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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Some Thursday reading

Some stuff:

Bespoke - jobless claims better than expected. But in the topsy-turvy world of the US market, this news made stocks go up.

Mainly Macro - is "zero" the new normal? I first stumbled across this discussion on the Krugman blog. The suggestion is that zero-bound interest rates might be a new secular phenomenon. I find this an amazingly interesting idea. It's probably a result of there now being more wealth than yielding instruments able to absorb it, so wealth's competition for rents drives yields down below inflation. Dunno, I have to read more about it.

Mineweb - Cliff's throws in the towel on the ring of fire. And it burns, burns, burns - the ring of fire. I guess you can't make money mining chromite in the middle of the fucking muskeg, eh? But that's not what we were told 3 years ago, was it?

Mineweb - two reasons Whitey is staying out of gold. The "inflation" concern is utter bullshit, as I've said before. As for the other reason, "opportunity cost": that's one good reason for gold to have collapsed when the S&P 500 broke out to a new high. But secular bulls don't typically see 30% gains every year, so if gold starts acting like a proper supply-constrained commodity and starts going up on fundamentals, I'm sure Whitey will look at buying it again - this time as a commodity, not as some magical "inflation hedge".

FT Alphaville - the precariat need a basic income. Why not just call it the "exploited underclass" or the "army of surplus labour"? Why make up some silly new word? Anyway, at least people have started talking about "universal basic income". Personally, I feel that the state has to offer some new bribes to keep the masses content, since they've been taking so much of our freedom away for the past couple decades; the implicit government-citizenry social contract has been getting more and more lopsided. I hope universal basic income takes hold.

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