Posts filed under “Really, really bad calls”

Brother, Can You Spare 12 cents for Crumbling Infrastructure?

In the middle of the last century the U.S. started building the Interstate Highway System. It’s now named after President Dwight Eisenhower, who shepherded its passage through Congress in 1956. Connecting the far-flung corners of this large nation, this 47,714 mile network allows commerce to flow freely. The cost of construction, adjusted for inflation, was more than $400 billion. By any imaginable measure, it was a wild success, and soon became the envy of the world.

The construction and maintenance was paid for mainly through levies on sales of vehicles, tires and related goods, and a federal gasoline tax that generates about $28 billion a year for the Highway Trust Fund.

The assumption was that the system’s maintenance and improvements would be paid for by users: Those who drove on the roads and highways. The fairest way to assess that was through a gasoline tax. Drive more or bigger vehicles, you pay more. Seems rather logical.

Fast-forward a half-century.

 

continues here

Category: Really, really bad calls, Taxes and Policy, Transports

NFP, Inflation & Conspiracy Theories

    Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers — Jack Welch (@jack_welch) October 5, 2012     Today’s column is about stupidity. Perhaps that’s overstating it; to be more precise, it is about the conspiracy-theorist combination of bias, innumeracy and laziness, with a pinch of arrogance thrown in for…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Cognitive Foibles, Data Analysis, Economy, Really, really bad calls

About Those Black Friday Numbers . . .

Stories based on Black Friday consumer spending numbers are a holiday tradition. Bob talks with investor and Bloomberg View contributor Barry Ritholtz about the problems with stories based on those numbers.   NPR/WNYC: Source: On the Media

Category: Bad Math, Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Really, really bad calls

Better Than All Weather Portfolio . . .

>   My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we take yet another at Tony Robbin’s All Weather Portfolio. The print version had the headline Why the all-weather portfolio is a wash-out while online, it was Better Than All Weather Portfolio. Rather than merely criticize Robbin’s 55% bond, 15% commodity portfolio, I…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Asset Allocation, Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Investing, Really, really bad calls

Montier: The World’s Dumbest Idea

The World’s Dumbest Idea John Mauldin December 4, 2014       In today’s Outside the Box the redoubtable James Montier of GMO lifts his lance to prick the underbelly of the Mighty SVM. (That’s Shareholder Value Maximization, for you newbies.) “The world’s dumbest idea” (among many candidates in the world of finance), says James,…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, Think Tank

How to Make Your Personal Philanthropy Smarter

The year-end holidays are when the interests of donors and charities are most in synch. However, after several disturbing news reports, I decided it was time to revisit how to give away money. With a bit of digging and diligence, you can make your generosity more effective and efficient. First, the bad news: A few…Read More

Category: Finance, Really, really bad calls

Tony Robbins: 2014 vs 2010

  Tony Robbins is out promoting his new book, MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom. Based on who he interviews, I plan on giving it a read over the next holiday break. However, I was a little disappointed in this WSJ video interview with Tony Robbins, dated WSJ 11/19/2014 6:03PM. Within…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Psychology, Really, really bad calls

Once Again, the Gold Narrative Fails

Will they never learn? Yesterday, oil rallied 4.3 percent and gold gained 3.6 percent as commodities had an up day after a long and painful fall. The fascinating aspect of the trading wasn’t the $45 pop in gold, nor the even greater percentage rally in oil, but the accompanying narrative. (As of this writing, each…Read More

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Gold & Precious Metals, Psychology, Really, really bad calls

My “Annual Temper Tantrum”

Dig this: “In an email to The Huffington Post, an NRF spokeswoman called Ritholtz’s piece an “annual temper tantrum” that was “slanted, flawed and predictable,” and compared it to “such holiday traditions as the Grinch and the threat of coal in one’s stocking.” The NRF did not cite any inaccuracies in Ritholtz’s column, nor did…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Really, really bad calls, Retail

Muni Mania: A Timeline

Source: Bloomberg Briefs

Category: Credit, Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Markets, Really, really bad calls