On the subject of “reliable” financial information

I was cuisin’ the Internet this morning, and reflected that while I can find opinions supporting my negative prognostications regarding the stock market, I can also find articles supporting a “bullish” outlook despite the problems with Greece, the Fed, Puerto Rico, the Euro. I also took a look at the political domain, and found positions both supporting and denigrating Mr. Trump.

The “Trump” situation is perhaps a clearer domain upon which to focus. There are obvious power plays being conducted both on and against his behalf. And it occurred to me, perhaps the same could be said for reporting on International markets. In both domains people have a lot to gain from power and financial perspectives.

If I look at National Review, I can pretty well guess that the reports are going to be negative about “the Donald” because NR’s management is in the tank for the old-guard GOP. If I look at Breitbart, I can pretty well anticipate some positive puff-pieces on Mr. Trump ’cause management falls in the Tea Party orbit.

But if you’re looking for financial advice, can you truly anticipate which bias is being reported? With all the back-room deals going on, the vision is murky at best, and the air is redolent with the odor of hidden secrets that only the rich and powerful share with each other.

Economic “Black Swan”?

US Economy “Black Swan”?
I wonder what would happen if an earthquake equivalent to the New Madrid earthquakes (1811 – 1812) were to happen today. Impact to commerce in Middle and East Coast America could be severe.

From Wikipedia: “There are estimates that the earthquakes were felt strongly over roughly 130,000 square kilometers (50,000 sq mi), and moderately across nearly 3 million square kilometers (1 million square miles). The 1906 San Francisco earthquake, by comparison, was felt moderately over roughly 16,000 km2 (6,200 sq mi).”

link to article CLICK HERE

Oklahoma Earthquake frequency

Ruh-roh… more Global Warming (not)

Chilean growers exported about 282 million boxes of fruit last year, and experts believe that exports will fall short of that by about 50 million boxes for this year. However, when production increases are taken into account, the total frost damage to fruit production could be closer to 60 million or 65 million boxes.

The wine industry was hit hard by the frost as well.

Estimates put the total damage to Chilean crops at $1 billion. Reuters reports that between 35 percent and 61 percent of stone fruit crops were damaged, 57 percent of almonds, 48 percent of kiwis and 20 percent of grapes. The U.S. imports about 42 percent of the country’s grapes.

“These frosts are the worst that agriculture has faced in 84 years, impacting the area from Coquimbo to Bio Bio,” the National Agricultural Society said.

 

We have met the enemy… and he is us

Remember the Pogo cartoon?

Well, according to the NY Times, most Americans are accumulating debt faster than they are accumulating savings for retirement. Remind you of anything in the news recently…. say, the National Debt?

Most Americans accumulating debt faster than they’re saving for retirement

By , Published: October 23

A majority of Americans with 401(k)-type savings accounts are accumulating debt faster than they are setting aside money for retirement, further undermining the nation’s troubled system for old-age saving, a new report has found.

Three in five workers with defined contribution accounts are “debt savers,” according to the report released Thursday, meaning their increasing mortgages, credit card balances and installment loans are outpacing the amount of money they are able to save for retirement.

For more of the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/many-americans-accumulating-debt-faster-than-theyre-saving-for-retirement/2013/10/23/b7a9c85e-3b3e-11e3-b6a9-da62c264f40e_print.html

Perhaps this won’t happen; maybe we’ll bump into the Zombie Apocalypse first

An apocalyptic view of our future:

 

The forecast shortage of doctors has become a real problem. It started in 2014 when the ACA cut $716 billion from Medicare to accommodate 30 million newly ‘insured’ people through an expansion of Medicaid. More important, the predicted shortage of 42,000 primary-care physicians and that of specialists (such as heart surgeons) was vastly underestimated. It didn’t take into account the ACA’s effect on doctors retiring early, refusing new patients or going into concierge medicine. These estimates also ignored the millions of immigrants who would be seeking a physician after having been granted legal status.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303448104579149642030106938