The Mess That Greenspan Made

This looks pretty interesting – an upcoming piece by the team at Vice News about California’s ubiquitous pumpjacks, once the subject of a piece at the old blog nearly 10 years ago – Three Chevy Tahoes and a Wal-Mart Truck.

Reading that post and the comments brought back some memories – here’s comment #2:

The Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon do seem to be the vehicle of choice for house-rich Californians in their thirties – gots to have the thousand dollar custom wheels with the performance tires though.

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Friday Morning Links

MUST READS
Prince Dead at 57 – TMZ
Hints of Prince’s Failing Health – NY Times
The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans – Atlantic
Why the S.E.C. Didn’t Hit Goldman Sachs Harder – The New Yorker
The Post-Crisis Economy’s Long Debt Hangover – Project Syndicate
How Fiat Money Fuels Government Spending – Tenth Amendment Center
Merkel says criticism in Germany of ECB is not interference – Reuters
U.S. suicides have reached 30-year high, led by baby boomers – The Week
The chart that shows how close we are to a climate catastrophe – Quartz
It’s not over until the FBI clears Hillary Clinton – and it shouldn’t – Salon
Delegates face death threats from Trump supporters – Politico
Trump: Tubman on the $20 is ‘pure political correctness’ – CNN
Dishonoring General Jackson – Townhall

MARKETS/INVESTING
Stocks: 5 things to know before the open – CNN/Money
What you need to know about the slowdown in buybacks – CNBC
Chinese Stocks Have Biggest Weekly Drop Since January’s Rout – Bloomberg
Which one of these indicators for the stock market is lying? – MarketWatch
April Cheers Could Bring May Tears, Have a Look… – First Rebuttal
50% Returns Coming for Commodities and Emerging Markets? – Meb Faber
More Americans Say Real Estate Is Best Long-Term Investment – Gallup
Iron ore nears $US70 but analysts warn rally won’t last – ABC News
Gold dips as dollar strengthens versus yen – Reuters
Why is China buying all this silver? – Secular Investor

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
On the U.S. economy, is the glass half full, or half empty? – MarketWatch
Retailer Bankruptcies Are Hailing Down on the US Economy – Wolf Street
New Zealand Steps Up Scrutiny of RBNZ After Inflation Misses – Bloomberg
U.S. split deepens over Putin’s intentions in Syria civil war – Reuters
Brazilians Hate Politicians, but They Love This Anti-Corruption Judge – Vice News
Why the U.S. Doesn’t Want Britain to Secede from the EU – Bloomberg
Home Sales up in Signs of Strong Spring Selling Season – Reuters
Is there any ammo left for recession fighting? – Brookings
Easy Money Is Like Insulin – Bloomberg

 

Don’t Cross the Streams

Gold and silver traders are no doubt on the edge of their seats as economists shake their heads (that is, the small minority of them who have noticed) as precious metals appear to be staging an impressive breakout that has been a long time in coming.

It should be interesting to see where things go from here – it’s been a steady drumbeat of higher prices all year so far and the trends driving the recent move – loss of confidence in central banks and a weakening dollar – appear to be strengthening.

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Thursday Morning Links

MUST READS
Soros: China’s Debt-Fueled Growth Echoes U.S. in 2007-08 – Bloomberg
China’s ‘zombie’ steel mills fire up furnaces, worsen global glut – Reuters
Earth Flirts with a 1.5-Degree Celsius Global Warming Threshold – Scientific American
A Black Woman Born Into Slavery Replaces a White Slave Owner on $20 Note – Vice News
What Does It Mean for America to Put Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill? – The Atlantic
Ben Carson: Keep Jackson where he is, put Tubman on the $2 bill – CNN
The Professor Who Won’t Recommend a Pro-Gun Student – reason.com
Merriam-Webster adds “cisgender” and “genderqueer” to its dictionary – Vox
How to fix the Democrats’ broken presidential nominating process – The Week
The Primaries Aren’t Democratic? They’re Not Supposed to Be Democratic. – Slate
Trump campaign brings in lobbyists for key posts – Politico
What Is Sanders’s Endgame? – NY Times

MARKETS/INVESTING
World stocks gain along with oil – Reuters
Anger at 18,000 – Reformed Broker
Why stocks are back near record highs – MarketWatch
Japan, Not Germany, Leads World in Negative-Yield Bonds – Bloomberg
Investors Pulled $15B From Hedge Funds In 1Q, Most Since 2009 – Barron’s
Iran determined to regain oil market share, can handle low price: source – Reuters
Opinion: Stock investors can now ignore the oil market – MarketWatch
Silver hits 11-month high, gold rises more than 1 pct – Reuters
BNP Sees Risk of Central Bank `Overreach’ With $1,400 Gold – Bloomberg
Gold Price Set To Push Higher As Inflation Picks Up – RBC – GoldCore

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Who will pay for a $15 minimum wage? – Quartz
A big pension fund could soon cut benefits for retirees – Washington Post
We Can’t Save the Economy Unless We Fix Our Debt Addiction – counterpunch
The $2 Trillion Project to Get Saudi Arabia’s Economy Off Oil – Bloomberg
Brexit means blood, toil, sweat and tears – Telegraph
Obama Turns Hawk As He Intervenes In U.K. Brexit Battle – Newsweek
Home Sales up in Signs of Strong Spring Selling Season – NBC News
Here are the most toxic real estate markets in America – MarketWatch
Household debt and the transmission of monetary policy – voxeu
Is There Any Ammo Left for Recession Fighting? – Real Clear Markets

 

Unprecedented Unpopularity

After last night’s results from the New York primary, the fall contest to see who moves into the White House next January is all but certain to include candidates who aren’t very popular, at least according to this poll from the Wall Street Journal.

The good news here is that, for those who have already given up on the U.S. political process (see the Serenity Prayer), it should be quite entertaining to watch.

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