In a recent Bloomberg interview, James Grant, editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, offered his assessment of Greenspan’s performance as Federal Reserve Chairman.
Grant on how he would grade Alan Greenspan:
“Here’s the book on Alan Greenspan. He thinks what everyone else thinks, but one fiscal quarter later. He has the lamentable knack, or lamentable tendency or personality trait of needing to be liked, which is not the best thing to have when you’re chairman of the Federal Reserve board.”
“So we saw him bullish on technology in March of 2000. We saw him ever so unhelpfully urge the American homeowner to consider adjustable rate mortgages at the very bottom of the interest rate cycle in the mid-aughts. He is a front-running momentum kind of guy and Wall Street’s full of them. He is just a guy in a business suit. That’s Alan Greenspan.”
Why Grant is a skeptic of Greenspan:
“Here’s the thing about Greenspan. The first — the second sentence of his prepared testimony he comes out against central planning, an audacious stance to take in front of this commission. He is against the Berlin Wall; he was glad it fell — it exposed the hopeless flaws of central planning. He is in the business of central planning. He, when he was Fed chairman, fixed an interest rate. And the interest rate he fixed did terrific damage from time to time because he told us how he would fix it and for how long.”
“Wall Street is nothing if not observant. And hearing him tell you that the rates will be low for a considerable period, people did what you would expect them to do which is to tee off. And that was the origin of this terrific debt bubble, the shrapnel of which we are paying for to this day and will continue to pay for.”
Jim Grant has been a well respected voice of reason for a very long time – he publishes Grant’s Interest Rate Observer and from the "About Us" page you can get an idea from where he is coming from. Grant’s Interest Rate Observer is an independent, value-oriented and contrary-minded journal of the financial markets. We publish 24 times a year. Our mission is to identify investment opportunities in a range of markets at both extremes of valuation, high and low alike. Without bragging, we like to think that we are the financial-information medium that least resembles CNBC.
Some might consider his type a bear; I call them realists… he has been an opponent of the policies of the (now rogue) Federal Reserve for a long time. Below is a CNBC interview from this morning – again, one must ask why the most powerful institution in the world can be run without any oversight. On the other hand, the scary thought is Congress might one day provide oversight… I don’t know which evil to fear more. 8 Minute Video of sense.
The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is so out of whack that the central bank would be shut down if subjected to a conventional audit, Jim Grant, editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, told CNBC.
With $45 billion in capital and $2.1 trillion in assets, the central bank would not withstand the scrutiny normally afforded other institutions, Grant said in a live interview.
"If the Fed examiners were set upon the Fed’s own documents—unlabeled documents—to pass judgment on the Fed’s capacity to survive the difficulties it faces in credit, it would shut this institution down," he said. "The Fed is undercapitalized in a way that Citicorp is undercapitalized."
"If the Fed examiners were set upon the Fed’s own documents—unlabeled documents—to pass judgment on the Fed’s capacity to survive the difficulties it faces in credit, it would shut this institution down."
"The Fed is undercapitalized in the same way that Citicorp is undercapitalized."
"I think zero is the wrong rate for almost any economy."
"So great is the slack in the economy that it will be years before there is anything like a murmur from the inflation front."
"15 out of 16 primary government bond dealers are in agreement that the Fed will not move before the year end."
"There are no bad bonds, just bad prices. Treasuries at 2% were a toxic asset."
"Citibank is a rogue bank."
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
Thanks to the money printing mania of the world’s central bankers, the Wall Street casino has gone global. Accordingly, mindless speculation and momentum chasing have reached new absurdities, as exemplified by the red hot roster of international high flyers below.
The financial data for the top name on the list, Twitter, is all that is required to remind us that once again markets are trading in the nosebleed section of history, rivaling even the madness of March 2000. Currently, Twitter (TWTR) is valued at $31 billion.That’s 18X revenue, but the catch is that the revenue in question is it’s lifetime...
Administradora de Fondos de Pensiones Provida S.A. (PVD) shares will not be trading on the NY Stock Exchange after today. Tomorrow, shares will be harder to sell. Strangely, I wasn't able to find information on the internet, but Paul just sent me a copy of the email he received from Interactive Brokers.
We're selling PVD out of the Virtual Portfolio today at $87.18.
From: Interactive Brokers dated July 18, 2014
Holders of AFP Provida S.A. American Depository Receipts (ADR) are advised that the Company has elected to terminate the Deposit Agreement effective 2014-09-18.
Ever wonder why for the US, it is all about reflating the stock market bubble in order to boost the "wealth effect", if only for a small portion of the population?
Or, for that matter, why in China where the Shanghai Composite has gone absolutely nowhere since the Lehman crash (and certainly isn't up some 200% unlike the liquidity-supercharged S&P 500), it is all about preserving the sanctity of the housing bubble?
Then the following chart should make it all clear.
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One of Fiedler's Forecasting Rules states:
"Always be precise in your forecasts: Economists state their GDP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor."
The Federal Reserve has certainly proved both points; they have been very precise in their forecasts and have consistently overstated economic strength as shown. For example, in January of 2011, the Fed was predicting GDP growth for 2013 at 4.0%. Actual real GDP (inflation adjusted) was just 2.19% for the year only missing estimates by roughly 50%. The estimate, in 2011, for long run economic growth, was 2.7%, which has now fallen to just 2.2%.
Unfortunately, 2014 is not shaping up very well ...
Although the stock market displayed weakness last week as I suggested it would, bulls aren’t going down easily. In fact, they’re going down swinging, absorbing most of the blows delivered by hesitant bears. Despite holding up admirably when weakness was both expected and warranted, and although I still see higher highs ahead, I am still not convinced that we have seen the ultimate lows for this pullback. A number of signs point to more weakness ahead.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-r...
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The CBOE Vix Index is in positive territory on Friday morning as shares in the S&P 500 Index move slightly lower. Currently the VIX is up roughly 2.75% on the session at 13.16 as of 11:35 am ET. Earlier in the session big prints in October expiry call options caught our attention as one large options market participants appears to have purchased roughly 106,000 of the Oct 22.0 strike calls for a premium of around $0.45 each. The VIX has not topped 22.0 since the end of 2012, but it would not take such a dramatic move in the spot index in order to lift premium on the contracts. The far out-of-the-money calls would likely increase in value in the event that S&P500 Index stocks slip in the near term. The VIX traded up to a 52-week high of 21.48 back in February. Next week’s release of the FOMC meeting minutes f...
Despite the various opinions on Bitcoin, there is no question as to its ultimate value: its ability to bypass government restrictions, including economic embargoes and capital controls, to transmit quasi-anonymous money to anyone anywhere.
Opinions differ as to what constitutes "money."
The English word "money" derives from the Latin word "moneta," which means to "mint." Historically, "money" was minted in the form of precious metals, most notably gold and silver. Minted metal was considered "money" because it possessed luster, was scarce, and had perceive...
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Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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