When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Carney, Coeure, Kuroda Discuss Global Outlook at Davos (video)

Carney, Coeure, Kuroda Discuss Global Outlook at Davos: Video - Bloomberg:
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Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, European Central Bank Executive Board Member Benoit Coeure, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min and Brazilian Finance Minister Joaquim Levy speak about the global economic outlook. BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Laurence Fink moderates the session at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. (Source: World Economic Forum)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Robotics, The Latest Davos Buzzword (video)

Robotics: The Latest Davos Buzzword -

 In addition to the Swiss Franc and the ECB, what else was being talked about at Davos? Robotics and AI have been taking some interest, so here's the low down of what to keep an eye out for this year.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

We Are In Currency Wars says Goldman Sachs’ Gary Cohn (video)

We Are In Currency Wars: Goldman Sachs’ Gary Cohn -

Gary Cohn, president and chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs, Ana Patricia Botin, chairman at Banco Santander, and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde discuss global currency moves. They speak from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on “On The Move.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bill Gates, Outlook for Next 15 Years (video)

Bill Gates' Outlook for the Next 15 Years -

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp. and the world’s richest man, discusses the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, farming, and the health of world's poor. Gates sat down with Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker, in Kirkland, Washington on Dec. 14.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Christine Lagarde says Federal Reserve Rate Hike Will Be Good News (video)

Christine Lagarde: Federal Reserve Rate Hike Will Be Good News -

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde explains why a rate hike from the Federal Reserve will be good news for the U.S. economy, in spite of the potential impacts to the downside. She speaks from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on “On The Move.”

Monday, January 26, 2015

Nouriel Roubini Crisis Not Over, Global Economy, Oil Prices (video)

Nouriel Roubini: Crisis Is `Not Over' in Global Economy -

Nouriel Roubini, chairman of Roubini Global Economics LLC and a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, talks about financial markets, the global economy and oil prices at Davos, Switzerland last week.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Did Russians Feel Welcome at the World Economic Forum in Davos? (video)

Did Russians Feel Welcome in Davos? -
Jan. 22 -- Sanctions and falling oil prices didn't dampen the spirit of Russian delegates at the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos this past week. They were out in force -- but did they feel welcome?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cutting More Cable Cords in 2015 (video)

Will There Be More Cable Cords Cut in 2015?: Video - Bloomberg:
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Bloomberg Intelligence’s Paul Sweeney reports on the future of cable and internet television. He speaks on “Bottom Line.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

California Economy Zooms Past Russia, Italy and Soon Brazil

California Zooms Past Russia, Italy and Soon Brazil in Economic Might - Bloomberg: "California is overtaking Brazil as the world’s seventh-largest economy, bolstered by rising employment, home values and personal and corporate income, a year after the most-populous state surpassed Russia and Italy. The Golden State, with an equivalent gross domestic product of $2.20 trillion in 2013, expanded last year by almost every measure, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Brazil’s gross domestic product, in contrast, declined 1 percent from $2.25 trillion in the first three quarters of 2014 as its export of raw materials fell...."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Swiss Francs, Euros, Black Swans

Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz said that this was something like a 20-standard-deviation event, and while the exact number of standard deviations is of course a subjective matter, that's the right ballpark... problems extend beyond retail brokers. Deutsche Bank had "approximately $150 million in losses," Barclays had "tens of millions of dollars of in losses," and Citi also seems to be out more than $150 million. But you have to feel a little for the traders who racked up those losses. They were not taking crazy risks. A $150 million loss translates into a position equivalent to something like 700 million euros against the franc, not that huge against Deutsche Bank's 1.7 trillion euro balance sheet. The historical daily standard deviation of such a position would be about half a million to $1.2 million... (source: Bloomberg, infra).

