Spot The Oxymoron: "Growth Down, Optimism Up"

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

With a nod to the absurd, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen freely admitted earlier this week that the Fed really has no idea what’s going to happen to the economy.

Bear in mind this is the person who controls interest rates in the United States, effectively setting the ‘price of money’ for the most widely used currency in the world.

This is key– because the price of money (interest rates) influence the prices of so many other things. Real estate. Business investment. Automobile sales. Agricultural commodity prices. Oil prices. Etc.

Of course, there’s a knock-on effect. Consider, for example, how many products and services are influenced by the price of oil… fertilizers, plastics, shipping, etc. And then how many products and services are influenced by the price of shipping… like everything in the world that’s imported / exported.

So in setting the price of money, Ms. Yellen is influencing the price of just about everything.

Yet she and her fellow members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) admittedly don’t have a clue where the economy’s going.

This stands in stark contrast to what investors are used to. Back in the 90s, Fortune put former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan on the cover with a headline– “It’s HIS economy, stupid”.

Greenspan 290x300 Spot the oxymoron: Growth down, optimism up

That’s how clear it was back then. Greenspan was the benevolent wizard… the ‘maestro’ in masterful command pulling the strings of the largest economy in the world. And investors had all the [misplaced] confidence in the world in this arrangement.

So you’d think that with such a demonstration of ignorance that investors would be heading for the hills, right?

Not so. The big banks and institutional investors (who appointed most of the FOMC members to begin with) rewarded the Fed’s stunning admission and lack of foresight with… record high stock prices.

If I could quote our long-lost Billy Mays– BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

The Fed also reduced its GDP growth forecasts for the US economy from 2.9% to 2.2%. In case you’re not too fast on the ‘calc’ icon, that’s a 24% proportional reduction in GDP growth. Not exactly a drop in the bucket.

AND, of course, there’s the recent data that inflation has ticked up, even according to their own official numbers. Of course Ms. Yellen proceeded to downplay the inflation, writing it off as ‘noise’.

So this morning I received yet another analysis from a large private bank I deal with; the report’s headline– FED: Growth down, optimism up.

Hmmm. Spot the oxymoron here. (OK fine, paradox)

Growth is down. Inflation is up. The grand wizards don’t have a clue. Yet people are excited about this?

I feel like there’s an alternate universe out there where this sort of paradox would make sense… some magical 5th dimensional world where up is down and men breathe through their nipples. (why else are they there, gents?)

But alas, this is not some alternate universe… ’tis the sad state of our FUBARTASTIC financial system.

Fundamentals no longer matter. Common sense is now a totally foreign entity. High frequency traders and algorithms dominate the marketplace, brokers steal customer funds to cover their own losses, banks sell their customers ‘shitty deals’ and take the other side of the trades.

And everyone is drinking from the same spiked punch bowl where bad news is good news, good news is good news, and a single clueless committee has all the power.

Looking at this ridiculous market, I really I find it hard to believe that the odds are stacked particularly well in favor of the little guy.

Bottom line: if you’re in the markets, invest with caution. And if you have the courage to swim against the school, bear in mind there’s a whole world of alternative investments– primarily things like private businesses that are far less susceptible of being directly manipulated.

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drchris's picture

They got the STUPID part right.

jbvtme's picture

either this guy is sleeping with the photo shop girl or he transfusing blood from his biological clone

I am more equal than others's picture




Opti-morons or octi-morons

bania's picture

Found the moron! Just looking for the oxy now...

TeamDepends's picture

And PMs are vertical!  Bear market is over!!!!  If you don't hold it you don't own it.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

from Wa Post paper:n" a country that is home to the largest Jewish community in Europe, the first three months of the year saw reported acts of anti-Semitic violence in France skyrocket to 140 incidents, a 40 percent increase from the same period last year. This month, two young Jewish men were jumped and severely beaten on their way to synagogue in an eastern suburb of Paris." Perhaps Jews might want to police the last 4 fed presidents, and varius jewish .gov and finance/msm moguls, but they will not, and they seed the hate that will come, I do not want it to but the ball is rolling down hill and it may be too late...scape goats are needed and soros I am sure will turn in all of his tribe to save his neck.

PT's picture

He already dealt himself four Straight Royal Flushes.  This time the odds HAVE to be in My favour!!!


skidsmango1's picture

the market will crash after people read this and know the jig is up.

buzzsaw99's picture

people have very little to do with it

PT's picture

Naaah, the market can go heaps higher!  Once volume gets down to one share of SPY flicking back and forth between two players in Belgium, imagine how high QEinfinity can drive it!

cpnscarlet's picture

The FED knows exactly what's going to happen - it ain't good and that's why they are lying.

It's all over but the shouting now. I feel it in my bones.

freewolf7's picture

They're not stupid, they're sociopaths.

madbraz's picture

So the guy's conclusion after saying all this is that you should "invest with caution"???  Talk about a oxymoron.


You need to be a moron to stay invested in risk.  Upside is 10% if lunacy can continue to its fullest, not one bit more. Downside is 90%.

Grande Tetons's picture

Lunacy has no limits. The upside will not be constrained by your sanity. 

WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture

Oxymoron: someone who has taken too many pain-killers, then partakes in gov statistics.

madbraz's picture

It has limits.  The shortage of collateral.  Collateral that is rented every day, not owned.  Courtesy of the NY FED.


The music is playing, but there are few chairs left.  


My guess is that someone will end up with the wrong end of an enormous losing bet in interest rate derivatives.  I'm further guessing that the NY FED is probably aware of this and is caught in a pickle between keeping this turd friend afloat or tossing him to the sharks to save the system.  If this guess is right, if hedge funds corner them like this was the whale trade, then it gets interesting.


