What is the METAR Board?The METAR (Macro Economic Trends and Risks) Board is dedicated to collecting and analyzing data that affects our understanding of current and possible future macroeconomic environments. We recognize that one way to profit and to avoid risk is to anticipate market movements.The METAR Board is interested in the macroeconomic trends in many investments (stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, real estate, etc.), as well as many markets (local, national, and international). Each has trends and cycles. They may be somewhat correlated, but they don't move in lock step.The METAR Board discusses trends, cycles and risks, and how movements in one investment may influence movements in a correlated investment.While the focus of the METAR Board is Macro, we also welcome posts with a tighter focus (such as individual stock, bond, commodity or real estate analysis). These may be cross-posted to a board with that specific interest (e.g. a post about bond movements may be posted on both METAR and Bonds & Fixed Income Boards).The METAR Board recognizes that each investor has different levels of risk tolerance, as well as different time scales. We also recognize that different opinions make a market. One investor may see opportunity, and another see too much risk, in exactly the same data. Both may be correct, based on their individual risk tolerance and time scale.Many METAR Board members are risk-averse. Others are more opportunity-oriented, and more risk-tolerant. We seek to identify both opportunities and risks. Discussions of risk and probability of outcomes are valued, on this board.The entire spectrum of investors is welcome on the METAR Board. Bulls, bears, the bold and the risk-averse, trend-followers and tinfoil-hat contrarians, and everyone between, are welcome on the METAR Board.Just remember: We are all friends here, and what is right for one may be wrong for another. Analyze, but don't get personal!We expect the market to surprise us all, regardless of our best efforts.METAR Board Ground RulesThe METAR Board is a warm, friendly place. No personal attacks or insults will be tolerated.The METAR Board is exclusively economic. Any post that does not contain economic analysis must be labelled Off Topic (OT).The METAR Board is not political. We don't want our board to degenerate into political wrangling. A post is purely political if it discusses a topic without analyzing its economic impact. Posts about how political developments affect the macroeconomic trends are on-topic. Links to government data are especially welcome.Please post pure politics on the Political Quagmire or Political Asylum Board.http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=113502&mid=25509825http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=116214&mid=25509954Religion has no more place, on the METAR Board, than does politics. Please take religiously-oriented posts to either Atheist Fools or one of the religiously-oriented boards (Christian Fools or Jewish Fools).METAR Data SourcesData-based opinions are highly valued, on the METAR Board. While the Motley Fools does not allow entire copyrighted articles to be posted, the Board appreciates snips and links.Personal observations of markets and investments are also highly valued. The more data, the better, since data gives each of us the basis for analyzing the opportunities and risks, in light of our personal needs. If you post a link to an article with data, feel free to either agree or disagree with the conclusions of the author.Some links to data sourcesStock Charts.comhttp://stockcharts.com/charts/candleglance.php?$indu,$spx,$crb,$irx,$tnx,$usd,$gold,$etx,$nye,$bkxPrudent Bear.comhttp://www.prudentbear.com/defaultThe Market Traders (current home of Mike Shedlock, this board's founder)http://forum.themarkettraders.com/index.phpYahoo Financehttp://quote.yahoo.com/Charts of Stock Indices, Interest Rates, etc., including "real" (inflation adjusted) interest rateshttp://www.martincapital.com/main/charts.htmSafe Haven.comhttp://www.safehaven.com/index.cfmidorfman.com Chartshttp://www.idorfman.com/Charts/Shadow Government Statistics (for those who believe the government is manipulating statistics)http://www.shadowstats.com/cgi-bin/sgs?http://www.netdania.com/QuoteList.asp for various spot prices (ex: natgas) : http://futuresource.quote.com/charts/charts.jsp?s=NG%20V7&o=&a=V%3A60&z=650x450&d=medium&b=CANDLE&st=USD Index: http://quotes.ino.com/chart/?s=NYBOT_DXMore futures (I mainly use it for S&P, Nasdaq, and Nas100):http://www.cme.com/trading/dta/del/globex.htmlEconomic Calendar:http://biz.yahoo.com/c/e.htmlEarnings Calendar:http://biz.yahoo.com/research/earncal/today.htmlAll kinds of data from the St. Louis Fed:http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/Charts:http://finance.yahoo.com/chartshttp://stockcharts.com/
You forgot the tinfoil helmet construction guide.
. . . also the rules on how to properly freeze beer to slush you slurp right outta the bottle. Mish was the expert on that. You might have to get the closely guarded instructions from him.Other than that, I love some of the added links, some of which I was not aware of until today, such as those dorfman charts. Do those things update weekly?
<You forgot the tinfoil helmet construction guide.>If I included that, I'd also have to include a helicopter beanie construction guide ;-). Remember, all sides are welcome here :-).Wendy
<also the rules on how to properly freeze beer to slush you slurp right outta the bottle. Mish was the expert on that. >Oh, I could never hope to match Mish. Wouldn't even try. My expertise runs more along the lines of chicken soup :-).Wendy
<dorfman charts. Do those things update weekly? >I don't think so. Many of them are pretty outdated. They are good for historical perspective, though.Wendy
Remember, all sides are welcome here :-).Wendy *************************Especially the feeble-minded.
