Tuesday, December 16, 2014

RBL,Putin: Turkey, raise USD, draftee "buy outs" for $8700-$13300 a head


According to the government decision that was rushed to the parliament for enactment, about 700,000 young men aged 27 and above will pay the state $8,700 each to buy out their service and be exempted. If all the qualified men apply, the state could generate a revenue of $5.7 billion. The bill was approved by the parliament in a 3 a.m. vote Dec. 10.

This will be the fifth time that such a deal has been offered on military service. In 2012, the offer made to men 30 and older cost $13,300 per person, a relatively steep price in Turkey, and only 70,000 people applied.Experts estimate that with an amount set to appeal to the middle-income group, about 250,000 young men will pay, meaning that in January, the state coffers will rake in a revenue of $2 billion.

Keynes: exPM GWhitlam "Pied Piper of the Baby Boomers"


Whitlam, party leader and Labor prime minister, was above all the Pied Piper of Australia's baby-boom generation. He was to the baby boomers what Billy Hughes was to the diggers. The baby boomers were the intended beneficiaries of the public sector largesse at the heart of his "Program" and, in the past fortnight, they have been the chief mourners.
The generation after World War II was an era of public works: roads, bridges, schools and hospitals, as well as more functional constructions, airports and telephone exchanges. Universities figured prominently in this project: the old universities added modern buildings to their neo-gothic campuses; new universities were founded (UNSW, Monash, Macquarie, Latrobe and Flinders) or planned (Griffith and James Cook).

Sunday, December 14, 2014

GDP,Capex & CBs: Cosmo 1892, "dishonest currency. drive most honest men out of financial life"

The Cosmopolitan, Volume 13

The spoils system in politics has as distinct a tendency to drive the best men from public life as a debased and dishonest currency has to drive the most honest men out of financial life....  To abolish the spoils system is to take a long step toward breaking the power of that most harmful body, the bread and butter brigade of professional politicians....  who tread the lowest and most devious political paths as a means of livelihood. chosen...  because he had the low and unscrupulous cunning necessary to manipulate the fourth class post ofices of his district in his own interest

Aus Gunman v NYC: call cops after pull shotgun v before

some people see a shotgun sticking out of a guy's bag and freeze ...   others call the cops, rat pack him, &c

brooklyn paper

Cops say they got a call minutes before noon about a passenger riding the S53 bus near the corner of 86th Street and Fourth Avenue — with a large gun sticking out of his duffel bag


10.57am: Chris Kenny said he understood the automatic glass sliding doors had been disabled.
“I did speak to a couple of people who saw a bit more of this unfold than I did,” he said.
“One woman said she tried to go into the shop just after I came out with my takeaway coffee but the doors wouldn’t open.
“So obviously whoever is doing this has disabled the automatic glass sliding doors to stop anyone else going in and she said immediately she could see there was a weapon.
“She mentioned it being taken out of a blue bag and people were straight away asked to put up their hands.”

Economics Stars: Krugman, rare but "explode conventional wisdom"

make money disrupting krugman &c's models...

Krugman's page

nobody makes a career in academic economics by repeating traditional slogans. "Free trade good, protectionism bad" may get you a job at a think tank, but not at Harvard. Academic success depends on a reputation for cutting-edge research--which typically means either clever mathematical models or ingenious statistical exercises that redefine some important issue or explode some piece of conventional wisdom. And while there are, of course, factions and cliques within economics--don't get me started--there is, in general, a surprising degree of agreement about what constitutes good work. Mainly this is because leading university departments value technical skill and originality rather than ideology (in fact, the profession is startlingly apolitical, given how politics-driven economics is outside the ivory tower).

Now it turns out that the ability to write "home run" economics papers--yes, that's the phrase everyone uses in hiring meetings--is a quite rare one. Anyone who manages to do it two or three times becomes, in the eyes of the whole profession, a "star"--again, that's the word people actually use--and immediately becomes a very desirable commodity....   any economist who has managed to establish himself (or, rarely, herself) as a universally acknowledged star can routinely expect to receive offers from many of the leading departments...

I do worry that the Barro offer sends the wrong signals to younger economists--that by telling them the profession still insists on the appearance of superstardom, that it only values home runs when we really ought to be looking for a solid series of base hits, it will encourage what is already a disturbing propensity to favor attention-grabbing showmanship at the expense of deeper, more time-consuming work

Saturday, December 13, 2014

SCHW's LASonders: 2015 "bull market . volatility & pullbacks"

 Schwab 2015 outlook

•  This secular bull market is likely in a more mature phase.
• Fed tightening cycles tend to usher in volatility and pullbacks but don’t typically upend bull markets.
• Lower energy prices put downward pressure on overall inflation, a plus for the U.S. economy and stock market.

Investor sentiment is a shorter-term factor that will likely drive the market’s ups and downs in 2015. Muchlike when attitudinal measures of investor sentiment indicated high levels of optimism and complacency inSeptember, the market is vulnerable to negative catalysts when sentiment is optimistic.One catalyst in 2015 could be interest-rate uncertainty as the Fed moves toward an initial rate increase. Theonset of Fed tightening cycles has not upended bull markets historically—quite the contrary—but it does oftenusher in bouts of volatility and pullbacks. Case in point would be the two most recent tightening cycles duringthe mid-1990s and mid-2000s. The stock market performed admirably, but with five corrections (or pullbacks)during each cycle. The corrections averaged -12% in the mid-1990s cycle, while the average pullback was-7% in the mid-2000s cycle.Consider every initial rate increase since the early 1960s and the stock market’s behavior in the six monthsbefore and after that increase. The market’s weakest period tends to occur several months in advance of theinitial increase but the trajectory of the market’s performance is largely higher over the full year.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Volatility 2015: BLK,BAML v GS, long v short

year of the sheep is inauspicious


“Many assume these volatility bursts will quickly subside and be great buying opportunities, just as they were in 2014,” BlackRock’s team of strategists said.
“Yet volatility may not calm down. Market swings can range from a temporary 10% sell-off to a prolonged and disastrous 50% loss — and the difference is hard to tell
 as events unfold.”
In such an environment, Japanese and European equities should benefit from cheap valuations and additional stimulus efforts from the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank, BlackRock added, while U.S. cyclicals should outperform defensives as the U.S. Federal Reserve begins tightening its policy.
Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said the global investment backdrop is shifting from one of falling rates and rising earnings to one of rising rates and rising earnings in 2015.
As a result, he predicts the secular bull market will continue with global equities returning 4-8% next year.
“That the optimum backdrop for asset prices is largely behind us is evidenced by the lower, narrower, more volatile returns of 2014,” he said in his global outlook for next year.
“Expect more of the same in 2015 as the Fed raises rates and the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank liquidity optimism peaks early in the year.”


That’s what Mr. Kostin says will happen next year:
“2015 will prove to be another challenging year for active equity managers. Volatility will remain low. Stock return dispersion will stay in a narrow range making alpha generation difficult. Mutual funds and hedge funds typically lag the S&P 500 during low dispersion regimes.”