Archive for 2016

At What Age Do You Outgrow IKEA?

By Priceonomics

(Via Zero Hedge)

If you’re a twenty something, it may already have happened: that awkward moment when you realize all your friends have the same Pinsoshen coffee table from IKEA. 

The Swedish brand’s reputation for stocking stylish furniture and selling it for low prices has made it a one-stop shop for cash-strapped students furnishing their first apartments. 

But when do they leave IKEA behind in favor of something more grown-up? We wanted to find out, so we analyzed data from Earnest , a Priceonomics customer. We analyzed a dataset of more than 10,000 anonymous user responses on spending habits. When does it begin? When does it end? And where do people turn when they’re ready for something new? 

We first wanted to know how reliance on IKEA changes over a person’s lifetime, so we calculated the percent of our clients who shopped at IKEA. For the sake of comparison, we did the same for Lowe’s, a home improvement chain with similar overall popularity within our dataset.

As it turns out, age 34 is when you start to outgrow IKEA:

Data source: Earnest

It’s written in the data: you’re more likely to buy from IKEA when you’re 24 than at any other time in your life. IKEA remains popular throughout the late 20s and early 30s, but drops after age 34. We may as well call the 10-year period spanning the mid-20s and mid-30s the “IKEA decade.”

Lowe’s, meanwhile, shows the opposite trend: people are more likely to shop there as they get older. This makes sense, as increasing homeownership means more home improvement projects.

We wanted to further explore where shoppers turn once they grow out of their IKEA interiors. For each of 14 top furniture retailers, we found the age when the most respondents reported shopping at that store. We tabulated those “peak customer ages” below.

Data source:  Earnest

Not only is IKEA popular among young adults, it is the only retailer with a peak customer age below 30. 

People in their 30s are more likely


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Islamists Attack Christmas, But Europeans Abolish It

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Giulio Meotti via The Gatestone Institute,

  • A statue of the Virgin Mary was ordered taken away by a court in the French municipality of Publier. Senator Nathalie Goulet slammed the judges as “ayatollahs of secularism”.
  • A German school in Turkey just banned Christmas celebrations: the school, Istanbul Lisesi, funded by the German government, decided that Christmas traditions and carol-singing would no longer be allowed. A Woolworth’s store in Germany scrapped Christmas decorations telling customers that the shop “is now Muslim”.
  • Europe is already mutilating her own traditions “to avoid offending Muslims”. We have become our own biggest enemy.
  • Muslims are also reclaiming “the mosque of Cordoba”. Authorities in the southern Spanish city recently dealt a blow to the Catholic Church’s claim of ownership of the cathedral. Now Islamists want it back.
  • The final result of Europe’s self-destructive secularism could seriously be a Caliphate.

“Everything is Christian”, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote after the war. Two thousand years of Christianity have left a deep mark on the French language, landscape and culture. But not according to France’s Minister of Education, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. She just announced that instead of saying “Merry Christmas”, state officials should use “Happy Holidays” — clearly a deliberate intent to erase from discourse and the public space any reference to the Christian culture in which France is rooted.

Jean-François Chemain called it the “eradication of any Christian sign in the public landscape”. A year ago, the controversy was ignited in the French town of Ploermel, where a court decided that the statue of Pope John Paul II, erected in a square, had to be removed for violating “secularism”.

Then, a statue of the Virgin Mary was ordered taken away by a court in the municipality of Publier. Senator Nathalie Goulet slammed the judges as “ayatollahs of secularism“.

The newspapers of the French “left”, outraged by the “right’s” ban on burkinis on the French Riviera, have been endorsing this anti-Christian policy.

France’s Council of State has just ruled that “the temporary installation of cribs [nativity scenes] in a public place is legal if it has a cultural, artistic or festive value, but not if it expresses the recognition of a cult or a religious preference”. What precautions to justify a millenary tradition!


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The Scariest Forecast For Treasury Bulls

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With Trump’s border tax adjustment looking increasingly likely, the stock market – as JPM has warned in recent days - is starting to fade the relentless Trumponomic, hope-driven rally since election day instead focusing on the details inside the president-elect’s proposed plans. And, as explained earlier in the week, if the border tax proposal is implemented, economists at Deutsche Bank estimate the tax could send inflation far above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target and drive a 15% surge in the dollar.

While this would be bad for stocks, as a 5% increase in the dollar translates into about a 3% negative earnings revision for the S&P 500 all else equal, a surge in inflation would also wreak havoc on bond prices, and send interest rates surging, at least initially, before they subsquently plunge as a result of a rapidly tightening, deep “behind the curve” Fed unleashes a curve inversion and recessionary stagflation becomes the bogeyman du jour.

