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Recent Posts

Disasters Can Happen

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 (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 (Read More....)

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Down Goes the Hopes and Dreams of Three Generations

Economic Collapse Picture Credit Pixabayby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

A Sucker’s Deal

The yield on the 10-Year Treasury note’s accelerating its descent toward zero.  The last we checked the yield was at about 1.56 percent.  But in every practical sense, for income investors, a yield of 1.56 percent may as well be zero.

For example, at that rate, if you gave the government $1,000, you’d earn $156 over the next 10 years.  That comes out to just $15.60 per year.  As far as we can tell, that’s a sucker’s deal.

What’s more, it’s likely inflation will significantly erode the buying power of the initial principle.  Using the government’s own highly understated (Read More....)

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The Cure is Worse than the Disease

2016by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Today we look back to the recent past with singleness of purpose.  Context and edification for the present economy is what we’re after.  We have questions…

How come the recovery has been so weak?  Why is it that, nearly seven years after the official end of the Great Recession, the economy’s still mired in a soft muddy quag?  Squinting, focusing, and refocusing, there’s one particular week that rises above all others.

On Saturday September 20, 2008, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson delivered a draft of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to Congress for review.  If you recall, it had been another wild week.  On Monday, September 15, after 158 years of operation, Lehman Brothers vanished from the face of the earth…Dick Fuld, “The Gorilla,” be damned.

All week the sky relentlessly fell on financial markets.  (Read More....)

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Something’s Gone Horribly Awry

2016by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Marginal Activities

The S&P 500 has fallen 7.37 percent so far this year.  What to make of it…

Naturally, some people find falling stock prices to be unpleasant.  Others find them distressing.  Another way to look at falling stock prices, however, is like a high-fiber diet.  The effect is necessary to a healthy functioning system.

The simple fact is that stock prices, fueled by speculative liquidity, have long since outrun the real economy.  The disconnect between the two has been widely observable.  The economy’s lagged, incomes have stagnated, yet stocks have soared.

Thus the present, ever so slight reduction in liquidity, and the subsequent lowering of stock prices, is having a cleansing influence.  For it will serve to eliminate marginal businesses, and trim the fat from larger businesses.

Consequently, business owners, managers, and workers of marginal undertakings will have to redirect their efforts into something new…something that’s of greater value.  For example, (Read More....)

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Chasing the Wild Goose in Davos

Jobs, Employment, Work, Picture Credit Pixabayby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Despite the reformers endless efforts to encircle mankind, some persist beyond the broad extent of their casted net.  In the backwaters of the new Republic, for instance, the distant rumble and flicker of Saturday night hootenannies still befall yonder the mighty oak groves.

In defiance of all things good and proper, the unconsecrated gather under the pale moonlight and jig step to zydeco washboard rhythms while downing tipples of corn syrup and fermented grain.  These knees-ups certify that, even in this era of big government, there remain places in the lower forty-eight where freedom reigns.

Similarly, the backwoods of the old world, rare as they may be, have not been entirely defamed.  Though old world songs are more rigid – and drinks more dry – there are still places where people come together with gusto, and without interference, to dance the polka around the maypole.

Across the planet, no doubt, there are still (Read More....)

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The Muted Delight of the Forthcoming Recession

Economic Collapse Picture Credit Pixabayby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

One week down.  Fifty-one more to go.  No doubt, this has been a wild start to the New Year.  We expect many more to follow.

For example, on Monday, Chinese investors overloaded the Shanghai Stock Exchange.  An abundance of traders hit the sell button in unison and nearly shorted out the sell side circuit.  By early afternoon the breakers had tripped to prevent a full market meltdown.  Here are the particulars, as reported by Bloomberg

“The worst-ever start to a year for Chinese shares triggered a trading halt in more than $7 trillion of equities, futures and options, putting the nation’s new market circuit breakers to the test on their first day.

“Trading was halted at about 1:34 p.m. local time on Monday after the CSI 300 Index dropped 7 percent.  An (Read More....)

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