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Archive for January, 2010

CrisisMaven’s Blog News 2010-01-30: Economics Reference List Online!

Jan. 30th 2010: our Reference List went online. Update: Feb. 5th we now have over 250 data sources listed (and counting); most are meta lists totalling hundreds of thousands of economic indicators, time series, historical data, addresses of central banks etc.

>>>> Check it out here! <<<<

Read more…

Bloom of Doom II: Of Mortgage Brokers, ARMs, Attrition and Marathons

2010-01-28 5 comments

When first I started looking at dying mortgage banking companies back in 2007 (the time I began looking at the brewing crisis seriously) I stumbled upon the “implode-O-meter” which had begun tracking this new phenomenon in, I believe, 2006. Casualties were then in the two digit range. Soon it became three digits and ever since it has been “good going“, however, the pace slowed considerably in the second half of 2009 if I recall that correctly only to pick up recently. I remember the figures 372, then 373, then 374 to have had a rather long life span.

However, looking today we’re at 378, some jump at last. (Feb. 22nd 2010: 381) Read more…

Economic Fallacy II: Speculation is Harmful?

2010-01-27 1 comment

Apart from outright naval blockade or sieges there has probably been hardly another operation considered as deadly and therefore been at times revenged than what is deemed “profiteeringspeculation. The idea to many is that speculation robs honest people of their livelihood. Alleged speculators have been tortured, hanged, disenfranchised, robbed, denigrated, banned, imprisoned, scandalised and impoverished throughout human history and still today economic policy is rife with discussions on how to curb “illicit” forms of speculation. Read more…

Economic Fallacy I: Harmful Currency Undervaluation?

2010-01-26 3 comments

This is the first article in the “Economic Fallacies” series. An economic fallacy is a concept of economic policy or a statement of “fact” or the proposition of an economic “law” which often sound very convincing while being at least incomplete if not utterly false and thus leading to ineffective, wrong, counter-productive, in short: to mostly harmful economic policies.

One of the more dangerous concepts is the myth of the effects of currency undervaluation, i.e. currency pegs at an exchange rate that tries to keep a currency lower than an unfettered market exchange would effectuate. Read more…

Bloom of Doom I: British Economy Creeps Out of Recession?

In today’s Wall Street Journal online in an article titled “British Economy Creeps Out of Recession” we read:

“The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that gross domestic product in the three months to Dec. 31 [2009] increased 0.1% compared with the third quarter. Compared with a year earlier, GDP fell 3.2%. … For the whole of 2009, the economy contracted 4.8%—its biggest output fall on record.” (Emphasis CrisisMaven) Read more…

How GDP betrays the Economy

Isn’t the crisis over, albeit the recovery may be slow? Hasn’t GDP contraction slowed down, been stopped, maybe reversed? Isn’t all that good news? Couldn’t it have been worse if the Fed hadn’t done the right things?

The problem with almost all macro-economic aggregates ist that Read more…

Do we see a gold bubble?

In times where within less than a generation humankind has seen several asset bubbles come and go (Japan’s real estate and stock market bubbles, the tiger states, the Dotcom bubble and now housing in the US, but equally e.g. in Spain and elsewhere plus one brewing in China and maybe one again in the US) and still left standing albeit on feet of clay,  the recent rallies in gold obviously beg the question if we not only see another bubble, this time in gold. The argument seems to rest on the assumption that any price change with a certain gradient above “what feels right” must be unjustified. Read more…

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