John Ransom - Analysts See $65 Oil
Posted: 3/6/2015 3:29:00 PM EST
First it was that oil would never go below $100. Then it was that oil would definitely hit $40 a barrel. And now analyst at UBS say the magic number is...$65-$70 a barrel. But I'll give them this they do have some reasoning behind their number. Their point is that oil production in the United States has a breakeven price of $60-$65 a barrel.

And since US production can better offset the production from OPEC countries than previously that the breakeven US price will better determine the overall price of oil in the market. But of course as we all know it makes little difference because oil prices and gas prices have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.

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John Ransom - New SHOW! Bucket Strategy Investing *Live* with John Ransom 1pm ET, 10am PT
Posted: 3/6/2015 1:00:00 PM EST
Call with your money questions for the Braintrust at BSI: 877-752-6637 or got to
John Ransom - Zandi: Less Risk Than in Last 25-30 Years
Posted: 3/6/2015 12:27:00 PM EST
The Labor Department said that 295,000 jobs were created in February and unemployment has moved down to 5.5%. Job creation came in much better than anticipated. And economic conditions in general caused Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody Analytics, to say: “While there are a lot of risks out there, it feels less risky than in the past 25 to 30 year. It feels really, really good out there.”

Now look, I often criticize economists for stupid predictions on the economy. But in this case I'll criticize Zandi for saying something just flat out dumb. He Is essentially saying that the country risk-wise is in better shape than at any time since 1986.

Remember that time when the Cold War ended and we had peace until 9/11 happened? It was probably a lot less risky then. We know economist are decorated predicting the future, and now we know at least one of them isn't great at history either.

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Michael Schaus - In Other News: Can Someone Email Hillary for a New Reset Button?
Posted: 3/6/2015 12:22:00 PM EST

Here are some other highlights and headlines that I noticed over at Ransom Notes Radio:

John Kerry said that military force might be needed to oust Bashir Al Assad of Syria… I’m not sure why a reset button wouldn’t work. Can someone email Hillary and ask her what she thinks?

(Daily Mail)

The Huffington Post and AP were stunned to learn that journalists and citizens are often jailed for criticizing the Turkey's leaders. In more progressive nations critics are merely investigated by the DOJ, and audited by the IRS.

(Huffington Post)

What does this tell you? Democrats now say they will help defend John Boehner from any potential Republican effort to oust him as Speaker… Well, I guess you should always protect your own.

(The Hill)

This is going to shock you: Eric Holder is manipulating the data in order to label the Ferguson police department as racist. In other words, he’s punishing the department for the social crime of policing while white.


Vladimir Putin is slashing salaries for Russian workers amid a budget crises due to low oil prices. Showing that he is “one of the people”, the billionaire is including himself in the pay-cut. Maybe Bill and Hillary can give him pointers on how to deal with being “dead broke”.

(Fox News)

The Obama Administration is pushing Fareed Zakaria’s absurd claim that Netanyahu has been wrong about Iran for 25 years....because team Obama has been so very spot-on when it comes to Middle East security. (cough*LibyaYemenIraqSyria*cough)

(Weasel Zippers)

Barack Obama said that deporting illegal immigrants would violate the spirit of the Civil Rights movement… It looks like he has a dream, that one day citizens and non-citizens alike, will join hands and vote for Democrats.

(The Hill)

A new poll shows that the majority of Americans do not trust Hillary Clinton. In other news: Surprisingly, this  wasn’t always the case.

(Weasel Zippers)

John Ransom - Jobless Cliams Reach Highest Since May
Posted: 3/5/2015 3:09:00 PM EST
Well maybe just maybe the recovery is more like the one Prof. Plum Johnny Dean and I am experiencing and less like the one the economists tell us about. Jobless claims last week registered their highest reading since May of 2014. 320,000 claims were filed for the period from February 22 to the 28th. That 7000 more claims than the previous period. That means that whatever progress has been made in the job market over last year has essentially reversed itself. Jobless claims are now running about the same level as they were last year. Bad weather may have led to some layoffs and postpone some of the processing of previous employment applications. But whatever the reason 320,000 more Americans know now face unemployment.

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Michael Schaus - In Other News: Liberal Mag Says Eating 3 Meals a Day is “Racist”
Posted: 3/5/2015 12:20:00 PM EST

Here are some other highlights and headlines that I noticed over at Ransom Notes Radio:

According to researchers at NYU’s medical school, New York City air is potentially lethal. But it's good thing no one is allowed to smoke or drink 32 ounce sodas.

(NY Post)

Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner is apparently “racist” according to the far left publication “Mother Jones”. I guess I never realized racism was so delicious.

(Weasel Zippers)

CNN is worried that the Supreme Court case against Obamacare could “end healthcare for millions” of people. (Fair and balanced, right?) Maybe this is why Pelosi should have read the bill before shoving it down our throats.


