The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 10

Bloomberg editor-at-large and TV host Trish Regan shares some insight on what’s roiling the stock market these days in this commentary at USA Today that is full of contradiction that quickly becomes apparent in the first two paragraphs which, by themselves, may be enough to send investors scurrying back up to their hotel room to sell some tech stocks.

Use of the term “virtual” was prompted by the recent Facebook acquisition of Oculus, the virtual reality headset maker, however, it was probably ill-advised to combine virtual with insanity when referring to bubbly tech stocks.

The recent sell-off in names such as Amazon, Facebook and Netflix is spurring many to wonder whether investors are waking up to the virtual insanity that’s gripping the technology space.

It’s still too early to tell how this plays out; however, there are signs that suggest investors should proceed with caution.

Take the new term to describe a hot new tech company. Forget start-up or pre-revenue. Instead, try this: pre-product. It carries more cachet.

With U.S. markets opening just a short time ago, stocks are shrugging off their recent difficulties and the latest developments in Ukraine, but that may not last.

If it doesn’t and this becomes a much more serious decline for share prices, at least we’ll have those wonderful images of people wearing Oculus headsets.

It’s just too bad that we couldn’t get anyone wearing a virtual reality headset to ring the opening bell on some stock exchange – that would have been priceless.

Ukraine Crisis Escalates

This item at the new and improved Vox website depicts the situation in Ukraine where protests and the takeover of government buildings in the country’s eastern region have reignited the crisis that began over the winter and has been on simmer so far in the spring.

As noted in the report, this is how things started in Crimea before that region was annexed by Russia, so, in the words of Jesse Pinkman and Walter Williams, “There’s that.”

Here’s the latest via CNN:


I wouldn’t mess with that guy in the white ski mask.

Tuesday Morning Links

MUST READS
Ukraine tensions mount – Reuters
Ukraine Moves to Keep Control in East – WSJ
Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine just got more likely – Vox
Ukraine Crisis Exposes Gaps Between Berlin and NATO – Spiegel
U.S. warns China over currency depreciation – Reuters
Financial typhoon warning for Hong Kong – Telegraph
1215095 – The Flash Boys Mystery Solved – Themis Trading
HFT and the Shrinking Trust Horizon – Dollar Collapse
Thomas Piketty Is A Darwinian Shill – Forbes
Welcome to Terminus – The Burning Platform
Gravity Hits Highflying Tech Stocks – NY Times
Gravity – E-piphany

To find out what Tim thinks of today’s news, subscribe to Iacono Research

MARKETS/INVESTING
Global tech-driven market sell-off persists – AP
Another down day looks likely for stocks – CNN/Money
Oil futures gain as Ukraine tensions rise – MarketWatch
Down 300 in 3 days: Here’s what’s killing the Dow – USA Today
Housing pain could halt stocks’ gain – MarketWatch
Wall St. peddles whopping 16 IPOs this week. Are you buying? – USA Today
Treasuries Snap Three-Day Gain Before $64B of Debt Sales – Bloomberg
Gold gains as dollar, shares drop, Ukraine tensions rise – Reuters
Gold manipulation – ex US Treasury top gun tells us how and why – Mineweb
Hedge Funds Get Gold Timing Wrong on Rebound – Bloomberg
Chinese Gold Demand 559 MT YTD, Up 16 % – In Gold We Trust
March gold imports jump to 10-month high in India – Mineweb

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Women Have Recovered Jobs Lost in Recession, Men Haven’t – WSJ
The safety net catches the middle class more than the poor – NY Times
Obamacare Increased Voluntary Part-Time Employment, Involuntary Is Down – CEPR
Greek labour costs now half eurozone average – Enet English
Jobs Rich Irish Mystery Confounds Shrinking Economy – Bloomberg
There Won’t Be Any Sort of ‘Hard Landing’ In China – RCM
UK manufacturing sees strong growth – BBC
A sudden conversion of property bubble doubts – Debt Watch
Draghi’s $1.4 Trillion Question Lingers as ECB Mulls QE – Bloomberg
Who’s to Blame for the Power Shift at the Fed? – Fiscal Times
The foxy Fed – Noahpinion

 

Saturday Night Live Skewers GM’s Barra

I didn’t see any of GM CEO Mary T. Barra’s testimony last week when she appeared before Congress to answer questions about the carmaker’s faulty ignition switches in Chevies that have led to at least 13 deaths and dozens of accidents, but, based on this take from the crew at Saturday Night Live, it must have been pretty bad to warrant this kind of treatment.

Having spent a couple decades as an engineer prior to turning my attention to financial markets and having become familiar with such things as trouble reports, engineering change orders, and retrofits, I can’t imagine a situation where any engineer would knowingly cover up something that has the potential to kill somebody (or already has).

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