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30 April 2010

Carnival Midway from The Jerk Welcome to the Friday, April 30, 2010 edition of On the Moneyed Midways! Each week, we scan the best of the week's money and business-related blog carnivals to find the best posts contributed to each.

That job is getting harder and harder.

Here's why. Blog carnivals, as a social media phenomenon, are dying. Over the years, we've seen a number of the carnivals we've frequently featured fall by the wayside. That distinguished list includes blog carnivals such as the Carnival of the Capitalists, but since the beginning of the year, now also appears to include the long-running Carnival of Real Estate and the Carnival of Debt Reduction, the latter's edition this week featuring just one, count them, one post.

Part of why that is, is technology-driven. Today's Internet search engines are capable of assembling closely related posts together for people to review much more easily that a real-life host can. Especially if all they want to do is read through a bunch of somewhat related posts on a given subject.

But the bigger reason why that is has to do with those who read blog carnivals. There just aren't many people who make a specific habit of doing that any more.

Here's a case in point. We recently hosted the Cavalcade of Risk which was, by blog carnival standards, a blowout success. Going by our site traffic, we found a distinct increase directly attributable to unique interest in the carnival that lasted more than a week.

And that's the problem. Almost all of the site traffic we saw for the Cavalcade of Risk originated from a handful of larger media sites, who were reacting to the original and timely content we had created specifically to feature as part of the Cavalcade of Risk.

We compared that traffic to the previous times we've hosted the Cavalcade of Risk, where we provided content that would stand apart from typical blog carnivals, but not as dramatically. Looking over our site traffic for each of our previous hosting efforts, we found that the blog carnival posts for the more "standard"-style carnival was almost indistinguishable from the typical variation we see in our site traffic levels during any given week.

Our conclusion is that offering original, timely, topical and compelling content makes a huge difference for generating traffic for a blog carnival.

We read lots of blog carnivals every week. We'll confirm that when counted on one's fingers, the number of blog carnival hosts who themselves provide original, timely, topical and compelling content as part of their hosting of a blog carnival in any given year will result in lots of fingers being left over. Even when you do the counting with the fingers of just one hand.

That's why we suspect that blog carnivals as a social media phenomenon are dying.

And yet, they're not quite dead yet. The best posts we found in the best of the past week's money and business-related blog carnivals await you below....

On the Moneyed Midways for April 30, 2010
Carnival Post Blog Comments
Carnival of HR Can Common Sense Be Learned? Great Leadership We're ready to send Dan McCarthy to Washington D.C. Not to run things, mind you, but like Jamie Oliver's PR trip to Huntington, West Virginia, to teach those who most need it how to develop it! The Best Post of the Week, Anywhere!
Carnival of Personal Finance Why Being Passionate About Your Career Can Drive You Nuts Funny About Money Simple Life in France takes on the maxim "Just do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life," showing that it doesn't really work that way in the real world!
Festival of Frugality Couponing for People Who Hate Couponing: A Zero-Stress Guide to Clipping Big Bargains Cheap Healthy Good Kris focuses on how to use coupons to achieve the "Cheap" part of Cheap Healthy Good's outlook on food!
Money Hacks Carnival Ban Antibiotics and Save Money Eliminate the Muda The LeanLifeCoach takes counterintuitive sense to a whole new level in taking on what the proper role of antibiotics should be. Absolutely essential reading!
Carnival of Debt Reduction An Example of Why Making the Minimum Payment on a Credit Card Is a Horrible Idea Free Money Finance With only one post making the relevance cut for this week's Carnival of Debt Reduction, we debated whether or not we should feature the carnival at all. Then we thought more about it and realized that carnival host MBH was doing us a real favor by highlighting the one contributed post that actually had something at all to do with debt reduction (we can only imagine how many off-topic posts had to be cut!)

OMM's Running Index for 2010

Presented in reverse chronological order....

Older Editions


29 April 2010

Do you remember back on 12 April 2010, when the Obama administration was trumpeting how much better the expected budget deficit for 2010 was going to be? When, magically, the White House's Office of Management and Budget's projection of the expected deficit dropped by just over $300 billion U.S. dollars from its originally forecast value of $1.6 trillion dollars to $1.29 trillion dollars?

