Closing Thought–11Jan18

Those damn pesky medical expenses…..

Anyone that has had to stay in the hospital for any length of time will know just how damn expensive American health care can be……if you have not experienced this then count yourself lucky and pray that you do not have some sort of debilitating disease or need some sort of “procedure”….for you will then learn just how high this situation can go.

The United States spends almost twice as much on health care, as a percentage of its economy, as other advanced industrialized countries — totaling $3.3 trillion, or 17.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2016.

But a few decades ago American health care spending was much closer to that of peer nations.

What happened?

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/upshot/us-health-care-expensive-country-comparison.html

Advertisements

Another Tulip Craze

Tulip craze?

Bitcoin is going through the roof and there may be a historic event that it mirrors……

Tulip Mania, also called Tulip Craze, Dutch Tulpenwindhandel, a speculative frenzy in 17th-century Holland over the sale of tulip bulbs. Tulips were introduced into Europe from Turkey shortly after 1550, and the delicately formed, vividly coloured flowers became a popular if costly item. The demand for differently coloured varieties of tulips soon exceeded the supply, and prices for individual bulbs of rare types began to rise to unwarranted heights in northern Europe. By about 1610 a single bulb of a new variety was acceptable as dowry for a bride, and a flourishing brewery in France was exchanged for one bulb of the variety Tulipe Brasserie. The craze reached its height in Holland during 1633–37. Before 1633 Holland’s tulip trade had been restricted to professional growers and experts, but the steadily rising prices tempted many ordinary middle-class and poor families to speculate in the tulip market. Homes, estates, and industries were mortgaged so that bulbs could be bought for resale at higher prices. Sales and resales were made many times over without the bulbs ever leaving the ground, and rare varieties of bulbs sold for the equivalent of hundreds of dollars each. The crash came early in 1637, when doubts arose as to whether prices would continue to increase. Almost overnight the price structure for tulips collapsed, sweeping away fortunes and leaving behind financial ruin for many ordinary Dutch families.

(britannica.com)

Bitcoin started at a low price and just recently went over $1000…..is this possibly a Tulip Craze again?

Over the festive season, the conversation in my household inevitably turned to the phenomenal rise — and fall — in the US dollar price (exchange rate) for Bitcoin during December (Figure 1). The roller-coaster ride of the blockchain-based currency has been front-page news for the mainstream media, where it has been both likened to and disassociated from the boom-and-bust of the infamous 1637 Dutch tulip craze.

http://www.aei.org/publication/is-bitcoin-the-tulip-craze-of-the-21st-century-or-something-else/

Will history repeat itself?  Will this situation be a bubble that burst and sends the economy into a tail spin?

It seems the “Oracle of Omaha” (?)…..sees it as a bubble also…..

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Wednesday that he would never invest in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, and predicted the wildly popular assets are in for a fall.

“I can say almost with certainty that cryptocurrencies will come to a bad end,” Buffett told CNBC in an interview.

Buffett’s comments were backed by Charlie Munger, his longtime partner at his investment company Berkshire Hathaway, who described the soaring values of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies as “bubbles”. Munger said investors “are excited because things are going up at the moment and it sounds vaguely modern. But I’m not excited.”

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/10/bitcoin-and-cryptocurrencies-will-come-to-a-bad-end-says-warren-buffett

If it does find the bottom and people will lose big…… I am sure that it will be Obama’s fault or maybe Clinton’s also….

Closing Thought–08Jan18

Those darn pesky facts

Trump recently signed a tax cut bill and several companies showed  their appreciation by giving its workers a bonus or a raise……and Trump had to proclaim these companies as forward looking and a credit to his “America First” agenda……but as usual Trump is a bullshit artist….

Companies like ComCast and AT&T were held up by Trump….well let’s look at the crap…..some are laying off workers…….but the tax bill saved them cash and they want to keep it…..

Comcast and AT&T were among the businesses that claimed Republican lawmakers’ effort to restructure the tax code in favor of wealthy corporations would allow them to be more generous to their workers, and publicly announced $1,000 year-end bonuses for their employees. The CEOs of both companies specifically cited the tax bill in separate press releases touting these “special” bonuses.

https://thinkprogress.org/companies-gop-tax-bonuses-layoffs-fdf07fdf90d2/

As usual the reality never gets reported for if they do then they are labeled “Fake News” by our mental deficient president…..somehow Obama will get the blame…..

My writing is getting old for the day….I will shut it down and rest for tomorrow’s stuff….chuq

More On Bitcoin

Bitcoin has made the news in a big way….I even did a post recently trying to help my readers understand just what Bitcoin is and how it works……

https://lobotero.com/2017/12/14/what-the-hell-is-bitcoin/

The Bitcoin craze gets crazier….

It had to happen sooner or later.

Digital cryptocurrencies have been on a rocket ride in 2017. The most famous, bitcoin, rose from under $1,000 at the start of the year to $5,000 in October. Then it blasted off to nearly $20,000 per bitcoin by mid-December. Other cryptocurrencies were carried along by the craze.

The thing is, it’s always been hard to identify a “there” there. Digital cryptocurrencies like bitcoin aren’t very good mediums of exchange or stores of value. Nothing seems to be fueling the price rise other than, well, excitement over the price rise.

http://theweek.com/articles/744889/when-bitcoin-craze-becomes-panic

Bitcoin is making in roads in the shadowy world of terrorism……it is a grand way to launder money but can it be used to finance terrorist networks?

