200909.30
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Japan Ignores the Laws of Economics

What’s wrong with this story? Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) — Japan, the world’s largest pork importer, will purchase about 70,000 swine carcasses from local herds to boost prices after an economic slump cut consumption and sent stockpiles to a 20-year high. The government will allocate 292.9 million yen ($3.3 million) for a support program including assisting…

200909.24
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Update – World Allocation – 9/23

The World Allocation model portfolio has recently been updated. Changes to the model include as follows: Buy Cash      Raise from 0.0% to 13.0% Sell FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index FXI      Reduce from 10.0% to 5.0% Sell S&P 500 Index IVV      Reduce from 15.0% to 10.0% Sell Dow Jones Copper Sub-Index [[JJC]]        Reduce from 3.0% to 0.0%   The…

200909.22
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It’s a Good Thing Steven Chu Knows What’s Good For Us

The Energy Secretary had this to say about Americans and energy usage (via WSJ): When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons. Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington,…

200909.22
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Taxes and Dollar Devaluation in the Depression

Art Laffer has an Op-Ed in the WSJ today that blames the length of the Great Depression on high taxes and currency devaluation. If he’s correct, Bernanke learned nothing from his years of studying the Depression. The tax increases of the Hoover and FDR administrations are well known and the effect obvious, but the role…

200909.21
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The Global Competitiveness Report

Despite our neighbors’ extensive economic struggles across the pond, Europe seems to be the place to be, as 6 of the top 10 countries were atop the rankings in the World Economic Forum’s 2009-2010 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report. Switzerland managed to replace the United States atop the report, due to a weakening in the US financial markets and macroeconomic stability. (This…

200909.20
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The Consumer Spending Myth

Ben Bernanke, in a speech at the Brookings Institute, declared this past week that the recession is likely over, but that the recovery will be muted. Specifically, he said: Having said that, I’ve seen some agreement among the forecasting community at this point that we are in a recovery, that we will see growth in the…

200909.16
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Radical Reform

Anthony Evans makes the case for radical free market reform in the Guardian: 1. Legalise insider trading. The regulators have failed spectacularly. They did not foresee the systemic risk created by excess credit creation and over-leveraging, and it would be naive to expect any single organisation to steward an entire industry. Demonising hedge funds and…