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French Telecom Company Does Biggest Junk Bond Sale Ever; Bidding Wars for Junk; AOL Flashback

With central bankers globally suppressing interest rates, the such for yield elsewhere is on. One of the places investors have turned is speculative junk bond offerings.Please consider French Company Does Biggest Junk Bond Sale Ever. Numericable (NUM),...



Drinking Age Is Past Its Prime

That's the title of Camille Paglia's latest op-ed in Time. As I mentioned a few years ago, she must be one of the last critical thinkers left in the Democratic Party. She correctly identified many of the fatal flaws of the Obama administration...



Thursday: Unemployment Claims, Durable Goods, Kansas City Mfg Survey

Nick Timiraos at the WSJ has some excerpts from a research note by Goldman Sachs economists: Why Credit Is Key for the Housing Recovery The Goldman economists say they expect new home sales to reach 800,000 units by 2017, up from 430,000 last year, based...



Jim Cramer: With Bubble Talk, Consider the Source

NEW YORK (Real Money) -- How did it come to the point that we now get our opinions from investment letters from managers who lost money in the first quarter? How is it that we now bank with managers who tell us there is a tech bubble brewing without...



Exactly Like 7 Years Ago? 2014 Is Turning Out To Be Eerily Similar To 2007

The similarities between 2007 and 2014 continue to pile up.  As you are about to see, U.S. home sales fell dramatically throughout 2007 even as the mainstream media, our politicians and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke promised us that...



BACK IN HELL

All of yesterday’s hard fought gains have been wiped out in the first twenty minutes of trade. We were treated to a worse than expected PMI number and then an atrocious set of housing numbers. Apparently, the recovery in housing has taken a...



How Is Winter Weather Affecting Home Sale Data?

Source: Calculated Risk   I have heard a fair amount of chatter about the awful winter weather’s impact on home sales. Let’s clarify the different measures in use for New and Existing Home Sales to see what we can find. U.S. Census...



Tyler Cowen Skewers Thomas Piketty

Tyler Cowen has taken to the pages of Foreign Affairs to review the Amazon #1 best seller Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. Cowen does a very decent job in the review of touching on many problems...



Why Does Everyone Think Lolita Is a Teenager?

This is way off my usual beaten path, but here is Hillary Kelly in the New Republic: People have the wrong idea about Lolita, and Lolita. Today, the name is widely used as a synonym for a sexually precocious young girl. But the most important fact...



Class-Ridden America

The rich think differently from you and...



Hedge Fund News: Bill Ackman, Crispin Odey & David Tepper

Valeant Pharmaceuticals shares climb as it teams up with Bill Ackman to buy $42.2B Botox maker (FinancialPost) Canada’s largest pharmaceutical company and the U.S. activist investor who overhauled CP Rail have joined forces in a mega-deal to buy...



David Einhorn: we are in a new Tech Bubble

Pretty interesting comments from the latest David Einhorn letter. The savvy hedge fund manager says we are indeed in a new tech bubble and has even formed an entirely new group of stocks in his fund that he has dubbed the "bubble basket". ...



Citigroup stock to double: Mike Mayo

Mike Mayo says Citigroup stock could head to $96 per...



Apple Patents Driver Distraction Lockdown Mode For iPhones

 Apple has been granted a new patent by the USPTO (via AppleInsider), and it’s one that could potentially prevent a lot of careless driving. The tech described in the patent would use a phone’s on-board sensors, or a...



Hedge funds still loving Japan despite losses

Hedge fund managers like Eton Park and Eclectica are still bullish on Japan despite a painful start to the...



The amazing energy efficiency of the US economy

Mark Perry today has a nice post celebrating Earth Day from an economist's perspective, including a chart showing how the U.S. economy today uses far less energy per unit of output than it did in 1950. To complement his post, I offer the following...



SunPower Corporation (SPWR) Stock Jumps On “Buy” Rating

SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) shares gained more than 5% on today’s market after the company received a rather fetching Buy rating from Brean Capital in a report released before market open on Tuesday. The report put a price target of $32...



Capitalization-Weighted Index Funds: A Closer Look At “Smart Beta”

by David Markel, CFO of the AlephBlog Are index funds that are capitalization-weighted the best funds to invest in?  No.  So why do we talk about index funds so much?  Because they represent the average dollar in the market.  In...



No Time For Sargent

Some immutable principles...



Further reading

Elsewhere on Tuesday, - The most expensive lottery ticket in the world. - Cowen reviews Piketty. - The contradiction in economics.Continue reading: Further...



Mail Campaign Boosts Loeb’s Candidates In Sotheby’s Fight

An aggressive campaign mailer draws direct comparisons between candidates for Sotheby's board of directorsThe campaign season is heating up.  No, not the midterm Congressional elections.  This is the campaign for shareholder mindshare as...



