Greetings from Palo Alto. Over three years (and thousands of posts……) ago, I wrote Color and the Mania in This Valley. The thrust of my post was:
+ Color.com had received $41 million to develop an app;
+ The app sucked out loud;
+ The company deserved to fail.
Well, fail it did (as I announced in the 4th post I did about the stupid place), and in those three+ years, the bubble has just continued to inflate. 2014 makes 2011 seem downright sensible. (more…)
Well, here we are again. On Wednesday, an elderly dwarf will capture the attention of the entire financial world as she bleats out whatever she and her minions believe will shore up the house of cards they have created. In a sane and just world, the aforementioned bridge troll would be an untenured economics professor at a mid-tier liberal arts college, but as it is now, Yellen is one of the most powerful humans (more or less) on the planet.
We are six years………..six.……..years……….into this madness, and it shows no sign of stopping. Why should it? After all, statists and central planners have been doing a bang-up job of making the rich richer (which, in spite of the weary “dual mandate” trotted out in front of a smirking Congress, appears to be the only true raison d’etre behind the Federal Reserve). (more…)
This is going to be a review of David Stockman’s 768-page tome The Great Deformation, and
although I never thought it was possible, it makes me angry to write this book review.
I’m not angry because I don’t like the book. On the contrary, this is the best economics book I’ve ever read. Indeed, it may be the best and most influential book I’ve ever read in my life. I only wish I had read it the moment it was published in April 2013. I only finished reading it today, and for the entire time I’ve been plowing through it, I’ve been trying to think of what I would say in this review.
Why am I angry, then, to write this? Bluntly stated, because nothing I can say will make what I want a reality. And what I want is for every literate person in the United States to read this book, cover to cover. I want them to read it. I want them to understand it. I want them to agitate for the changes that it recommends. (more…)
I was looking at the entire history of the volatility index (the oft-cited “VIX’) and found an interesting parallel. Take note of this chart
Well, today the S&P 500 finally did it: it pushed past 2,000, and it nailed a point value precisely three times – yep, 200% higher – than the March 2009 bottom.
The ascent since March 2009 has been pretty much straight-up. I was looking at the long term monthly history of the index, and the only other occurence I see of this kind of behavior in the nearly 100 years I looked at was in the last six years of the prior century.
Simply stated, the almost-straight-up bull run in the past ran from December 1994 to March 2000. That’s less than six years (64 months, to be exact). The almost-straight-up market we’re currently in has been raging for……….65 months. How about that! Here’s the chart (which, as always, you can click for a bigger version). I’ve also tinted a couple of mildly-interesting parallels along the way.
The obvious conclusion? Buy everything you can! Yellen’s got your back!
As most of you know, I was away for nearly two weeks on “vacation”. Typically, when I go somewhere new – – – even something minor, like walking into a new store – – I can typically write up some impressions I had about the place. One would think that a tour of Prague, Poland, and Berlin would evoke all kinds of prose. Strangely, virtually nothing came to mind, and I wasn’t even sure I could muster up a “post-travel” post.
A few folks asked me if I would write one, however, and I do have a few things to say, including one conclusion that surprised me. For those who don’t know me so well, an important preface is that I’m not that keen on traveling. I’m a notorious homebody, and the nuisance of planes, passports, and expensive hotels really isn’t my cup of tea. I’d rather just stay home with my dogs. But occasionally I am wrested lose from the snug of Palo Alto. (more…)