How about gold prices:http://goldprices.com/And gold coins:http://www.golddealer.com/bullionpage.html
Nah - all you'd need is a photo of "Helo-Ben"If I included that, <v>I'd also have to include a helicopter beanie construction guide ;-). Remember, all sides are welcome here :-).Wendy KBM (looking for his M3 beanie as he writes....;o)
My expertise runs more along the lines of chicken soup :-).Wendy Recipe?Karen
Chicken Soup Recipe (from Grandma)1 whole chicken, with bones, skin, and giblets (minus the liver). If you buy 2 chickens (Costco bags them together), you might want to cut them in half, crosswise, under the ribcage, bake the top halves, and use the dark meat for the soup. In that case, remove the backs from the upper halves, and put them into the soup.) Wash the chicken carefully. Remove the kidneys, which are alongside the backbone.2 cups onion4 large carrots1 parsnip4 stalks celery1/4 green pepper5 stalks of parsley, tied together with white threadDill to taste (I don't like dill, so I don't use it, but you might)Noodles or rice or matzo ball mix (for kneidlach).Cut up the chicken. Dice the meat. Put the chicken, with enough cold water to cover, into a large stock pot. Do not fill the pot with water! Only put in enough water to cover the chicken, which may be about 2 quarts of water. The key to a good chicken soup is to have a high ratio of solids to water.Bring the water to a simmer. While the water is heating, chop the veggies (I use a food processor.)Skim the froth off the top of the water. Simmer, don't boil, for about 1 hour, skimming off the froth. This will keep the soup clear. If the soup boils, the froth (which is fat and insoluble proteins) will be carried back down into the soup. You can give the froth to the dogs.Add the vegetables to the soup. Simmer for another 2 hours. Add only enough water to just cover the solids. There shouldn't be any extra water. Keep skimming off the froth and fat.Remove the bones and skin from the soup, using a slotted spoon. This is a hassle, because some of the little bones (e.g. the neck, hip bones, etc.) may be hard to find.Add the noodles, rice, or matzo ball batter to the soup. Some people cook them separately, in water, but I think they taste better if they absorb the soup.This soup is loaded with soluble proteins and vegetables. It is the best thing to feed a sick person, since it is very easy to digest.Wendy
To help consumers recognize deceptive mortgage ads, the Federal Trade Commission has created a Consumer Alert, “Deceptive Mortgage Ads: What They Say; What They Leave Out.” To see what your customers are reading, click here; http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt023.shtm[contributed by Dave Donhoff]
Chart of the Dollar, over 20 years.http://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=$USD&p=M&st=1980-01-01&id=p38241531557&a=77499961Contributed by Jim3Hendrix.
This post is about how to insert quotes into posts.We often insert quotations from articles into our posts.Here are some pointers.1. If the material is copyrighted (and most are), we are only allowed to insert snips of the article, not the entire article. Motley Fools may remove the post, if they deem that too much of the article was included in a post.2. Always include a link, so readers can read the entire article. If it's a paid subscription, post enough of a quotation to support the point of your post.3. Always include the author's name.4. Use a different font, to distinguish the quote from your commentary. Some use italic. This is done by placing <i > before the quote and </i > after the quote. (Leave out the spaces.) However, italic is hard to read, in long quotes. An alternative is Typerwriter Text, which can be done by placing <tt > before the quote and </tt > after the quote. (Leave out the spaces.)5. If you want to insert columns of numbers, place <pre > before the quote and </pre > after the quote. (Leave out the spaces.) Always preview a message with columns of numbers, because they are hard to get just right.6. If you want to enlarge the text, highlight, then hold down [Ctrl] and press +. To reduce the size of text, highlight, then hold down [Ctrl] and press -.7. Always write [end quote] at the end of a quote, so a reader may be sure which is the quote, and which is your commentary.Wendy
Outstanding tips, Wendy.Let me ask you this: is there a way to use this language to change fonts and font size from the Author's side of things?I made a comment last night about tt text and it may have seemed rude. I really hate italics but use it after members of this board asked I not use the old method of bold print in lieu of italics.I prefer the tt text idea, but the small font size is very difficult to read on a laptop.Have you experimented with maybe a new font and larger tt size we could all agree upon works for laptops as well as big desk units and that we would use to signify sourced and quoted material???Just asking.The FAQs area is really looking good, btw.
I think it's a great idea to standardize fonts, but I'm just not knowlegable. Could you ask on the computing board? I'm pressed for time, because tonight is the start of Yom Kippur, and I have been running like crazy to prepare all day.Wendy
"I think it's a great idea to standardize fonts, but I'm just not knowlegable. "Hi Wendy,Well... the font I see in posts is determined by my choice, except for the text enclosed by the < tt >< /tt > and probably the text in the *pre* tags area; In Firefox: [Tools] => [Options] => [Content] Fonts & Colors then select Default font from drop down menu... must be similar option in IE... Regards, Ken
PS: I have to be in the Serif mode,Upper right area of post: Message Font: Serif | Sans-SerifRegards, Ken
<I can never seem to remember at what stage the sky falls.>Maybe that's because you have never had the sky fall on you.Maybe that's because you are too young to have witnessed economic disasters, either personally or through someone who was so close to you that their world view was efficiently transmitted (e.g. my Depression-era grandparents, who owned and lived in the house my parents and us kids grew up in).The stage the sky falls in is a personal, individual experience. It depends upon one's source of income and personal expenses. There is always a continuous stream of unfortunate families who get sick or injured, or divorced, or take on debts that they can't service. These life setbacks are not the same as the economic/financial storm conditions that you can call "sky fall in."There are two major ways that the sky can fall in, financially, other than the misfortunes listed above. 1. A breadwinner can lose a job, and not be able to find a job of similar or better income. Many, if not most, people don't have a large enough e-fund to support their needs until they find another job, if jobs are scarce. If you have never lost a job, and been forced to search during a serious recession, it's hard to understand the desperate feeling of repeated rejections, while the bills are still rolling in.2. The cost of living can rise faster than income. This erodes the standard of living. In the case that debt service rises unexpectedly fast (e.g. ARMs and credit card interest, during rising interest rates), debts that used to be serviceable can default, and people can lose their homes, cars, etc. Even if inflation is relatively low, the cost of living can still rise faster, especially if one's household expenses are heavily weighted toward fast-increasing items.The size of the "sky fall" population, relative to the overall population, determines the macro experience of economic boom or recession.When this affects large sections of the population, the government statistics recognize a recession. However, it is possible to have a severe recession in one part of the U.S., while other parts are doing well enough that the "big picture" numbers don't add up to a recession. It's worth remembering that many U.S. states are larger than entire European nations. California or Texas can experience severe recessions (e.g. CA during the post-Vietnam War defense industry bust, TX during the 1990s oil bust), even while the rest of the country may be enjoying reasonable prosperity. When a recession spreads over the entire country, it is a fearsome experience.My adult experience includes the 1970s-80s inflation, the terrible 1974-75 stock market, the deep 1980-81 recession (which saw 10% unemployment), the 1990-91 recession, and the 2001 tech crash (in which I lost my job, as a project manager in a semiconductor supplier company). The purpose of the METAR Board is to track macroeconomic trends, in order to avoid risk in our personal lives and investments. Your personal sky could fall in, even if the overall numbers look good, depending upon your job, your debts, and your personal needs. (For example, if you are covered by employer-paid health insurance, you will be less vulnerable than a person who has to buy private health insurance, whose price is rapidly inflating.)Chicken Little always felt the sky was falling, even though the sky never fell. Those of us who have experienced financial setbacks realize that the sky could fall on us, personally, even if the sky is not falling on those around us. We try to detect signs of worsening sky conditions, and build a roof over our heads, so that if the sky actually does fall -- or at least storms heavily -- we will be less vulnerable than those who have not prepared. Whether the storm begins with an oil embargo, inflation, recession, a problem in the financial markets (such as a stock market crash) changes from time to time. That's why the METAR board keeps a weather eye toward the sky. METAR is an apt acronym for our board, since METAR, in general usage, is the acronym for METeorological Aerodrome Report, the weather reports that are supplied to aviators, who are always watching the sky. http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/metar.shtmlWendy
