Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Margin Debt Continued

Continuing from yesterday's post, a reader asked to see margin debt as a percentage of account value. This would give a better picture of the degree of leverage. Unfortunately such data do not exist - at least not in the public domain. Instead I have done the next best thing: margin debt as a percentage of total US market capitalization. Here is the chart:

Data: NYSE, World Federation of Exchanges

P.S. I am sure you have all seen the boot-iful Bush video. All I have to say is: Duck and Cover


  1. margin debt as percentage of average daily volume would be a better indicator: most traders on margin trade actively in contrast to long-term investors. furthermore the market cap includes all stale shares that do not change hands and de facto are not used in market making.

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  3. Did something significant happen between Oct-Dec07 to explain the noticable drop or is that an annual phenomena?

  4. "A Libyan charity group chaired by leader Moamar Gaddafi's daughter, Aicha Gaddafi, gave Mr Zaidi an award for bravery."

  5. Don't have a clue on what you're talking about on this post, Hell, but I loved the video.
    What was the date on that one ?
    Amazing how thin the line is between education and propaganda, isn't it ?

  6. Debra, I soo agree

    While I voted Obama, just compare these two videos (this was pulled from another blog).

    "Obama's gonna change the world".

    North Korean children love Tito.

  7. The shoe thrower is my new hero.

    He may not know Jeffersonian Democracy but at least he knows appropriate behavior at a Bush news conference.

  8. We agree on something after all!

  9. Many people are buying QID and SDS with full margin. Margin debt is not what it used to be in the earlier days.


    Thai, Obama is an agent of the crooks just like any other candidate. When it came to making important decisions, he sided with the crooks (e.g. he voted for 800B banker bailout).

    I do not vote, because voting legitimizes the system. If people think neither candidate is up to the mark, they should boycott the vote and stay at home. Most Americans do not realize that a voting tally like "Obama - 11%, McCain 9%, absent 80%" does send a powerful message. That was how we got rid of British in India (among many things), not by voting for agent A or crook B.

    Blind trust in a political system is the main cause of current problems in USA, the rest are just symptoms.

  10. Greenie- political systems are kind of like the central nervous systems (CNS) of the super-organisms we call societies. If you swap out the CNS system of one system for a new CNS, you are still basically left with all the same issues.

    So while the liver of (say) an alcoholic might demand a new brain which is 'less alcoholic', still were the liver lucky enough to separate from its original brain and not commit suicide, there would be a reasonably good chance that the new brain might (say) love cheeseburgers and french fries (in peanut oil) and shortly thereafter you would now have a complaining circulatory system that would want to rebel from all the new cholesterol plaques.

    In your example, throwing the British out only substituted foreign crooks for local ones. But except for issues of 'local pride', are you really any better off with the change over from British to home rule? (No criticism of the current Indian government intended, nor any implication that India return to British rule).

    Plus as Edwardo always laments, it seems a majority of Americans already see it your way anyway. I think around 50% of eligible Americans vote today... FYI- there appears to be a strong genetic predisposition to whether a person will vote at all or not.

    I think no matter what political system you live under, you are still stuck solving the tragedy of the commons.

  11. I watched that boot throwing video and thought Mr. Bush handled himself pretty well. We've seen all sorts of celebrities hit with objects. That does not make it acceptable.

  12. Acceptable no, admirable yes.

    Yea Greenie, no difference between ineptitude and competence.