Posts Tagged ‘Alan Greenspan’

GRAPES OF WRATH – 2011

Excellent article comparing current situation with lead up to the Great Depression.  Well worth reading. – Ilene 

Courtesy of Jim Quinn at The Burning Platform

“And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.” – John Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath

  

John Steinbeck wrote his masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath at the age of 37 in 1939, at the tail end of the Great Depression. Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize for literature. John Ford then made a classic film adaption in 1941, starring Henry Fonda.


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Alan Greenspan: The Banks Robbed You

Alan Greenspan: The Banks Robbed You

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

In a rather-stunning admission on Jekyll Island last weekend, Alan Greenspan "outed" what really happened.

What I’ve been talking about now for more than three and a half years.

And what many people have said was "an over-reaction" or "a distortion."

The claim has been repeatedly made that people made "mistakes" in our regulatory agencies, and that banks made "mistakes" making loans, packaging up securities and selling them to investors.

I have continually asserted that they were not mistakes.

They were scams and frauds.

This has been an unpopular viewpoint, with only a few – like Bill Black – agreeing with me.

Not any more…..

Is it time yet for America to force these banks into receivership?

To force prosecution for these frauds….. these crimes?

And to hold accountable the regulators…. including The Fed….. who intentionally ignored these frauds and crimes?

How many Americans have to lose their homes?

How many jobs have to go to China?

How much devaluation of our currency – undertaken to prop up these scams – will you tolerate?

How much higher does gasoline and food have to go in price, while your wages remain stagnant or you lose your job – and you’re evicted from your house - before you demand it stop and the scammers go to prison? 


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GIVING NEW MEANING TO “HERDING INVESTORS”

GIVING NEW MEANING TO “HERDING INVESTORS”

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Cows on pasture

We all know the Federal Reserve is trying to herd investors into equities as they keep asset values “higher than they otherwise would be”, but how’s this for herding investors?  One well known hedge fund manager has altered his entire strategy because of the Fed’s persistent actions (via the WSJ):

“A former hedge-fund manager who made a fortune shorting stocks has switched to the long side, and is raking in money in the process.

William von Mueffling surprised clients and competitors last June by announcing he would close his hedge funds and return $3.5 billion to investors. His firm, Cantillon Capital Management of New York, kept managing $1 billion in long-only assets, typically considered the unsexy piece of the business.

Now, the 42-year-old stock picker controls more money than he did before he closed his hedge funds. Cantillon has raised billions of dollars from pension funds in the U.S. and abroad, and from sovereign-wealth investors, according to clients and other people familiar with the matter.”

Von Mueffling couldn’t justify running the short end of the book as the Fed was priming the pump:

“After years of “long-short” investing, Mr. von Mueffling and his analysts and traders no longer short, or bet against, stocks at all. Instead, like a typical stock mutual fund, they stick to buying company shares they expect will rise. Mr. von Mueffling said the strategy is “the right long-term decision.”

“I’m not saying there aren’t overvalued stocks out there,” he said in an interview. “There are, but trying to short them when the government is printing money is a very, very challenging game,” he said, referring to, among other things, Federal Reserve programs to buy government bonds, which the Fed is widely expected to announce this week.”

That gives new meaning to “herding investors”.  I think sellers play an important role in the price discovery process.  After all, when the fundamentals of an asset are consistently in disequilibrium with its current valuation it makes the system that much more unstable.  Selling, and thus lower prices, can actually make the system more stable in the long-term.  This is just one more sign that nothing has really changed since the Greenspan Fed ended.  And that was a Fed run by a man who admitted that his model was flawed…. 


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This is the Remix: Classic Wall Street Quotations for 2010

Very funny, don’t miss these… I know, I know, can’t seem to get off Joshua’s site. – Ilene 

This is the Remix: Classic Wall Street Quotations for 2010

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Soros, Buffett, Templeton, Livermore, Rothschild – This is the remix.  I’ve updated their classic quotations for the modern investment world.  Vote for your favorites below…Enjoy!