We try to detect signs of worsening sky conditions, and build a roof over our heads, so that if the sky actually does fall -- or at least storms heavily -- we will be less vulnerable than those who have not prepared. Whether the storm begins with an oil embargo, inflation, recession, a problem in the financial markets (such as a stock market crash) changes from time to time. Wendy I honestly don't understand the point of it all. I can't criticize too much since I come to this board quite a bit though. I also enjoy the content of the board even if I don't agree with it. I have lived thru the "sky is falling scenarios" before and it just doesn't matter. Yes, layoffs happen. My father was unemployed for 2yrs between 80 & 82 when unemployment was 10-12%. We almost lost our home, my mother was working odd jobs etc..etc..etc... Thisis just a part of life. I don't think that pontificating about interest rates back then would have prepared us any better for that.Both my parents were unemployed again after the stock market crash in 2000. They couldn't find work where they were living and moved 1/2 way across the country to get back into the work force.They lost about 40% of their retirement accounts during that crash but did their homework on how to manage retirement accounts. By the end of 2004 my mother's retirement account had recouped all it's losses and has been doing fine since then.In their early 50's they both changed careers. My mother went from being an office manager at a freight company to an employee in a HR department. My Dad went from being a structural engineer to being a safety engineer for airports.She doesn't know anything about the yield curve, gold standard or wether or not the reminbi is pegged to the dollar or not. She just worked hard, played by the rules and kept her nose clean. I'm betting she's done a better job investing for her retirement than 90% of the people on this board.She's done well in the market because she has good habits - dollar cost averaging, re-balancing, re-investing dividends, diversification. Everyone knows about this stuff, she actually has the discipline to follow thru no matter what.Does it really matter that the Dow fell to 800 in '82? If 401k accounts existed back then it's a no brainer that you should've been investing.Barry Ritholtz writes the Big Picture blog and he's often waxed nostalgic about Black Monday during 1987 and how horrible that was. Was it really? The stock market ended up positive for the year of '87. No one seems to notice that.For the average person holding down a job - that crash was nothing. Now some investment bankers on Wall Street took a beating and NYC real estate also tanked. Who cares?And apparently we had a bear market during the early 90's. Who cares if you predicted that one?My advice to anyone this board is:1) You will never understand how the economy really works. Most nobel prize winning economists can't seem to agree on things so don't think you'll figure out the secret in your spare time reading the blogs and messages boards.2) You will never make good investment decisions based on a hunch about where the economy is going. Your hunch may be right but often times bad news is good news.3) Develop good habits. Learn to save & invest.4) Look for the positive in life. The more you focus on the negative the more problems you'll end up having. Attitude, beliefs, convictions & follow-through are what will help you make money. Knowledge of fractional reserve banking or currency valuations might be interesting but is ultimately useless.5) If you don't know how to invest your money do a lot of homework and find someone to advise you. This won't be easy to do but there are newsletters and services that have been around for 30+yrs and have had good returns.#4 is the most important. My mother has been through it all but she would never let on to it. She lived thru oil prices in the 70's and her only recollection of the 70's was that Jimmy Carter was a pleasant man. The rest of her memories are of her children. Not a word about oil prices or lines at the gas station. I didn't know we had stagflation until I read about it in highschool. She did confirm that waiting in line for gas was annoying.The recession in the 80's wasn't a big deal to her either. Yes, things were bad but that just meant the worst would soon be over. Oh, and almost losing the house - that's bad but she learned that they need to save up more cash in case it happens again.As for the bust in 2000 - they ended up having to sell the house we grew up in and move out to the DC area to find work. Their retirement plans were thrown back by another 5-7yrs also. But again, I don't think either of them have any concept of what a bear market is. They just knew the economy wasn't so good and it was time to do something about it.You cannot anticipate what will happen. You can only respond appropiately when it does.-AD
The recession in the 80's wasn't a big deal to her either. Yes, things were bad but that just meant the worst would soon be over. Oh, and almost losing the house - that's bad but she learned that they need to save up more cash in case it happens again.AD,respectfully,you know well we are in a different part of the cycle.....and about to pay the piper...if not now in the coming two years.....people who were never homeless before may never get back on their feet.........things for many will probably be crushing.......but a buck is to be made somewhere......and that may not be a silver lining....instead ops come and go....Dave
<AdvanceDecline wrote: Wendy I honestly don't understand the point of it all. I can't criticize too much since I come to this board quite a bit though. I also enjoy the content of the board even if I don't agree with it. >AD, you are part of this board. You may not agree with all of the content, but the content that you post is also part of the content. Others may not agree with everything that you write, but that's OK. As long as you bring data, and think deeply about what you write, your ideas are as much a part of the board as anyone else's.It's good that there is a balance of "bulls" and "bears" on the board. The balance brings out both opportunities and risks that each side weights differently. This helps me, by bringing a broader spectrum of investment opportunities. I also enjoy it. I hope you both benefit from the spectrum of information and analysis, and also enjoy it.<You cannot anticipate what will happen. You can only respond appropiately when it does.>Your writing about your parents' investment past is interesting, since they are about my age.Unlike your parents, I did anticipate a crash in 2000. The entire stock market, especially tech stocks, seemed way overpriced and out of balance. I pulled almost all of my investments out of the stock market, in 2000. When my mother died, in early 2001, we pulled her estate's stock investments out of the market, during the early 2001 rebound. By anticipating the deep bear market, the 2001 recession only shows as a slight downward blip, on my net worth chart. My retirement plans weren't affected. When I lost my job, in 2001, my husband encouraged me to retire...and I did. In October 2002, when the stock and bond markets were in full despair, I bought back in. If I had listened to the financial advisor (yes, my mother had a financial advisor), I would have lost a bundle, both from my own portfolio and my mother's estate. By 2002, when I decided the time was right to return to stocks, Mr. Advisor was off the payroll.My practical experience shows that you can anticipate what can happen. At the least, you can game alternate scenarios (as the military does), and plan your actions accordingly.I do wholeheartedly agree with your advice #3, "Develop good habits. Learn to save & invest."That is advice that will work for everyone...even if their investment styles are completely different :-).Wendy
Here are some METAR board demographics.Please add yourself to the poll, if you haven't already.Age of board membershttp://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25644504Income of board membershttp://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25684881Investable assets of board membershttp://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25686611
Written by PosFCF:"For those who believe that any attempts to accurately evaluate current economic conditions and forces (and then the direction of things that would likely result from those forces) are somehow the product of mindsets that are in a perpetual state of doom and gloom, I would suggest that perhaps the real paradigm is different than they suspect. The real paradigm is how to position one's assets to maximize the potential of the forces at play in the economy in which one is investing. That is an optimistic approach not pessimistic! Optimistic because it is done in the belief that positive investment returns can be achieved regardless of which forces are predominant at any given point. Optimistic in that the underlying belief is that we can percieve accurately and thus, perhaps, position our assets ahead of the herd that doesn't yet realize it is about to turn in another direction."