Signs are increasing that jihadist groups are looking to capitalize on the rising value of bitcoin, as massive price increases for the cryptocurrency in recent months garner growing public attention. Cold, hard, untraceable cash remains their preferred medium for transmitting funds, but new online activity shows that some jihadist groups are soliciting bitcoins, which can be acquired and spent without any government or banking intermediary.

Terrorist networks cannot easily transact in the formal banking system, so they often employ innovative methods to gain resources. Multiple media outlets that promote al-Qaida or Islamic State (IS) propaganda have asked supporters in recent weeks to send funds to specific bitcoin addresses. In some cases, these have been Salafi Jihadist news websites purportedly seeking donations for site maintenance. But one campaign–still live as of Dec.20–asks for funds to support fighters in Syria.

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/exclusive/international/terrorist-networks-eye-bitcoin-cryptocurrencys-price-rises

Just another aspect of terrorism that must be monitored……but with the turmoil in DC are our Intel agencies capable of watching everything they need to watch?

What will be the future of the Bitcoin craze?

This is a financial bubble….kinda like the tech stocks in the 90’s……

What The Hell Is Bitcoin?

How many old farts are sitting there listening to the news and hear that Bitcoin has settled at $1400 at the close?

How many know what Bitcoin is?

The truth until recently I had no idea what it was……so to help out all those people scratching their heads when the term “Bitcoin” is mentioned…..

Bitcoin has transformed from an idea that some treated with great enthusiasm to an asset of strikingly growing value. It is digital currency, of which there are many others, and its price has soared in recent weeks. I will admit to not understanding what bitcoins are in principle, to the extent that I have not even been able to define my own questions. But now that I have developed some basic level of understanding, my core question is this: Is bitcoin a currency designed to facilitate commerce, or is it a commodity that has intrinsic value, which rises and falls according to supply and demand?

A currency can be treated as a commodity, being bought and sold to take advantage of fluctuations in its value relative to other currencies and assets. But its primary purpose is to facilitate exchange within and between societies. The alternative exchange mechanism is bartering, in which the price of a pair of shoes is defined relative to myriad other unique items, from corn to books and beyond. The problem with this is that without a common currency that provides a common and understandable valuation of each item, the process of trade, from investment to purchasing food, slows with major consequences for the economy. Alternatively, a currency arises with an exchange value separate from its use value. One example is gold, whose use value is somewhat limited, while its exchange value has been much higher, providing a stable basis for commerce.

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/what-is-bitcoin/

Bitcoin may be the way of the future……so now you know what it is dealing with…….and you will not be caught off guard when the change comes……

I still like the feel of cash…….

Closing Thought–06Nov17

Trump takes to Twitter to condemn Clinton, rag on Sessions, bitch about Comey, rail on about Mueller and pick in”Rocket Man…..in other words he belittles anyone that will not kiss his ass….instead he should be chest thumping about the economy and especially the unemployment rate that has come down under his regime….

US employers added a robust 261,000 jobs in October as the economy recovered from hurricanes that slammed the Southeast in September, per the AP. The Labor Department says the unemployment rate declined to 4.1%, the lowest in nearly 17 years, from 4.2% in September. The burst of hiring (though it was actually below estimates of 325,000, per the Wall Street Journal) mostly reflects a rebound from a trio of hurricanes that temporarily depressed job gains. But it also shows that for all their fury, the storms did not knock the economy off course.

“Now that the storms have passed, the focus can return to the central question for the United States job market: With unemployment low, when will wage growth accelerate?” writes Ben Casselman at the New York Times. Average hourly earnings continue to rise at about 2.5% year-over-year, below the annual rate economists would predict when unemployment is this low. Over the past three months, hiring has averaged 162,000. That is similar to the pace of hiring before the hurricanes. Employers added just 18,000 jobs in September, as thousands of businesses were forced to close. That figure was revised higher from a previous estimate that showed a loss of 33,000.

This is great news for the economy that he, Trump, could take credit for doing but instead he takes to Twitter like the spoiled brat that he is and just shows his stupidity with every new Tweet.

It is tiring writing about the idiot that we put in the White House…if he only had a brain.

That is it for me for today….TTFN….chuq

Closing Thought–13Oct17

When the news does not favor Trump then he takes to Tweeter and sets off belittling people or trying to draw attention to something that has anything to do with the running of this country.

He is so busy belittling people or trying to gin up some fake narrative that he misses his chance to come off in a good light.

For instance, instead of worrying about a knee or trying to take away the 1st amendment he should gave bee laser focused on the economy…..this week there was good news he could have used top bis advantage and to further his agenda…..

Stocks managed to post modest gains Wednesday on Wall Street, enough to set more record closing highs, the AP reports. Technology and health care stocks rose more than the rest of the market, while banks and phone companies fell. Johnson & Johnson rose 2.1% after the company asked regulators to approve a prostate cancer drug. Luxury goods maker Coach dropped 2.8% after saying it will change its name to Tapestry.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2,555. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42 points, or 0.2%, 22,872. The Nasdaq rose 16 points, or 0.2%, to 6,603. All three closed at record highs. Small-company stocks lagged the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index fell 1 point to 1,506.

Instead of showing his insecurities he should be thumping his chest about the good news from Wall Street.

It amazes me just how much good news he lets slip away while he chases one of his silly vendettas.