Healthy female participation rates in the labor force and in leadership are a reflection of inclusiveness in countries and companies; and as Goldman Sachs recently noted, inclusive institutions lead to more innovation, more enduring competitive advantages and a more efficient use of available resources (capital, physical and people). The idea that empowering women employees and entrepreneurs contributes to a virtuous cycle as higher female disposable income trickles down to increased spending on education and healthcare, is not lost on Warren Buffett who writes at length in his latest Op-ed of the possibilities for America should the other 50% of America become productive, "women should never forget that it is common for powerful and seemingly self-assured males to have more than a bit of the Wizard of Oz in them. Pull the curtain aside, and you'll often discover they are not supermen after all." And with the oracular Omahan now on Twitter, can we expect more bitesize insights - perhaps the anti-Bill-Gross tweet.
Update: 87 year old Giorgio Napolitano has been reelected as president of Italy during the 6th consecutive vote. He becomes the first Italian president to serve two terms.
Earlier today the fifth consecutive round of presidential voting in Italy failed to produce the sufficient majority for the country to elect a president courtesy of its fractured political system, especially following the announcement last night from the PD's leader Pier Luigi Bersani that he would quit his post after a president is elected. More than 440 blank ballots were cast in the fifth ballot today, with the leading vote-getter Stefano Rodota -- the candidate of Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star Movement -- at 210. Shortly thereafter an ingenious solution has emerged: reelect the current figurehead president Giorgio Napolitano for a second consecutive 7 year term so if not a prime minister, Italy, which has devolved into total political chaos since the February 25th inconclusive elections, would at least has a president. There is one problem: Napolitano is 87 years old.
According to today's data from the US Mint, a record 63,500 ounces, or a whopping 2 tons, of gold were reported sold on April 17th alone, bringing the total sales for the month to a whopping 147,000 ounces or more than the previous two months combined with just half of the month gone.
Did you know that the greatest period of economic growth in American history was during a time when there was absolutely no federal income tax? Between the end of the Civil War and 1913, there was an explosion of economic activity in the United States unlike anything ever seen before or since. Unfortunately, a federal income tax was instituted in 1913, and this year it turned 100 years old. But there was no fanfare, was there? There was no celebration because the federal income tax is universally hated. This year, the American people will shell out approximately $4.22 trillion in state and federal income taxes. That amount is equivalent to approximately 29.4 percent of all income that Americans will bring in this year, and that does not even take into account the dozens of other taxes that Americans pay each year. At this point, the U.S. tax code is about 13 miles long, and those that are honest and pay their taxes every year are being absolutely shredded by this system.
Cost reductions and layoffs are the drivers for bank earnings... Watch those ski tips.
By downplaying inflation you can overstate growth. All economic growth in the US accounts for inflation via a “deflator” measure. If GDP grows 3% and inflation was 2%, then real growth was 1% in very very simple terms.
Anyone who wants to get to the truth behind the inflationary threats to their wealth should ignore everything the Central Banks say about inflation and look instead at their actions.
Since the Financial Crisis erupted in 2007, the US Federal Reserve has engaged in dozens of interventions/ bailouts to try and prop up the financial system. Now, I realize that everyone knows the Fed is “printing money.” However, when you look at the list of bailouts/ money pumps it’s absolutely staggering how much money the Fed has thrown around.
In an environment such as this, smart investors are allocating at least some of their capital to Gold and Silver bullion And whatever you do, don’t store it with anyone else. As Cyprus has just shown us, when the Crisis hits… you can’t get access to your money.
We all know how this will end: with higher inflation/ costs of living and now very likely with a market crash. Every bubble the Fed has blown has resulted in disaster. This time will be no different.
Am I a great investor? No, not yet. To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway’s “Jake” in The Sun Also Rises, “wouldn’t it be pretty to think so?” But the thinking so and the reality are often miles apart. When looking in the mirror, the average human sees a six-plus or a seven reflection on a scale of one to ten. The big nose or weak chin is masked by brighter eyes or near picture perfect teeth. And when the public is consulted, the vocal compliments as opposed to the near silent/ whispered critiques are taken as a supermajority vote for good looks. So it is with investing, or any career that is exposed to the public eye. The brickbats come via the blogs and ambitious competitors, but the roses dominate one’s mental and even physical scrapbook. In addition to hope, it is how we survive day-to-day. We look at the man or woman in the mirror and see an image that is as distorted from reality as the one in a circus fun zone.
The Fed Isn’t Providing “Monetary Morphine”; It’s Spreading Financial Cancer That is Killing the Markets and Democratic CapitaliSubmitted by Phoenix Capital Research on 04/01/2013 09:55 -0400
I disagree with the “addiction” metaphor because it implies that the markets/ addict could potentially become healthy if the dealer stopped dishing out the drugs. This ties in with Bernanke’s claims that everything is under control and that he can remove the excess liquidity anytime he wants to.
- What bread... What circuses... JPMorgan Chase Faces Full-Court Press of Federal Investigations (NYT)
- European Regulators to Charge Banks Over Derivatives (WSJ) ... but forgive us if we don't hold our breath
- Cyprus readies capital controls to avert bank run (Reuters)
- Damage ripples through Cypriot economy (FT)
- G4S readies guards as Cypriot banks prepare to open (Reuters)
- Global pool of triple A status shrinks 60% (FT)
- Customers Flee Wal-Mart Empty Shelves for Target, Costco (BBG)
- BOE Says U.K. Banks Have Capital Shortfall of $38 Billion (BBG)
- U.K. Banks Facing Capital Shortfall (WSJ)
- Cyprus Details Bank Revamp (WSJ)
- Kazumasa Iwata Joins Kuroda Naysayers as BOJ to Meet (BBG)
- BRICS Nations Need More Time for New Bank, Russia Says (BBG)
Quite a few articles have been written about the importance of owning Gold and other precious metals as a means of maintaining one’s wealth in the face of rampant money printing by the world’s Central Banks.
China’s Government knows it's on thin ice and so is doing three things to try to mollify the Chinese population:
- Launching a very public campaign to crack down on corruption (to mollify the populace).
- Taking steps to tame inflation (slowing financial speculation and importing massive quantities of commodities to attempt to control prices).
- Curbing its stimulus efforts.