Japan Suffered Biggest Natural Population Decline On Record In 2018

As the Bank of Japan finally gives up on trying to hit its inflation target and resigns itself to the deflation that has already loomed over its economy for the past twenty years, the Japanese official birthrate data delivered the latest in a series of alarming milestones: According to government statistics, Japan suffered its largest-ever […]

Both Leading Candidates To Replace Mattis Are Maximum War Hawks

Authored by Whitney Webb via Mint Press News, On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis would be “retiring” in February and that a replacement for Mattis would soon be named. Mattis’ departure had been the subject of speculation since late June, when it was reported that Mattis was already […]

Sister Wendy has passed away

Here are some notices.  In addition to her duties for the Church, she was an art historian “for the people.”  I thought she had a remarkably good eye, and was especially strong in explaining the virtues of late medieval/early Renaissance art, most of all works “from a school” or attributed to a pseudonym.  She was […]

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/26/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Readers, I’m going to be lazy today as well. I’ll return with a full Water Cooler tomorrow. For today, here’s some of the material that’s built up in my Xmas Folder. –lambert Politics 2018 ME-02: “Poliquin drops challenge to ranked-choice voting, clearing way for Golden to take seat in Congress” […]

Two Medicare for All Plans: HR676 and S1804

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. The other day I was trying to find out why Beto O’Rourke, who claims to support Medicare for All, hasn’t signed on to HR676, the single payer bill before the House. On the Twitter, I was provided this link (from The Ringer, an affiliate site of Markos Moulitsas’ SB Nation […]

U.S. fund investors sold most bonds in seven weeks on Fed hike: ICI

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. fund investors battered bond markets with the biggest withdrawals in seven weeks and snatched the most cash from foreign stocks since mid-2015 as the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates, Investment Company Institute (ICI) data showed on Wednesday. Some $12.2 billion tumbled from U.S.-based bond funds during the week ended Dec. […]

Insider Stock Purchases Surge To 8 Year High

In the latest indication that the market is due for a rebound, buying by corporate insiders – who are best known in recent years for aggressively dumping their shares to corporate buyback programs – surged in the past two months, and according to data from the Washington Service, has outpaced insider selling by the most […]

Stocks Are Panic-Bid

It seems everything is awesome again… Low key you fools! And lay off the Pina Coladas.–Mnuchin to PPT — Eric Scott Hunsader (@nanexllc) December 26, 2018 US equity markets are exploding higher – with Nasdaq up a stunning 3.5% – tagging Monday’s cash opening level… With Dow futures up over 600 points… Thanks to another […]

JCPenney Is Now Known As Sub-Dollar General

For the first time in its 28 year history,JCPenney stock just tumbled below $1.00. This is the 5th down day in a row for the lagging retailer… How long before the retailer’s suppliers start pulling lines? From now on Sub-Dollar General seem more appropriate.

It's Now Or Never For The Bulls

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, In April of this year, I wrote an article discussing the 10-reasons the bull market had ended. “The backdrop of the market currently is vastly different than it was during the ‘taper tantrum’ in 2015-2016, or during the corrections following the end of QE1 and QE2.  In those previous cases, the Federal […]

Putin Oversees Final Hypersonic Missile Test Before 2019 Deployment 

The Russian Defence Ministry, on special orders from President Vladimir Putin, on Wednesday conducted a successful final test launch of a new hypersonic glide missile system ahead of its official deployment in 2019, according to reports from Russian state media. The new weapon, called the Avangard, uses an intercontinental ballistic missile and a hypersonic glide vehicle and can travel 20 times the speed […]

Israel Preparing For Comprehensive War In Syria: Report

Via Middle East Monitor, Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta said that Israel is preparing for a comprehensive war on Syria following the US’ withdrawal from the country. The newspaper said that the decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw American troops from Syria has left Israel forced to face the Iranian presence in Syria with its troops alone. The newspaper […]

CTAs “Go For Broke”, Are Now Short Every Major Market

Last week, when previewing the next big slide in stocks, we warned that according to Nomura calculations, CTAs, or trend-following models had just turned bearish, going net short the S&P for the first time in three years. As we further explained, once CTAs turn from even modestly bullish to net short, “it will no longer […]

US Economy Snaps As Richmond Fed Plummets Most On Record

Those seeking an economic indicator of an imminent recession just got one courtesy of the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, which tumbled from 14 in November to -8, crushing expectations of a modest rebound to 15, weighed down by drops in the indexes for new orders and shipments. With analysts expecting the Richmond Fed to print […]

My Stockpedia Interview

I meant to mention this Stockpedia interview earlier this year by the charming and kind Ben Hobson, but between Thanksgiving and holiday travel, it kind of got away from me. Its long form, and covers everything from writing to investing to podcasting. If you are not sick of my schtick by now, well, this can help push […]

At what ages do children stop believing in Santa Claus?

