Just under a year ago, we got the tax fraud, and the only remaining member of Obama's economic Titanic, praising the US recovery. His timing top ticked the economy, preceded the Hindenburg Omen by 10 days, and ushered in QE2. Now, we get his sidekick, long since departed after totally failing (we use the more polite F-form of the word) up at his job, writing the follow up, from the cushy confines of academia, warning America that unless there is a major fiscal stimulus (because presumably the monetary stimulus which everyone praised in the form of QE2 has now been proven to only be a boost to the stock market and a bailout of European banks), this once great country which once exhibited the world's reserve currency is on its way to another "lost decade." We wish Summers well: perhaps 3 of those who read the following drivel will take him seriously. Two of them are Krugman and Koo. We are taking bets as to who the third one will be...
- Germany Digs In On Greek Debt Restructuring (Bloomberg)
- Libya emerges as Opec's big winner (FT)
- Athens approves four-year austerity package (FT)
- Germany sticks to demand for Greek bond swap (Reuters)
- Fed said to consider expansion of capital reviews (Bloomberg)
- Ally Financial delaying IPO (Reuters)
- Tokyo Riot Squad to Safeguard Tepco Meeting (Bloomberg)
- Christine Lagarde's victory a "done deal" says IMF rival (Telegraph)
- Jamie Dimon's faulty capital requirement math (Simon Johnson)
So our Federal Reserve Chairman, with a supposedly Mensa level IQ, declares that prices have risen due to demand from emerging markets. He also declares that US economic growth will pick up in the 2nd half of this year. He then declares that inflation will only prove transitory as energy and food prices will stop rising. I know I’m not a Princeton economics professor, but if US demand increases due to a recovering economy, along with continued high demand in emerging markets, wouldn’t the demand curve for oil and commodities move to the right, resulting in even higher prices? Ben Bernanke wants it both ways. He is trapped in a web of his own making and he will lie, obfuscate, hold press conferences, write editorials, seek interviews on 60 Minutes, and sacrifice the US dollar in order to prove that his economic theories are sound. They are not sound. They are reckless, crazy, and will eventually destroy the US economic system. You cannot solve a crisis caused by excessive debt by creating twice as much debt. The man must be judged by his words, actions and results.
The adventures begin...
Obama Fed Board Nominee Peter Diamond Discovers His Nobel Prize In Economics Is Worthless, Pulls Nomination In DisgustSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/06/2011 08:07 -0400
In a move that is sure to send the infamous Fed "economist" (Ph.D., never forget) Kartik Athreya over the edge, Obama's nominee for the Fed Board, after unsuccessfully trying to enter the one circle that is just less exclusive than the Goldman partnership ranks for over a year, has decided to pen an Op-Ed in the NYT titled "When a Nobel Prize Isn't Enough", and disgusted with the fact that his utterly worthless Nobel prize in something or another can't even buy him one seat with those who decide the price of money, has pulled his nomination in utter disgust. "Last October, I won the Nobel Prize in economics for my work on unemployment and the labor market. But I am unqualified to serve on the board of the Federal Reserve — at least according to the Republican senators who have blocked my nomination. How can this be? " How indeed: could it be that, gasp, Nobel awards are merely a honorary award in groupthink, presented to anyone who perpetuates the status quo with little regard for actual merit-based contribution (one needs only recall Obama's Peace prize just as the President is contemplating opening up a 4th, or is that 5th, war front?). Most importantly: nobody tell Krugman his one validation of his life's work, has just been downgraded to junk.
Housing Prices Have Already Fallen More than During the Great Depression ... How Much Lower Will They Go?Submitted by George Washington on 06/05/2011 12:09 -0400
Allow me a rant on a nice Saturday morning.
Watch the teleprompter advise the president on the correct choice of words at his address to workers at a Fiat, pardon Chrysler Group, Toledo supplier park, during which he will have to explain why both fiscal and monetary policy (read Keynesianism) is now a confirmed failure. But far from Austrian economics finally get the respect it so much deserves, this will merely retrench the current idiotic policies - just read any column by Krugman demand doubling down on stimulus post haste: that's what happens with junkies - it never ends, and in fact the "last" does must always be more and more and more...
- Still no go on the white smoke, a few more weeks: Hilsenrath - Dallas Fed's Fisher Says More Easing by Fed Not Needed (WSJ)
- Chinese Economic Slowdown May Lead to 75% Plunge in Commodities, S&P Says (Bloomberg)
- EU should control member states' budgets, says bank boss (Guardian)
- Syrian Violence Tests U.S. (WSJ)
- SAC Again? Probe Deepens of Alleged Inside Trades at FDA (WSJ)
- Pushing for a return to the gold standard (LATimes)
- Wheat Futures Climb for Second Day on Weather Concerns in U.S., EU, Canada (Bloomberg)
- Europe E. Coli Outbreak is Deadliest on Record (Bloomberg)
- EU, IMF Wind Up Greek Economy Review (Bloomberg)
- China Ministry: 1H Industry Output To Slow to 13.5% (Market News)
As the great Yogi says: "It ain't over 'till it's over" but May is now officially over and it was, in fact, a down month, despite the TREMENDOUS effort that was made in the past week to keep it from being a 5% loss.
