By Don Quijones: Since taking office, Rajoy’s government has done everything within its means to alienate the Spanish public. Its key election pledges – taxes wouldn’t be hiked, banks would never be bailed out, vital services would not be cut, unemployment would be a priority, the economy would improve... – all turned out to be lies; and its corruption scandals are mushrooming. But now it has a new strategy: a territorial tussle with the UK.
I’ve been called skeletal – so the entire tangled-up logic of losing weight by popping diet pills is alien to me. But it’s big business. Not to be taken lightly, so to speak! A whole industry is out there, trying to capitalize on human weakness – but it’s having a hard time. (I moved this from another part of TP, so you may have encountered it already.)
By Chriss Street: Mexico began the process to amend its constitution to end the state-owned monopoly for exploration, development, and distribution, known as Pemex. Over the last 10 years, Mexican production fell 30%. US production leaped 50% due to capital investment and new technology. Now Mexico wants to modernize its oil industry.
Men’s retailer Jos. A. Bank warned that sales in the quarter plunged 11%. OK, it suffered from management foul-ups, goofy marketing, obnoxious ads, and – at least at the store I looked at – dusty shirts on the shelf. But it isn’t an outlier. It’s the latest entry on a laundry list of revenue-challenged retailers whose woes are spreading relentlessly across the US.
By Dennis Miller, of Miller's Money: I don't know which is worse: realizing you cannot keep a promise you made to someone who was important to you, or being the person who relied on the promise when you finally grasp that it is not going to be kept. Turns out, neither corporations nor governments can keep the pension promises they made.
Cisco CEO Reports Record Sales And “Lumpy” Demand, Just Like In November 2007, A Month Before Stocks Began To Crash
Cisco CEO Chambers gushed with positive vibes during the earnings call: “unbelievably strong results,” he said about the quarter. He talked about record revenues. “We have strong momentum,” he said, “very solid execution.” But he lowered guidance, lamented the debacles in China and Japan, and announced layoffs. Then he uttered the word “lumpy.”
By Farah Halime, Cairo: The bloody events of the last 24 hours have destroyed any chance of political reconciliation. Tourism and foreign investment, already hit hard, will dry up. The cabinet will fall apart. Aid will be hard to come by. The nation, now highly vulnerable, is on its own.
The Real Reason High Oil Prices Lead to Instability (Such As In Egypt Where Fuels Are Heavily Subsidized)
By Evan Abrams, Global Risk Insights, for OilPrice.com: For businesses investing in a volatile corner of the world, trying to predict political instability is a critical activity. One of the factors often cited as contributing to unrest is the high price of oil. But in Egypt, gasoline and diesel are heavily subsidized. So what gives?
Home prices have jumped around the country, in some cities over 20% on an annual basis. “Recovery of the housing market,” is what this phenomenon is called. Everyone from President Obama on down has taken credit for it, particularly the Fed, whose handiwork this is. But there is a very ugly fly in this illusory ointment.
Of Thousands Of Mineral Exploration Companies, MOST Will Never Discover Anything – But Those That Do...
By Louis James, Chief Metals & Mining Investment Strategist, Casey Research: Finding minerals involves science. And some geologists have an intuition about how mineralization twists, plunges, thickens, pinches out, and reappears. But we can't underestimate luck in every discovery. That's what makes it so difficult and (if successful) profitable.
By George Leong, Profit Confidential: It’s ironic that BlackBerry announced it was looking at strategic alternatives on the day when speculation grew that Apple could be launching a much-needed new “iPhone” in September. BlackBerry appears to be throwing in the towel, which I said it should have done since the iPhone became the go-to smartphone in the US.
The Fed’s Confession: We Can Avoid A Crash At The End Of QE If Everybody Believes That Everybody Believes In A Mirage....
What rabble-rousers, economists (those banished from the mainstream media), and bloggers have hammered on for years, a study by the San Francisco Fed finally confesses: Quantitative Easing didn’t do a heck of a lot of good for the real economy. The timing of the study is impeccable: the nearing end of QE – and the market mayhem it might cause.
By Dennis Miller, of Miller's Money: Retirees are often more concerned with the return of their money than the return on their money. It's understandable; after our peak earning years have passed, financial safety becomes our primary concern since the opportunity to earn back investment losses is essentially over.
By Michael Lombardi for Profit Confidential: The retail sector in the US acts as a gauge of consumer spending. When it shows weakness, consumer spending is at risk, a potential drag on the economy. As it stands, the retail sector is providing troubling news on consumer spending. And the key back-to-school retail season is already in deep trouble.
China’s phenomenal construction bubble, driven by local governments that must keep their economies growing, no matter what the costs, and funded by state-owned megabanks, has led to an equally phenomenal misallocation of capital, overbuilding, waste, ghost cities, empty shopping malls, and now an epidemic of shuttered luxury department stores.
During the 14 years since the LTCM crisis, the Fed’s interest rate repression policies have resulted in an inflation-adjusted return on six-month CDs of exactly 0%, David Stockman writes. It revolutionized the saving and investment habits of the wealthiest households. Unlike hapless savers among the middle class, the rich had an escape route.
By John Mauldin, Mauldin Economics: The past 60 years – our idea of “normal” – enjoyed a demographic tailwind worth 1% of economic growth per year. If 3% growth is "normal," it’s really 2% growth plus a demographic tailwind of 1%. But now demography – one of the three Ds of our hurricane of debt, deficits, and demographics – is hitting economic growth.
By Don Quijones: Uruguay rarely draws international attention. Sandwiched between its much larger, much rowdier neighbors, it is, and has been for decades, a relative oasis of calm. But that is about to change: Uruguay is on the verge of becoming the first ever Latin American country to decriminalize the consumption of marijuana.
You don't seem to "think Abenomics is working,” a reader wrote, followed by tough questions and a comparison to Kyle Bass, who has been betting on a “full-blown Japan crisis.” It got me thinking. I’m attached to Japan. What started in 1996 has turned into a complex relationship. But now that Abenomics is the religion of salvation, I’m even more worried.
By Dennis Miller, of Miller's Money: One of the challenges facing retirees is how to bridge the gap between rising expenses and virtually stagnant Social Security checks and other sources of income. Hence, the idea of reverse mortgages. I can safely say that for the vast majority of our readers they are a poor investment, but not necessarily a bad idea.