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What We Read Today:

What We Read Today 22 December 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

BoJ strikes more upbeat view, no fresh measures (AFP, Taipei Times)  Exports "show signs of picking up" and "factory output has started to bottom out".  That is the upbeat view referred to in the headline.  The Bank of Japan (BoJ) voted to "hold off on fresh easing measures".  That means they will continue the current QE (quantitative easing) to pump money into the banking system at the rate of ¥80 trillion (US$670 billion) a year.  Prorated to the size of the Japanese economy, this is the equivalent of $2.3 trillion for the U.S.  The Fed QE3 program, now ended, was at the rate of $1 trillion per year.

Read more ...

Econintersect News Briefs:

Average Gasoline Prices for Week Ending 22 December 2014: Down 85.5 Cents from a Year Ago

Econintersect: Average gasoline prices fell 14.7 cents per gallon nationwide (lowest since May 2009) this past week following the previous week's 12.4 cent fall from the week before.  Since 06 January 2014, gas prices have fallen 91.5 cents a gallon.

Average prices by region and a breakdown by grade follow after "Read more >>".

At the end of the article is a Gas Buddy graphic with access to local gasoline prices anywhere in the country.

Read more »

The World's Highest-Paid Musicians In 2014

from Felix Richter, Statista.com
by Niall McCarthy

Dr. Dre was the highest-paid musician worldwide in 2014 by a massive distance, earning five times more than his nearest rival.

Read more »

F-Squared Investments Agreed to Pay $35 million for Defrauding Investors through False Performance Advertising

from the Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that investment management firm F-Squared Investments has agreed to pay $35 million and admit wrongdoing to settle charges that it defrauded investors through false performance advertising about its flagship product.

Read more »

October 2014 Coincident Indicator Review: Economy's Rate of Growth Continues to be Constant

The above graph shows the index value for the US Coincident Index. A comparison of US Coincident Index, Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti business conditions index, Conference Board's Coincident Index, ECRI's USCI (U.S. Coincident Index), and Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) coincident indicators follows.

Read more »

Nearly Three in Four Employers Plan to Hand Out Year-End Bonuses

from Challenger Gray and Christmas

While the vast majority of Americans will never see anywhere near the level of year-end bonus lavished upon Wall Street bankers, a new survey shows that nearly 80 percent of employers plan to offer some type of holiday bonus or gift this year.

Read more »

Is There a Future for Credit Default Swap Futures?

by Or Shachar - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Last year, IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) launched a credit default swap index futures contract. In the first two weeks there were spurts of interest in it, but soon it became evident that the new product was unable to generate sufficient demand. Given their short life span in the credit default swaps (CDS) market, the question becomes why were these futures contracts launched in the first place? And, assuming that they were created in response to a real need of market participants, will we see a revival of swap futures in the future?

Read more »

New York State Bans Fracking

Special Report from ProPublica

by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica.org

When natural gas companies first pressed into New York in 2008, state environmental regulators barely understood the process of "hydraulic fracturing." Today, six and a half years after ProPublica first raised concerns that the drilling could threaten both the state's water supply and its residents' health, Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned the process across the state.

Read more »

Nokia Remains 2nd Largest Mobile Phone Vendor (For Now)

by Felix Richter, Statista.com

Worldwide mobile phone sales amounted to 456 million units in the third quarter of 2014, with smartphones now accounting for 2 in 3 mobile phones sold, according to Gartner.

Read more »

Documentary of the Week: Stop Banks from Creating Money

Econintersect:  Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator of Financial Times, presented arguments in support of moving the creation of money from the private sector and making it a public function.  He was speaking at a conference entitled "Does Money Grow on Trees?" 09 September 2014 at the Institute for Chartered Accountants in London.


Read more »

Infographic of the Day: Eccentric Habits of the Tech Elite

Eccentric habits of the tech elite - infographic listing 11 leaders.

Read more »

What's Luck Got to Do With It? Everything, If You are a Banking Whistleblower

by Kate Kenny, The Conversation

Think whistleblowing is a matter of telling the truth? Think again. “Successful” whistleblowing, where the protagonist actually manages to make themselves heard in the media and get the support of the public, is a matter of luck.

