Unexpectedly Intriguing!
19 марта, 11:32

The S&P 500 in the First Half of March 2018

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It has been a long week and a half since we closed out our month-long red zone forecast for the S&P 500. Since then, investors appear to have briefly flirted with focusing their forward-looking attention on 2018-Q2 in setting stock prices, but that didn't last very long, where in the second full week of March 2018, they would appear to be splitting their attention between 2018-Q2 and the much more distant future quarter of 2019-Q1. It has been pretty quiet week on the FedWatch front during all that time, which is attributable to Federal Reserve officials going into a news blackout period ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting in this upcoming week, which will conclude on Wednesday, 21 March 2018. At this point, investor expectations of a quarter point rate hike being announced this week are all but locked in, where investors are anticipating at least two more quarter point rate hikes to be announced in the next six months, before the end of each of the next two quarters. Probabilities for Target Federal Funds Rate at Selected Upcoming Fed Meeting Dates (CME FedWatch on 16 March 2018) FOMC Meeting Date Current 125-150 bps 150-175 bps 175-200 bps 200-225 bps 225-250 bps 250-275 bps 275-300 bps 12-Mar-2018 (2018-Q1) 5.6% 94.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 13-Jun-2018 (2018-Q2) 1.0% 22.0% 72.3% 4.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 26-Sep-2018 (2018-Q3) 0.3% 7.9% 37.1% 46.2% 8.2% 0.4% 0.0% 19-Dec-2018 (2018-Q4) 0.2% 4.1% 21.8% 39.7% 26.8% 6.8% 0.7% That marks a change in expectations, where previously, investors had expected three rate hikes in 2018, but in the first, second and fourth quarters, as opposed to occurring in the first, second and third quarters as they are now anticipating. At the same time, expectations of an additional quarter point hike in the fourth quarter are building, but as yet, have not reached the level where investors are giving at least a 50% chance of that happening. With Fed officials clammed up during the past 10 days, investors had little more than news headlines to catch their attention. Here are the potentially market-moving news items that caught ours.... Wednesday, 7 March 2018 Bostic says trade measures could offset tax cuts, lead to slower Fed Some countries may be exempted from planned U.S. metal tariffs: White House Oil prices fall with Wall Street and as U.S. crude output, stocks rise S&P ends down slightly as U.S. talks tariff exemptions Thursday, 8 March 2018 Oil steadies after big fall, but soaring US crude output still weighs QE lives!: U.S. Fed buys $3.4 bln of mortgage bonds, sells none Connecting the dots: Trump sets steel and aluminum tariffs but exempts Canada, Mexico Latest U.S. trade probe targets welded pipe: Commerce Department Mexico slaps tariffs on Chinese steel pipe for 'unfair' pricing EU extends duties on stainless steel pipes from China Old news, but part of the trend: Canada slaps duties on steel line pipe imported from China Stocks gain as U.S. tariffs milder than expected; oil falls Friday, 9 March 2018 Trump sets steel and aluminum tariffs but exempts Canada, Mexico China metal producers urge Beijing to retaliate on U.S. tariffs Oil prices rise nearly $2 amid broad market optimism Fed's Evans urges waiting a 'bit longer' on rate hikes Stocks, oil rally on U.S. jobs data, Korea news South Korea official's speech on Trump-North Korea leader meeting by May U.S. economy creates 313,000 jobs in February; wage growth slows Monday, 12 March 2018 Oil down 1 percent on continued concerns over U.S. output Dow, S&P weighed down by tariffs while tech boosts Nasdaq Tuesday, 13 March 2018 Oil edges up on strong China data, but rising U.S. output caps gains Trump eyes tariffs on up to $60 billion Chinese goods; tech, telecom, apparel targeted Gasoline, rents curb U.S. consumer price gains in February Wall Street slides on Tillerson exit, tariff worries Wednesday, 14 March 2018 Oil edges up after choppy session on mixed U.S. crude stocks data Wall Street slips as technology stocks lag Thursday, 15 March 2018 Oil prices jump, Brent hits highest in more than 2 weeks U.S. pressing China to cut trade surplus by $100 billion: White House S&P falls for fourth day as Mueller subpoena weighs Wall Street falls amid fears of trade war with China Friday, 16 March 2018 Oil edges up but rising crude supply checks gains Wall Street advances on strong industrial data but posts weekly losses EU starts retaliation process against U.S. tariffs For those keeping track, Barry Ritholtz found that the positives outweighed the negatives for the U.S. economy and markets in the first full week of March 2018, and that the they balanced each other during Week 2 of March 2018. We're making a point of noting the major international trade-related headlines, where U.S. President Trump's planned tariffs are certainly getting lots of attention, but through the first half of March 2018, we'll agree with Goldman Sachs' assessment that stock prices really aren't reflecting much of a concern over the probability of a broad trade war. Despite what the headlines are indicating, what we are seeing so far is mostly consistent with the typical levels of noise that have historically characterized the day-to-day volatility of stock prices. We'll continue paying attention to both trade headlines and stock prices to see if that apparent investor response continues.

16 марта, 11:27

Inventions in Everything: World's Brightest Flashlight and Glow-in-the-Dark Paint

