Archive for August, 2012

Medicaid Nation

Where in America do the fewest people have health insurance?


We are in the thick of the political season, with one convention ending today, and the other beginning next week.

While many talk about the independents, the swing voters, youth votes, Libertarians, etc., all hard core political types know there is one group of voters who reliably head to the polls every election, and vote in vast numbers: The elderly. The over 55 vote is a key block, and given the swing states this year — particularly Florida, Ohio, and Virgina — we may see this group with an outsized impact.

I suspect the key will be Medicaid and Social Security. how each campaign discusses it, how they are painted by their actions and words, and the issue gets spun.

Towards that end, The Economist created this lovely map (above) showing the percentage of each states population in America where the fewest people have health insurance. Presumably, these folks rely on Medicare or Medicaid for their health care. Note the differences between Florida and Ohio — this issue could impact to some degree the how each state’s populations cast their vote.



Medicaid nation
The Economist online Aug 30th 2012, 14:37

Category: Digital Media, Politics, Taxes and Policy

Deflation – it must be, indeed is, Japan

The Australian finance minster states that the RBA has room to cut rates- read, please RBA, cut rates. Sounds like the A$ is going to weaken even further – indeed, its trading at a 5 week low against the US$; South Korean industrial production fell by -1.6% in July M/M, the 2nd monthly decline and…Read More

Category: Think Tank

Has Household Deleveraging Continued?

Just Released: Has Household Deleveraging Continued? Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw August 29, 2012     Today’s release of the 2012Q2 Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit indicates a continuation of the downward trend in household debt, which followed a long period of substantial increases. As of June…Read More

Category: Think Tank

10 Thursday PM Reads

Afternoon train reading: • Adventures in tea-party cognitive dissonance: We need a new aircraft carrier group (The Economist) • September is dangerous: A Body of Evidence? (Market Anthropology) • Beliefs Drive Investors More Than Preferences (Science Daily) see also What Dilemma? Moral Evaluation Shapes Factual Belief (SPPS) • What is Value? What is Money? (Edge) • Morgan…Read More

Category: Financial Press

Frankfurt or Jackson Hole

Frankfurt or Jackson Hole David R. Kotok August 30, 2012       Mario Draghi and most European Central Bank members will not come to Jackson Hole. The exception is the Bundesbank’s president Jens Weidmann, who will come for one day. The issue in Europe is simply a negotiation attempt for an agreement to establish…Read More

Category: Think Tank

How Apple Became the Most Valuable Company Ever

After almost filing for bankruptcy 16 years ago, Apple is now the most valuable public company in history, worth nearly $637 billion.


click for complete graphic



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Category: Digital Media, Technology

Identifying Cycle Tops With MACD Indicator

Source: The Chart Store


This may be a on the bit technical side for some readers, but I think its important:

Ron Griess writes “If we accept the cycles in the table above, is there a way the weekly MACD indicator can be of assistance in identifying market tops?

He thinks there is: “We have taken each of the cycles shown in the table and have used red arrows on both the price in the top panel and the indicator in the bottom panel to mark the cycle tops and bottoms. We have also added either a 1 or a 2 on the right side of the arrows in the bottom panel.”

Here is how he sees the historical MACD patterns:

1. We prefer to calculate our MACD moving averages and show them as percentages rather than points. This allows us to compare markets of different time periods on a relative basis rather than an absolute basis. Our eyes see that tops rarely exceed + 5% with + 4% being the topping area in most recent cycles.

2. Tops that occur coincident with the high spike in the indicator have only happened on three occasions and are marked with a 1.

3. Normally, tops occur when the MACD indicator “diverges” with price, and we have marked those occurrences with a 2. After a bottom, the market and the indicator surge higher. The indicator often sets a high for the cycle on that initial surge. Market peaks for the cycle usually find the indicator rolling over from a lower point than that initial surge.

4. The current cycle is unfolding as a type 2 pattern. The initial surge took MACD (12,26) to 4.01% and we would expect that to be the high for this cycle. We already have two lower peaks in place as the MACD is making yet another attempt to move higher. We would expect this move back up to roll over without exceeding 4.01%, thus setting the stage for a turn back down and a decline into the “four year cycle” low.

Very interesting stuff . . .


More S&P MACD charts after the jump


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Category: Cycles, Markets, Technical Analysis

US Ignoring Rule of Law, Harming Economy

There are numerous examples of the federal government suspending or ignoring settled rules of law in order to quickly and effectively respond to particular problems created by the broader financial crisis starting in 2008. UPenn Law Professor, David Skeel, says that the federal government’s inability to revert to the long established principles associated with rule of law in the United States is beginning to have a profoundly negative impact on the national economy. He talks with Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia.

Bloomberg, August 29 2012

Category: Legal, Video

EZ confidence declines further

Japanese retail sales fell by -0.8% Y/Y in July (-1.5% M/M) , more than the -0.1% decline expected and the 1st decline in 8 months. With production/exports much weaker and now domestic consumption declining, the prospects for the Japanese economy remains weak, to say the last. However, the Yen remains strong, a mystery which has…Read More

Category: Think Tank

10 Thursday AM Reads

My morning reads are crazy negative today: • Economy Still Stuck in Low Gear (NYT) see also At pivotal moment, Bernanke low on economic ammo (Washington Post) • Buffett’s Wells Fargo Bet Helps Berkshire Vs. S&P 500 (Bloomberg) [we own BRK] • The financial system rests on quicksand ( • Sharp Elbows Among Street Lawmen…Read More

Category: Financial Press