A Plethora of Stuff

When my Dad sends me an email asking if I’m ok because I haven’t updated my blog in several days, I know I have issues.  So here’s a bunch of stuff I’ve been reading over the past few days:
“While we’re on the subject of prepping for interviews, if you find yourself applying for a gig in China, please be advised that according to the South China Morning Post, “mainland job-seekers are increasingly required to exhibit ‘grey skills’ – binge drinking, playing mahjong and even ballroom dancing – to provide them with an edge in the market.” Several individuals took this advice to heart recently, resulting in the following scene.”
You’ll have to click over for the awesome picture.

– Nemo: “Luck of the Irish
“Note to self: Never lend money to a country where happy hour starts at 9 A.M.”
This whole Ireland thing is unreal.  They didn’t solve the problem at all earlier in the year, yet global markets rejoiced anyway.  Extend and pretend is GLOBAL, bayyy-beeee!  Reality is coming…

-State of Mind Music has a cool 15 minute video about God Street Wine’s reunion.  This is a band that used to be one of my favorites, but they broke up and went their own ways.  I went to a few of the reunion shows down in NYC this summer, which were tremendous. Lo and Aaron, the two frontmen for GSW, played an acoustic show last week in NJ.  There is a free live recording posted on Archive.org, available for streaming or download, and I’d recommend it to curious potential fans.  Check out their cover of Romeo and Juliet on this one too. 
Las Vegas Condo sales – holy cow.  Unreal numbers (in a bad way)… There are BILLIONS of dollars of inventory, and according to Bill @ Calculated Risk:
“Note: high rise condo units are not included in the new home inventory report from the Census Bureau, and they are also not included in the existing home inventory report from the NAR (unless they are list for sale). This is hidden inventory, and for certain cities like Las Vegas, this is significant.”
“The unholy triumvirate of my mom, Cramer and Richard Russell are in.  The prophecy has been fulfilled.”
– Steve Wynn on the market forces of supply and demand: “Strong Demand Prompted $110 Increase In Garth Brooks Tickets
“My decision to raise the ticket price was a simple one. The demand for Garth was so overwhelming that it caught us by surprise. We could fill a theater many times the size of this, twice a night,” Wynn said in a statement. “When the greatest live performer of our time appears in such an intimate theater, the seats should be priced at least competitively with other great Las Vegas entertainers.”
“Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Here we have a government-sponsored enterprise — which depends on Treasury’s financial support to remain solvent — suing an arm of the Treasury Department. Some thanks this is.”
I’ve written about things like this before:  I’m paying you with your own money (Teddy KGB)
– The Kauffman ETF report got a lot of buzz.  IndexUniverse penned two very accurate replies pointing out blatant errors in the Kauffman Report’s understanding of ETF mechanics, which come to a conclusion similar to one I came to months ago while debunking other ETF misunderstandings.  ZeroHedge jumped in by pointing out some potential ulterior motives for the author of the Kauffman report (in brief, ETFs hurt the mutual fund industry).   Speaking of ETFs, this one from FT Alphaville made me laugh:
“Its Index Opportunities Fund will take long positions in stocks scheduled to enter one of 25 indices at their periodic rebalancing, which passive funds will then be forced to buy when the rebalancing takes effect. It will likewise short stocks due to be demoted in the knowledge index funds will have to sell.

It claims the fund can profit from price “inefficiencies” to produce returns uncorrelated to other asset classes. It is targeting a return of five percentage points above one-month Euribor.”

This was basically one of the main drivers of profitability for my old business.  10 years ago, we owned this space – but it’s obviously not rocket science, and once the idea and research behind it got out, the profitability got marginalized pretty quickly.  Now it’s more of a game theory Russian Roulette trade – where the main point is to try to figure out how much of the trade has already been priced in by everyone trying to capitalize on it.  Easy money has become very tough money.  Final ETF link:  my own piece on GLD mechanics was very well read and well received.
Talk about a sign of the times!
-Marginal Revolution:  Goat Banking
– A Kid Dynamite anonymous commenter pointed me toward this one: “If you don’t carry what your neighborhood wants to buy, don’t be surprised when people don’t shop at your store!”  Also, here.
-KD

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