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Wall Street Wrap: The good and the bad

The Trump economy is failing. The sky is falling!
First of all, let's debunk a myth promoted by the mainstream media, which usually gets anything to do with the economy -- or anything else -- wrong. You've probably heard that 7 percent of car owners are three months behind on their payments. The fine print: These are high-risk borrowers. Those with good credit and borrow through credit loans: Only 0.7 percent are late. Jared Dillian, one of my favorite writers, puts it straight in The Good News About Consumer Debt, which is still at a all-time unsustainable high, but not the gloom and doom the media are promoting (who are just finding ways to denigrate Trump's economy, or anything Trump.)

Besides, the Trump coup has failed

5 Big Reasons to Sell Your Home This Year (Because It Could Get Tougher)

Since the start of the year, rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage (the most popular home loan) have been falling, sliding last week to a new 12-month low of 4.37%.


The three major stock benchmark indexes finished at their highest levels since November 8, lifted by growing optimism over U.S.-China trade negotiations. 

Stupid Is as Stupid Does
Somewhere in the last 30-40 years, we have become economically illiterate.
Elizabeth Warren wants wealth taxes that will impose asset forfeitures of 2-3% on households with more than $50 million in assets. There are practical and legal problems with the implementation of these “taxes,” but she wants to implement them anyway.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70% income tax rate on incomes over $10 million. People sympathetic to the idea point out that this affects only 16,000 households and that it only returns marginal rates to historical levels, anyway. 
Rally continues, but is weaker than it looks
Yes, equities’ quick recovery from the October swoon was impressive. But stocks today still face many of the same stiff headwinds that were present at the September market top. So the last thing we should do is become too cocky.

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What happened when a Trump Supporter Challenged Me About the Wall

Vicky Alvear Schecter wrote in Medium | Poltics on Dec. 27, 2018 using her headline above. I thought it was pretty well written -- at least she made an attempt to keep her liberal bias out of it -- regardless of a few illogical fallacies

But she does make an attempt, in an effort to avoid her liberal bias, as she ponders  "...in order not to be accused by bias, I explained that I would only use conservative sources to prove my point."

To me, that's bias to start out with that premise. And I believe her premise is that she is against the wall. That's her stance. But she makes some good points, but some are skewed, even though she attempt to take a "conservative" approach, even by citing some "conservative" sources in her footnotes.

Here's the first problem: if she wanted to avoid bias, why not just stick to the the historical facts as written (when you can find them without bias), and not concern oneself with bias. "I must reject that becau…

Weekly wrap for Nov 9

After Thursday and Friday, it might seem the markets are down, but the weekly numbers tell a different story, with the three major indices up for the week. The Nasdaq, with its tech exposure, had the smallest increase. The tech sector is obviously under recent pressure. 

IndexNov 2Nov 9+/-%S&P 5002,723.062,781.01+ 57.95+ 2.12%Nasdaq7,356.997,406.90+ 49.91+ 0.67%DOW 3025,270.8325,989.30+ 718.47+ 2.84%
Over the last 12 months, the Dow is up 10.77 percent, the SP 500 up 7.6 percent, and the Nasdaq up 9.7 percent.  

The weekly chart of the SPY still indicates a long position in the broader market. (The blue line is the 34-week moving average; the red is the 13-week moving average).

















While the U.S. economy still seems to be just fine from most reports, investors seemed to worry about a couple of things on Thursday and Friday: 1) The Eurozone, 2) trade with China, and 3) the Fed and interest rates. Another topic of interest has been oil. 

First, it seems that the Fed has really not indicated …

U.S. Top Oil Producer, Thanks to Obama

\ You read that right.

The U.S. is now the largest oil producer in the world, according to the EIA, producing some 15 million BOE per day, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. (Remember back when Jimmy Carter said in 1979 the answer to our energy problems was to wear a warmer sweater...but you probably don't. He actually said this on national TV).

The United States is the top oil-producing country in the world, with an average of 14.86 million b/d, which accounts for 15.3% of the world's production. This is down from 15.12 million b/d in 2015, but it was enough to land the United States in the No. 1 spot, which it has held for the past four years running. (Source: Investopedia.)

Guess who takes credit for it? Granted, this increase in production began in 2012, but only because of private industry and the fact that the price of oil was at nearly all-time highs. And it dipped in 2016 because of Obama's anti-oil policies! 

But here he is again


Former President Barack Obama sure l…