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Comment: Re:Inflation (Score 1) 696 696

There is a difference between bonds and money. Bonds cannot be used to buy goods and services, money can. Inflation comes from too much money chasing too few goods. This plan would borrow from the federal reserve and use money to pay off maturing bonds (instead of raising the debt ceiling and using new bonds). The net impact on the money supply would be $5 trillion higher than using bonds. Given that the current money supply is about $9 trillion, this would be problematic, to say the least.

Comment: The work itself (Score 3, Insightful) 732 732

As a nerd that has a passion for finance, one thing worth considering is that the work of finance itself is tremendously fulfilling (outside of the demonizing that happens from some ill-informed quarters). The problems that you are presented with are fascinating, you are surrounded with motivated people of incredible ability, and have unbelievable responsibility at a young age - where else would I get to advise the CEO of a company on his strategy at age 25? If you have never helped a desperate company raise capital to avoid going bust by working consecutive 100 hour weeks, I suppose I can't really explain the feeling. Most of all, the work is just interesting. Or maybe I'm the devil.

Comment: Re:You know who else lost money on every car? (Score 1) 471 471

Any link? I suspect that those cars had a negative average cost - taking into account fixed overhead, sales, general and administrative, depreciation, etc. The difference here is that they are earning negative variable margin. In my world, there's a constant joke when you come across a product line with a negative variable margin: people like to joke, "yeah, but you make it up volume." Here, people don't have the same sense of irony. Perhaps if we close our eyes and concentrate, we can wish it to be economically feasible.

Comment: Re:That's a reversal (Score 2, Insightful) 274 274

My guess is that the company weighed the merits of continuing to exist against the issues of giving up control. They've lost over $250MM over the last few years and are probably still looking at a few years of losses ahead of them; that money has to come from somewhere. It might as well be public shareholders.

Comment: Re:How is this a problem? (Score 1) 411 411

"Lagging" means that it is easily predicted by other variables - such as industrial production (see federal reserve website for all sorts of fun data). Industrial production is arguably the most important variable. Stock market tends to be correllated to it, and lead it by a month or two. The objective facts are that 1) the stock market is correllated with many things that will happen in the future and 2) unemployment ~1 year out is very easily predicted. If unemployment matters most, we should address policy using "leading indidicators" and "coincident indicators" (those that tend to predict unemployment) rather than addressing the lagging indicators. To do otherwise would be to drive using the rear view mirror.

Comment: Re:It should Flash Crash to about 5000 (Score 1) 411 411

...and just 10 years ago it was worth 14,000. The point is that the only valid way to value a company is based on its projected cash flows, discounted to the present. Reasons for changes in price include: changes in projected cash flows (looks like we are not heading for a great depression), low treasury interest rates and low expected inflation, and higher degree of risk tolerance. I must have missed the semester where you value a security based on what some idiot pays for it (actually I guess that is technically the price=value strong form market efficiency hypothesis, but no one actually buys into that).

We all live in a state of ambitious poverty. -- Decimus Junius Juvenalis

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