Goldman's 5 Questions For Bernanke

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will deliver his final semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress tomorrow (July 17), followed by questions from lawmakers. Goldman expects him to strike a similar tone to his comments at last week's NBER conference - "moar of the same." The prepared testimony (released unprecedentedly early at 0830ET) is likely to be uneventful, but here are the five key questions which he would probably cover mostly during the more interesting Q&A part of the testimony.

The Fed Is The Problem, Not The Solution: The Complete Walk-Through

"Perhaps the success that central bankers had in preventing the collapse of the financial system after the crisis secured them the public's trust to go further into the deeper waters of quantitative easing. Could success at rescuing the banks have also mislead some central bankers into thinking they had the Midas touch? So a combination of public confidence, tinged with central-banker hubris could explain the foray into quantitative easing. Yet this too seems only a partial explanation. For few amongst the lay public were happy that the bankers were rescued, and many on Main Street did not understand why the financial system had to be saved when their own employers were laying off workers or closing down." - Raghuram Rajan

If You're Greek, Move To Thailand

At 27.4%, Greece's unemployment problem is the worst in the world according to Bloomberg's data, followed closely by Spain and South Africa (though of course youth unemployment is massivley worse). The US is a middle-of-the-road 34th worst if we use the standard BLS-inspired unemployment rate, though jumps to 6th (worse than Cyprus) were we to use the more appropriate U-6 under-employment rate. The good news is, there is hope... At less than 1% unemployment, Thailand offers a warm climate, pretty scenery, and a market for jobs that seems to know no bounds (though we suspect the 'quality' of those jobs will be less - but as we know in the US, that doesn't matter).

Jim Rogers: "Beware The Man On The White Horse..."

As far back as ancient times, whenever civilizations fell into great crisis, people in desperation have almost invariably turned to a single individual who promised them better times. Of course, history is full of examples of men who did not give up power willingly once the crisis passed.  As an example, the 1920s economic crisis in the Weimar Republic had a huge impact in the rise of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialism.  In the 1920s, there was one bankrupt country. And the consequences still define the world we live in. But Jim Rogers sees another "man on a white horse" that scares him even more today...

"Bearmageddon" And Moar Of The Same Policies That Haven't Worked

QE and hopes/beliefs in its perpetual nature continues to be the key market catalyst. Tracking estimates for Q2 GDP continue to drop below 1%. This is setting up a scenario where GDP for the previous 3 quarters will likely average 1%. If we didn't think that job creation is going to sustain its current pace of growth, we would say this market is heading towards the “Bearmageddon Scenario”. QE3 has fallen short on job creation and GDP growth. The only inflation it has managed to create is in the prices of financial assets- and yet the consensus view of Central Bankers and the market expectation is to do more of the same policies that have not worked. This is Central Banker hubris, believing they can fine tune an economy to specific inflation and unemployment levels only serves as a distraction to markets.

Pivotfarm's picture

Call it what you will, a handshake or a parachute; the result is all the same. The rest of us just get elbow out of the way as we get pushed through the back door. The top executives leave by the front door and to boot they hop into a chauffeur-driven car (paid by the company, of course) as they drive off into the sunset. To parachute someone: send them elsewhere, relocate them, bundle them off, pack them off or dispatch.

The Drop-Dead Day

Everyone wants to know what day everything will change. Despite all the chaos in Portugal, Greece, Spain, and France; none of this will matter until after this drop-dead date. Nothing is going to be allowed to upset the bratwurst cart and we mean nothing. If more money is needed it will be spent. If favors need to be called the phone will be in use. But in the day following, however...

10 Reasons Why Sharknado Is Coming To The Global Economy

Have you ever seen a disaster movie that is so bad that it is actually good? Unfortunately, we are witnessing something just as ridiculous in the real world right now.  In the United States, the mainstream media is breathlessly proclaiming that the U.S. economy is in great shape because job growth is "accelerating" (even though we actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs last month) and because the U.S. stock market set new all-time highs this week.  The mainstream media seems to be absolutely oblivious to all of the financial storm clouds that are gathering on the horizon.  The conditions for a "perfect storm" are rapidly developing, and by the time this is all over we may be wishing that flying sharks were all that we had to deal with.

Inflation Is Too Low? Are You Kidding Us Bernanke?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this week that inflation in the United States needs to be higher. It almost seems as if Bernanke is trying to purposely hurt the middle class. But what Bernanke will never admit is that the official inflation rate is a total sham.  The way that inflation is calculated has changed more than 20 times since 1978, and each time it has been changed the goal has been to make it appear to be lower than it actually is. If the rate of inflation was still calculated the way that it was back in 1980, it would be about 8 percent right now and everyone would be screaming about the fact that inflation is way too high...

French-Owned Fitch Downgrades FrAAAnce To AA+

On the even of Bastille Weekend and the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France, you know it must be bad when the French-company-owned ratings agency Fitch is forced to remove its AAA rating from France. Key drivers include Debt-to-GDP projections rising and substantially weaker economic output and forecasts. Full statement below...