FIRE Economy | timiacono.com - Part 4

Interregnum Cometh

Mark Hulbert over at Marketwatch correctly points out that heightened uncertainty associated with quadrennial presidential elections isn’t a real good thing for equity markets as equity markets famously hate uncertainty in any form.

The elections of 2000 and 2008 weren’t particularly good for stocks, though it took some time for the turn-of-the-century market rout to fully develop. The more interesting example of the deleterious effect of interregnums is that of 1932, that is, when FDR took over after Hoover and, between the election results and the new administration taking charge, the financial world almost came to an end.

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FinTech

CBS makes you sit through two commercials, but the prospect of Big Banks being the next sector to be overtaken by technology advances in the U.S. is worth the wait…

It couldn’t happen to a nicer sector…

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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They probably got at a little chuckle in the Russia Today newsroom when preparing this piece about how officials at UC Davis (one of the most liberal institutions of higher learning in the land) spent upwards of $175,000 to lessen the internet presence of their infamous “pepper spray” incident that resulted from the Occupy UC Davis demonstration in 2011.

I imagine they already have special instructions in place about the possible use of pepper spray here in 2016 now that the University of California Student Association and some lawmakers are calling for the resignation or firing of UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi who, as of this morning, has rebuffed their demands.

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A Brief History of Credit Cards

From And/Orange comes this history of the credit card in the U.S. that goes a long way in explaining how our credit-enabled economy has evolved and what its future might hold now that we (collectively and in credit card terms) have maxed everything out.

Don’t know about you, but with the end of the Costco/Amex relationship, we’ve gotten lots and lots of credit card offers recently, with almost all of them offering generous introductory benefits that have added up to a startling amount of money.

We’ve taken advantage of nearly all of them, then stopped using the new card, but new offers keep coming in as we await the new Costco Visa card which is supposed to be quite generous in rewards (e.g., an impressive 4% back on gas purchases).

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