A Journal of Independent Research, Analysis,
 Opinion and Insight

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Better Markets
A Vision Of Wealth Creation For Many Vs. Wealth Extraction For Few
Better Markets, Inc., the non-partisan, non-profit independent Washington lobbying organization that Mike Masters, founder and managing principal of Atlanta’s Masters Capital, and Dennis Kelleher (pictured nearby) established a decade ago to take up the cudgels for the interests of ordinary Americans in the wake of the 2008’s massive bank bailout, celebrated its 10th anniversary last summer. Not with any extravagant bash, mind you. But with an entirely Covid-appropriate online conference of heavy hitters, from President Obama on down, reflecting on the impact of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, spawned — like Better Markets — by the Great Financial Crisis — and on a long, unfinished agenda aimed at coaxing, nudging, browbeating and yes, forcing, as necessary, the U.S. financial system to serve — not just itself, the few, the lucky, and the exceedingly rich — but all Americans, the productive economy and society at large.

Swapping Vol Is The Rage
4/23/21 8:00 AM
By Tim Quast
Google chose as motto “don’t be evil.” “Beware derivatives” isn’t a bad motto either.

If you’ve read the MSM long, you know we’ve beaten the drum like Boneshaker (when you hear the sound of the drum, here we come) over the risk in derivatives.

The Trouble With Bubbles
A Volatility Shock Is In The Cards
4/23/21 7:00 AM
By Michael Belkin
Barron’s says today’s wacky markets are beyond irrational exuberance. They’ve got a point.

General Motors Corp.
Shiny New EV Models Likely To Restore Its Fortunes
4/23/21 6:00 AM
By Jonathan Boyar
General Motors Company (“GM” or “the Company”) has been a leading global automaker since its inception over 100 years ago, but automotive company stocks have not been the most favored investments for decades due to cyclicality, high capital intensity, and low margins. However, with the recent onset of disruption from electric and autonomous vehicles (EVs and AVs, respectively), we believe that this dynamic could be changing.

Signs Of Froth
“To The Moon, Alice” And Margin Debt Growing Fast
4/23/21 8:20 AM
By Ron Griess
New all time highs were reached in April, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P500. Nasdaq and the Russel 2000 also reached highs. [More]

Dividends Look Good
Too Early To Be Contrary On Market’s Record Breadth
4/23/21 7:20 AM
By Blaze Tankersley
I was reading on the tape how traders are breathlessly waiting on NFLX EPS today. What could those numbers possibly tell you about, besides NFLX itself? The big earnings numbers the market waits on changes when leadership changes. [More]

Hints Of The Future?
Hints Of The Future? Small Biz Jobs Hard To Find, Soaring Grains, Food Index & Stocks
4/23/21 6:20 AM
By Andrew Addison
NFIB Small Business Job Openings Hard to Find Index just surged from a huge 20-year base. Might this be an early warning of some upward wage pressure next year?

This is one of the most important long-term charts to monitor closely (top chart). [More]

Metaphors Matter
Avoid False Dichotomy of “Jobs Or Climate” At All Costs
4/23/21 8:00 AM
By William Janeway
Whether it is called “Build Back Better” or a “Green Industrial Policy” or, indeed, a Green New Deal, it is imperative to reject the false dichotomy of “jobs against climate.”

Metaphors matter. [More]

Winners And Losers
Jobs Inequality Shifts Between GFC And The Pandemic
4/23/21 7:00 AM
By Steven Fazzari and Ella Needler
This article compares inequality in US employment across social groups in the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. [More]

Inspection Report
The Dirty Details Behind FDA’s Shut Down Of VAX Maker
4/23/21 6:00 AM
The Food and Drug Administration
As part of our regulatory processes for reviewing all manufacturing facilities, the FDA recently completed an inspection of Emergent BioSolutions, a proposed manufacturing facility for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine. [More]

Corporate Market Muscle
Emerging Policy Issues In Macroeconomics, Competition
4/23/21 5:00 AM
By Ufuk Akcigit et al
Corporate market power has risen in recent decades, and new estimates in this note suggest that the likely wave of small and medium-sized enterprise bankruptcies from the ongoing pandemic will further strengthen market concentration. [More]

Keynes’s Theories
Evolution And Contemporary Relevance Of The Business Cycle
4/23/21 4:00 AM
By Pablo Gabriel Bortz
This paper traces the evolution of John Maynard Keynes’s theory of the business cycle from his early writings in 1913 to his policy prescriptions for the control of fluctuations in the early 1940s. [More]

Commercial Real Estate
Financial Stability Risks During Covid Crisis And Beyond
4/23/21 3:00 AM
The International Monetary Fund
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis has hit the commercial real estate sector hard. [More]

Acute Observations, April 23, 2021
Perceptive Commentary from April 3-23, 2021
4/23/21 8:00 AM
The Lex Column
J&J cannot have it both ways. Litigation costs and Covid-19 vaccines are both extraordinary one-off events. Gorsky cannot be rewarded for good things such as the vaccine and not be held accountable for the bad things that happen, such as multibillion-dollar legal charges.