Monday, January 19, 2015

Donna Karan: Haiti Is Special and We're Not Giving Up (video)

Donna Karan: Haiti Is Special and We're Not Giving Up -

Fashion designer Donna Karan is working with 200 Haitian craftsmen and women to teach them how to create and market their crafts for the global marketplace. Through her foundation, Urban Zen, she sells Haitian artists' work in her own stores and in retailers around the world. Karan, who hopes that her work will draw positive attention to the creativity and possibilities of Haitians, talks to Bloomberg's Stephanie Ruhle. "Haiti: Open for Business?" on Bloomberg Television (Source: Bloomberg 1/12)


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Obama, Cigars, Cuba, Congress

Obama Wagers on More Cigars to Win Over Congress on Cuba Embargo - Bloomberg: "President Barack Obama billed opening Cuba as a chance for trade to promote political change, and he’s sending Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on a trade mission there soon. He’s also wagering that more trade will change the political dynamic in the U.S. Congress. Winning over members of Congress is key, since they’re the only ones who can lift the five-decade-old economic embargo on Cuba or end the broad travel ban. “I believe greater engagement will help more and more Americans understand the economic potential of Cuba and the incredible entrepreneurial capacity of their people,” Pritzker said in an e-mail. “We will do all we can under these actions to unleash that potential.”The approach isn’t unprecedented for the U.S. -- it’s the basis of U.S.-China relations...."

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Obama, US Embassy, Havana, Cuba (video)

Obama: U.S. to Reestablish an Embassy in Havana -
“Today the United States of America is changing it’s relationship with the people of Cuba,” President Obama says in remarks at White House announcing steps to normalize diplomatic, trade relationship with Cuba. (Source: Bloomberg 12/17)

Friday, January 16, 2015

F-35, A Broken Plane, Unbelievable Waste

Sad, but true--

Americans Have Spent Enough Money On A Broken Plane To Buy Every Homeless Person A Mansion | ThinkProgress: "Just days before its international debut at an airshow in the United Kingdom, the entire fleet of the Pentagon’s next generation fighter plane — known as the F-35 II Lightning, or the Joint Strike Fighter — has been grounded, highlighting just what a boondoggle the project has been. With the vast amounts spent so far on the aircraft, the United States could have worked wonders, including providing every homeless person in the U.S. a $600,000 home. It’s hard to argue against the need to modernize aircraft used to defend the country and counter enemies overseas, especially if you’re a politician. But the Joint Strike Fighter program has been a mess almost since its inception, with massive cost overruns leading to its current acquisition price-tag of $398.6 billion — an increase of $7.4 billion since last year. That breaks down to costing about $49 billion per year since work began in 2006 and the project is seven years behind schedule. Over its life-cycle, estimated at about 55 years, operating and maintaining the F-35 fleet will cost the U.S. a little over $1 trillion. By contrast, the entirety of the Manhattan Project — which created the nuclear bomb from scratch — cost about $55 billion in today’s dollars..."

The answer? Take away the money! Defund the military--once the generals and admirals realize their poor stewardship of national defense dollars has personal consequences, they will begin to understand and stop their wasteful habits.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bush, Obama, US Military Corruption, Totally Worthless F-35

Never, ever, believe the "experts" in the Pentagon, or Washington, D.C.--

The War Nerd: More proof the US defense industry has nothing to do with defending America | PandoDaily: "...The armed services are trying to boost their worst aircraft, the totally worthless F-35, by trashing their best, the simple, effective, proven A-10 Warthog. The A-10 is popular enough that the USAF had to come up with a reason for wanting to get rid of it, and the one it produced is the sort of thing that would make any psych-therapist chuckle with glee: The USAF said it needed maintenance personnel to handle its precious new high-priced fighter, the F-35…and that the only place it could get them from was the maintenance crews currently keeping the A-10 flying. Nope, there were no other options! The only way to find a good crew is to gut the one effective ground-attack aircraft the USAF has in its inventory, in favor of the worst fighter ever designed. It makes no sense. I’ll just say that right up front. The reason it doesn’t seem to make any sense is that it doesn’t. There are no secret reasons here, no top-security considerations that justify any of this. It’s corruption, pure and simple. The sooner you understand that the US defense industry has nothing at all to do with defending America, and everything to do with making Dick Cheney’s buddies even richer, the more quickly you’ll be able to understand what’s going on. I used to believe the Navy was the most corrupt of all the services, but going by recent form I’d have to say that slimed-up torch has been passed to a new service. The USAF now wins as the most deeply corrupt of all. In fact, it’s no contest...." (read more at first link above)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

