Dr. Bryan Taylor, Chief Economist, Global Financial Data: The First Bank of the United States was chartered by Congress on February 25, 1791. It was part of Alexander Hamilton’s plan for stabilizing and improving the nation’s credit by establishing a central bank, a mint, and introducing excise taxes. This is what happened to it – and its successors.
Oaktree Capital and Carrington Mortgage are trying to dump a portfolio of 500 single-family homes they’d bought out of foreclosure. They’re trying to get the heck out of the once hot buy-to-rent trade. Blackstone, which gobbled up 32,000 of these homes, is trying to get its money out. They all are. That trade is turning sour. Trouble in the housing market!
By Michael Lombardi, Profit Confidential: Money printing in the US is masking a weak economy, so weak that the Fed couldn’t even pull off a minor tapering of QE last week! With lousy corporate revenues and earnings, the stock market is now completely dependent on QE. But when the Fed finally pulls back on QE, it won’t be a pretty sight.
"Introducing the new iPhone 5nSa, the best surveillance device to date. Aiming to put your freedom... in the cross hairs." Hilarious, but also very serious video.
Marseille has a problem: “account settlements” – a guy machine-gunned at close range for a drug deal gone awry. So the city is getting drones to keep an eye on hot neighborhoods. It’s not the only city. One more element in how privacy is traded in for corporate profits, governmental controls, spookily personalized ads, and harebrained hype about security.
By Don Quijones: If Spain and Catalonia were playing real, rather than figurative, Russian Roulette, the revolver would be loaded with two or three bullets. Now an extra one was slipped into a chamber: prize-winning economist Juan Valerde announced that Madrid may have to “bomb Barcelona” in order to put a halt to the region’s rising separatist aspirations.
By Doug French, President of the Mises Institute: Borrowing is all the rage again. Five years after the financial crash, Wall Street hasn't been reformed. Bernanke's medicine is working: not job growth, but asset price growth. With apologies to James Carville, drag cheap money through a trailer park and you never know who might borrow.
By Charles Kennedy, Oilprice.com: With wages increasing and strikes engulfing the country, the cheap labor force that fueled China’s economic boom by underselling competitors is coming to an end. The game is to move factories into the interior. But costs of land, water, energy, and shipping are also rising. So, offshoring to cheaper countries. But....
When the Fed shied away from tapering its $85 billion a month in asset purchases, while simultaneously downgrading the economy for the third time this year, it gave the impression of being mired in fear. It has many reasons to be afraid. But one in particular.
Trade is one of the aspects that Abenomics designated as critical. So the Bank of Japan has embarked on a radical money-printing program to devalue the yen and make exports more competitive. It would also render imports so expensive that buyers would cut back. The resulting trade surplus would save Japan. In theory. In reality, the opposite is happening.
By Dennis Miller: The race to the finish line – the time between an empty nest and retirement – is tightening. Most older baby boomers had children in their 20s and empty nests by age 50. They used that time to accumulate money to retire. But a major generational shift has taken place, and it's having a huge impact on how we save and plan.
Fed digs in its heels, refuses to taper, though it could still start later this year, soon-to-be-ex Chairman Bernanke said. It would continue doing exactly what hasn’t worked for five years, in the hope that even more of the same might finally do the trick, rather than admitting, tail between its legs, that all QE has done is create asset bubbles.
By Jim Probasco, Benzinga: If you guessed “Fifth,” you’d be correct. Here’s how Apple may have weakened the protection against self-incrimination guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment: its brand new iPhone 5S with fingerprint sensor.
IBM announced today that it would throw another billion at Linux, the open-source operating system, to run its Power System servers. It may be making hay of the revelations that the NSA has roped in American tech companies to perfect a seamless spy network. Linux, being free of NSA influence, would be a huge competitive advantage for IBM. Or so it would seem.
By Farah Halime, Justin Dargin: The oil producing country of note with major disruptions due to the Arab Spring was Libya. But it produces a relatively minor amount of the global supply. Syria, Egypt, Yemen, and other countries with their own “Arab Springs” are not major producers. So why the fear premium in the price of oil?
By Dennis Miller: Utility stocks are traditionally thought of as safe investments, no matter what happens at Wall Street. But this isn't the case anymore – an analysis shows that these investments once considered so safe they were called "Widow Stocks" would often hurt a retirement portfolio more than they’d help it.
Japanese banks, which should know a thing or two about banking crises, have once again clawed their way to the top of the heap of overseas lenders. And with their knack for impeccable timing, they’ve once again become the largest force in emerging market economies – just as financial turmoil there is coming to a boil.
By Louis Bedigian, Senior Tech Analyst, Benzinga: On Friday, Apple began taking pre-orders for its lower-cost iPhone 5C, which comes in five colors but is essentially the same as the old iPhone 5. Last year, Apple announced within a couple of hours that iPhone 5 pre-orders were gone in 60 minutes. This year, Apple has been suspiciously quiet.
Corporate revenues have been crummy all year, and earnings estimates for Q3 have come crashing down. A year ago, they were still expected to grow 15.9%, a sign of blind optimism. By Friday, they'd plunged to 4.7%. During that time, the S&P 500 soared 16.8% and the NASDAQ 19.6%. The Fed’s greatest accomplishment. But there is a corollary.