Financial Bubbles | timiacono.com

Cramer Says “Sell” (No, Not Really)

Haven’t watched or heard CNBC’s Jim Cramer in some time, but, just the first few seconds of this clip from yesterday, after what can only be described as a monster rally sandwiched between two monster sell offs (the latter coming today, apparently) just seems so dated.

What does he have to say? CNCB puts it thusly:

Mad Money host Jim Cramer preps investors for the next blitz down.

I could only take it for about two minutes – he seemed pretty sincere.

For those looking for something more highbrow, see The Bear Case for Stocks at Barron’s

Error! Error! Error!

My apologies in advance if this takes too long to load or is overly annoying (if so for the latter, just check back on Friday morning and the next links post will displace this post from the top spot), but I felt compelled to share the animated .gif that Bloomberg is using to alert readers that it can’t find the requested file during what can only be described as an “exciting” (if ultimately unsuccessful, so far) makeover of its website.

Money managers trailing U.S. index fund returns by double digits over the last few years no doubt share some of the sentiments expressed by the gentleman above when looking at their Bloomberg terminal … and that’s what kind of makes the graphic fun.

“I Don’t See a Downside”

We filled up the tank the other day and were again amazed at the numbers we saw while doing so. Consumer confidence in the U.S. is skyrocketing as we ‘Mericans are getting a nice little bonus every time we gas up the family car and, for those of modest means, saving $20 at the gas station can be a pretty big deal.

But there’s a downside…

As noted above, oil exporting countries around the world (most of whom we ‘Mericans dislike) are feeling a good deal of pain and that pain is likely to persist for some time.

But, what is not stated in the video is that there will be pain here in the U.S. too as the shale oil industry slowly comes to grips with the idea that $50 oil might not be so transitory. As noted in this report at The Atlantic, shale oil has been responsible for a good deal of the jobs growth in recent years and there are already reports of layoffs by shale oil producers, a trend that is likely to accelerate as long as oil prices are low.

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Can You Spot the Trend?

From The Increasingly Unequal States of America(.pdf) at the Economic Policy Institute (via this item at The Nation) comes the graphic below that helps explain why so many Americans feel so strongly that the economic recovery hasn’t yet reached them, despite news that U.S. job creation in 2014 reached a 15-year high and that the unemployment rate has tumbled.

The report notes this is “not just a story of those in the financial sector in the greater New York City metropolitan area reaping outsized rewards from speculation in financial markets”. These are broad-based trends that have occurred nationwide since the 1970s following many decades when, for example, there “was a cultural and political environment in which it was unthinkable for executives to receive outsized bonuses while laying off workers”.

That’s progress, I suppose.

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