London Boat Show, How to Handle a $7M Luxury Yacht (video)

London Boat Show: How to Handle a $7M Luxury Yacht: Video - Bloomberg:
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Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern oil tycoons are expected to be amongst the crowds ogling the latest luxury yachts at the London Boat Show. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at an event featuring some of the world's largest private vessels. (Bloomberg 1/9)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jeremy Siegel Says Market 'Still Has Room to Run' (video)

Jeremy Siegel Says Market 'Still Has Room to Run' -

Jeremy Siegel, a finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, talks about the outlook for U.S. stocks, global financial markets and investment strategy. (Dec. 23, 2014)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Islamist Ideology, Obama, Hillary, Susan Rice vs Charlie Hebdo

New Yorker: "... Charlie Hebdo had been nondenominational in its satire, sticking its finger into the sensitivities of Jews and Christians, too—but only Muslims responded with threats and acts of terrorism. For some believers, the violence serves a will to absolute power in the name of God, which is a form of totalitarianism called Islamism—politics as religion, religion as politics. “Allahu Akbar!” the killers shouted in the street outside Charlie Hebdo. They, at any rate, know what they’re about. These thoughts don’t offer a guide to mitigating the astonishing surge in Islamist killing around the world. Rage and condemnation don’t do the job, nor is it helpful to alienate the millions of Muslims who dislike what’s being done in the name of their religion. Many of them immediately condemned the attack on Charlie Hebdo, in tones of anguish particular to those whose deepest beliefs have been tainted. The answer always has to be careful, thoughtful, and tailored to particular circumstances. In France, it will need to include a renewed debate about how the republic can prevent more of its young Muslim citizens from giving up their minds to a murderous ideology—how more of them might come to consider Mustapha Ourrad, a Charlie Hebdo copy editor of Algerian descent who was among the victims, a hero. In other places, the responses have to be different, with higher levels of counter-violence. But the murders in Paris were so specific and so brazen as to make their meaning quite clear. The cartoonists died for an idea. The killers are soldiers in a war against freedom of thought and speech, against tolerance, pluralism, and the right to offend—against everything decent in a democratic society. So we must all try to be Charlie, not just today but every day."

Thursday, January 8, 2015

When Will the Slump in Commodities End? (video)

When Will the Slump in Commodities End? -

 “Bart Chart,” Bloomberg’s Mark Barton takes a look at the Bloomberg Commodity Index on “Countdown.”

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

IPOs of 2014, The Best and the Worst (video)

IPOs of 2014: The Best and the Worst: Video - Bloomberg:
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Bloomberg's Leslie Picker takes a look back at the best and worst IPOs of 2014. She speaks with Bloomberg's Scarlet Fu on "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg 12.30.2014)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Rand Paul, Berkeley, San Francisco, Silicon Valley

Rand Paul, The Next President?--not as far fetched as some might think--

Rand Paul, Republican presidential hopeful, finds support in Berkeley, of all places - San Jose Mercury News: "....Director of National Intelligence James Clapper [broke] the law by lying to Congress, Paul said. The nation is under watch by "an intelligence community that's drunk with power, unrepentant and unwilling to relinquish power," he said. "The sheer arrogance of this: They're only sorry that they got caught. Without the Snowden leaks, these spies would still be doing whatever they please." Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich watched from the back of the room. "There are not too many people who can get a standing ovation at CPAC and a standing ovation at Berkeley," said Reich, now a UC-Berkeley professor...."

