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Sorted Weekly Tweets

Busy week last week.  Here’s the economic and other news:




  • Bloomberg: Inflated Notions Patrick Chovanec questions whether Chinese economic statistics are correct. $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • China’s Political Stability Questioned, while Deposit Withdrawals Accelerate Deposits exit China’s banks; many worry $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Asia dominates new treasury purchases If you want to favor your exporters, you have to suck in the debts of the buyers Apr 22, 2012
  • China’s Achilles heel Very difficult to change the practice of having fewer children once it is entrenched $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Son is a good man, more worthy than Dad $$ RT @mprobertson: & the first wife had a son. extra extra, read all about it Apr 19, 2012
  • Chinese Move to Wealth Products May Undermine Bank Stability Disintermediation happening increasing shadow bank risk $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Chinese Officialdom Indulges in the Almost-Free Lunch A modest subsidy/perk looks big if the 1 looking in is poor $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • The Power Shift in China Shifts: 1.weak leaders < strong factions 2. government < interest groups 3. party < country $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • More Chinese get US green card They know where they’ve got it good, not in the Socialist worker’s paradise! $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • So many Chinese officials r arrested 4 embezzling funds through Macau that 2 scholars devoted a study to the subject $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • That’s Governor Zhou to you Check out chart of central bank balance sheet growth China leads $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • China widens the range 4 currency fluctuations. Is it really making x-rate more flexible? PBOC still targets x-rate $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Rotting From Within Investigates the massive corruption of the Chinese military; makes corruption in the US look small Apr 18, 2012
  • Bo Xilai’s first wife gets her revenge at last Some Chinese r very good @ maintaining a grudge 4a long time $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • China Doubling Yuan Band Signals Drive for Convertibility Importance overstated; will not have a big effect on x-rate Apr 18, 2012
  • China Adds Treasuries for Second Month on Reserve Growth Export earnings have 2b invested somewhere $$ is best of bad Apr 18, 2012
  • China New Yuan Loans Surge in March as Money Supply Quickens Sounds inflationary, if not 4 goods, then 4 assets $$ Apr 18, 2012




  • Peak oil goes mainstream (again) Oil & Gas will never run out, but the price to get them could get high $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Feeling peaky “But there is a simpler explanation: that supply is inadequate to keep up with rising demand.” $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Could US natural gas run out of storage capacity? Yes, it could, and we could see the price of spot gas go 2 zero $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Delta’s Oil Refinery Plan Flies Against Economic Sense It rarely makes sense to be vertically integrated. $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Obama’s oil market plan more politics than substance Crude oil market is so big; would be difficult 2 game secretly Apr 18, 2012




  • Odds of bankruptcy Short table of bankruptcy odds: European banks = E-Zone Fringe > US Banks > Other nations $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • The bank-sovereign linkage in the Eurozone Not 2 surprising; governments & banks comprise most systemic risk $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Spain’s loan delinquencies accelerate Really ugly graph: The Spain issue is not dead $$ #ezonedead Apr 22, 2012
  • Paulson Said to Short Europe Bonds Amid Spain Concern This one isn’t as easy as shorting subprime. Be careful $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Modell Deutschland über alles Suggests EZone imitate German labor rules, but not austerity $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • French Campaign Enters Final Week With Hollande Extending Lead & widening recently; could make Ezone matters messy $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Downgrades Loom 4 Banks Moody’s Weighing Ratings Cuts to 114 Institutions in 16 European Countries $$ #lookoutbelow Apr 18, 2012
  • Spanish Minister Asks ECB to Buy Bonds as Crisis Deepens Things r calmer now but this is the path of least resistance Apr 18, 2012
  • Spain’s Surging Bad Loans Cast New Doubts on Bank Cleanup NPLs /totallending jumped to 8.16% in February, <1% in 2007 Apr 18, 2012
  • Weidmann says not ECB job to tackle Spain’s problems Famous last words $$ ECB only entity w/flexbility 2act fast Apr 18, 2012
  • Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Says Spain Is Worse Off Than It Was Before The LTRO It’s a solvency, not a liquidity problem Apr 18, 2012
  • GEORGE SOROS: The Euro Crisis Just Entered A ‘Less Volatile But More Lethal Phase’ LTRO papers overinsolvency probs Apr 18, 2012


