To paraphrase Warren Buffett

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 12/08/2009 - 13:14

 

 

 

 Local Area Unemployment Statistics 

 

 

 

Random stuff to think about

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 12/08/2009 - 08:24

 

From the Associated Press

The number of Americans unemployed for 27 weeks or more in the US is over 5.9 million.

The most on record from 1948.

18% more than 90 days ago.

Long-term unemployment 38.3%.

Americans out of work for 14 weeks or less is 6.3 million, down from 7.1 million in August.

An 11% decline.

 

I've taken the occasional Porter Stansberry newsletter over the years, and have found the writing and the research to be good, the investment ideas, meh.

Porter says,

"Within the next 12 months, the U.S. Treasury will have to refinance $2 trillion in short-term debt."

Porter's analysis?  They're gonna print it.

 

From Monty Guild, Guild Investments

Facts Evaporate Myths 

 

Myth 1. China is dependent upon exports to the U.S.

Of total Chinese exports, 38 percent go to emerging markets, 21 percent to the European Union, 18 percent to the U.S. and 8 percent to Japan.

Additionally, exports have fallen to about 14 percent of China’s GDP if you include only the value added in China.

Total exports including those partially manufactured goods brought into China from other countries (and which have value added in China before export), make up about 30 percent of China’s GDP.

The fact is that exports to U.S. make up somewhere between 2.5 percent and 5 percent of China’s total GDP.

Infrastructure and consumer sectors have replaced exports as the main drivers of China’s GDP growth.

 

Myth 2. Very little is manufactured in the U.S. any more.

Merrill Lynch provides us with the following facts ‘…the U.S. is still the largest manufacturer by a long shot, making up 20 percent of the world’s total manufacturing output.

Furthermore, when focusing on the value added (as defined by the World Bank), the U.S. contributes more than double the production of the next largest producer, China.’

 

Myth 3: The U.S. does not export much except software and weapons.

Fact: The U.S. is the world’s third largest exporter (Germany is number one, and China is number two).

The U.S. exports value added industrial chemicals and supplies, capital goods like production machinery, computer and telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles and parts, and aircraft and aircraft parts.

The U.S. also is the world’s leading exporter of food, feed, and beverages.

Additionally, many billions of dollars in consumer goods, medicines, and media and entertainment products are exported by the U.S. each year.

 

 

To quote the Roanman

Submitted by Roanman on Thu, 12/03/2009 - 07:47

 

                                                                                    

                     

                                        

  

Carmel Egan, www.TheAge.com.au
 
 

 

A short conversation

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 11/27/2009 - 09:12

 

 

A little news you can use (if you're a Real Estate Guy in Michigan)

Submitted by Roanman on Wed, 11/25/2009 - 08:03

 

 
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP)
 
A judge cleared the way Monday for a Canadian company to pay $583,000 for the Pontiac Silverdome, built for $55.7 million in 1975 to house the NFL's Detroit Lions.
 
The Lions left the 80,300-seat stadium in 2002, when they moved to Detroit's Ford Field. Pontiac has been spending $1.5 million a year to maintain the largely unused stadium.
 
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Edward Sosnick refused to grant a preliminary injunction to Silver Stallion Corp., which made a $20 million offer for the Silverdome last year.
 
That deal fell through in a dispute over environmental cleanup costs.

 

 

China, history repeating?

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 11/21/2009 - 14:41

 

From The Daily Reckoning

Bill Bonner

11/20/2009

“In the early 19th century, traders from Britain and America bought porcelain (china), silk and tea. Trouble was, they could find nothing to sell in exchange. The trade balance with China went negative, with China building up substantial monetary reserves (in silver). In 1830, a Chinese merchant, Hao Gua, who enjoyed a near monopoly on trade with the gweilos [foreign devils], was said to be one of the richest men in the world. Then, the English found something the Chinese would buy - opium. The fruit of the poppy was popular in many countries but, as usual, the Chinese over-did it. First, it was a favorite of the leisure classes. Then, it trickled down to ordinary workmen. Soon the coolies were neglecting their labors and China was in crisis. When the authorities tried to stop the drug trade, the English opened fire, humiliating the government and almost bankrupting it. People lost confidence in Manchu rule. By mid-century, nearly half the country was in open revolt. A Christian revolutionary had set up the ‘Heavenly Kingdom’ in Nanjing. He raised armies and challenged the Qing Dynasty to battle. For a time, it looked like he might win.
 
“In the north, meanwhile, infanticide of female babies had become common in Nien territory - a reaction to famine and scarcity. By mid-century, one out of four young men in the region couldn't find a bride; ‘bare branches,’ they were called. By 1855, these bare branches were ready to break. They armed themselves and organized. They drove out government forces and controlled a large part of the country before they were finally put down. Between natural calamities and war, some experts put the 19-century death toll at an unimaginable 200 million. And then came the 20th century! The Middle Kingdom staggered forward, from error to accident to catastrophe! From the Taiping insurrection to Mao Tsetung. Then, 30 years ago, Deng Tsaoping announced the new line: ‘To get rich is glorious,’ he said. Suddenly, the Chinese began saving every penny. Building factories. Cutting prices. And beating the barbarians at their own game.

“Again, they exaggerated. While Americans built too many shopping malls, the Chinese built too many factories. Then, in 2008-2009 came the ‘greatest collapse in world trade in history,’ says Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman. Americans - their biggest customers - rediscovered thrift. You might think China would realize it had too much capacity and back off. Instead, it rolled more steel. It built more factories and offices...entire cities.

“If stimulus spending is a measure of stupidity, the Chinese are three times as dumb as Americans. Both governments respond to correction by doing more wrong than they did before. Loans in China are rising by about 40% of GDP annually. The money supply is soaring at nearly 30% a year. ‘We estimate that [fixed capital formation] accounted for 70% of China's growth in 2008 and close to 90% of China's first half of 2009 growth,’ says a report from Pivot Capital.

“It is just a matter of time until this capital spending bubble blows up. But China is full of bubbles. In another example of its central planning, it made the ancient practice of infanticide state policy. One couple/one child was the rule. Missing girls was the result. Then, when the boys grew up, they discovered that their brides were missing too. The working age population of China is collapsing. There were 7 workers to every old person in 1990. Now, there are barely 4. By 2035, there will be only 2. What happened to the workers? They are the missing children of the missing girls who then became missing mothers. And by 2040, 397 billion old people - more than the total populations of France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK combined - will be missing the support of those missing workers.”

Bill Bonner, The Daily Reckoning, 11-20-09
 
 
 

 

Reading on a Saturday Morning

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 11/21/2009 - 13:21

 

 

How does Israel, with fewer people than the state of New Jersey, no natural resources, and hostile nations all around, produce more tech companies listed on the Nasdaq than all of Europe, Japan, South Korea, India and China combined?

Click here   Click here

 

The MIT Real Estate Center says that commercial property prices have dropped almost 42% over the past 2 years.

As a result of that drop, about  55% of the $1.4 trillion commercial mortgages that will mature in the next five years are underwater.

The delinquency rate for commercial mortgages climbed to 5% in October.

A year ago the delinquency rate was just 0.77%.

About half of all commercial mortgages sit on the balance sheets of smaller banks.

So the massive number of bank failures this year is significantly attributable to losses from commercial real estate.

Late last month, CIT Group, one of the largest commercial real estate finance companies in the world filed for bankruptcy.”

John Carney, www.BusinessInsider.com, 11-16-09

 

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