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Every now and again, we're amazed by the potential utility of the inventions that we come across. Today is no different, where we have two inventions coming together that we learned about from Core77: Remember Stuart Semple? He's the British artist who started making and selling that ultra-black paint after artist Anish Kapoor tried to have it all to himself. Now Semple has created that paint's opposite: LIT, which is made out of "the most powerful light emitting pigment on the planet." This stuff is absolutely amazing. You can shine a light source on it, turn light source off, and the paint continues to give off light for up to 12 hours. It can also turn heat into light. And unlike regular glow-in-the-dark paint, it can be "recharged" indefinitely. To test this stuff out, science channel The Action Lab shone the world's brightest flashlight--a 32,000-lumen model made by Imalent--onto the paint to see how it responds. If you are too impatient to listen to the scientific explanation for what's happening here, skip ahead in the video to about 3:26. That's the kind of introduction the Inventions In Everything team lives for! Here's the video: Now for the cool part. You can actually own both of these things today! Amazon has the Imalent DX80 "The End of Darkness" 32,000 Lumen LED Rechargeable Flashlight available for $379.95 at this writing, while Stuart Semple is selling the LIT paint pigment powder from his UK-based website for £9.99 (or $13.80 U.S. dollars at this writing, not including shipping, but click here for the latest currency conversion rates). What would you do with these two things is something that you would have to work out for yourself, but we'd be interested in seeing the applications that people come up with! Other Stuff We Can't Believe Really ExistsHappy Holographic Halloween! Inventions in Everything: Ice Cream Pint Lock Inventions in Everything: Training Device for Beer Pong Inventions in Everything: The Flask from the Future Inventions in Everything: The Music Playing Bag of Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips Inventions in Everything: Floating Beer Pong Table Inventions in Everything: The Tree Transplanter Inventions in Everything: Stopping the Refrig-a-raider Inventions in Everything: Popping the Top on National Beer Day Inventions in Everything: Fishing for Boats Inventions in Everything: Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal Inventions in Everything: The Unwelcome Mat Hubcaps to Replace Snow Chains Young AIs in Love Inventions in Everything: Rolling on the Vinyl Tracks Inventions in Everything: Drilling Square Holes Inventions in Everything: The Future of Furniture Inventions in Everything: The WiFi Wig Inventions in Everything: Keeping Dog Time Inventions in Everything: Automated Window Blinds Inventions in Everything: Flying Snoopy! Inventions in Everything: Texting Your Dog a Treat Houseplants from Avatar The Kitchen Unitaskers You Cannot Live Without Inventions in Everything: The Baby Cage Inventions in Everything: The Alarm Clock of Damocles Inventions in Everything: The Toilet Snorkel Inventions in Everything: Antiterrorism Barriers Inventions in Everything: Geothermal Beer Coolers Inventions in Everything: The Salmon Cannon Powdered Wine: Just Add Water! Fail: The Newest Innovation in Ice Cream Unlimited Virtual Legos Inventions in Everything: The Ultimate Turkey Blind Inventions in Everything: Turning Cans Into Sippy Cups Inventions in Everything: Anatomical Lego Figures It's Not What You Think.... Inventions in Everything: Soup Bowl Attraction Inventions in Everything: Making Life More Difficult Inventions in Everything: The Oreo Separator Machine Air Shark! Markets in Everything: Stormtrooper Motorcycle Suit The Bike That Rides You One Inventor's Stick-to-itiveness High Five! Inventions for Everything The Best Mousetrap Ever An Invention for the True Wine Connoisseur Three of Ten Things You Don't Need on St. Patrick's Day The Future Just Got a Lot Cooler Than It Used to Be The Worst Piece of Design Ever Done The Magic Marker of the Future Coming Soon, to a Gym Near You!

15 марта, 11:47

Locating Distress in California's Economy

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California's economy struggled in 2017, to the point where it was quite reasonable to ask if the state was experiencing a recession. In answering that question, we found that economic and employment data from multiple sources were consistent with recessionary conditions being present within the state, which is to say that some sectors of California's economy were indeed experiencing elevated levels of distress during 2017, where one or more sectors would almost certainly have to be going through at least some degree of significant economic contraction. Further, since much of the negative impact that was clearly evident in the data for the state's employment levels was concentrated in the early months of 2017, that economic distress had to have really taken off in 2016, since changes in employment tend to lag behind changes in economic circumstances for employers. Around the same time that we did those bits of analysis, we began playing with some new tools for assessing the health of the economy within a given region, which would potentially provide some insight into the nature of the economic distress that was clearly occurring within California using an unconventional metric: the imagery of nighttime lights within the state as documented by NASA's Black Marble project in 2012 and 2016 through the space agency's Worldview application. So we focused on California's nighttime lights and compared the changes we found between 2012 and 2016. In doing that, we discovered that the most significant changes were taking place in California's Central Valley, where we found numerous lights dim or disappear in that region between 2012 and 2016, which would be consistent with a diminished level of human, and thus economic, activity occurring throughout much of that region between those years. The following animated image shuttles back and forth between the satellite images of California's Central Valley from 2012 and 2016 every three seconds, where the dimming of nighttime lights in the region from 2012 to 2016 becomes clearly evident. It is almost axiomatic that geography has a profound influence on the composition of a region's economy, so knowing where the lights went out in California's Central Valley between 2012 and 2016 could tell us quite a lot about what sectors of the state's economy were experiencing the greatest amount of distress. So we matched where the lights went out to the communities closest to them, as shown in the following map: In doing this exercise, we couldn't help but notice that some of the most noticeable changes occurred in the part of the region that is to the west of Bakersfield, California, in the western portion of Kern County, which was something of a red flag because, as Wikipedia describes it, "the city is a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production. Kern County is the most productive oil producing county, and the fourth most productive agricultural county (by value) in the United States." That's important, because California experienced both a severe multi-year drought that officially ended in April 2017 and also the negative impact of oil prices collapsing in mid-2014, where they didn't hit bottom until February 2016 before going on to stabilize and partially recover. Of these two industries, the evidence of the dimming nighttime lights between 2012 and 2016 in California's Central Valley prompted us to focus more closely on the state's crude oil production, where we hypothesized that most of what we're seeing is a reduction in natural gas flaring at the state's major oil fields. We then extracted both the state's crude oil field production numbers and its price per barrel from the U.S. Energy Information Administration's databases. In the following chart, we're presenting the trailing twelve month total of its crude oil production along with the state's monthly crude oil prices, mainly for the sake of showing how the rolling annual production level of crude oil in the state changed, where we're capturing data over a 10 year period, from January 2008 through December 2017. We opted for this presentation because it provides a quick way to compare California's total crude oil production from one year to the next by looking at the values recorded in December each year, while also providing an indication of how the monthly production numbers were changing. Looking at the period from 2015 through 2017, we see that the California's trailing twelve month total crude oil production was 201 million barrels in December 2015, which declined to 186 million barrels in December 2016 (92.4% of December 2015's value), which then went on to decline more to 174 million barrels in December 2017 (86.3% of December 2015's level). In very real terms then, we confirm that the California's oil industry contracted by nearly 14% from December 2015 to December 2017. In nominal terms, the picture is much worse. The state's crude oil production sector has shrunk from being an annual output that was consistently worth about $20 billion in the period from 2012 through mid-2014 to an annual output of $8.3 billion at the end of 2017, which works out to be a reduction of 58%. We confirm that California's economy most certainly experienced recessionary conditions in 2017, with the state's oil industry experiencing a recession that in real terms, was hopefully finally reaching its bottom at the end of that year. It is still very early in 2018, where time will tell if that proves to be the case. That also makes the experience of California's oil production very different from the experience of other U.S. oil producing states, which have seen their crude oil production rise sharply in 2017 as oil prices have risen off their 2016 bottom, which indicates that factors unique to California are responsible for the continuing recession in the state economy's crude oil production sector. If it hadn't, California would have turned in a stronger economic performance than it did in 2017. Instead, California finds itself in a schizophrenic situation with two economies, where one is not progressing, to paraphrase one of the many politicians seeking to become the state's next governor. What the data for 2017 makes evident is that California cannot count on the "coastal and thriving" portion of its economy to fully offset continuing economic distress in the state's interior. That kind of worked in 2015 and 2016, but wasn't enough to keep the state's economy from being knocked off its growth trajectory for those years in 2017. There's a very human cost that comes from the sustained distress in the state's interior, which is showing up in the growing population of homeless Californians, particularly in the Central Valley, where limited resources to support the displaced are being strained, but also in the state's major metropolitan areas, where many of the displaced are going. It's the kind of distress that the economics equivalent of a climate change denier might try to sweep away or dismiss by deceptively presenting statistics that conceal the widespread economic pain being felt by those who have been negatively impacted in their communities, but which most certainly is there, in a uniquely Californian way, all the same. It is even visible from space. ReferencesU.S. Energy Information Administration. California Field Production of Crude Oil [Monthly]. [Excel Spreadsheet]. Accessed 28 February 2018. U.S. Energy Information Administration. California Midway-Sunset First Purchase Price [Monthly]. [Excel Spreadsheet]. Accessed 1 March 2018. Oil & Gas 360. How Big Is California's Oil and Gas Industry? OilPrice.com. [Online Article]. 11 June 2017.