“We simply attempt to be greedy when others are fearful and to make others fearful when we do not have enough long positions on our sheets.” - Warren Buffett[George-Soros_Dr-Evil.jpg]

“Capital goes to where it can escape taxation and be used to pay employees in sacks of rice." -Walter Wriston

“Stock market bubbles don’t grow out of thin air. They have a solid basis in the creation and marketing of ETFs.” - George Soros

“It takes 150 years to build an investment bank and only five minutes to convince you to sell me preferred stock in it at a 10% interest rate.” - Warren Buffett

"The four most dangerous words in investing are ‘It’s the Lightning Round!’". - Sir John Templeton
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From the Greenspan Archive: We Were Undercapitalized for 40 or 50 Years

From the Greenspan Archive: We Were Undercapitalized for 40 or 50 Years

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

How can an economic system be chronically undercapitalized for "40 or 50 years"? There’s only supposed to be as much money as there is demand for that money, right? Someone has to pay for something and sometimes they have to borrow money to get the things they want. That’s fine, it creates more demand for money (Someone A has to get the money to pay Someone B for the things they wanted but couldn’t afford and ends up paying both for the things and the interest on the money used to get the things) and supposedly our friends at the Fed are there watching that. Did any of these 40 to 50 years involve Greenspan?

I can’t believe this a**hole says some of this sh*t out loud sometimes.

“During the past 18 months, there were very few instances of serial default and contagion that could have not been contained by adequate risk-based capital and liquidity,” he said. In response to a question, Greenspan said “we were undercapitalized in the banking system for maybe 40 or 50 years.”

Maybe I’m completely off but I read that to mean all we have to do is continue to throw a whole sh*t ton of dirty Fed money out there and that could totally fix these rotting cesspools of residential real estate popping and fizzing around America.


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The Google Maps foreclosure dots look slightly less contagious than they did last time I checked but it still looks like an outbreak out there.

Here’s a solution since we’re just making this up: rent out foreclosed homes and make "owners" responsible for collecting the payments and returning the majority to whomever owns the mortgage (you know, like normal f**king homedebtors do minus the rent). Make these nearly foreclosed but rented out homes like operating leases so struggling CRE companies can pick them up and make a percentage from rents for holding them. It’s genius. F**k it! Otherwise bulldoze half of them and call the housing problem "corrected". 

Good thing Greenspan fixed that little undercapitalization problem by opening Pandora’s box on all sorts of creative blip-creating genius. Greenspan is the libertarian of the century for freeing the dollar, aren’t you glad he decoupled it from gold? Maybe that’s…
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The Fed Funds Target Rate and Mortgages

The Fed Funds Target Rate and Mortgages 

Courtesy of Doug Short 

A few minutes after posting my latest Treasury Yield Snapshot, Claire at mortgagerates.info sent me this rather opinionated graphic of the Federal Funds Target Rate and how it played out in mortgages.

Greedscam.

Infographic by Mortgage Rates 

[Click on chart to enlarge]


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WHAT DID WE EXPECT WITH LEADERS LIKE THIS?

Brief review of why it’s about time Summers says goodbye. – Ilene 

WHAT DID WE EXPECT WITH LEADERS LIKE THIS?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

It’s no secret that the economic recovery in the United States has been meager at best (and that’s assuming you believe this is not just one ongoing recession). While there is plenty of blame to go around for our current plight the buck ultimately stops with the most influential people in this economy – the leaders that help frame the regulations and policies that help to keep the U.S. economy running smoothly. I don’t think these men and women (mostly men) have been held accountable over the years. I personally believe many of these men have flawed models (Alan Greenspan has admitted as much and Ben Bernanke has essentially rehashed his flawed model) and continue to help promote and implement economic policy in the U.S. that is counterproductive, ineffective and at times downright destructive.

I’ve been highly critical of Obama’s economic team over the years because many of them were key players in helping cause the financial crisis. Tim Geithner was the head of the NY Fed when the banks were busy turning themselves into casinos. Ben Bernanke (who Obama should have never reconfirmed) failed to even acknowledge the potential existence of problems in the U.S. economy leading up to the financial crisis and then implemented his great monetarist gaffe which has now been proven to be what I called it from the very beginning – a bailout of Wall Street and a slap in the face for Main Street. He receives endless praise for helping to avoid a supposed second Great Depression. This is like the man who sees a fire in his front yard, ignores it, then when it’s finally becoming a widespread danger decides to save his own house from burning (the banks), lets all of the surroundings houses burn to the ground (Main Street) and then receives endless praise for his courage under fire.

