70 Words
Mar
31

HELOC Help

For the week ending 3/18/20, home equity loans outstanding rose $2.3 billion to $317.2 billion. Outside of an increase during the last government closure, this was the first increase in home equity loans since the week ending 2/1/12, when they rose $4.7 billion to $553 billion. This is identical to … [Read more...]

Mar
27

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...]

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...]

Feb
28

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...]

Feb
18

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...]

Feb
06

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...]

Jan
29

Medical Money

Medical Money From 1998-2017, the cost of medical services doubled, and hospital services tripled; the CPI rose by just 50%. Why? Healthcare bills are paid by third parties like insurance companies and the government. Consumers have no incentive to monitor prices or be cost-conscious. Conversely, … [Read more...]

Jan
21

Cooling Cars

In 2019, US sales of autos and light trucks totaled 16.9 million. 2019 is the first year since 2014, when sales were 16.5 million, that auto sales fell below 17 million. Sales peaked in 2016 at 17.5 million and have been slowly declining since. As for the world’s largest car market, China, 2019 … [Read more...]

Dec
19

Exhausted Europe

While the US and Chinese economies look to be stabilizing and even strengthening, the same cannot be said for Europe. Business activity there is growing at its slowest rate since 2013. Manufacturing activity is in recession and is steadily deteriorating, luckily the service sector is doing … [Read more...]

Dec
10

Money Man

This past Sunday, former Fed Chairman extraordinaire Paul Volker died. During his helm (1979-1987), he unequivocally changed economic history. He not only fought relentlessly for central bank independence but slayed runaway 1970s inflation. Because of the latter, he was one of the most unpopular … [Read more...]