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Monthly Archives: September 2009

The US Budget

We’ve been hearing about impending chaos for more than a decade because the US is out-spending its growth rate. But markets continue to go up, houses go up, politicians get re-elected, and life is good (over the past 30 years). The end. By that I mean the days of us not having to worry about living beyond our means as a society – are […] Read the rest of this entry »

Recovery, where art thou?

US house pricing stabilized after over 2 straight years of monthly decreases, and it took prices 32% lower than they were in 2006, plus near record low interest rates, plus a special tax break for first time home buyers, and moratorium on foreclosures. The real test of home price stabilization will be in December – when the tax credit expires, and when we’re not […] Read the rest of this entry »

Brazil still looks good.

First, as a continuation of the previous article, some of you may be wondering if a Spanish banking crisis may impact Brazil. The answer is probably not much. Despite the fact that some of the largest banks in Brazil are Spanish e.g., Santander, Brazil’s banks are run as independent entities from their parent companies in other countries. Plus Brazil’s banks are famously profitable from […] Read the rest of this entry »

Debt: a brief look at Spain, Japan, USA

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the……….. Mount Fuji.  Didn’t see that coming did you? I have previously written about the state of the broad European economy and some of the countries therein. Specifically of interest are the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Spain).  This note contains a brief update on Spain – and how it resembles Japan and to a lesser extent […] Read the rest of this entry »

Earnings & Investing Update

Expectations for Q2 2009 earnings plummeted steadily over the past year to a point where they were sufficiently low that they were fairly easily beat –albeit with large doses of government stimuli, gimmicks, accounting rule changes, and overt deception.  The same game is going to be played for Q3. Their series of estimates tells us a few interesting things. First, analysts are notoriously over-optimistic. […] Read the rest of this entry »

Statistics = smoke & mirrors

Back when I was an engineering undergraduate student, one of my math professors used to distain statistics by saying that “in life there are lies, damn lies, and there are statistics”.  By this, he meant that you could mislead someone to reach an unsupportable conclusion via the clever use of statistics. Case in point: a few weeks ago we had a headline report that […] Read the rest of this entry »