Noted for your weekend ruminations or procrastinations – take your pick.
These are various news items that I have read during the past day and early morning trying to understand and digest week’s events. I make notes as I read the articles. Some are trading related, some are economics related and others are just for intellectual stimulation or fun.
- Putin Fingerprints Seen All Over Surprise Interest-Rate Reversal – Central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina issued a statement after the meeting supporting the rate cut, saying policy makers were balancing the goals of curbing inflation and reviving economic growth. It marks a stark reversal for a policy maker who had said on Jan. 21 that rates could only be cut when there was a “sustainable trend toward a slowing of inflation.”
- With Fed Versus Bond Bulls, There Is Potential for Lots of Investor Pain – “The market has a more dovish view of what the Fed is going to do than the Fed itself,” Bullard said in a television interview today with Betty Liu and Michael McKee. “Markets should take it at face value” from the Fed’s rate projections, and it’s “reasonable” to expect an increase in June or July, he said.
- In Greek crisis, Germany should learn from its fiscal past – Fortunately for Germany, its own creditors took quite a different stance after World War II. In the London Debt Agreement of 1953, the 20 nations — including Greece — that had loaned money to Germany during the pre-Nazi Weimar Republic and in the years since 1945 agreed to reduce West Germany’s debts by half.
- The battleground of Bilateral Investment Treaties – In 2012 there were 3,196 investment treaties globally, many of them affecting developing countries. There are also important investment chapters in free trade agreements. While these treaties and agreements are supposed to both protect foreign investors and benefit recipient countries, the growing number of investment disputes and ‘persistent concerns about the [investment arbitration] regime’s systemic deficiencies’ indicate that the balance may be tilted against developing countries. 2012 saw the highest number of international claims filed against states by foreign companies, with 66 % filed against developing countries.
- I See Very Serious Dead People –
First, we’re now in year eight of a massive setback to economic growth, to living standards; US per capita GDP has barely surpassed 2007 levels, while median income is still far below, and Europe is doing much worse. Technology hasn’t retrogressed; institutions haven’t suddenly gotten far worse. This is about the business cycle, and about business cycle policy. If you want to ignore all that, because in the long run it’s the fundamentals that matter, you’re exactly the kind of person Keynes was mocking:
But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the ocean is flat again.
- The huge difference between what men and women read – The number of adults who read at least one novel, play or poem within the past 12 months fell to 47% in 2012 from 50% in 2008, according to a new survey of over 37,000 Americans, “A Decade of Arts Engagement,” by the National Endowment for the Arts, a government agency that promotes artistic excellence.
- 15 great books for investors – Here’s a list that I would still be comfortable with decades from now. Every book below has stood the test of time and, I’m confident, will remain useful for generations to come. You will quickly note that some aren’t even about investing. But they all will help teach you how to think more clearly, which is the only way to become a wiser and better investor.
- A Technical Take on the Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science – In the end, we believe that to maintain an effective perspective on market and economic data, one must be acutely aware of the tendency for tides of opinion to sweep up and carry individual expectations beyond the reach of real shifts during forceful trends.
- U.S. stocks routed in final hour, end month in the red – Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Investors, said that a big miss in the GDP number had sent investors into bonds and out of stocks.
- Rig count shows huge drop across U.S. – In Texas, according to Baker Hughes, 58 rigs were pulled down this year – a 22 percent drop – bringing the state’s loss to 145 rigs since the beginning of 2015. More than half of the drilling units operating in Texas could be sidelined by the time the downturn is over, oil economist Karr Ingham, who compiles the monthly Texas Petro Index, said Friday. He estimates the state could lose 600 rigs, just as it did in the 2008-2009 oil collapse tied to a global economic slump.