Research in the Journal of Cognition and Development in 2011 shows that 83% of 5-year-olds think that Santa Claus is real, the study’s lead author, Jacqueline Woolley, wrote in The Conversation last year. “We have found in more recent studies that that number of 85% sounds about right,” said Thalia Goldstein, assistant professor of applied developmental psychology at George […]

Links 12/26/18

A Courting Peacock Can Shake Its Partner’s Head From Afar The Atlantic Banks pushed to cleanse their balance sheets of climate risk FT. Let me know how that works out. Science and Culture: Imagining a climate-change future, without the dystopia PNAS US shale’s financial blanket at risk of wearing thin in 2019 FT As Market […]

Stumped by the Stock Market Slump? Start by Picturing a Used Car Dealership

Lambert here: Even I know what a lemon market is! By Steven Pressman, Professor of Economics, Colorado State University. Originally published at Alternet. Stocks have been slumping on a variety of concerns, from President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China to worries about an economic slowdown and rising interest rates. Given the many factors […]

Guayaquil notes

An ideal city for a day trip, fly in and back out in the evening.  It is much nicer and safer than its longstanding icky reputation, and by this point it is probably safer than pickpocket laden, iPhone-snatching Quito (NB: I strap everything to my inner body).  The seafood is first-rate, the city is the […]

Department of Unintended Consequences, American health care edition

In 2010, the federal agency that oversees Medicare, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, established the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program under the Affordable Care Act. Two years later, the program began imposing financial penalties on hospitals with high rates of readmission within 30 days of a hospitalization for pneumonia, heart attack or heart failure, a […]

“Top US Economist Stephen Moore: … Powell Should Resign”

Look no further for the source of Mr. Trump’s economic proclivities. The entire article title: “Top US Economist Stephen Moore: Time for New Pilot at the Fed – Jerome Powell’s Policies Are Disastrous – Powell Should Resign” (12/19): The Fed has been way too tight. They made a major blunder three months ago with raising […]

Did Trump Put The Deep State On Notice With Syrian Withdrawal?

Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation, The reason so many people continue to misread the actions of US President Donald Trump is because they tend to confuse him with the actions and behaviors of past US administrations, where indiscriminate death and destruction was America’s calling card around a shell-shocked planet. Although certainly […]

The Richest People In The World Lost More Than $550 Billion In 2018

Like the old saying goes: What goes up must come down. And just as the fortunes of the world’s wealthiest swelled during the post-crisis era as QE and ZIRP bolstered asset prices, now that trend has been thrown into reverse thanks to the turbulence in global markets during the second half of the year. According […]

Japan Gives Up On Inflation, Now Wants Deflation (Sort Of) To Offset Tax Hikes

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk, Today seems straight from the Twilight Zone: First the PPT and now Abenomics in full reverse. Please consider Japan Finally Concedes Its Crazy Low Prices Can’t Be Beat. Japan has virtually given up on reaching 2% inflation after nearly six years of trying. An argument gaining ground in Tokyo holds […]

They Aren't BTFD: S&P Futures Slide In Early Illiquid Trading

On Christmas Day, president Trump had a simple message for Americans: BTFD. They chose to sell instead. As we noted earlier, in a presser following his address to U.S. armed forces members on a Christmas Day video conference call, Trump told reporters “we have companies, the greatest in the world, and they’re doing really well. […]

Deadmalls.com

Now that your holiday shopping is over, have a look at this change to American consume life: the death of the mall  Filmed summer 2007, the documentary “Malls R Us” takes us to the mall, not just as a destination, but as a powerful profit-making venture. The question of whether or not developers are going […]

Third Of Americans Considering Leaving US To Live Abroad, Study Finds 

About one-third of natural-born Americans are ready to call it quits, pack up their stuff and move outside of the US — at some point in the future, according to Study Finds, a website that seeks out research released by universities and established companies then summarizes it for the general public.  Researchers Dr. Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels and Dr. […]

Mall Ninjas Rejoice; Nunchucks Now Protected Under 2nd Amendment

Nunchuck-wielding New Yorkers are free to injure themselves in the testicles after a federal judge ruled last week that the state’s 45-year ban on the simple but deadly weapon is unconstitutional and protected by the Second Amendment.  The ruling, reported by Guns.com, was based on a 15-year-old case brought by New York attorney, college professor and amateur martial artist James […]

Taibbi: We Know How Trump's War Game Ends

Authored by Matt Taibbi via RollingStone.com, Nothing unites our political class like the threat of ending our never-ending war … So we’re withdrawing troops from the Middle East. GOOD! What’s the War on Terror death count by now, a half-million? How much have we spent, $5 trillion? Five-and-a-half? For that cost, we’ve destabilized the region to the point […]