We thought it might be fun to show how that forecast compares with how the Congressional Budget sees the deficit future in the United States, comparing what they had forecast in 2009 against what they're now forecasting for 2010, based on the year-over-year changes driven by what might best be described as a spending spree-for-all. The chart below reveals what we found:

CBO Deficit Projections for the President's Budget Proposals, FY 2010 vs FY 2011, with OMB Forecast for 2010

What we find is that compared to what the CBO had projected back in 2009 for 2010, President Obama's OMB newly-reduced forecast for 2010 still represents a nearly $149 billion dollar increase in the projected deficit for the year. So much for that claimed $300 billion reduction in the annual deficit for 2010!

More remarkably, in comparing the CBO's forecast based upon the President's Fiscal Year 2010 budget against the President's Fiscal Year 2011 budget, we see the long-term corrosive effect of the spending initiatives that President Obama and his majority party in the U.S. Congress have launched during the President's first year in office.

Yes, Virginia, the taxes you'll pay over your lifetime will be going up way more than you might ever have thought. That's something you can believe in!

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27 April 2010

Salamander Crossing Sign, Source: US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration Each spring in Monkton, Vermont, thousands of salamanders migrate from the upland areas where they spend the winter to the lowland swamps where they breed. To do that however, requires they cross Vergennes Road, where studies by a state wildlife biologist suggests that only about half of them make it across.

Thanks to a $150,000 grant taken from the taxes collected from Americans in places like Hawaii, Florida and Idaho, help is on the way!

The Monkton Conservation Commission announced Thursday that it has won a $150,000 state grant to install at least one, possibly two, culverts under the road so at least some amphibians, reptiles and small mammals can safely pass between uplands southeast of the road and an important swamp northwest of the crossing.

When completed in 2011, the project will be the first wildlife-crossing retrofit of a Vermont highway....

The award came from $3.8 million in federal funds the state is required to spend on transportation enhancement projects — typically bike and pedestrian paths, landscaping and the like. This is the first time the program has awarded money for a wildlife crossing.

But wait! Weren't there other ways to put these federal tax dollars to work to provide greater benefits to more people?

Well, yes, but they apparently weren't as important. You see, it's really about public safety:

Teams of volunteers turn out on some back roads around the state on warm, wet spring nights to ferry migrating salamanders to safety. Vergennes Road is too busy to be safe for a phalanx of volunteers, so the Conservation Commission proposed to add culverts under the road.

Which explains how the Monkton Conservation Commission was able to score Vermont's first ever federally-funded wildlife crossing for a state road. Because it makes it possible for the people of Monkton, Vermont to apply their own money to other, even more important uses.

How do we know? They told us so:

The Monkton Conservation Commission had applied for $225,000, which is enough, with private matching funds, to install the two highest-priority culverts. Parren said he is hopeful residents can raise enough private funds to meet the two-culvert goal.

Doing the math for the proposal, two culverts would be expected to cost about $450,000, with $225,000 proposed to come from the federal government, matched by $225,000 provided by the generosity of the residents of Monkton, Vermont, assuming a 50-50 split.

State wildlife biologist Steve Parren's comment suggests that the people of Monkton, Vermont didn't have to apply for any federal money to construct at least one of the culverts on their own, if they really cared about the public safety of both salamanders and people. But they chose not to do so, seeing an opportunity to score money for the project from the federal government, freeing up their own money for other things.

“We are absolutely thrilled,” said Chris Slesar, chairman of the conservation commission. “We understood that funds were limited, and competition would be fierce. I couldn’t be happier.”

We bet he's happy! Sadly though, there's no word yet on the emotional state of the taxpayers of Hawaii, Florida and Idaho whose tax dollars provided so much of the project's funding.

Source: Burlington Free Press


26 April 2010

Crystal Ball Earth Just how hard is it to predict what the stock market and economy are going to do? And how much harder does it get when you use one the most unforgiving measures of performance in sports to tell if you're any good at it?