America’s Ambassador to South Korea was attacked by a razor-wielding Korean extremist. It’s unclear what YouTube video the Obama Administration is trying to blame for inciting this attack.

(Associated Press)

Edward Snowden says the US is not willing to offer him a “fair” trial if he returns from Russia. Of course, that is exactly what is being offered… Snowden just doesn’t like the charges. I wonder how fair Putin would be if Snowden started leaking Russian intelligence.

(Yahoo News)

Officials are concerned about deepening ties between Iran and Iraq as Iran helps to fight ISIS… Good thing we decided not to stick around and help the Iraqis. This is going to pan out much better.

(Fox News)

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be dropping the iconic elephant from their acts by 2018. This will leave nothing more than a few rigged carnival games and creepy looking clowns. I’m sure it will be a big hit.

(Associated Press)

John Ransom - A Tax Plan Lawyers Will Hate
Posted: 3/5/2015 10:08:00 AM EST
Senators Mike Lee and Marco Rubio unveiled a comprehensive tax reform plan that would reduce the code to three tax rates: two for individuals, 15% for earnings up to 75,000, and 35% for earnings over 75,000. And a flat business tax rate of 25%. The proposal would eliminate almost all deductions, along with taxes on capital gains, dividend payments and estate taxes.

Lee and Rubio claim that the reform proposal would bring tax relief to most Americans while stimulating economic growth.
The only deductions to remain would be charitable deductions and deductions for mortgage interest. Long cherished deductions like contributions to qualified retirement plans would be eliminated.
I can't speak for anyone but I'm guessing that accountants and tax lawyers really won't like this plan

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Michael Schaus - In Other News: John Boehner Makes a Good Democrat
Posted: 3/4/2015 2:33:00 PM EST

Here are some other highlights and headlines that I noticed over at Ransom Notes Radio:

According to Reuters, “a growing number of U.S. patients and their doctors are already devising a Plan B” in case the Supreme Court rules against Federal Obamacare subsidies. I thought Plan B was already covered by Obamacare.


Hillary Clinton is under fire for running her own private email server for all of her official State Department emails. The revelations came after learning she had multiple personal emails that she used instead of her official State Department account. (I assume she had one address for each of her fake accents.)

(Fox News)

Surprise, surprise: Eric Holder’s Department of “Justice” has determined that the Ferguson Police Department is racist. Of course, this is coming from a Justice Department that has turned Al Sharpton’s race baiting into a judicial practice.


ISIS has issued a fatwa declaring that foosball will be legal in their caliphate, provided the tabletop figurines have their heads removed. Decapitation really is the radical-Islamist’s answer to almost everything.


Critics say that recently obtained emails show a culture of retaliation and intimidation in the FBI toward would-be whistleblowers. Special Agents Mulder and Scully are expected to testify before congress on this issue in coming weeks.

(Washington Times)

An astounding 167 Republicans voted against John Boehner’s DHS bill, which was ultimately passed with the overwhelming support of Democrats… Maybe Boehner should just hand the gavel over to Nancy, and call it a day.


One of the evil Koch brothers is apparently backing gay marriage at the Supreme Court… It’s strange how I don’t hear any of Harry Reid’s panicked rants about that Koch conspiracy.

(Free Beacon)

John Ransom - Jobs Growth Slows to Worst in Nine Months
Posted: 3/4/2015 2:08:00 PM EST
Private companies added 212,000 jobs for the month of February according to payroll processor ADP. That's down significantly from the monthly average of 250,000 jobs according to USA today and below the expectation for February of 220,000 jobs. From Reuters:

The report showed moderating employment gains in sectors such as manufacturing, goods producing, and services. For instance, service-providing employment rose by 181,000 jobs in February, compared with growth of 206,000 in the sector in January.

The good news is that small and medium size companies added the majority of positions. The bad news is that big companies only added 58,000 positions.

That's about 25% of the total. The report provides a preview for the more comprehensive release on Friday of the Labor Department report on employment. 

So people ask how the markets Bull run can continue. 

One way would be by adding jobs more consistently. But it looks like instead job growth is moderating. 

John Ransom - Most Put More into Social Security than They Will Receive: Report
Posted: 3/4/2015 12:03:00 PM EST
According to an article in Journal of Retirement the lifetime contributions to Social Security by many of today's workers will exceed the amount of the benefits even though today's workers are expected to live longer.
The author of the article says that the net cost of participating in Social Security for an average worker today is roughly five years of their lifetime earnings.

The biggest losers are high earning married couples who are expected to lose over $665,000 in the course of their lifetime. The only winner in the medium earning category is a married couple with one earner only.

They net about $151,000.

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