Archive for May, 2011

Fun with Gold Bugs . . .

An old friend swung by the office today to chat. She is a rather well known in certain circles, a savvy investor who has done very well with miners and precious metals.

We discuss the economy, inflation, markets, oil. Near the end of her visit, she proceeds to tell me that the paper money I have is worthless, and that Gold is the only currency of any value.

“May I see your purse?” I ask.

She hands it to me.

“And your wallet is in the purse?”

She pulls out the wallet.

I open it up, remove all her cash — about $1000 in 20s and 50s — and then toss it right in the waste paper basket.

“That’s worthless, right?”

She immediately sees my point, smirks, and to prove her point, gets up to leave — without the cash. As she heads out the door, she says, “I need cab fare.” and fishes a $20 out of the garbage.

Category: Commodities, Currency, Gold & Precious Metals

Late Afternoon Reading

Quite a few things added to my Instapaper today — This is what I will be reading on the way home tonight: • Not a Flashy Investor, Just Successful (NYT) • House to reject debt limit increase without cuts (BusinessWeek/AP) • Five Questions on Tuesday’s  Case-Shiller (WSJ) see also New Blog from S&P/Case Shiller (Housing…Read More

Category: Financial Press

Minus (min.us) 22 Economic Charts

Insane collection of charts, not-so-painstakingly assembled by minus — min.us — found via Digg; What makes min.us so intriguing to fans of the chartp0rn is that you can create these merely by “drag and drop”. (Checkout the video here) > click for all 22 charts

Category: Digital Media, Economy

Real Estate Reality

CNBC’s Gary Kaminsky discusses the poor housing data and the idea that things in the industry continue to get worse, despite the government’s best efforts. In short, there’s a sea change in attitudes toward buying vs. renting.


Tue 31 May 11 | 12:00 PM ET

Double Dip House Prices

CNBC’s Diana Olick breaks down the latest Case/Shiller data, showing home prices are way down, and not expected to get better anytime soon. Also, a look at the fallout for banks due to the decline in housing, with Paul Miller, FBR Capital Markets; and Peter Boockvar, Miller Tabak.

Tue 31 May 11 | 01:15 PM ET

Category: Real Estate, Video

Why Are We Surprised When Artist’s Values Fluctuate?

One of the biggest problems caused by the Contemporary Art market boom of the last 13 years is the ways in which it has confused the world about how the art market works and what determines value. The issue isn’t trivial. The art market is generally believed to have $50-60 billion dollars a year in…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Markets

Employed Persons: 1999, 2001, 2003, 2011

> Since we have the NFP report at the end of the week, I thought it might be instructive to use our lunchtime chart slot each day to look at assorted employment data. Today’s chart comes to us from Jim Bianco of Bianco Research.  The chart looks at the Total number of employed people in…Read More

Category: Economy, Employment

THE END IS NIGH?

Peter T Treadway, PhD Historical Analytics LLC www.thedismaloptimist.com pttreadway -at- hotmail.com 305 761 4718 852 94091186 May 31, 2011 THE DISMAL OPTIMIST ~~~ “The ultimate result of shielding man from the effects of folly is to people the world with fools.” -Herbert Spencer > Spencer might have been a little harsh. He shouldn’t have said…Read More

Category: Think Tank

Tuesday Morning Reads

This is what I read this morning: A mix of unusual and interesting reading to start my week: • Are Taxes in the U.S. High or Low? (Economix) • Mobius Says Fresh Financial Crisis Around Corner Amid Volatile Derivatives (Bloomberg) • What happens when Greece defaults (Telegraph) • Faith and the markets (Economist) • As…Read More

Category: Financial Press

The data continues to slow

According to the S&P/CaseShiller home price index, home prices have officially double dipped, falling to the lowest level in 8 years. Prices fell .23% m/o/m and 3.6% y/o/y in the 20 city composite. Washington, DC is the only city to see a y/o/y gain for reasons obvious. The y/o/y declines were led by Minneapolis, Phoenix,…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

Its Official: Housing Double Dip is Here

Case Shiller is out, and it confirms what we have known for quite some time: Without artificial government stimulus, Housing is going lower. The double dip in Housing has now been officially recognized: “Data through March 2011, released today Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show that the U.S. National Home Price Index declined by 4.2% in…Read More

Category: Real Estate