• Frequent Flicks

    The Friday File: 8% of American who were recently surveyed considered “binge-watching” to consist of watching two straight episodes of a show. 27% thought three back-to-back episodes qualified as binge-watching, and 22% thought four episodes is what is needed. 13% thought it was five episodes, 5% … [Read More...]

  • Mortgage Money

    While interest rates on Treasuries have hit all-time lows, mortgage rates have fallen, but not as much. There are at least three reasons. First, if rates keep falling, prepayments will increase, hurting mortgage investors. Second, lower rates suggest the economy is weakening and that can boost … [Read More...]

  • Overwhelming Ovechkin

    The Friday File: Last Saturday, 34-year old Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals scored his 700th NHL goal, placing him 8th on the all-time list. More amazingly, he is currently 3rd in goal scoring this year, and at his current pace (and he shows no signs of slowing), in four years he’ll … [Read More...]

  • Generation Gap

    In 1990, when the Baby Boomers median age was 35, they owned 21% of the nation’s wealth. In 2008, when Generation Xers median age was 35, they owned 9% of the nation’s wealth. While Millennials median age will not hit 35 until 2023, their share of the nation’s wealth will have to triple from its … [Read More...]

  • Turbulent Tesla

    The share price of Tesla has more than tripled since the end of July and Tesla is now the world’s second most valuable automaker at $160 billion, behind Toyota at $200 billion. The only problem: it’s a consistent money loser. It has never made an annual profit, ever, and 19Q3 was only the fifth … [Read More...]

Mar
13

Interesting Irish

The Friday File: The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade (sadly postponed this year) occurred on 3/17/1762 in NYC and featured Irish soldiers fighting for Britain! 32.6 million persons or 10.1% of the US population, claim Irish ancestry, down from 38.7 million or 15.6%, as recently as 1990. Six … [Read more...]

Mar
12

Coronavirus Concern

Based on the best data available, Coronavirus death rates are about 0.75% in both China (outside of Hubei Province where China was woefully ill prepared) and South Korea, where testing rates are high. With the number of deaths in the US at 38, I suspect the number of cases is roughly 5,100 or four … [Read more...]

Mar
11

Fine February

chart February’s net job growth was a shockingly strong 273,000, with upward revisions totaling 85,000 for December and January. Add an increase in the workweek and in pay of 0.3% each, and all looks well. But the survey only includes the first half of February, when equities were dazzling, the … [Read more...]

Mar
10

Recession Rate

The chances of a recession have meaningfully risen over the weekend and are now 50%. Driving the rise: an inevitable European recession, soaring Italian fatalities resulting in a rich western democracy locking down all of its population, and a sudden steep decline in oil prices. While the decline … [Read more...]

Mar
09

Petrol Problems

Oil prices are in freefall; down 50% since 1/1/20. Global demand, which historically annually grows by 1,000,000 bbl/day, is now expected to decline by 100,000 bbl/day in 2020. Making matters worse, because Russia and Saudi Arabia were unable to agree on any sort of production cut, the Saudis are … [Read more...]

Mar
06

British Bond

The Friday File: There have been a total of 24 James Bond movies, and six actors have been 007. In a recent poll, the most popular James Bond was Sean Connery with 26% of the vote. Daniel Craig was a close second at 21%, with Roger Moore comfortably next at 12%. Pierce Brosnan was favored by 7%, … [Read more...]

Mar
05

Fiscal Firepower

Monetary policy becomes toothless as rates approach 0%, but fiscal policy can shine. The government can cheaply borrow to: increase unemployment benefits to those recently laid-off, offer paid sick-leave to those without it who have Covid-19, give zero-interest loans to small business that may fail … [Read more...]

Mar
04

Mortgage Money

While interest rates on Treasuries have hit all-time lows, mortgage rates have fallen, but not as much. There are at least three reasons. First, if rates keep falling, prepayments will increase, hurting mortgage investors. Second, lower rates suggest the economy is weakening and that can boost … [Read more...]

Mar
03

Rate Reduction

Last week financial markets weren’t expecting any rate cuts, but this morning the Fed did an emergency inter-meeting half-point rate cut! This should reduce tightening financial conditions we are seeing, and boost confidence. As rates are higher here than in Europe and Japan, the Fed is the only … [Read more...]

Mar
02

Millennial Movement

In January 2018, 70% of workers between 22 and 37 had been with their employer 13 months or more. In 2002 that percentage was 69%. Similarly, in 1/18 28.8% of workers aged 25 to 34 had been with the same employer for five years or more. In 2000, the percentage was 21.8%. Contrary to popular belief, … [Read more...]