The unforgiving metric we use is the plus-minus statistic from hockey and basketball, where we gain a point if we're right, lose a point when we're wrong, and score a zero for when the outcome of a prediction cannot yet be determined, or in the case where we make multiple predictions that ultimately cancel each other out.

What makes this method unforgiving is that getting close doesn't count. We could miss predicting where the S&P 500 would average a month ahead of time by, oh say, just seven points, and we'll lose a point on our plus-minus score for that kind of near-miss.

Adding up the totals of hits and misses over time, if our predictive ability is no better than the random outcome determined by a coin toss, our plus-minus score will drift toward a value of zero. If we're better at making predictions than simple randomness would suggest, then our plus-minus score will grow higher in value over time. If we're wrong, then our plus-minus score will fall in value. If we're really bad, then our plus-minus score will plunge into deep negative territory!

Since January 2008, we've posted some 60 posts in which we've made 69 distinct predictions, mostly having to do with where the stock market would go but also covering the direction of the U.S. economy, labor markets and in this issue, how long a certain box office bomb would last in the theaters!

So how did we do in the last three months since our last update, when we finally broke the double-decade mark and achieved a plus-minus score of +20?

Well, let's just say we're now in Jack Bauer territory! The table below updates the changes from the "too soon to tell" to "decided" status, the carry-overs where we're still waiting for the call and what we've done lately!...

Political Calculations' Plus-Minus Score Update, 26 April 2010
Date Prediction Outcome +/- Score
13 February 2009 We predict that significant changes in the U.S. income tax are in the works given the kinds of questions that members of the U.S. Senate (or their staffs) are asking us through Google. We'll see. Starting to look *very* likely. Continuing to look *very* likely. Thanks to President Obama's health care legislation, they have begun taking place - we're switching this prediction to the plus column! +1
13 August 2009 We make fun of 47 economists for predicting that the U.S. recession would end in the third quarter, based on the "Cash for Clunkers" program. We point out that the dividend futures data for the S&P 500 has been saying the recession would be over in 2009Q3 for months, long before C4C even became legislation! Too soon to tell. This prediction looks pretty likely, but we'll have to wait for the NBER to get around to declaring the date of the end of the recession. Update: Looking more and more likely. +0
8 September 2009 We suggest that teen employment figures might soon begin to improve provided no further minimum wage increases are in the works. Too soon to tell. Since the data comes out monthly, it may not be until early January (when December 2009's jobs data is released) where we'll have an answer. Update: At this writing, December 2009's jobs data indicates that teen employment figures are continuing to stabilize, or rather, have stopped their descent, which would indeed be an improvement. Update: We can confirm that teen employment figures have stabilized and are improving, most dramatically with respect to older workers (amazing what happens when minimum wage increases stop!) +1
21 December 2009 Using incomplete data for the month of December 2009, economy would dip in the second quarter of 2010, with a slow recovery afterward. We anticipate that meaningful growth in the number of jobs would likely begin with the third and fourth quarters of 2010. We anticipate that the NBER will declare the recession they found to have begun in December 2007 to have ended in the third quarter of 2009, but we make a case for 2010Q2 as a more realistic alternate. Too soon to tell. It will be a while before we get a full confirmation for these predictions. On the potential plus side for us, different branches of the Federal Reserve have used their own models for predicting what the NBER will do to find that July 2009 is the month they will most likely declare to be the ending date for the recession. +0
