A quick tenner:

Kass: Market Has Likely Topped (TheStreet.com) Investors today face the polar opposite of conditions that existed only a few months ago, with economic optimism, improving valuations and positive sentiment. Doug Kass believes the U.S. stock market has peaked for the year. To most investors, today the fear of being in has now been eclipsed by the fear of being out as the animal spirits are in full force. Bears are now scarce to nonexistent in the face of steady price gains in equity and credit prices.

Do you suffer from GSR aka Goldman Sachs Rage? (Time)

More Roubini Backlash: Waiting for Economy Roubini Can Believe In Means Missing Rally of Century (Bloomberg) Anyone attempting to apply Roubini’s wisdom to stocks may be forgiven for missing the biggest rally since the 1930s as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 52 percent in six months. While Roubini said in March the advance was a “dead-cat bounce,” that it may “fizzle” in May and warned in July that the economy’s “not out of the woods,” the MSCI World Index was posting a 58 percent gain, the largest since it began in 1970.

Wall Street Fox Beds Down in Taxpayer Henhouse (Bloomberg)

Decade of Debt: $9 Trillion (WSJ) Plunging tax receipts, soaring spending and a sluggish recovery will push the nation’s deficits dramatically higher over the next decade, creating new complications for President Barack Obama’s domestic agenda. The deteriorating budget picture, detailed Tuesday in separate White House and congressional reports, comes just as Democrats and Republicans prepare to resume the battle over Democratic plans to spend $1 trillion overhauling the nation’s health-care system.  See also Your Federal Budget, in Pictures (Economix)

One Citi employee is entitled to a $100 million bonus. Should the company stiff him? (Slate)

Beijing loves IKEA — but not for shopping (LA Times) “We just came here for fun. I suppose we could have gone somewhere else, but it wouldn’t have been a complete experience.”

5 Myths About Health Care Around the World (Washington Post)

Comedy Central Tries to Gauge Passion of Its Viewers (NYT) DO your friends who watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, the late-night hosts on the Comedy Central cable channel, stop you on the latte line the next morning or e-mail, text or tweet you to quote lines from those shows? And when they do, do you think that they’re kind of cool? Comedy Central has research that says you do — or at least some committed fans of those shows are convinced that you do. A little over 20 percent of hard-core fans of Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert said in a “multi-engagement study” conducted by Harris Interactive Research that “people think I’m cool because I watch” those two programs.

Very funny: Joe Cocker Subtitled

Anything else intriguing?

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

116 Responses to “Wednesday 10 Spot”

  1. OregonGuy says:

    The Roubini article is pretty ugly in its premise. The author strikes me as the type that kicks stray dogs and poisons cats. Another reason to ignore the mainstream financial press.

  2. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Kass: Market Has Likely Topped

    Doug Kass’ latest. No real news here, just a reiteration of his views and a definitive call of the top. I agree with his views and respect his market bottom call. I’m still trying to understand the market psychology myself. The one thing I disagree with is the Generational Bottom call. I really think we’ll see a new low. But I suppose that nominally we might not. It all goes back to the deflation vs. inflation debate, which I don’t want to get into here. :)

  3. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Trader Mark: China Studies Curbs on Overcapacity in Steel, Cement

    Quote: “As always the news only matters when it matters. More and more negative data points are building. When the market recognizes them is an open question – caution is warranted however. Sun Tzu is gathering forces in the mountains, waiting to strike…”

  4. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Trader Mark: U.S. Federal Budget, in Pictures

    Quote: “If you tried to live your life with 40% of revenue from credit cards or other such borrowings you wouldn’t last long, but this shows you in living color – that’s “how we do it!”.”
    “If you are trying to teach your child how to balance a budget please don’t show them these graphics.”

  5. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Trader Mark: AP: Consumer Straining – Pens and Notebooks Put on Layaway (aka Just Another Green Shoot)

    Quote: “Reality must be stopped … And there is one way to stop it: “Cash for Christmas” checks from your friendly government class. I’m waiting.”
    Mark’s on a roll today! Excellent post. Sad, but truthful.

  6. Daffyorbugs says:

    Buffet doesn’t understand tech, and he missed one of the finest crashes in market history.

  7. Onlooker from Troy says:


    Quote: ““I know a man who is planning to capitulate and buy stocks. He cannot comprehend what is happening today. … Why do other investors not contemplate the prospect of further household deleveraging when building their profit forecasts?” he fumes. “Can they not see that the private sector’s deleveraging is more than offsetting the public sector’s expansion?” Despite such ranting my Minskian friend remains a most entertaining and charming individual.”

    LOL, I know that feeling! Excellent commentary from Hug Hendry. Also addresses the question making the rounds about what could possibly cause another strong downdraft in the stock markets; even to new lows.

  8. investorinpa says:

    The latest RE scam going on… http://sootandashes.blogspot.com/

    Boemio specializes in short selling, in a particularly Vegas way. Basically, she finds clients who owe more on their house than the house is worth (and that’s about 60% of homeowners in Las Vegas) and sells them a new house similar to the one they’ve been living in at half the price they paid for their old house.