There’s more.

In a separate report by Deutsche, the bank looks at future prospects for rates and concludes that “tightening monetary policy, higher breakevens, and declining central bank purchases relative to net supply should all contribute to significant bearish steepening during 2017.”

In its analysis of future bond rates, Deutsche Bank says that the biggest risk is that when looking at the menu of “threats” presented by the Trump stimulus, “there is a significant risk that if the Fed decides to aggressively lean against higher inflation expectations, the entire “regime shift” might stall. That is, higher wages and inflation expectations are a prerequisite to the substitution of capital for labor, which is in itself necessary for more rapid productivity growth and hence higher potential growth and sustainably higher levels of r*.”

And then the focus shifts so that whatever degree of accommodation is warranted, there will be the push to rebalance away from rising short rates to shrinking the Fed’s balance sheet, in other words, the Fed begins real normalization.

In DB’s model, the net effect of ending reinvestment of SOMA portfolio run-off, some asset sales, and an ECB taper is almost 200 bps. This would allows 10s to move well over 4 percent in 2018. That although roll offs are significant – maybe $50 billion/month – in order to get the balance sheet


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Time Arb

By Investment Master Class. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Time Arbitrage by Investment Master Class

“Human nature desires quick results, there is a particular zest in making money quickly, and remoter gains are discounted by the average man at a very high rate” John Maynard Keynes

“The single greatest edge an investor can have is a long-term orientation” Seth Klarman

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“I would say our edge is the willingness to take a longer view of a business.” Glenn Greenberg

Time Arbitrage

“The longer you can extend your time horizon the less competitive the game becomes, because most of the world is engaged over a very short time frame”  William Browne

“We arbitrage time horizons. Our time horizon is long while for other investors it’s short. When they are panicking we must not panic” Chuck Royce

“We rely on concentrated research to identify great businesses that are trading at highly discounted valuations because investors have over-reacted to negative macro or company specific events. That’s the time-arbitrage part of the strategy, taking advantage when the market reacts to short-term factors that have little impact on long-term intrinsic values” Bill Ackman

“One thing I think we would say is that we arbitrage time-horizons. Our time horizon is long while for other investors it’s short. When they are panicking we must not panic” Chuck Royce

“Time-arbitrage just means exploiting the fact that most investors – institutional, mutual funds or hedge funds – tend to have very short-term horizons, have rapid turnover or are trying to exploit very short term anomalies. So the market looks extremely efficient in the short run. In an environment with massive short-term data overload and with people concerned about minute-to-minute performance, the inefficiencies are likely to be looking out beyond, say, 12 months.” Bill Miller

“If everyone else is dashing…
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The Christmas Truce And The Future Of War

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by John Denosn via The Mises Institute,

Jeff Deist: Our guest this weekend is in the studio with me. He’s Judge John Denson, a great war historian and a lawyer who helped Lew Rockwell found the Mises Institute right here in Auburn in the early 1980s.

You know, John, there are varying accounts of what happened. Depends on who you read and you can’t really ask anyone because none of the participants are alive today or very few. How widespread do you think it really was and do we make more of the Christmas Truce than we ought to because it’s so hopeful, in other words, it’s something we want to believe in.

John Denson: Well, I do recognize that there are various accounts of it and one reason I like the book Silent Night by Stanley Weintraub is I think he goes to original sources. It’s all from a British viewpoint because he went back to letters, from the front to home, to their mothers and fathers by soldiers who were actually there and diaries of eyewitnesses.

There’s a French movie called Joyeux Noel, from a French viewpoint but I doubt his sources are as good because in Weintraub, who is a very well-respected historian and is an Emeritus Professor of Arts and Humanities at Penn State. He’s written a lot of military history and he goes to original sources and he says that the French and the Belgians were not as prone toward the troops as the English were. They were fighting this war on the French soil and Belgian soil and the British just came across the channel, so I think there was a different viewpoint. So, you get different perspectives depending on who’s telling this story, but I think Silent Night by Stanley Weintraub came out in 2001, is a very accurate source, from what I can tell.

Deist: Well, you mentioned that the German and British soldiers saw the war a little differently. It was not being fought in their homeland, they weren’t French. But something that’s so significant to me is you mentioned in your article from which we excerpted in our Mises Daily yesterday, you say the British and French soldiers, however, saw little meaning in the war. To them, after all, the British king and


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The End of Journalism or a New Beginning?

 

The End of Journalism or a New Beginning?

Courtesy of 

This post first appeared on BillMoyers.com.

