Angeles coast is forcing aircraft at one of the country’s busiest airports to take alternative routes for an entire week meaning increased levels of noise for those living nearby.

Aircraft that are landing and departing at LAX at night have been informed that they will not be allowed to take fly over the ocean at low altitudes.

Planes usually fly over the ocean to keep noise levels down, but due to the airspace over the pacific being closed to incoming flights for the next week, planes will have to take more circuitous routes.

“We clearly understand that neighbors and communities east of the airport will experience noise and we apologize for that,” said Nancy Castles, LAX public relations director said to ABC7.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

MASSIVE BLUE UFO OVER LOS ANGELES 11-7-15 [HD] - YouTube - 268k - Cached - Similar pages
11 hours ago

Comment by phony scandals
2015-11-08 07:55:30

I like this guy the best so far.

At 1:24 he says…

“Hey, WTF is that?”

Huge Blue UFO over LA 11-7-15 - YouTube - 154k - Cached - Similar pages
9 hours ago

Comment by The Selfish Hoarder
2015-11-08 08:07:45

I didn’t see it but my neighbors did. I read the Nave was testing a Trident rocket.

We citizens are all in peril until we, in the form of tens of millions, demand an end to imperialism, 900 overseas bases, and have at least 70% of the military budget cut. I am worried more for the survival of the human species than to even get our money back from the MIC.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 08:42:30

“We citizens” have devolved into a flock of sheep, as evidenced by the results of the 2008 and 2012 elections. These dumbed-down herd creatures are not going to suddenly awaken and realize what peril we are all in from a confrontation with Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, or, more likely, all of the above.

For the thinking 5%, I suggest reading One Second After (published in 2009) to see how quickly life as we know it could revert to a troglodyte existence and Hobnesian nightmare in the event of an EMP or (worse) a thermonuclear attack.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-11-08 08:49:55

“I didn’t see it but my neighbors did. I read the Nave was testing a Trident rocket.”

I read that too.

It’s good to know if you see something like that at night it isn’t a UFO, probably just a missile carrying nuclear warheads.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-11-08 08:51:14

“I read the Nave was testing a Trident rocket.”

It used to be years ago (and maybe it still is) the Air Force would select a Minuteman missile at random, remove it from its silo and remove the warhead and replace it with a dummy, then they would ship the missile off to Vandenberg AFB and fire it off over the Pacific just to see if it would work. I imagine the navy is doing something similar, randomly selecting Tridents and then firing them off to see if they work.

A good idea IMO, expensive but still a good idea.

The minuteman missiles left behind some spectacular trails. Go here for a look:

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 16:50:59

Maybe we should build a giant catapult, pick some liberal at random (cough WPA cough) and fling them out into the ocean. If they manage to swim back, well, that’s just divine providence I guess. If not…well, it’s not like we’re understocked on liberals.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 10:43:00

We saw it overhead during our twilight tennis game. It looked like a high - altitude airplane exploding in the sky. It brought to mind the scene from Bridge of Spies when a U2 plane gets shot down over the Soviet Union.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 14:41:40

It looked like Jeb’s campaign flaming out despite the rocket fuel of Oligarch financial support.

Comment by redmondjp
2015-11-08 23:01:54

Jeb Can Fix That.

[been waiting for the right time, and this seemed as good as any]

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Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 08:02:54

Do you think your average person is more literate today because of smartphones? It may be on a screen, but I think many more are reading (even if it is about Kim Kardashian). I’d be curious to see a study in 10 years.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 08:25:26

“Literate” in our dumbed-down media should not be confused with “intelligent.” I give you Exhibit A: the last two elections, which conclusively established that 95% of our electorate are morons.

Comment by drumminj
2015-11-08 08:43:13

nor should it be confused with “possessing critical reading skills”

Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 10:37:55

Yeah, I didn’t mean to imply either of those, just that more can read maybe. I think that is a good thing, no matter what.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 08:23:14

Better outgoing than incoming. The latter would NOT be good for West Coast property values, except where they’d be building the new internment camps for the Chinese a la WWII.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 08:34:13

As the cretins proliferate and vote for candidates in their own image, the thought of moving to some remote, austere, beautiful location where I can largely be self-sufficient and shielded from bad decisions by utter morons has tremendous appeal….

