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  1. i think what we disagree about is the lack of motivation. A lot of the confusion is about semantics. The Fed does 'create' currency (but as a swap to an asset of different duration which is also recorded). As a coincident evolution or as a contributory effect, central banks' fixation on low interest rates have been linked to gradually lower real yields. It's still not clear what this means. https://ggc-mauldin-images.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/newsletters/Image_11_20210410_TFTF.png Your reserves management hypothesis may be partly or even mostly correct. Only a handful of p
  2. It seems this thread has been going on forever but here's some anecdotal information. We live in close suburbs to the Montreal area and our area has shown similar (although less marked) pricing trends in real estate versus some other parts of Canada (ie Toronto and Vancouver). Also, foreign capital is not a significant factor and zoning issues continue to have relatively limited impact. Our second-door neighbors recently put their house for sale (virtually) on a Thursday night at 20h. In the following minutes, there was an avalanche of interest with people being ready to pay variable
  3. The work mentioned by KJP involved healthcare workers (certain risk to generalize conclusions) but the percentages mentioned involved both symptomatic and asymptomatic disease and the study was done at a time when the B117 strain was dominant in general UK community transmission. At this point (that may change over time), there is no definitive and direct evidence answering your question. When studies are made in initial vaccine trials, design setup involves to focus on efficacy of vaccines for individuals. Testing for efficacy against community transmission or the formation of clusters
  4. ^i guess 'political' is the wrong word. If your conclusion is based on a belief or a set of ideological (and potentially dogmatic) ideas, it becomes very hard to 'argue' based on facts and sound analysis. Solid evidence is building, showing that the efficacy (from stage 3 trials) is materializing into efficiency in the real world (Israel and others). The evidence is also building vs a dramatic decrease incidence in developing the disease (viral load, symptoms etc) and so transmission significant decrease can be reasonably expected. In Israel (also seen in the US and locally in my ar
  5. i've been to Atlantic City a few times (not for a while though) and it never seemed like an ideal place to develop new grocery retail space. However, it's a food desert and there may be a long term opportunity there. Specifically, there may be a market for locals and the potential for SNAP use is high. They also plan to include a job training center (i assume it's a staffing agency) in their new building and, from an on-the-ground perspective in my area, there is potential there too.
  6. ^QE is simply an asset swap, a swap that doesn't square well with points 1), 2) and 3). There are no clear upper limits to QE as long as technical (financial plumbing) issues are adjusted (ie bank ratios etc) and unseen side effects remain unseen. Restraints at this level have to be intrinsic (the 1913 Federal Reserve Act is interesting in that regard). There are two 'monetary' cycles (the inner Fed to banks cycle and the real economy cycle) with an intersection in commercial banks and subsidiary dealers. The central banks are finding out that they have very little influence on the r
  7. It's not clear if this is a mainstream topic or even relevant (and available time for this area is kept under 1%) but this is getting really weird. No? There's this recent piece which some may find interesting (it contains some interesting bank data and suggests an unusual solution) and which reveals how 'disconnected' (IMO) monetary authorities have become. The author (who likely is very bright and has noble intentions) basically suggests (to 'solve' the SLR technical features related to our new monetary era) to the Treasury to issue extra debt (overfund) to 'others' and use the cas
  8. It is an odds game and you can make your own assessment. It's still interesting to see how people evaluate low probability events and how context matters. There is a lot of noise now (maybe some underlying signal) about the Astra-Zeneca vaccine and the related 'thrombosis' risk. If there is a causality risk, it is extremely low, much lower for example that the thrombosis risk that women get exposed to when starting to take the birth control pill. Many people are refusing the A-Z vaccine based on that specific risk. Do you know many women wondering about their thrombosis risk when taking t
  9. Isn't this statement reflecting the spirit of this (investment) Board in general? An interesting aspect (opinion based on interpretation of presently known facts) is that most people aged below 50 who are reasonably healthy and who get vaccinated basically are getting vaccinated for the benefit of others. It was something that Alexis De Tocqueville noticed when he visited early America (many people will tend to do the 'right' thing especially if they're not told directly to do so).
  10. From the link: "Berkshire Hathaway is offering a five-year bond at 17-20 basis points over mid-swaps, which at current market levels is equivalent to a coupon of about 0.2%. The deal also includes 10-year, 15-year and 20-year notes, with expected ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings higher than those given to Japanese sovereign debt." BRK has a better credit rating than the 3rd largest economy in the world.. In September 2019 when BRK issued yen-denominated debt, their 10-yr yield was at about 0.44% with the 10-yr JGB at -0.25%. Today, the JGB 10-yr
  11. It's hard to see how one could translate this into an efficient 'trading' strategy going forward. One would have to guess what the Board is trying to say (we can pay dividends but have chosen not to? to improve liquidity of shares??). All i know is that it makes the process of tabulating the numbers much more cumbersome if you go back in time and then try to go forward from there especially if the company uses a 1.1:1 or another odd way to go about it. Possibly related though is the possibility to use (it's more a personal finance question, estate planning) a preferred stock dividend
  12. Are you American? Construction defects issues are common and rarely end up in Courts, but sometimes do. 2009bcsc1515.pdf (canlii.org) TL;DR version: The Caveat Emptor doctrine is alive and kicking in our Common Law world but contracts (about prudent risk sharing) sometimes come in the way. Caveat Emptor is matched with a high burden but can be overcome and then you (the buyer) can spread the action to the seller, the real estate agent or the home inspector (in this case, or the home inspector's insurer).
  13. ^The fund and manager of the fund were interesting. The third party logistics operator ideas (and others) were helpful. But the exercise reminds of the phenomenon that occurs when there is an accident on the highway and when people not directly involved slow down (to watch). Some say they want to learn and others are just curious. But it's possible that there is a side of us that is affected by morbid curiosity. i guess that's the part that John doesn't appreciate. Some people call this rubbernecking. Rubbernecking - Wikipedia
  14. This is interesting. This may be an interesting idea for a separate thread. The basic thesis is a re-rate over time based on net results that would end up better than expected. Their core 1-specialty commercial lines and 2-reinsurance lines have a very decent longer term track record (for 2012-20 period, 1- CAGR NPW 6.4% and avg CR 92.3%, 2- CAGR 4.8% and avg CR 90.1%). This part is looking reasonably good going forward and even with no growth and 100% CR on other lines (personal, farm, ranch etc), a base case scenario of 3.4% float growth is quite reasonable in the next few years. S
  15. There are two advantages to using a home inspector: 1-to negotiate a lower price and 2-as an insurance-type of deal (pay a 'premium' in exchange for some protection). For 2-, like all insurance 'deals', details matter. In my area (for perspective), the home inspection business is quite loosely regulated. In the US, this is a state-by-state situation (see below) for the licensing and insurance requirements. Whether required or not by the state, you may want to ask if the inspector holds insurance coverage. What you may be interested in is not general liability but more the errors and
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