Read more »

Christmas Trees By The Numbers: Real vs Fake

from Felix Richter, Statista.com
by Niall McCarthy

Despite their great looks and smell, some Americans are starting to associate real Christmas trees with unnecessary work and hassle.

Read more »

Three Senators Warn: TPP Could Interfere with Preventing Another Financial Crisis

Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin and Edward Markey Go On the Record

by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

In letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, trio of senators warns how trade deal could make it harder to prevent another financial crisis

Provisions that could appear in secretly negotiated trade deal would boost corporate power while making it harder to prevent another financial crisis, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has stated.

Read more »

The Chinese Dream for Higher Education and the Dilemma It Presents

by John Morgan and Bin Wu, The Conversation

The number of university students in China, including those in part-time higher adult education, expanded from 12.3m students in 2000 to 34.6m in 2013. China has become an exceptional example of increasing access for students to higher education – but this expansion has also been accompanied by some unexpected and even negative consequences.

Read more »

Ukrainian Approval Of Russia's Leadership Nosedives

from Felix Richter, Statista.com
by Niall McCarthy

Ukrainians' traditionally high approval ratings of Russia's leadership have taken a nosedive over the past year following the annexation of Crimea and subsequent violence in the east of the country.

Read more »

Investor Bulletin: Broker's Miscellaneous Fees

from the Securities and Exchange Commission

The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this bulletin to make investors aware of the miscellaneous fees charged by some brokers. When you use a broker to buy or sell securities, your charges will generally fall into two categories:

  • a commission or markup associated with the trade; and
  • in some cases, miscellaneous fees for other expenses.

Read more »

Infographic of the Day: Theoretical Limits

Everything has a limit - meet the minimums and maximums of our universe.

Read more »

Earnings and Economic Reports: Week Starting 22 December

Written by Merlin Rothfeld, Online Trading Academy

Econintersect: Here is a day-by-day rundown of the global economic calendar events for the coming week and the important earnings announcements each day, as well.

Video presentation follows the Read more >> jump.merlin-rothfeld-ptr-380px
Merlin Rothfeld

Read more »

Priceless: the Inefficient, but Merry Economics of Christmas

by Kevin Albertson, The Conversation

Fingers crossed, we are soon to be inundated with Christmas joy disguised as presents from our family and friends. I received my first card more than a week ago and a present – now sitting under the tree – from our eldest, wee Jimmy (now not so wee and living away from home in his own flat). I found this particularly gratifying as I had told Jim, that he didn’t have to buy a present. I had hoped he would want to send a present. The fact that the gift was not required, but offered freely, makes it the more valuable.

Read more »

One European Country Is Not Excited About Christmas

from Felix Richter, Statista.com
by Niall McCarthy

Christmas excitement is building around the world, especially in Europe where hot wine is flowing at Christmas markets and the pace of shopping is accelerating.

Read more »

Trucking Tonnage Index Surges in November 2014

Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index increased 3.5% in November following an increase of 0.5% for October. From ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello:

Read more »

How the Shrinking of the Labor Force Might Impact Your Community

by Andrew A. Pack - Bridges, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

One trend that will continue to affect the future of economic and workforce development in the United States at a local, state and national level in the coming years is the status—continued decline or possible increase—of the labor force participation rate. This rate impacts the vitality of local and state economies and has many national implications as it continues to fluctuate. Many experts debate the future of this rate. As baby boomers retire, many expect the rate to continue to decline. But with the likelihood of better economic times and improved job prospects ahead, more people may re-enter the labor force.

Pack image

Read more »

Fuel Economy Standards Have Increased the Rate of Technology Adoption

from the Chicago Fed

Many countries are tightening passenger vehicle fuel economy standards. The literature on passenger vehicle standards has used structural models to estimate their welfare effects. There is now empirical evidence on the effects of recently tightened fuel economy standards on technology adoption. Specifically, changes in the rate and direction of technology adoption, that is, the extent to which technology is used to increase fuel economy at the expense of other vehicle attributes. It was found that recent U.S. and European standards have both increased the rate of technology adoption and affected the direction of technology adoption.