All guesses, but obviously things are much, much, much worse than we know. 

nickels's picture

The article was written as if the Fed was as venal, self-centered, paranoid, greedy, political, owned, and psychotic as the Defense Dept. or the Supreme Court. What's the chance of that?

slaughterer's picture

Upside is still probably 20% for the ultimate blow-off top of the bubble.   It will amaze us all when it happens. 

I Write Code's picture

Upside is the assets ride the elevator when hyper-inflation takes off.

It will probably still be a relative loss, but preserving even 90% in such an environment would be a victory.

Chippewa Partners's picture

Get a clue, the market only goes one way.  FED all the way BABEEEEEE..

SPU to the moon!!!!

So sick and twisted the sheeple are clueless.

asteroids's picture

History repeats itself. Japan failed to kill off its zombie banks (harsh critisism for other CB's for not doing so) and now a generation later its in terrible shape. How is the US Fed and the ECB any different?

DavidC's picture

Answer - they're not.


Dr_D's picture

Momentum is weak but fundamentals are strong!

JRobby's picture

His role was all part of the grand plan that has made the ultra rich, ultra rich to the 8th power (estimate, probably much higher)

He was very vocal in '97 about not regulating the derivatives markets in any way. He had pull then. Now he is just another used up scapegoat in the "grand wealth transfer theft". Probably the most useful idiot scapegoat,

Hey kids! It's just "notional value" it will never have to be unwound.

Filthy amoral criminals need public punishment.


Seasmoke's picture

These lizards sure seem to live a very long time. 

Grande Tetons's picture

Off topic. I was expecting Silver to vomit far...not happening.  I was expecting my dreams to be crushed today.....I guess I will have to wait until next week. 

fonzannoon's picture

they have it capped. No need for vomit. They will probably just bleed it back to $18 slowly.

Grande Tetons's picture

What part of crushing my dreams next week did you not understand?  

All I wanted was one fucking weekend where I was not kicking myself in the ass...and you...had to rob me of that. Me no likey. 

valley chick's picture

Slowly going up up up!  Time to page Sudden Debt and wake that cookie up as he wanted a wake up call when reaches 21. Let's see if tptb let it happen.

Seasmoke's picture

I honestly believe that Yellens performance and answers were the absolute worse I have ever heard. They made no fucking sense !!

Yen Cross's picture

 Greenspam and eggs, or SPAM I am Greenspan.  BTFD, because I fathered the HELOC bubble.

 If that guys ears get any bigger he's going to float away. (wishful thinking)

buzzsaw99's picture

ferengi alien lizard mutant baby

Yen Cross's picture

 lmao. Dumbo The Flying Fiaopter...

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Is it me or does Yellen look like egghead the kid Foghorn Leghorn used to watch in some of the Looney Tunes cartoons.

SanfordandSon's picture

Growth down, inflation up

That's the way we like to pump it up

Colonel Klink's picture

The 4 living Federal Reserve chairmen should all be tried for crimes against the US citizens, found guilty, and executed.  Pure and simple.

B2u's picture

Fuck you Greenspan.

luckylongshot's picture

Yellen knows the problem is that the private banking parasite has got so big it is killing the US economic dog. However she has a problem as she works for the parasite so will keep the slow death spiral going as long as possible. Don't assume the Fed will ever do anything sensible to fix the problem.

yogibear's picture

Greenspan's photo would look better with him in a orange jumpsuit and in shackles.

What a fraudster.


NuYawkFrankie's picture

re Fed really has no idea....

Paging Moe Howard.... paging Moe Howard....

Please report to the Eccles Builing on What's Left Of The Constitution Avenue...

Oldwood's picture

This is the beauty of chaos. Rules, written or even just common sense, no longer apply. Everything now lies in the hands of those in power. There is no societal conscience. We have been reduced to sheep and they are the herder, snapping their whip and banging on the feed bucket. Sheep don't rationalize, they simply react to the immediate stimulus. If they say up is down, then down it is.

We rational thinkers, desperately clinging to the notion that up is still up, are watching the world seemingly spin off its axis, yet nothing happens. No crash, no collapse, nothing but more of the same. This chaos is being used as it is in every war and will be used to dispirit us and dominate us. This is a multi front attack. Do not think that our foreign travails are not linked to our domestic (immigration) and financial.

Every force for individual freedom is under attack, demanding submission to whomever claims it. We will be dominated by a county commissioner, local building inspector or the president of the united states. We have been rendered powerless, and any attempt to resist will label us as a threat. We have entered a world of madness and are left to viciously gnash our teeth or sit with a stupid smile and drool seeping from our lips.

I vote for the latter.

the grateful unemployed's picture

i prefer the term rational unthinkers. the fed knows where the economy is going, (they are in the business of central planning, si? no?) and therefore they don't know where the economy is, one of those laws of physics, you can know where something is going, or how it is moving but you can't know both. the more they know about the economies direction they less they know about the economy (the fault is in central planning just as we have always said) at some point they will make a bad mistake. making the rational decision not to think we are prepared to understand the current economic reality. if the fed would read zerohedge, and quit trying to plan the economy they would know something besides knowing the future which is what haven't done yet, and of which they are active agents. running a centrally planned economy with no idea where its going? (and certainly no idea where it is?) now thats insanity....

the grateful unemployed's picture

second law of thermodynamics still applies?

buzzsaw99's picture

not to "them" it doesn't. "they" always accrete in both orderly and chaotic conditions.

MFL8240's picture

Whjy doesnt she ask someone who knows what the hell they are doing?