Posts Tagged ‘Alan Greenspan’

Nothing Was Sacred: The Theft of the American Dream

Jesse wrote a terrific opening post for Phil’s Weekend article and popular R.E.M. song "It’s The End of the World as We Know It." - Ilene 

Nothing Was Sacred: The Theft of the American Dream

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

America must decide what type of country it wishes to be, and then conform public and foreign policy to those ends, and not the other way around. Politicians have no right to subjugate the constitutional process of government to any foreign organization.

Secrecy, except in very select military matters, is repugnant to the health of a democratic government, and is almost always a means to conceal a fraud. Corporations are not people, and do not have the rights of individuals as such.

Banks are utilities for the rational allocation of capital created by savings, and as utilities deserve special protections. All else is speculation and gambling. In banking, simpler and more stable is better. Low cost rules, as excessive financialisation is a pernicious tax on the real economy.

Financial speculation, as opposed to entrepreneurial investment, creates little value, serving largely to transfer wealth from the many to the few, often by exploiting the weak, and corrupting the law. It does serve to identify and correct market inefficiencies, but this benefit is vastly overrated, because those are quickly eliminated. As such it should be allowed, but tightly regulated and highly taxed as a form of gambling.

When the oligarchy’s enablers, hired help is the politer word, and assorted useful idiots ask, "But how then will we do this or that?" ask them back, "How did we do it twenty years ago?" Before the financial revolution and the descent into a bubble economy and a secretive and largely corrupted government with a GDP whose primary product is fraud.

Other nations, such as China, are surely acting for their own interests, and in many cases the interests of their people, much more diligently and effectively than the kleptocrats who are in power in Washington and New York these days. How then could we possibly subvert the Constitution and the welfare of the people to unelected foreign organizations? If this requires a greater reliance on self-sufficiency, then so be it. America is large enough to see to its own, as the others see to theirs.

Economics will not provide any answers in and of itself. Economics without an a priori policy and morality, without a guiding principle…
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Krugman vs. Greenspan on “That ’30s Feeling”; Calculated Risk Sides with Krugman, I Side with Greenspan

Krugman vs. Greenspan on "That ’30s Feeling"; Calculated Risk Sides with Krugman, I Side with Greenspan

Person's hands along side a turned out pocket

Courtesy of Mish 

Courtesy of Calculated Risk here are a pair of articles, one from Krugman and another from Greenspan on the limits of debt.

That ’30s Feeling

Paul Krugman has That ’30s Feeling

Suddenly, creating jobs is out, inflicting pain is in. Condemning deficits and refusing to help a still-struggling economy has become the new fashion everywhere, including the United States, where 52 senators voted against extending aid to the unemployed despite the highest rate of long-term joblessness since the 1930s.

Many economists, myself included, regard this turn to austerity as a huge mistake. It raises memories of 1937, when F.D.R.’s premature attempt to balance the budget helped plunge a recovering economy back into severe recession. And here in Germany, a few scholars see parallels to the policies of Heinrich Brüning, the chancellor from 1930 to 1932, whose devotion to financial orthodoxy ended up sealing the doom of the Weimar Republic.

But despite these warnings, the deficit hawks are prevailing in most places — and nowhere more than here, where the government has pledged 80 billion euros, almost $100 billion, in tax increases and spending cuts even though the economy continues to operate far below capacity.

What’s the economic logic behind the government’s moves? The answer, as far as I can tell, is that there isn’t any. ….

How bad will it be? Will it really be 1937 all over again? I don’t know. What I do know is that economic policy around the world has taken a major wrong turn, and that the odds of a prolonged slump are rising by the day.

U.S. Debt and the Greece Analogy 

In sharp contrast to Krugman’s position, Alan Greenspan compares the US to Greece in U.S. Debt and the Greece Analogy 

An urgency to rein in budget deficits seems to be gaining some traction among American lawmakers. If so, it is none too soon. Perceptions of a large U.S. borrowing capacity are misleading.

