Archive for April, 2011

Cartoons 05-01-2011

By: admin
Published: April 30th, 2011

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Daily Readings 04-30-2011

By: admin
Published: April 29th, 2011

Analysis: Cheap dollar fuels one-way bets in everything else – Americans’ cheap money spigot remains open and the flow is as fast as ever, meaning the world had better brace for even higher oil, metals and food prices and a weaker dollar.

Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two

Apple tops Microsoft market cap, revenue, and profitsAfter surpassing Microsoft’s market capitalization and its quarterly revenues, Apple has now surpassed its quarterly profits. In the Apple quarter ending March 26, Steve Jobs and company stacked up profits of $5.99 billion, while Microsoft’s most recent quarter managed (only) $5.23 billion.

A Tale Of Two Recessions And Two Presidents While Obama’s policies had little to do with bringing an end to the Great Recession, they’ve had everything to do with producing what is by far the worst economic recovery in the past 70 years.

Spain jobless rate hits new eurozone recordSpain’s unemployment rate rose sharply to a new eurozone high of 21.3 percent in the first quarter of the year, with a record 4.9 million people out of work, the government said Friday. The rate was the highest reported by the country since 1997.

Gas Drives Up Prices of Big Macs, Pampers – Americans are feeling the pain of higher prices not only at the gas pump but also at the supermarket, in coffee shops and restaurants — and even in the nursery.

2008 crash deja vu: We’ll relive it, and soon – New bubble is hotter, bigger than the last one

U.S. Fed balance sheet approaches $2.68 trillionThe size of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s balance sheet reached another record in the latest week, spurred by its $600 billion bond buying program aimed at supporting economic growth, Fed data released on Thursday showed. Bubble is hotter, bigger than all previous ones…

Ben Bernanke goes on record to warn US deficit ‘not sustainable’Obama must address debt quickly, warns Federal Reserve chief, while interest rates will stay low to protect recovery

Tornado Slams Jefferson County Contemplating BankruptcyJefferson County, Alabama, already on the brink of bankruptcy, faces another emergency after a tornado ripped through the state’s most populous county, destroying 1,000 homes and killing at least 30 people.

Gasoline Taxes Vs. Exxon Profit, Per Gallon

The map above from API shows gasoline taxes by state (combined local, state and federal), which range from a low of 26.4 cents per gallon in Alaska to a high of of 66.1 cents per gallon in California, averaging 48.1 cents per gallon across all states.  How does that compare to oil company industry profits per gallon?
According to this post on Exxon Mobil’s Perspective Blog , “For every gallon of gasoline, diesel or finished products we manufactured and sold in the United States in the last three months of 2010, we earned a little more than 2 cents per gallon.
That’s not a typo. Two cents.”
The chart below shows the difference graphically:
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Daily Readings 04-29-2011

By: admin
Published: April 29th, 2011

McDonald’s Hires 62,000 During National Event, 24% More Than PlannedMcDonald’s and its franchisees hired 62,000 people in the U.S. after receiving more than one million applications, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Previously, it said it planned to hire 50,000.  I think the news here is that there are still 938 000 people desperate to find a job (even a low paying one) that did not get hired…

75,000 Applied for 2,000 Local McJobs – A McJob looked mighty appealing to tens of thousands of people in the Chicago area…

Wal-Mart: Our shoppers are ‘running out of money’ Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.

Housing Crash 2.0 Is Accelerating House prices are falling again—and the decline is accelerating.

Central banks pump £3 trillion into world economy The figures will intensify fears that the extraordinary injection of liquidity is responsible for rising stock markets, rather than any underlying pick-up in corporate health or investor confidence.

Amazon packing after House vote – Amazon all but told South Carolina goodbye Wednesday after the online retailer lost a legislative showdown on a sales tax collection exemption it wants to open a distribution center that would bring 1,249 jobs to the Midlands. Way to go SC. Showed them you are tough on tax breaks for the evil companies

There They Go Again: The ‘People’s Budget’ And High Tax RatesThe problem with these very high tax rates, of course, is that the wealthy will find ways to avoid them. Some may incorporate and take advantage of those much lower corporate rates. Rich individuals will shelter or defer income, or find ways to move it (or themselves) offshore.  Corporations will surely decamp for tax havens.

