Many stories of significance have come my way on housing issues, state debt issues, federal debt issues, pension issues, and other economic items of note. I feel as if I am buried a mile deep news. Here are a few stories that caught my eye.
In his first major legislative proposal, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has proposed cutting government spending by $500 billion in a year, including eliminating the Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development and most of the Department of Education.
That is the single best piece of fiscal legislation proposed in years.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval Addresses Underfunded Public Pension Plans
Tax increases are the last thing Nevada businesses need now, Gov. Brian Sandoval told a receptive audience Wednesday during a speech to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. "My understanding is that PERS is an $8 (billion) or $9 billion unfunded liability that Nevada can’t afford," he said. Sandoval said benefits reforms must starts with the new employees hired by the state.
I commend Governor Brian Sandoval’s ideas and his starting point. States need to scrap defined benefit pension plans for new hires immediately.
100,000 People in Oakland Expected to Apply for 650 Subsidized Housing Openings
Oakland’s housing authority opened up its waiting list Tuesday for Section 8 housing vouchers, drawing thousands for a coveted spot in line.
The only way to sign up was over a computer, so across the city, hundreds jammed into city libraries to fill out the forms in the hope that they might eventually get a chance to live in subsidized housing.
In the first three hours, 6,000 people filled out applications. Over the five-day application period, the housing authority expects 100,000 people to apply for only 10,000 spots on the waiting list.
The housing authority uses a lottery to determine who gets on the list. And even then it’s no more than a foot in the door. It has taken nearly five years to clear the waiting list that was
“I will approach that committee like no one has ever approached it because we’re living in times like no one has ever seen,” Paul said in an interview with NetNet Thursday.
Paul said his first priority will be to open up the books of the Federal Reserve to the American people. “We need to create transparency there. To see what it is they are buying and lending, and who it is they are dealing with,” Paul said.
Paul mentioned that he hoped to use subcommittee hearings to educate the public about the causes of business cycles—which he believes are mainly attributable to monetary manipulation by central bankers.
Monetary reform is also on the agenda. Paul is a noted advocate of the gold standard.
“We will have to have monetary reform,” Paul said. “I think those on the other side of this issue are already planning. They are going to try to replace a bad system with an equally bad system.”
Rubio Supports Balanced Budget Amendment
Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, Tea Party backed candidates, both won and both back a balanced budget amendment.
RUBIO: “Growing our economy is essential. We need new jobs in America. New jobs means new prosperity. New prosperity, by the way, leads to more revenue for government. But what would they use this new revenue for?
“Well, I think that unless there are specific provisions in law preventing it from doing it, government, no matter who’s in charge – Republicans or Democrats, will use it to grow government. That’s why it’s so important that spending constraints be put into law and, specifically in today’s topic, in the Constitution.
“Here’s the deal: history teaches us that no matter who’s in charge of government – Republicans, Democrats, conservatives or liberals – eventually, they will use it to grow government. And
As the controversy surrounding the upcoming Jade Helm military exercises has made abundantly clear, Americans are growing more distrustful of a federal government they perceive as being increasingly willing to infringe upon the civil liberties of US citizens. Fears that Washington is conducting clandestine activities aimed at gathering intelligence about the US populace and the notion that we are witnessing a creeping militarization of US cities has many Americans on edge and as the following story from the Washington Post makes clear, it’s not parano...
…was convincing investors that volatility and risk were the same thing.
This idea that risk cannot truly be measured by looking at volatility (as measured by standard deviation) is well-trod territory in the financial blogosphere so I won’t go into it at length again.
But I do feel as though more than half of all the terrible products, funds and newsletters available to investors make their living by confusing (conflating?) risk and volatility. It’s how Wall Street makes a lot of its money on the wealth management side (upside without fluctuation!) and its why the hedge fund industry is a $3 trillion behemoth (we&rsquo...
Is the Fed losing control over interest rates? I’ve heard a rumor that the Fed is in control of interest rates.
If this is true, is Janet raising rates and not telling anyone? The table below looks at the performance of the yields on the 10 & 30-year notes and TLT over the past 90-days. As you can see yields are up nearly 20% in 90 days!
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
If Janet and the Fed aren’t raising rates right now, is it possible that “Billions of Free Thinking People” are causing rates to move higher?
Before the market opened, the ADP Employment Report for April disappointed expectations. The S&P 500 opened higher and rose to its 0.43% intraday high about four minutes later. It then zigzagged a bit before settling into a steady continuation of yesterday's downtrend to its -1.03% intraday low. The index rallied during the final hour to a more modest loss of 0.45%. Of particular interest was Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's comment that "equity valuations at this point generally are quite high." She made this remark at a DC conference sponsored by Institute for New Economic Thinking (more here).
Is the equity market overvalued? See our latest overview ...
After posting record highs the previous week, stocks closed last week slightly down overall. But the major indexes held their psychological levels, including Dow at 18,000, S&P 500 at 2100, NASDAQ at 5,000, and Russell 2000 at 1200. Although the bulls continue to find reliable support levels nearby, strong overhead technical resistance and neutral-to-defensive rankings in our SectorCast fundamentals-based quant model continue to suggest that a major upside breakout is not quite imminent, although a selloff doesn’t seem to be in the cards, either. Overall, stocks appear to be coiling ever tighter while awaiting...
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Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
Here's an interesting argument by Felix Salmon, although I think he is taking two correct observations and mistakenly attributing a cause-and-effect relationship to them: Bitcoin is going nowhere because women are not involved.
More likely, in my opinion, women are not involved in bitcoin because bitcoin is going nowhere (and they know it). Or maybe, simply, bitcoin is going nowhere and women are not involved.
Nathaniel Popper’s new book, Digital Gold, is as close as you can get to being the definitive account of the history of Bitcoin. As its subtitle proclaims, the book tells the story of the “misfits” (the first generation of hacker-l...
Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene
The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below.
Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets)
Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies)
Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...
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PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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