Read more »

Historical Echoes: Santa Claus as Legal Tender

by Megan Cohen - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

From 1793 until 1861, when the U. S. Treasury Department was given exclusive rights to produce legal tender, thousands of different styles of bank notes were created by U.S. banks. The banks all based their currencies on standardized units, but in most every other way the notes differed wildly - colorful versus monochromatic, and graphics ranging from stock images to almost any concept one could imagine.


Read more »

Bank Owners and Managers Have Mixed Incentives to Hold Capital

from the Kansas City Fed

Banks finance their loans and other assets with a mix of deposits, debt, and equity capital. Maintaining adequate capital is important for banks because it absorbs losses and protects them from failure. Capital also protects the financial system and overall economy from the costs that can arise from bank failures. For example, one of the reasons policymakers were concerned about financial stability during the financial crisis was low capital ratios - the ratio of equity capital to total assets - at some of the largest banks, which led to government programs to provide capital to these banks.

Read more »

Rosetta is Making a Splash Again, But Results Show Comet's Water not the Same as Earth's

by Monica Grady, The Conversation

The first results on comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko obtained by instruments on-board the Rosetta spacecraft have been announced – and they are, literally and figuratively, a deluge of information!

Read more »

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Econintersect Analysis:

November 2014 Existing Home Sales Well Under Expectations But Rolling Averages Improve

Written by

The headlines for existing home sales say that sales lost momentum - with sales declining year-over-year (seasonally adjusted data). Our analysis of the unadjusted data shows similar deceleration - but the unadjusted three month rolling averages for sales are positive this month after being in contraction all of 2014 and are accelerating. Bottom line - this was a bad month in a generally improving trend.

Full story »

November 2014 CFNAI Super Index Spikes Due to Production Related Items. Well Above Market Expectations.

Written by

The economy was growing much faster based on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3 month moving (3MA) average - and the economy is now well above the historical trend rate of growth.

Full story »

Does the Central Bank Control Long-Term Interest Rates?: A Glance at Operation Twist

Fixing the Economists Article of the Week

by Philip Pilkington

Although less prevalently talked about today many economists assume that while the central bank has control over the short-term rate of interest, the long-term rate of interest is set by the market. When Post-Keynesians make the case that when a country issues its own sovereign currency the rate of interest is controlled by the central bank and that the government never faces a financing constraint some economists deny this and point to the long-term rate of interest which they claim is under the control of the market. They say that if market participants decide to put the squeeze on the government they can raise the long-term rate of interest.

Full story »

Media Reports It Wrong Again – Housing Starts Actually Plunged In November

by Lee Adler, Wall Street Examiner

Don’t believe everything you read in the mainstream media. Especially don’t believe anything in the financial news media until you’ve looked at the data yourself. It’s no wonder investors are so often caught flatfooted in the markets. Financial “journalists” feed their readers and viewers a constant stream of misinformation and bad data. Financial reporters are so atrocious at serving their audience I have to believe that they are, wittingly or unwittingly, part of a deliberate and elaborate campaign of disinformation… unless you believe in Coincidence Theory.

Full story »

Distribution of Wealth Worsens for Minorities

Written by

post by the Pew Research Center based on the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances stated that minorities were falling further behind whites in net worth:

  • "the median net worth of white households in 2013 was $141,900, about 13 times that of black households at $11,000";
  • "the median net worth of white households [in 2007] was $192,500, or 10 times that of black households at $19,200".

Full story »

What’s Wrong with Heterodox Economics Journals?

by L. Randall Wray, New Economic Perspectives

I just came across a very interesting bit of research, A Guide to Paradigmatic Self-Marginalization: Lessons for Post-Keynesian Economists by Leonhard Dobusch and Jakob Kapeller; you can find it here.

I realize this is not going to be of interest to many of our readers, as it is a sort of “inside the halls of academia” analysis. What the authors do is to look at the strategies of editors running the top orthodox and the top heterodox journals in economics. Actually it might be a bit unfair to label these strategies, as the authors do not mean to imply that editorial policy knowingly pursues the strategies. Instead, the article looks at the ex post results.

