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Disasters Can Happen

The Great Stock Market Swindle

by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Short Circuited Feedback Loops

Finding and filling gaps in the market is one avenue for entrepreneurial success.  Obviously, the first to tap into an unmet consumer demand can unlock massive profits.  But unless there’s some comparative advantage, competition will quickly commoditize the market and profit margins will decline to just above breakeven.

Unfortunately, finding and filling gaps in the market is much easier said than done.  Even the most successful serial entrepreneurs fail more than they succeed.  What’s more, success in one endeavor doesn’t guarantee success in another.

Anyone who has ever developed and marketed a new product from concept through sale knows how difficult it is to achieve profitability.  For every good idea there must be a hundred bad ones.  Yet the only way to really know the (Read More....)

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The Next President’s Debt Burden

by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

The Next President’s Debt Burden

According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2016.  This, unfortunately, isn’t indicative of the sort of robust economic activity that will grow the economy out of debt.  In fact, as growth is stagnating, deficits are increasing.

The U.S. fiscal year 2015 budget deficit was about $439 billion.  For fiscal year 2016, the federal government is projected to run a deficit of $616 billion.  The upsurge, of roughly $177 billion, amounts to about a 40 percent deficit increase from 2015 to 2016.

Presently, the federal debt is well over 100 percent of GDP.  Obviously, 1.2 percent GDP growth is wholly inadequate to shrink the debt.  To the contrary, 1.2 percent GDP growth in the face of a (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: The Next President’s Debt Burden

Visions of Tomorrow from the Permanently High Plateau

Moneyby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Somewhere, someone first said “bull markets don’t die of old age.”  We suppose this throwaway phrase was first uttered in a time and place much like today.  That is, in the midst of a protracted bull market where stock prices had detached from the assets and earnings of companies their shares represent claim to.

Presumably, it was used as rationale for why stock prices should go higher.  Quite frankly, we don’t know why anyone would ever say such baloney.  But it likely makes the person who emits it feel content about their place in the world and the shallow intelligence of their wit and wisdom.

No doubt, the current old age bull market has gone mad as a hatter.  Who in their right mind would invest their hard earned savings into a business for the opportunity to receive $1 of current earnings for every $26 invested?  Aside from Swiss or Japanese bonds, or (Read More....)

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More Signs the End is Nigh

city-569093_960_720by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Hyperventilating Minds

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun,” explained Solomon in Ecclesiastes, nearly 3,000 years ago.

Perhaps the advent of negative yielding debt would have been cause for Solomon to reconsider his axiom.  We can only speculate on what his motive would be.  As far as our studies have shown, negative interest rates are a brave new phenomenon.

Still, we’ll concede the present day ain’t all that unique or special.  We continue to look to the night sky with wonder.  When the moon is full we let out a howl with the innate impulse of early man.  So, too, we still put on our pantaloons one leg at a time.

The context, however, and the fantasies, have their differences.  Here we defer to Fred Sheehan, and a brief (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: More Signs the End is Nigh

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Is A Crash Imminent? -MN Gordon

Destination Mars

by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Asset Price Levitation

One of the more preposterous deeds of modern central banking involves creating digital monetary credits from nothing and then using the faux money to purchase stocks.  If you’re unfamiliar with this erudite form of monetary policy this may sound rather fantastical.  But, in certain economies, this is now standard operating procedure.

For example, in Japan this explicit intervention into the stock market is being performed with the composed tedium of a dairy farmer milking his cows.  The activity is more art than science.  Similarly, if you stop – even for a day – pain swells in certain sensitive areas.

In late April, a (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: Is A Crash Imminent? -MN Gordon

Larry Summers Wants to Give You a Free Lunch

by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Consequences of Central Bankers

The existing capital stock continues to be frittered away at the expense of savers and retirees.  Nonetheless, central bankers don’t give a doggone about it.  This, after all, is one consequence of roughly eight years of near zero interest rate policy.

Another related consequence is that the pricing equilibrium of capital markets has broken down.  In particular, bond yields no longer reflect a market determined price of money established by the economy’s demand for credit.  Hence, previously unfathomable interest rate movements are now happening with regular occurrence.

Presently, the yield on the 10-Year U.S. Treasury note is sliding into the abyss.  On Wednesday a new record low yield of 1.34 percent was reached.  This is the lowest historical (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: Larry Summers Wants to Give You a Free Lunch

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