The "Natural Interest Rate" Is Always Positive And Cannot Be Negative

The idea is that savings exceed investment, and that a negative real interest rate is required for bringing savings in line with investment. From the viewpoint of the Austrian school, the notion of a “negative equilibrium real interest rate” doesn’t make sense at all. To show this, let us develop the case step by step. To start with, one should make a distinction between two types of interest rates: There is the market interest rate, and there is the originary interest rate.

5 Things To Ponder: What Hath The Fed Wrought

"I was having lunch with a very dear friend of mine yesterday, who is also a very successful financial planner and advisor, who stunned me with an obvious question: 'Has the dumb money become the smart money?'"

Frontrunning: March 20

  • Clinton Charity Tapped Foreign Friends (WSJ)
  • Dollar Set for Worst Week Since ’13; S&P Futures Rise (BBG)
  • Shale Producers Have Found Another Lifeline: Shareholders (BBG)
  • BOJ Kuroda says no sign of 'currency war' brewing in world (Reuters)
  • Fed Is Pushing and Pulling on Rates Riddle (WSJ
  • Brent oil falls towards $54 on OPEC output, Iran (Reuters)
  • Iran Talks Stall Over Ending of Sanctions (WSJ)

Apple Watch Stopped? TAG Heuer Unveils Smartwatch Partnership With Google

On the day that Apple joins the Dow (and juices its volatility), it is a good job analysts have something else to focus on (the TV un-bundling plan) because Apple Watch just found a new 'old' competitor to deal with. As Bloomberg reports, Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer is creating a smartwatch in partnership with American technology firm Google. While TAG is the first traditional watchmaker to pair with Google, the partnership could open the door to other collaborations with high-end brands owned by LVMH, including Hublot and Zenith. Would you rather - $10,000 iWatch, $10,000 TAG?

Frontrunning: March 19

  • Fed May Not Hit Neutral Until 10th Anniversary of Lehman Collapse (BBG)... make that never
  • Global stocks and bonds roar Fed approval, dollar fights back (Reuters)
  • EU to tell Greece time, patience running out (Reuters)
  • U.S. likely to delay planned closure of two Afghanistan bases (Reuters)
  • Norway Signals Reduction After Unexpectedly Holding Rate (BBG)
  • Oil Falls to $55 as Kuwait Comments Refocus on Oversupply (Reuters)
  • Tsipras Heads to Summit as Merkel Tries to Defuse Greek Crisis (BBG)
  • Yahoo Pulls the Plug on China Operations (WSJ)

Frontrunning: March 18

  • Hilsenrath: Fed to Markets: No More Promises (WSJ)
  • Fed set to ditch 'patient' rate vow as it eyes U.S., world growth (Reuters)
  • Fannie, Freddie could need another bailout (Reuters)
  • Alibaba Stock-Sale Lockup Is Ending (WSJ)
  • Netanyahu Sweeps Aside Herzog’s Challenge to Win Israel Vote (BBG)
  • Oil Bonds Lose Investors $7 Billion in 10 Days (BBG)
  • There’s a mysterious $1.1 trillion in spending cuts in the House GOP’s budget (WaPo)
  • ECB's Celebration of Its New $1.4 Billion Tower Is Spoiled by Protesters (BBG)

Frontrunning: March 17

  • Israelis vote as 'King Bibi's' reign hangs in the balance (Reuters), Factbox: Main candidates in Israel's election (Reuters)
  • Iran Can Add Million Barrels a Day of Oil If Sanctions Halt (BBG)
  • Kremlin rules out handing back Crimea to Ukraine (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia Needs More Oil to Feed Local Refinery Expansion (BBG)
  • How Lafarge’s CEO Went From Holcim Merger Architect to Obstacle (BBG)
  • When Yellen Gets Less Predictable She’s Getting Back to Normal (BBG)
  • Iran nuclear talks intensify as sides face tough issues (Reuters)
  • Debunking $1.4 Trillion Europe Debt Myth in Post-Heta Age (BBG)

The Lies End Now: "Most Transparent Administration Ever" Is No More: White House To Delete Its FOIA Regulations

"We have put in place the toughest ethics and transparency laws of any administration in history." - Barack Obama.

The lies end now. As reported moments ago, the White House is voiding a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA  (incidentally the same act that discovered none of Hillary Clinton's "personal" government-business emails since they were not even stored on government property!) which as USA Today explains, makes "official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for records to that office."

America's Latest Craze: Flushing Money Down The Toilet On "Luxury" Toilet Paper (And Going Commando)

US sales of what the industry calls "luxury" rolls — anything quilted, lotioned, perfumed or ultra-soft, from two- to four-ply — climbed to $1.4 billion last year, outpacing all other kinds of toilet paper for the first time in nearly a decade, data from market research firm Euromonitor International show. The luxury market is one-fourth the size of the standard TP market, but its prominence in Big Wipe is growing faster than many industry watchers expected. Luxury toilet paper sales have grown more than 70 percent since 2000, and they're expected to keep growing faster than all other categories every year through at least 2018.

iDontcare: 69% Of Polled Americans Are "Not Interested" In The Apple Watch

Despite the endless media onslaught, which courtesy of Apple's hundreds of billions in cash is nothing but the biggest new product paid infomercial-cum-publicity stunt to roll out the latest new "revolutionary" wearable product a just released Reuters/IPSOS poll shows that the vast majority of Americans are greeting the new Apple watch with nothing but iYawns. The poll reveals that 69% of Americans are they are not interested in buying the gadget, with 47.8% responding "not at all interested."

Frontrunning: March 13

  • Again as first reported here: Record U.S. Oil Glut May Fill Storage, Cut Prices (BBG)
  • IEA sees renewed pressure on oil prices as glut worsens (Reuters)
  • No EU unanimity on renewing Russia economic sanctions (Reuters)
  • Tsipras says Greece doing its part in euro zone deal (Reuters)
  • ECB Set to Buy Fewer Bonds as Price Gains Ease Crunch (BBG)
  • These Americans Are Getting Rich Trading Derivatives Banned in the U.S. (BBG)
  • U.S. 2015 profits forecast to grow 1.7 percent; oil, dollar are concerns (Reuters) - in a month this will say "decline"
  • Manhunt for shooting suspects grinds on in Ferguson, Missouri (Reuters)

Why I Don't Want An Apple Watch (And It's Not Battery Life)

The reason I don't want an Apple Watch has nothing to do with its look, functionality, price or battery life. Stated very simply: the Apple Watch, like every other enslaving you to the network device, is a productivity destroyer.