Full story »

The Mystery of Bottomless Reserves

Investing Daily Article of the Week

by Robert Rapier, Investing Daily

When I first went to work for ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), I worked on technology development. I had spent the previous seven years working in the chemical industry, and didn’t know all that much about the oil industry. My first job at ConocoPhillips was helping with a gas-to-liquids process in which we took natural gas and converted it into diesel, in a process very similar to that in Shell’s (NYSE: RDS-A) Pearl GTL plant in Qatar.

Full story »

December 2014 Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Declines Retracing Last Month's Spike, Index Remains Relatively Strong.

Written by

The Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey growth declined but remains well into expansion territory for the tenth month in a row. Key elements remain in expansion. 

Full story »

November 2014 Leading Economic Index Continues Its Strong Growth Pattern.

Written by

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. improved 0.6% over last month. The index growth has been on a solid growth trend.

Full story »

Stratfor: The United States and Cuba Begin Restoring Relations


The United States and Cuba on Dec. 17 took their most assertive step in several decades toward normalizing relations. The most important announcements concerned the resumption of high-level political discussions focused on renewing formal diplomatic ties between the countries, which have been nonexistent since 1961. Cuban and U.S. officials will hold high-level meetings in the coming months, and the two countries will work toward establishing embassies in Havana and Washington. The United States will also immediately relax some sanctions on trade and travel to Cuba.

Full story »

Taper Tantrum Redux

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (54)

Written by , KeySignals.com

“No More Tantrums.”
“They’re creepy and they’re cookey.
The Statements are quite spooky.
Their policy is flukey.
Yel – lens F-O-M-C.”
(Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (52) “Deathly Hallows”)

Following on, from the October FOMC meeting, the Fed smoothly eased into tightening mode. Janet Yellen formally confirmed that tightening mode has been entered, at the Bank of France conference in Paris a few weeks later; and also warned that this period would involve considerable volatility.

Full story »

November 2014 Sea Container Counts Continue to Show Rapid Contraction of Exports

Written by

Export container counts continue to weaken, which is a warning that the global economy is slowing. Export three month rolling averages continue to decelerate - being in negative territory year-over-year. This is a headwind for 4Q2014 GDP. Container counts are a good metric to gauge the economy.

Full story »

November 2014 CPI Annual Inflation Rate Falls 0.4% to 1.3%

by Doug Short and

The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) year-over-year inflation rate which remained constant at 1.7% for the previous 3 months dropped to 1.3%. Energy prices decreased whilst food increased partially countering energy's decline. The year-over-year core inflation rate declined 0.1% to 1.7%, and remains under the targets set by the Federal Reserve.

Full story »

Always Remember: Balance of Payments Must Balance

My Reading of the FT on China’s “Turning Away from the Dollar”

by Michael Pettis, China Financial Markets

The Financial Times ran a very interesting article last week called “China: Turning away from the dollar”. It got a lot of attention, at least among China analysts, and I was asked several times by friends and clients for my response.

Full story »

Residential Building Sector Not Good in November 2014, Obvious Deceleration in the Averages.

Written by

Residential building permits were not good. Even construction completions outnumbered permits (showing that the future is darkening as there will be less homes to build). All data is decelerating.

Full story »

Stratfor: Viewing Russia From the Inside

by George Friedman

Last week I flew into Moscow, arriving at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. It gets dark in Moscow around that time, and the sun doesn't rise until about 10 a.m. at this time of the year — the so-called Black Days versus White Nights. For anyone used to life closer to the equator, this is unsettling. It is the first sign that you are not only in a foreign country, which I am used to, but also in a foreign environment. Yet as we drove toward downtown Moscow, well over an hour away, the traffic, the road work, were all commonplace. Moscow has three airports, and we flew into the farthest one from downtown, Domodedovo — the primary international airport. There is endless renovation going on in Moscow, and while it holds up traffic, it indicates that prosperity continues, at least in the capital.

Full story »

Yes Virginia - - -

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (55)

Written by , KeySignals.com


Coming out of G20 a couple of weeks ago, the message from policy makers was that Santa Claus still exists and will deliver record equity index closing prices for Christmas. Slightly less credible, were the stories that allegedly he will also deliver economic growth and low inflation. There were nearly 1000 growth requests on Santa’s G20 list this year, submitted by the wide eyed policy makers of the member nations[i]; which apparently add up to a $2 trillion global stimulus package[ii].

