Linkfest 11.19

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead:

Barron’s Trader column noted that "For anyone but short sellers, there was much to be thankful for." The Dow made it 6 sessions in a row, closing up  1.9% at 12,343 — another weekly record. The Industrials are up 15% this year. S&P500 broke thru 1400, up 12%
for the year. But the big winner this week were the small caps as the Russell 2000 "pushed to an all-time high midweek before finishing up 19, or 2.5%, at 788, putting its year-to-date gain at 17%."

We have a turkey shortened week coming up — (mis)Leading Indicators on Monday, Same Store Sales on Tuesday, Mortgage Apps and Consumer Sentiment on Wednesday. (Markets are closed Thursday) Black Friday may very well set the tone for this holiday season:  Look for lots of discounting, increased credit card usage, and more online shopping. (Lots of Black Friday discounts advertised here)

But that is next week. Today, coming in from the NorthEast, we have increasing barometric pressure and a fairly high concentration of cumulus linkage activity!


• Rumors of hedge fund blow ups abound. On Tuesday, an apparent $4 Billion futures short trade bet against the S&P had all the hallmarks of a forced liquidation: Today’s explosion: $4B eMini covering (see also: Citadel Tells WSJ "It Ain’t Us")

• See this towel? It’s 100% cotton. And it just got thrown in: Burying the Bear

• The State of the Internet: The World’s Information is Getting Organized + Monetized

• Barron’s on Why Technical Analysis Matters (parts one and two

How Milton Friedman Changed Economics, Policy and Markets; Here is a collection of his most Influential Works; Econ Library has a good Interview with him;

• Joseph Schumpeter’s "History of Economic Analysis" includes an analysis of the 1930′s — which says Friedman’s monetary supply argument ignores the collapse in demand.

• Mark Hulbert asks "Has the the tide finally shifted away from value to growth?" Don’t bet on it:  Growth’s alleged comeback

The Billionaire Next Door:  Liz Claman has a fascinating and  extensive hour-long interview with Warren Buffett airing November 20th at 8 PM and 11 PM    

• Fortune asks: Who is the greatest money manager of our time?

•  Jim Jubak names 10 Global Blue Chips for 2007

• The Ludwig von Mises Institute explains: Why Wal-Mart Matters

Junk Bonds May Yet Earn Their Title

• The anti-short crowd has been defacing Wikipedia

Rubin, Volcker Say Investors May Avoid Buying Dollars

• What is George Soros’ fund buying and selling?

•  How many stock promotors are out there touting junk? Thousands

• In case you ever doubted what Goldman Sachs really is: a giant hedge fund

•  Doug Kass Rates His Surprise Forecasts for 2006

Banks Shouldn’t Name Ball Fields. You Can Look It Up



The Wall of worry continues to build:

• The U.S. Treasury Yield Curve hit its lowest level since December 2000

• Very cool tool: Reckoning the Odds of Recession

• Forget 1995′s soft landing: Floyd Norris says "Let’s hope it is 1966 again"

• Carolyn Baum asks Consumer Spending Is Holding Up? You Do the Math

• Harvard prof Greg Mankiw (and former CEA Chair) asks, What happened to the surplus?

How rising prices = lower inflation: PPI Hedonic Adjustments   

•  Wal-Mart’s early holiday blitz pressures rivals

It’s Raining Jobs! (um, no its not)

• Everything I think I know about the world, in a single graph

• Do the upward revisions in job creation data improve the outlook for U.S. consumption? (pdf)
• The Economy remains highly Bifurcated


• Housing Starts for October were awful. (Best headline:  WSJ’s David Gaffen: Housing Stops) Bloomberg noted they Tumbled to Six-Year Low; Jim Picerno looks at the bottom pickers in the sector; To all those who keep asaying the worst is behind us, I say Stabilize THIS!

• In some areas, supply is just swamping sales: See this chart (via Doug Kass) of Housing Inventory and Sales, Palm Beach County    

• To make some sales, sellers are getting creative: Slow-market savings ‘buy-downs’

• UK banking regulators ask: "What would happen if there were a 40% crash in house prices?"
That theoretical scenario is the basis of a UK modelling/stress-testing exercise.

Condo buyers take developers to court over promises   

• No Slowdown in Luxury Apartment Sales 

Foreclosure forum is a good resource for learning about Foreclosure purchases


• Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee, October 24-25, 2006

Monetary Aggregates and Monetary Policy at the Federal Reserve (Bernanke)

U.S. Labor Input in Coming Years (Poole)

• Federal Reserve quote of the day: 

"The Father of Monetarism (and proponent of free markets), Milton Friedman, died yesterday. Our friend Jimmy says Bernanke’s recent comments that trivialize money and monetary aggregates were probably too much for Milton to take."   -Bill King


Volatility Index drop may not be an ominous sign

• Tracking the HBS herd as a stock market indicator   

• Survey of fund managers show an increasing pessimism on equities (but cash is still available)


Crude oil prices fall to 17-month low; Phil Flynn of Alaron Trading observes a regular energy sell offs close to futures expiration.   