Выбор редакции
14 марта, 11:22

U.S. Exports to China Crash in January 2018

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The year-over-year growth rate in the exchange rate-adjusted value of goods and services exported by the United States to China crashed in January 2018, which prompted President Trump to tweet, as many things do, the following comment on Twitter: Here's the update to our chart tracking the year-over-year growth rate of trade between the U.S. and China showing the plunge: We dug deeper into the U.S. Census Bureau's trade data for U.S. exports to China in January 2018, where we found the culprit responsible for crashing the year over year growth rate of U.S. exports to China: soybeans. Compared to January 2017, when the U.S. sent over $1.937 billion of soybeans to China, in January 2018, the U.S. sent just a little over $1.244 billion, where that $693 million year over year decline more than accounts for the overall topline $237 million decline in U.S. exports to China in the year over year numbers. For reference, in January 2017, the U.S. exported some $10.072 billion worth of goods and services to China, while in January 2018, the U.S. exported a total of $9.835 billion. Since we've already covered the story of what's really behind the reduction of U.S. soybean exports to to China following the 2017 harvest, we'll observe that one way that U.S. soybean producers can boost their numbers is to focus on improving the quality of their product and shipments. But if President Trump really wants to reduce the trade deficit with China, a good place to begin would be to expand the range of goods and services that U.S. businesses export to China in larger numbers than they do today. Crude oil exports have been a good place to start, and without them, January 2018 would have been disastrous. Perhaps U.S. businesses with medical and surgical technologies to sell would be a promising area for expanding the breadth of U.S. exports to China. Or optical fibers. Or any one of several other U.S. product categories that proved to be unexpectedly popular with Chinese importers in January 2018. Instead.... In the both the ideal and in the real world, the correct goal is to expand the total volume of goods and services expanded between the two nations, where what the U.S. really benefits from a rising trend in the black line shown in the following chart. How hard can it be? Or perhaps the better question to ask is: "How hard does it need to be?"