In this post, TMFMillerTime on the Falling Knives Board describes the process of determining whether a bottom has formed (specifically, in the homebuilders' stocks).http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25971379I am sure that it applies to financial assets of all types. I especially like the way he researches previous bottoms.Wendy
Although the first linked article is off-topic, the concept of "information cascades" is very on-topic for the METAR Board. The second and third article show how information cascades can affect economic decisions.http://tinyurl.com/2g9xgmWe like to think that people improve their judgment by putting their minds together, and sometimes they do. ...If the second person isn’t sure of the answer, he’s liable to go along with the first person’s guess. By then, even if the third person suspects another answer is right, she’s more liable to go along just because she assumes the first two together know more than she does. Thus begins an “informational cascade” as one person after another assumes that the rest can’t all be wrong.Because of this effect, groups are surprisingly prone to reach mistaken conclusions even when most of the people started out knowing better... [end quote #1]http://lrande.people.wm.edu/links/Cascade%20Experiments%20New%20Palgrave.pdfCascade experimentsFor The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd EditionEdited by Steven Durlauf and Lawrence BlumeCascade experiments test the theory that conformity can result from individuals receiving private imperfect information and making public decisions in a sequence...Cascade theories provide a rational explanation for imitation even when people receive different private information. If a person gathers additional information by observing others’ decisions, then a sequence of matching decisions might be strong enough to outweigh that person’s contrary private information. When the initial decisions in a sequence are correct, cascades can lead to better overall decision making than private information alone. However, information cascades are problematic when the initial decision makers in a queue receive incorrect nformation and convey it to other through their public (incorrect) decisions. [end quote #2]http://www.hss.caltech.edu/SSPapers/wp1197.pdfSelf-correcting Information Cascadesby Jacob K. Goeree, Thomas R. Palfrey, Brian W. Rogers, and Richard D. McKelveyIn an information cascade, a sequence of imperfectly informed decision makers each of whom observes all previous decisions, quickly reach a point at which they rationally ignore their private information. Hence, after a few decisions, learning ceases as subsequent decision makers infer nothing new from observing any of the actions. Information cascades are predicted to occur despite the wealth of information available and despite the common interest of all decision makers.This result, if robust to variations in the basic model, has obvious and pernicious implications for economic welfare, and raises problematic issues for various applications of mass information aggregation, such as stock market bubbles and crashes, bank runs, technology adoption, masshysteria, and political campaigns.... [end quote #3]Information cascades have deep evolutionary roots. Anyone who has seen a film of a troop of primates (e.g. monkeys, chimps or baboons) fleeing, after one of them warns about a predator, knows that primate survival has depended upon information cascades for millions of years.However, investing decisions should be made with as objective, broad, accurate, and unbiased information as possible. Information cascades can be dangerous to portfolio health. The science of behavioral economics has shown that basing trades on emotion degrades investing success.If information cascade conformity is reinforced by emotional pressure, there is a double impetus to conform to the consensus. If a METAR member has contrary data, but hesitates to present it, due to fear of an negativity from the group, all of us suffer, because the breadth of data will be narrowed.If METARs are to help each other succeed as investors, we must scrupulously avoid emotional biases. We must seek data across the investment data spectrum, clearly distinguishing pure data from interpretation.We must especially avoid bringing emotional pressure to bear on METARs who don't agree with us, or who bring contradictory data.Accurate, timely information about the market, including its possible opportunities and risks, will allow each of us to objectively decide what is best, for our personal situation.Wendy
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26174986&bid=114903 The METAR Board has voted. http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26166192&bid=114903&sort=whole 3% (2 Votes) OK all the time -- a free for all 27% (20 Votes) OK if the post has "OT" in the subject line 70% (52 Votes) No politics on METAR, ever. Take it to Political Asylum or the Political Quagmire. The METAR Board has 131 "registered" participants. If you haven't registered yet, please visit http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25950274 Now that over half the board participants have voted, it's clear that the board participants do not want politics on METAR. In addition, the following post got 57 recs (at last count). http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26169268&bid=114903 Somethingwicked wrote: "No, marking it as "OT" does not make it ok. ... All of us realize there is an intersection between politics and economics. There is a legitimate question about how to engage and talk about those political elements which have marked economic overtones without descending into the tar pit. I'm convinced that can be done only if we are extremely judicious in what we say and how we say it. It's kind of like porn - we may not be able to define it very well, but we all know it when we see it." Beautiful Plumage added specifics: "If politicians or parties are mentioned in a post, each of us should make sure the propositions are entirely factual and not judgmental, and subjective descriptions of politicians' actions (simplistic, asinine, typical, bone-headed, etc.) should be avoided, since they are provocative and get the board off on a tangent." http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26166275 The board has spoken. No politics on METAR, even OT. Wendy
Market Data from the Wall Street Journal, thanks to DoctorOptimist.http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/marketsdata.html?mod=2_0515
How METARs earn their living.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26232187&result=Thank+you+for+voting+in+this+poll%2E&view=results
More LIBOR charts than you can shake a stick at:http://www.kshitij.com/moneymkt/libor.shtmlThanks to desertdaveataol.
