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Gregor Samsa

Gregor Samsa

This site is designed as a “go to” source for traders, investors, policymakers and any interested in markets and the global economy. We provide informed opinion, timely market information, sources, and links.

Articles by Gregor Samsa

The Nonfarm Payrolls Report In Four Charts – Part 1

8 days ago

#CKStrong

We have crunched a lot of data from Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report (NFP) and have made some fascinating observations to share with our readers. 
This is the first post in a series in which we go deep into the data to bring you our insights on the condition of  the U.S. labor market. The later posts will get more granular into the employment subsectors (see last table below)
#1 – Total Private Nonfarm Payrolls
We prefer the private sector data, which excludes 22 million government jobs, of which 64 percent are local government payrolls; state governments make up 23 percent. The federal government (x/ military) is 13 percent of total government payrolls. 
Government workers are, in general, shielded from market forces, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not

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Tweet Of The Day: Pity The Penguins

9 days ago

#CKStrong

The first published account of penguins comes from Antonio Pigafetta, who was aboard Ferdinand Magellan’s first circumnavigation of the globe in 1520. They spotted the animals near what was probably Punta Tombo in Argentina. (He called them “strange geese.”) – Mental Floss

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Cheerleading: The Most Dangerous College Sport?

9 days ago

#CKStrong

Who would have thunk it? The most dangerous women’s high school and college sport!

Much of the focus is on cheerleading’s physical toll. It is the most dangerous sport for female college athletes, accounting for 71% of serious injuries, disabilities and fatalities. – The Economist 
Approximately 66% of all catastrophic injuries in either high school or college female athletes occur due to cheerleading accidents. Cheerleading has resulted in one death per year, on average, from 1991 to 2015. – Very Well Fit

George W. Bush: The 43rd President of the United States was not only a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, Skull and Bones, and the rugby team in college; he was also a cheerleader at Yale University.

Ronald Reagan: Our 40th President was a cheerleader at

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Are Stocks Having An Efficient Markets Moment?

11 days ago

#CKStrong

The efficient market hypothesis (EMH), alternatively known as the efficient market theory, is a hypothesis that states that share prices reflect all information and consistent alpha generation is impossible.  – Investopedia

Carol K., who is slowly emerging from a coma, has taught me many things.  One major lesson is that investing is not about predicting the future but a process.  And if you get it wrong, don’t get angry but adapt to the new market conditions, get on your horse and get back to even and beyond.  
The last two days really feel like stocks are having an efficient markets moment. That is a more hawkish Fed is being priced and markets are now concerned about their lofty valuations. 
We have resurrected GMM’s S&P Key Levels table, which illustrate what we

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Jan 6th – The Day “Good People…Morphed Into Terrorists”

12 days ago

#CKStrong

DAWN BANCROFT, a 59-year-old gym owner from Pennsylvania, travelled to the national capital a year ago this week to hear Donald Trump speak, not to commit terrorism. Yet as she marched up Constitution Avenue, with the former president’s instruction to “fight like hell” ringing in her ears, Ms Bancroft apparently mislaid her moral compass.
Forcing a way through the mob outside the Capitol building, she and her friend Diana came to a shattered window and clambered through it. “We got inside, we did our part,” Ms Bancroft later explained in a video message to her children. “We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the friggin’ brain. But we didn’t find her.”
After hearing the women plead guilty to a misdemeanour last September, Judge Emmet Sullivan wondered “how good

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Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor BMW

12 days ago

#CKStrong

Simply amazing.   Who would have thunk it just a few years back?
Thinking linearly in our nonlinear reality, which is getting more nonlinear by the day as we suspect we are at the elbow of the technological curve, can be hazardous to your forecasting.  Prepare to be amazed, a lot more!  

BMW Group wants to let you change the color of your car with the touch of a button.
On Jan. 5, it debuted a concept vehicle called the BMW iX Flow, which uses electrophoretic technology to change colors from black to white or combine black and white in a kaleidoscope of graphics across the surface of its body. The iX Flow is based on the electric iX SUV that BMW debuted in 2021. – Bloomberg

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See here for context of the post title,  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor

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World’s Fastest Growing Economies In 2022

16 days ago

#CKStrong

We have updated our tables of the IMF’s forecast and estimates of GDP growth rates for the G20 and the rest of the world for 2022 and 2021.  The post has always been a favorite for our readers.  The 2022 forecast ranks the world’s fastest growing economies in the ginormous table below. 
The data are from the October 2021 IMF’s World Economic Outlook so are a bit stale and do not reflect the new COVID variants but are close enough for government work and snapshot of the coming year. 

