Feb 14, 2020

NY Fed's John Williams on the U.S. economy

[The U.S. economy is in a] very, very good place.

~ John Williams, New York Fed president, "New York Fed's Williams Sees Economy in 'Very, Very Good Place'," The New York Times, February 14, 2020

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Feb 13, 2020

Fred Hickey on Apple's recent earnings release

Apple handily bested estimates with better than expected iPhone sales but weaker services growth ($400 million less than expected).  On the conference call CEO Tim Cook was asked which services segments caused the shortfall.  He avoided answering the analyst's question.  It's important because Apple's services businesses are supposed to pick up the slack from the no growth (and highly competitive) smartphone market.

~ Fred Hickey, The High-Tech Strategist, February 4, 2020

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Doris Kearns-Goodwin on Abraham Lincoln's racial bigotry

Armies of scholars, meticulously investigating every aspect of [Lincoln's] life, have failed to find a single act of racial bigotry on his part.

~ Doris Kearns-Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, p. 207

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Fred Hickey on Tesla's parabolic rise and $165 billion market cap

Tesla's insane stock price explosion is all about three things: money, momentum and mania.  It has absolutely nothing to do with fundamentals.  Even before this week's multi-hundred point upward explosion, Tesla's stock last week was "valued" by "investors" (speculators) at more than the stock values of the entire U.S. domestic auto industry (GM, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler) combined...

TSLA's stock is currently valued at $165 billion.  For comparison purposes, Ford Motor is valued at $36 billion, General Motors at $49 billion, and Fiat-Chrysler at $26 billion.  Germany's Volkswagen (which delivered almost 11 million cars in 2019 versus Tesla's 370,000) is at $92 billion - a valuation 44% less than the great money-losing Tesla.

~ Fred Hickey, The High-Tech Strategist, February 4, 2020

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Feb 12, 2020

Ronald Bailey on falling carbon emissions in the U.S.

Overall carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. energy sector peaked at 5.9 gigatons in 2007 and have now dropped 19 percent to 4.8 gigatons in 2019.

~ Ronald Bailey, "Peak Carbon Emissions?," Reason.com, February 12, 2020

Jim Grant on liquidity

Liquidity is a psychological construct, perhaps as much as an arithmetic one.  Without a minimum quotient of speculative hope, even objectively liquid markets can malfunction.  It's confidence - in the future, in the dollar, in "the authorities," in the earning power of a business, in something or other - that makes the waters run...  In the dollar world, the fount of liquidity is the Federal Reserve...  Of course, the Fed merely proposes.  It's the "markets" - people changing their minds about price and value and buying and selling, lending and borrowing, accordingly - that dispose.

~ Jim Grant, "Gale-force liquidity," Grant's Interest Rate Observer, February 7, 2020

Peter Atwater on manic behavior: The Beatles, Beanie Babies and Tesla

Many will suggest that manias and panics routinely come and go, but history strongly cautions that they cluster. The Beanie Baby Bubble coincided with the peak of the dot.com bubble, and Beatlemania marked the mid-1960s market and mood peaks...

While Tesla may be followed by an even more extreme investor flash mob ahead, the recent clustering of manic behavior cautions not only that sentiment is topping, but that the current peak is extreme. Based on crowd behavior, 2020 could easily bookend the major 2011 low.

~ Peter Atwater, Financial Insyghts, "Tesla: A Flash Mob With Money," February 10, 2020