Full story »

Transformation: The Onrushing Digital Age will Change Everything

Written by

The modern era has witnessed two great periods of transformation that have radically changed the global economy and the very nature of human existence. The first was the Industrial Revolution, which started in England in the late 18th century and began to gain steam as industrialization spread to the United States and Germany and ultimately to the entire developed world.

Full story »

December 2014 Empire State Survey In Contraction for the First Time in Almost Two Years

Written by

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell significantly (14 points), and entered contraction for the first time in nearly two years. Key internals were also in contraction.

Full story »

November 2014 Industrial Production Strong - Above Expectations

Written by

The headlines say seasonally adjusted Industrial Production (IP) improved. Econintersect‘s analysis agrees  - and the unadjusted rolling averages are accelerating from positive backward revisions. 

Full story »

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The Great Debate©:


FOREX NEWS by DailyForex

Euro Recovers from Lows

In European trade, the common currency Euro recovered from recently struck 2-year troughs versus the U.S. Dollar.

Forex Week in Review December 22 2014

Last week saw the major markets reversing the losses of the previous week, despite global demand remaining soft and the oil price at a fresh five-year low.

Asian Stocks Rally; Kiwi Drops

Asian stocks rose Monday, with the regional index headed for its steepest three-day advance in almost two months, as commodity shares climbed amid a rally in crude oil. New Zealand’s dollar dropped while Japanese bonds extended gains.

SNB Introduces Negative Interest Rate

Switzerland lies at the geographical heart of Western Europe. It is a member of the European Free Trade Association and has its own currency, the Swiss Franc.

Why Gold is not Rallying

Despite a full-blown currency crisis in Russia and increasingly volatile markets in the U.S., the price of gold has hardly moved.

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Econintersect Investing:

2015 Stock Market Outlook & Forecast

X-factor Report 21 December 2014

by Lance Roberts, StreetTalk Live

"Predictions Are Difficult...Especially When They Are About The Future" - Niels Bohr

We can't predict the future - if it were possible fortune tellers would all win the lottery. They don't, we can't and we aren't going to try to. However, we can analyze what has happened in the past, weed through the noise of the present and try to discern the possible outcomes of the future.

Read more »

Insider Trading 19 December 2014: The Time for Carl Icahn and Mark Rachesky to Buy

by Asif Suria

The prolific buying by insiders of energy companies lost some steam last week even as oil and energy stocks rebounded sharply along with the rest of the market. With the S&P 500 closing less than 5 points off its all-time high, insider buying also picked up with insiders buying $256.35 million of stock compared to $190.94 million in the week prior. Selling along increased sharply with insiders selling $2.59 billion of stock last week compared to $1.34 billion in the week prior.

We saw both Carl Icahn and Mark Rachesky add to their positions in diesel engine and truck manufacturer Navistar International (NAV) and we also saw Carl Icahn add to his stake in car rental company Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ).

Read more »

The Contagion of Energy Junk Bonds Spreads to Wall Street

by Wolf Richter, Daily Reckoning

Oil swooned again on Wednesday, with the benchmark West Texas Intermediate closing at $60.94. And on Thursday, WTI dropped below $60, currently trading at $59.18. It's down 43% since June.

Read more »

The Week Ahead: Pundit Time for the Holidays

by Jeff Miller, A Dash of Insight

With little fresh news during the holidays and many pros on vacation, I expect a time of reflection and prediction. Publications hungry for content and TV producers needing to fill slots will highlight forecasts of any and all flavors. This happens every year, but the mid-week holidays are pushing it a little earlier than usual:

It is time to start the pundit forecasts for 2015!

Click for larger and complete image at OXO Advisory Group.

Read more »

Indecision for the Dollar?

US Dollar Index Daily Chart Analyses

by Erik McCurdy, Prometheus Market Insight

The following technical and cycle analyses provide short-term forecasts for the US dollar index. For intermediate-term outlooks see the latestintermediate-term forecast and for long-term outlooks see the latest long-term forecast.

