Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Damon Vrabel

Voltron days: Damon Vrabel just made it on my "Smartypants" list AND my educational links list on the right side of the blog. His "Renaissance 2.0" videos do a great job of explaining the debt cycle from a different point of view.

Damon Vrabel graduated from the United States Military Academy, served as an officer in the US Army, then graduated from Harvard Business School, took a short detour on Wall Street, and had a career in Silicon Valley in several leadership positions in technology corporations.

Recent Canada Free Press Articles
Renaissance 2.0 Videos

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An Invisible Gorilla is killing America's soul Paul B. Farrell - MarketWatch

Dow below 10,000

voltron says: as financial reform is debated in the senate, Wall St is "yanking on the leash" right on cue. Rep Kanjorski is saying the Dow will fall 20% if it does not pass.

23 Doomsayers Who Say We're Heading Toward Depression In 2011

Voltron says: But Obama and Bernanke say the economy is "stengthening"

Voltron says: by the time anyone in government utters a discouraging word about the economy, it will be too late. In fact, it will probably mark the nadir

Banks Financing Mexico Drug Gangs Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal - Bloomberg


Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine.

Voltron says: many more explosive allegations in the full article:

Voltron says: you may recall this article I posted in December:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fed Economist: Bloggers are Stupid

A Richmond Va. Federal Reserve Economist, Kartik Athreya wrote a paper recently that trashes economic bloggers. Mr. Artheya has a PhD from the University of Iowa. I'm not so sure a few years in corn land gives him the right to take cheap shots at the new media. I am absolutely convinced that this type of thinking should not be expressed by Fed officials. It proves to me that the Fed is an elitist organization that is out of touch with America in 2010. The full report from Athreya is here. Some of the more offending comments:

Writers who have not taken a year of PhD coursework in a decent economics department (and passed their PhD qualifying exams), cannot meaningfully advance the discussion on economic policy.

So we have to go to school for two years to be able to write about the issues of the day. That would exclude me and a lot of others. The fact that I worked on Walls street for 30 years does not qualify me to say a word.

The response of the untrained to the crisis has been even more startling. I listen to Elizabeth Warren on the radio fearlessly speculating about the nature of credit market dysfunction, and so on.

Taking on Elizabeth Warren is a big mistake Mr. Arthreya. You will regret this choice of words.

The real issue is that there is extremely low likelihood that the speculations of the untrained, on a topic almost pathologically riddled by dynamic considerations and feedback effects, will offer anything new. Moreover, there is a substantial likelihood that it will instead offer something incoherent or misleading.

Everything that comes from the Federal Reserve is incoherent and misleading.

The sophomoric musings of auto-didact or non-didact bloggers or writers is instructive. For those who want to really know what the best that economics has to offer is, you must look here.

The only people you should listen to is Federal Reserve economists? I take a different view. The last people you should trust in this matter is FRB economists.

The general public are simply being had by the bulk of the economic blogging crowd.

The general public is being had. But not by the bloggers. They are being had by the folks who make the choices for us at the FRB.

The views expressed are my own, and do not necessarily represent those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, or Federal Reserve System.

Actually the views expressed are a perfect representation of the mind set at the FRB. Narrow minded, elitist and just plain wrong.

I would suggest that Mr. Arthreya do some additional research. He should look up the word "hubris" (extreme haughtiness or arrogance). After he understands that concept he should write an apology, that or he should resign from the FRB.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wells Fargo: Money Flow Leader

From the Wall Street Journal: Wells Fargo & Co. topped the list for Selling on Strength , which tracks stocks that rose in price but had the largest outflow of money.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Six Banks Made $51 Billion in ‘09 (The rest lost money)


Banks Say No. Too Bad Taxpayers Can’t

Bernanke Says Fed Does Not Engage In Stock Market Or "Individual Stock" Manipulation

Voltron says: "whatever"

Worried About Their Dollars, More Are Turning to Gold -

Voltron says: don't buy from goldline; they overcharge. Check prices

NYTimes - Waking Up From the American Dream

"You hear all this rhetoric about stability caused by homeownership," ... "But the communities that survived the housing bubble the best were the ones that had the highest percentage of renters."

a home mortgage deduction ... essentially "bribes people to buy bigger houses." ... renters offer plenty of social good themselves, helping creating vibrant cities. "The idea that homeownership is always great and renting is un-American is an awful state of affairs," he said.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Financial Armageddon: 'Alarmingly Bleak' and 'Littered with Huge and Half-Empty Glasses'

"An optimist sees the glass as half full. A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. I see the glass as twice as big as it needs to be,"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SDS, BP money flow leaders

Per WSJ:

UltraShort S&P500 ProShares ETF (SDS) topped the list at midday for Buying on Weakness , which tracks stocks that fell in price but had the largest inflow of money.

British Petroleum (BP) topped the list for Selling on Strength , which tracks stocks that rose in price but had the largest outflow of money.

See for the full list of money flow leaders.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Women Prefer Men Holding State Bonds, Japan Ad Says

Waterboarding the Laws of Economics

Copied from From:

I'm not certain who it was that said There is no situation so bad that government cannot make it worse, but as proof of that axiom, I offer the following: [Thanks L!]

Last week, three House members introduced a $15 billion stimulus bill to provide homebuilders with construction loans. Yep - the plan is to build more houses in an attempt to save the housing industry from its oversupply of houses. Irony just died.
. . .
There's ample reason to believe this bill will do more bad than good, and arguments used to justify its existence are easy to shoot down.

The National Association of Home Builders, for example, wrote that without this bill and its fostering of new construction, we'd threaten "to end the budding housing recovery before it has time to take root." That's so perfectly wrong, it hurts. You have to put the laws of supply and demand in a medieval torture device to come up with an example of additional supply healing a crash caused by oversupply. When the price of something is falling, increasing supply accelerates the drop. Conversely, removing supply (blowing up houses) lifts prices. No secrets. No magic. No tricks. They call these the laws of supply and demand because there aren't practical exceptions.

Perhaps it's "Hair of the dog that bit him," economic theory. It makes no sense, but which of the stimulus bills did?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bonds could lose 30 percent of their value

Voltron says: Bonds are considered a "safe haven" but they are not.

Bob Froehlich with Hartford Mutual Funds says ... the bubble could pop when the Fed does what it'll have to do to stave off inflation -- raise interest rates. He says when that happens, today's bonds could lose 30 percent of their value if they're resold on the secondary market.

History lesson

I keep reading everywhere that Greece is the new Lehman Brothers .... Lehman itself was the new Argentina (2001), and Argentina was the new CreditAnstalt (1931), and CreditAnstalt was the new previous Argentina (1890), and the previous Argentina was the new South Sea Company (1720), which was the new Philip II of Spain, who through his multiple defaults (1557, 1560, 1575, 1596) managed repeatedly to be the new himself. Governments and bankers have been merrily tossing the bankruptcy baton back and forth for half a millennium.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rapper Chamillionaire Strategically Defaults

...His 7,583 square foot mansion in Houston, Texas was a losing endeavor, and ... he simply chose to walk away . . .
Chamillionaire played down the severity of the situation, telling TMZ, “when I’m Chathousandaire, then y’all have a real story.”

Next, Lil Jon defaults . . .

Voltron: Lil Jon, you're house is underwater

Lil Jon: What?!?!

Voltron: You owe more than it's worth

Lil Jon: What?!?!

Voltron: Do you want to stop losing money?

Lil Jon: YEAH!!!

Voltron: You should let the bank foreclose

Lil Jon: OKAY!!!!

with sound effects: