Larry Summers

Weekend Reading: The Bull Is Back?

That didn’t take much. After a three-day rally, the media is back into “bullish” mode suggesting the bottom is likely in and by the end of this year, it’s all going to be just fine. Unfortunately, history suggests that after such a long unabated expansion risks are substantially higher than it has been previously. Furthermore, as I have repeated often in these missives, in an economy that is driven primarily based on consumption, and such consumption is already weak, it doesn’t take much to “flip the switch.”

Swiss Politicians Slam Attempts To Eliminate Cash, Compare Paper Money To A Gun Defending Freedom

Brunner and Brandberg maintain that the tendency in the EU and in OECD member countries is to “weaken individual liberties” and to exercise greater control over citizens.  In this context "cash is comparable to the service firearm kept by Swiss citizen soldiers," the pair argued in their motion, saying they both “guarantee freedom.” The move toward electronic payments allows governments "total surveillance" over individuals, the pair claim.

Why The Keynesian Market Wreckers Are Now Coming For Your Ben Franklins

Larry Summers is a pretentious Keynesian fool, but we refer to him as the Great Thinker’s Vicar on Earth for a reason. To wit, every time the latest experiment in Keynesian intervention fails - as 84 months of ZIRP and massive QE clearly have - he can be counted on to trot out a new angle on why still another interventionist experiment or state sponsored financial fraud is just the ticket. Right now he is leading the charge for the greatest stroke of foolishness yet conceived.

Neil Howe Warns The 'Professional Class' Is Still In Denial Of The Fourth Turning

"The world has fundamentally shifted over the last decade, especially since we’ve emerged from the Great Recession... But the professional class has been very slow to understand what is going on, not just quantitatively but qualitatively in a new generational configuration that I call the Fourth Turning. They don’t accept the new normal. They keep insisting, just two or three years out there on the horizon, that the old normal will return – in GDP growth, in housing starts, in global trade. But it doesn’t return."

Lessons From The Late '20s - Why Bubbles Abound

Market-based Credit is unstable. This remains the fundamental issue – the harsh reality – that no one dares confront. Long-term stability in a Capitalistic system requires sound money and Credit (hopelessly archaic, we admit). Over the years, we've tried to differentiate traditional finance from unfettered “New Age” finance. The former, bank lending-dominated Credit, was generally contained by various mechanisms (including the gold standard, effective currency regimes, bank capital and reserve requirements, etc.). This is in stark contrast to the current-day securities market-based global financial “system” uniquely operating without restraints on either the quantity or quality of Credit created. There’s no precedence for such a globalized monetary fiasco, though there are a number of historical episodes that provide valuable insight.

On The Important Role Of Recessions - Austrians Had It Right

The continued misuse of capital and continued erroneous monetary policies have instigated not only the recent downturn but actually 30 years of an insidious slow moving infection that has destroyed the American legacy. “Recessions” should be embraced and utilized to clear the “excesses” that accrue in the economic system during the first half of the economic growth cycle. Trying to delay the inevitable, only makes the inevitable that much worse in the end.

Weekend Reading: Risk - That Is All

While the world patiently waits for Janet Yellen to raise interest rates this month, the markets have been unable to decide as of yet whether such an event is good or bad thing.

The Fed's Painted Itself Into The Most Dangerous Corner In History - Why There Will Soon Be A Riot In The Casino

The chart below crystalizes why the Fed is stranded in a monetary no man’s land. By the time of next week’s meeting the federal funds rate will have been pinned at about 10 bps, or effectively zero, for 84 straight months. After one pretension, delusion, head fake and forecasting error after another, the denizens of the Eccles Building have painted themselves into the most dangerous monetary corner in history. They have left themselves no alternative except to provoke a riot in the casino - the very outcome that has filled them with fear and dread all these years.