Toro's Running of the Bulls Market Blog

The Coming Labor Shortage

Want to be a real contrarian?  Try arguing that there are going to be too many jobs this decade.  That is what the BLS does.

Total employment, a measure of all jobs in the U.S. economy, is projected to increase by 15.3 million over the 2008–18 period, representing a growth rate of 10.1 percent. ...

Foreign Direct Investment Has Benefited Canada

Canada has long had a love/hate relationship with foreign direct investment (FDI).  FDI brings economic activity and jobs but conjures up fears of foreign takeovers, especially by the United States.

However, FDI is unequivocally good for Canada, according to the Institute for Research on Public Policy.  Via Worthwhile Canadian Initiative.

NAFTA Increased Wages

NAFTA increased wages in all three countries.

What were the welfare e¤ects of NAFTA? Real wages increased in all NAFTA countries and Mexico had the largest gains. Almost 90% of the welfare gains and half of the increase in real wages for Mexico can be attributed to having access to cheaper intermediate goods. Canada and the United States gained relatively more than Mexico from liberalizing against the rest of the world.

Same Old, Same Old

Does this sound familiar?

  • The market has a scary two week decline.  Everyone panics and sentiment becomes very bearish.
  • The market rips higher on light volume.

Yes, it is 2009 all over again. 

The Fed Raises. Now What?

In a surprise move, the Federal Reserve raised the discount rate by a quarter point to 0.75% after the market close today.

Expect many market pundits to pooh-pooh the rate increase.  That is a mistake.

From 1945 to 1998, at the bottom of a typical bear market bottom, rising interest rates were positive for stocks as rising rates indicated an improving economy and increasing demand for credit.

A Scary Thought

On China's stimulus-induced economy, in this morning's Wall Street Journal.

If China's Property Bubble Bursts, Short Canada

Andy Xie is predicting that the Chinese property bubble is set to burst.

As bank lending slows, “it’s very difficult to see this demand continuing,” Xie, formerly Morgan Stanley’s chief Asian economist, told Bloomberg Television in Hong Kong today.

California Housing Inventory Hits 5-Year Low

From the WSJ.

California's inventory of unsold, previously owned homes shrank to a five-year low in December, in another sign that the state may be coming out of its worst housing slump in decades.

As a Shareholder of an Investment Bank, You Exist for the Bankers

I am not a fan of the investment bank model as a shareholder.  The collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman, and the takeover of Merrill Lynch was not a surprise to me, though the timing and velocity of the collapse was unexpected.  This is not because I am particularly foresightful or intelligent.  Rather, I think that eventually, any business model that dramatically leverages marked-to-market securities and relies on funding through public markets is a disaster waiting to happen.  I have little doubt that had the government not stepped in to directly intervene in the capital markets, both