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One of the oddities of floating exchange rates is that they cause people to view the world in terms of their own national currency. For Americans that means looking out through a window that is distorted by the dollar’s recent surge. A C$100-a-night Vancouver BC hotel room, for instance, cost about US$100 in 2013 and […]


As the federal government gradually assimilates the rest of the country, a few states have begun to fight back. From the Kansas City Star: No state-run health insurance exchanges in Missouri or Kansas Missouri will be unable to implement a key provision of federal health care law, Gov.Jay Nixon announced Thursday. Meantime, Kansas Gov. Sam […]


The Eurozone meltdown has sent capital pouring into (temporarily) safe haven currencies like the US dollar, which rose by nearly 12% between October 2011 and August 2012. This sounds like a good thing for the US but it’s not, because US multinationals lose big when the dollar pops. Assume, for example, that you’re making computers […]


Is This It? Or Can They Fool Us Again?

by John Rubino on August 9, 2011 · 48 comments

A stressful weekend for the world’s bankers and politicians, followed by a sleepless Monday, and all with a single question rattling around in their heads: How can we fool them again? For decades now the financial/public sector complex has been able to clean up its recurring messes — from Long Term Capital Management to the […]


Housing’s Next Leg Down And QE3

by John Rubino on July 26, 2011 · 23 comments

That US home prices are once again trending down is no secret. But just how bad things are likely to get is not yet well understood. Consider this from the Atlantic’s Daniel Indiviglio: Chart of the Day: The Housing Market Is Worse Than You Think Has the state of the housing market gotten better or […]


More Bad Ideas and Broken Promises

by John Rubino on June 2, 2011 · 15 comments

While we’re on the subject, consider the fact that pension funds are once again loading up on “alternative investments”, this time in the form of hedge funds: Pensions Leap Back to Hedge Funds Public pension plans are lifting hedge-fund investment, seeking to boost long-term returns despite losses suffered in some funds in the financial crisis. […]


Junk Bond ETFs: Another Big Short

by John Rubino on August 22, 2010 · 20 comments

Sometimes the market makes it too easy. Check this out: Desire for income drives high-yield bond ETFs’ popularity BOSTON (MarketWatch) — Investors fed up with U.S. stocks’ negative returns over the past decade and paltry rates in today’s fixed-income markets are piling into exchange-traded funds that invest in high-yield corporate bonds. “Where else can you […]


The Low-Interest-Rate Trap

by John Rubino on August 15, 2010 · 16 comments

Pretend for a second that you recently retired with a decent amount of money in the bank, and all you have to do is generate a paltry 5% to live in comfort for the rest of your days. But lately that’s been easier said than done. Your money market fund yields less than 1%. Your […]


Euro Crisis, Part II

by John Rubino on August 12, 2010 · 17 comments

Remember the euro-zone crisis? Front page news for weeks, and then…nothing. Could they have found the secret formula for eliminating an overwhelming debt load without hyperinflation or depression? Nah. They were just taking a break, and now they’re back. Greece’s economy is contracting and Spain’s regional governments are being shut out of the debt markets. […]


A Sign of Things to Come?

by John Rubino on August 11, 2010 · 11 comments

This isn’t how it normally goes. For the past couple of decades — that is, during the parabolic phase of the global credit bubble — the financial markets have responded to US Fed announcements of easier money like kids whose daddy has promised them a trip to Disneyland. The euphoria doesn’t always last, but the […]


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