    Then she tells them to stop paying the mortgage on their old place until the bank becomes so fed up that it’s willing to let the owner sell the house at a huge loss rather than dragging everyone through foreclosure. Since that takes about nine months, many of the owners even rent out their old house in the interim, pocketing a profit.

  9. Transor Z says:

    Joe Cocker was awesome. Thanks for the laugh.

  10. Clem Stone says:

    At least Kass didn’t get stopped out before noon this time. But if he capitulates before the day is over i’m going to put him permanently in the Yo-yo Camp with Cramer.

  11. 10 cc says:

    “Wall Street Fox Beds Down in Taxpayer Henhouse”

    I don’t even have to read the article. The headline itself says it all. That has to be the best description of the events of the last year that I’ve ever seen; and in just eight words. Elegant in its’ simplicity.

  12. VennData says:

    …anyone venting their “Vampire Squid Rage” (VSR) at a Town Hall meeting? anyone starting a VSR militia?

  13. mcHAPPY says:

    That Joe Cocker was priceless. Unfortunately I don’t know if one of my favourite songs will ever be looked at the same again. Although I must confess I’ve always wondered what the hell he was saying .

  14. Pat G. says:

    “Rally of the Century”? This is only 2009. “GSR”? Nope. They’re doing what any good, U.S. corporation would do; exploiting a weakness…the USG. The “Henhouse” article will eventually result in this country going into the Outhouse. I didn’t read the “Decade of Debt” article because I am disavowing any personal responsibility for it. lol

  15. call me ahab says:

    quote-bloomberg article re Roubini-

    “We’re looking at a bull cycle in phase one,” Laszlo Birinyi said in a telephone interview yesterday . . . Roubini has “done a very good job on the economy,” Birinyi said in an interview Aug. 24. “Our approach is to try to understand the market and not try to do much more than that.”

    so does anyone look at the strains on our entire economy from a budget deficit that is beyond fixable and a consumer that is layiny away for school supplies?

    he never explains in his article why he is bullish- that is the question I have to ask- why is anyone bullish-

    is it becasue they count on the USG to provide zero rates indefinitely and to backstop bank losses and bank balance sheets- that they count on the USG to provide all means mecessary to support asset prices through bubble creation?

    I am trying to understand- where is the good news or rationale for a bullish stance at this point in time? The MSM are complete dunces- that they were cheering the economy even as the dark clouds swirled overhead should speak volumes as to how well to trust anything they have to say

  16. leftback says:

    The Time article on Blankfein is tedious – and the author is probably now spending the money he received from GS.

  17. Greg0658 says:

    investorinpa at 2:53 pm “The latest RE scam …”
    wow .. had to read that a couple 3 times to sink in .. the 2 steps ahead of policy folks to survive (or play)

    I guess its one way to get free market capitalism back into living wage balance with our global competitors … don’t know anymore whether to high5 em or call some kind of cop

  18. Onlooker from Troy says:


    re: why is anyone bullish

    I ask the same thing. Some are “bullish” only in their view that the irrational market will continue higher due to govt backstopping of business and flooding the world with more easy money, etc. They’re just riding the momentum while holding their noses.

    Those like Birinyi and Glassman (JPM) seem to actually be drinking the Kool Aid of real recovery. They don’t want to answer the questions of the like that you pose, but instead just say that people are too negative and point to the cost cutting that will lead to fat profits once revenues recover; because they always do.

    They dismiss the notion of a balance sheet recession and pretend that the massive debt overhang and required deleveraging just don’t matter. Their arguments are very shallow and lack critical thinking or skepticism, and are clearly reflective of guys who think the market will always be as it was through the secular bull; i.e. always buy the dips. They don’t acknowledge the structural weaknesses in the global economy and the consequences of the still building debt and leverage.

    Or they know all that and are just snakes who want to fleece people of their money. I don’t know which it is.

    But you probably knew all that. :) I don’t get it either.

  19. ironman says:

    “Anything else intriguing?”

    How about: Econophysicist Flubs Predicting Chinese Stock Market Collapse – but earns partial credit from blogging physicist. It’s geeky on s0-many different levels!

  20. Robespierre says:

    “Applying Roubini Wisdom to Stocks Means Missing Out” Dissent form the party line will be dealt with harshly. I expect many more attacks on any one or any blog that actually questions the current rally, MSN and the administration.

  21. Bruce in Tn says:

    Your Federal Budget, in Pictures (Economix)

    Article is interesting, but the comments after are moreso….especially what the congressional budget office sees as tax rates going forward to try to keep the deficit in check..(hint: don’t guess Lower……)

    B in T

  22. Pat G. says:

    Cash for Clunkers. Cash for washers and dryers. Now we have Cash for refrigerators. Damn, I wished I’d known this was going to happen. I could have replaced my old car and all my old appliances with your money and saved mine. lol If they come up with Cash for huge, flat screen TVs, I’m participating.


