Category Archives: Uncategorized

Urban Inequality – the Paris Syndrome, U.S. Style

After stepping off an Amtrak train in Washington DC, you drag your luggage down a ramp into a nice, modern, well-organized space with waiting areas, newsstands and mid-priced eateries, plus a few retailers such as H&M. Overhead signs instruct you … Continue reading

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The Winner of the 2015 Ig-Nobel Prize, for the Worst Book by a Nobel Prize Winner Is . . .

Ignoble   adjective 1. Not honorable in character or purpose Synonyms: dishonorable, unworthy, base, shameful, contemptible, despicable, vile, degenerate, shabby, sordid, mean, dastardly Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for attending our Annual Gala, where we present the Ig-Nobel Prize, our humble … Continue reading

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WSJ Misinterprets Its Own Data to Demonstrate Companies Are Spending Too Little on Capex, too much on Dividends & Buy-backs

To its credit, the WSJ did some serious quantitative work in an effort to determine whether Blackrock’s Larry Fink is correct that companies are paying out too much money to shareholders while starving capital investment. Fink is right, the Journal … Continue reading

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“The Policy Environment”—Bloomberg’s No-go Zone

A few days ago on Bloomberg Radio Tom Keene and Barry Ritholtz interviewed Stephen Stanley of Amherst Pierpont Securities, focusing on his gloomy outlook for GDP growth. Twice Stanley stated that the “policy environment” was holding back growth. First he … Continue reading

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Fidelity versus the S&P 500: Round Two

A couple of days ago the WSJ reported big news in the mutual fund world—active managers have outperformed index funds thus far in 2015. Which prompted me to update a little study I did three years ago that compared the … Continue reading

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Blinder’s Blinders

In a recent WSJ article, Princeton professor Alan Blinder, formerly vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, ruminates on the decline in productivity growth in the past couple of years. He methodically runs through various possible explanations for the slowdown. Is … Continue reading

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Victorian London and Baltimore’s Post-Capitalist Proletariat

Meet John Walker, alias “Black Jack,” a licensed hawker in Victorian London. He makes a living distributing coal to Londoners in winter and selling sand to stables in summer. Like larger entrepreneurs, he plays the spread between wholesale and retail. … Continue reading

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The Wisdom of Michael Steinhardt

Last weekend we, along with a few hundred other garden enthusiasts, visited the famous gardens of hedge fund impresario Michael Steinhardt, located in the NYC suburbs. My wife and I realized this was not your typical mega-estate when an attendant … Continue reading

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Bubbleicious: Don’t Get Too Comfortable In This “New Era” of Negative Bond Yields

Bottom Line: Bond yields may stay absurdly low for quite a while longer, but eventually sanity will prevail and bond bulls will get killed. Don’t let Europe’s negative yields, and their spillover into the U.S., cloud your thinking about the … Continue reading

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S&P Is Not GDP: Why Profits Fall While GDP Is Growing

The media, and many of the econo-pundits they interview, are befuddled by the current profit picture. Why, they wonder, will Q1 profits decline materially while the economy continues to grow? They get that energy earnings have collapsed, but isn’t there … Continue reading

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