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Weekend Linkfest

Barry Ritholtz brings you all the links fit to click.

Good Saturday morning, and welcome to this week's edition of the Linkfest. So much happened this week that we will be ranging far and wide today. Put on your sprinting shoes -- or, if you live in the Northeast, your snow boots -- because we've got some ground to cover:

¿ Economists say Fed Chief Bernanke should establish his credentials as an inflation fighter, but a survey finds that their average forecast puts rates no higher than 4.75% this year. Of course, most economists have gotten inflation ass-backwards. ¿ The 30-year bond (a.k.a. "The Bond") returned this week to surprisingly strong demand. The thirst for U.S. long bonds heralds steeper inversion. ¿ On the subject of bonds: Legg Mason has passed PIMCO in fixed-income assets. ¿ Yahoo! Finance has an excellent overview entitled Why Americans Aren't Saving. MSN MoneyCentral points out that the rich are getting richer faster. And Slate's Dan Gross calls the "ownership society" a bust. And for the econ wonks out there, check out this Federal Reserve research on the impact of The Decline in Household Saving on the Wealth Effect. ¿ A consumer 3play: Doug Kass notes the consumer is increasingly leveraged; This is important due to the consistent relationship between consumer spending slowdowns and bear markets; If you want an early warning of a consumer spending slowdown, watch real hourly earnings. ¿ I participated in a fascinating discussion on economic dark matter at the WSJ: Is 'Dark Matter' in the Deficit? (How often do you get to call a pair of Harvard economists idiots?) ¿ Is the Party Really Over For the Housing Boom? Perhaps not. ¿ I've been annoyed at Citibank's odd panic/euphoria gauge ( here and here). Apparently, I'm not the only one. Barron's Mike Santoli notes the barrage of criticism, and gives Citigroup's Tobias Lefkovich an opportunity to defend the indicator ( Barron's is free this week). An easy fix for the indicator is at the end of this. ¿ While many of President Bush's appointees have been highly criticized, his economic appointees (Federal Reserve, CEA) have all justifiably received universal accolades. That is, until a recent "out-of-left field" Fed appointment drew jeers. ¿ Fuel for the windfall tax crowd: Exxon Mobil spent more money in 2005 buying back stock than it did on capital spending, exploration and research and development. (They are just beggin' for trouble) ¿ I have discussed the 4-year presidential election cycle (most recently, here). A recent academic study confirms its validity: Presidential Elections and Stock Market Cycles. ¿ Thomas Friedman argues that our SUV lovin', fuel wastin' ways -- and $65 Oil -- is why Iran will eventually have the bomb. ¿ The Seven Sins of Fund Management. (pdf) ¿ Smith vs.Darwin: Is the Invisible Hand just so much more Intelligent Design?¿ If home prices fall, rents may fuel inflation. ¿ Need some software written? Rent a coder!¿ Some good reads: A well-regarded book on index funds is online for free; What looks like another interesting read -- Ahead of the Curve -- has extensive charts and excerpts online; I just started Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst, and so far, it's terrific. ¿ Lots of market commentators (Rev Shark, Myself, Doug Kass) like to use pithy quotes to make our point. Now, there's an entire blog dedicated to trading quotes.
¿ After Curb Your Enthusiasm began, I discovered that Larry David really is George Costanza (the character is no longer a parody). Knowing this makes the original Seinfeld series even funnier than before. ¿ An interesting trend in music? All-female hard rock cover bands. ¿ The more things change: Last year's critical darling Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, sounds intriguingly like David Byrne and Talking heads circa 1979. I like it, but then again, I'm a huge T-Heads fan. ¿ The Falling Sand Game (Warning: an amusing but colossal time sink);

That's about all from suburban NY, where a nor'easter's a'coming -- and I am well stocked with hot cocoa, Godiva chocolate liqueur, and more DVDs than I can possibly watch in a weekend -- including

The Aristocrats

. Tag line:

"No Nudity, No Violence, Unspeakable Obscenity"


Let the blizzard begin!

Barry Ritholtz is the chief market strategist for Ritholtz Research, an independent institutional research firm, specializing in the analysis of macroeconomic trends and the capital markets. The firm's variant perspectives are applied to the fixed income, equity and commodity markets, both domestically and internationally. Other areas of research coverage also include consumer, real estate, geopolitics, technology and digital media. Ritholtz is also president of Ritholtz Capital Partners (RCP), a New York based hedge fund. RCP is driven by the analysis performed by Ritholtz Research. Ritholtz appreciates your feedback;

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