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The Periphery is Failing

The next big economic dislocation might be only weeks away
Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 4:04 PM

For years we've preached the From the Outside In principle of markets: When trouble starts, it nearly always does so out in the weaker periphery before creeping towards the core.

We saw this in the run-up to the housing bubble collapse, as sub-prime mortgages gave way before prime loans, and in Europe, as smaller economies like Greece, Ireland, and Cyprus have fallen first and hardest (so far).  We see this today in accelerating food stamp use among poorer U.S. households.  In each case, the weaker economic parties give way first before being followed, over time, by the stronger ones.

Using this framework, we can often get several weeks to several months of advance notice before trouble erupts in the next ring closer to the center.

Which makes today notable, as we're receiving a number of new warning signs.  The periphery is giving way. » Read more

Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 7/10 - IMF Cuts Growth Forecast For World Economies, Canadians Struggle With Saving

Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 10:21 AM
  • Illinois lawmakers seek more information in hunt for fix to $97 billion pension crisis
  • IMF cuts growth forecast for U.S., world economies
  • Nurses' strike hits Portugal hospitals
  • Seniors find it harder to get home-delivered meals (Florida)
  • Chicago gun violence: 74 people shot, 12 killed over July 4 weekend
  • Job cuts: Mining companies to trim operations by 3,500 (Ghana)
  • Financial Crisis Just a Symptom of Detroit’s Woes
  • Furloughs Have Begun for Nearly 50,000 Full-Time Guardsmen Nationwide, Including Guam
  • Mining services industry forced to adapt to end of coal boom in Queensland's Bowen Basin
  • USDA: One In Six Americans Use Food Stamps
  • Puerto Rico sees surge in homeless population
  • Tuition at 14 Pennsylvania universities to rise 3 percent
  • Eurozone jobless rate worse than OECD average
  • Canadians struggle with retirement saving
  • Italy's rating lowered one notch to BBB: S&P
  • Gold borrowing cost hits post-Lehman high
  • Study: State's pension debt spiked since February (California)
Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 6/12 - CO Food Stamp Use Doubles, Mini Flash Crashes Strike Again

Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 7:46 AM
  • California tops list of states with water infrastructure needs
  • Pennsylvania struggles to chip away at bridge problem
  • Sacramento County sheriff warns of big patrol cuts at budget hearing
  • States look to tax hybrids to recoup road funding
  • May Gold Sales Fall At Perth, U.S. Mint
  • Food Stamp Use Doubles In Colorado
  • Retirement savings: Why $1M may not be enough
  • Dramatic honeybee shortage threatens Calif. almond crop, nation's food supply
  • Mini flash crashes strike again
  • Cost of insuring emerging market debt soars on fears Fed will taper
Blog

Marking the 4-Year Reflationary Rally: How Much Better Off Are We Really?

Growing amounts of data show a failure to thrive
Monday, May 6, 2013, 11:31 AM

The U.S. stock market rally has recently passed its fourth anniversary after the terrifying lows of March 9, 2009.

During that time, massive and unconventional reflationary policy from the Federal Reserve has managed to lift the S&P 500 by nearly 70%. But perhaps even more improbably, it has finally (?) built a floor under U.S. residential real estate prices. » Read more

Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 4/17 - Cyprus Braces For Russian Exodus, Half NYC Workforce On Food Stamps

Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 2:37 PM
  • Ohio’s $500 Billion Oil Dream Fades as Drillers Misjudge: Energy
  • Cyprus braces for Russian cash exodus
  • Italy May Cut $6.6 Billion in Defense Spending This Year
  • Detroit's encroaching blight as seen through Google and Bing maps
  • Smithsonian to close galleries due to budget cuts
  • Three-fold increase in demand for Gold: Jewellers
  • Bailouts push German debt to new record
  • Italy's temporary layoff scheme runs out of cash, sparks protests
  • Almost half of NYC workforce on food stamps
  • Let them eat vegetables: Egypt's wheat farmers hit hard by diesel price hikes
  • South Korea Proposes $15.3 Billion Stimulus Budget
  • EU warns of budget constraints as Cyprus seeks more aid
Blog

The Structural Endgame of the Fiscal Cliff

It's not just a temporary political event
Wednesday, December 26, 2012, 2:51 PM

To understand this endgame, we need to start with the financial and political basics of wealth and power in the U.S.

1.  Wealth and thus political power are highly concentrated.  The dynamics of rising wealth disparity and the increasing concentration of wealth are debatable; the disparity is not.  Roughly 70% of all financial wealth is held by the top 5%; within this top layer of ownership, the top ½ of 1% hold an outsized share. » Read more