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Sunday, August 11, 2013

INVESTORS' INSIGHTS - Bloomberg, #JAPAN, Jim Rogers, New Taxes

INVESTORS' INSIGHTS:

Week Ended August 11, 2013


FIRST FINANCIAL INSIGHTS
"Investors' Insights"

 

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Japan’s Economy Grew Less-Than-Forecast 2.6% Last Quarter

Investment Drops - 
Annualised Growth 2.6% 

Recently folks were applauding the turn around in profits for some of JAPAN INC's biggest exporters, as short-term delusional benefits of its managed currency devaluation jumped earnings in the second quarter, leading some to even proclaim that the two decades of economic decay had finally come to an end. That celebration was short lived, as overall GDP growth for the period, did not meet expectations.

Moreover, business confidence, as measured by capital investment, drifts hesitantly despite improved profits. Consumers can look forward to a possible increase in sales taxes, that certainly cannot add to their feel good levels. Plus, as import costs increase, they can expect their pocket books to be squeezed much more in the months ahead. 

In all, the deflationary overhang is still there as low interest rates cause both consumers and businesses to act cautiously. It is still hard for commercial banks to lend too, because lenders " collateral values" can disappear in an overnight whisper of a rate increase. These internal structural weaknesses play into foreign competitions' hands as they can invest capital more effectively. That's not good for the export business.

At some point, Japan's deflation should disappear with the import of hyper-inflation on materials from other countries, at the same time, so should exports. Then what?  Growing global populations and shrinking resources will not work to save this economy from the fix it entered after its financial bubble burst and the finite constraints of a shrinking planet set  in.


INVESTORS' INSIGHTS
First Financial Insights
August 9, 2013


U.S. Births per Year



Looking at this moving graph gives you that sinking dizzy feeling after a while, but nonetheless it is interesting from a general point of view. The baby boom and subsequent bust are obvious as well as the general flattening of the distribution over time as medical health care improves. By 2060, the vast majority are over 21 years old - that should shape into different consumption patterns.

Moreover, more breakdowns would be useful such as income, education, origin, gender, geography, and occupation, amoung other attributes. Calculated Risk provides its own observations.

But lets not forget the most important factors are the growing population numbers and diminishing resources (wealth dilution), that makes immigration of any sort economically illogical. What corporate entity gives away its shares for free and dilutes its current stakeholders' wealth? None! Down the road, as this issue becomes more apparent, then the levying of hefty "Immigration  Taxes" of say a $100,000 per applicant or higher, starts to.make a whole lot of sense as a way earn revenues to balance fiscal budgets, sustain taxes and keep the dilution of real national wealth in check

This form of tax recognizes that the ideals of three hundred years ago no longer apply in a shrinking world, where key resources grow scarcer by the moment. To do otherwise, exposes nations to the greater possibilities of social unrest and political upheaval as austerities unfold  - when the planet's capacity to deliver the essentials of living is curtailed.


INVESTORS' INSIGHTS
First Financial Insights
August 8, 2013


Growing sentiment for taxation fairness


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Shale's Big Shoes to Fill

No kidding? In fact, we have done this analysis once before using Bill Gross's (PIMCO) numbers that puts US total debt closer to $100 trillion once all contingencies, guarantees  and other unfunded future liabilities are thrown into the pot. And that's present valuing related assets using today's long-term treasury rates. What happens when they double?

So what would it take to pay off the US debt - you would  think that one trillion barrels in  world -wide oil reserves would do it?  Under strict assumptions it does, but then how do you run the future economy? To be fair, this assumes too, that all US debt is owed to foreigners. It isn't. The vast majority is owed to other citizens that Keynesian economists believe we should  not fret about under the theory  - it is just money you owe  to yourself. That could be a hard one to explain to pensioners if one day that debt is cancelled for whatever reasons.

Still. we are on-side with Mr Rogers, as it is going to take a lot more than shale oil to pay the debt and keep the "physical economy" running for a few more decades. Think about it!

INVESTORS' INSIGHTS
First Financial Insights 
August 6,2013 

Another set of NUMBERS