Richard Koo Calls For, Surprise, More Reconstruction Stimulus To Prevent Japan's Natural Disaster From Becoming A Man-Made CalamitySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/01/2011 13:52 -0400
Richard Koo is back with his latest piece titled, not surprisingly, that "Fiscal Consolidation is Not the Answer" - alas, a decimated by (previously secret) debt European continent, and even America, is rapidly starting to disagree with this assessment, which stems from the faulty assumption that the economic "balance" achieved after 30 years of endless balance sheet expansion courtesy of ever declining interest rates is sustainable. Hint: it isn't. And until the world realizes that it is precisely this Fiscal Consolidation that is the answer, we will continue seeing bankers sell bits and pieces of Greece to each other, transfer payments in the US from the government ending up straight in Wall Street pockets, and broadly the Big getting Ever Bigger to Fail. Yet for those who still believe (Krugman) that one last hit is all it takes and after that it will be better, here is Koo's summary, on why Japan, which we continue to believe is the key macroeconomic variable over the near term, may be in very deep trouble unless it commences yet another (what number is that, #20, #50, is anyone even keeping score?) round of fiscal or monetary stimulus: "Fortunately for the Kan administration, Japanese institutional investors have been dealing with this surplus of private savings on a daily basis for more than 15 years and understand its macroeconomic implications. It is only because of their calm and calculated response to these conditions that the yield on 10-year JGBs remains at 1.2%. To prevent this natural disaster from becoming a man-made calamity (ie a recession), the government needs to push ahead with reconstruction efforts. With private savings surging, the necessary funds can be borrowed for now. Later, once businesses and households start looking to the future, funding can and should be shifted to tax hikes and budget reshuffles." That is the conventional wisdom. For all those who wish to read what will happen if and when Japan continues on this unsustainable path of converting private savings into public funding without regard for demographics, please read Dylan Grice (here, here and here).
150 Economists Sign Letter Against Increase Of US Debt; Spoiler Alert - Paul Krugman Is Not Among ThemSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/01/2011 09:29 -0400
Following last night's largely irrelevant and extremely theatrical vote for a clean debt ceiling hike, this morning 150 economists (of which those belonging to Ivy League institutions can be counted on one finger... the middle one) have signed a letter warning that "a debt limit increase without spending cuts and budget reform will destroy American jobs." Luckily, since a clean debt ceiling hike will have no impact on the BLS birth/death model, there is no reason to bother Paul Krugman with the fact that ever more of his peers think that those calling for endless fiscal largesse are now a part of the problem, and not the solution. From the letter: "An increase in the national debt limit that is not accompanied by significant spending cuts and budget reforms to address our government’s spending addiction will harm private- sector job creation in America. It is critical that any debt limit legislation enacted by Congress include spending cuts and reforms that are greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority being granted to the president. We will not succeed in balancing the federal budget and overcoming the challenges of our debt until we succeed in committing ourselves to government policies that allow our economy to grow. An increase in the national debt limit that is not accompanied by significant spending cuts and budget reforms would harm private-sector job growth and represent a tremendous setback in the effort to deal with our national debt." The full list of signatories is below. Among them are Nobel prize winner and Euro scourge Robert Mundell, John Taylor, Alan Meltzer, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, as well as former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz, and many more. Suddenly the idea of buying US CDS does not seem so outlandish.
In the boardrooms of corporate America, profits aren't everything - they are the only thing. A JPMorgan research report concludes that the current corporate profit recovery is more dependent on falling unit-labor costs than during any previous expansion. At some level, corporate executives are aware that they are lowering workers' living standards, but their decisions are neither coordinated nor intentionally harmful. Call it the "paradox of profitability." Executives are acting in their own and their shareholders' best interest: maximizing profit margins in the face of weak demand by extensive layoffs and pay cuts. But what has been good for every company's income statement has been a disaster for working families and their communities. Obama's lopsided recovery also reflects lopsided government intervention. Apart from all the talk about jobs, the Obama administration never supported a concrete employment plan. The stimulus provided relief, but it was too small and did not focus on job creation.
Economists from the Left and the Right Agree: Neither the U.S. Nor Europe Is Dealing With the Real ProblemSubmitted by George Washington on 05/23/2011 20:58 -0400
And Moody's will issue a big credit warning on 14 of the UK's 18 biggest banks tomorrow ...
Answer: Much more than you think...