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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...



Thomas Piketty Proposals to Advance Income Equality

Daniel Shuchman in WSJ informs on some of the proposals and ideas bandied about by Thomas Piketty in Capital in the Twenty-First Century: Mr. Piketty urges an 80% tax rate on incomes starting at "$500,000 or $1 million." This is not...



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...



Links for 4-23-14

Class-Ridden America - Paul Krugman Bernanke Says Fed Could Have Communicated Better - WSJ Acceleration Is Forecast for Spending on Health - NYTimes.com A post-crash manifesto to rebuild economics - Money Supply Too Big to Fail. Not Too Strong - David...



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 Inc. Stock “Set To Double” In The Medium-Term: Mike Mayo

Shares are still pinned by problems in the wider industry as well as issues with Federal Reserve stress testsMike Mayo reckons that stock in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) could double over the medium term. The bank analyst made the comments while speaking to...



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...



Links for 4-22-14

No Time For Sargent - Paul Krugman Sargent’s Graduation Speech - Leisure of the Theory Class Interpreting Deviations from Okun’s Law - FRBSF The contradiction in economics - Antonio Fatas Inflation and NK Models - Del Negro, Giannoni,...



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...



Reply to DeLong smackdown

In a recent post I claimed that monetary policy failure associated with the zero bound, not financial turmoil was the cause of the Great Recession.  Brad DeLong had correctly noted that the S&L fiasco of the late 1980s involved losses...



Barclays PLC (BCS) To Exit The Commodities Trade

Precious metals will be combined with forex, but other commodities businesses expected to be sold or shut downBarclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) is expected to announce plans to pull out of the commodities market tomorrow as it sheds businesses with...



Bonus Monday Smackdown Watch: Ryan Avent vs. Clive Crook on Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-First Century"

Ryan Avent: Inequality: "Capital" and Its Discontents | The Economist: "Mr Piketty's magnum opus is certainly not without its weaknesses... ...but the quality of the criticism it has attracted provides a sense of the strength of...



San Francisco Fed Paper: Okun’s Law Isn’t Broken, As Many Had Feared

One of the Great Recession’s enduring mysteries has been the apparent breakdown in longstanding relationships between the economy’s growth rate and unemployment during and after the downturn. Economists have long looked to a rule of thumb...



Here’s the good news…

Lots of talk about economic “Escape Velocity” these days, and whether or not we’ll actually see it in 2014. We’ve had four annual false starts for escape velocity since 2010 – every spring we look like...



Let me know when to start panicking about health care spending again

For some time, we’ve seen a slowdown in health care spending. Some argued that this was due to the ACA. Others thought it was the slowed-down economy. I’ve been one of the people happy to say “I don’t...



BlackBerry Ltd ‘Classic’ To Make Its Debut In November

In an interview, CEO John Chen revealed November as a possible month for the launch of the BlackBerry Classic handsetBlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) announced during MWC 2014 that a new device called BlackBerry Classic was in the works. Not much...



Links for 4-20-14

Obamacare Versus The Wusses - Paul Krugman Not a summary of economics - Noahpinion Misunderstanding macroeconomic models - mainly macro Is Subprime Mortgage Credit Back? - House of Debt My Head Talks Piketty With Bill Moyers - Paul Krugman Creeping...



Links for 4-19-14

On the Liberal Bias of Facts - Paul Krugman Capitalism and the Dalai Lama - NYTimes.com I Saw a Monetarist Drinking a Pina Colada... - Brad DeLong Punish wage theft as severely as robbery - Catherine Rampell Don't Know Much About History, Rand...



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Federal Reserve Board announces consent order of prohibition



Jeremy C. Stein submits resignation as a member of the Board of Governors, effective May 28, 2014

Jeremy C. Stein submits resignation as a member of the Board of Governors, effective May 28,...



Private Payrolls Now Above Pre-Recession Peak

Total nonfarm private payroll employment climbed to 116,067, the BLS said this morning. The means private employment is now above the pre-recession peak, Calculated Risk's Bill McBride notes. Overall employment is now just 0.3% below the...



Bad Timing: HealthCare.gov Goes Down on Day Before Deadline

HealthCare.gov was down for approximately five hours on the last day to enroll to Obama's health care reform plan The site's online application was unavailable from about 3 a.m to 8 a.m. ET, according to CNBC. The site is now back up and...



Fed’s Stein, Board Hawk, to Step Down May 28

A top Federal Reserve official who has expressed concerns about the possibility that the central bank’s policies could spark financial instability said Thursday he is resigning from his post on May 28. Fed governor Jeremy Stein Bloomberg...



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...



Report: NSA Knew About Heartbleed Bug for 2 Years and Said Nothing

The NSA knew about the Internet security bug Heartbleed and regularly used it to gather intelligence for at least two years, anonymous sources told Bloomberg. If true, the NSA could have collected information like passwords and private communications...



Links 4/5/14

These Dogs Are Totally Amused By FedEx Guy Chasing After His Runaway Truck Consumerist China’s tiger parks under fire from conservationists, animal cruelty experts McClatchy (furzy mouse) Cultural production of ignorance provides rich field for...



Switchboard: Google asks the Supreme Court to take its Wi-Fi sniffing case

NSA performed warrantless searches on Americans' calls and e-mails Clapper. In a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden obtained by Spencer Ackerman at the Guardian, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper appears to confirm the NSA performed...