http://online.barrons.com/public/page/9_0210-pulseoftheeconomy.htmlThanks to Doctor Optimist.Wendy
Here's a handy way to keep track of housing prices around the country."Housing Tracker does not track home sale prices but rather home asking prices for select metropolitan areas. The asking (or list) price is the price that a seller is asking for their home, not the sale price they receive for their home. Housing Tracker also keeps count of the housing inventory (the number of homes for sale) for the same metro areas. Both home asking prices and inventory are tracked for the real estate markets listed below based on Realtor MLS listings. Click on a city name for more detail. Last updated 02/18/2008."http://www.housingtracker.net/?ref=drhousingbubble.blogspot.... Thanks to desertdaveataol.
A trend is a trend is a trendBut the question is, will it bend?Will it alter its courseThrough some unforeseen forceAnd come to a premature end...?Sir Alex Cairncross, Chief Economic Advisor to the British Government in the 1960sThe trend is the trenduntil the day that time ends.A cyclist chooses that dayto go the other way.Ajaskey - TMF - 2008
A web site with lots of links to information sources.http://www.ceoexpress.com/default.aspWendy
Good thread on interest rates and foreign exchange rates.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26452446&sort=whole
Political posts are not allowed on the METAR Board. Here is a definition of political posts:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26459571Wendy
On signal to noise and Macro Economic Trends.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26477237Wendy
As we all know, the METAR Board voted, by over 70%, to keep politics off METAR. This is because political arguments can raise tempers, and anger isn't conducive to the cool, rational, objective analysis of how Macroeconomics affects our investment decisions.Now, an honored member of METAR, Freethinker KW, has started a board that is ENTIRELY DEVOTED to politics and economics: Free-For-All Economics. This is a great idea, because political-economic debates might otherwise be overwhelmed in the crazy morass of Political Asylum.Link to Free-For-All Economics:http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=117500&mid=26530861I have started to post my political-economic opinions on FFAE. I encourage everyone else to do the same!Hopefully nobody will bitch and moan anymore, when METARs ask them to move their politics to the right forum!As a Vietnam Veteran, FreethinkerKW doesn't mind a hearty dust-up. FFAE doesn't need cool rational analysis, as METAR does.Wendy
This is the TED spread.http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=.TEDSP%3AINDIt is the spread between US treasuries and LIBOR. It is seen as an indicator of credit risk.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TED_spread
Avoid Investment Scams and Fraudhttp://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26589611Wendy
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26600375&bid=&recscode=2Derivatives terms explained by CERBERBA.
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26605214Many links to charts of stocks, bonds, oil and gold.Wendy
Crude oil monthly price chart, thanks to Pituophis.http://spectrumcommodities.com/education/commodity/charts/cl...
http://spectrumcommodities.com/education/commodity/charts/cl.htmlCrude oil monthly price chart, thanks to Pituophis.Wendy
An interesting take on why renting a house is more financially advantageous than buying. Thanks to corbetti.http://patrick.net/housing/crash3.htmlWendy
http://www.bls.gov/web/cesbd.htmBirth/death model of adjustments to the employment figures.Thanks to Pituophis.Wendy
Rail transport table, thanks to Doctor Optimist.http://railfax.transmatch.com/#IndTable
From CYBERBA, links to several alternate sources of data, including international.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26620542&bid=&recscode=2Wendy
Excellent stock screener.Link thanks to TheRTTrader.http://finviz.com/screener.ashxWendy
Thanks to desertdaveataol:"We follow more than 700 leveraged companies operating in nearly 200 industry subgroups globally. Using our proprietary research database we constantly monitor relevant events and movements to produce up-to-date credit snapshot reports which can be downloaded by registered users."http://www.highyieldblog.com/
Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/Wendy
This link takes you to RealtyTrac's Foreclosure data. IT's an interactive map. Slect a state, then select a county to see the homes in foreclosure.http://www.realtytrac.com/MapSearch/FreeSearch.aspx From PolymerMom
http://www.assetcorrelation.com/There is a promising new website called Asset Correlation (http://www.assetcorrelation.com) which shows the correlation matrix for a host of different asset classes over the past 90 trading days.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26751950&bid=&recscod...Thanks to Kyrriana.
Lots of financial calculators.With thanks to washcomp.http://www.dinkytown.com/
Charts of various indices and commodities, including ratios of the indices to gold and oil to gold.http://goldshekels.com/Thanks to RuleNo1.
Stock screener, with thanks to AdvocatusDiaboli.http://www.schaeffersresearch.com/streetools/stockscreener.a......
