Restaurant Performance Index shows solid Expansion in January

Note: In a related story, the WSJ reported yesterday Wages Rise at Restaurants as Labor Market TightensRestaurant wages zoomed up to an annualized pace of more than 3% in the second half of last year from below a 1.5% pace in the first half of 2013, according to the Labor Department. ... Many restaurant owners… Read More..

In Memory of Spock: Live Long and Prosper; Is He or Isn’t He? Fish Tomatoes, Hand Transplants, Sci-Fi vs. Reality

One of my favorite characters in TV history was Star Trek's "Spock". Yesterday, Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Died at 83. Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,”… Read More

Reflections on What is a Trader

Victor Niederhoffer recently posted on the topic of "What is a Trader?" and then announced a contest for the best short essay on that topic.  The winner will receive $ 1500 and, if my experience with a Niederhoffer contest many years ago holds true, something much more valuable.  It was my winning of Niederhoffer and… Read More

Breaking Bad (Debt) – Episode One

With stagnant real wages and household income 7% below 2008 levels, the average family is using their credit cards to pay for food, energy, clothing, utilities, taxes, and medical expenses. They are making the minimum payments and staying current ... Recent Commentaries |… Read More

Schedule for Week of March 1, 2015

The key report this week is the February employment report on Friday.Other key indicators include the January Personal Income and Outlays report on Monday, February ISM manufacturing index also on Monday, February vehicle sales on Tuesday, the ISM non-manufacturing index on Wednesday, and the January Trade Deficit on Friday.----- Monday, March 2nd -----8:30 AM ET: Personal Income… Read More

February 2015: Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 357 Institutions

This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.Here is the unofficial problem bank list for February, 2015. Changes and comments from surferdude808: Very busy week for the Unofficial Problem Bank List as the FDIC closed a bank and provided an update on its enforcement actions through January 2015. There were… Read More

Lawler on Pending Home Sales: NAR “Fixes’ Bad Data for West Region

From housing economist Tom Lawler:The National Association of Realtors reported that its Pending Home Sales Index, designed to gauge contract-signing activity on MLS-based existing home sales, increased by 1.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis from December to 104.2 in January. A value of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity in 2001.There… Read More

Bank Failure #4 in 2015: Doral Bank, San Juan, Puerto Rico

From the FDIC: Banco Popular De Puerto Rico, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, Assumes all of the Deposits of Doral Bank, San Juan, Puerto RicoAs of December 31, 2014, Doral Bank had approximately $ 5.9 billion in total assets and $ 4.1 billion in total deposits. ... The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit… Read More

London Value Investor Conference, 20th May: Featuring Charles Brandes, Dato’ Cheah Cheng Hye and Neil Woodford

[Sponsored Post] The London Value Investor conference is the largest gathering of Value Investors in Europe and is Moderated by Richard Oldfield and David Shapiro. It will take place on Wednesday 20th May at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, London. The conference will feature well known investors such as Charles Brandes, Dato’ CHEAH Cheng… Read More

Best Practices in Trading: The Power of Elimination

When I first tried my hand at developing quantitative models of markets, I was impressed by the predictive power I could gain by adding more predictors to my equations.  Of course, that worked just fine on an in-sample basis, but completely fell apart when applied out-of-sample and especially in real time.  Why?  Because the complicated… Read More