  23. Onlooker from Troy says:


    Indeed. We are SOOOO in denial about our budget problems. And so we’re just taking the immoral route of passing it on to our descendants. They’ll be spitting on our graves.

  24. Pat G. says:

    @ Onlooker

    I’m going to have “I didn’t do it” or “it wasn’t me” engraved on my headstone.

  25. DeDude says:

    Loved that link to the debunking of 5 myths about health care in other countries. That should be the start on any debate about how to fix health care here.

  26. leftback says:

    Barry, things we already knew:

    BTW, has anyone else tried posting at Krugman’s blog? He doesn’t seem to like criticism…
    LB has called him out several times for not understanding – or admitting – how markets are gamed by the IBs.

  27. Bruce in Tn says:


    I hope they limit it to sPitting…..

  28. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Pat G.

    I hear ya man. Me too. I know those statements are generalizing and individuals have very little control over the directions taken by our govt. But in the aggregate, future generations won’t look kindly upon this era.

    Intergenerational tension is already building, as I’m sure you’re aware. There’s much venom being spewed at the Baby Boomer generation from the younger set. But to be fair, the damage started before the Boomers were “in control.” But folks just couldn’t face the truths or stomach the sacrifices. And the imbalances just grew.

    And you can argue that in the macro sociological and economic sense, it was all somewhat inevitable given the global forces at work over the last 50+ years. But I still don’t let us off the hook. And I’m a tail end Boomer.

  29. torrie-amos says:

    fwiw, imho, JPM is in it up to there eye balls, who was out in Feburary non-stop saying, bad economy, no lending, borrowers tapped out, it will take a long time, and bam, one month later the rally starts, the problem this time around is it is obvious what is being done, yet, u get the same TALK, things are good, will only get better, apparently if you’ve been in the financial business for 20-40 years, the assumption is that people always buy and buy more, Lynch said it best, Growth In Sales Leads to Growth In Earnings, oil goes over 85 bucks and it is all over, cause u know gs will push it too 100, there is such a thing as cost, like how much it costs to do whatever, by pumping in dollars with abandon they are just doing it all over again, how are the banks posting profits, why following GS’s lead, trading trading trading with cheap money, raising credit card rates, and pushing all losses further on down the line, makes no sense, yet, it is what is going on

  30. Bruce in Tn says:


    I have seen your tracks on a number of sites, lately. And often with good points…is someone ghost writing for you?


  31. Onlooker from Troy says:


    Yeah, they’re liable to just clear the graveyards and graze cows or something there! LOL

  32. Pat G. says:

    @ Onlooker

    Yeah, we’re going to take the fall. But you’re right. It all started with Trickie Dick and the oldest Baby Boomers were just in their 20s at that point. In other words, none of them were in political positions.

  33. leftback says:

    @B in T: Ha! LB only haunts the more cerebral macro-oriented sites. No politics, and Yahoo! is for .. yahoos.

  34. Bruce in Tn says:


    Tsunami of Home Foreclosures to Hit US: Economist

    “I believe we are about to see a tsunami of foreclosures in the US,” Karsbøl said.

    “Karsbøl added that the notion that unemployment in the US is declining is not true because of a sharp fall in the participation rate.

    Karsbøl said that the surge in foreclosures should sideswipe any rally in stocks before long.”

    I ask you, where do they get these dunderheads??
    …as soon as helicopter Ben looks up the definition of tsunami, there will be a new program to stop this foreclosure nonsense….the very idea that there is a much larger group of houses about to hit the market…sheer poppycock…

  35. torrie-amos says:

    lol, i always thought it started with trickie dick also, if the guy at the top can get away with it, well, what is the point, if u don’t do bodily physical harm, well, with money and power it can be forgiven

  36. mcHAPPY says:

    @ Pat G

    You could have purchased all those items (Cash For Whatever) however Denniger made some interesting points yesterday that I wouldn’t have been aware of due to not following the US taxation system. He discussed the double tax whammy many were getting on the CFC. The jist of it was because of the CFC credit people were paying full MSRP price i.e. full taxes. Then the CFC credit was to be taxed as income at the state level! PRICELESS!

    Imagine what the numbers are going to look like come Q4 when people blew their discretionary load on CFC….. that is assuming there is any discretionary income after necessities have been paid…. that is assuming necessities are paid…. that is assuming there is still income. I can’t believe the FED/BB/Timmy/BO are acting this reckless *cough*stupid*cough* intentionally. They must know what is going to come down the line and want another orchestrated crash.

  37. BSNEATH says:

    So a liberal news weekly defends Goldman Sachs and is “perplexed” about the rage. I am perplexed about liberals. When did they become advocates for wealth accumulation by the powerful and connected?

  38. Onlooker from Troy says:

    I ripped this off a comments section elsewhere but thought is so good and wanted to share it here:

    “Looks like we still have 5 stages of grief to go…would have thought we’d be deep into depression and reflection by now, but clearly we still have one foot in denial, with the other in bargaining…did I miss anger, or was that a one-day event in early November?”