SF Chronicle video prompts White House threat The White House threatened Thursday to exclude The San Francisco Chronicle from pooled coverage of its events in the Bay Area after the paper posted a video of a protest at a San Francisco fundraiser for President Obama last week, Chronicle Editor Ward Bushee said. The most  transparent  administration heh?

U.S. Loses in Biggest Fighter-Jet Sale in 15 Years in India India’s Defence Ministry opted for European over American warplanes for the world’s biggest fighter-jet aircraft order in 15 years, snubbing the lobbying efforts by President Barack Obama. You mean Obama is a weapons dealer?

The Keynesian Growth Discount – The results of our three-year economic experiment are in.

Earnings aren’t as good as they seemCompanies are reporting stellar results. But drill down in the numbers and you find those companies benefiting from temporary tax breaks and facing climbing costs. Stock pickers need to be extra-choosy.

Is the Stock Market in “Extreme Overvaluation Territory”?By historical standards, the answer is yes.

Stagflation. It’s Back. – Stagflation officially returned today with a nasty GDP report that showed only 1.8 percent real growth, but 3.8 percent for the consumer spending deflator. It’s a mini version of the 1970s: low growth, higher inflation.

The 9 places where inflation is crushing usMeat, gas, even diapers are costing regular folks

What’s wrong with America’s economy?Its politicians are failing to tackle the country’s real problems. Believe it or not, they could learn from Europe

The 88-Year, No-Interest MortgageIn Their Battle to Save the Family Home, the Robinsons Make a Stunning Counter-Offer

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Links 04-27-2011

By: admin
Published: April 27th, 2011

Higher Education: Is it really the next bubble? – Duh! What is irrational exuberance stand for?

Americans depend more on federal aid than ever A record 18.3% of the nation’s total personal income was a payment from the government for Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, unemployment benefits and other programs in 2010. Wages accounted for the lowest share of income — 51.0% — since the government began keeping track in 1929.

Obama reissues call to end oil company tax breaks Obama’s proposal, spelled out in his past two budget plans, would eliminate a number of tax breaks for oil companies that would generate an estimated $4 billion a year in additional revenue. But you know in reality that the lost tax brakes will be passed to the consumer in a form of a higher gas prices and in the end the taxpayers will be paying out of their pockets those  additional $4 billion a year in revenue for the Obama’s coffers. BTW…Why is a Brazilian oil company getting $2 billion dollars in what is effectively a subsidy for them to drill in offshore waters? Why are 6000 jobs created with stimulus money in China to build wind generators instead of here, since the US taxpayers paid for the stimulus?

Wealthy Leaving Las Vegas Mansions as Pain of Foreclosure Crisis Spreads – “You feel like a sucker if you’re paying a $5 million mortgage on a house that’s worth $2 million,”

Chernobyl recovery officer criticises Japan’s efforts at FukushimaSoviet efforts to contain the Chernobyl nuclear disaster a quarter of a century ago were far better than Japan’s “slow-motion” response to the disaster at Fukushima, a leading member of the 1986 recovery effort said.

As Inflation Surges, Central Banks Run AmokSuper heroes for the world economy they’re not, as the Federal Reserve’s inflation-stoking policies prove

‘Optimism’ In Housing?“Home values continue to decline, making normal sale homes worth much less than they should be. Appraisers continue to use distressed property sales to establish value on non-distressed listings. Further, these same appraisers will not make any adjustments for amenities, (pools, spas, solar, etc.), when compiling a normal sale vs. distressed comps.

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Site News

By: admin
Published: April 27th, 2011

Installed a new App for the site – highlight a word or a short phrase and  a pop up bubble “Learn More” will show up. Hover with your mouse and a box with relevant search results will pop up. It will contain a tab with search results from the web, a tab with video results and a tab with picture results.

Try it!

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Daily Readings 04-26-2011

By: admin
Published: April 26th, 2011

Housing reality trumps dogma for some in GOPGetting rid of Freddie, Fannie proving difficult for well-moneyed constituent groups

S&P sticks with ‘negative’ outlook for CaliforniaOne of the nation’s leading credit-rating agencies continues to hold a “negative” outlook for California, citing the state’s sizable deficit and its leaders’ persistent inability to close that gap.

California voters want public employees to help ease state’s financial troubles A cap on pensions and a later retirement age — even for current public employees — are supported by the poll’s respondents.

