Archive | Politics

The Decline of Angry White Guys

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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This post discusses the election, what I expect to happen, and my views on fiscal and monetary policy. This is a normally politics-free blog, but economic policy impacts markets in a big way, and...

Laissez Faire: A Dialogue in One Scene

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

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INT. CLASSROOM. CAPITALISTS are assertive, industrious, and creative teenagers, trying to make up in earnestness what they lack in wisdom and good judgment.  As the scene opens, Capitalists are pacing the room, clearly panicked. Capitalists: Oh, s#@t, this is not good.  This is not good. UNITED STATES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT peeks its head in the doorway.  United States Federal Government is best described as bipolar, alternating as it does between a personality that strives to protect its citizens from…

The Uselessness of Prediction Markets

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

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You can make a Dutch Book against the Presidential prediction contracts at Intrade.com: Step 1: Sell an identical number of contracts of each of the three active Presidential contracts – Obama, Clinton, and McCain.  Hit the bid. Step 2: Wait until the election is over.  You’ll pay out the maximum loss on the contract that won, and keep the premium on the other two.  You’re guaranteed a net profit, while a buyer of all three is guaranteed a net loss.…

American Comintern: Readers Respond

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

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We got a lot of positive and interesting feedback in response to yesterday’s American Comintern.  Below are some selected remarks from readers: American Comintern…it’s also well to remember that honoring debts held by foreign bondholders is an imperative of the imperial project. Were debts of various government sponsored entities to be reneged on, then foreign national funding for American wars and bases would vanish. From your “comintern” post, I can see that we agree on the politics of the…

American Comintern

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

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“If anybody thought we had a pure free market system, they should think again.” - Robert Bruner, Dean of The Darden School of Business at The University of Virginia [h/t Top Gun FP] A number of readers have asked us for our take on the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae bailout, so here it is.  In the financial blogosphere, reactions to events are immediate, if often half-baked; in academia, reactions are thoughtful but take months or even years.  We figured…

The Long Palin Vertical Spread

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

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As the market sighs and concedes a monster gap up, isn’t it good to know that there’s always a bull market somewhere?  We’re speaking, of course, about the Intrade contract betting that Sarah Palin will withdraw (or, more likely, be withdrawn) as the Republican VP nominee before the 2008 election. If you were actually long this PALIN.VP.WITHDRAWN contract, perhaps you could hedge the gamble with some long 2008.PRES.McCAIN, on the view that these might be close to inversely…

Range Bound Markets

Thursday, August 28, 2008

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Quick, somebody sell Tim Knight some option premium! There’s something wrong with the picture at left, but nothing wrong with these markets if you’ve been a premium seller for the past couple weeks. On the other hand, even deft swing traders are getting whiplashed around.  Everyone is betting on a breakout or breakdown after the holiday, and they’re probably right.  Until then, it pays to get paid to sit on your hands. To be fair, the phenomenon pictured here is…

Midweek Smeagol Reading

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

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In a note yesterday morning to members, we were looking for an oversold rally, and said rally still has yet to materialize in any big way.  We still think the S&P will close the week closer to 1300 than to 1250, but that’s a conviction loosely held. The two biggest questions on our minds for the remainder of the week are: Will the financials stop dragging everybody down?  $BIX, $BKX, XLF all had a good day today, but they…

How to Compete With China

Sunday, August 10, 2008

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We’re hearing lots of chatter about how, fifty years from now, these Olympics will have marked the end of the American century and the beginning of the Chinese one.  Maybe so, maybe not. One thing’s for sure: America can’t invade and coerce and bailout and tax-cut its way out of this mess.  The conventional wisdom says that, to stay competitive, America should invest more in math and science education at every level.  That way, we can have stronger R&D departments…

Midweek Reading

Thursday, July 31, 2008

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The big news yesterday was that markets were able to push higher in spite of the rally in oil.  Of course, one data point doesn’t prove that equities and oil have decoupled, but this relationship certainly bears watching. Anyway, on our unending quest to help you procrastinate about whatever it is you should be doing, some links: Mish Shedlock offers some evidence that the credit crunch is only worsening: Businesses do not want to lend, consumers do not…

Check out The Liscio Report

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

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The authors of The Liscio Report – a favorite of Alan Abelson and Barry Ritholtz – are now blogging, and they’re off to a fantastic start.  This recent post surveys the correlations between Presidents, presidential party, and various economic indicators: Not to spoil the suspense too much, but here are the basic conclusions. Since Franklin Roosevelt’s third term (1941–44), Democrats have generally presided over faster growth and stronger stock markets than Republicans; Republican administrations have been friendlier for disinflation…

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Jared Woodard specializes in trading volatility as an asset class. With over a decade of experience trading options and other volatility products ... Read More

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