4 January 2010 Using all the data through the end of December 2009, we updated our preliminary forecast for January 2010 to put the average level of the S&P 500 between 1131 and 1165. Too soon to tell. The month's not over yet, but so far, we're on track! Update: Or we were, until the Obama administration flubbed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's re-nomination process. We hate to have to score this as a miss, seeing as we were only off by 7 points with the S&P 500 closing the month for an average of 1124, but the plus-minus scoring system is very unforgiving (which is why we use it!) -1
1 February 2010 We rebound from the Bernanke Correction by predicting that the S&P 500 would average between 1084 and 1111 in February 2010. The average for the S&P 500 for February 2010 came out at 1089.16 - we recover our pride! +1
4 February 2010 Apparently, forecasting where stock prices will go isn't enough for us! We resuscitate our "Modified Limo" method for predicting what GDP will be and use the finalized data from the third quarter of 2009 to anticipate that GDP would be finalized at a value within 2% of 13,284.9 billion chained 2005 U.S. dollars in for the fourth quarter of 2009. If we go by Table 3 of the BEA's final 2009Q4 GDP estimates, GDP for 2009Q4 was $13,149.5, which means we were only off by 1.0%! +1
1 March 2010 We identify March 2010 as being when investors would shift their focus forward to a farther point in the future, and calculate four possible scenarios based upon the available dividend futures data. We flat out state we don't know which one will apply and won't until after March. As it happened, the data strongly suggests investors shifted their focus to the future as defined by the dividend futures contract for the second quarter of 2010. We had forecast a range of 1106-1163 for the month using the futures data for that quarter, where stocks actually averaged 1151 for March 2010. We're scoring this as a zero since it's pretty clear we weren't making any sort of prediction, but were instead describing what would happen "if"! +0
24 March 2010 We examine Hollywood's gluttony for box-office bombs where making anti-war movies are concerned, and predict that Green Zone life expectancy in movie theaters would be either 5 or 6 weeks long! Green Zone's last day of business at the box office was 22 April 2010, six weeks after it first opened. It died as it lived, unwatched and unloved…. +1
31 March 2010 Using the finalized data for the fourth quarter of 2009, we project GDP for the first quarter of 2010 will be within 2% of $13,276.5 billion chained 2005 U.S. dollars! We even give nearly 70% odds of GDP falling between $13,136 and $13,417 in the first quarter! We won't know the answer until the BEA releases the finalized GDP data at the end of June 2010. +0
1 April 2010 Recognizing that thanks to the extraordinary market conditions of a year ago that our standard method for predicting stock prices would be off, we guesstimate that stocks will reach a level between 1233 and 1290 in April 2010. More significantly, we temper that optimistic forecast by predicting that the average of stock prices would fall below those levels. The month's not over yet, but we think seeing 1233 in April 2010, the bottom of our forecasted range, will be unlikely at this writing, although we're within 1.5% of it. We're scoring that prediction as a miss, but thank goodness we were smart enough to take the under, which nets our plus-minus score a goose egg for this batch! +0