Despite the surge in federal debt to the public during the past 18 months—to $8.6 trillion from $5.5 trillion—inflation and long-term interest rates, the typical symptoms of fiscal excess, have remained remarkably subdued. This is regrettable, because it is fostering a sense of complacency that can have dire consequences.

How much borrowing leeway at


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ALAN GREENSPAN SOUNDS THE BOND VIGILANTE SIREN CALL

ALAN GREENSPAN SOUNDS THE BOND VIGILANTE SIREN CALL

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Alan Greenspan

The lead story at the Wall Street Journal is an absurd diatbribe from none other than the U.S. central banker who has been wrong about just about everything over the last 25 years.  Alan Greenspan has officially joined the legion of deficit terrorists and flat earth economists who believe the U.S. is on the verge of imminent collapse at the hands of the bond vigilantes.

Alan Greenspan has been more than discredited over the course of the last 10 years.  This is a man who helped deregulate the financial sector while also believing that he controls every twist and turn in the U.S. economy via his interest rate press releases.  Of course, the last 18 months have proven the monetarists terribly wrong.  The Enron banking system has also proven that deregulation substantially contributed to our current predicament.  But don’t take it from me.  The man himself admitted in 2008 that his models were “flawed”:

“I discovered a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works. I had been going for 40 years with considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”

Nonetheless, he remains a reliable and important adviser on monetary and fiscal policy in the United States.  Now he is helping rally the troops in an attempt to implement 1930’s style austerity.

Don’t be fooled by today’s low interest rates. The government could very quickly discover the limits of its borrowing capacity.

An urgency to rein in budget deficits seems to be gaining some traction among American lawmakers. If so, it is none too soon. Perceptions of a large U.S. borrowing capacity are misleading.

Borrowing?  What borrowing?  The United States budget deficit is not “borrowed money”.  We fund our own spending internally.  We do not borrow one penny from abroad.  China is not our banker.  Japan is not our banker.

Despite the surge in federal debt to the public during the past 18 months—to $8.6 trillion from $5.5 trillion—inflation and long-term interest rates, the typical symptoms of fiscal excess, have remained remarkably subdued. This is regrettable, because it is fostering a sense of complacency that can have dire consequences.

Inflation has remained remarkably subdued?  Yes, this has surprised only those who fail to understand how the monetary system works. …
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Will The EU’s Collapse Push The World Deeper Into The Great Depression II?

Will The EU’s Collapse Push The World Deeper Into The Great Depression II?

Courtesy of Timothy D. Naegele[1]

First World War

“For want of a nail . . .  the kingdom was lost.”[2] Will Greece’s debt crisis lead to a Greek debt default and the collapse of the euro and an ensuing collapse of the 27-member European Union (or EU), and trigger the next round of crashes that will be described by economic historians decades from now as “the Great Depression II”?[3] The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife in Sarajevo, Serbia brought the tensions between Austria-Hungary and Serbia to a head.  In turn, it is said this triggered a chain of international events that embroiled Russia and the major European powers; and World War I broke out in Europe.[4] Will Greece’s debt crisis set a series of events in motion that sends the world into a downward economic spiral of unfathomable proportions?

For years, I have wrestled with the question of whether the Europe would collapse economically, politically, socially and militarily.  Sounds absurd, you say?  The countries are too interwoven and mutually dependent now for that to happen, and at the very least they will muddle along, making the worst of the best situations, and achieving the lowest common denominator?  The United States of Europe, they are not and never will be, but they have achieved a degree of cohesiveness that I never thought was likely years ago.

I believed jealousies and rivalries and, yes, the hatreds of the past would linger barely beneath the surface, coming unglued at the most inopportune times when it really mattered the most.  When the chips were down, I felt the EU would splinter and fall apart; and that its participants and the world would write it off as a noble experiment that failed, much like the League of Nations.  After all, its successor—the United Nations—is considered to be a colossal joke by Americans, many of whom would love to see it shipped to Europe, and its building on the East River in Manhattan bulldozed and turned into a park, or made into co-ops or condominiums.