Who is Playing for a House of Cards?

Netflix reports after the bell today, and I suspect the reaction tonight and in the coming days should be telling as to the overall health of the market and its growth leaders. Who is paying earnings? How are you positioned? Common, calls, or...



Monday DeLong Smackdown: Scott Sumner: Could We Have Had a Severe Recession Without the 2008 Financial Crisis?

Scott Sumner: Could We Have Had a Severe Recession Without the 2008 Financial Crisis?: "I have trouble with DeLong’s implicit assumption is that the financial crisis caused the Great Recession.... The years leading up to 1990 saw...



DealBook: Barclays Poised to Announce Exit From Commodities

The British bank is one of several major investment banks that have sold or closed parts of their commodities operations in recent months amid heightened regulatory scrutiny and falling...



"Capital" and its discontents

IF THERE were not a large class of influential people convinced that distributional issues in an economy are not especially important, there would have been no reason for Thomas Piketty to write his book. Its reception across a wide range of thinkers...



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Why A Big Stock Market Sell-Off Is No Reason To Panic

Is this the end of the bull market? Is this the beginning of the crash? We can't help but ask these questions when we see stocks take a tumble from their highs. Currently, the S&P 500 is down 2.8% from highs set last week. The Nasdaq is down...



Exactly Like 7 Years Ago? 2014 Is Turning Out To Be Eerily Similar To 2007

The similarities between 2007 and 2014 continue to pile up.  As you are about to see, U.S. home sales fell dramatically throughout 2007 even as the mainstream media, our politicians and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke promised us that...



Bank of America to pay nearly $800 million for deceptive credit card practices

Bank of America agreed Wednesday to pay nearly $800 million in penalties for deceiving millions of customers into buying costly and unneeded services when they signed up for credit cards. Americans gravitated to credit protection products that...



Katsuyama vs. O'Brien - who won?

It was an unprecedented display—IEX's Brad Katsuyama versus BATS's William O'Brien over the nature of high-frequency...



Who is Playing for a House of Cards?

Netflix reports after the bell today, and I suspect the reaction tonight and in the coming days should be telling as to the overall health of the market and its growth leaders. Who is paying earnings? How are you positioned? Common, calls, or...



The Most Important Difference Between 2007 and 2014

The major glaring similarity between the S&P 500 today and at its last major peak in late 2007 is that, at both moments in time, the PE multiple is 15.2. Not that this necessarily means anything, there’ve been plenty of other instances...



No Time For Sargent

Some immutable principles...



WSJ: Zelman still Bullish on New Home Sales, Cuts forecast for Existing Home Sales

From Nick Timiraos at the WSJ: Fewer Foreclosures Could Mean Fewer Homes for Sale In a report Friday, her firm Zelman & Associates said it now expected a 5% drop in sales of previously owned homes for 2014 to a seasonally adjusted annual level of...



JPMorgan Earnings Fall 18.5% on Slowdown in Trading and Mortgage Lending

As the nation’s largest bank, JPMorgan has become a kind of bellwether for the broader industry. The net earnings of $5.27 billion, or $1.28 a share, came in slightly below Wall Street analysts' expectations. Revenue dropped to $23.86...



Nine CEOs With the Worst Reputations

A good manager understands the contribution of his or her employees. In return, managers often receive the respect of their workers. And indeed, more than two-thirds of American employees...



Permahawkery

Maybe the weakest policy argument...



From The Vault: Strong Balance Sheet L/T In Over-Leveraged World

The following was published at RealMoney on August 6th, 2007: Editor’s Summary The illiquid debt instruments at the heart of the current crisis are subject to regime shifts.  We’re in a periodic repricing of illiquid debt...



Drinking Age Is Past Its Prime

That's the title of Camille Paglia's latest op-ed in Time. As I mentioned a few years ago, she must be one of the last critical thinkers left in the Democratic Party. She correctly identified many of the fatal flaws of the Obama administration...



Casey Mulligan Argues Insurance Prices Should Rise by 40 Percent in 2015

Casey Mulligan has once again left me baffled by the economic analysis in his Economix blogpost. If I'm understanding him correctly he is saying that the price of insurance provided through the exchanges in 2015 should be allowed to rise by 40...



Breadth Hits 2014 High

As shown below, the percentage of stocks in the S&P 500 currently trading above their 50-day moving averages is currently at 83%, which is a new high for 2014.   Below is a look at the percentage of stocks above their 50-days by sector....



Here's 20-Year-Old Warren Buffett's Investing Advice From 1951

Warren Buffett's been investing for a long time. ValueWalk's Jacob Wolinsky just posted this piece by the then 20-year-old investment salesman Warren E. Buffett. It's dated Thursday, December 6, 1951 and it comes from a publication called...