Выбор редакции
13 марта, 11:22

Philadelphia Mayor Scales Back Soda Tax Ambitions

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In Philadelphia's City Hall, the proverbial chickens have begun to come home to roost as a direct result of the failure of the city's controversial soda tax to bring in as much revenue as city leaders were counting upon to fund the spending that they used to justify imposing the tax. Instead, the tax has fallen nearly 15% short of its annual revenue target of $92.4 million in its first year, making it just a matter of time before the city's politicians might turn to either hiking other taxes to make up the shortfall or to impose cuts on the spending ambitions of the city's elected officials. In a dramatic reversal from statements city officials made just two months ago, where they refused to contemplate any scaling back of the Philadelphia Beverage Tax' revenue projections or cuts to the programs that revenue was meant to support, the city's mayor, Jim Kenney, is finally being forced to acknowledge that the tax isn't delivering on his promises to Philadelphians. With 12 months of beverage tax data to build on, the Kenney administration is lowering its revenue expectations for the tax in the current fiscal year and it now anticipates the soda tax will bring in a similar dollar amount across each of the next five fiscal years. The Philadelphia Beverage Tax will account for 1.7 percent of Mayor Jim Kenney's $4.7 billion proposed budget for FY19, expecting to draw $78 million in FY19, which begins July 1. Note, however, the administration remains open to further adjustments, citing PBT's nascent status.That's a change from the $92 million annual revenue originally predicted prior to PBT's implementation, a number the administration stuck by as monthly revenue figures throughout last year indicated it would be missed. With $78.8 million collected over 2017 (the calendar year is split between two fiscal years), the tax, in a sense, reached 85 percent of its collection goal. The dollars supported 12 community schools and the creation of 2,000 pre-K seats, 700 of which have already turned over to new students. At this writing, the controversial tax on the distribution of all regular or diet, naturally or artificially-sweetened beverages for retail sale within Philadelphia's city limits still faces legal jeopardy, where the state's supreme court has agreed to hear the case. The question of whether the tax can even be legally imposed under Pennsylvania state law has restrained Philadelphia city officials from being able to spend all of the proceeds that they have collected from having imposed the tax, with $30 million of their total take currently sitting idle in the city's accounts. Mayor Jim Kenney would also appear to be hedging his bets that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will rule in the city's favor. The mayor is calling for new tax hikes to cover projected shortfalls in spending to support the city's schools that could easily be extended to also cover the shortfalls caused by the failure of Philadelphia's sugary drink tax to generate as much revenue as city officials desired to fund the Mayor's programs to provide "free" pre-K education and to support community schools. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney promised local investment when he advocated local control of the city’s school system.His latest budget proposal delivers just that, hiking property taxes and reducing scheduled business tax reductions to cover the district’s looming deficit.The mayor’s plan, released Thursday, would send a projected $980 million to the School District of Philadelphia over the next five years. That money would ward off any potential cuts and give the district long-term financial stability it hasn’t enjoyed in years.To make the math work, the mayor is proposing four major revenue streams: a 6 percent property tax increase that would generate $475 million; an increase in the real estate transfer tax to add $66 million; an increase in the city’s annual contribution to the school district that would add $20 million a year and $100 million over the next five; a slowdown in planned wage tax reductions that would save $340 million. That $340 million would then be diverted to the school district. It would therefore seem that Philadelphia's mayor will be taking the route of hiking taxes on Philadelphians across the board rather than reducing any of his promised spending. From a fiscal policy standpoint, that city officials even supported using the proceeds from Philadelphia's beverage tax to fund pre-K and community schools was always highly questionable, where in its role as a "sin" tax, if it was in any way more successful than expected in reducing the purchases of taxable sweetened beverages in the city, it would have guaranteed that the funding for these programs supported by the tax would be at risk. Which, more or less, is exactly what happened, where the tax prompted a much more severe than anticipated decline in the sales of beverages subject to the tax, as can be seen in the chart above. The extent to which the tax may have meaningfully reduced the consumption of the taxed beverages in the city is still an open question, where city residents have demonstrated that they are able to avoid the taxes as they might choose through a variety of lawful strategies. [To close on a side note, the city's revenue report for January 2018, which finalizes the actual revenue collected for the Philadelphia Beverage Tax through December 2017, indicates that the city only collected $6,343,962 for beverages distributed in Philadelphia during the month of December 2017. The $6,530,970 figure indicated in our first chart for the month of December 2017 includes $187,008 of revenue for beverages that were subjected to the tax in January 2018. The relatively small difference makes no meaningful difference in our analysis.] Previously on Political CalculationsWe've been covering the story of Philadelphia's flawed soda tax on roughly a monthly basis from almost the very beginning, where our coverage began as something of a natural extension from one of the stories we featured as part of our Examples of Junk Science Series. The linked list below will take you through all our in-near-real-time analysis of the impact of the tax, which at this writing, has still to reach its end. Examples of Junk Science: Taxing Treats Philadelphia Soda Tax Crushes Soft Drink Sales The Tax Incidence and Deadweight Loss of Philadelphia's Soda Tax Philadelphia's Soda Tax Collections Are Falling Short Philly's Soda Tax Collections Continue to Fall Short of Goals Jobs Gained and Lost from Philadelphia's Soda Tax Philadelphia Soda Sales Volume Down 34% Since Tax Philadelphia Soda Tax to Shrink City's Economy by $20 Million Big Miss for Philadelphia's Beverage Tax Odds and Ends for Philadelphia's Soda Tax Legal Jeopardy for Philadelphia's Soda Tax Soda Tax Driving Philadelphians To Drink? Philadelphia Soda Tax Collections Start Fiscal Year in Deep Hole Philadelphia Soda Tax Collections Continues Falling Flat A Natural Experiment for Philadelphia's Soda Tax Philadelphia Soda Tax $20 Million Short with One Month to Go in First Year Philadelphia Soda Tax Falls 15% Short of Target

12 марта, 11:40

Trends for New Home Sale Prices at the Beginning of 2018

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At the beginning of 2018, we find that median new home sale prices are continuing to follow the upward trajectory that they have since September 2015, where they are escalating at an average rate of $942 each month. That steady pace of growth is the slowest rate of change for median new home sale prices recorded over the previous 5-6 years, which have been dominated by three major trends. In the two years prior to the current trend, they were increasing at $1,511 per month and if we go back to the year from July 2012 to July 2013, when Wall Street investors aided by the Obama administration shrank the total supply of housing on the market in the U.S. by buying up thousands of foreclosed homes, is much slower than the average $2,476 per month increases that were recorded during that period of shortage-driven housing price inflation. In our next chart, we'll go back to the beginning of the current century, where we'll map the relationship between median new home sale prices and median household income: The period from December 2000 through the present captures the impact of the shortage-driving housing bubbles that have dominated the U.S. new home market, where median house prices have skyrocketed with respect to median household incomes. We do need to note that the annual median household income estimates since 2014 are showing considerably faster growth for this household demographic characteristic compared to the period ending in 2014, which is largely a consequence of changes in the U.S. Census Bureau's methodology for collecting income data in its ongoing Current Population Survey. We are currently working on a project that will better take those changes into account that will lead us to revise our monthly estimates of median household income, where we are currently engaged in the very slow process of accumulating data. Getting back to the trends in new home sale prices, the following chart shows all the data that we have available for depicting the trends in the relationship between median new home sale prices and median household income going back to 1967, which is the earliest year for which the U.S. Census Bureau reports median household income. The amazing thing is how linear the trends were before the era of the housing bubbles began! Data SourcesU.S. Census Bureau. Median and Average Sales Prices of New Homes Sold in the United States. [PDF Document]. Last Updated: 26 February 2018. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Table 2.6. Personal Income and Its Disposition, Monthly, Personal Income and Outlays, Not Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly, Middle of Month. Population. [Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 1 March 2018. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Table 2.6. Personal Income and Its Disposition, Monthly, Personal Income and Outlays, Not Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly, Middle of Month. Compensation of Employees, Received: Wage and Salary Disbursements. [Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 1 March 2018.