  39. Pat G. says:

    @ Bruce

    NAR says, “Tsunami of new foreclosures has caused existing housing prices to decline. Take advantage, by getting in now before it’s too late. This could be your last chance to buy that affordable home of your dreams”.

  40. Pat G. says:

    @ torrie-amos

    Yeah, Trickie Dick was part of the Greatest Generation (?).


    I had no idea. Glad I’m not working for the IRS and have to check all those returns. Plenty of tax filers will miss that, therefore be wrong, will file on the 14th as usual, therefore need to file for an extenstion to correct their forms, then pay a late penalty fee. It just doesn’t get any better, does it?

  41. Onlooker from Troy says:


    I saw that bit about CFC on Denninger’s site too. I LOL about the suckers paying full MSRP, being totally complacent about bargaining with Uncle Stupid subsidizing the cost. I don’t know how true it is, but I can believe it. The thing is that the price will always be influenced to the upside when there’s a govt subsidy being given to purchase. The subsidy doesn’t end up going to the buyer, by and large, but to the seller. And of course that’s the point here and why the legislators from Michigan especially are so keen on the idea.

    Now they’re gearing up to restock inventory. What happens when there’s no follow through? Uh, oh. That’s what happens when govt steps in and helps send false signals to business and the markets. Of course the company execs should be smarter than that and carefully assess market demand less govt subsidies. But they don’t apparently know how to do that anymore as they’ve been well trained to rely on the govt backstop. And then we end up with an industry which still has too much capacity and no pricing power, and the cycle continues. Sigh

  42. RobinWalsby says:

    Online MMO Bank Failure … (Source http://www.bluesnews.com)

    TARP .hmmmm

    EVE Online Banking Story

    [Aug 26, 2009, 12:48 pm ET] – Share – 24 Comments
    Massively has details on another interesting tale to emerge from EVE Online, where EBANK, one of the game’s player-operated financial institutions, has admitted to being in the red to the tune of some 1.2 trillion (yes, with a “t”) of the ISK that is the game’s coin of the realm. Accounts in the virtual bank are now frozen, and the article outlines the mechanics of the game’s virtual economy as well as details on the embezzlement and mismanagement that has head to the 1.2 trillion shortfall. They have optimistic word from one of the banks’ operators on when withdrawals will be allowed and when accounts will being earning interest again, as well as pessimistic word that the full extent of the losses may not yet be fully understood.

  43. Moss says:


    Right u are. Too many are still wedded to the bunk of American exceptionalism and of course the outright lies of the RepubliCONS.

  44. call me ahab says:


    they are all in if Obama is all in-

    its all politics and power to some folks- left and right- whether it contradicts their basic principles or not

  45. Bruce in Tn says:

    A pessimist is just a well-informed optimist…hmmm…


    Fed’s Lockhart sees protracted high unemployment

    “My forecast for a slow recovery implies a protracted period of high unemployment,” Lockhart, a voting member of the Fed’s policy-setting committee this year, told the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce in a luncheon speech.

    …but with 275k losses in the last report and the UR goes down from 9.5 to 9.4%…seems like to me they just need more job losses…

    Math is so hard…

  46. rohnin says:

    Digg/WSJ posted the interview with Tim Geithner using questions submitted and voted by Digg users:


    I believe you had a post about this when it was initially announced and Digg was gathering questions.

  47. matt says:

    On Sunday, I spoke with a man who installs and repair commercial heating and cooling units. He has been doing this since the late 1970s. In that time, he claims that he has never seen anyone laid off in his line of work during August. This year, he knows 15 people who were laid off in August. Green shoots.

  48. thetanman says:

    Joe Cocker reminds me of Belushi’s imitation on SNL. I never missed it back then. Del Stator’s Toad Ranch and all that.


    People don’t seem to realize what it was like following Kass at the market nadir. About a week or so before the turnaround he recommended three stocks. One was FCX. Anyway, I was down 26% in just three days. It took just under a 25% gain off the bottom to get back even. So it wasn’t like one day Kass said it was the bottom and that was it. It wasn’t all hearts and flowers, but in fact was painful and hugely nerve wracking. And the urge to bail just at the wrong time was very strong.

  49. Cohen says:


    While American car companies ramp up, Toyota is cutting production.



    I watched it yesterday, Turbo Tax Timmy is so disingenious during that interview.

  50. Bruce in Tn says:


    California tax credit expires, home permits sink

    “SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Homebuilding permits filed in California in July fell significantly from June as a state tax credit for buyers of new homes expired, a homebuilders group said on Monday.
    The group also said the number of new homes built in the most populous U.S. state would sink to a record low this year.

    California has been hit hard by the housing downturn which, combined with a foreclosure glut and tight mortgage credit, have hammered the state’s homebuilding industry.

    The tax credit offered earlier this year pulled homebuyers from the sidelines back into the state’s beleaguered market for new homes but they have retreated since the incentive lapsed last month.”

    …Now let’s see…what about that 8k tax credit nationally?

