Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus – On Nov.13 2010 unsuspecting shoppers got a big surprise while enjoying their lunch. Over 100 participants in this awesome Christmas Flash Mob. This is a must see!

This flash mob was organized by to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Special thanks to Robert Cooper and Chorus Niagara, The Welland Seaway Mall, and Fagan Media Group.

Category: Weekend

China and US interest rates continue higher

Large consumer (5.1%) and producer price (6.1%) gains in China was not immediately met with an interest rate hike from the PBOC, at least not yet, and the lack of one sent the Shanghai index up almost 3% and the rest of Asian markets followed. That strength spilled over into Europe and has the S&P…Read More

Category: MacroNotes

10 Lessons of Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme

Its been two years since the Madoff crime erupted across headlines. The massive theft punctured what little faith investors  had in the markets, investment firms and regulators. Fraud rarely has a silver lining, but the least we can do is try to learn from other people’s mistakes. There were many many lessons to be learned…Read More

Category: Investing, Legal, Rules

Tavakoli’s Top Ten Business Books of 2010

Janet Tavakoli’s list of best business books is as humorous a piece of scorched earth journalism you will ever come across. (She sure doesn’t care what bridges she burns): Tavakoli’s Top Ten Business Books of 2010 • New Century: Fooling Me All of the Time or Why Improper Practices Only Matter When I’m Short and…Read More

Category: Books, Humor

Brain Oddities: Spelling is Irrelevant to Comprehension

In trying to make sense of the world around us, our brains have evolved to do some very odd things. The more we learn about our cognitive processes, the more it seems we have inherited a very weird wetware set, filled with bizarre and misleading foibles. While most of the cognitive errors I reference here…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Psychology

Girl Talk: AllDay

I’ve been enjoying Girl Talk‘s All Day — it reminds me more of the earlier, more listenable hiphop, such as Paul’s Boutique (one of my favorite albums). I’ve been much less impressed with Kanye’s new (and very well reviewed) album), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy — with a few exceptions, its just that much not…Read More

Category: Music, Weekend

Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences
December 10, 2010
By John Mauldin


Ten-Year Yields Are Rising
An Uptick in Consumer Credit? Not!
Some Thoughts for Ben
New York, Cabo, and Winnipeg


Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember that one of the reasons for QE2 was to lower rates on the longer end of the US yield curve. Clearly, that has not happened? Today we look at come of the unintended consequences of monetary policy, turn our eyes briefly to consumer debt, and wonder about deflating incomes. There are a lot of very interesting things to cover. (This letter will print long, but there are a lot of graphs. Usual amount of copy.)

But first, the are some changes and upgrades being made to the database that houses the list of my 1.5 million closest friends. That means that some of you will be reading this on the website this week, rather than having the letter sent directly to you. If this letter doesn’t show up for some reason, you can always go to and get it directly from the website. We should be back on track by next week. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Second, long-time readers know I have an avid interest in biotech. I am also a serial entrepreneur on the lookout for business opportunities. Some have been successful and others have been learning experiences. On the biotech front, I frequently talk and meet with CEOs and scientists in the biotech space. In this process I have come across what I think is an amazing new product. I have personally been using it and love it! I bought the marketing rights. Next week I will introduce you to it. We are rushing to get the material ready before Christmas, and production efforts on the websites are not up to my normal standards. But since it only goes to my closest friends, I trust you will cut me some slack. And it is an amazing product. More next week.

You can be the judge as to whether I should have jumped at yet another opportunity. But rest assured, gentle reader, that my primary focus is on writing to you every Friday, and it always will be. That is what I love to do and what I seemingly do best. Now, into the letter.

Ten-Year Yields Are Rising

Look at the chart below. The yield on ten-year US bonds has been rising since the beginning of QE2. But it is not just US bonds; European and UK bonds are moving up as well. This has also meant that mortgage rates in the US are up almost a half percent in the last few months. That certainly has not helped housing prices or sales, as it makes housing less affordable. (Chart from my friends at Variant Perception.)

But it is not just the US and UK. Look at what is happening to German bonds, supposedly the safest in Europe. They are up about as much as their counterparts. (Chart from Cowen International and data from Bloomberg.)

And then we look at Japan and we see the same phenomenon. Japanese real rates going up? Really? What is up with that?

In Europe it is now cheaper to hedge against corporate default than sovereign default. That is not the way it is supposed to be.

Read More

Category: Inflation, Think Tank

The Illustrated History of the U.S. Credit Collapse

The Global Macro Monitor blog was started b an independent trader and economist and, in a prior life, was a global macro hedge fund PM/trader, headed emerging market bond trading desks on Wall Street, and an economist/global strategist, beginning his career at the World Bank in the mid 1980’s. His unique and unconventional views are…Read More

Category: Credit

FDIC Bank Failure Update

We haven’t run these Chart Store graphs in a few weeks, so lets take a look: In the beginning of the year, I thought we might blow past 2009′s totals, but it looks like 2010 is going to just barely outpace last year. Strong start, but we look like we will end up within a…Read More

Category: Credit

Investing Losses: Death by Opinion

Chart via No Brainer Trades > No Brainer Trades brought the above chart to my attention, and its worth spending some time detailing. “I heard this guy on CNBC . . . well, his opinion is . . . his trades are . . .” As the chart suggests, these turn out to be amongst…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Psychology, Trading