Previously on Political Calculations

The following links will take you to our previous prediction outcome reports. You can get the most recent status updates by clicking the "track record" tag at the bottom of the post.

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23 April 2010

Carnival Midway from The Jerk Welcome to the Friday, April 23, 2010 edition of On the Moneyed Midways, your one-stop shop for catching up with the best posts we found among the past week's money and business-related blog carnivals!

Have you ever considered using the sun to cook your food? Because if you have, The Best Post of the Week, Anywhere! just may convince you how bizarrely simple it might be to create your own solar cooker!

But that's not all - there's something valuable you can learn from each of the posts we selected from the hundreds that appeared in the week's business and money-related blog carnivals, including things like what is worth more to have other people do for you, what travel web site is best for finding the lowest airfares, or a key reason why chiropractors often are at a disadvantage in their business.

Those posts, and the rest of the best of the week that was, await you below....

On the Moneyed Midways for April 23, 2010
Carnival Post Blog Comments
Carnival of Personal Finance Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and Others: What's the Best Travel Search Engine? Len Penzo dot Com If you've ever booked travel online, you've probably wondered which travel site is best for finding the lowest airfares. Len Penzo test pilots six popular sites in a non-scientific survey to see which delivers!
Cavalcade of Risk Mysterious Insurance Tricks InsureBlog Hank Stern suspects the forces of coincidence were at work when the highly-insured, 70+ year old mother-in-law of a corporate executive was found dead in her bathtub, following an evening she spent with a local businessman with whom she did business. Who just happened to be the owner and beneficiary of the "key man" life insurance policy.
Festival of Frugality Cloth Diaper Update: Not the Diapers Your Mom Used to Use The Homemaking Helper If you ever wanted to know just about everything there is to know about the current state of the art in cloth diapers, including how their cost compares to disposable versions, Tiffany's post is Absolutely essential reading!
Festival of Frugality My Refrigerator Solar Cooker Penniless Parenting Old fridge: check. Aluminum foil: check. Clear plastic tablecloth: check. The sun: check. Uncooked food: check. If you have these things, The Best Post of the Week, Anywhere! will tell you what you need to know to combine them to make an energy-cost free dinner!
Money Hacks Carnival 10 Situations in which DIY Is More Expensive MoneyNing Bram identifies things like growing food, building a computer, fixing appliances and doing taxes as things you can have others do both better and more cheaply than you can yourself!
Carnival of Money Stories Chiropractic Math and the Struggling Practice Chiropractic Marketing Mastery Dr. Beck finds that a lot of chiropractors are lacking one key skill needed to be successful in their practices: the ability to calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) for their business.
Best of Money Airstream Saga Continues: Jan and I Second Guess Our Decision Personal Finance By the Book Joe Plemon and his wife didn't really want to buy an Airstream camper last fall, but did anyway because they thought it might be good for their family. Here, he identifies the good and bad lessons learned from the experience.

OMM's Running Index for 2010

Presented in reverse chronological order....

Older Editions


22 April 2010

Kegless Beer Package Recently, home brewer and economist Phil Miller considered the very basic reasons why his fellow craft brewers had chosen bottles over cans in marketing their beverages.

In a nutshell, the technology for canning craft brews was prohibitively expensive given the small size of the production batches involved. It has only been recently that canning technology has become inexpensive enough to support craft brewers putting their products into cans.

But that development may have come too late! Australian designer Tom Hussey has developed an environmentally-friendly and relatively inexpensive packaging solution for beer: the Kegless box!

Brand X Daily reports on the development and its potential for revolutionizing how high quality craft beers might be shipped, marketed and consumed (HT: Core77):

With a two-pronged focus on cost and environmental impact, Hussey's invention eschews pricier bottles, kegs and cans in favor of a revolutionary collapsible container that maintains the CO2 pressure while barring oxygen. And it's turned heads. Hussey is one of 14 finalists in the student category of the 2010 Australian Design Award and the Australian component of the James Dyson Award who will advance to the global competition.

"I wanted to reduce the environmental effects, but also reduce cost and provide a marketing benefit," says Hussey, who has already received interest from one of Australia's major beer producers. "It's all very well to come out with a product that has less environmental impact, but people need to want to buy it."

Chances are that won't be a problem. Who can argue with a well-balanced beer that maintains quality and freshness for up to a month, but is also easy on the planet?

If it turns out to be less expensive than the alternatives for producers and can also support high quality for consumers while achieving its ambitious environmentally-friendly goals, who would argue with better indeed?

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21 April 2010

We missed it when it happened earlier this month, but we're catching up to the in-class presentation technology genius of Matthew Weathers, math professor at Biola University:

And for an all-time classic, he apparently had similar issues with his presentation technology last Halloween....


20 April 2010

If you're shopping for a mortgage these days, you're probably already aware of the pros and cons of the different kinds of mortgages out there.

We'll guess that based on the experience of the recent past, you've probably already rejected the idea of using Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) to finance the purchase of your next home, with the better idea that you don't want to be one of those people forced to scramble to come up with more money or else go through the foreclosure process when mortgage rates begin to rise from their current lows.

So you've probably narrowed your options down to fixed-rate mortgage products. But here, there are other questions to answer, like "how long do I really want to pay for my house?" and "how much do I want to pay each month?"