    Crank up that ‘copter!

  51. mcHAPPY says:

    @ B in T

    Do you, or anyone else, know if that $8K credit would be taxable like the CFC? If so hahahahahaha too much.

  52. Cohen says:


    I don’t think so, the $8,000 is an actual tax credit

  53. markd says:

    +100 on the Cocker!

  54. mcHAPPY says:


    Excuse my ignorance of American tax law as it does not impact me. My understanding was if the money is coming from the federal government then at the state level it is considered income. Would the federal tax credit negate the state tax or would the state not tax i.e. recognize this credit at all? Thanks for any clarification.

  55. call me ahab says:


    Cohen is correct- $8,000 1st time homebuyer credit is just that a credit- and is credited against taxes owed- however- if your tax bill is less than the $8,000 you get the difference back from the IRS- so you get the whole amount regardless of your actutal tax liability-

    i guess that is the reward for buying when Uncle Dumbass says so

  56. danm says:

    re: why is anyone bullish
    Why do I get the feeling that the most bullish are the 45-55 age group?

    To me anyway, it just seems that the oldest boomers were more frugal and the Gen-X (1965=1975) know there will not be anything left by the time they retire.

  57. call me ahab says:


    re state income tax- short answer- no- a tax credit is not considered income

  58. willid3 says:

    financial time bombs aka financial innovation gone amuck?

  59. Greg0658 says:

    FastMoney “Beer Prices to Pop” ya .. Football’s coming .. talkin to my bartender yesterday .. I guess IL is increasing taxes on the hard stuff $3 a bottle and beer about 50 cents (a case) .. you know to balance the $6B books shortfall

    I shouldn’t be pumpin this .. but I will .. saw it on the Great CNBC too:
    Great California dotgov Garage Sale

  60. Pat G. says:

    Happy days are here again!! We have refinancings and investors leading the housing turnaround. And just when you thought the reflation trade was dead in the water. I knew they could revive it. Actually, I was counting ($$) on it.


  61. Pat G. says:

    Oh, and here’s Schiff’s slant on Ben’s reappointment.


  62. willid3 says:

    more on financial wizardry time bombs

  63. harold hecuba says:

    yadda yadda yadda from the bulls. chinese employees are paid an average of 2 bucks a day. most of the undeveloped world is paid a fraction of what the stiffs in the US are paid. if we are in a global economy, just think rationally. something must give and it all portends to a huge standard of living adjustment for the US. this does not even touch the issues involving the dollar which will in time collpase. we have an insane gov and insane central bank. the insane is defined as doing the same things over and over expecting a different outcome. well the US and most central banks are in this same predicament and have the same mindset. all believe that inflation will solve all issues. what a shame what a sham. say goodbye to the USA it was a good run nad destroyed by banks which of course thomas jefferson warned many years ago.

  64. call me ahab says:

    pat g- nice little quote from your link-

    “If the Bush years were as bad as the Democrats claim, then it is curious that they are mimicking and magnifying the same mistakes. No one has been held accountable for a financial crisis that the professors, pundits, and politicians told us would not come. All the same players are running the game, always changing the rules so they stay on top. Real ‘change we can believe in’ would be a return to our roots in the rule of law and a system of sound money ”

    here, here- maginfying all the stupid mistakes under the Bush regime- no-one held accountable for the crisis- same players running the game- and gaming everything to their advantage-

    something wrong with that picture

  65. willid3 says:

    private equity taking over the banks


    I guess they (banksters) will be even worse the next time around and there will be one as they will (PE) bail as quickly as possible once they own a bank

  66. Wes Schott says:

    there has been no Change….

    the corporations continue to merge with the government…

    it is not about money, it is about power – the consolidation of power continues…

  67. Pat G. says:

    @ harold

    Harold don’t feel so despondent. The U.S. will be re-born like the Phoenix. A new country will be rebuilt from the ashes of the old. One where our constitution is reaffirmed, ALL of our citizens share equally in the bounty and corrupt politicians, special interest groups, lobbyists and bankers are a fading memory.

  68. Pat G. says:

    @ ahab

    Yeah, Schiff has been pounding that point for awhile. I’m sure you’ve heard this before; “if you’re not part of the solution, than you are part of the problem”.

  69. call me ahab says:

    pat g-

    so when is this new rebirth going to happen?

    American’s are bored and disinterested- how are they going to shake things up?

  70. Pat G. says:

    @ Wes

    Let them consolidate all they want. The real power lies with us; we have the numbers. Consequently, we are the force. And they will find that out soon enough.

  71. zell says:

    This may have been discussed before; but does anyone hqave thoughts on Chris Martenson’s “Shell Game -How the Fed is Monetizing Debt” thesis that Zero Hedge put out today?

  72. jc says:

    A lake full of Black Swans?
    What happens if BB continues to print cash to buy Treasuries that the foreign buyers grow leery of and while the deficit rises, jobs and real estate fall and the Dow shoots up to 15K,20K,25K – will he pull pull away the punch bowl that Greensputum wouldn’t?

