Linkfest!

Its time for another installment of our favorite weekend pastime, the linkfest!

• In Barron’s Alan Abelson notes that Household Assets are 150% of GDP (if no Barrons access, go here);

• On a related note, we have been discussing the difference between Headlines versus Underlying Data;

• The usually reliable Floyd Norris draws the wrong conclusion from the simultaneous ascent of the yellow metal and equity markets: Gold versus Stocks;

• Go figure: For All Its Cost, Sarbanes Law Is Working (NYT);

• How’s this for a chart: Corporate Bonds, 1830-2005;

• Last week, I noted I was looking for 3-4% gains year over year in holiday sales (This chart, showing gas prices dropping, explains why).

• However, that doesn’t excuse this statistical disaster from the clueless team at the National Federation of Retailers, who declared Black Friday Weekend sales were up 22%  — based on an opinion survey. You need to look at sales data — not polls — to know what sales actually were.

• Surprising smackdown on Alan Greenspan from PIMCO’s Paul McCulley:  The “greatest irony” is that he is called the Maestro;

• Terrific Times article after U2’s NYC show: Media Age Business Tips From U2 on the lessons the band holds for other Media companies; (If no NYT sub, go here)

Real-Estate Boom Soon May Sputter (If no WSJ, go here);

• Tony Crescenzi keys in on 10 Factors to watch for Holiday Spending and the Economy;

• Here’s some smart year end advice:  Sell some winners and most of your losers;   

Airline Security a Waste of Cash (As someone who’s done a few 100k miles this year, this rings way too true);

• Looking for something really good for that someone special?  Electronics to Drool Over, the top 100 list of all things electronic, via Audio Video Revolution (My favorite selections are here);

C’était un rendez-vous: Paris at 140mph  with a camera mounted on a Ferrari 275 GTB; Be sure to turn your sound up loud, and wait for the surprise ending.

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  1. Ben W. commented on Dec 6

    Re: the NYT Sarbanes Article,

    They ignore one of the most serious costs of the bill which is that it prevents many large or growing private companies, such as successful startups, from becoming small public companies. This stifles competition by preventing new companies from becoming true competitors to the existing large companies. A few golden companies, such as Google, make it over the valuation hump, but many, many more are simply acquired by existing companies or flounder. The net effect is lower returns for entrepreneurship and less competition.

    That’s my analysis anyway… seems straightforward…
    Not that we shouldn’t work hard to keep corps honest, just that we really ought to keep everything else in mind while we do it.

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