Posts filed under “Current Affairs”

Here is What I Am Watching, Lately

Every few months, I like to pull together an assortment of unrelated items that I find interesting (See this). These items include things that are not quite fully baked in my mind, not yet a full column. While I wait for these to jell, I like to put them on paper to create a bookmark of ideas, and to see what generates feedback and debate.

The main qualification is that they are both interesting and potentially significant. Here are my 10 random items to round out our week:

1. All-time highs: Markets are within a few percent of record highs. Each and every pullback, if we believe the noise, is the end of the rally and the start of the next bear market. Unless it isn’t, in which case, never mind, we will be back with the same forecast when the market is 5 percent higher. I can’t recall so much angst amid so many all-time market highs; every pullback is the end of the world. It is both fascinating and perplexing

2. Housing: Housing has begun to sputter. New starts have been lower, permits soft, existing home sales disappointing. Yes, I know, the weather was awful in January and February — but it’s now May heading into June, and that excuse no longer carries. This is prime residential real-estate selling season, and it seems to be limp.

The entire post-crash housing recovery has felt artificial, part of an attempt to prop up the big banks that had billions of dollars in bad loans on their books. The past five years of zero-interest-rate policy was designed to buy time so banks could get out from under their sour mortgages, But inventory is low, and interest rates are falling, so I am unsure how this plays out. Regardless, there are going to be some fascinating analyses written on the real-estate boom, bust, reflation, and whatever comes next. Look for it in whatever replaces your local bookstore in 2025.

3. Secular bull market?: Jeff Saut of Raymond James believes we are in a secular bull market. He noted that in the 1980-85 period many investors continued to doubt that the earlier 16-year bear market was over. Very, very few were willing to accept that the cycle had turned. There are many parallels between this era and that, and I am slowly moving into Saut’s camp.  Continues here

Category: Current Affairs, Markets

About That Labor Force Participation Rate . . .

@TBPInvictus here: On April 17, 2012, North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx stood before her colleagues in the House of Representatives and said (emphasis mine): Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, the March employment report continues to show us that the Federal Government has not been helping to create jobs in our economy. A Wall Street Journal editorial…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Cycles, Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Politics

Containing Ukraine

Containing Ukraine David R. Kotok April 25, 2014     The process is simple. Look at the front page of the Wall Street Journal and then the markets. Will Russia move troops across the border and seize Eastern Ukrainian territory? If so, what will be the consequences? There are several geopolitical scenarios being discussed. Punditry…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Think Tank, War/Defense

Happy Thanksgivingukkah !

~~~ 25 Little-Known Facts About Thanksgiving ~~~

Category: Current Affairs, Weekend

About Our “Spending Problem” (Revisited)

@TBPInvictus here It’s a well established fact that the Obama administration has been spending like a drunken sailor since the day he was inaugurated. I first wrote about his spendthrift ways here, toward the end of 2010 (has it already been three years?). Some time has now passed, so how’s it going? Let’s take another…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Current Affairs, Data Analysis, Economy, Really, really bad calls

Is the Market Rallying on Syria or Summers?

There is a certain school of thought — and I use that word loosely — that seemingly tries to tie each twitch of the market, every noisy jag up or down — to some broader issue. Partisan politics, economics, technology, and of course, presidential elections becomes fodder for this school of thought rationalization. Flip on…Read More

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Current Affairs, Markets, War/Defense

Business is Booming in Texas: Discuss

  Interesting war of words between Texas governor Rick Perry and SacBee’s cartoonist Jack Ohman. Perry is demanding the cartonist be fired for his insensitivity to the deaths at the fertilizer plant. Ohman responded: “When you have a politician traveling across the country selling a state with low regulatory capacity, that politician also has to…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Humor, Regulation

Don’t Bother Reading This Blog Post

  There is nothing to say while we are all transfixed by the live real time manhunt playing out before our eyes.   Back soon . . .

Category: Current Affairs

Don't Bother Reading This Blog Post

  There is nothing to say while we are all transfixed by the live real time manhunt playing out before our eyes.   Back soon . . .

Category: Current Affairs

How Disaster Aid Recipients Voted on Sandy Relief

Source: ProPublica   • 31 Senate Republicans Opposed Sandy Relief After Supporting Disaster Aid For Home States (Think Progress) • 37 Congressional Republicans Opposed Sandy Relief After Supporting Disaster Aid For Home States (Think Progress)

Category: Current Affairs, Digital Media