Mortgage and Economic Data
Input Data Values
Mortgage Principal (Amount Borrowed)
Annualized Rate of Inflation [%]
Marginal Income Tax Rate [%]
Input Data Shorter Term Longer Term
Mortgage Term [Years]
Mortgage Interest Rate [%]
Monthly Mortgage Payment Comparisons
Calculated Results Longer Term Mortgage,
Paid Over Longer Term
Shorter Term Mortgage,
Paid Over Shorter Term
Longer Term Mortgage,
Paid Over Shorter Term
Amount of Regular Mortgage Payment
Difference from Longer Term Regular Mortgage Payment
Cumulative Mortgage Payment Comparisons
Total Amount Paid Over Life of Mortgage
Savings Over Total Amount Paid for Longer Term Mortgage
Net Present Value Mortgage Comparisons
Net Present Value of Mortgage, Adjusted for Taxes and Inflation
Our latest tool can help you answer these questions! We've taken math developed by Helen Maynard over at her blog, Science and Money, where she worked out the net present values for mortgages of different durations, incorporating such factors as the tax deductibility of interest payments and inflation over time.

But better still, she asked a great "what if" question: "What if I get a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, but then pay extra each month to pay it off in 15 years?

That opens up an interesting opportunity for today's homeowners, in that they would be able to effectively reduce their payments by the extra amount they're putting into the mortgage to pay it off early should they run into real financial difficulty. Without ever having to negotiate new terms with their home lender and never having to go through President Obama's impotent mortgage modification program!

Needless to say, we couldn't pass up the challenge to convert Helen's math into an online tool you can use to do the math for yourselves. Enter the data and mortgage rates you're considering for your situation below, and we'll do the rest....

In our tool, we've assumed that the different mortgages are paid on a monthly basis. This allows us to make an apples-to-apples comparison with the payment schedule of the most common mortgages available in the United States.

Meanwhile, our default case assumes that the amount of the annualized rate of inflation is the same as the average observed for all periods of time greater than or equal to one month in duration in the United States since 1913 and that the marginal tax rate that applies is 28.0%. You're certainly welcome to adjust these figures as you see fit!

In comparing the results for our default scenario, we find that the net present value of the 15-year mortgage works out to be the lowest total cost option overall. So, for an extra $440.96 over what you would have to pay each month for a 30-year mortgage, you would save $119,421 total over what you would have to pay over the life of the 30-year mortgage.

However, we also see that the option of taking out a 30-year mortgage, but paying it off in 15 years, adds just $6,375.45 to that low net present value.

Converting that slightly higher net present value into real money terms, that means that for the extra $62.39 per month over the cost of a 15-year mortgage, you would save $108,191 over what you would have to pay over the life of the 30-year mortgage. Plus, you would be able to reduce the amount of your payment by 31% at any time if you should need to without any consequences other than having to pay off your mortgage over a longer period of time.

In the meantime, the homeowner also benefits by the faster rate at which they accumulate equity in their property, which is something that can also be tapped in case of a serious financial emergency. Which means that when it comes to mortgages, buying long but paying short might be the cheapest insurance a homeowner can have to deal with an uncertain future!

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19 April 2010

Just in case anyone still wonders what really drives stock prices in the long term, our chart showing the S&P 500's average monthly index value against the index' trailing year dividends per share should help remove any doubts.

S&P 500 Average Monthly Index Value vs Trailing Year Dividends per Share, December 1991 through March 2010, with data through 16 April 2010 What we see is that as of the data we have through 16 April 2010, stock prices have nearly closed the loop they've made with respect to the market's trailing year dividends per share.

What's more, since we are now observing the bottoming of the stock market's trailing year dividends per share, the conditions under which orderly growth can occur in the stock market will soon emerge. Those conditions require that the market's trailing year dividends per share grow in value over time as a basic requirement to allow orderly growth to occur.

At present, the data indicates the earliest that might occur approximately around June 2010.

Unfortunately, we don't yet know how long such a period might exist, since the dividend futures data that we use to create our forecasts only extends through the fourth quarter of 2010, at least as of this writing.

What we find more remarkable in the chart however is that whatever new period of order might soon emerge will do so from a level that would fall along the average projection curve defining the previous period of order in the market.

We saw this phenomenon before with the Dot-Com Bubble, where orderly growth resumed in the market after the disruptive event of the bubble concluded almost precisely at the average price level where it would have been placed by the market's trailing year dividends per share as defined by the market's previous period of order. Here, during the period from April 1997 through June 2003, the market first soared above that projected trajectory, then plummeted below it, before finally climbing back to it and embarking on a new stable trajectory. That period of order then held until December 2007.

