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marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
May 1, 2015

Thom Hartmann: A Real Progressive is Running for President!

(begins at 7:54 in video, segment with Mike Papantonio)

Published on Apr 30, 2015

Thom discusses how Bernie Sanders will impact the presidential race with attorney and radio host Mike Papantonio and Thom premieres Rep. Alan Grayson’s new nine minute anti-TPP video in its entirety. In tonight’s special Thursday edition of “Conversations with Great Minds” Thom talks with activist Tom Hayden, author of the new book “Listen, Yankee!: Why Cuba Matters.”

May 1, 2015

How Shale Is Becoming The Dot-Com Bubble Of The 21st Century

By Leonard Brecken, a portfolio manager and principal at Brecken Capital LLC, a hedge fund focused on domestic equities. You can follow Leonard on Twitter: @Lbrecken13. Originally published at OilPrice

As I review the financials of one of the largest shale producers in the United States, Whiting Petroleum (WLL), I can’t help but notice the parallels to the .COM era of 1999 which, to some extent, has already returned to the technology and biotech sectors of today. Back then, the faster you burned cash to capture customers regardless of earnings to drive your topline, the higher your valuation. The theory was that after capturing the customers (in energy today, it is the wells) spending would slow and so would customer additions allowing companies to generate cash. By the way, a classic recent case is none other than Netflix (NFLX) which, in the past was exposed for accounting gimmicks that continue even today. It is still following this path of burning cash for the sake of customer additions, while never generating any cash in its entire existence.

Cash was plentiful in 1999 so it could always be raised as the Federal Reserve began its easy money era creating a series of bubbles for the next 15 years. Does this sound familiar to what is occurring now? It will end the same way and that process has already started as currency wars heat up and our economy grinds to a halt proving QE does not, in fact, create wealth (temporary yes for the 1%, short term, until POP) but instead it destroys it by distorting asset prices, misallocating investments, and ultimately creating an equity crash.

We just witnessed this in energy, as all the economic stats that distorted the real underlying economic weakness in the economy led energy producers to overproduce while easy money fueled it and expanded speculation in the futures market. Back in 1999 did the internet companies adapt their business models? Some which still survive today did, but most went bankrupt. The parallels here with energy are simply stunning as most E&P companies need to spend well over their operational cash flow in order to not only grow but to replace the wells that are producing tied to depletion. Money is free right? Well we are witnessing the first stages now and it may not last, as junk bond investors in energy can attest.

Further, US equity markets are beginning to “realize” that the US economy isn’t better off vs. Europe and the US dollar begins to fade as it shows signs of correcting as well. The Fed clearly isn’t as accommodative by instantly launching QE4, for a host of reasons, thus potentially opening the door to a deeper correction vs. prior ones in order to get what the 1% wants again: more QE. Yes the Keynesian feedback loop is real as, in the past, each equity correction was met with more QE. ..............(more)


May 1, 2015

Paul Krugman: The Rise of the Machines: It's Happening

The Rise of the Machines: It's Happening

Thursday, 30 April 2015 13:36
By Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co. | Op-Ed

Way back in 1996, on the 100th anniversary of The New York Times Magazine, The Times had a clever idea: They asked a number of people to write essays pretending to look backward a century from the perspective of 2096.

Sadly, most of the writers were too uptight and dignified to comply; they wrote blah-blah-the-decades-to-come stuff. But I threw myself into the assignment with a little piece titled "White Collars Turn Blue." As the title suggested, one theme of the essay was a pushback against the notion that advancing technology would result in an ever-growing demand for highly educated workers.

I argued that computers would take over many of the cognitive tasks that we find difficult, but that human beings would continue to be wanted for jobs that require common sense, including many forms of manual labor. Or as one friend described it at the time, my thesis was that we'll always need maids and gardeners.

And it's happening.


An obvious implication of these findings is that the belief that income inequality is all about, and can be fixed by, education is even more wrong than you thought. .....................(more)


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