The bitter hatreds of the past seem to have subsided in Europe though, and it has become a cultural melting pot, more and more.  Airbus was the first tangible sign of economic integration that I never thought would…
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The Silver Curtain

The Silver Curtain

Courtesy of Marla Singer, Zero Hedge 

On the 5th of March in 1946, in Fulton Missouri, at Westminster College, Winston Churchill delivered an address (since christened the "Sinews of Peace") lamenting the burgeoning power and influence being slowly but surely gathered up by the Soviet Union.  Perhaps the address will be familiar to some of you owing to its most famous passage:

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone — Greece with its immortal glories — is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation.

Ironic, as I will address, that he should mention Greece.

Much less well known perhaps is this later passage:

Our difficulties and dangers will not be removed by closing our eyes to them. They will not be removed by mere waiting to see what happens; nor will they be removed by a policy of appeasement. What is needed is a settlement, and the longer this is delayed, the more difficult it will be and the greater our dangers will become.1

The "Iron Curtain" came, of course, to signify the cavernous ideological, and eventually concretely physical, divide between East and West.  It took some 43 years before it was lifted once more, first and haltingly, in the form of the removal of Hungary’s border fence in mid-1989 and then, of course, finally via the fall of the Berlin Wall in November that same year.

Not to be compared with a production of Italian Opera, the Iron Curtain did not describe a sudden, smooth, abrupt descent over the stages of Eastern Europe.  Quite the contrary, its drop was in stutters of discrete, fractional lowerings, such that it was a full fifteen years after Churchill used the term before its ultimate expression, the Berlin Wall, was finally…
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Greenspan Wanted Housing-Bubble Dissent Kept Secret

Greenspan Wanted Housing-Bubble Dissent Kept Secret

Courtesy of Ryan Grim at The Huffington Post  

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Holds Hearing On Subprime Lending

As top Federal Reserve officials debated whether there was a housing bubble and what to do about it, then-Chairman Alan Greenspan argued that the dissent should be kept secret so that the Fed wouldn’t lose control of the debate to people less well-informed than themselves.

"We run the risk, by laying out the pros and cons of a particular argument, of inducing people to join in on the debate, and in this regard it is possible to lose control of a process that only we fully understand," Greenspan said, according to the transcripts of a March 2004 meeting.

At the same meeting, a Federal Reserve bank president from Atlanta, Jack Guynn, warned that "a number of folks are expressing growing concern about potential overbuilding and worrisome speculation in the real estate markets, especially in Florida. Entire condo projects and upscale residential lots are being pre-sold before any construction, with buyers freely admitting that they have no intention of occupying the units or building on the land but rather are counting on ‘flipping’ the properties--selling them quickly at higher prices."

Had Guynn’s warning been heeded and the housing market cooled, the financial collapse of 2008 could have been avoided. But his comment was kept secret until Friday, when the…
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Jeremy Grantham: This Is Nothing But The Greenspan Legacy’s Latest Bubble

Jeremy Grantham: This Is Nothing But The Greenspan Legacy’s Latest Bubble, America Is Now "Thorougly Expensive"

Businessman blowing bubble while working on laptop computer

Courtesy of Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge 

 

Yesterday we first posted Jeremy Grantham’s latest letter which incidentally is a must read for everyone who still is stupid enough to think this market reflects anything remotely related to fundamentals, when instead all it is pricing in is the money printing Kommendant’s daily predisposition to continuing his dollar decimation via ZIRP and shadow QE. Just like all those who are buying Apple at these stratospheric prices are in essence selling life insurance on Steve Jobs (sorry, someone had to say it), all those buying into the market here are betting the Fed is apolitical when it comes to monetary policy decisions: a proposition so naive and ludicrous, it is not surprising that only the momos continue to buy into the rally, which is driven purely by Primary Dealers recycling money they lend to the treasury which in turn is repoed back by the Fed, so that the banks can buy 100x P/E risky stocks with the same money used to keep the treasury curve diagonal.