But there have been few people in power over the last 25 years that have been more misguided and downright destructive than Larry Summers. This is a man who believes that women are intellectually inferior (I’ll tell you one thing – this economy wouldn’t be such a mess if it wasn’t run primarily by arrogant, narcissistic males) and has done more to help


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Alan Greenspan Admits America Is A Crony Capitalist System

Excellent, brief summary of where we stand now, by Tyler at Zero Hedge. 

Alan Greenspan Admits America Is A Crony Capitalist System

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

We are not sure what is more amusing: the Masetro’s unwitting (and quite correct) observation that America is now nothing but a crony capitalist country, or his attempt to back out of what he said that so perfectly captures the essence of the failed corporatocracy currently raging in America.

In the following exchange from a DemocracyNow interview, Greenspan is forced to respond to his quote from Age Of Turbulence on the definition of crony capitalism: "When a government’s leaders or businesses routinely seek out private sector individuals or business, and in exchange for political support bestow favors on them, the society is said to be in the grip of crony capitalism. The favors generally take the form of monopoly access to certain markets, preferred access to sales of government assets, and special access to those in power."

Greenspan’s pathetic excuse is that while crony capitalism is a "dominant force" in some other regimes, it is "not the dominant force in this country." Perhaps all those who are fighting with the virtual monopoly granted to certain players, such as Goldman in fixed income trading, and Pimco in government bonds, would beg to differ. So yes, according to the Greenspan definition America is now nothing more than a crony capitalist society, which will only get worse as more and more power is granted to those who are believed to be able to ramp various asset classes, and thus the market in general, higher, because as Greenspan himself pointed out recently, nothing is as important a "driver" to the economy as the stock market: "if the stock market continues higher it will do more to stimulate the economy than any other measure we have discussed here". In the administration’s pursuit of Dow 36,000 to prove that all is well, America has given up on its core constitutional tenets, and is now nothing better than a dictatorial regime in some far-eastern backwater country.

Fast forward to 44:40 in the clip below (after the jump) to see the exchange.

h/t Geoffrey Batt

Photo: Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 


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Mass Delusion – American Style

Mass Delusion – American Style

Courtesy of Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” – Charles Mackay - Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds

 

The American public thinks they are rugged individualists, who come to conclusions based upon sound reason and a rational thought process. The truth is that the vast majority of Americans act like a herd of cattle or a horde of lemmings. Throughout history there have been many instances of mass delusion. They include the South Sea Company bubble, Mississippi Company bubble, Dutch Tulip bubble, and Salem witch trials. It appears that mass delusion has replaced baseball as the national past-time in America. In the space of the last 15 years the American public have fallen for the three whopper delusions:

  1. Buy stocks for the long run
  2. Homes are always a great investment
  3. Globalization will benefit all Americans

Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva ponder why people have always acted in a herd like manner in their outstanding book Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets: Surviving the Public Spectacle in Finance and Politics:

“Of course, we doubt if many public prescriptions are really intended to solve problems. People certainly believe they are when they propose them. But, like so much of what goes on in a public spectacle, its favorite slogans, too, are delusional – more in the nature of placebos than propositions. People repeat them like Hail Marys because it makes them feel better. Most of our beliefs about the economy – and everything else – are of this nature. They are forms of self medication, superstitious lip service we pay to the powers of the dark, like touching wood….or throwing salt over your shoulder. “Stocks for the long run,” “Globalization is good.” We repeat slogans to ourselves, because everyone else does. It is not so much bad luck we want to avoid as being on our own. Why it is that losing your life savings should be less painful if you have lost it in the company of one million other losers, we don’t know. But mankind is first of all a herd animal and fears nothing more than not being part of the herd.”

Stocks for the


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Is this a “Quasi Recession” or simply a “Recession”?

Is this a "Quasi Recession" or simply a "Recession"?

Courtesy of Mish

Alan Greenspan is back mincing words. The big difference since Greenspan left the Fed is that his words are now understandable. It’s a huge improvement.

Please consider Greenspan Sees Quasi Recession

The dollar traded near its weakest since November against the yen on signs the U.S. recovery is losing momentum and after Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the slowdown feels like a “quasi recession.”

The U.S. economy might contract again if home prices decline, Greenspan said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday. “We’re in a pause in a recovery, a modest recovery, but a pause in the modest recovery feels like a quasi- recession,” he said.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will speak today on “Challenges for the Economy and State Governments” in Charleston, South Carolina.

Recession, Quasi Recession, or Quasi Recovery?