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Happy New Year Year! That Song?

18 days ago

#CKStrong
Happy New Year, folks!
Betcha didn’t know the song Auld Lang Syne was once Korea’s national anthem. Now you do.
Repost of a repost.
Happy New Year, folks!
After this year’s market returns, go out and enjoy one of these parties.  See ya’ next year.
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Repost
Posted on December 31, 2018
In 2019 I will try and learn something new every day.   Already have a head start:  Auld Lang Syne was the Korean national anthem until 1948 and made popular in the U.S. by Guy Lombardo.  Watch…

The US associates “Auld Lang Syne” with the New Year, but not everyone does.
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The COVID-19 League Of Nations

20 days ago

#CKStrong
Great chart from the Economist on how nations are faring during the pandemic using a multiple of indicators.  Those damn Nordic socialist countries are kicking our arse!

The pandemic has created winners and losers—and the dispersion between them is likely to persist in 2022.
In order to assess these differences, The Economist has gathered data on five economic and financial indicators—GDP, household incomes, stockmarket performance, capital spending and government indebtedness—for 23 rich countries. We have ranked each economy according to how well they have performed on each indicator, creating an overall league table (the chart shows the ranking and four of our five indicators). Some countries remain in the economic pits, while others are faring better than they were

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Not Quite In Full Flight

21 days ago

#CKStrong

According to Exante Data , creator of the following chart, U.S passengers now screened by the TSA is back to 83 percent of the 2019 levels. Getting there but not home yet.

I dropped my daughter and her significant other at SFO on Christmas Day to fly to London. At the same time, a good friend, known as Harry The K. on this site, flew back from Heathrow and is sick with THE symptoms but is yet to be tested. Godspeed, HTK.

Let’s take every precaution, throw off the fear and get back to normal. Don’t live like what King Solomon described as those who were afraid to get out of bed because “there are lions roaming the public square.”

May science and the miracle of modern medicine coupled with our unselfish and empathetic behavior kick COVID’s ass in 2022.

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Envy Always Leads To Misery

21 days ago

#CKStrong

Hope everyone is enjoying the Holidays.

This is a great video worth a few minutes of your time, especially the FOMO crowd.

Look for big changes coming to GMM in the next year.

Happy New Year! A healthy and prosperous one.

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“Consumers Spending At The Fastest Pace We’ve Ever Seen”

December 14, 2021

#CKStrong

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the nation’s second-largest bank said consumers are spending “at a faster rate” than he’s ever seen but he remains concerned about how inflation and supply-chain issues will influence the economy going into the winter. – Brian Moynihan,  CEO,  Bank of America

The above statement by Brian Moynhan jibes with our view and posts over the course of 2021.  
In our last post, a bit too wonky, we tried to convey how out of whack the bond market is with the economy.  We have redone the chart to rid it of the COVID outliers and it more clearly illustrates the historic difference beween nomimal GDP growth, which should come in aournd 15 percent in Q4, and the 10-year note yield.  The differential this quarter will come in only second to Q2 1978. 

The

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Stock Market Strength And The GDP-Bond Yield Gap

December 10, 2021

#CKStrong
A shout out to our beloved Carol K., who is very sick but still fighting the good fight in a Boston hospital. She has been couped up in medical isolation from family and friends for almost seven months.  CK is recovering from a stem cell transplant to treat her acute myeloid leukemia, which was most likely the result of  two rounds of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer and her bout with COVID earlier this year.  
It’s been a cruel past month as CK was due to be released twice but experienced setbacks. First, she slipped into a coma from complications of a newly diagnosed meningitis. Then after waking, she contracted influenza and pneumonia, all while fighting acute kidney failure, and, today, lays very sick in her hospital bed in Boston.  
In spite of her many illnesses and

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Are These The Charts That Spooked Jerome Powell?

December 1, 2021

#CKStrong

Fed Chair, Jerome Powell finally admitted today, at least, implicitly, there is too much stimulus demand (in the macro context) in the global economy and the Fed will have to accelerate its tapering.

The following charts clearly illustrate the U.S. economy is overheating and is a major contributing factor to inflation. Nominal retail sales and core capital good shipments remain 15 percent above and years ahead of their pre-COVID trend. Think of the trend line as the supply curve.
In hindsight, it is easy to say the global policymakers overshot with their stimulus, but it is certainly better than the alternative and a deep recession/depression.  Just as you and I, policymakers have to make decisions with imperfect information.  Counterfactuals don’t go a long way in

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Why The Majority Is Always Wrong

November 28, 2021

#CKStrong

Wow, GMM’s Carol K could have given this speech! She is definitely in the three percent the speaker references. The video is well worth your ten minutes. A potential huge return on a ten minute investment.