This is nothing but Fed-sponsored monetary pornography at its NC-17 best. Of course, those who grasp it are few and far between, while the rest of the population is ignorant in its hopes that S&P 1,500 is just over the horizon, without a resultant crash back to 0 on the other side of the bubble. So for all those who are still confused (this means you Kommendant Bernanke) here is a 6 minute clip in which Grantham tells it just the way it is: there is nothing more to this rally that free money and banks’ last ditch attempt to lock in another year of record bonuses before it all goes to shit. And the implication – play with the big boys at your own peril. "Bubbles are when you should cash in your "career risk units" and do something brave to protect the investors. There is nothing more dangerous and damaging to the economy than a great asset bubble that breaks, and this is something that the Fed never seems to get. Under Greenspan’s incredible leadership he managed to give us the tech bubble, and by keeping interest rates at negative levels for three years drove up the housing bubble, and finally…
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GRANTHAM: THE FED IS BLOWING MORE BUBBLES

GRANTHAM: THE FED IS BLOWING MORE BUBBLES

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Must see interview here.  Jeremy Grantham, founder of GMO, discusses the mechanics of bubbles, where the next bubbles are forming, why equities are expensive and how Bernanke is repeating the mistakes of Greenspan:

GMO GRANTHAM: THE FED IS BLOWING MORE BUBBLES


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James Grant: Alan Greenspan thinks what everyone else thinks

James Grant: Alan Greenspan thinks what everyone else thinks, but one fiscal quarter later.

Courtesy of Damien Hoffman at Wall St. Cheat Sheet

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.”

*****

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Alan Greenspan Discusses The Fed's Inability To See Bubbles, Is Confident There Is A "Bubble Waiting To Burst In China"

Alan Greenspan Discusses The Fed’s Inability To See Bubbles, Is Confident There Is A "Bubble Waiting To Burst In China"

Alan GreenspanCourtesy of Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge 

The maestro managed to run away from the old folks’ bent on monetary destruction home just long enough to carry this amusing interview with Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt. Tomes (will) have been written about Greenspan’s dementia, just as books will be available on the Kindle one day analyzing his successor’s massive mistakes which are slowly but surely leading to an American day of reckoning, so we won’t comment much, suffice to point out some of the key highlights in Greenspan’s presentation.

Most amusingly, note the escalating battle between Greenie and the Fed’s new vice-chairman Janet Yellen, who blatantly contradicted Greenspan’s that higher interest rates would have prevented a housing bubble. For all it’s worth, Alan’s response is actually quite interesting: "We tried to do that in 2004. We ran into a conundrum. For decades, every time the Fed raised its short-term rates, the 10-year note, which is really the proxy for mortgage rates, the yield went up with it. This time, it did not. And the reason it did not, is you cannot have the 10-year note determined both by arbitraged global finance and individual central banks. As a consequence of that…starting in the period where the sensitivity of the early stages of the bubble were building up, it was very clear that what was determining the rise in prices was movements in long-term mortgage rates going down, not the federal funds rate."

In English, this is quite intriguing: China, which at about this time started running up massive trade balances, essentially became indifferent about US monetary policy, as it gobbled up everything east of 5 Years, with a preference on the 10 Year. The reason for this is the US consumer became the one driving force behind the massive Chinese economic expansion. With the consumer out, and with China set to report its first trade deficit in 6 years, and the Fed pulling out its support of mortgages, and the Chinese National Bank pulling liquidity, the move in 10 Year over the next few weeks is now more critical than ever, which is why the 10 Year – 30 Year MBS spread is paradoxically pressured at an all time tight spread, as all the early MBS shorts are covered, forcing…
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Phil's Favorites

Trump Tweeting As Much As Ever Amid Twitter Standoff

 

Trump Tweeting As Much As Ever Amid Twitter Standoff

By , Statista

President Trump has signed an executive order which aims to remove some of the legal protection given to social media companies, though it is expected to face significant legal hurdles. In a nutshell, it sets out to clarify the Communications Decency Act, handing regulators the power to file legal proceedings against social media companies for the way they police content on their platforms. Trump's decision to take action comes two days after Twitter attached a fact check to one of his tweets lambasting mail-in voting. He then threatened to close ...



