Happy holidays! Here are some things to read while the kiddies unwrap their  loot:

• On Wall Street things rarely turn out quite the way you expect, and 2013 was no exception. (WSJ)
• Gold’s Real Problem: Deflation (Barron’s) see also Hedge Funds Cut Gold Bull Bets Amid Record Outflows (Bloomberg)
• How Real Income Stacks Up Around the World (MoneyBeat)
• Fixing the Shiller CAPE: Accounting, Dividends, and the Permanently High Plateau (Philosophical Economics)
• Is the ‘Permanent Portfolio’ Permanently Broken? (The Street)
• Foreclosures Drop to Eight-Year Low as Crisis Wanes (Bloomberg)
• Robots and Economic Luddites: They Aren’t Taking Our Jobs Quickly Enough (Beat the Press)
• The Budget Deficit as Seen From 2009 (Economix)
Pethokoukis’ Christmas Wish: A Less Debt-Obsessed GOP (National Review)
• 55 Brilliant Louis C.K. Quotes That Will Make You Laugh And Think (Thought Catalog)

What are you reading?


I hate charts like this: DJIA Priced in Gold

Source: WSJ

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.

7 Responses to “10 Christmas Reads”

  1. krice2001 says:

    The budget deficit as seen from 2009 provides an interesting perspective that somehow is continuously overlooked in the media and in general discussion. I’m constantly surprised by how many people I talk to that still believe that deficits are rising towards record levels, without ever bothering to check.

  2. jd351 says:


    I agree 100%…. I have come to the conclusion a majority of people just don’t let facts or critical thinking get in the way of their views and or ideology. Got to stick to the talking points…. Anyways Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

  3. ilsm says:

    US deficit seen from 2009:

    FY 2008 (ended 30 Sep 08) deficit was tax cuts and war paid with the credit card. Compared to the pentagon “expansive entitlements” are wise use of resources.

    In 2009 Obama said: “Folks passed tax cuts and expansive entitlement programs without paying for any of it – even as health care costs kept rising, year after year. ”

    Obama did not mention that “core defense” (Heritage fumbelefest term, overseas contingency operations (OCO) of over a trillion dollars funded elsewhere) spending rose significantly in real terms from about 3% of GDP to over 4.5% in that time period. With OCO the pentagon’s budget rose nearly 70% in that time frame.

    While the Heritage Foundation cliams that if the pentagon take does not make the industry a growth industry the US’s insecurity from unwarranted influence will be threatened.

    Protecting the pentagon trough is not Obama’s lowest priority, but it is a Heritage’s contrivance to starve the beast for the war industries. Contrived charts from Heritage will be sourced in the next Faux News campaign to cut SS, medicare and medicaid to fund the war industries.

  4. Jojo says:

    Opening Remarks
    8½ Things That Went Right in 2013
    By Peter Coy December 19, 2013

    It was a year of cronuts and pretzel buns, green eggs and ham, of Syria and Mali and the East China Sea, of Edward Snowden and Pope Francis, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un. Jeff Bezos showed off a package-delivering drone. Twitter (TWTR) tweeted its own IPO announcement. Stocks went up, housing revived, unemployment fell, and banks got fined. American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways merged, and a solar-powered airplane hopscotched across the U.S. We can’t discern much of a pattern here. But in the spirit of the holidays, here’s a look on the bright side—a list of the things that went right in 2013, sometimes unexpectedly. It is short, admittedly, but sweet. May 2014 be better yet.


  5. Jojo says:

    Dec. 24, 2008
    Happy Birthday, Dear Yeshua, Happy Birthday to You!
    Was Jesus a common name at the beginning of the first century?


    • Petey Wheatstraw says:

      Interesting article. People, generally, don’t know jack shit about what they profess to believe (with all their hearts, no less). I guess faith justifies being an ignoramus.

      I once knew a guy who said that Jesus’ middle name was ‘Hallowed’, because the Lord’s Prayer says “. . . hallowed be thy name.” I guess that explains Jesus H. Christ.

  6. rd says:

    Re: Fixing Shiller CAPE – Philosophical Economics

    It seemed to be a fairly normal Siegel evaluation of CAPE until he got to this:

    “The human species has become dramatically less violent and war-prone as it has advanced intellectually, technologically, and economically. In the modern era of globalization, the idea of two advanced countries–the U.S. and China, for example–fighting each other in a real, no-kidding war is almost inconceivable. ”

    I am trying to figure out if this was an attempt at homor or not. I think the 20th century proved that advancing intellectually, technologically, and economically just means you can fight wars more efficiently (more devastation at lower cost) and more globally. There have been a number of times when people thought that peace had been achieved only to discover that the next war was worse than the war before it. I think the rise of religous fanaticism and intolerance around the world combined with the obvious intent of countries to change the world leadership structure is creating a potentially very unstable structure that could initiate something bad in the same way that WW I was ignited. A couple of dozen people were able to take the US into major wars for over a decade simply by flying some planes into buildings. People with cell phones and improved roadside bombs were able to inflict major casualties on the most sophisticated military in the history of the world.The most globablized product is arms sales. Imagine the possibilities of China or Russia deciding to really push their boundaries. North Korea and other miscreants have the potential to act as a trigger. The South China Sea and Ukraine situations are not filling me with warm fuzzies.

    I also think that a financial system where every major central bank in the world has had to throw everything in including the kitchen sink, plumbing, etc. in order to prevent massive implosion and also have governments deciding that prosecuting financial crimes is too “destabilizing” allowing the miscreants to continue is not exactly a normal bear market bottom. It may be the long-term solution or it may just be an inter-crisis period that could result in a more traditional CAPE valuation bottom. We are still only 13 years from the biggest stock market bubble of the past century which was then followed by a major housing and financial bubble. Many of the markets makers who thought that those financial bubbles were acceptable at the time are still major players in the system. I think it is a stretch to assume that these people, who have made a lot of money over the past decade or so, have been vaccinated against blowing up the financial system again.

    The three previous secular bears in the 20th century all took 16 to 20 years to go from a peak to either a CAPE bottom or not revisiting the bottom (1932 was the century CAPE bottom but 1938-1949 made some serious attempts to revisit it). Dodd-Frank and the Fed may have been able to fix the issues this time around in a mere 9 years from the 2000 peak, but it usually takes longer than that to see the sea change in leadership that typically comes out of these periods. I suspect we will test the effectiveness of Dodd-Frank, ZIRP, and QE at least once before we are done.