If our first fake news election turns out to mark the end of democracy as we know it, I think I can pretty precisely date when the end began.

More than 20 years ago, I and a bunch of other Washington journalists were packed into a classroom at American University for a weeklong boot camp designed to teach us about computers and this new-fangled thing that was just beginning to be called the internet. One of the guest speakers, a self-described “technology guru” for the then-fledgling Clinton administration gleefully informed us that we were all dinosaurs. Politicians like his boss, he said, would be able to use the internet to deliver their messages directly to the people, unfiltered by the media.

How ironic, then, that those very tools were so effectively used to prevent a second Clinton administration.

Swords are double-edged. And, as Prometheus taught anyone who happened to be paying attention, technologies, once unleashed, tend to outrun the grip of their would-be masters.

Tweeter-in-chief, are you listening? Because the great mandala might not be finished turning.

As I wrap up my work this year for BillMoyers.com — one of the most satisfying stints in my nearly 40 years as a professional journalist because of the high-caliber people with whom I have been privileged to work — I am convinced that if anything good comes of this year, it will be the renewed interest it has prompted in the nuts and bolts of democracy and the things we do to preserve it. One of those is the free flow of information. Good information. News that informs, not just titillates.

As has been pointed out over and over again in this space by our media critics Neal Gabler, Todd Gitlin and Alicia Shepard, “fake” news isn’t just the made-up kind you see on your Facebook feed (the new supermarket tabloid rack). Fake news is also “breaking news” purveyed by TV stations that then feed you a breathless headline about some VIP (or candidate)…
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Meet the Real Santa Claus

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Saint Nicholas was a real, historical person.

But he didn’t live in some snowy Northern place like the North Pole or Scandinavia. And he probably wasn’t fair-skinned with ruddy cheeks.

He lived in the town of Myra – on the Southern Coast of Turkey – in the fourth century (it was then part of Greece). So he likely had an olive-colored, Mediterranean complexion:

Icon c 1500 St Nicholas.JPG

Russian icon depicting St Nicholas with scenes from his life. Late 1400s or early 1500s. National Museum, Stockholm

And he didn’t ride a magic sleigh driven by flying reindeer, have a workshop full of elves, squeeze through chimneys with belly-defying dimensions, or maintain a naughty-or-nice list rivaling the NSA.

The real St. Nick came from a wealthy family, and his parents died in an epidemic when he was young.  Nick used his large inheritance to help the poor.

For example, poor young girls were likely to be sold into slavery because they didn’t have a dowry with which to attract a husband.  So on 3 occasions, Nicholas threw a bag of gold into a poor girl’s house through an open window … enough to provide a dowry so the girl could get married.

The bags of gold are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left in front of the fire to dry.  This led to the custom of kids hanging stockings or putting out shoes, hoping for gifts from Saint Nick.

Wikipedia notes:

He had a reputation for secret gift-giving … and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of “Saint Nikolaos”.

My wife and I visited Nick’s church in Myra (now called Demre) on the beautiful Antalya coast of Turkey, where he served as Bishop for many years.

In addition to the bags of gold mentioned above, Wikipedia notes another basis for the Christmas stocking tradition: St. Nick put coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him.





Bank Of Canada Lays Out In YouTube Clip How The Economy Could Tank

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As MacLean’s Jason Kirby points out, the Bank has taken to YouTube to warn Canadians about the dangers of too much debt and unrealistic house price expectations. He wonders, however, whether anyone will listen as one after another real estate bubble form in Canada, a nation whose household debt ratio has never been higher.

As BMO pointed out, when the latest household debt ratio data was released, the upward trend in household debt goes back for the 26 years for which it has records and is showing no signs of slowing down.

“While it looks as though the Vancouver housing market is cooling after the foreign buyers’ tax was implemented, the Toronto market remains very strong, and others are showing signs of improving as well,” said BMO senior economist Benjamin Reitzes.

Meanwhile, none other than Canada’s central bank has ramped up its warnings about heavily indebted households and the unreasonable expectations driving the housing market, yet all indications are that Canadians have stuffed cotton in their ears.

In Toronto, for instance, house prices are up nearly 15 per cent since the summer when Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz warned that price gains in the city were “difficult to match up with any definition of fundamentals that you could point to.” In the more than 15 years that the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index has tracked property prices in the city, there’s never been a six-month period when prices rose that fast. Meanwhile, the latest figures released by Statistics Canada showed the household debt-to-income ratio broke yet another record in the third quarter.

Now Canada’s central bank is trying a different platform to get its message across: YouTube.