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How Regulators Lost Control Of Crypto – FT

November 21, 2021

#CKStrong
Just a quick aside before viewing this excellent video.
Many crypto brokers advertise zero commission trading.  The following is from the firm where I flip around in the cryptic world of Crypto:
Crypto trading has $0 commissions, however they are charged [bid-ask] spreads…When you buy a crypto asset at ____ we charge a “round trip” spread that covers both the buy and the sell. This spread varies depending on the crypto you’re investing in.  —>  [BTC = 0.75%; Dogecoin = 2.9%; Sheba = 2.9%;  Maker = 4.9%]
Any trader who has ever made markets for their customers knows that bid-offer spreads are not fixed, are fluid, and depend on the liquidity and volatility of the asset being bought or sold.  The spread is what the firm is paid for using its balance sheet to provide

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What Is The Metaverse?

November 13, 2021

#CKStrong

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See also, What the Metaverse Is, Who’s in It and Why It Matters

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Feels Like 1977: Inflation Too High, Money Too Loose

November 12, 2021

#CKStrong
Bad Grandpa and bad monetary policy. 
Originally posted:  June 13, 2021
This post is a short follow-up to our inflation piece from last night, Inflation In Context: A Liquidity Adjusted CPI Index, which was a bit too wonky, and we don’t think we were clear in making our points.

Again, we are sending all the prayers, positive thoughts, energy, miracles, crystals, and manifestations in the entire cosmos to GMM’s deeply loved Carol K., who continues to fight her multiple-front illness in Boston.  She contributed to this post and may or may not disagree with all the content. 

Inflation And Loose Financial Conditions
Our central thesis of last’s night piece is that inflation is rapidly accelerating, not just due to the “base effect,” and that financial conditions are far too

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The Off The Charts Bull Market

November 5, 2021

#CKStrong
Bezos, Musk, and Branson (BMB) are not the only ones to recently touch the earth’s thermosphere for a brief and shining moment; take a look at today’s stock market valuation.  Note the structural shift, which took place around 1995. Before the mid-1990s, valuations traded in a nonvolatile range of around 50 percent of GDP.   
Lots happened in the 1990s,  the internet, the return of the emerging markets post debt crisis, the rise of China (probably the most important factor), the end of the Cold War, and some massive sovereign bailouts. 
We get the trade, as we do in Crypto, but we do dare ask if valuations can continue to defy gravity, or will they be forced to return to earth – as in revert to the mean valuation — as did BMB?   If so, that would reverse the fears of

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QOTD: There Is Blood

November 4, 2021

#CKStrong

Inflation is way too high given exremely easy financial and monetary conditions.  There will be blood…The Democrats should begin to worry. – GMM,  June 11, 2021

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Going Back To Houston…

November 1, 2021

#CKStrong

Carol K. was slated to be discharged from a Boston hospital this week after a 5 1/2 month stay in isolation from a stem cell transplant (SCT) to treat her Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Her comorbidities — ovarian cancer, kidney failure, pneumonia, and COVID — made the SCT a Hail Mary and longshot against all odds. The SCT grafted, her blasts are down to normal levels and ANC (white blood cell count) are rising rapidly. Unfortunately, last week she was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis, probably the result of her recurring bouts with pneumonia and COVID complications. Friday she slipped into a coma and is back in the ICU. Send all you got her way, folks. Godspeed, Carol K.

Since baseball dominated the first 25 years of my life, GMM usually posts a piece on the

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The U.S. Budget Deficit

October 26, 2021

#CKStrong
The U.S. Treasury findly released their monthly statement on Friday, which closed the books on the government’s 2021 fiscal year (October to September).  The deficit came in at $2.8 trillion (12.0 percent of GDP, based on our Q3 GDP estimate) , a bit lower than FY 2020’s $3.1 trillion (14.8 percent of GDP).  Those are some massive deficits, folks. 

U.S. Deficit Larger Than 95 Percent Of Global Economies
In fact, the FY 2021 deficit was larger than Italy and Canada’s economy, bigger than 185 of the 192 country economies in the  IMF’ World Economic Outlook (WEO) database.  Take a look at the peak 12-month deficit of $4.1 trillion in March.  The March deficit would have made the G5. 

Financing The COVID Deficit
How can the U.S. Treasury finance $5 trillion in

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