"Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."
Between Errors of Optimism and Pessimism – Observations on the Real Estate Cycle in the United States and China
Topic: Markets & Investing
8:22 pm EDT, Sep 19, 2011
Many Americans seem convinced that their housing market will remain in the doldrums indefinitely. Conversely, the rapid recovery of China’s economy from the global financial crisis has led many to believe that real estate in the Middle Kingdom is a one-way bet. In fact, property is the most cyclical of assets. Housing booms crater, while depressed real estate markets eventually recover. Part One of this paper aims to describe a typical real estate cycle through its various stages. In particular, I try to identify the characteristic features of the cyclical peaks and troughs.
Part Two applies this understanding of the real estate cycle to the world’s two most important property markets, namely those of China and the United States.
One out of five Georgia legislators has failed to pay taxes on time — or in a few cases not paid them at all, a review of court records by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has shown.
Federal, state or local tax collectors filed liens against 16 state senators and 32 representatives, the AJC’s investigation found. The liens — past and present — total $1.4 million in taxes, interest, penalties and fees.
With Greece and Ireland in economic shreds, while Portugal, Spain, and perhaps even Italy head south, only one nation can save Europe from financial Armageddon: a highly reluctant Germany. The ironies—like the fact that bankers from Düsseldorf were the ultimate patsies in Wall Street’s con game—pile up quickly as Michael Lewis investigates German attitudes toward money, excrement, and the country’s Nazi past, all of which help explain its peculiar new status.
Nomura Research Institute's Richard Koo says that what the world is experiencing right now, a "balance sheet recession," is different from traditional recessions. However, Japan recently experienced a similar type of recession, and Koo says we can learn a lot from that country's experiences
Commentary: Canadian strategist says debt will produce ‘ugly’ result
That’s the view of sober-minded Canadian strategist and money manager John Stephenson, senior vice president of First Asset Management in Toronto. He predicts a new, Lehman-like financial crisis in the next six to 12 months, only this time involving the debt of governments and European banks.
He thinks it could drive stocks much lower, to levels at which they traded, well, just after the collapse of Lehman and AIG in fall 2008. “When it happens, it’s going to happen fast, and it’s going to be ugly and very deep,” he told me in a telephone interview, adding that he expects it to be “worse than the last crisis. Last time around, the governments had some room to bail people out. They don’t have that capacity [now].”
Editorial: 'Redshirting' kindergartners getting out of hand
9:33 pm EDT, Sep 13, 2011
More states now require children to turn 5 before they enroll in kindergarten. And more parents are voluntarily delaying their kids' entry into kindergarten — a step sometimes called "redshirting," after the college athletes who practice in red shirts but do not compete in games as freshmen, giving them an extra year of eligibility. Theoretically, the redshirted child gains by being the oldest rather than the youngest in the class. Not only might he or she be better prepared for classwork, being older might also make the child more confident or likely to be a leader.
How to See a Supernova This Weekend From Your Backyard
Topic: Current Events
11:07 pm EDT, Sep 1, 2011
Starting this weekend, the closest supernova found in at least 25 years will be visible from your backyard with just binoculars or a small telescope. The exploding white dwarf star is currently brightening in the Pinwheel Galaxy, nestled, from our perspective, within the Big Dipper.