Now, with positive trailing year dividend growth set to resume in the very near future, we see that phenomenon again with the stock market at this point in April 2010, with both stock prices and trailing year dividends per share approximately where they were in October 2005. And as it happens, right about at the level given by the projected trajectory for stock prices with respect to trailing year dividends per share that existed in the middle of the previous period of orderly growth.

S&P 500 Average Monthly Index Value vs Trailing Year Dividends per Share, June 1954 through March 2010, with data through 16 April 2010 The two observations, along with many others shown in the chart to the left, strongly suggest that the level of stock prices in the long run is nowhere near as random as might commonly be believed.

We find instead that stock prices in the long run are primarily a direct function of the value of their underlying dividends per share. In the short run, stock prices are primarily driven by changes in the expected rate of growth of the market's dividends per share. We find that noise, driven by common, randomly-timed events in the market, accounts for much of the deviation we see in both the short and long runs for the market.

If order does emerge in June 2010, the next six months will largely set the trajectory that we can reasonably expect stock prices to follow into the future. Knowing that trajectory will then allow us to project the future level of stock prices with a reasonable level of accuracy months, if not years, into the future - basically, as far as the available dividend futures data will allow us to see.

Provided, of course, that no new disruptive events occur that throw the market for another loop!

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16 April 2010

Carnival Midway from The Jerk Welcome to the Friday, April 16, 2010 edition of On the Moneyed Midways! Each week, we scan through hundreds of posts contributed to the best business and money-related blog carnivals to bring you the best posts we found in each.

We declare one of those posts to be The Best Post of the Week, Anywhere! Close contenders for that title are identified as Absolutely essential reading!

But make no mistake, each post we select for each edition of OMM is well worth your consideration. And what better way is there to kick off your essential weekend reading than with a peer-reviewed selection of high quality, highly entertaining and potentially thought provoking posts?

It all begins below....

On the Moneyed Midways for April 16, 2010
Carnival Post Blog Comments
Carnival of Debt Pay Off Your Student Loans While Carrying a Mortgage Digerati Life Green Panda's Mike guest blogs his counterintuitive views on why having both a mortgage and student loans to pay may be to a young college graduate's advantage.
Carnival of HR I'm Too Good at My Job Personal Success Absolutely essential reading! Suzanne Lucas talks through what you need to do when your top notch performance in doing your current job prevents you from being able to pursue new career opportunities.
Carnival of Personal Finance Top 10 Smarmy Financial Products on TV Rocket Finance Gold! Cash for gold! Whole life insurance! Injury lawyers! Reverse mortages! Tap the equity in your home! Debt consolidation! Bad credit cards! Government auctions! Payday loans! Josh explains what's wrong about all these schemes you see infomercialized on TV!
Carnival of Taxes 2011 Tax Increases = -6% Drop in GDP? Political Lore Michael looks at what the Congressional Budget Office projects the government will collect in taxes from 2009 through 2014 and estimates how much will be from higher taxes beginning in 2011. He's not optimistic for what that will mean for the economy.
Carnival of Trust What Do You Sell? A Lesson in Personal Branding The Sales Blog S. Anthony Iannarino explores why Tiger Woods lost so many endorsement deals and why his "personal brand" risks sinking to the status of Lindsay Lohan's if he doesn't deliver off the golf course. The Best Post of the Week, Anywhere!
Festival of Frugality Buying Futures at the Supermarket: Groceries as Investment Funny About Money Finally, we're no longer alone in considering the investment potential of items available at your local grocery store! Pinchnickel discusses how to extend the value of seasonal goods long past their normal shelf life when buying them cheap and storing them.
Best of Money Your Take: Who Pays the $200? Budgets Are Sexy J. Money offers his take on the story of a woman who was pulled over for a minor traffic infraction while driving her and her neighbor's kids. In the process, the police officer ticketed her since her neighbor's child wasn't wearning a seat belt. Now, she wants her neighbor to pay.... Absolutely essential reading!

OMM's Running Index for 2010

Presented in reverse chronological order....

Older Editions


About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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