A Fiscal Cliff Deal, Much Ado About Nothing

November 12, 2012

The opening positions of the actors in the fiscal cliff scam appear intractable and also to be much ado about nothing. The impact ($42 bn) of allowing expiration of the Bush tax cuts on those making over $250k is a spit in the ocean in comparison to the $3.6 trillion the government spends each year.  Don’t misunderstand, I am not arguing that this restored tax shouldn’t be done as an element of sounder fiscal policy.  I am simply suggesting it really doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

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Where’s Waldo, I Mean Algo?

November 8, 2012

No need to wait on Obama tax increases, the state of California is pushing right ahead with its doozy Prop 30, resulting in sizable sales and income tax increases.   Democrats also grab a two-third super majority in the California Assembly.

Lots of zombies have been sedated to get through the election. Now the promises made to defer real problems will come home to roost,  ranging from Greece to Iran to US fiscal trainwrecks (I hate the misleading term cliff).

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Final Election Prediction

November 2, 2012

Here’s my final election prediction inspired by a stiff pour of Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey:

Clearly Obama has closed the gap in the last week. It will all come to Nevada, and a recount. Obama will round up the guys who hand out nudie pamphlets on the Vegas Strip and pay them $500 plus a free all night pass at the Mustang Ranch to go pull the lever. Obama will take Nevada by a hundred votes, and the national popular vote will go to Romney by 1%.  That will be ugly.  Two states and possibly three could be recounted making 2000 look like a cake walk.  Meanwhile the country needs to be governed.

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Flawed Poll Models Underestimating Romney’s Lead

October 30, 2012

Partisans on both sides have been making claims of a lead in the polls — the Republicans cite the national polls and the Democrats the state. I’m not a partisan or a Romney supporter, but I feel compelled to argue that the poll models are flawed and underestimating Romney’s lead.

As far as modeling in these polls, the example of Marist and Mason-Dixon in Florida is illustrative of skewing. Marist tends to report big Obama leads, and M-D has reported decent Romney results.

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Thoughts on Gold

October 28, 2012

Grant Williams put out a very good presentation on the bond bubble/mania and a prospective gold bubble.  Of course I most certainly agree about the bond bubble, but Williams also offers up the plausible theory that once the bond bubble bursts it would also set off a central bank lead fear driven panic into gold and launch a parabolic mania phase. Williams now sees gold as being late in the awareness phase.

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Wedge Between Poor Fundmentals and Market Prices Starting to Close

October 23, 2012

“Artificially low rates are not good for anybody,” – BB&T CFO Daryl Bible

Two and a half minute podcast: wedge developing between poor fundamentals, market prices and central effects.

MIT online inflation survey out for month September showing steeply sloped. Recall in chart 2 the pattern of prior QE rounds on real hourly earnings as inflation robs their purchasing power.

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