Click to see complete picture at John Lund Photography.

Read more »

Trefis: Highlights Week Ending 19 December 2014

Written by

Below is a summary of the activity at Trefis during the past week that Trefis thought Econintersect readers would find interesting.

Trefis is a financial community structured around trends, forecasts and insights related to some of the most popular stocks in the US. It provides the unique feature of allowing the user to model future valuation based upon projected changes in components of each business. It also provides communication capabilities among members, including consensus of member analysis compared to Trefis staff analysis and blogging opportunities for members.

Click on graphic for larger image and go to Trefis interactive page.

Click "Read more..." to see our clickable table of contents with the most covered companies (more than 1 article) of the week identified.

Read more »

Near-term Bearish Bond Yield Outlook

US 10-year Treasury Note Yield Daily Chart Analyses

by Erik McCurdy, Prometheus Market Insight

The following technical and cycle analyses provide short-term forecasts for the 10-year Treasury note yield. For intermediate-term outlooks see the latest intermediate-term forecast and for long-term outlooks see the latest long-term forecast.


Read more »

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 19 December 2014

U.S. stocks extend gains on Fed assurances; Dow gains 0.15%

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

U.S. stocks finished a three-day rally on Friday as investors continued to applaud the Federal Reserve's commitment to be patient when deciding when to hike interest investing.com-logorates.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 rose 0.15%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.46%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.36%.

The S&P 500 VIX index, which measures the outlook for market volatility, was down 1.90% at 16.49.

Read more »

The Importance of Disciplined Profit-Taking

Online Trading Academy Article of the Week

by Sam Evans, Online Trading Academy

Many years ago in the very first trading class I ever took, my instructor told us a vital truth about the markets: Trading is simple but far from easy. Looking back I don't think I really took much notice of the vital importance behind what he said to us all in the classroom that day. I was more interested in getting to the "good stuff," that being the strategies and the charts! Now, some eleven years later it really makes complete and utter sense to me. In fact, I make a point of telling my own students the exact same thing whenever I am teaching them the ways of trading.

Read more »

The Other Problem for Bond Investors

Sungarden Investment Research Article of the Week

by Rob Isbitts, Sungarden Investment Research

For a while now, my firm and I have been devout in alerting our clients and blog subscribers to the issues that will confront them as investors if/when the more than three decades of generally falling U.S. interest rates reverses itself. But what if they don't rise much for awhile, and instead stay around where they are? Is that a victory for bond bulls and does it make those warning about an eventual bond bear market a bunch of Chicken Littles? Hardly. Because regardless of where rates go on high-quality bonds, the math of bonds works against investors who are in or nearing retirement.

Read more »

Precious Metals Corner:

Why the Price of Silver Was Up Recently

Money Morning Article of the Week

by Jim Bach, Money Morning

Three factors explain why the price of silver was two weeks ago - its third-biggest weekly jump of the year.

The spot price of silver has climbed 5% since two weeks ago Friday. It closed at $17.095 an ounce Thursday 11 December 2014.

Read more »

Live Market Commentary:

Market Commentary: Markets Close Higher, SP500, DOW Reach New Closing Highs

Written by

Closing Market Commentary For 12-22-2014

Markets climbed to new session highs suggesting the Santa Claus rally may not over just yet. The DOW and SP500 closed at new closing highs and historical highs are just a stones throw away.

By 4 pm the averages climbed throughout the afternoon in a somewhat choppy session to highs not seen since December 5th. Volume was low, sometimes moderate, as investors seem to believe, or want to believe, the SC rally hasn't rolled over yet.

Read more »

Video of the Day:

Drones are often the first choice for official surveillance or military operations. One American film-maker, though, has used the unmanned aircraft to expose shady practices at US farm corporations which, he claims, are putting people's health at risk.

video of day picture

Forex Trader:

Indecision for the Dollar?

US Dollar Index Daily Chart Analyses

by Erik McCurdy, Prometheus Market Insight

The following technical and cycle analyses provide short-term forecasts for the US dollar index. For intermediate-term outlooks see the latestintermediate-term forecast and for long-term outlooks see the latest long-term forecast.

