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Sunday, December 21, 2014 12:46 AM

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Why Are Consumers Pessimistic?   While consumer sentiment has, in general, been on the upswing since the Great Recession, as we can see in this chart from FRED, even at its current level of 93.8, it is just reaching levels that would have been considered average during the period from the 1980s until the Great Recession took
The Comeback of Political Soft Money   Hidden in the trillion dollar 1774 page spending cromnibus (continuing resolution and omnibus) bill pasted together by Congress to avoid yet another government shutdown was a provision that would see the amount of money that wealthy donors could give to national political parties increase by
Jobless Claims Statistics - How Useful Are They?   Every Thursday morning at 09:30 Eastern Time, the investment world gets a vague notion of what is happening in the American economy through the Initial Unemployment Claims data released by the Department of Labor.  A recent paper by David Wiczer, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank
Overstated Tight Oil Reserves and a False Sense of Energy Independence    A recent publication, "Drilling Deeper", by J. David Hughes on behalf of the Post Carbon Institute has proven to be a most interesting resource in this current low-oil price environment.  As a geoscientist, I found this report to be extremely well written and the authors analysis was
Adjusting to a Low Price Oil Environment A Corporate Breakdown   In a recent posting, I looked at the break-even price for many of the world's key oil projects.  In that posting, I quoted from a report by Carbon Tracker Initiative, a U.K.-based think tank that examines the relationship between investing in fossil fuels and the climate, and attached this
Breaking Even in a Low Oil Price Environment   With the price of oil hitting levels not seen for more than four years, it's becoming an increasingly important issue for investors who are long on oil company shares, particularly given that some of the resource plays currently in vogue require prices that are far higher than conventional plays
Walmart, Tax Fairness and How to Exploit Tax Loopholes   Now that we're getting into the major shopping weeks of the retail year, I thought that this posting was particularly pertinent, given that it's about the world's largest retailer.   Walmart is the largest corporation in the United States with domestic net sales of $279

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