Posted by Larry Doyle on November 22nd, 2010 7:55 AM |
The Federal Reserve may be America’s greatest enigma.
The Fed would clearly much prefer to remain opaque in the midst of our current economic turmoil. However, even the ‘all powerful’ Fed is unable to withstand the pressure from those seeking answers and clarity while navigating our economic landscape.
I have often tried to highlight the Fed’s shortcomings and inconsistencies. From the Fed’s overly optimistic economic projections to its unwillingness to openly admit the ongoing structural issues and changes within our economy, I believe the Fed has been playing politics for far too long and well beyond its goals and mandates. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on October 21st, 2010 6:47 AM |
All hail the mighty and powerful Federal Reserve!!
Is that right?
Are we all supposed to bow down and prostrate ourselves at the throne of Ben Bernanke and assume he is ‘all knowing’? The fact is the Federal Reserve has assumed a mantle of being ‘all powerful’ but who in our country is willing to challenge the Federal Reserve? Are we supposed to merely turn over the economic fortunes of our nation and our children’s future to one individual and one institution without aggressively calling them on the carpet? What happened to the calls for increased Fed transparency? What happened to the pressure on the Fed to justify their actions? The silence is deafening.
Those with a degree of sense on cents understand and appreciate the following: (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on September 22nd, 2010 5:12 AM |
Almost three full years from the official start of The Great Recession and fifteen months from its end, and our economy continues to limp along and languish amidst the weight of ongoing — even unrecognized — debts. Can we take a double dose of Nyquil, chase it with some Irish Mist, and hope we wake up feeling better in the morning? If it were only that easy.
The simple fact is our economy is battling a serious bout of seemingly terminal ‘walking pneumonia.’ How might we diagnose that malady? All we need to do is read yesterday’s Release from the Federal Reserve:
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in August indicates that the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on July 14th, 2010 3:24 PM |
The Federal Reserve just released the minutes from a June 22-23 meeting and an early May conference call. The Fed as an institution is always careful in its delivery, but in reading through their tea leaves this afternoon I sense concern on the Fed’s part of a real slowing, if not a double dip, in our economy. A summary of the Fed minutes includes the following highlights:
FOMC participants’ forecasts for economic activity and inflation suggested that they expected the recovery to continue and inflation to remain subdued, but with, on balance, slightly weaker real activity and a bit lower inflation than in the projections they made in conjunction with the April 2010 FOMC meeting. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on December 17th, 2009 9:24 AM |
A recently released survey of CFOs paints a decidedly different picture on the jobs front than that portrayed in yesterday’s Federal Reserve release. Let’s compare, contrast, and navigate the most important trail on our economic landscape.
The Federal Reserve’s statement yesterday:
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in November suggests that economic activity has continued to pick up and that the deterioration in the labor market is abating. The housing sector has shown some signs of improvement over recent months. Household spending appears to be expanding at a moderate rate, though it remains constrained by a weak labor market, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Businesses are still cutting back on fixed investment, though at a slower pace, and remain reluctant to add to payrolls;
In every report that I have read and heard, this statement has been portrayed as one in which the employment situation is improving. I am an optimist by nature, but one has to spin that statement very hard to view it as a sanguine outlook for jobs. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on October 21st, 2009 11:52 AM |
In the midst of my ‘navigating the economic landscape,’ I thoroughly enjoy reading the work of intelligent people. While I certainly never agree with all that I read, intelligent people force me to think and review my own opinions and beliefs. That process is always healthy. I also enjoy sharing the insights and perspectives of these people with those who read Sense on Cents. High five to KD of 12th Street Capital for bringing just such an individual to my attention.
David Einhorn runs Greenlight Capital, an investment management firm. He recently delivered an address entitled “Liquor Before Beer…In the Clear.” For those interested in an overview of David’s thoughts, I will clip those points I found most informative. For those with a keen interest in the economy and markets, the linked nine page document is a ‘must read.’ I agree with David’s views and welcome highlighting some of his points. Here are excerpts from David Einhorn’s speech:
1. The lesson that I have learned is that it isn’t reasonable to be agnostic about the big picture. For years I had believed that I didn’t need to take a view on the market or the economy because I considered myself to be a “bottom up” investor. Having my eyes open to the big picture doesn’t mean abandoning stock picking, but it does mean managing the long-short exposure ratio more actively, worrying about what may be brewing in certain industries, and when appropriate, buying some just-in-case insurance for foreseeable macro risks even if they are hard to time.
2. As I see it, there are two basic problems in how we have designed our government. The first is that officials favor policies with short-term impact over those in our long-term interest because they need to be popular while they are in office and they want to be reelected. In recent times, opinion tracking polls, the immediate reactions of focus groups, the 24/7 news cycle, the constant campaign, and the moment-to-moment obsession with the Dow Jones Industrial Average have magnified the political pressures to favor short-term solutions.
3. The second weakness in our government is “concentrated benefit versus diffuse harm” also known as the problem of special interests. Decision makers help small groups who care about narrow issues and whose “special interests” invest substantial resources to be better heard through lobbying, public relations and campaign support. The special interests benefit while the associated costs and consequences are spread broadly through the rest of the population.
4. Americans understand that the Washington-Wall Street relationship has rewarded the least deserving people and institutions at the expense of the prudent.
5. The proper way to deal with too-big-to-fail, or too inter-connected to fail, is to make sure that no institution is too big or inter-connected to fail. The test ought to be that no institution should ever be of individual importance such that if we were faced with its demise the government would be forced to intervene. The real solution is to break up anything that fails that test. (more…)