US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner downgrades his own credibility to junk – Business reporter Peter Barnes began his televised interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner two days ago with this question: “Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?”
Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.”

Kass: False Sense of Security – Time heals everything, as today many of those circa 2007-2008 bulls have been reincarnated and, despite serious setbacks two to three years ago, have morphed back into astonishingly confident and prominent cheerleaders — almost as if their major-league investment boner never even occurred.

When Oil Prices Double, Recession Often FollowsU.S. oil and gasoline prices are up about 40 percent since October. A rise in oil prices to $140-$150 per barrel would create global stagflation.

Bad policy, not profiteering, is the reason for $4 a gallon gasWhen gas prices spike in the wake of Middle East turmoil or hurricanes, conspiracy theories abound about profiteering speculators. The truth is Americans are suffering from bad energy polices — politicians eager to sell pet projects and hoist blame onto others.

Petrol station charges €9.99 a litre for gas – Police were called after a petrol station near Stuttgart began charging €9.99 per litre ($40 per gallon) of super gasoline amid dwindling supplies on Easter Monday. Customer Yunus G. told daily Bild he put 21 litres in his BMW and was asked to pay €209.98

The “Miracle” of Compound Inflation – by John Mauldin

2008 crash deja vu: We’ll relive it, and soon – Warning, the stars are aligning, again. Much faster. We’re repeating the run-up to the 2008 meltdown, leading up to the next election.

China As No. 1? Give Us A Break – The fact is, China itself faces formidable hurdles that will make it tough to keep growing at current rates.

Pripyat 2011: Soviet dream turned nuclear nightmare

Corbett: Govt grip on Fukushima info repeats Chernobyl mistakes

Busby: Can’t seal Fukushima like Chernobyl – it all goes into sea

The Next Generation of Helicopters Take Flight

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Daily Readings 04-25-2011

By: admin
Published: April 25th, 2011

IMF bombshell: Age of America nears end – Commentary: China’s economy will surpass the U.S. in 2016

Don’t Like a Weak Dollar? Might as Well Get Used to It – Weakness in the US dollar, which is causing everything to go up—including gas prices, food and stocks—is unlikely to go away soon as a selling frenzy hits the currency market

China should cap forex reserves at 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars – China should reduce its excessive foreign exchange reserves and further diversify its holdings, Tang Shuangning, chairman of China Everbright Group, said on Saturday.

Oil near $113 as damaged fields shut Libya output – Oil prices rose to near $113 a barrel Monday in Asia after Libyan rebels said they won’t produce crude for at least a month as they repair fields damaged in fighting.

It’s growth, but not as we know itLarge blue chips, including some consumer-oriented companies, will have to show they can counter sluggish developed economies by leveraging growth in emerging markets and technology — if Wall Street is to maintain earnings momentum this week.

America appears to be sleepwalking towards disaster – does no one care?There’s been a lot of talk that S&P’s bold move last week was a harbinger of renewed fiscal discipline, not just in the US, but across the Western world. The ratings agency, we’re told, “is doing its job” and “holding politicians to account”. I would like to think that’s true, but I just don’t. The gold market doesn’t either. The yellow metal, the ultimate hedge against inflation and dollar debasement, hit yet another all-time high last week.

The Bipartisan March to Fiscal MadnessIT is obvious that the nation’s desperate fiscal condition requires higher taxes on the middle class, not just the richest 2 percent. Likewise, entitlement reform requires means-testing the giant Social Security and Medicare programs, not merely squeezing the far smaller safety net in areas like Medicaid and food stamps.

Why We’re Lousy PredictorsHumans love predictions . We speculate for years about who will win the next presidential election. We fill out Final Four tournament brackets. We check the seven-day forecast — even though the morning newscast is often wrong about the weather for that night. And, of course, we constantly try to guess whether an investment is on its way up or way down.

IPhone Stored Location in Test Even if DisabledThe location data appear to be collected using cellphone towers and Wi-Fi access points near a user’s phone and don’t appear to be transmitted back to Apple.

APPLE: We ‘must have’ comprehensive user location data on you – Apple’s iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, and iPad models are also keeping track of consumers whereabouts. Mac computers running Snow Leopard and even Windows computers running Safari 5 are being watched.

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