Weekend Linkfest!

Good morning, and welcome to the monkey house. Now that the deluge has stopped, we can put away our umbrellas and turn to the key topics of the day. Leading off the hit parade is inflation:

Look Ma, No Inflation! was my sarcastic take on the nonsensical core rate (this one seemed to resonate in the MSM).   

• Barron’s Alan Abelson calls the Core CPI perspective "Spin."  (No Barrons sub? You an see the relevant excerpt here)

• Before the CPI data came out, I explained why Inflation is here and the Core CPI is nonsense in  this Forbes’ Video. (I also managed to snap some photos of Malcomb S. Forbes’ motorcycle!)

• John Mauldin excellent smackdown on the absurd way CPI calculates Housing data in Smoothing Out Inflation. If utility costs go up, the CPI believes your renters equivalent is therefore going down — Energy inflation perversely lowers housing costs. 

• While I completely disagree with James Altucher’s take, his column "Don’t Sweat Inflation Worries" does as good a job as any explaining the no inflation view. (He’s wrong, but its a good column nonetheless).

But its not all inflation — other items were worth exploring:

• For how many quarters have we heard that "Big Caps are about to outperform?"  Barron’s Mike Santoli clarifies that canard. (No Barrons sub, go here).

• The Apprenticed Investor column is back, and this week’s entry generated a lot of mail: Write This Down helps answer the question "What was I thinking when I bought that pig?"

• Slate’s Dan Gross asks "Who will fill the Fed chairman’s shoes?"

• RM’s Columnist Conversation had a robust debate on TA versus Fundamentals, and I weighed in here: Fundies Blow Delphi Call. Quite frankly, if a tool works for you, than you should use it.

• Each week the CARNIVAL OF THE CAPITALISTS has 20 or so posts on various economic, business and market related topics. Its a good way to discover new voices on these subjects.

• The Insolvency Epidemic has been gaining momentum. Friday was supposed to be the Day of Last Resort — but its been extended thru the weekend.

• Last week, I did something I almost never do: I read not one but two WSJ Op/Eds: I was shocked; Not only were they factually inaccurate and poorly researched (See Get A Clue) — they were ginormous MONEYLOSERS. My advice to investors: Read the WSJ, but stay far far away from the Op Eds.
• Lastly, I came across this rather expensive tome — The Psychology of Technical Analysis — If anyone has any feedback on it, please share it with me.

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  1. Norman commented on Oct 16

    So, if I should,”…stay far far away from the (WSJ) Op Eds” which ones should I read?

  2. Barry Ritholtz commented on Oct 16

    None — stick with facts, and form your own opinions . . .

  3. Idaho_Spud commented on Oct 17

    Just an odd thought on “core” vs “headline” inflation and the effect on the ‘average’ family.

    According to government statistics, the average US family has an effective savings rate of zero (negative last month, in fact). Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that mean the *average* family is spending 100% of each paycheck during each pay period? Living paycheck to paycheck, as they say.

    That’s why it eludes me how these allegedly intelligent economists, the Fed, Wall St. types, and the press always direct their (and our) attention to the ‘core’ CPI rate.

    Don’t they understand that the *average* family now has to spend more of their fixed income (income that I consider to be ‘fixed’ due to global wage pressure) on items that are excluded from the ‘core’ CPI?

    It follows then (assuming the average savings rate doesn’t continue to go negative) that if a family is forced to pay more to heat their home, drive to work, feed the family, less money will be available for consumer spending.

    Wal-Mart is already feeling the pinch, and you’ve pointed out that others will be feeling an earnings squeeze. There is *no way* that a company can pass along a price increase to an already squeezed consumer! Unless that company’s product is excluded from the CPI “core” rate, of course! Those are the necessities, aren’t they? :)

  4. Dave Singer commented on Oct 17


    Thanks to one of the reviewers on Amazon for the heads up… I picked up a used copy for $20.. If you like, I’ll pass it on after I’m done….

    By the way, the blog is “HOT”, nice shout out in Abelson..



  5. Barry Ritholtz commented on Oct 17

    thanks for the kind words!

    I toot my own horn so often, I didn’t want to do so yet again — but I appreicate that someone saw that!

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