From SteadyAim, a chart of nominal GDP, the S&P 500, inflation and dividends.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26824490
Several new posters on METAR have been posting links with snips of articles. That's good...but it's important to give credit to the authors of the links. It's equally important to distinguish what the linked author wrote from your comments about the article.Please follow the format:1. Paste the link.2. Write < tt> (leave out the space) to change the font to Typewriter Text.2. Copy and paste the title, author, and date.3. Copy and paste the snip that encapsulates the main point(s) best. Don't paste the whole article, because that would violate copyright rules. A few authors allow copying entire articles with stated conditions, but most newspaper and magazine articles don't.4. Write < /tt> (leave out the space) to change the font back to the regular text.5. Write [end quote] to show that the following writing is by you, and not the author of the article.6. Add your comments. After all, we'd like to know why you think this is important.Thanks!Wendy
SteadyAim writes about and charts the S&P 500, inflation and dividend growth.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26833158Wendy
An incredible array of commodity price history charts, thanks to DoctorOptimist.http://www.mrci.com/pdf/charts.phpWendy
Seasonality charts, thanks to Pituophis.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26863563
Thanks to Dave Donhoff.This is great! Enter the provider, "search", enter the class...Enter the amount, % return, holding period...And *WOW*....FINRA Mutual Fund Expense Analyzerhttp://apps.finra.org/Investor_Information/EA/1/mfetf.aspx
Monthly mortgage rate resets.http://bp3.blogger.com/_iP2-ePwdHM4/SD-CHrJAJiI/AAAAAAAAALI/...A chart the timing of resets of conventional and adjustable rate mortgages.Wendy
<<< Monthly mortgage rate resets.http://bp3.blogger.com/_iP2-ePwdHM4/SD-CHrJAJiI/AAAAAAAAALI/......A chart the timing of resets of conventional and adjustable rate mortgages.Wendy >>>Wendy, great chart. I knew about the subprime loans, but had no idea about the option ARM resets.Assuming the real problems are 6 mo out from the resets, that is it takes some time from the reset for default and bankruptcy to occur, it looks like the bottom in housing is not until 2012!The other thing that seems likely is that sometime around this time next year, as the slopes of the rising Option ARM line intersects the falling subprime line, we will hear that the banking problem are behind us. Bank stock should make a major head fake. That will be the time to short them. I hope you are able to get out of your BAC, etc, before the final downturn.;-) (I'm assuming the dividends will be long gone at that point.)Eric
Poll of METAR members' professions.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26900495Wendy
From mam on the BMW Board:10 yrs financials are available in GuruFocus. The ability to chart all the attributes with a single-click is especially nice. Hopefully it will stay free.http://www.gurufocus.com/news.php?id=33474http://www.gurufocus.com/financials.php?symbol=jnj
Professions of METAR board members.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26900495Wendy
http://www.chartsrus.com/ Thanks to AdvocatusDiaboli.Wendy
For those of you who doubt that the latest method of computing cpi is grossly inaccurate, here is a chart that more or less proves it beyond a doubt. It shows how the old relationship between money supply and inflation just falls apart as they make all the changes to cpi, and how it stays the same under the old methodology. Scroll down to the chart entitled "money supply creation and the inflation link.http://www.nowandfutures.com/key_stats.htmlWith thanks to EddieLuck.
Great advice from desertdaveataol:<quote>Most precious piece of advice you would give to somebody who's starting to invest in the stock market (stocks more precisely).</quote>Speaking as a Long Term Buy and Hold *Investor1. Dividends are key. Always buy stocks that pay you to own them. Would you take a job where the boss said he'd probably pay you an unspecified amount someday, maybe?There's usually a tradeoff between safety and yield. American utilities (PNY, WTR, SO, ED, CPK, NWN & WGL to name a few) are safe and boring. Buy'em and forget'em.Huge dividend paying American companies (JNJ, MMM, PG, CL, PEP, XMO, CLX & GE to name a few) that do a lot of business overseas are safe and offer a hedge against the devaluing dollar. Buy'em when they're on sale and forget'em.2. Reinvest Dividends Never underestimate the power of compound growth.3. Diversify! Never buy more than a self imposed maximum ($ or shares) of any one stock. Ignore people who tell you to "take a position" in every sector. Invest in what you know. In the long run ten utility (or Consumer or Energy) stocks in a sector you understand will serve you better than ten stocks in ten sectors you bought because some guru said you needed 'representation" in ten sectors you didn't understand.4. Full Service Brokers are a Joke If they're so smart why are they working for you? If they could reliably predict which way the markets and/or certain stocks were going to move wouldn't they be rich and retired? Instead they're asking you to pay them a commission to throw the dice betting your money.Helpful hint 4b, the broker's car & house payments are due every month and s/he doesn't make any money unless you buy or sell stocks. Translation: You'll seldom find a broker recommending long term buy and hold stocks and the few that do charge fees for "managing" your account.Educate yourself at sites like Ticker Forum & The Motley Fool (user boards not TMF's management recommendations) so you can make your own informed investment decisions. Then buy through online brokers (at $7 to 10$ a trade) and eschew the Full Service used share salesmen.5. Ignore CNBC & Stock magazines The talking heads on TV are just used car salesmen in expensive suits. They never yell "sell" they always cry "buy." Those magazines on the grocery store rack are just as bad, they hype every stock they talk about and almost never find anything bad to say about any stock. The biggest loss I ever had occurred because I believed what I read in one of those stock magazines.* Investors buy stocks intending to hold them for the long haul.Traders buy stocks intending to sell soon at a higher price. It doesn't always work out that way. :-(
Thanks to HamletsMill:(raw data comes from Aswath Damodaran) Nominal Real change in earnings change in price 1960 $3.10 $21.48 1961 $3.37 $23.12 8.60% 23.13%1962 $3.67 $24.90 8.79% -11.81%1963 $4.13 $27.69 12.75% 18.89%1964 $4.76 $31.51 15.23% 12.97%1965 $5.30 $34.50 11.20% 9.06%1966 $5.41 $34.22 2.23% -13.09%1967 $5.46 $33.56 0.85% 20.09%1968 $5.72 $33.74 4.81% 7.66%1969 $6.10 $34.14 6.66% -11.36%1970 $5.51 $29.12 -9.72% 0.10%1971 $5.57 $28.22 1.15% 10.79%1972 $6.17 $30.27 10.76% 15.63%1973 $7.96 $36.77 28.93% -17.37%1974 $9.35 $38.91 17.48% -29.72%1975 $7.71 $29.41 -17.54% 31.55%1976 $9.75 $35.15 26.39% 19.15%1977 $10.87 $36.79 11.53% -11.50%1978 $11.64 $36.62 7.07% 1.06%1979 $14.55 $41.05 25.01% 12.31%1980 $14.99 $37.26 3.01% 25.77%1981 $15.18 $34.21 1.31% -9.73%1982 $13.82 $29.33 -8.95% 14.76%1983 $13.29 $27.33 -3.84% 17.27%1984 $16.84 $33.20 26.69% 1.40%1985 $15.68 $29.85 -6.91% 26.33%1986 $14.43 $26.95 -7.93% 14.62%1987 $16.04 $28.91 11.10% 2.03%1988 $22.77 $39.43 42.02% 12.40%1989 $24.03 $39.71 5.52% 27.25%1990 $21.73 $34.07 -9.58% -6.56%1991 $19.10 $28.74 -12.08% 26.31%1992 $18.13 $26.48 -5.12% 4.46%1993 $19.82 $28.11 9.37% 7.06%1994 $27.05 $37.39 36.45% -1.54%1995 $35.35 $47.67 30.70% 34.11%1996 $35.78 $46.84 1.20% 20.26%1997 $39.56 $50.93 10.57% 31.01%1998 $38.23 $48.44 -3.35% 26.67%1999 $45.17 $55.73 18.13% 19.53%2000 $52.00 $62.05 15.13% -10.14%2001 $44.23 $51.94 -14.94% -13.04%2002 $47.24 $54.18 6.81% -23.37%2003 $54.15 $60.94 14.63% 26.38%2004 $67.01 $73.01 23.75% 8.99%2005 $68.32 $71.99 1.95% 3.00%2006 $81.96 $84.25 19.96% 13.62%2007 $87.51 6.77% 3.53%As you can be by perusing the table, markets have gone up despite declining earnings, gone down despite rising earnings - whether you use nominal or real earnings. As for being a forward indicator - anticipating next year's earnings, the markets have a poor record of positive correlation.One possible explanation may have to do with the weighted characteristics of the S&P 500; if the very largest weighted companies have a sterling year, despite an overall poor earnings record for the index, their rise would skew the relationship between earnings and price; and vice versa.
