The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 30

Wednesday Morning Links

MUST READS
Oil falls below $56 in biggest drop since 2008 – Reuters
Why oil prices won’t be bouncing back any time soon – FP
2015 oil prices: US to emerge as dominant player – Business Day
Fed Committee Overruled Carmen Segarra’s Finding on Goldman – ProPublica
Lagarde: Anemic growth warrants easy monetary policy – Reuters
Greenspan: We’re not doing that well – Bloomberg
Japan is Writing History as a Prime Boom/Bust Case – GoldSilverWorlds
FBI Busted Falsely Blaming North Korea for Sony Hack – Washington’s Blog
Pope Francis Has Declared War on Climate Deniers – New Republic
‘No resolve’ after talks between NYPD unions and de Blasio – Guardian
Here’s what people did before they could Google things – Quartz
Banned! 8 things you won’t find in China – CNN/Money

MARKETS/INVESTING
China leads stocks higher as curtain falls on 2014 – AP
Seeking to Ride on China’s Stock Market Highs – NY Times
Shanghai tops world’s major stock markets in 2014 – MarketWatch
Jeremy Siegel: Dow 20,000 Not a ‘Slam Dunk’ for Next Year – MoneyNews
Oil-Bust Contagion Hits Hedge Funds, Supplier Layoffs Begin – Wolf Street
Treasuries Extend 2014 Gain as Oil Drops Before Economic Reports – Bloomberg
Gold down on higher shares, poised to end 2014 flat near $1,200/oz – Reuters
Billionaire Doubles Stake in Gold After Release of Controversial Video – NewsMax
Data Proves Overwhelming Demand For Silver Eagles… Not JP Morgan – SRSrocco Report
Chinese Consumers Take Advantage Of November’s Low Gold Prices As Imports Rise – Kitco

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Keynesians and the Volcker Disinflation – Krugman, NY Times
Americans Gain Confidence as Labor Market Makes Headway – Businessweek
Venezuelan 1,000% Inflation Seen by BofA Without Weaker Bolivar – Bloomberg
China factory activity contracts in December as slowdown deepens – Reuters
China watchers see soft landing for economy in 2015 – MarketWatch
Praet Warning of Oil Effects Signals Higher Chance of ECB QE – Bloomberg
Millions of homeowners could refinance and save big – CNN/Money
Shiller Sees Little Bubble in SF Housing Market – ValueWalk
Should I Buy a House in 2015? – of two minds
Fed Survey Sheds Light on Hedge-Fund Activity – WSJ

 

One-Third Supports Two-Thirds

From this item at My Budget 360 comes the graphic below depicting the lopsided nature of the U.S. workforce where private sector workers are far outnumbered by those who either don’t work at all or who work for the government, directly or indirectly.

Of course, to say that all those above the black line are supported by all those below the black line isn’t quite accurate. Many Americans who are not in the labor force support themselves and/or only get government benefits that they’ve already paid into (e.g., social security and Medicare), though they’re typically getting out much more than they put in.

Regardless of how the graphic is characterized, a system such as this looks quite unsustainable over the long-run … but let’s not worry about that right now.

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Tuesday Morning Links

MUST READS
Oil hits five-and-a-half-year low – Reuters
Rig count falls as seasonal slowdown meets lower crude prices – fuelfix
Oilsands camp provider cuts third of staff in Canada due to slowdown – FP
China, Russia launch financial tools in local currencies – RT News
There Is A Run On US Dollars In Russia – Sprout Money
Japan’s stock market peaked 25 years ago today – CNN/Money
Central Bankers At Work: Money Dies In Japan – Alhambra Partners
Cops Who Turned Their Backs Are the Most Threatening Protesters Of All – Vice News
Obama’s golf game in Hawaii bumps Army couple from wedding spot on 16th hole – AP
Here Are 10 Outrageous ‘Zero Tolerance’ Follies of 2014 – reason.com
A Libertarian Millennial’s Response to Paul Krugman – Libertennial
Are some diets “mass murder”? – thebmj

MARKETS/INVESTING
Global markets lower as Greek polls raise caution – AP
U.S. Bond Sentiment Is Worst Since Disastrous ’09 – Bloomberg
The market calm before a potential third-phase bull blowout – MarketWatch
Energy Bargain Hunters Plow Record Amounts Into ETFs – Bloomberg
The Line Between Rational Speculation and Market Collapse – Hussman Funds
Treasury Yields Fall Amid Haven Demand as Oil Tumbles – Bloomberg
Gold climbs as year-end jitters knock stocks, dollar – Reuters
Gold the second-best performing currency in 2014 after the dollar – Arabian Money
2014 In Review: How Could Gold Bugs Have Been So Wrong? – Dollar Collapse
Federal Reserve Bank New York Lost 47t Of Gold In November – BullionStar

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Five Reasons for Slow Growth – Project Syndicate
Recession Hurt Black College Grads More Than Their Peers – Atlantic
Everything We Don’t Know About Minimum-Wage Hikes – Bloomberg
How are Venezuelans coping with tumbling oil prices? – BBC
Welcome to the era of Chinese outsourcing – Bloomberg
Greece warned that political chaos may hurt credit rating – AP
Will the Real Angela Merkel Please Stand Up? – Bloomberg
Inflated Home Prices Strangle US Housing Market – Wolf Street
Don’t Buy a Home as an Investment – WSJ
Housing Market’s Foundations Crack – WSJ

 

John Oliver on New Years Eve

HBO’s John Oliver explains how New Years Eve is like the death of a pet – you know it’s going to happen, but you’re never really prepared for how truly awful it is.

He suggests the best way to get out of celebrating the occasion with friends is to tell them you’re doing a “cleanse” (the discussion will usually stop right there).

© 2010-2011 The Mess That Greenspan Made