Comment by phony scandals
2015-11-08 09:06:58

The Doors “Been Down So Long (Alternate Version)” - YouTube - 283k -

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 09:16:41

“Down So Long” by Jewel. The greatest tragedy of our age is that she repeatedly rebuffed my appeals to have my baby and support me in the style I deserve.

Gosh darn those restraining orders….

Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 10:41:02

She looks amazing as June Carter Cash in the movie Ring of Fire.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 14:43:57

Good Swiss genes. She has a cousin (don’t recall the name) that’s an actress.

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Comment by azdude
2015-11-08 09:16:34

Fear of missing out got u down today?

Comment by WPA
2015-11-08 10:06:10

Fear of missing out got u down today?

Quite the opposite. I’m getting a chuckle out of the attempts to troll MightyMike and myself. Glad the early morning conservatives are having fun.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 10:16:51

Lola’s locked-in losses.

Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 10:45:17

I only troll the real Lola, you mult Lolas are collateral damage.

Comment by WPA
2015-11-08 10:53:15

“Proxy Server” — then there’s that. All that crap accusing Rio of not really living in Brazil is so high school and immature.

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Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 11:00:00

What is immature is pretending to live in Brazil Lola.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 14:46:49

Sorry, gotta agree with WPA on that one. May not be on the same ideological side of the street as Rio, but have never had reason to doubt his integrity. The whole “Rio doesn’t live in Brazil” angle of attack seems slightly demented and obsessive to me.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 15:05:50

When one purposely makes their location a point of contention, then it’s fair game my friend.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 16:55:50

Seems to me you’re the only one making it a point of contention. As far as the rest of us are concerned, Rio lives in Rio. If he said he lived on the moon he might get a few raised eyebrows, but we generally tend to give people the benefit of the doubt about such mundane things as where they live.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 17:22:13

I don’t need to hide behind a proxy nor have I ever but you’re welcome to along with Lola.

Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 18:38:43

Why no posts corresponding to Brazil times? And why pretend to live in Brazil at all. Clearly something is up with him. Some kind of long term catfishing or something.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-11-08 18:52:07

“why pretend”

A wise old Indian once told me that it was useless to try to explain illogical behavior with logic.

Anyway, if I had all my marbles in a Brazilian shack that has lost 60% of its value due to currency collapse and who knows how much more due to economic meltdown, I’d be crying like a baby.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 10:54:42

Real or copycat, a Lolaism is a Lolaism.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 09:59:10

It’s a good thing young people are so distracted by their social media and iCrap, or they’d want to string up the Boomers from the nearest lamp post for leaving them this mess.

Comment by WPA
2015-11-08 10:48:27

The only hope for America to lift herself out of the economic doldrums:

Forget Spending Cuts, the U.S. Economy Really Needs a $2 Trillion Stimulus

“Perhaps John Maynard Keynes’s most important insight in his magnum opus, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, is that economies can settle into multiple equilibria (as opposed to the single, full-employment equilibrium of the classical theory). Keynes concluded that government policy is sometimes necessary to boost effective demand and move the economy to a healthier equilibrium, particularly when — as today — a glut of savings persists (at the expense of demand) despite low interest rates. That’s what economists refer to as a “liquidity trap.”

There’s a $3 billion backlog in America’s aging infrastructure — dams, water pipelines, bridges, airports — that need replacement and updating. Yet our so-called Congressional “leaders” won’t touch it because they would rather see America crumble to dust than dare break their Norquist pledges against raising taxes or increasing spending.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 11:02:26

Economic doldrums? That doesn’t align with all your Obama-pimping, Lola.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-11-08 14:52:56

Any “infrastructure investment” will involve financing by Goldman Sachs and sweetheart deals to politically well-connected construction firms.

Comment by ProxyServer
2015-11-08 18:40:05

And handing out the dough to union cronies.

Comment by azdude
2015-11-08 13:48:11

has wall street “FOMO” ED any of you folks?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 16:30:08

Are you ignoring the strong dollar at your peril?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 16:43:11

Marketwatch dot com
Investors are ignoring the strong dollar at their peril
By Sue Chang
Published: Nov 8, 2015 1:20 p.m. ET
Greenback to remain firm into 2016, but investors don’t seem concerned about effects

A strong dollar is denting earnings at companies with significant overseas exposure.

The dollar is on a hot streak, a resounding vote of confidence in the U.S. economy. But for U.S. corporations that rely on foreign sales, a firmer currency is a headache that won’t go away and most investors are being much too complacent, according to the world’s largest asset manager.