    BB is betting on the wealth effect of WS to jack us out of Greensputums depression but there’s a lake full of black swans waiting for sunrise.

  73. The Curmudgeon says:

    I’m with Harold, but then I’ve learned that worship of a country is just as foolish as worshipping any other of a multitude of false gods. If the US fails, something will occupy the space. Nature abhors a vacuum. Along about September of 2008, when the US basically became, through the vehicle of the US Treasury and Fed Reserve, a socialist state, its fate was sealed. It was then I quit caring whether it succeeded or failed.

    But a new country can’t be rebuilt from the ashes of the old, so long as the old country uses the massive wealth and power it has accumulated over the years to forestall anything being cleared away. For example, there won’t be any Phoenix’s rising from the ashes of the car companies, because there were no ashes. Same’s true of financial companies, housing companies, etc., etc.,

  74. Pat G. says:

    @ ahab

    It’s already happening in town hall meetings around the U.S. It’s like a large boulder gathering speed as it rolls down the hillside. Polls indicate that American’s number 1 issue right now is NOT the economy. Although that is certainly #2. No, the #1 issue is government (Federal & State) deficits. Unemployment will be with us for some time. When the Boomers start retiring in mass in a couple of years, some will not get the benefits that have been promised to them or they will be eroded by the inflation which will exist at that time. Coupled with those on welfare rolls, unemployed, disenfranchised, displaced, homeless or downtrodden, they will constitute the largest voting block in America. A leader will emerge from them, who has common sense, a sense of justice and responsibility who will be given a mandate by a majority of the U.S. population to rid us of the insidious parasites which now plague this country. Naturally the bad guys aren’t going down easy so this new leader will need to be elected by popular vote through the referendum (write in) process. With the advent of the Internet this is much more doable today than was ever possible.

  75. Bruce in Tn says:


    No worker in one-sixth of UK households

    More than one in six households containing people of working age now has no one in work, official statistics show.

    The recession has seen the number of workless households rise by almost a quarter of a million over the year, up 240,000 to 3.3m. The measure excludes pensioners, covering households with children and working-age adults.

  76. Pat G. says:

    @ ahab

    Think The Revolution, The Great Depression, World War II or Travel to the Moon.

    When most Americans come together for a common purpose they can make anything happen. Resolve and ingenuity are two of this country’s greatest cornerstones. Don’t count them out, quite yet… Once it gets to be most painful for the majority, American’s will become more interested in making “real” change happen and concentrate their efforts towards that goal. It’s only a matter of time…

  77. call me ahab says:


    that’s the problem my man- time- how much time- 200 years or 200 days or 200 minutes- i see your point however-but-

    the problem is always going to be this-

    the party in is voted out and the party that takes over does NOTHING- as always-

    so the voters think they did something- but- in reality- they have done nothing

  78. Andy T says:

    Not sure what it is about Ikea, but my wife and kids love just going there to shop around. They’ll normally buy a few small things, but they’re mostly there to wander around and eat the Swedish meatballs.

    Additionally, the brown gravy packets they sell there are pretty good. That’s the minimum purchase at IKEA: several packets of their gravy mix.

  79. Pat G. says:

    @ ahab

    With the advent of Bush followed by Obama, the American population is learning that they are essentially electing tweedle-dee or tweedle-dum. Regardless of professed party affiliation (ideals), today’s politicians are all pretty much the same, in it for themselves and nothing noteworthy changes.
    The Electoral College is broken and has provided us with the same candidates, one election after another. Once a majority of them realize that their fate is tied to this broken mechanism which provides them with essentially, a revolving door of the same types of people they will begin to look outside of it and determine how to effect change. That’s the trigger. The candidate of change will not come from either the Democratic or the Republican parties. He/she will be an outsider, elected by the majority.

  80. Andy T says:

    in re: Kass. I like the ballsy approach there.

    On the intraday charts it seems like we’re carving out a small triangle so maybe one more little blast tomorrow or Friday….maybe we can get a 1044 print?

    Interesting to see three dojis in a row….that’s sort of how the most recent leg from July began…with a tri-star doji pattern. There’s no such thing as “quad” star doji patter, so bears need a good down tomorrow to confirm a peaking pattern. A settle below 1009 would be necessary to confirm this bearish pattern.

    If you’re a bear, it would be nice to see some sort of bullish upside break out of the small triangle on the open, then big reversal into the 1044-1054 resistance zone followed by close below 1009….that would look extremely bad….

  81. cvienne says:

    To Sam Hill with “cash for clunkers”, “cash for washers & dryers” & “cash for refrigerators”…

    Gimme a break Obama!

    Dammit! I want a “cash for 56′ TV” program! I’m tired of my old 56′ flat screen energy hog and want to upgrade to an 80 inch energy efficient one… The damn NFL is starting up in two weeks!

  82. Pat G. says:

    @ ahab

    Oh, and how long until this happens? Depends on how long most Americans can tolerate the pain. I’m betting not long. But it will have to get to the point where it effects about two-thirds of this countries’ households.

