Some interesting reading material to end your week:

Advice from a financial insider: Spend on season tickets, treasury bills, and charity auctions, not $20M for 4% of the Mets (Mets Online)
• Fed May Signal Low Rates Into 2014 (WSJ) see also Fed’s Once-Secret Data Released to Public (Bloomberg
Tough year: Finance on the Ropes (Businessweek)
• Retailers Are Slashing Prices Ahead of Holiday (NYT) see also Retailers Try to Thwart Price Apps (WSJ)
• Congress’s Inside Dope for Investors (Columbia Journalism Review)
• Muni Bonds: A Disaster That Wasn’t (WSJ) see also Here’s Hoping for More Lousy Forecasts in 2012 (Bloomberg)
• It’s Always Sunny in Silicon Valley (Businessweek)
• Debts Go Bad, Then It Gets Worse (WSJ) see also Consumers Cry Foul Over Debt Collectors (WSJ)
• Is America At A Digital Turning Point? (USC Annenberg)
• The Year in Volcanic Activity (The Atlantic)

Who’s left on your shopping list?


What Muni Collapse? Is Whitney a One Hit Wonder?

Source: WSJ

Category: Markets

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.

19 Responses to “10 Friday AM Reads”

  1. mark says:

    After today’s numbers Macke owes you that mea culpa.

    Also, I was wondering what people think of the Gallup daily poll of consumer discretionary spending. As I read it, this holiday season is clearly worse than last year and maybe the worst since ’08:

  2. mark says:

    And IMO, Whitney simply made the mistake of putting a date on her prediction. The defaults are coming. When? In the foreseeable future.

  3. Mike in Nola says:

    I agree on Whitney. She just didn’t count on the can kicking ability of politicians.

  4. Mike in Nola says:

    Alan Grayson’s latest read is good. Barry should start promoting him. One of the few politicians who tells the truth. Guess that’s why he was defeated last time.
    Sorry you have to go to FB to read it, but it doesn’t require an account.

    Website here:

  5. flocktard says:

    @ Mark – I disagree.

    Whitney made several mistakes here. One, her prediction came out just when automobile sales started to recover strongly, which gave the states a windfall in sales taxes neither she or the states themselves counted on. Sales tax revenues continue to recover, notwithstanding this year’s stall speed and markdown mania at retail. Think what a state pulls in anytime someone buys a Buick- that’s a lot of IPads in equivalent dollars.

    Secondly, states are re-financing about $15 billion per month, according to a paper by BMO Capital I saw mentioned, and the cost of debt service is falling for many municipalities. From what I see on my screens, believe you me- if a bond can be called, they’ll be on it like a dog in heat.

    Lastly, putting a date on a prediction is what this business is all about. Timing counts for almost everything in investing, and getting the timing wrong is one B.F.’ ing mistake in my book. Like missing the biggest muni rally of your lifetime, for example.

    States and municipalities are taking the steps they need to make to keep their ratings up, and the loss of over 500,000 government jobs over the past couple of years is strong evidence of that. States like Rhode Island, which is currently in bad shape, recently performed a draconian makeover of their public employee contracts that I wish profligate governments like New York State and Nassau County had the guts to do.

    No doubt there will be some casualties- but leave the “hundreds of billions” to Carl Sagan, not the muni space.

  6. mark says:


    This game isn’t over. Don’t press your luck – pat yourself on the back and then take your profits.

  7. uzer says:

    the day of reckoning will come when the bill is presented. the ferocity and speed of the resulting collapse will ironically be something no one saw coming – except the ones that did.

  8. flocktard says:

    @ Mark

    I don’t feel I’m pressing my luck at all- I know what I own.

  9. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    The volcano pictures are incredible.

  10. alnval says:

    The USC Annenberg School’s upcoming report on whether the country is at a digital turning point is a fascinating read. It seems to validate my own experience that suggests that what we’re doing technically is significantly increasing the uncomfortable tension that has always existed between the individual and society.

    I wish the report had emphasized or even highlighted the idea that the consequences of this turning point are inevitable in much the same way as was the invention of the steam engine and telegraph that resulted in profound and immutable changes in our culture; our way of doing business, sense of time, personal independence, language usage and so on.

    If we do develop the kind of hive mentality implied by the report our challenge again will be to make sure that we don’t sacrifice the individual for the sake of the hive. One way to ensure that would be to elect representatives who want to create solutions to the problems we face that are based on practical reality and not special interest. Unfortunately, IMO, a low probability outcome.

  11. Joe Friday says:

    Fed May Signal Low Rates Into 2014

    And the economic depression plays on….


    Muni Bonds: A Disaster That Wasn’t

    I guess I’m still a little bleary-eyed today. I initially thought that said, “Muni Blondes”. I started thinking, what the hell are Muni Blondes ?


    Merry Christmas everyone, and Happy Festivus.

  12. Jojo says:

    How to Wash Your Car with only One Bucket of Water

  13. Jojo says:

    Photo Tampering throughout History

    Though photo manipulation has become more common in the age of digital cameras and image editing software, it actually dates back almost as far as the invention of photography. Gathered below is an overview of some of the more notable instances of photo manipulation in history. For recent years, an exhaustive inventory of every photo manipulation would be nearly impossible, so we focus here on the instances that have been most controversial or notorious, or ones that raise the most interesting ethical questions.

  14. SOP says:

    UK natural gas production in the third quarter of 2011 slumped to the lowest level since records began in 1996… the largest year-on-year quarterly decrease ever seen…

    Oil production fell 22.7pc in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, the largest annual quarterly drop since reporting for oil began in 1995.

    North Sea Oil Production Projections

  15. DeDude says:

    For those who claims that it does not make a difference who is in the White House, (via Krugman

    So does it really not matter whether we poison people with mercury or not?

  16. willid3 says:

    new threat. CLO.

    same as CDO only its corporate debt. and it played out about as well.
    and maybe we should be following the EU on this one. since private equity admits that they only need 1 in 10 companies to make a profit. but the remaining 9 companies collapse usually because they took to much in profits from the company. leaving tax payers with high bills and having increased aide to the communities who just lost 1000s of jobs