An Impending Ethanol Cost Squeeze

Renewable Fuels May Provide 25% of U.S. Energy by 2025

• California Plots Greenhouse-Gas Strategy



• Two weeks before the Election, Barron’s predicted a GOP sweep. Here’s how they got it so wrong: Autopsy of a Miscalculation   

Maybe You Did Vote Your Pocketbook

• The WSJ’s Marketbeat blog is now free

• How bad is America’s national Security position? Pretty bad

Why the Baker commission won’t fix Iraq   

• Dan Gross of Slate, and the New York Times calls out the WSJ’s Holman Jenkins for "Wussery" 

New U.S. Congress Will Dismantle AMT, Cut Taxes

• The New Yorker in The Downfall of Donald H. Rumsfeld; And an amusing Craig Ferguson’s take: Rumsfeld Remembrance

The Rise of Keith Olbermann

• In the Eye of Florida’s Latest Vote Storm

Tech politics: Making Friends up on Capitol Hill   

Technology & Science

• The WSJ has some fun with Videogames Physics (free)

TiVo rolls out a new menu of high-tech services;  Speaking of which: TiVo (my favorite toy) is now free (after rebates  at Amazon — the TiVo TCD540080 Series2 80-Hour Digital Video Recorder is $220, and has a $220 rebate with activation. I normally hate doing rebates, but this one was a no brainer.

Zune vs. iPod: the battle begins

• New Scientist, as part of their 50th anniversary looks at publishes comments by 70 scientists about what the next fifty years may hold.

• The Playstation 3 is actually an Open Source Linux PC

• Hubble Astronomers: Mysterious Dark Energy Has Existed For Most of Time

Movie Studios Sue to Stop Loading of DVDs onto iPods

• Taiwan’s Hon Hai wins Apple orders for mobile handsets; Also, New Phone Uses Yahoo! Messenger and Linksys (a division of Cisco). And since we are disucssing phones, Still waiting for Skype to pay off for eBay

Stem cells help dogs with dystrophy; Also, Spiny creature’s genome insight



Music Books Movies TV Fun!

• I saw Casino Royale, the new James Bond flick last night, and its a good time. Much grittier, intense and less campy than the more recent versions. Asked if he wants his Martini shaken or stirred right after losing a high-stakes game of poker, Bond replies "Do I look like I give a damn?"

Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly reviews all 21 James Bond films.

• Eric Clapton and JJ Cale have a new CD out The Road to Escondido. I haven’t heard it yet, but it sure looks promising.

Best Live Rock Recordings (1969-79)

•  I never bought into the Michael Jackson as child molester media spasm (freak, yes, but molester? no) Now we find out that the Mother of Jackson’s accuser is a welfare fraud; He might have been railroaded

• I just got the Skip Barber Racing School book: Going Faster: Mastering the Art of Race Driving. (I’ll have some more on this in coming weeks)

• The 2007 Stock Trader’s Almanac Calendars are out (shameless self promotional link)   

What’s real in "Borat"?

• Yummy!  Sotheby’s Auctions Rare Cases of 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild


• A cottege industry has developed around whatever it is that Jim Cramer (Cramer!) is doing at the moment: commenting, anaylzing, and and just plain imitating him;  The actor playing Jim in this amusing parody is pretty good.   

• Hysterical! Remembering Donald Rumsfeld  (just in case you missed it above)


That’s all from this suburban corner of Long Island, where the leaves have finally fallen, the Belgian impatiens are still blooming, and Thanksgiving is
but a few days away. Travel safe! (no linkfest next weekend)

Category: Weblogs

Why Technical Analysis Matters

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Technical Analysis

Gauging the Dow’s Record Highs

Category: Data Analysis, Markets

Rumsfeld Remembrance

Category: Television, War/Defense

Housing Inventory and Sales, Palm Beach County

Category: Real Estate

Housing Starts? Stabilize THIS!

Category: Economy, Real Estate

Most Influential Works of Milton Friedman

Category: Economy, Markets

Blog Spotlight: The Mess That Greenspan Made

For the next edition of our series Blogger Spotlight:  Tim Iacono and The Mess That Greenspan Made.
Tim is a software engineer in his mid-forties, living in Southern
California. He calls his blog is a "vain attempt to stave off a
mid-life crisis, and here’s hoping that it’s going to work."

This is part of our ongoing short list of excellent but somewhat overlooked
blogs that deserves a greater audience. Expect to see a post from a
different featured blogger here every Tuesday and Thursday evening,
around 7pm.


This is Tightening?

Much has been made of the "tightening" by central
banks around the world, particularly the multi-year "baby-step" therapy applied
to short-term interest rates here in the U.S.

treatment was just concluded a few months ago under the watchful eye of Fed
Chairman Ben Bernanke – the baby steps weren’t the new Fed Chief’s idea, but he
is saddled with what they have produced.

Having wondered what effect these rising rates have had on the creation of both
consumer debt and new money, the construction of a chart showing all three laid
together is a task that has sat near the top of the To Do list around here for
some time.

It can now be checked off.
Nearly all of this data is available at the Federal Reserve website. The only
part for which one has to look elsewhere is the last six months of M3 Money
Supply – the central bank stopped divulging this data earlier this

The latest M3 data is now available in reconstructed form at Now and Futures and John
Williams’ Shadow
Government Statistics

The trend is still up -

Read More

Category: Blog Spotlight

Mad Advice

Category: Television

PPI Hedonic Adjustments

Category: Data Analysis, Inflation, Markets