  83. investorinpa says:

    Folks, I have the story of the day, hands down. Our Fed Chair, who has disregarded the identity of the US to inflate the economy, has had his OWN identity stole and the money was used to inflate other bank accounts! And best of all, he was banking with Wachovia! You cannot make this stuff up!


  84. Kimble says:

    The 5 myths of healthcare around the world is a rubbish article.

    It starts with the premise that certain criticisms of the other ways healthcare is run around the world applies to the entire world. From there it is a very small task to prove that it is different in some cases thereby disproving the false premise. Well done.

    It assumes that the US version is a “free-market” version, when it is clearly not a free market by any definition of the term.

    It claims that US insurance companies routinely reject people based upon them having a pre-existing condition. Well thats insurance. Everywhere. They cover you for unforeseen things. They wont cover you for things that are 100% guaranteed.

    They bring up the case of a lucky German woman who can changed to any one of the 200 insurance companies available to her without any change in the premium. Price controls. The article actually tries to make a virtue out of price controls.

    It says that the US is the only country in the world that allows insurers to profit from providing insurance. No, seriously, it actually says that.

    Let it sink in.

    The author is saying that nowhere else in the world other than the USA do insurance companies make money from health insurance.

    The author “debunks” the argument that price controls affect supply and demand by pointing out that there exist medical innovations that came from countries outside the US. The author doesnt mention the possibility (damn near certainty) that these innovations would not have been possible if the world didnt have the US as a market for their innovations. LDO.

    The author says that the cost of an MRI in Japan is only $98 and in the US it is $1500. So the Japanese are doing it much cheaper because of cost controls. New flash! The cost of an MRI is not $1500, nor is it $98. That is the price. The cost is something entirely different and in the US has more to do with the absurd incentives the system has in place than the expenses of providing the service.

    If you are reading this far down in comments you have probably read the article already. If not avoid it. It was written by a journalist who only considered what was seen on the surface. No real insight whatsoever.

    As I said, the article is rubbish. Even worse the author has a book coming out. Be sure to skip it.

  85. call me ahab says:


    the cash for refrigerators as was the cash for clunkers- is/was touted as energy efficiency objectives- however- the cash for fridges doesn’t require you to junk your old fidge- and as was pointed out in the linked article that someone posted- most people would just move the old fridge to the game room or the garage- so where is the energy savings?

    that shoulds be a clue to everyone that energy efficiency is an almost irrelevant concern- and the primary objective is to stimulate buying- a la Bush’s infamous advice to the American people to “go out and buy something” -

    so . . .where we are- is- that the USG wants people to resume as normal- buying things to prop up the unsustainable American economy just a bit longer – regardless that the end game is in sight-

    quite the embarrassing country we live in

  86. Onlooker from Troy says:

    5 Myths About Health Care Around the World

    Very excellent. We really have to get over our American Exceptionalism arrogance and be willing to learn from others. And stop letting the health care industry, especially insurance, demagogue us and control the dominant thinking out there with their unrelenting propaganda which is also fed to us by our representatives who are bought and paid for.

    We really need to sever the link between employment and health insurance. It hurts the individual and it hurts our competitiveness in the global economy; thru limited worker mobility and costs to small business especially.

    Nothing will ever be perfect, but we can do so much better than what we have. But it takes an open mind; something that’s in limited supply these days.

  87. danm says:

    We really need to sever the link between employment and health insurance
    That is probably the most important issue.

  88. call me ahab says:

    and i have come to believe that the root of all our problems comes from paper- paper money that is backed by nothing- might as well be cereal box tops-

    without a the sounding board of the real wealth store- the central bank can do whatever it wants- creating one colossal bubble after another- because it can- and they don’t even care that it is an illusion of wealth-

    and i know- there are those who say- well the greenback was backed by gold and we still had the GD- and- that because the central bank’s were so constrained by a gold backed dollar it made things worse- but maybe- the deflation was the cure?

    but with a gold backed dollar- we would be sending gold to China- not paper- and maybe our policies would change if real stores of wealth was changing hands-

    but maybe that is the end game- fuck you everyone it’s been nice- still got our gold- all you have is that worthless paper we’ve been selling

  89. jc says:

    Garbage time! No I’m not talking about when the white guys (US white guys anyway) get in an NBA game, I’m talking about why Doug Kass thinks we’ve hit a top.

    Last Fri my barber was high fiving Fannie & Freddie and now this. Although the SM surge of the past few months was supposedly driven by the pros – this is not pro behavior. Time to pull the rug out from underneathe the schmoes again?
    What The Heck Is Up With Micro Cap Telecom Stocks?
    Posted by Eric Savitz

    So, I’ve been writing a lot the last few days about the stunning run-up in shares of Vonage (VG).