“Going into 2016, a stronger dollar and the advent of a tightening cycle, even a gentle one, could impede both U.S. earnings growth and multiple expansion,” warned Russ Koesterich, BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist, in a blog post earlier this week. “For now, however, based on last week’s U.S. stock market performance, investors appear to be overlooking this fact.”

Comment by The Selfish Hoarder
2015-11-08 17:10:19

Precious metals have been drifting lower and lower for years as the threat of rate hikes have been more and more ominous. This is part of the reason that after rate hikes go up, precious metals prices tend to go higher and when rate hikes go down precious metals prices tend to go down.

Most people do not want to own gold. Lots of people sell when it’s low and buy only when it’s high.

Bitcoin is the same way.

Timing is elusive in either case. So the best bet is to buy regularly over a period of years. I’d imagine back in January 1980 if I put one hundred percent of my savings in gold, it would be bad timing, but I did not do that. I probably would have, being that I did not know much about asset allocation.

I have been successful so far with the conservative strategy of buying small amounts over time. This is also why I am also successful with bitcoin.

Yellen will probably hike the rates in December to a perilously high (LOL) 0.25% and gold prices will probably drop to $900. But after three or four rate hikes the metals prices will zoom.

The pressure will be on to abolish cash, make everyone load up electronically with assets, then BOOM! Confiscate electronically ten percent of all wealth in the USA to pay off some of the debt.

But cash under the mattress, precious metals in physical form, and crypto currency will not be confiscated.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-11-08 17:20:43

Wouldn’t the cash under the mattress no longer be usable?

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-11-08 18:40:33

“But cash under the mattress, precious metals in physical form, and crypto currency will not be confiscated.”

The best savings is to not have debt. Then the best savings is to simplify one’s expenses. Anything can be confiscated if it can be found. $10K, you are a drug dealer. Gold bullion, you are a maybe a terrorist. Bitcoin, already being confiscated.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-08 19:17:42

“This is part of the reason that after rate hikes go up, precious metals prices tend to go higher and when rate hikes go down precious metals prices tend to go down.”

Actually there’s no comparable period over the past sixty years where interest rates never increased for seven straight years from which you can generalize what happens when rates normalize this time. But unless inflation picks up, higher rates will not work in favor of physical gold.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-11-08 19:50:33

Leveraged asset investments will be liquidated.

Comment by Anonymous
2015-11-09 15:26:04

I’m not so sure crypto-currency can’t be confiscated. Even if it can’t, then it can certainly be outlawed.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-11-08 18:44:08

Peyton cratered tonite. :mrgreen:

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-09 00:04:15

Is there any limit to the ability of governments to use debt funded stock purchases in order to artificially inflate share prices?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-11-09 00:07:20

Business Insider
Money & Markets
China’s debt-fuelled stock market rally is back
David Scutt Tomorrow at 10:32 AM
Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images

To say Chinese stocks have endured a volatile period in recent months is perhaps the financial market understatement of the year. Up until June 12 they were on an unbelievable tear, rising more than 150% in just 12 months on the back of new account openings, cheerleading from the government and, as a consequence of both, increased margin debt used to purchase stocks. It all seemed too good to be true.

Then, almost as quickly as they went up, stocks started to fall. One day after the next, it seemed that the benchmark Shanghai Composite was suffering another muti-percentage decline. As the losses mounted, so too did the number of investors who were losing on their trades, particularly those who leveraged up using debt to facilitate their share purchases. Many investors – particularly those with limited experience in markets and little education – were learning the hard way that leverage in the stock market can magnify both gains and losses.

Between June 12 to August 26, the Shanghai Composite lost 45% from peak to trough. Many other smaller indices, brimming with small cap stocks, suffered declines of an even greater magnitude. It was a bloodbath, especially for leveraged investors.

After an unprecedented volley of measures to stop the markets losses from the government – including banning some investors from selling, forcing some state-backed bodies to buy, postponing IPO listings, limiting the ability to short sell and even arresting those who were deemed to have sold “maliciously” – the government eventually got its way. The market began to recover.

Slowly but surely, it began to move higher. Almost by stealth, the extreme losses quickly turned to massive gains. From its August 26 nadir, the benchmark Shanghai Composite index rallied 26% over just 45 trading sessions.

It’s been a breathtaking rally, and one that has been built upon familiar shaky foundations – margin debt.

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