Rest of the World


  • Argentina’s shadow FX rate shows total loss of confidence Dishonesty in one area makes others distrust u elsewhere $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Cristina: she is not alone Many nations engage in expropriation from foreigners. $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Pakistan And India To Go To War Over Water? Whiskey’s for drinking, water’s for fighting over — Mark Twain $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Unlikely but never say never RT @SCMITHA: @AlephBlog Sir No chance of war bet India & Pakistan both Nuclear Army Chief Kayani wants peace Apr 18, 2012
  • Mexico Manifesting its Own Destiny “Mexico has clearly stood out to me for its relative and absolute strength.” $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Japan’s Teachers Fund to Start Investing in REITs, Hedge Funds Trend following; late to the alternative assets party Apr 18, 2012

US Tax Policy & Pensions


  • Congress Eyes 401(k)s Again Interesting article on some possible/unlikely proposals to change 401(k)s $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • How to Pay No Taxes: 10 Strategies Used by the Rich The main problem is defining income, not tax rates on the rich $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Occupy defined-benefit pension funds! Employees would be better off with DB plans, even if had to fund them themselves Apr 22, 2012
  • New Suits Over Do-It-Yourself IRAs They aim for the wrong target; the custodian is only a conduit, not a referee $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • As population ages, institutions reduce equity holdings A first: US pensions have allocated more to bonds than equities Apr 18, 2012




  • The New York Times Company in 2015 An optimistic view of $NYT three years from now. I will not buy it. $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus Y California is in deep trouble & will shrink as better places r found $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Contra: Climate Change Has Nothing to Do With Al Gore Misinterprets Lk 16:2, & I am to believe he is a Christian? $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • The Celestial Event That Sparked a Revolution Fascinating tale on the transit of Venus across the Sun $$ #June6th Apr 22, 2012
  • The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage For a man & woman 2 live together long run requires decisive commitment $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Amazon’s knock-off problem (35 Shades of Grey, anyone?) Fascinating that some r knocking off books & selling on $AMZN Apr 18, 2012
  • Median age for first marriage spikes to record, holding back family formation Long-run effect on society won’t b good Apr 18, 2012
  • To Pay Off Loans, Grads Put Off Marriage, Children Far better to skip college than put off marrying & children $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • The 101 Finance People You Have To Follow On Twitter: A good list, but where’s @moorehn, @interfluidity, @edwardnh $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Dark Meat Getting a Leg Up on Boring Boneless Breast “Every single day we have shortage of dark meat.” Who knew? $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • ‘Pink Slime’ Furor Means Disaster for U.S. Meat Innovator The other side of the story; fighting bacteria in beef $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • RAIL TRAFFIC CONTINUES TO SOFTEN Economy slowing; just another straw blowing in the wind. $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Freeport Deal Talk Intensifies on Cheap Copper Would be a big deal & difficult to pull off; Interesting idea tho $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Taxes are filed and now I have some time to tweet, making up for lost time… Apr 18, 2012
  • @danprimack Private Investment Limited Partnership. Features: asset & profit-based fees. Limited liquidity & information. Aims high gets low Apr 17, 2012 (DM: defining “hedge fund” in 140 chars)


