More on 'AAA' S&P Debt

Here at DQYDJ, we retrieved Standard & Poor's AAA 'Domestic Ratings' for sovereign debt on the morning of 8/11/2011.  Here's  the list of 'AAA' rated sovereign debt issuers you have already seen at our site: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.  We told you the other day that the only thing that really matters is the yield - the price at which a sovereign can issue debt.  Let's dig into that further!

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Carnivals and Links, Week of 8/8/2011

DQYDJ: surprising our readers with yet another week where we submit articles to a carnival!  Maybe we'll keep it going this time.

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Stocks and Bonds: An Interesting Reaction to the S&P Ratings Cut

It's been two full market days since S&P cut the debt rating of the United States one notch from AAA to AA+... and for one day at least, it was looking like S&P had the stock market by the nose.  Two days later we can finally take a look back at what happened since we've had two trading days, a rest in between, a Federal Reserve statement, and a speech from the President.  To wit: the S&P 500 Index closed at 1199.38 on Friday, 1119.46 on Monday and 1172.53 on Tuesday.

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Carnival and Links, Week of August 01, 2011

Check out our carnival entries and featured links for the week!

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How Much Does Noise Affect Real Estate Prices?

How much does noise affect real estate prices? Ever wonder how much better a house would be if it wasn't […]

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Shaking Up a Real Estate Market Near You...

I recently purchased my first house here in the Bay Area, and I did it in a decidedly non-traditional way.  For a few years I had been reading about a smaller real estate company known as Redfin which operated in a more hands-off way than a normal real estate firm.  Redfin leverages technology and a slick user interface to help its users (most of which will not use Redfin to buy a home, but the search feature is that good) find homes on their own.  Once a house is purchased, Redfin actually refunds some of the brokerage commission.  In most places, 3% of the purchase prices goes to the seller's agent, 3% to the buyers, and 1.5%, 50% of Redfin's commission, goes back to the end user.  So... what's the catch?

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Must Reads for Serious Thinkers: The Minimum Wage Affects the Teen Employment Rate Negatively

Serious Thinkers™ in all corners of the web return to some common themes, even when those themes are currently out of the public spotlight. Recently, those Serious Thinkers™ have been reading between the lines on topics which the public has moved on from - the effect of the minimum wage on unemployment, and even more to the point, the effect of the minimum wage on specific segments of the population. And why shouldn't they? The current official unemployment rate is 9.2%, but the official unemployment rate among those with a Bachelor's Degree or higher is a relatively healthy 4.4%.

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On Automatic Investments... and Coming Up Short

In 2006, Former President George Bush signed a well intentioned law which allowed companies to automatically enroll employees in the company retirement program - and to automatically choose the investment in which they were enrolled. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 authorized companies to automatically enroll new participants and enroll them in three types of funds - lifecycle funds, balanced funds, and managed accounts - while absolving the companies of any financial liability for losses in the funds. As expected, the law has effectively increased the rate of participation in company 401(k) accounts.

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Schadenfreude: Laughing When A Bank is Foreclosed Upon

There is a German word which perfectly describes a feeling we often get... in English-Speaking America.  "Schadenfreude" means to derive pleasure from the misfortune of others.  Generally, when schadenfreude appears in print, it refers to the failings of a high powered sports team, such as the New York Yankees or (not this year!) the Los Angeles Lakers.  These teams are historically so good (note I left out my favorites, the Boston teams, although they could certainly apply) that other sports fans will cheer for two things - their team to win, and team X to lose!  On that note, today I bring you a link which will most likely make you happy - and the 'team' is Bank of America.

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Another Inflation Update: 5/29/2011

Every few months, we here at DQYDJ like to check in on the market's expectations of inflation.  There are lots of variables in the market - not least of which is the ending of the Federal Reserve's open market purchase of bonds known as Quantitative Easing 2.0.  Still, even with the conflicting signals of  historically high gold prices, ridiculously low mortgage prices, and out of control commodity prices, the market isn't pricing out of control inflation.  As a matter of fact, the inflation that it is pricing in is decently low.  Enough rambling, let's take a look.

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