Weekend Linkfest ’06!

Its the first big linkfest since the new year began — and a three day weekend to boot! Its a big one, so let’s jump right in:

Barron’s Alan Abelson looks at the impact of share buybacks on Earnings (if no Barron’s, go here);

Dow Rallies Since 1900:
Chart-of-the-Day notes that, as it stands right now with the Dow up
51.6% from its lows, the current rally is classified as fairly long in duration (6th
longest in 105 years) but weak (4th weakest) in magnitude.

"The accolades bestowed upon Alan Greenspan ahead of his
retirement on January 31st have a strong whiff of irrational
So said the The Economist in a pair of cover articles:  Monetary myopia and Danger time for America.

General Motors Death Watch 49: Paranoia Rules
My favorite non-mainstream Automotive site looks into some GM rumors,
including questions about whether their hybrid technology even exists;

Is 2006 the year the Volatility Trade makes money? VIX options begin trading next month; For the past 2 years, this has been a losing trade. (if no Barron’s sub, go here);

Inferno o Paradiso?   via macro-econ meta-site RGE Monitor, a look at a dozen very Bullish and Bearish expectations for 2006;

Win Some, Lose Some  Robert X. Cringely’s tech predictions for 2006 (disclosure: I am on the BoD for one of the companies he mentioned);

• The numbers are in on Holiday sales; and they were way below consensus. It was a Good — Not Great — Holiday Shopping Season.   Now, we wait to see how much the deep discounting will affect profit margins;  (The rest of December retail weren’t so hot either);

• Speaking of el stinko:  You didn’t think I would let last week’s NFP number go by without comment, did you? 
Employment Recovery Continues to be Sub-par
discusses the obvious, while Who’s Dropping Out of Labor Force looks at the demographics of the NILF phenomena;

Shanghai’s hot housing market has fizzled; What are the implications for China’s economy?

Perception Management and Inter-temporal Shifting A short and worthwhile look at buy now, pay later;

•  >Sigh<  Another year, another sales disappointment: Annual CD Sales Down 8% for 2005; A long list of retailers have gone bankrupt;

Assessing the economic impact of a flu pandemic

For you tax geeks:  Buying and selling imaginary goods in computer-game worlds is big business. Should gamers pay real-world taxes on virtual treasures?

Ever dance with the redline in the pale moonlight?


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  1. M1EK commented on Jan 15

    Speaking of hybrids, there seems to be an upswing lately in “hybrids suck, diesels better” stuff in the blogosphere – and I’ve debunked it here:


    (be sure to follow link to earlier article from CR in that posting).

    Short summary: The new great Jetta TDI can’t come close to the Prius in fuel economy, despite being smaller.

  2. blue commented on Jan 15

    M1EK, diesel fuel used to be priced below the octanes and now it’s above… anyway about the conspiracy around hybrids and GM, i think it’s fair to say that ‘something’ is unusual about the US automaker’s behavior regarding fuel economy since the early 90s.
    When I see the obligations that GM has to its workers (previous and current) and I read (in ‘the end of oil’) that GM is widely regarded as having the most highly advanced fuelcell/hybrid technology, the conclusion I come to is that they have to flirt with bankruptcy to gain leverage with the unions, changing contracts etc, before they can release the New Tech. If they kicked up the timeline right now and were able to compete head-to-head with prius and the rest then what motivation would the unions have for releasing the legacy multibillion dollar liability that the current GM has to deal with?
    starve the beast, it’s a common theme.
    which brings me to ‘no child left behind’…
    and tax cuts during a very expensive war.
    There was an economist (?) cover months and months ago asking is GM could save itself with the ‘green’ revolution, and i thought “not until they get rid of the unions through poor performance”

  3. royce commented on Jan 15

    The tax article is yet another example of the genre of “if it happens on the computer, it must be different than anything that ever happened before” story. This time, it’s the new world of videogames. There isn’t much that happens in an online video game that doesn’t already have its analog equivalent, but that doesn’t bother the writers of these pieces.

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