Click to see complete picture at John Lund Photography.

Follow up:

Econintersect Opinion:

All this Talk About Balancing the Budget is - - -

by Colin Talbot, The Conversation

Remember the Maastricht criteria? No, I didn’t think so. Nor apparently do Britain’s political leaders, based on their manifestos for tackling the UK’s deficit.

Read more »

Fractional Reserve Multiplier Fiction

Can a Central Bank Lend Money to Firms, Individuals or Households?

by Dirk Ehnts, Econoblog101

Or, put differently, can firms, individuals or households borrow from the central bank? The answer for modern central banks is: no.

Read more »

Oil Crash Continues

by Reverse Engineer, Doomstead Diner

Transcript: Greetings Doomfans, and welcome to another edition of the Frostbite Falls Daily Rant, here on the Doomstead Diner.

It's been a couple of weeks since I recorded my original Oil Crash Rant, and a ton of action has gone down in the interim, so it's time for an Update!

Read more »

More Evidence the Fed Has Been a Failure

by John P. Cochran, Mises.org

More evidence which supports a yes answer to the question "Has the Fed Been a Failure?" (Cato Institute Working Paper No. 2 (December).

Thomas L. Hogan writing on the Sound Money Project blog highlights his forthcoming paper in the Journal of Macroeconomics, "Has the Fed Improved U.S. Economic Performance?."

Read more »

Welcome to the New Depression

by James Rickards, Daily Reckoning

The United States is living through an economic depression that began in 2007. It's part of a larger global depression, the first since the 1930s. This New Depression will continue indefinitely unless policy changes are made in the years ahead.

Read more »

The Leeches Want to Cure Anemia

U.K. Pols Again Demand Sacrifices from the Poor to Feed the Rich

by Rodger Malcolm Mitchell, www.nofica.com

We've keep hoping you Brits, being older than us, also would be wiser. So, we published:

How the debt hawks will destroy the U.K. Monday, Jun 7 2010 and Foolishness across the ocean. Will the UK attempt mass economic suicide? Monday, Oct 31 2011 and How the UK teaches America about economics Wednesday, Dec 5 2012 and many other posts detailing the absolute need for central government deficit spending, and the goal of the deficit hawks: Widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.

Read more »

The Fed Met This Week Facing Alarming Bond Market Bubble

by EconMatters, EconMatters.com

The Bond Market Bubble is Reaching Epic Proportions

The 10-Year Bond now has a Yield of 2.08% right before the all-important Fed Quarterly Meeting and Press Conference this Wednesday, the 10-Year basically lost 24 basis points in a week, and mind you the week right after the strongest Employment Report (a positive 321,000 jobs added for the month) since the Financial Crisis, capping what has been a remarkable year in added jobs to the US economy, even wages spiked 0.4 % with strong upward employment revisions for the prior months.

Read more »

US 2nd District Court of Appeals Issues the Economic Equivalent of the Dred Scott Decision

from Jesse's Cafe Americaine

In their zeal to exonerate some Wall Street wiseguys associated with the infamous insider trading ring involving SAC Capital, the sophists on the 2nd US Court of Appeals, located in lower Manhattan near Wall Street, just issued the equivalent of the Dred Scott decision for US markets.

"Although the government might like the law to be different, nothing in the law requires a symmetry of information in the nation's securities markets." Barrington Parker, 2nd U.S. Circuit of Appeals Judge

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Four Reasons I Won't Have a Prostate Cancer Blood Test

by Ian Haines, The Conversation

Cancer Council Australia and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia yesterday released new draft guidelines to help GPs counsel men who ask about prostate cancer tests. They advise GPs to explain the pros and cons of testing and, if the man wants to proceed, to give him a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test every two years between the ages of 50 to 69.

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Orion: to Boldly Go, so Long as the Wind Blows Fair and the Weather Holds

by Monica Grady, The Conversation

Generations of mariners have spent time anxiously watching the weather, waiting for the right conditions. It seems that despite all the high-tech advances we’ve made, spacecraft are still subject to the vagaries of the weather.

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