Alaska is one of the most prospective and yet most underexplored areas in the world. There are good reasons for the neglect, most notably the long, cold winters and the lack of infrastructure. Whether the latter is a result of, or a cause of, there being few people in the state is an open question. One clear result, however, is a rather small economy: Alaska’s 2009 GDP was US$47.3 billion, comparable to that of the Dominican Republic or Bulgaria. The state is ranked 44th by GDP among its U.S. peers.
Now that we’re only two weeks or less away from the 4-year cycle bottom, it’s time to start thinking about the year-ahead outlook and what the coming months may bring. This year has been a rough one in patches due in no little measure to the influence to the 4-year down cycle. In previous years when the 4-year cycle has bottomed by itself it has tended to be rather mild in terms of the bottom itself (the cycle always bottoms around late September/early October) but has always created turbulence for the stock market in the months leading up to its bottom.
Pace of sales in 3rd quarter down 29% from 2nd quarter.
Sometimes I long for the days when newspapers and magazines were the main sources of economic information for investors. They took the time to analyze data before their headlines and reports influenced investor thinking. With television and the Internet, the goal is not accuracy but speed.
(1 Minute Article)
I'm 50 years old, and I've known for a long time that Social Security and Medicare won’t meet their promises to me. We all know it. That’s why we’re told to load up our retirement accounts with stocks.
The Upward Spiral Continues
The great reflation—a combination of various stimulus packages, bank bailouts and built-in fiscal stabilizers—worked its magic in preventing the economic downturn of 2008-2009 from morphing into another great depression. Calculations by Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi1 indicate that, without those actions the economic downturn would have been three times deeper and unemployment would have almost doubled from its 10% peak. Our sense is that the economic and financial crisis would have been even more devastating than that because those calculations ignore the psychology of panic.Failure to “put out the fire” would have risked burning the whole forest down.
Japan has proved without confusion that 0% is a permanent stuck position. The United States will repeat the path, but with a vast mudslide. Japan has had the advantage of a strong industrial base, a sizeable trade surplus, and no war budget. Thus it has been capable of funding much of its own deficits. It does possess a big debt burden. But the US has $1 of new debt for every $1 in government revenue. The US war budget is almost as large as its total revenue. The US depends upon foreign creditors, many of whom have been thoroughly alienated.
The recent announcement by the NBER that the recession ended in June of 2009 confirms articles written by the author around that same time. This week Mr. Treece expands his anti-double-dip argument and points to more signs of a continued recovery.
and let me defend the role of rare coins in a precious metals portfolio
I try very hard not to have a chip on my shoulder about gold prejudice, or, alternatively, not to weep for my fellow human beings, when I see them being sickened by their investments while I can see clearly the “anti-debt” to their disease (gold and silver).