Lehman Brothers

Waves Not Solid Cycles - Echoes Of 2008 Warrant Worries

The current rash of cautious ignorant optimism is so very reminiscent of the period right after Bear Stearns in 2008. Ben Bernanke as late as June 2008: "The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so." Janet Yellen said, “the strong incoming data on spending eased my fears that we are in or are approaching a recession regime” before expressing confidence in rate hikes starting in December 2008! The mainstream takes the absence of further liquidation as if there will be no more liquidations when in fact the likelihood of more of them only rises the more they are artificially “contained.”

Steve H. Hanke's picture

Ever since the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) began to consider raising the federal funds rate, which it eventually did in December 2015, a cottage industry has grown up around taper talk. Will the Fed raise rates, or won’t it? Each time a consensus congeals around the answer to that question, all the world’s markets either soar or dive.

The Washington Post Accuses Stingy Americans Of Ruining Obama's Recovery

Dear broke American consumers which once made up the world's most vibrant middle class: please stop being such a nuisance and source of confusion to nice Op-Ed columnists at the WaPo, the WSJ and, of course, the Fed and their $4.5 trillion in direct injections into the offshore bank accounts of America's wealthiest 1%, and instead go ahead and splurge all your savings on trinkets, gadgets and gizmos you don't need. Only that way will Obama's recovery be truly complete.

The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease

Today we look back to the recent past with singleness of purpose.  Context and edification for the present economy is what we’re after.  We have questions... How come the recovery has been so weak?  Why is it that, nearly seven years after the official end of the Great Recession, the economy’s still mired in a soft muddy quagmire?  Squinting, focusing, and refocusing, there’s one particular week that rises above all others.

Why Canada's Oil Industry May Never Be The Same

It is increasingly certain that the future will not be like the past. Previous downturns have been equally devastating but the primary causes eventually reversed themselves; low commodity prices recovered and damaging government policies were rescinded. This recovery will be different for a variety of reasons which will combine to cap growth, opportunity and profits, even if oil and gas prices spike. The following major changes appear permanent...

Pimco Economist Has A Stunning Proposal To Save The Economy: The Fed Should Buy Gold

"In the context of today’s paralyzed political-fiscal landscape how silly is it to suggest the Fed purchase a significantly large quantity of gold bullion at a substantially greater price than today’s free-market level, perhaps $5,000 an ounce?  Admittedly, this suggestion is almost too outrageous to post under the PIMCO logo, but NIRP surely would have elicited a similar reaction a decade ago. But upon reflection, it could be an elegant solution since it flips the boxes on a foreign currency “prisoner’s dilemma”. Most critically, a massive gold purchase has the potential to significantly boost inflationary expectations, both domestic and foreign."

Austria Just Announced A 54% Haircut Of Senior Creditors In First "Bail In" Under New European Rules

Following a decision by the Austrian Banking Regulator, the Finanzmarktaufsicht or Financial Market Authority, Austria officially became the first European country to use a new law under the framework imposed by Bank the European Recovery and Resolution Directive to share losses of a failed bank with senior creditors as it slashed the value of debt owed by Heta Asset Resolution AG.

Japan Says G-20 Accord Barring FX Devaluations Does Not "Rule Out Intervention" In The Yen

Earlier today, Japan's government spokesman Suga came as close as possible to admitting that there was in fact a tacit "Shanghai Accord" agreement when he said that the Group of 20's agreement to avoid competitive currency devaluation "does not mean Japan cannot intervene in response to one-sided currency moves." It got better: in an interview with Reuters Suga added that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's comment to the Wall Street Journal last week that countries should avoid "arbitrary intervention," was misunderstood and does not rule out intervention for Japan, Suga said.