By James Murray: I used to be a stock trader. There. I’ve admitted it. I feel better. I claimed it was a “profession” but it was really an obsession.
In terms of announced mass layoffs, 2013 is shaping up to be the best year since 1997. Overall, employers aren’t shedding lots of jobs. But glitter in some sectors covers up aggressive, permanent job destruction in other sectors – where the sky used to be the limit.
By Michael Lombardi, Profit Confidential: Cities like Detroit tell their bondholders, “Sorry, we can’t pay you.” Budget deficits were out of control, they reached the breaking point, they filed for bankruptcy. Troubles of municipalities and cities are marching forward with full force.
“The JGB market is dead,” announced with finality Tetsuya Miura, chief bond strategist at Mizuho Securities, one of Japan’s 23 primary dealers that have to bid on government securities. It had been “sacrificed” by the Bank of Japan, said another industry heavyweight.
Jim Probasco, Benzinga Staff Writer: Perhaps in response to critics who accuse Apple of farming out most of its production overseas, the company announced it would build a new plant in Mesa, Arizona. One more in a series of new plants in the US.
By James Murray: Crows are considered the most intelligent birds. They can count to three. Anything over three is "many" to a crow. Humans are basically the same way. At some point, numbers get so big that they just become "many."
Sign of trouble: A wealth manager told me some of his elderly clients were now coming into his office, and they’d say, “My kids tell me that I can make 25% a year with stocks.” How much were they were willing to lose? “Nothing,” they’d say.
By Cali Money Man, Testosterone Pit Exclusive: How can anyone look at this without concern? Many portfolio managers are riding the wave but are prepared to dump their investments at the first alarm – then, who is going to buy?
While the US government wants to get its hands on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and crucify him properly, the German government remains red-faced and tangled up in its own underwear. Yet among Germans, and their politicians, support for him is surging.
By Don Quijones: 58% of the world’s biggest 150 economic entities aren’t countries but corporations. Royal Dutch Shell's revenues exceed the GDPs of 171 countries, making it the 26th largest economic entity in the world. And the balance of power is shifting rapidly.
By Eric Angeli, Investment Executive, Sprott Global Resource Investments: Precious metals miners are the most volatile stocks on earth. They're so volatile that investors often forget that underneath those whipsawing stock prices lie real businesses.
By Dave Forest, Oil & Energy Insider: Propane prices are up 46% since June. Reason: foreign demand for US propane has jumped 87% since April. It's just one element in the growing impact of energy demand outside North America on prices in the US – and globally.
Some time ago, I listened to the host of a radio show tell the story about the dancing chickens – and the Fed. It wasn’t, intuitively, an obvious combo. But he nailed it, now that the 100th anniversary of the Fed’s creation is approaching.
By Dennis Miller: In 2007, US Comptroller General David Walker pointed out on 60 Minutes that the US is suffering from a fiscal cancer. But politicians were unwilling to address it. Wall Street called him "Chicken Little." The national debt was $8.9 trillion. Now, it’s $17 trillion. And the cancer has metastasized to cities and states.
TEPCO, the bailed-out owner of the Fukushima nuclear plant, famous for its lackadaisical handling of the fiasco and its parsimonious delivery of information, reported earnings today. It was a doozie! And a glimpse into what's in store for Japanese taxpayers.
By Michael Lombardi, Profit Confidential: Black Tuesday in 1929, the crash in 1973, Black Monday in 1987, the dotcom bubble in 2000, the financial crisis starting in 2007 – in all instances, before the market destroyed the wealth of investors, one common thing happened.
By Dennis Miller: “He lost his leg in a hunting accident; he’d assumed the gun wasn’t loaded,” my dad told me. Today, the old joke, "When you 'assume,' you make an ass out of you and me," isn't funny for folks whose assumptions cripple their retirement plans.
NSA’s “MUSCULAR” Secretly Breaks Into The Cloud Of US Tech Companies, Siphons Off Data, Fouls Up Revenues Overseas
The seamless, borderless surveillance society has a new dimension: MUSCULAR. Under it, the NSA and British GCHQ secretly break into the “clouds” of US companies to syphon off user data on a large scale. Illegal in the US. But the cloud is a worldwide phenomenon.
By James Murray: Computer power has reached the point where almost anything can be automated, and computer pricing has reached the point where it is profitable to do so. The world is undergoing a mega shift, and governments have no clue how to handle the problem.
Most powerful person in the world? Putin! Sez Forbes. At least, it wasn’t Merkel, who has been throwing her weight around when she found out that her Handy had been bugged by the NSA, just like our cellphones. We have to take it; she gets to make a big stink and gripe to Obama on the (bugged) phone.