Rand Paul and the techies: A love story: "..."People were impressed," said 29-year-old Garrett Johnson, the founder of SendHub and the organizer of the event. Wooing the Patagonia-wearing, Blue Bottle coffee-sipping denizens of Silicon Valley, and especially San Francisco, may seem like a fool's errand for much of the GOP, but not for Paul, who recently made his second swing through the Bay Area in as many years. Indeed, his libertarian leanings, which can rankle Republican Party pooh-bahs, resonate in the Valley, where folks are messianic about private enterprise's potential to solve all the world's challenges. (Exhibit A: Google CEO Larry Page saying he'd rather bequeath his wealth to entrepreneur Elon Musk than to philanthropy.) Among the technorati, Paul's willingness to engage ideas outside the mainstream isn't a liability -- it's his strongest virtue...."

Sunday, January 4, 2015

American Citizenship, US Tax Laws, Tax Reform

Of course neither Obama nor Congress will do anything on the issue of real tax reform, so the alternatives, although arduous, are the only way out--

Why I’m Giving Up My Passport - NYTimes.com: "... The United States is an outlier: Its extraterritorial tax laws apply to American citizens and companies no matter where they are. We are the only country (except, arguably, Eritrea) that taxes all of its citizens on worldwide income rather than where the income is earned. Expatriate Americans have to pay taxes once, wherever they live, and then file again in the United States. The I.R.S. doesn’t tax the first $97,600 of foreign earnings, and usually doesn’t double-tax the same income. So most expatriates owe no money to the I.R.S. each year — and yet many of us have to pay thousands of dollars to accountants because the rules are so hard to follow. The extraterritorial reach of the income tax dates from the Civil War, when the government wanted to prevent Americans from fleeing to Britain to avoid taxes. This outdated and harmful relic has only gotten worse. It’s one thing if a New Yorker creates a shell entity in the Cayman Islands to evade taxes. It’s another if an American who has spent most of his life overseas, as I have, creates a legitimate company. The I.R.S. doesn’t care about the distinction. Under a 1962 law, it treats the two companies I’ve started as “controlled foreign corporations,” subject to detailed regulatory requirements, though a majority of our employees and clients are foreigners...." (read more at link above)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Municipal Bonds, Financial Crisis, Investors

Municipal Bonds, Financial Crisis, Investors--

What Would Jim Lebenthal Say? | The Woman's Investment Bible: "... It starts with a highly visible market expert making claims for the imminent financial ruin of hundreds of billions of dollars of municipal bonds during the middle of a financial crisis. Nervous investors look at the isolated and well- known problems in the market—Detroit, Jefferson County, Puerto Rico, Illinois—and start to generalize across an entire market. A run ensues. It continues with a zealous tax reformer pays for an income tax cut with a surcharge on tax-exempt income. On a relative value basis this tax structure diminishes the after-tax yield advantage for muni investors, and investor demand continues to wane. A sizeable municipal bankruptcy follows, one in which general obligation and revenue bondholders are forced to accept less than par in a workout situation. Investors continue to shy away from the sector, liquidity dries up, muni yields rise as a result, and issuers find it more difficult and expensive to finance their projects through the municipal market. So they find other avenues for project financing... " (read more at the link above)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Nouriel Roubini, Lee Sachs, ECB, Dollar, Global Economy (video)

Nouriel Roubini, Lee Sachs on ECB, Dollar, Global Economy: Video - Bloomberg:
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Nouriel Roubini, chairman of Roubini Global Economics LLC and a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, talks about European Central Bank policy and the global economy. Lee Sachs, co-founder of Alliance Partners and a former assistant U.S. Treasury secretary, also speaks. They speak with Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers." (Source: Bloomberg 12/4)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bull Market, Skeptical Investors (video)

Bull Market: What’s Making Investors Skeptical?: Video - Bloomberg:
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Scot Wren, senior equity strategist at Wells Fargo, talks with Tom Keene about investors’ lack of belief in the bull market and offers his current investment strategy. He speaks in today’s “This Matters Now” on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” (Bloomberg 12/4)

The Big Picture

Financial Crisis - The Telegraph

JohnTheCrowd.com | The Sailing Website

Craig Newmark - craigconnects