    But it isn’t just Vonage. A whole bunch of micro-cap telecom stocks are on a tear for reasons that so far are not entirely clear to me. Consider this list:

    * NextWave (WAVE) today rose $1.02, or 242% – 242%! – to $1.44, on volume of 26.5 million shares. Average volume: 768,000 shares. The stock actually started to run up earlier in the week. Three-day run: 324%.
    * FiberTower (FTWR) today rose 10 cents, or 17%, to 69 cents, on 5.6 million shares. Average volume: 887,000 shares. Three-day move: 53%.
    * Fairpoint Communications (FRP) today rose 15 cents, or 32.6%, to 61 cents, on 9.6 million shares. Average volume: 1.5 million shares, The stock is up another 21 cents, or 34%, after hours, for a total move today alone of 78%.
    * Zhone Technologies (ZHNE) today rose 20 cents, or 43.5%, to 66 cents on volume of 4 million shares. Average volume:259,000 shares. Four-day move: 78%. And the stock is up another 9 cents, or 13.6%, in late trading.

    As for Vonage, the stock today rose 58 cents, or 36.5%, to $2.17. That’s after a rally of 99 cents, or 165% yesterday. Seven-day rally: 471%. And after hours, the stock is up another 12 cents, or 5.5%, to $2.29. Volume in VG today hit an astonishing 80.88 million shares, move than half the company’s outstanding shares, and roughly equal to the entire float.

  90. call me ahab says:


    speculation my friend-

    usually ends badly- when the schmoes think it’s a lock- the smart money is heading for the exits

  91. call me ahab says:


    insurance is such as scam- most folks can get through their whole lives without health insurance- the costs they expense for healthcare would be less than the cost of the premiums that would have been paid-

    it is catastrophic care that crushes people- we already have Medicare and Medicaid for the old and the poor- maybe the government should just provide catastrophic coverage for everyone else- the normal stuff that occurs should be paid out of pocket

  92. investorinpa says:

    FINALLY, one FED official is teling the truth:

    The real US unemployment rate is 16 percent if persons who have dropped out of the labor pool and those working less than they would like are counted, a Federal Reserve official said Wednesday.

    “If one considers the people who would like a job but have stopped looking — so-called discouraged workers — and those who are working fewer hours than they want, the unemployment rate would move from the official 9.4 percent to 16 percent, said Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart.


    BR: See our Modest Unemployment Reporting proposal from last year:

    Unemployment Reporting: A Modest Proposal (U3 + U6)

  93. cvienne says:

    @jc @ahab

    Re: speculative stocks

    I’ve got the same story… Some of you may have read a few weeks ago about the “lottery ticket” that I have owned for the past 3 years or so… I actually like the business, but mostly expected the stock to eventually go to zero… I owned a million shares or something…

    Anyway, a few weeks ago the stock all of a sudden (after 3 years) catches on fire… In 4 days, I’m up 1,000% (which I proceeded to dump 75% of)…

    Here’s the thing… I originally had heard about the company from some friends in a fantasy football league that I’ve been involved with for the past 3 years (since 2006)… So I basically said “WTF” and bought some (and kept buying it down while it was 90% off my initial purchase price)…

    So this past Monday, I’m in my draft with this group (for 2009), and they’re all talking about this stock… and talking about how it’s going to TRIPLE from here (even after a 1,000% run-up)… I told them that I’d sold 75% of what I was holding…

    Of course they told me I was nuts… So it goes!

  94. emmanuel117 says:

    Good list, jc.

    The Vonage gain is not an indicator of a healthy market. Who the fuck wants to get long amidst that?

  95. mcHAPPY says:


    I tend to agree with call me ahab about the smart money heading for the exits. However, a little bit of play/speculative money is always fun as long as you can afford to lose it or have it sitting for a long time doing nada. You never know when a cvienne story may come along. By the way cvienne, I’d of done the same on the sell 75% – nice work. Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.

  96. Steve Barry says:

    The real Black Swan will be a wave of market selling the likes of which has never been seen…starting in Asia…then cascading around. Of course a select few will know ahead of time.

  97. JasRas says:

    Ok, I was thinking about some of the stuff I’ve read recently. I’ve seen some reports about positive GDP that break down the numbers. Most of the arguments are that it is a function of the numbers, but b/c of the numbers making it work, it won’t feel good. Imports down, Exports up, Govt spending up, consumer spending flat/down…. ya see? It is a function of Imports being down (b/c we’re buying less crap), Exports being up (b/c of commodity sales overseas), and Govt. spending up (umm, need I explain?)… So some are thinking the “clunker” program will be part of the bump up in 3q–but what if it isn’t??? Look at the top selling vehicles. How many were made here vs. imported? What if the intent missed the target? If importing goes up, it negatively affects GDP and that wasn’t the intended manipulation… Thoughts?

  98. cvienne says:

    @Steve Barry (9:21)

    I agree… How does one say, (in Sichuan-ese, Hunan-ese, Guizho-ese, or whatever)…”Poor farmers son moves to big city and speculates the modest family fortune (on margin) in stocks”…In a country with NO BANKRUPTCY LAWS…

    I’d heard the translation was “yoo-fokked-royalee”, but I’m not sure if the dialect was correct…