09 марта, 11:45

Inventions in Everything: On Track for Ten Million Patents

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Sometime during 2018, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) expects to issue U.S. Patent Number 10,000,000. As of 6 March 2018, it was only up to its 9,913,420th utility patent, so if we had to guess, at its current rate of issuing over 24,000 patents per month, it will reach that milestone sometime in the next three to four months. Back in 2011, the USPTO marked the occasion of issuing its 8 millionth patent with a special press release featuring each of the U.S. patents it has issued at multiples of one million, which is the last time they remarked on having granted so many. The Inventions in Everything team has taken this opportunity to update the USPTO's original press release so that when U.S. Patent Number 10,000,000 is granted later this year, we'll be ready to celebrate the event without having to go back and figure out what happened to U.S. Patent 9,000,000! The United States issues patents by the millions. Our patent system was created to support intellectual property, which is recognized in our Constitution: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Under the current numbering system for patents, number 1 was issued in 1836. A million patents later, number 1,000,000 was issued by the United States in 1911. The U.S. Patent and Trademark office issued patent number 8,000,000 on August 16, 2011. We invite you to take a look at some of these "milestone millions" from over the years. Patent no. 1,000,000 - August 8, 1911Patent number 1,000,000 was issued to Francis H. Holton of Akron, Ohio for his improvement in vehicle tires to make them more durable and puncture resistant. On August 20, 1911, the New York Times noted the arrival of patent 1,000,000 and printed this fascinating story about Holton's "up-to-the-minute contraption" that was "one of the crying necessities of this modern world." Patent no. 2,000,000 - April 30, 1935Like patent number 1,000,000, patent number 2,000,000 was related to tires and it was granted to Joseph Ledwinka of Philadelphia for the Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company. The focus for Ledwinka's patent was for rail cars and consisted of a pneumatic tire, used in combination with a rail wheel provided with a retaining flange. Light in weight, Ledwinka claimed that a rail car provided with wheels and tires of this type could attain exceptional high rates of speed, be braked as severely as desired, and do so safely. What did the media have to say about the milestone? The Ellensburgh (WA) Capital Newspaper published a photo of Patents Commissioner Conway P. Coe presenting Ledwinka with his patent. Meanwhile, the Tuscaloosa (AL) News also looked at patent number 1,999,999. What a difference a digit makes!Patent no. 3,000,000 - September 12, 1961Patent number 3,000,000 reflected an entry into the Information Age. Kenneth Eldredge's Automatic Reading System allowed conversion of human language into machine language. The invention, which was assigned to General Electric, was a means to improve the efficiency and use of automatic data-processing machines. Patent no. 4,000,000 - December 28, 1976As patent numbers 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 revolved around wheels, patent number 4,000,000 is where wheels met the road. Robert Mendenhall's Process for Recycling Asphalt-Aggregate Compositions mixed used roadway surfaces with chemicals bringing us, literally, a road to recycle. Patent no. 5,000,000 - March 19, 1991The roots of patent number 5,000,000 could be found in biochemistry. A trio of scientists, Lonnie O. Ingram, Tyrrell Conway, and Flavio Alterthum, created a means of using E. coli bacteria to produce ethanol. The patent was assigned to the University of Florida. Patent no. 6,000,000 - December 7, 1999If you use a smart phone or many other types of handheld computer equipment, it should be relatively easy to spot elements of patent number 6,000,000. Inventors Jeffrey C. Hawkins and Michael Albanese developed a means that with the press of a single button, a person could synchronize files found on one computer with those found on another. The patent was assigned to 3Com. Patent no. 7,000,000 - February 14, 2006Barely six years after patent number 6,000,000 was issued, John P. O'Brien received patent number 7,000,000 for the strong, biodegradable, low-cost, polysaccharide fibers he invented for use in textile applications. Patent no. 8,000,000 - August 16, 2011The USPTO issued patent number 8,000,000 to Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., for a visual prosthesis apparatus that enhances visual perception for people who have gone blind due to outer retinal degeneration. The invention uses electrical stimulation of the retina to produce the visual perception of patterns of light. Patent no. 9,000,000 - April 7, 2015Less than four years after issuing its 8-millionth patent, the USPTO issued patent number 9,000,000 to WiperFill Holdings, LLC of Jupiter, Florida for inventor Matthew Carroll's invention of a Windshield Washer Conditioner, which describes a means for collecting and conditioning rainwater from the windshield of a vehicle to replenish the fluids in the vehicle's windshield washer reservoir. Here's the patent's front page figure illustrating the invention: What stands out is the shortening period of time between each of the million milestone patents, a pattern that will continue to prove true if U.S. Patent 10,000,000 is issued in 2018. Beyond that, it's also remarkable that four of the so-far nine million-milestone patents are related to transportation-related inventions. When you consider that U.S. Patent Number 1 was issued to John Ruggles of Thomaston, Maine for his invention of a Locomotive Steam-Engine for Rail and Other Roads, it's quite a recurring theme for the nine-million-plus inventions that have been patented in the United States.

08 марта, 11:31

Money Picked Up From Sidewalk

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It took nearly a month after we first pointed it out, but someone has taken advantage of a unique investment opportunity that we identified with the options for the S&P 500's quarterly dividend futures! And because they did, we now have a better and more up-to-date picture of how much S&P 500 companies are expected to collectively pay out in dividends to investors in 2018-Q2, where in this case, we can now show how much the expectations for dividends to be paid out in this upcoming quarter have changed thanks to a combination of improved organic corporate earnings and, perhaps more significantly, the effect of the permanent corporate income tax cuts passed in late December 2017. The sudden change in the CME Group's S&P 500 quarterly dividend futures came on 5 March 2017, which vaulted slightly ahead of the bottoms-up dividends per share estimate indicated by IndexArb, which is how we were able to identify that a trading opportunity existed in the first place. In jumping from $12.70 per share to $13.20 per share, the CME Group's dividend futures for the S&P 500 in 2018-Q2 are now communicating that investors stand to collect an additional 50 cents per share in that future quarter compared to what the dividend futures had been indicating since at least mid-December 2017. We believe that this particular opportunity existed because the CME Group's quarterly dividend futures for the S&P 500 have been trading on very thin volumes. Their annual quarterly divided futures for the S&P 500 see more action, where the mismatch between the S&P 500's projected annual dividends per share for 2018 and the sum of their projected quarterly dividend futures for the S&P 500 for 2018 also confirmed the existence of the trading opportunity. In terms of real money, the 50 cent per share increase in projected S&P 500 dividends means that investors will collectively rake in upwards of $4.47 billion more in dividends during the second quarter of 2018 than they were expecting prior to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Altogether, the updated dividend futures project that S&P 500 companies would pay out over $118 billion in dividends during 2018-Q2. Or since we're talking about dividend futures, over the period from the end of the third Friday of March 2018 through the end of the third Friday of June 2018. And there's still lots of time between now and Friday, 15 June 2018 for dividends payouts in 2018-Q2 to change further. Now that the "easy" money on the sidewalk for the S&P 500's 2018-Q2 dividend futures has been picked up, we'd be remiss if we didn't point you another interesting opportunity to pick up some other money that's figuratively lying on the sidewalk - only this opportunity won't cost you a dime, because its really a contest. It's Hypermind's Nominal GDP Prediction Market, where your goal is to predict what the U.S. economy's growth rate for nominal GDP (or real GDP plus inflation) will be at the time that Hypermind's currently available future contracts for its NGDP prediction market expire in either April 2018 or in April 2019. If you're interested, check out Hypermind's description of how it works (click each of the different icons at the top of the page), along with Scott Sumner's recent description of how thinly traded those particular futures have been. Like us with the S&P 500 quarterly dividend futures and our use of that data to project the actual trajectory of the S&P 500, he has ulterior motives in promoting the NGDP prediction market, but like us, they're the good kind!