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ValueWalk

Gold supply chain in recovery mode after pandemic shutdown

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The gold supply chain was largely shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world. However, things are starting to open back up, and production is beginning again. The World Gold Council studied the gold supply chain, how it was impacted by the pandemic, and how the disruption of the supply chain has affected investment demand for the yellow metal.

Q1 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Disruption to the gold supply chain

The World Gold Council said the gold supply chain is entirely global because the metal is mined on evert continent except Antarctica and refined in nume...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Antigen tests for COVID-19 are fast and easy - and could solve the coronavirus testing problem despite being somewhat inaccurate

 

Antigen tests for COVID-19 are fast and easy – and could solve the coronavirus testing problem despite being somewhat inaccurate

Antibodies are incredibly good at finding the coronavirus. Antigen tests put them to work. Sergii Iaremenko/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Courtesy of Eugene Wu, University of Richmond

In late February, I fell ill with a fever and a cough. As a biochemist who teaches a class on viruses, I’d been tracking the outbreak of...



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Zero Hedge

Ted Cruz Accuses Twitter Of Violating Sanctions Against Iran, Demands DoJ Probe

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

We've mentioned in nearly every single one of our posts about this week's dustup between the president and Twitter that the Ayato...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Tech Indicator Suggesting A Historic Top Could Be Forming?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Tech stocks have been the clear leader of the stock market recovery rally, this year and since the lows back in 2007!

But within the ranks of leadership, and an important ratio may be sending a caution message to investors.

In today’s chart, we look at the ratio of large-cap tech stocks (the Nasdaq 100 Index) to the broader tech market (the Nasdaq Composite) on a “monthly” basis.

The large-cap concentrated Nasdaq 100 (only 100 stocks) has been the clear leader for several years versus the ...



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The Technical Traders

M2 Velocity Collapses - Could A Bottom In Capital Velocity Be Setting Up?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

M2 Velocity is the measurement of capital circulating within the economy.  The faster capital circulates within the economy, the more that capital is being deployed within the economy to create output and opportunities for economic growth.  When M2 Velocity contracts, capital is being deployed in investments or assets that prevent that capital from further circulation within the economy – thus preventing further output and opportunity growth features.

The decline in M2 Velocity over the past 10+ years has been dramatic and consistent with the dramatic new zero US Federal Reserve interest rates initiated since just after the 2008 credit crisis market colla...



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Lee's Free Thinking

US Southern States COVID19 Cases - Let's Give Credit Where Due

 

US Southern States COVID19 Cases – Let’s Give Credit Where Due

Courtesy of  

The number of new COVID 19 cases has been falling in the Northeast, but the South is not having the same experience. The number of new cases per day in each Southern state has been rangebound for the past month.

And that’s assuming that the numbers haven’t been manipulated. We know that in Georgia’s case at least, they have been. And there are suspicions about Florida as well, as the State now engages in a smear campaign against the fired employee who built its much praised COVID19 database and dashboar...



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Chart School

Is this your local response to COVID 19

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

This is off topic, but a bit of fun!


This is the standard reaction from the control freaks.








This is the song for post lock down!







What should be made mandatory? Vaccines, hell NO! This should be mandatory: Every one taking their tops off in the sun, they do in Africa!

Guess which family gets more Vitamin D and eats less sugary carbs, TV Show



...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

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Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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