In a video posted Monday on YouTube, in conjunction with the release of the Bank’s semi-annual financial system review last Thursday, Bank of Canada senior policy adviser Joshua Slive sketches out how Canada’s dangerous brew of debt and inflated house prices could combine to devastate the economy.

Here’s the scenario that worries the Bank.

1. As the Bank has pointed out already, households are highly indebted and house prices are rising at an unsustainable rate, though as Slive observes, people can often cope with these vulnerabilities for an extended period.

2. That is, until an economic shock triggers a negative chain of events. For instance, a severe


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Jeroen Bos On His Background In Deep Value Investing

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.


Jeroen Bos On His Background In Deep Value Investing

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Santa Claus – Why He’s Such A Fantastic Guy

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Did you ever wonder about the astonishing numbers behind Santa Claus and the great work he does every Christmas? If Santa Claus really exists, he certainly has his work cut out.

If the generous man from the North Pole had a present for every child in the world, his sleigh would weigh a whopping 1.52 million tonnes! Stopping off and having a snack at every house on the planet would satisfy his daily food requirements for 42,000 years!

With Christmas upon us, enjoy the unusual infographic below from Statista looking at the facts behind the real Santa Claus.

Infographic: Santa Claus - A Fantastic Guy  | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

Decoding the Fed

 

Decoding the Fed

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

“In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them.

"There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effe...



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Zero Hedge

The Verdict Is In: "Negative Rates Are A Huge Negative For Savers, Low-Income People, And Investors"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

With the IMF's annual meeting now concluded, few topics discussed during the past week which saw the IMF downgrade its outlook for the global economy to the lowest GDP since the global financial crisis...

... evinced as powerful a response as negative interest rates, and for good reason: long seen as the last "red line" of central banks before they are forced to admit defeat, some $15 trillion in debt now trades w...



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Digital Currencies

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

 

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

Shutterstock

Courtesy of Markos Zachariadis, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Blockchain is touted as the next step in the digital revolution, a technology that will change every industry from music to wast...



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Chart School

Gold Stocks Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold stocks are swinging back forth between the range, and a break out swing higher is due. Gold stocks are holding a near perfect Wyckoff accumulation pattern. All should get ready to play this sector. Yet we must recognize that gold stocks are a one of the most crazy rides at the stock market fair, so play very carefully.

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GDX PnF chart from within the video

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Important channels around the HUI.
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The Technical Traders

Treasuries Pause Near Resistance Before The Next Rally

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team believes the US Treasuries and the US Dollar will continue to strengthen over the next 2 to 6+ weeks as foreign market and emerging market credit and debt concerns outweigh any concerns originating from the US economy or political theater.  Overall, the major global economies will likely continue to see strength related to their currencies and debt instruments simply because the foreign market and emerging markets are dramatically more fragile than the more mature major global economies.

We believe the US Treasuries may surprise investors by rallying from current levels, near price resistance, to levels above $151 on the TLT chart. 

Our belief ...



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Insider Scoop

48 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

Courtesy of Benzinga

Gainers
  • Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: HEPA) shares climbed 43.2% to close at $3.58 on Thursday after the company announced the publication of a research article, "A Pan-Cyclophilin Inhibitor, CRV431, Decreases Fibrosis and Tumor Development in Chronic Liver Disease Models," in the peer-reviewed Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
  • Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SES) rose 26.9% to close at $9.20 after surging 12.24% on Wednesday.
  • Assembly Biosciences, Inc...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bank Index Breakout? Stock Market Bulls Sure Hope So

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

One of the most important sectors of the stock market is the banking industry and bank stocks.

When the banks are healthy, the economy is likely doing well. And when bank stocks are participating in a market rally, then it bodes well for the broader stock market.

In today’s chart, we look at the Bank Index (BKX).

As you can see, the banks have been in a falling channel for the past 20 months. As well, the banks have been lagging the broader market during this time as well – see the Ratio in the bottom half of the chart above.

That said, th...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Look Out Bears! Fed New QE Now Up to $165 Billion

Courtesy of Lee Adler

I have been warning for months that the Fed would need new QE to counter the impact of massive waves of Treasury supply. I thought that that would come later, rather than sooner. Sorry folks, wrong about that. The NY Fed announced another round of new TOMO (Temporary Open Market Operations) today.

In addition to the $75 billion in overnight repos that the Fed issued and has been rolling over since Tuesday, next week the Fed will issue another $90 billion. They’ll come in the form of three $30 billion, 14 day repos to be offered next week.

That brings the new Fed QE to a total of $165 billion. Even in the worst days of the financial crisis, I can’t remember the Fed ballooning its balance sheet by $165 bi...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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