Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Prague wins the prize

We're about to depart Prague, the most beautiful, charming, and friendly city we've seen on our travels—which are coming to an end. Here are some shots, all taken with my iPhone 5S:

Prague's best-kept secret is The Golden Well Hotel (U Zlate Studne), located just off the gardens of the Prague Castle. It's one of the nicest places we've ever stayed at, and it has views that are breathtaking. The photo above shows the view from the hotel's restaurant.

You can see the restaurant on the right side of this photo, taken from the castle gardens. The hotel has four floors of rooms, atop which sit two floors of restaurant. There is a door in the restaurant that takes you directly to the castle gardens, and from there a short stroll takes you into the castle proper.

The castle, seen here from the Charles bridge, dominates the city skyline. St. Vitus cathedral, built inside the castle walls, is gorgeous.

After touring the castle, we walked up the hill to the monastery, which offers panoramic views of the city and the river. It was such a nice day that we spent three hours sitting at a cafe admiring the view and sipping some local wine.


William said...
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William said...

NYT: After Fed, Bernanke Offers His Wisdom, for a Big Fee

At his first of several dinners after retiring from the Fed in March, Mr. Bernanke spoke to a group of hedge fund managers, including Mr. Novogratz, at Le Bernardin in Midtown Manhattan. The setting was so intimate that the group took up just one of the four-star restaurant’s three private dining rooms.

“At those dinners he gave credence to the idea that the Fed believed in lower potential G.D.P. and lower potential inflation,” Mr. Novogratz said.

“I think that got through to the market and that was kind of the accelerator of this giant trade in fixed income that has happened,” he added, referring to an unexpected rally in government bonds. The market has rallied this year as investors, concerned that the economy will not grow as fast as expected, have sought safer assets like Treasury securities.

Hans said...

A lot of Red Roofs! How is the state of affairs, regarding the Czech Republic economy?

I heard it was a delightful place to visit and affordable as well.

Cabodog said...

Safe travels Scott. Thank you for sharing.

Scott Grannis said...

Re the economy: this wasn't a fact-finding trip, but I can say that I was impressed with the amount of construction and road repair work that is underway throughout the 5 countries we visited. If that is a good indication of overall economic activity then I would conclude that the Eurozone is in better shape than I thought.

Things are indeed generally cheaper in the Czech Republic than in neighboring countries. It's a great place to visit and there are dozens of things to see and do there.

William said...

ECRI Weekly Leading Index Falls

Growth in a weekly leading index designed to forecast U.S. economic activity continues to accelerate.

According to the Economic Cycle Research Institute, its weekly leading index grew 5% in the week ended May 16, from 4.9% the prior week.

The index itself inched down to 135.1 from 136.3. The April ECRI index growth rate is 4.1% from 2.9% in March.

William said...


Analysts at the Merill Lynch say investors put $10 billion into cash and $6 billion into bonds while withdrawing a net $7 billion from equity funds around the world. For the year to date, however, investors have put nearly $46 billion into equities and nearly $85.5 billion into bonds, while taking around $88.2 billion out of bonds, they calculated.

For the latest week, almost all of the outflows were via exchange-traded funds, including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY and the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF IWF .

U.S. equity funds saw $10.9 billion in outflows, with $8.7 billion coming via ETFs, the analysts found, while European equity funds saw a 47th straight week of inflows, adding $1.3 billion in funds. Emerging-market equity funds also continued to attract inflows, gaining $1 billion.

In fixed-income, the scorecard saw investment-grade funds attract inflows for the 22nd consecutive week ($1.3 billion), while high-yield funds saw inflows for the 15th week in a row ($700 million). The analysts tallied $500 million in inflows for emerging-market debt funds, while floating-rate debt funds saw sixth straight week of redemptions, albeit after 94 straight weeks of inflows.

Meanwhile, government/Treasury funds saw a “chunky” $2.6 billion in finlows, concentrated in ETFs, the analysts said, particularly the iShares 7-10 year Treasury Bond ETF IEF and the ProShares Ultra 7-10 Year Treasury ETF UST .

Benjamin Cole said...

Looking at these pictures, am I really to believe we have higher living standards in he USA than Prague? What a stunning place!