Wendy,I was just a little unsure, so I redid the table to make it more readable. Is this how the headings are supposed to line up? I am using some of theseposts to talk to my kids and I wanted to be clear on that. If you have a better explanation of things or have a link I can go to I would appreciate it.Thanks for any help.WoolyYear Nominal Real Change in Change in Earnings Price 1960 $3.10 $21.48 1961 $3.37 $23.12 8.60% 23.13%1962 $3.67 $24.90 8.79% -11.81%1963 $4.13 $27.69 12.75% 18.89%1964 $4.76 $31.51 15.23% 12.97%1965 $5.30 $34.50 11.20% 9.06%1966 $5.41 $34.22 2.23% -13.09%1967 $5.46 $33.56 0.85% 20.09%1968 $5.72 $33.74 4.81% 7.66%1969 $6.10 $34.14 6.66% -11.36%1970 $5.51 $29.12 -9.72% 0.10%1971 $5.57 $28.22 1.15% 10.79%1972 $6.17 $30.27 10.76% 15.63%1973 $7.96 $36.77 28.93% -17.37%1974 $9.35 $38.91 17.48% -29.72%1975 $7.71 $29.41 -17.54% 31.55%1976 $9.75 $35.15 26.39% 19.15%1977 $10.87 $36.79 11.53% -11.50%1978 $11.64 $36.62 7.07% 1.06%1979 $14.55 $41.05 25.01% 12.31%1980 $14.99 $37.26 3.01% 25.77%1981 $15.18 $34.21 1.31% -9.73%1982 $13.82 $29.33 -8.95% 14.76%1983 $13.29 $27.33 -3.84% 17.27%1984 $16.84 $33.20 26.69% 1.40%1985 $15.68 $29.85 -6.91% 26.33%1986 $14.43 $26.95 -7.93% 14.62%1987 $16.04 $28.91 11.10% 2.03%1988 $22.77 $39.43 42.02% 12.40%1989 $24.03 $39.71 5.52% 27.25%1990 $21.73 $34.07 -9.58% -6.56%1991 $19.10 $28.74 -12.08% 26.31%1992 $18.13 $26.48 -5.12% 4.46%1993 $19.82 $28.11 9.37% 7.06%1994 $27.05 $37.39 36.45% -1.54%1995 $35.35 $47.67 30.70% 34.11%1996 $35.78 $46.84 1.20% 20.26%1997 $39.56 $50.93 10.57% 31.01%1998 $38.23 $48.44 -3.35% 26.67%1999 $45.17 $55.73 18.13% 19.53%2000 $52.00 $62.05 15.13% -10.14%2001 $44.23 $51.94 -14.94% -13.04%2002 $47.24 $54.18 6.81% -23.37%2003 $54.15 $60.94 14.63% 26.38%2004 $67.01 $73.01 23.75% 8.99%2005 $68.32 $71.99 1.95% 3.00%2006 $81.96 $84.25 19.96% 13.62%2007 $87.51 6.77% 3.53%Anyone else with a direct link that compliments this I would appreciate it mucho!Wooly
I was just a little unsure, so I redid the table to make it more readable. Is this how the headings are supposed to line up? I am using some of theseposts to talk to my kids and I wanted to be clear on that. If you have a better explanation of things or have a link I can go to I would appreciate it.Thanks for any help.WoolyYear Nominal Real Change in Change in Earnings Price 1960 $3.10 $21.48 1961 $3.37 $23.12 8.60% 23.13%1962 $3.67 $24.90 8.79% -11.81%1963 $4.13 $27.69 12.75% 18.89%1964 $4.76 $31.51 15.23% 12.97%1965 $5.30 $34.50 11.20% 9.06%1966 $5.41 $34.22 2.23% -13.09%1967 $5.46 $33.56 0.85% 20.09%1968 $5.72 $33.74 4.81% 7.66%1969 $6.10 $34.14 6.66% -11.36%1970 $5.51 $29.12 -9.72% 0.10%1971 $5.57 $28.22 1.15% 10.79%1972 $6.17 $30.27 10.76% 15.63%1973 $7.96 $36.77 28.93% -17.37%1974 $9.35 $38.91 17.48% -29.72%1975 $7.71 $29.41 -17.54% 31.55%1976 $9.75 $35.15 26.39% 19.15%1977 $10.87 $36.79 11.53% -11.50%1978 $11.64 $36.62 7.07% 1.06%1979 $14.55 $41.05 25.01% 12.31%1980 $14.99 $37.26 3.01% 25.77%1981 $15.18 $34.21 1.31% -9.73%1982 $13.82 $29.33 -8.95% 14.76%1983 $13.29 $27.33 -3.84% 17.27%1984 $16.84 $33.20 26.69% 1.40%1985 $15.68 $29.85 -6.91% 26.33%1986 $14.43 $26.95 -7.93% 14.62%1987 $16.04 $28.91 11.10% 2.03%1988 $22.77 $39.43 42.02% 12.40%1989 $24.03 $39.71 5.52% 27.25%1990 $21.73 $34.07 -9.58% -6.56%1991 $19.10 $28.74 -12.08% 26.31%1992 $18.13 $26.48 -5.12% 4.46%1993 $19.82 $28.11 9.37% 7.06%1994 $27.05 $37.39 36.45% -1.54%1995 $35.35 $47.67 30.70% 34.11%1996 $35.78 $46.84 1.20% 20.26%1997 $39.56 $50.93 10.57% 31.01%1998 $38.23 $48.44 -3.35% 26.67%1999 $45.17 $55.73 18.13% 19.53%2000 $52.00 $62.05 15.13% -10.14%2001 $44.23 $51.94 -14.94% -13.04%2002 $47.24 $54.18 6.81% -23.37%2003 $54.15 $60.94 14.63% 26.38%2004 $67.01 $73.01 23.75% 8.99%2005 $68.32 $71.99 1.95% 3.00%2006 $81.96 $84.25 19.96% 13.62%2007 $87.51 6.77% 3.53%
Thanks for working on the formatting. It looks good to me, but the HamletsMill collected and collated the data. Perhaps you could post asking him?Thanks,Wendy
Credit Default Swaps researchThis website focuses on CDSs:http://www.creditresearch.com/cdrweb/index.jspWendy
Thanks to HamletsMill.Sometimes, it's useful to step from the drama of the moment and look at more abstract, disinterested data - a way to help clear the mind like taking a brisk walk in the country.I thought the following table by Michael Alexander is an interesting way to look at economic growth since the real rise of industrial capitalism in the United States. What makes it worthwhile is that it takes into account not only raw increase in GDP, but also the increase in the labor force - a per capita per worker view.Table 1. Growth in GDP/worker since 1860Decade Period Covered Growth,GDP/wrkr 1860's 1860-1870 1.5% 1940's 1937-1949 3.2%1870's 1870-1880 2.6% 1950's 1949-1960.25 2.7%1880's 1880-1890 0.3% 1960's 1960.25-1969.75 2.5%1890's 1890-1899 1.9% 1970's 1969.75-1981.75 0.8%1900's 1899-1910 1.0% 1980's 1981.75-1990.5 1.4%1910's 1910-1920 1.1% 1990's 1990.5-2001.25 1.6%1920's 1918-1929 2.3% 2000's 2001.25-2008.25 1.6%1930's 1929-1937 0.7%If you are puzzled by the divisions after the 1920's, Alexander