• “NO MATTER HOW IMPROBABLE, THE EVENT MOST LIKELY TO HAPPEN is the opposite of whatever the Davos consensus is.” Davos, Switzerland has hosted the World Economic Forum for 40 years, a conference of high-power business, banking & political leaders who “have nurtured a broad consensus in favor of globalization and open markets. At its core is the notion that capital, goods & people should be able to move freely across borders – a principle that can deliver huge benefits to those with education & money, but seems terrifying to those without either… After a year in which political upsets roiled financial markets and killed off the careers of once-dominant Davos-going politicians, the concern of delegates attending this time isn’t that their forecasts are often wrong, but that their worldview is.” [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK – Jan 16, 17]
  • BEWARE RECORD HIGH ASSET VALUATIONS. Since the 2008 crisis “which showed how investors could be prey to irrational exuberance by pushing asset prices to absurd levels,” monetary policy has been in a period of experimentation. Central banks have grappled with ‘zero bound’ interest rates and quantitative easing (i.e. money-printing without underlying collateral) in order to provide investors access to asset purchase and drive down longer-term interest rates. But “falling bond yields in the 1990s and 2000s foreshadowed today’s struggles with deflation and slow growth… Combined with the populist revolt, in large part a reaction against the free movement of capital and labor which has made so many financiers rich, a bleak outlook is possible – whereby rising nationalism leads to trade wars and an aging workforce makes it impossible for the rich world to regain the growth rates of past decades.” [THE ECONOMIST – Jan 7, 17]
  • AND POLITICIANS WONDER WHY BUSINESSES LEAVE L.A.? The Sanctuary City’s latest ‘Ordinance’ (effective 1/1/17) now impacts employers of ten or more who each work as little as two hours weekly, requiring that recruitment ads or solicitations state job consideration for applicants with criminal histories, and bars employers from asking applicants about their “criminal history – including an arrest or detention which did not result in conviction” until after making a conditional offer. Then, if asked, the employer must make a written assessment to evaluate “links between that history and inherent risks in duties of the position.” If the person is not hired, the job must stay open for five days while he/she can present “new information such as evidence of rehabilitation or other mitigating factors,” which then require the employer’s written re-assessment, providing the applicant a right to file civil lawsuit. Non-compliance penalties are up to $2,000 per violation.   [CITRON & DEUTSCH NWSLTR – Jan 10, 17]
  • RENEWABLE SOLAR & WIND ENERGY is now producing a quarter of the world’s power at the “same price or cheaper than new fossil fuel in more than 30 countries… and two-thirds of all nations will reach ‘grid parity’ within a few years, even without subsidies.” Las Vegas already runs entirely on renewable; Costa Rica did the same for 76 days last year; Google plans for 100% globally in 2017, and Tesla plans it by 2020. “We’re at a historic inflection point.” [PETER DIAMANDIS.COM – Jan 2, 17]
  • “PAYING EXCESSIVE ATTENTION TO FINANCIAL NEWS IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR WEALTH… 90% of Warren Buffett’s success can be explained by three factors: Patience, Compound interest, and Time… There is virtually no correlation between what the economy is doing and stock market returns… and imposing a Calendar Year onto long term trending sine waves is not an appropriate measure of portfolio performance… The intrinsic value of the stock market as a whole increases by about 1% every six weeks. Everything else is noise… People talk about market averages, but historically markets rarely trade anywhere close to averages. Stocks are typically swinging between far under or overvalued, crashing or surging. The middle ground we think of as ‘normal’ is a rarity. If you were laid flat with your head in a freezer and your feet in a furnace, on average you’d be feeling comfortable.” [RVW INVESTING GEMS]
  • ROBBERY RATES ARE FALLING IN AMERICA. One school of thought suggests that “men over 40 now offend at a much higher rate than did men of that age a couple decades ago. Today’s middle-aged crooks learned their trade in the 1980s when crime was relatively easy… but fewer novices are now taking their place.” Also, security has improved, incentive value of items once stolen (like TVs) has dropped markedly, and cybercrime (by technologically superior youth) is far less risky. [THE ECONOMIST – Jan 7, 17)

           “The fact that there’s a Highway to Hell and only a Stairway to Heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers.”

            Oh, the sad plight of poor ISIS brides:  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-14/meet-real-housewives-isis