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Are You Smarter than a 7th-Grader?

Next Thursday’s “Top Ten Only” debate amongst GOP presidential candidates is likely to draw the biggest audience ever for a gathering of White House hopefuls this early in the election cycle and the nation has none other than real estate mogul/reality show star/promoter extraordinaire Donald Trump to thank for that.

From the Drew Sheneman archive at the New Jersey Star Ledger.

The Yellen Term at 18 Months

The body-less images at about the 30-second mark notwithstanding, this is a pretty good recap from the folks at Marketwatch of how the current and former Federal Reserve Chairs have fared during their first year-and-a-half on the job.

Interestingly, there’s the potential for the Presidential election cycle, Fed chairman cycle, and financial crisis cycle to line up again at the eight year mark. Recall that Bernanke was appointed in 2006 and had smooth sailing for a while, then the election cycled heated up in 2007, and then the wheels fell off of nearly everything in 2008.

Interregnums are particularly good times for financial crises…

Jon Stewart and Donald Trump

In his last two months as host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has found comedy gold in real estate mogul Donald Trump’s bid for the White House next year.

The clip above is from last Monday, as the crew came back from a two-week break, during which they must have been chomping at the bit, watching the mainstream political news coverage and becoming increasingly anxious about getting new material on the air.

Fun stuff, that is, for everyone except Trump’s campaign staff and The Donald himself.

In the spirit of Mark Twain’s “history doesn’t repeat, it rhymes”, here’s Nobel laureate and bubble spotter extraordinaire Robert Shiller talking about the latest asset bubble(s):

On when the Fed should start raising interest rates:

If I was asked to testify before them I might reconsider, but there is a tendency for central banks to ignore speculative bubbles until it’s too late. It may already be too late. Stock markets are quite high and prices in the real estate market are getting high.

And, on the economy, Shiller speaks the unspeakable:

A lot of people feel, down deep, “I know we’re not getting out of this”.

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