Political Volatility – November 2010

The results of yesterday’s elections further solidify the trend of increasing political volatility.  Survey results indicate that much of this volatility has been driven by widespread dissatisfaction concerning the economic situation. While this volatility has been recognized, many of its implications have lacked recognition. On January 25, 2010 I wrote a post titled “Political Volatility.” … Read more Political Volatility – November 2010

Quantitative Easing – Varied Thoughts

There has been an immense amount of material written about additional Quantitative Easing (QE2). Here are some of the works that I have found among the most interesting (although I don’t necessarily agree with what is being said): “Guidelines for Global Economic Policymaking,” (pdf) Gregory Hess, Shadow Open Market Committee, October 12, 2010 Investment Outlook, … Read more Quantitative Easing – Varied Thoughts

Additional Quantitative Easing – Comments

Monday’s (August 9) Barron’s had an article titled “Time to Print, Print, Print.” The article provides an overview of the concept of Quantitative Easing (QE) in the context of our current economic situation. I don’t agree with many of its conclusions and insinuations, however.  In particular, the article seems overly positive on the idea of … Read more Additional Quantitative Easing – Comments

Blinder And Zandi Paper – My Comments

Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi released a paper dated July 27 titled “How The Great Recession Was Brought To An End.” (pdf) From the report, page 1: “In this paper, we use the Moody’s Analytics model of the U.S. economy—adjusted to accommodate some recent financial-market policies—to simulate the macroeconomic effects of the government’s total policy … Read more Blinder And Zandi Paper – My Comments

Comments On The HIRE Act

On Thursday President Obama signed the HIRE Act, a jobs stimulus.  The summary of the signing can be found here. There is also a transcript of his remarks found here. I could make many comments about this jobs stimulus.  However, as an intervention measure, it has many of the same characteristics of other interventions.  As … Read more Comments On The HIRE Act

The Effectiveness Of Stimulus

“One of the biggest economic myths since the Great Depression is that governments can ameliorate or counteract the ebbs and flows of free markets. Government spending has never worked as a trigger for sustained and vibrant economic growth. Ever. Scholarship has demonstrated that the New Deal perpetuated the Depression rather than cured it. On the … Read more The Effectiveness Of Stimulus

SIGTARP Comments

I found some interesting comments in the SIGTARP January 30 2010 Report to Congress: http://www.sigtarp.gov/reports/congress/2010/January2010_Quarterly_Report_to_Congress.pdf From the Executive Summary, which begins on Page 5: “Many of TARP’s stated goals, however, have simply not been met. Despite the fact that the explicit goal of the Capital Purchase Program (“CPP”) was to increase financing to U.S. businesses and consumers, … Read more SIGTARP Comments

Characteristics Of The Housing Bubble

Given the incredibly outsized intervention efforts in the residential real estate market, I think it is important to examine some dynamics of the real estate bubble. Here is a chart from the 12/15/09 Contrary Investor commentary that I believe is interesting, as it depicts some underlying residential real estate fundamentals.  It shows the equity and mortgage … Read more Characteristics Of The Housing Bubble

More On The Fannie/Freddie Developments Of December 24

Here is a Wall Street Journal editorial on the December 24 developments at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  This editorial provides some new perspectives on the matter: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704152804574628350980043082.html My original comments on these developments was on December 28. I feel it is critically important to understand the extent of intervention as it pertains to the housing market.  Fannie … Read more More On The Fannie/Freddie Developments Of December 24

Ron Paul – “Be Prepared for the Worst”

I would like to comment on a commentary by Ron Paul in the November 16 edition of Forbes.  It is titled “Be Prepared for the Worst” and subtitled “The large-scale government intervention in the economy is going to end badly.” The commentary can be found at this link: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/1116/opinions-great-depression-economy-on-my-mind_print.html While I don’t agree with everything that Ron … Read more Ron Paul – “Be Prepared for the Worst”