Economics & Finance Theory


  • Is modern portfolio theory bunk? Low volatility anomaly says bunk; if you didn’t know MPT was bogus alre ady-> #hopeless Apr 22, 2012
  • U.S. money supply growth offers bullish signal It is bullish in nominal terms for risk assets; not bullish for the rest Apr 22, 2012
  • Slump Taught Profligate Americans Value of Saving Having slack assets & not being in debt is a virtue not a vice $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • The Great Depression as a Credit Boom Gone Wrong Until the great depression is viewed as the bust after a credit boom + Apr 22, 2012
  • …we won’t get policy right. The credit cycle is real, & the Fed ignores it, providing liquidity as if it were not a structural problem. $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • El-Erian Breaches The Final Frontier: What Happens If Central Banks Fail? Goal: print enough credit until promises -> 0 Apr 18, 2012
  • Deflation Does Not Lead to a Depression, suggests Research Separate probs; falling inflation vs systemic impaired debts Apr 18, 2012
  • Depression is a choice Every creditor wants 2b paid off @ par; many debtors would like compromise, enabling econ growth Apr 18, 2012
  • Difficulties in forecasting the impact of shadow inventory on the housing market Mtge > value makes sales slow, $$ low Apr 18, 2012


Financial Markets


  • Are fixed income ETFs the new “securitization” product? Shows the many ways that sponsors make $$ off of ETFs Apr 22, 2012
  • Time for the SEC to institute new disclosure rules on CEO leverage Insider CEO deals r material & should be revealed $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • Fear Barometer Bubbling Puts getting more expensive relative to calls on the S&P Apr 22, 2012
  • Is This the Book that Inspired Jamie Dimon’s Warnings About Regulation? Regs make banks behave alike ->systemic risk $$ Apr 22, 2012
  • @historysquared One question I always ask is how mgmt/directors treat outside passive minority shareholders. Do we ride the back of bus? $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • @historysquared Yeh, don’t let management control audit, nominating, or compensation committees. Split Chairman & CEO, etc., etc., etc… $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Regulators should encourage more diversity in the financial system Consistent regs create less diversity forces conform Apr 18, 2012
  • In New Funds, Old Flaws Some have high fees, longer-term tracking error, hidden counterparty risk, enable stupidity Apr 18, 2012
  • Why Investors Should Pay Attention to the JOBS Act of 2012 Here’s what Hunter thinks are the positives of the JOBS Act Apr 18, 2012
  • Fannie Mae Fix Said to Retain Some US Mortgage Role Crazy people @ UST. 2much debt on housing in general->instability Apr 18, 2012
  • Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Label More Junior Liens as Bad Assets Wow, this took a long time to finally happen $$ #reality Apr 18, 2012
  • Structured-Note Fees (etc) IBs must disclose likely value of securities, fees incurred in creation of the notes $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Citadel, Millennium Above $115 Billion With Rule Change Many hedge funds have borrowed lots; now we know how much $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Year’s first outflows from HY bond funds May eventually lead to $$ weakness Apr 18, 2012
  • Green Light for Hedge-Fund Ads Means Caution on Main Street Most people will not fare well w/complex investments $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Doing the Right Thing: Upside? Zero. Downside? Financial Ruin… We aren’t paid 2b sheriffs a la: $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Do Jubilee shares make any sense? I don’t think so. Unnecessary complexity; increased illiquidity; would not work $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • 12 Intriguing Insights on Mutual Funds Interesting mutual fund trivia from Morningstar $$ Apr 18, 2012
  • Interesting post. But a successful spec on 1 risk can morph into credit risk post-crisis. … Apr 17, 2012
  • Falcone looks like a one-trick pony who made one lucky bet and won. Now he loses regularly. Apr 16, 2012


Asset Allocation, Banks, Bonds, Fed Policy, Macroeconomics, Pensions, Personal Finance, Portfolio Management, public policy, Real Estate and Mortgages, Speculation, Stocks, Structured Products and Derivatives, Tweets | RSS 2.0 |

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David Merkel is an investment professional, and like every investment professional, he makes mistakes. David encourages you to do your own independent "due diligence" on any idea that he talks about, because he could be wrong. Nothing written here, at RealMoney, Wall Street All-Stars, or anywhere else David may write is an invitation to buy or sell any particular security; at most, David is handing out educated guesses as to what the markets may do. David is fond of saying, "The markets always find a new way to make a fool out of you," and so he encourages caution in investing. Risk control wins the game in the long run, not bold moves. Even the best strategies of the past fail, sometimes spectacularly, when you least expect it. David is not immune to that, so please understand that any past success of his will be probably be followed by failures.

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