Weekend Linkfest

What a week! After the sort of mayhem that ensued, its good to just kickback and start clicking interesting reading. With that in mind, let’s jump into it:

• Barron’s Alan Abelson notes that Home Equity Loans have fallen of the cliff (If no Barron’s, then go here);

• When the 2 year bond yield slipped over the 10 year late last year, it made a lot of noise. Why then, did the 3 month inversion on Wednesday over the 10 year cause a deafening silence?

• Google got whacked pretty good yesterday. To their credit ("Do no evil") they were the only ones who tried to keep customer search records private from an intrusive DOJ fishing expedition: DoJ search requests: Google said no; Yahoo, AOL, MSN yes. Kudos to Google, jeers to the spineless weasels at MSN, AOL and Yahoo.

• In response to the above, Wired Magazine reveals How to Foil Search Engine Snoops;   

• 2 weeks ago, I told readers to Buy Volatility; That’s still good advice, and I think it will be a winning trade this year;

One Word: Logistics;

• Noah Blackstein came up with the moniker "Cult of the Bear;"  When I asked readers for counter name suggestions, you guys came up with some hysterical ideas (including, my favorite, Cult of the Man-Cow);

The Man Who Said No to Wal-Mart;

• The WSJ and Bloomberg each discussed the weak job creation and income improvements: Expansion Leaves Workers Behind, Creates Fed Friction and Inequality: an ’80s Legacy Or Worsening Now?

• Of course, the Soft Spots Go Beyond Employment

• Here’s my offer to the absurd "Core CPI" crowd: Consume only core elements for 30 days (remember, that’s ex-food and energy). After the month is over, we can discuss the Worst Inflation in 5 years;

• Morgan Stanley on Oil Prices — Tight Markets plus Geopolitics Equals Upside Risks;   

• Before the most recent blow up, I addressed The Rising Risk to Earnings;

Remodeling and New Construction are both slowing;

Jeff Matthews continues to amuse and illuminate

• The 3% federal excise tax on your phone bill "was imposed in 1898 to help pay for the Spanish-American War." Oh, and 7 courts have ruled it illegal;

•  PC World collects The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years

The origins of the Great War of 2007 – and how it could have been prevented

• While I do not think we are in a housing bubble, there certainly are pockets of silliness. CNN looks at the most overvalued housing markets;

• And just for laughs:  The best viral videos of 2005 Note: some of these are not safe for work;

That’s all from sunny NY, where it nearly hit 60 degrees yesterday — in January!   I may have to drop the top and go for a cruise today . . .

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Larry Nusbaum, Scottsdale commented on Jan 22

    “National City arrives at its estimates of what the typical house in these markets should cost by examining the town’s population densities, local interest rates, and income levels. It also factors in historical premiums and discounts for each area.”

    THESE SORT OF MEASUREMENT CRITERIA DON’T MAKE ANY SENSE TO ME. WHY? Because you can not conclude that they make a city suddenly over or under valued. Look at the list. All of the so-called undervalued cities are in states where no one wants to be. But, accroding to Columbia professor, Chris Mayer, who just concluded a study, “Superstar Cities”, which concludes that despite the recent boom, prices in most big U.S. cities have remained in line with long-term trends.
    “There is no evidence that Boston, New York and San Francisco are in a bubble. These cities have appreciated at higher rates than other places for 60 years and will continue.”

  2. Larry Nusbaum, Scottsdale commented on Jan 22

    • Barron’s Alan Abelson notes that Home Equity Loans have fallen of the cliff (If no Barron’s, then go here);


  3. Larry Nusbaum, Scottsdale commented on Jan 22

    BTW, MORTGAGE RATES HAVE NOT GONE UP VERY MUCH (except those tied to prime & the 1 year MTA)

  4. blue][erring commented on Jan 22

    if home equity extraction has been the stealth wage increase over the last 3-5 years, then the end of that era due to home price ‘flattening’ and/or increasing rates, and or increased lending standards, that would be like a big national pay cut.

  5. a commented on Jan 22

    “privacy protection” principle or just a public relations move from Google? It’s all about making $$$.


    “Do no evil”? Before everyone starts white knighting Google, read these, especially the interview with Brin in the last link:





    Brin: “Sometimes the “Don’t be evil” policy leads to many discussions about what exactly is evil.”

    Doesn’t that resemble a famous person’s statement: “That depends on the definition of sex.” ?

  6. JWC commented on Jan 22

    RE the Google flap… I sent them an E-mail telling them I approve of their stand. Can’t understand why their stock went down, other than all stocks went down Friday. Re Yahoo, I wrote them too and told them I will never ever use their search engine again.

  7. Larry Nusbaum, Scottsdale commented on Jan 22

    GOOG did not “take a stance”. According to one of their own press releases, they simply could not take the time to pull together 1,000,000 hitsand turn over to the DOJ……

  8. royce commented on Jan 22

    Niall Ferguson seems to have gone around the bend. Another one of those guys who long for a gigantic “clash of civilizations” that never seems to arrive. I hope he’s not too disappointed when 2007 passes without millions of people dying in a massive radiological inferno.

  9. Jordan commented on Jan 24

    Barry you continue to make a very strong and likely accurate case for the inevitable bear market. That December evidence is a unique piece of info.

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