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Commentary

Sample post with blockquotes big and small

The U.S. auto-loan market is starting to show some strain. First, delinquencies among lower-rated borrowers have risen to the highest level since 2009. Second, the amount of auto loans outstanding is growing at the fastest pace on record and now accounts for a bigger proportion of total U.S. household liabilities in at least 14 years. […]

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Swiss Franc: for every loser there is a winner

Member Mike S. wrote today, and probably speaks for the rest of the members investing with our Absolute Return Strategy: I have been meaning to write and ask why the system keeps buying FXF….. like 12% of the account. Looks like I do not have to worry about hedging, at least for TODAY! Think its […]

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The smallest worm will turn being trodden on

Thinking about themes for 2015 brings to mind Shakepeare’s Henry VI, specifically when Clifford speaks to the king: My gracious liege, this too much lenity And harmful pity must be laid aside. To whom do lions cast their gentle looks? Not to the beast that would usurp their den. Whose hand is that the forest […]

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(Black) Swan Lake Russia

By definition, something that we can “see coming” is not a black swan event. Like Russia. I realize that “past performance does not necessarily predict future results”, but in my experience, past downside performance is a strong indicator of future downside performance. Yes, stocks are rallying now. We’re in the phase right after the initial […]

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Revise 2015 economic forecasts now

For your eyes only. Please do not circulate. [google-drive-embed url=”https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0YyZc1ybBX8Tko1UlVoNkwtcE0/edit?usp=drivesdk” title=”BB.20141217-economic-outlook.pdf” icon=”https://ssl.gstatic.com/docs/doclist/images/icon_10_pdf_list.png” style=”normal”] Obviously, the forecasts will not come to pass, but we don’t know which way. As bad as things look now (and it will probably get worse before it gets better), there is one wildcard — the departure of Vladimir Putin. Also, I […]

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Russia: worse than 1998?

Art Cashin is on the record, saying yesterday this is not like 1998 all over again. Really? 2:47AM, this comes across the tape: “We couldn’t imagine what’s happening in our worst nightmare even a year ago,” Shvetsov, who oversees financial markets at Bank of Russia, said yesterday. He said the surprise interest-rate increase in the […]

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Weekend Food Porn: St. John Bread & Wine

Vice follows Lee Tiernan, head chef of St. John Bread & Wine around London.

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No fudging 8,000 hours of practice

When asked, Natalie said she has worked at Needlicious full time for four years, which is about 8,000 hours, so I guess she is two years from being able to nail it at .25 pound squares every time.

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Find work, and the career will follow

For God’s sake, find work, and things will start happening!

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Dow 16,000. Not excited?

Where’s the party? I can’t seem to find it.

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Petition @SenRandPaul to Audit the Pentagon, not the Fed

We hereby petition @SenRandPaul to prioritize auditing the Pentagon, not the Fed. The latter is bathed in sunlight compared to what we’ve learned about military spending. #SpecialReport

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Commentary

Stein’s Law and the Human Condition

Stein’s Law states that “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop,” so when I came across two articles and some little-known statistics last night, it got me thinking about this whole “Obamacare” debate. Maybe elimination by attrition is how survival of the fittest manifests itself in a democratic system.

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Of Mice, Men and Wine Tumblers

It occurred to me that maybe “polarized politics” reflects what’s happening on the ground in the United States. The income inequality seen in the country follows a macroeconomic trend that’s happening all over the world: prosperous cities vs. the rest.

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The Demise of Bitcoin

Bitcoin is back, and the price in USD hit an all-time high again today. There are two developments you need to know right now because they are potentially related, and could destroy Bitcoin as we know it.

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Savings: restating the obvious

I guess people can never see it coming, to the point that CNBC felt it necessary to remind seniors to avoid overspending.

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$TWTR: Risk unloaded onto retail

Pundits are obviously doing the bubble dance, seeing that the company has never made any money, and is not expected to do so until 2015.

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Attention Kmart Shoppers

Kmart sold an item originating from a re-education labor camp to a woman in Oregon.

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Nick Bilton on Hatching $TWTR

NYT’s Nick Bilton tells the story the piranha-like founders of Twitter.

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David Einhorn on Risk, Reward and Poker

It’s always about the math, which unfortunately is often counterintuitive.

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Dollar Store Investments and Insurance Policies

The bottom line is that no purchasing decision can be made based on just one number. In the case of investment performance, demand to know BOTH the risk AND the reward. As for the American health care system, Stein’s Law kicks in and defaults to single payer for the 99% when the money runs out.