2010 August

Desperado

“Central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems.” Of all the things Ben Bernanke said in his speech at Jackson Hole Friday, that is the only one with which I am prepared to totally agree. The speech was widely anticipated and the initial reaction was underwhelming to say the least. Stocks sold off immediately .. read more

Weekly Economic and Market Review

Has sentiment reached an extreme? Is anyone surprised anymore when weak economic data is released? Were you surprised that existing home sales fell 27% last month? I wasn’t and apparently neither were the people buying up home builder stocks when that news was released last Tuesday. Were you surprised to read the Goldman and Redbook .. read more

Reasons to be Bullish

Scott Grannis at Calafia Beach Pundit has a post with a series of charts that make the mildly bullish case. Very interesting. A sample: Industrial production is increasing at a very fast rate, with no signs of any slowdown. Most global economies also are experiencing a rapid recovery in industrial production. This is a good .. read more

On August 26th, 2010, posted in: Economy by Tags: , ,

Are Seasonal Adjustments Distorting Unemployment Claims?

We know there have been problems with seasonal adjustments to the unemployment claims data this summer. For example, the auto companies didn’t shut down this summer as they normally do. Usually, the auto companies shut down for a few weeks each summer to retool for the new model year. For some reason – and I .. read more

Doom and Gloom

The name of this blog is Contrarian Musings for a reason. Investing is nothing more complicated than buying low and selling high. The only way to accomplish that is to be a contrarian. Investments for which there is little demand will be available at favorable prices. Investments for which there is great demand rarely offer .. read more

Rules, Rules and More Rules

The recent credit card legislation had these new rules for gift cards: The new rules apply to all store and merchant gift cards, as well as cards for general use, such as a Visa gift card. These rules include: * Limits on expiration dates The money on your gift card will be good for at .. read more

On August 25th, 2010, posted in: Economy by Tags: ,

Will China Repeat Japan’s Mistakes?

I have argued many times here that the US is in many ways responsible for the “lost decade” in the Japanese economy. Back in the 80s the Japanese occupied the villain role for xenophobic US politicians who needed a scapegoat to blame for the trade deficit. Whether a trade deficit is even a problem is .. read more