07 марта, 11:28

Reaching the End of the Red Zone with the S&P 500

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From time to time, we take on the specific challenge of forecasting where the S&P 500 will over an extended period of time. That's usually because of a limitation of our dividend futures-based forecasting model, where because we use historic stock prices as the base reference points from which we project future stock prices, we occasionally have to deal with the echoes of past volatility and their effect upon our model's projections. Most often, we know well in advance, up to 12-13 months ahead of time, when what we call the echo effect will affect our model's projections by skewing their accuracy for the duration of the echo event, where we've experimented with various methods over the years to cope with the issue. A little over a month ago, we were caught by surprise when we realized that our model had picked up a short term echo that would throw our model's projections of the S&P 500's likely future trajectories off by somewhere around 100 points, which is a direct consequence of the breakdown in order that occurred in the market beginning after 29 December 2017. A new echo had formed, where we would have the opportunity once more to generate a new manual forecast for the S&P 500 over a period of at least four weeks. When we take that step, we call it a "red-zone" forecast because we are basically drawing red boxes on our spaghetti forecasting charts generated by our standard model of how stock prices work to indicate the range into which we expect the S&P 500 will close each day during the period of the manual forecast. We posted that emergency red-zone forecast before the market opened on 7 February 2018, where we also laid out our assumptions: From the end of trading on Friday, 26 January 2018 when it closed at its all time high of 2,872.87 to the market close on Tuesday, 6 February 2018 when it rebounded from the previous day's crash to close at 2,695.14, we estimate that the S&P 500 lost over $15.9 trillion of its market capitalization. Since that's a lot of money to have so suddenly evaporated over the last seven trading days, we imagine that a lot of investors are asking if Tuesday's rebound marks the end of the market carnage. Nobody will know the answer for sure for some time yet, but we do see an intriguing possibility that it has. If we're right, and the sudden, sharp drop and highly volatile trajectory of stock prices has indeed all been part of a Lévy flight event, it may indeed be over except for some higher-than-typical levels of daily volatility, because it would appear that investors have completed shifting their forward-looking attention from the distant future quarter of 2018-Q4 all the way back to the current quarter of 2018-Q1, since such shifts in forward-looking focus are the drivers of this kind of volatility in our dividend futures-based model of how stock prices work. Our alternative futures chart above updates and modifies the version we first presented back in the early hours of Monday, 5 February 2018. Let's talk through the updates: The crash of stock prices from Friday, 26 January 2018 to Monday, 5 February 2018 has confirmed for us that our model's spaghetti chart-like projections of alternate trajectories that the S&P 500 might take assuming investors focus their forward-looking attention on specific future quarters is showing the effects of a new volatility echo, which runs in the period from 7 February 2018 through 6 March 2018. The echo effect is a consequence of our model's use of historic stock prices from 13 months, 12 months and 1 month earlier in time as the base reference points for its projections, where the echoes of past volatility affect its forecasting accuracy. To get around that limitation, we've developed two new "red-zone" forecasts using our "connect the dots" approach to dealing with the echoes of past volatility (in this case, from the one month earlier period) on our model's projections. The first assumes that investors will keep their forward-looking attention on 2018-Q1 until the dust settles, which is represented by the solid-red line box shown on the chart above. The second assumes that investors will shift their attention to the slightly more distant future quarter of 2018-Q2 sometime during the next four weeks, which is shown as the dashed-red line box on the chart above. Right now, the width of the red-zone forecast boxes are shown with the same +/-3.0% margin of error range that we use for our standard forecasts, which assume "typical" levels of day-to-day stock price volatility. Given the recent outbreak of chaotic volatility however, we might see stock prices move outside of those ranges without necessarily being the result a definitive shift in the forward-looking focus of investors. Our red-zone forecast that began on 7 February 2018 extended through yesterday, 6 March 2018. The following chart shows the results of our manual forecasting exercise. In all, there were 19 trading days in the forecast period from 7 February 2018 through 6 March 2018. For the red-zone forecast indicated by the solid red line box, the S&P 500 closed within its perimeter on 17 of 19 days, with 89% of the observations falling within the forecast range. For the red-zone forecast indicated by the dashed red line box, the S&P 500 closed within its perimeter on 18 of 19 days, or just shy of 95% of the observations falling within the forecast range. The results are about on par with what we achieved during three separate periods in 2017. We've indicated in the chart above that we would draw the forecast range differently today, and truth be told, that text has appeared on all the intermediate charts that we've presented beginning with the one we featured back on 12 February 2018. Based on what we knew at that later date, we would have drawn the red-zone forecast boxes to cover a longer period of time into the future, and we would draw them to be wider to accommodate the elevated level of volatility that was clearly evident in stock prices. And now, we've reached the end of the latest red zone forecast for the S&P 500, where strange times for the market appear to lie ahead, at least if the news headlines over the past week and a half are any indication.... Monday, 26 February 2018 Oil up on strong demand, Saudi comments U.S. new home sales hit 5-month low; supply highest since 2009 Fed's Bullard says 'substantially' higher rates risk overly tight policy Wall Street rises as concerns over interest rates ease Tuesday, 27 February 2018 U.S. oil prices fall for second day after stockpiles rise Fed's Powell nods to stronger economy, backs gradual rate hike path Traders boost bets on Fed rate hikes after Powell comments Full text of Fed Chair Powell's testimony Wall Street sinks as Powell's comments fuel rate worries Wednesday, 28 February 2018 Oil drops on large inventory increase, profit taking Fed's Kashkari: 'I want to see the wage growth' Wall Street slides late; S&P 500 caps worst month since Jan 2016 Thursday, 1 March 2018 Oil slides on Wall Street slump and crude supply worry Fed chief Powell says no evidence U.S. economy overheating Four Fed rate hikes this year would be 'gradual': Dudley Trump to impose steep tariffs on steel, aluminum, stoking trade war talk Trump's steel shock drives wedge into sluggish NAFTA talks Wall Street drops more than 1 percent on Trump tariff comments Friday, 2 March 2018 U.S. oil rises for first time in four days Depressing: Trump tweets: 'Trade wars are good, and easy to win' Rust-belt Democrats praise Trump's threatened metals tariffs U.S. steel stocks volatile on Trump tariff uncertainty Trump's aluminum imports tax will bite domestic industry S&P 500 gains for day but posts weekly losses on trade war fears Monday, 5 March 2018 Oil prices rise on forecasts for growing demand, OPEC concerns Tariffs and trade deal negotiations: Bad cop: Trump declares won't back down on tariffs, does not expect trade war Good cop: Trump trade adviser sees business exemptions for new tariffs Background: Trump's extraordinary tariffs The goal: Trump ties steel, aluminum tariffs for Mexico, Canada to NAFTA The effect: Canada's Morneau: Terms of NAFTA discussion have been changed Will it work? We'll find out soon enough.... Wall Street closes higher as trade war fears ease Tuesday, 6 March 2018 Oil prices edge up on weak dollar ahead of U.S. inventory data Trump faces pushback on tariffs but says he will not back down US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Wall Street gains in choppy trade as tariff threat looms After the bell: After tariff fight loss, Trump economic adviser Cohn quits Oil prices fall as Cohn departure raises trade war fears Winds of trade war spook Wall Street as Trump adviser quits At least one Fed official is on autopilot... U.S. economy's 'headwinds shifting to tailwinds': Fed's Brainard At The Big Picture, Barry Ritholtz found that numbers of positives and negatives for the U.S. economy and markets in the final week of February 2018 weighed in favor of the negatives. We'll pick up the stock ticker tape again on Monday, 19 March 2018. By then, investors will have definitively shifted their forward-looking focus away from the current quarter of 2018-Q1 to .... Well, if you knew that, you would have a pretty good handle on where stock prices will go next, wouldn't you? We'll just have to see how much of a wild card the trade picture is for generating noise in the market!

