October 30, 2014

Energy Sector: Down But Not Out

By MIchell Clark B.Comm for Profit Confidential

The big news so far this earnings season isn’t corporate financial results but the price of oil, which continues to be under pressure.

Domestic production has finally caught up to spot prices and combined with reduced expectations for the global economy, oil prices continue to be vulnerable.

Why Many Feel Falling Behind While Fed Worries About Low Inflation

By Jonathan Bernstein via Sober Look

Medical costs rose at an official rate of 1.7% year on year this past September, but the average increase in medical expenses individuals actually paid could easily be far larger. Most importantly, the CPI, as a pure price index, may not reflect the increased cost of living for families who lose employer paid health care coverage. That’s an all too common predicament, given the substantial fraction of part-time jobs created during the current economic recovery.

QE3 Ends Where Peak Debt Starts

QE has finally come to an end, but public comprehension of the immense fraud it embodied has not even started. In round terms, this official counterfeiting spree amounted to $3.5 trillion— reflecting the difference between the Fed’s approximate $900 billion balance sheet when its “extraordinary policies” incepted at the time of the Lehman crisis and its $4.4 trillion of footings today. That’s a lot of something for nothing. It’s a grotesque amount of fraud.

What To Do In Choppy Markets

By Xavier Brenner for Covestor

Since mid-September, U.S. stock markets have turned volatile. And when markets get choppy, it’s easy to let your emotions get in the way of rational decision-making and hit the panic button.
Staying focused on the long game of investing takes perspective, analytical detachment and a little self-awareness of how humans react to risk and uncertainty.  

Here are four key things to keep in mind.  

Latin America: Downturn Without Layoffs?

(version in Español)

It looks as if labor markets in Latin America have not been following the economic news—literally! Economic activity has slowed markedly in the last three years, with some South American countries slipping into outright recession more recently. Yet, labor markets still appear remarkably strong, with unemployment rates, in particular, hovering at record-low levels in most countries (Figure 1). So, what is going on? Has the region discovered how to defy the law of gravity?