Latest Posts

  • Housing Wreck

    The hype machine continues, this time in the analysis(?) of Diane Swonk. Reader NII sends his comments and Ms. Swonk’s (his comments italicized). I guess I can’t imagine what weak housing would look like if this is supposed to be strong: NII: It does not seem to dawn on Swonk/Yellen that the overbuilding in housing and owner’s over- indebtness will [...]

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  • Mencken Was Correct

    H. L. Mencken (1880 -1956) was an astute observer of the American scene. He despised politicians, although gained amusement from them and the fools who elected them. His voice has never been needed more than today, given the further degeneration of governance and governors. He would not be surprised at our continuing slide to the bottom. Jennifer Harper reports this [...]

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  • Bully Meets Professional Bully

    What happens when the biggest bully around gets confronted by someone who refuses to be bullied? Usually the bully backs down and avoids a confrontation. But what happens if the one doing the confrontation is himself a bully? What happens if he won’t allow the other to back down? The answer to that question is playing out between Barack Obama [...]

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Economics

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Star Parker is Not An Economist

Star Parker is a remarkable person, but she is not an economist. Perhaps that is a key reason she sees the obvious while “real” economists don’t. The so-called professionals need to be blinded by data, trends, regression analyses and differential equations. Common sense is displaced by form and technique. It is as if so-called economists want to make things more [...]

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Investing In A Pretend Economy

We live in a pretend economy. It is important to recognize this condition, especially if you are an investor. Current market behavior is concerning.  Bonds and stocks remain volatile and near record levels. Markets ignore the continuing stagnation in the pretend economy, buoyed apparently by government liquidity injections. To justify investing today in these markets, one must anticipate one or [...]

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Hume, Keynes, Mises, Kuhn and Mankiw

Regular readers know that I am fond of using quotes to emphasize issues or make points. These quotes, especially when they are old, show how there is very little new in the world and that our ancestors, in many respects, were as wise or wiser than we. Too often knowledge is lost or ignored simply on the basis of its [...]

Investing

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April Update and Mid-Month Rankings

This post is a follow-on from the Mid-April Results, published earlier today. It is for Preferred Members. Markets were quite the roller coaster today. From 1:00 PM to the close, SPY rose close to 3 points. There is a great battle underway between the bulls and the bears as to which direction these markets will head next. This fight produces [...]

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Mid-April Results

There is, as the saying goes, good news and bad news regarding markets. First, the bad news — markets have been terrible so far this year. All benchmarks representing major market segments are negative. There is some good news, at least of a minor sort, for preferred members: Each market benchmark is off less than 1% year-to-date, although the volatility [...]

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General Market Commentary — ETFs

Markets began this week on a high note but continue to behave erratically. I recently wrote a piece entitled “Do You Belong in the Stock Market?” which I encourage you to read if you haven’t already. Under normal circumstances, the answer for most of us to this question would likely be a resounding “no.” Alas, circumstances are not normal and [...]

Politics

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Why Elections No Longer Matter

Many argue that elections no longer matter. I tend to agree, although it is difficult to explain why. The article below deals with this issue. In a wonderful piece in American Thinker, Daren Jonescu provides his interpretation of the stacked political deck known as elections. The institutionalism of Socialism and tyranny infects both parties. Both fight each other until their scam [...]

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California Should Be Embarrassed

The old saying that you are known by the company you keep should embarrass California. In such a large state, can they not find qualified representatives? This email came in from a friend. I haven’t verified it, probably because it seems so plausible. I apologize if it is not true, but its value lies in the message that it conveys. [...]

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Puzzles of Socialism

This email, author unknown, reflects the puzzles of Socialism and the current state of intelligence in this country: The definition of Conundrum is something that is puzzling or confusing; a riddle. Here are six Conundrums of socialism in the United States of America: 1. America is capitalist and greedy – yet half of the population is subsidized. 2. Half of [...]

Other

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Clever Insults

These glorious insults are from an era before the English language became boiled down to 4-letter words. A Member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” “That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.” “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices [...]

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George Will on America

A talk by George Will that should be required in every high school in this country was delivered before a college audience at BYU. It is long, valuable and entertaining. Enjoy! H/T Bob S.

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Careful What You Wish For

Is there a better picture than this one? Doesn’t it describe our situation reasonably well? H/T Walter