I believe the word "recession" fits the bill better than the term "quasi recession". Of course, this all depends on your definition of recession as well as the meaning of "quasi". A quick dictionary check of "quasi" shows the meaning is "resembling; seeming;"

This sure does seem like a recession. However, please note that the NBER has still not proclaimed the end of the recession that started in 2007. Thus, it is quite likely that the US is still in recession and "quasi" needs to be dropped.

At least Greenspan minced words in the proper direction. For example "Quasi Recovery" would mean something that "seems like a recovery" even though it isn’t.

This sure does not "seem like" a recovery, for the simple reason it isn’t, at least in any practical sense, regardless of what the NBER may decide. However, we did have a recovery on Wall Street, amidst a series of high-fives, but Main Street America has not benefited much it at all.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock


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Phil's Favorites

The R Word

 

The R Word

Courtesy of 

You better hope interest rates didn’t just peak for the cycle with the 10-year failing at 3.05%. So says Ari Wald (technician at OpCo), whose chart this weekend looks at 10-year treasury yield breakdowns as a leading (or coincident) indicator for major turning points in the S&P 500 / economy.

Here’s Ari:

Looking back at the last economic cycle, the 10-year US Treasury yield peaked coincidentally with an inversion in the yield curve in 2006. However, it was a definitive breakdown in rates that occurred while the equity market topped in 2000 and 2007—we’re still missing this breakdown, in our view. In other...



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Digital Currencies

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

 

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

The Bitcoin bubble is perhaps the most extreme speculative bubble since the late 19th century. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Lee Smales, University of Western Australia

Nearly 170 years before the invention of Bitcoin, the journalist Charles Mackay noted the way whole communities could “fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit”. Millions of people, he wrote, “become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first”.

His book ...



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Zero Hedge

This is What The "Trade" War With China Is Really All About

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Forget soybeans, auto imports, iPhones, crude oil, and cheap Chinese gadgets. Also forget tariffs, duties, and subsidies. Even forget weapons.

The real reason behind the US-China "trade" war has little to do with actual trade, and everything to do with what China's president, Xi Jinping, said when he visited a memory chip plant in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. In a white lab coat, he made an unexpectedly sentimental remark, comparing a computer chip to a human heart: “No matter how big a person is, he or she can never be strong without a sound and strong heart”.

What is really at the basis of the ongoing civilizational conflict between the US and China, a feud which many say has gradually devolved into a new cold war if few top politicians are willing to cal...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

NYSE facing critical 20-year support test!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

This chart looks at the NYSE index over the past 20-years. During this time frame, this broad index has spent the majority of the past quarter-century, inside of rising channel (1).

It broke above the top of the channel in 2016 and it experienced a very strong 12-month rally. Since the first of this year, it has created a series of lower highs and lower lows. Weakness this year has it nearing a test of support, which is the top of this 20-year rising channel. While nearing this key support test, it is also nearing another test of a rising support line at (2).

Support is support until...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 09, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Bears are certainly showing the type of strength we haven’t seen in a long time.   A week ago at this time futures were surging on news of a “truce” for 90 days between China and the U.S. in their trade spat.  But the charts were still not saying lovely things despite a major rally the week prior.   And by Tuesday, darkness had descended back on the indexes, with another gut punch Friday.    A lot of emphasis was put on a long term Treasury yield dropping below a shorter term Treasury.

On Monday, the yield on five year government debt slid below the yield on three year debt, a phenomenon which has p...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Monday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • The Labor Department's JOLTS report for October is schedule for release at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.
  • The TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index for November will be released at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Economic DataNews Economics Pre-Market Outlook Markets

...

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Members' Corner

What should the House do? Part 1: Veto-proof actions... then aim for a thousand vetoes

 

Guest author David Brin — scientist, technology consultant, best-selling author, and one of the “World’s Best Futurists” — explores a myriad of topics on his lively and always interesting blog: politics, science, history, science fiction, etc. For more posts by David, visit the CONTRARY BRIN blog...



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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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Biotech

World's first gene-edited babies? Premature, dangerous and irresponsible

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

World's first gene-edited babies? Premature, dangerous and irresponsible

Vchal/Shutterstock

By Joyce Harper, UCL

A scientist in China claims to have produced the world’s first genome-edited babies by altering their DNA to increase their resistance to HIV. Aside from the lack of verifiable evidence for this non peer-revie...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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