06 марта, 11:39

Dividends by the Numbers in February 2018

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When it comes to the number of dividend increases declared during a single month, the U.S. stock market just recorded its best February ever. As an important caveat, "best February ever" refers to a data series that only extends back to January 2004, where there are only 15 Februaries to consider. Still, what makes the month more remarkable is that it also posted the third highest monthly total of declared dividend raises that have been recorded in the 170 months for which we do have this kind of data! Let's get to the dividend numbers for February 2018: 3,493 U.S. firms declared dividends during the shortest month of 2018, up from the 2,734 that did in January 2018 and also up from the 3,359 that declared dividends a year earlier in February 2017. 38 companies announced that they would pay an extra, or special, dividend payment to their shareholders in February 2018, down from 51 last month, but up from the 35 that did in the same month a year ago. We've touched on February 2018 being a record setting month already, but to put numbers to it, there were 322 U.S. companies that announced that they would increase their dividends, which is up from the 318 that boosted their dividends in January 2018 and up significantly from the 287 that hiked their dividends back in February 2017. The number of U.S. firms announcing that they would be reducing their dividends dropped to 20 in February 2018, which is down from the 36 dividend cuts declared a month earlier and also down from the 35 dividend cutters reported in February 2017. There were 9 U.S. firms omitting to pay dividends for the month, which is up from the 1 firm that declined to pay dividends in Janaury 2018 and also up from the 4 companies that omitted paying dividends to their shareholders back in February 2017. The increase in companies omitting their dividends is interesting, so we tapped the limited sample of dividend declarations recorded by Seeking Alpha and the Wall Street Journal for February to try to get more insight into what kinds of firms are passing on paying dividends to shareholders. We found just one report in the sample, for Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR), who reported after the end of trading on Tuesday, 27 February 2018 that they would suspend paying their dividend to use the $250 million they would otherwise have paid out to reduce their corporate debt. Just for fun, here's what happened to the company's stock price the next day.... It's not often you get to see a company whack 24% off its market capitalization with a single action. It's a painful thing, which is, of course, why company CEOs and boards of directors avoid taking that step unless the business is experiencing a significant level of distress. Back in December 2017, both Pacific Gas & Electric (NYSE: PCG) and Edison International (NYSE: EIX) suspended their dividends because both utilities expect to have to pay large legal settlements related to damage caused by California's wildfires last fall. Both companies saw their stock prices plunge by similar

