Monday, May 21, 2018
Friday, May 18, 2018
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Bespoke - S&P 500 trailing 12-month PE. Wherein they give you pictures like this:
And if you look real close you'll see that while yes, it would have been bad to buy at the 30 peak in 2000, it was a fucking amazing time for a long-termer to buy in early 1992.
Now you have a reason to ignore forever any fuckstick who whines about the S&P trailing 12-month PE.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Branko Milanovic - a geographical hypothesis for why the Balkans are underdeveloped. He brings up 20th century communism and earlier Turk exploitation as explanations, then includes high mountains (as barriers to land travel) and contiguity with the Ukrainian steppe (as enabling constant invasions) as new explanations.
Unfortunately, Branko forgets that trade never happened over land in this era. It was always by sea, where transportation costs are a tiny fraction of the land transportation costs.
There are a few counterexamples, like the land silk route thru Asia (which required a single massive empire to enable it) and the later land gold route through Africa (ditto). But boring trade of boring average commodities happened by sea and river.
And the interior of the Balkans was inaccessible from the sea due to the Iron Gates. There was no way to get from the Black Sea to Hungary and beyond, except by trails. There was I guess a road from Venice through Carinthia to the Austrian interior, but there again you have the problem of roads being too expensive for travel. Thus there could be no external trade connections with the Balkans, thus no wealth.
So there's an alternate theory for you.
You could counter that the massive Hungarian silver and gold deposits exploited starting in the 13th century became a good replacement for wealth by trade... but then you'd have to do the work to figure out if the Balkan-Western wealth gap narrowed during that time. It may have: they built a fuckton of new castles and saw massive immigration from Germany.
As for invasions, why not look at the economy of Hungary before and after their slaughter at the hands of the Mongols in 1241-2? Hungary in fact bounced back rather quickly from a very thorough genocide: ten years later they were healthy enough to go back to constant war with Bohemia, with a few hundred new stone castles having been built in their territory. I think the effect of invasions and slaughters is a lot different in the middle ages, where no economies were operating anywhere near capacity in the first place.
at 2:19 AM
Monday, May 14, 2018
Nouriel Roubini - cryptocurrency scams. Crypto is beginning to sound even stupider and stupider:
Initial coin offerings have become the most common way to finance cryptocurrency ventures, of which there are now nearly 1,600 and rising. In exchange for your dollars, pounds, euros, or other currency, an ICO issues digital “tokens,” or “coins,” that may or may not be used to purchase some specified good or service in the future.
Huh... that kinda sounds like massive hyperinflation through money printing, doesn't it?
Thus it is little wonder that, according to the ICO advisory firm Satis Group, 81% of ICOs are scams created by con artists, charlatans, and swindlers looking to take your money and run. It is also little wonder that only 8% of cryptocurrencies end up being traded on an exchange, meaning that 92% of them fail.
Wow. Well, thankfully, from my own experience here at university, most of these scams are only fleecing corrupt Chinese communist party officials.
If you invest in a conventional (non-crypto) business, you are afforded a variety of legal rights – to dividends if you are a shareholder, to interest if you are a lender, and to a share of the enterprise’s assets should it default or become insolvent. Such rights are enforceable because securities and their issuers must be registered with the state.
Moreover, in legitimate investment transactions, issuers are required to disclose accurate financial information, business plans, and potential risks. There are restrictions limiting the sale of certain kinds of high-risk securities to qualified investors only. And there are anti-money-laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations to prevent tax evasion, concealment of ill-gotten gains, and other criminal activities such as the financing of terrorism.
In the Wild West of ICOs, most cryptocurrencies are issued in breach of these laws and regulations, under the pretense that they are not securities at all. Hence, most ICOs deny investors any legal rights whatsoever. They are generally accompanied by vaporous “white papers” instead of concrete business plans. Their issuers are often anonymous and untraceable. And they skirt all AML and KYC regulations, leaving the door open to any criminal investor.
Wow. Again, I guess, easy come easy go.
In fact, the only reason to restrict a purchase to token-holders is to create an illegal cartel of service providers who are safe from price competition and in a position to gouge their customers. Consider Dentacoin, a ridiculous cryptocurrency that can be spent only on dental services (and which almost no dentist actually accepts). It would be hard to come up with a better illustration of why business cartels are illegal in all civilized countries.
Of course, the crypto-cartels would counter that customers who incur the cost of buying a token will benefit if that token appreciates in value. But this makes no sense. If the price of the token rises above the market value of the good or service being provided, then no one would buy the token. The only plausible reason for forcing the use of a token, then, is to hike prices or bilk investors.
Wow^2. Seems like the people buying this garbage don't even know basic economics... which I guess is understandable if their only education has been the Mises Institute or some Ron Paul videos.
Friday, May 11, 2018
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
CCN - Charlie Munger says trading bitcoin nearly as bad as trading in harvested baby brains. This guy's great:
The 94-year-old Munger then proceeded to compare cryptocurrency trading to dealing in “freshly harvested baby brains,” arguing that both would be immoral even if profitable.
“Suppose you could make a lot of money trading freshly harvested baby brains. Would you do it?” he asked. “To me bitcoin is almost as bad.”
Munger then took aim at bitcoin proponents, alleging that it is disgraceful to promote cryptoassets and chastising them that it is “beneath you.”
“I regard the whole thing as a combination of dementia and immorality. I think the people pushing it are a disgrace,” he concluded. “There ought to be some things that are beneath you, that you just don’t do, and this is one.”
To be fair, harvested baby brains won't make McAfee eat his own dick on national TV.
Monday, May 7, 2018
BBC - caste hatred in India, what it looks like.
As an aside, here at university, among the most rabid anti-white critique you'll ever hear will be from bourgeois pseudo-leftist Indians with upper caste family names.
And the entitled brats don't even see how ironic it is that a brat from a million dollar home in Mississauga, whose family bars Dalits from even entering their temple, can pretend to be leftist.
at 2:20 PM
Yes, let's all puke stocks!
Calculated Risk - best April ever for intermodal. And intermodal is trade, and trade is up when the economy is up. Let's all puke stocks then!
Calculated Risk - Q2 forecast: 3-4% growth. Yes, let's also puke stocks when the economy has finally bust out from 3%!!
Sure, the market went way too far way too fast in winter, and that's why we're down 10%. Not because of some idiot president.
Friday, May 4, 2018
Monday, April 30, 2018
If you remember, the market went down a few weeks ago on Korea tensions, as it seemed Trump was willing to start a nuclear war with Small Korea.
And so today, not to be outdone the market goes down on futher Korea tensions, as Moon and Kim meet for a historic summit that ended in hugs and giggles. Possibly also a pillowfight in bras and panties.
Speaking of which....
BBC - Moon Jae-In says Trump should get a Nobel Peace Prize. BWAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!
at 3:38 PM