originally posted this table in the context of looking at long term market trends. However, the assignments also tend to correspond with other macro economic trends prevailing - the 1969-1981 period as the era of high inflation for example.A few observations: the 1880's was the era of the the 2nd Great Depression (the Depression of 1837-1843 being the 1st). The Great Inflation of the 1970's hit economic output almost as badly as the Depression of the 1930's - although, fortunately, without the massive unemployment and attendant misery. In modern times - commonally thought to start circa 1950 - the 1950's arguably was the best decade of all economically, not just in GDP and wage growth, but also for equities (in terms of total return, capital appreciation plus dividends, it surpassed the 1990's). It's remarkable that the two great periods of technological innovation the 1890's to 1920, 1980 to now, have good, but not exceptional, GDP per worker growth rates.
Thanks to Milligram:Stumbled across this table from the 'guberment - don't know if others knew about this resource but it looks like a good one. Updated monthly in the current calendar year, runs about 90 days behind what the current window is and shows a breakdown of consumer debt for credit cards and auto loans, and who is carrying those loans.http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/G19/Current/$2.6 trillion in credit card debt in the United States and $2.7 trillion in vehicle loans. Average maturity on US auto loan has swelled to 67.2 months, more than five years, and the average American only has 4% equity in their wheels if they have a car loan on it.
$2.6 trillion in credit card debt in the United States and $2.7 trillion in vehicle loans. Average maturity on US auto loan has swelled to 67.2 months, more than five years, and the average American only has 4% equity in their wheels if they have a car loan on it. ==========================Wow. $2.7 trillion dollars in loans for vehicles. That may be the single best indicator of how poorly the country plans its financial health. Taking $2.7 trillion out for assets with a 7-10 year life where 40 percent of the original "value" is pure marketing fluff. Think of the college educations and research those dollars could have supported to help improve long term productivity.Staggering. Enjoy those cup holders and rear-seat DVD systems, America. You may be living in that car shortly...WTH
About derivatives, with thanks to PosFCF.These instruments get so much publicity that I thought posting a relatively easy to follow primer on them from Wikipedia might be advisable.I've read a lot about derivatives over the years but since I don't use them (at least the credit-related ones) in day-to-day activities I tend to forget some of even the most basic nuances so I think I'll bookmark this page as a reference.Credit Derivativeshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_derivative The ISDA describes itself thusly:ISDA, which represents participants in the privately negotiated derivatives industry, is the largest global financial trade association, by number of member firms. ISDA was chartered in 1985, and today has over 850 member institutions from 56 countries on six continents. These members include most of the world's major institutions that deal in privately negotiated derivatives, as well as many of the businesses, governmental entities and other end users that rely on over-the-counter derivatives to manage efficiently the financial market risks inherent in their core economic activities.Since its inception, ISDA has pioneered efforts to identify and reduce the sources of risk in the derivatives and risk management business. Among its most notable accomplishments are: developing the ISDA Master Agreement; publishing a wide range of related documentation materials and instruments covering a variety of transaction types; producing legal opinions on the enforceability of netting and collateral arrangements (available only to ISDA members); securing recognition of the risk-reducing effects of netting in determining capital requirements; promoting sound risk management practices, and advancing the understanding and treatment of derivatives and risk management from public policy and regulatory capital perspectives.They have an educational section to their website that is free and has lots of good information on derivatives education:http://www.isda.org/educat/faqs.html PosFCF
Household disposable income.http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/histinctb.html...A table of current debt service data may be found here:http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/housedebt/The household debt service ratio (DSR) is an estimate of the ratio of debt payments to disposable personal income. Debt payments consist of the estimated required payments on outstanding mortgage and consumer debt. The financial obligations ratio (FOR) adds automobile lease payments, rental payments on tenant-occupied property, homeowners' insurance, and property tax payments to the debt service ratio. Wendy