05 марта, 11:18

Soup and Steel Tariffs

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross appeared on CNBC on Friday, 2 March 2018 to defend President Trump's proposed 24% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum coming into the United States from foreign sources, during which he held up a can of Campbell's Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup to claim the that tariffs would have a minimal impact on American consumers. The following video shows the entire 21 minute-long interview, where Ross holds up his Campbell's Soup can prop to make his point at roughly the 3:50 minute mark. Checking Ross' math, we find that a 25% increase in the cost of the current $0.026 of tinplate steel in one of Campbell's Soup's iconic Number 1 size soup cans would indeed raise its cost by roughly $0.006 to $0.032 per can. The problem with Ross' math is that it doesn't consider just how many cans of soup that Campbell's makes and sells each year: 440 million. Of which, some 200 million are Campbell's Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup like the prop he used in his CNBC interview, or 45% of the total. Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup is its second-best seller, whose sales account for 85 million cans each year, or 19% of Campbell's annual total. Thanks to President Trump's tariffs, a financially-troubled Campbell's Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) will need to pay up to an additional $27.3 million to buy the imported steel that it cannot avoid given the limited capacity of U.S. steel producers in order to deliver the same 440 million cans of soup to the market, which would be on top of the $114.4 million than it is currently paying to do so at Ross' $0.026 per can cost point. That seemingly tiny cost increase at the consumer level, when rolled up to the company's bottom line, may be enough incentive to change how the company chooses to package all of its soups altogether in favor of plastic, glass or cardboard materials that would not be subject to President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum. How might U.S. steel producers, who are currently salivating at the prospects of increasing their sales and market share, respond if their sales were to fall sharply instead as a result of that kind of strategic business decision? And how successful could such tariffs ever be if they drive similar changes at other American companies to the point where it hurts the very industries that they were meant to prop up? Finally, we're going to have to take Secretary Ross to task for the price he paid for the can of Campbell's Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup he used as a prop during the CNBC interview. We realize that Washington D.C. is filled with far too many people who have far more money than sense, but still, $1.99 for a 10.75 fluid ounce can of chicken noodle soup? Really? Longtime readers will know that we pay close attention to the price of the cans of Campbell's soup that American consumers pay. Which for us, goes all the way back to when Campbell's first brought its Number 1 size cans of condensed tomato soup to U.S. grocery stores back in 1898, which we've been updating and filling in since we first began tracking it. Although Campbell's didn't introduce its Chicken Noodle soup product until 1934, in recent decades, grocers have tended to set the prices of Campbell's two best-selling canned soups identically, which means the latest update to our chart showing the historic discounted sale price of a can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup is also communicating how much consumers are paying for a can of Campbell's Condensed Chicken Noodle soup when they buy them at regular sale prices at grocery stores across the U.S. If he had more discriminately shopped at a regular grocery store like Meijer rather than a convenience store like 7-Eleven before his CNBC interview on 2 March 2018, he would have paid $0.75 for the can, saving himself $1.24. If he shopped elsewhere, he could likely have found sale prices between $0.75 and $1.00 per can without any coupons for the same product, where the trailing twelve month average sale price of Campbell's condensed tomato/chicken noodle soup in March 2018 is about $0.80 per can. For proof of the lower available sale price, here's an image from Meijer's weekly grocery ad for 25 February 2018 through 3 March 2018: Is it really too much to ask for people who work for the federal government in Washington D.C. to shop around for lower prices before they buy anything?

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02 марта, 11:29

Better Movies Than The Best Picture

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With the 90th Academy Awards set to be broadcast this weekend, movie lovers around the world are bracing for yet another poorly written, inappropriately political and excessively pretentious four-or-more hour long commercial for the film that will be crowned with the title of being named the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' "Best Picture" in 2018. But what if the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences get it wrong? Let's face some hard facts. These arty types have completely blown it in years past, where dare we say that every other movie nominated for the Academy's top award in some years was better than the motion picture that actually won. And we can prove it! Starting with Business Insider's ranking of the worst-to-best movies that won "Best Picture" (or "Outstanding Production" as it was called in the Academy's earliest days), which they based on the combined score of Rotten Tomatoes' critics and audience scores for each Best Picture winner, we went the extra mile to see how the other, non-winning nominees for Best Picture fared by the same ranking system compared to the film that won in the same year. What we found is that for the five worst ranked Best Picture winners, all the same-year competing nominees outscored the movie that won the Oscar. We've presented our results in the following table, where whenever possible, we've not only identified the movie that *should* have won the Oscar in each of these years, we've also linked to where you can watch the movies on Amazon Prime to see for yourself. Because if we're being honest, that will probably be a more rewarding experience that watching this year's Academy Awards ceremony. Better Movies than the Academy Awards' "Best Picture" Rank Oscar Year Best Picture Winner (Rotten Tomatoes' Critics Score/Audience Score) Better Alternatives (Also Nominated for Best Picture, But Inexplicably Lost) The Worst Ever 1930 The Broadway Melody (35%/21%) In Old Arizona (56%/40%) Alibi (43%/43%) The Patriot (Unreviewed/57%) Hollywood Revue (40%/17%) 2nd Worst Ever 1953 The Greatest Show on Earth (44%/55%) High Noon (96%/89%) The Quiet Man (90%/91%) Moulin Rouge (75%/90%) Ivanhoe (79%/65%) 3rd Worst Ever 1932 Cimarron (53%/25%) The Front Page (92%/64%) Skippy (100%/54%) Trader Horn (100%/33%) East Lynne (Unreviewed/Unreviewed) 4th Worst Ever 1985 Out of Africa (57%/83%) The Color Purple (88%/94%) Witness (92%/80%) Kiss of the Spider Woman (88%/81%) Prizzi's Honor (88%/62%) 5th Worst Ever 1934 Cavalcade (61%/26%) I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (100%/91%) Lady for a Day (100%/79%) The Private Life of Henry VIII (100%/74%) Little Women (92%/77%) 42nd Street (95%/65%) A Farewell to Arms (92%/52%) She Done Him Wrong (90%/53%) Smilin' Through (Unreviewed/81%) State Fair (Unreviewed/60%) Aside from the really depressing realization of how many of these movie titles have been remade over the years, it's really quite stunning to discover just how bad that some of Hollywood's "Best Pictures" have been. Especially when compared to how good the "losing" nominated films of the same year have proven to be. And yet, no matter how bad they were, they're still better to watch than the Academy Awards broadcast from any year! Update: Via RealClearLife, Oscar Winner May Not Really Be Best Picture - you may be surprised at how deep the list of disappointing winners goes, and also by how much it extends into the present! Previously on Political CalculationsThe Dismal Oscars and How China Can Make Hollywood Make Better Movies Deadpool Versus the 2015 Best Picture Nominees 2 Deadpool Versus the 2015 Best Picture Nominees The Value of Winning the Oscar for Best Picture Versus Not Winning The Difference Between Being Pro-American and Anti-American at the U.S. Box Office Copyright Math and the U.S. Entertainment Industry The "Hit" Equation for Box Office Gold? Can Billy Crystal Sell Movie Tickets? Anti-US Fervor in Hollywood The Anti-War on Hollywood's Box Office Reflections on the Oscars and the Most Manipulative Man in Hollywood How Men Are Like Bad Movies, and Why Bad Movies Keep Getting Made Do Academy Awards Boost Box Office? Does Best Picture Equal Big Box Office?