Mar 23, 2018

Stephanie Pomboy on the coming pension crisis

The pension funding problem will be the next crisis.  We are looking at a $4 trillion pension deficit across the public and private sectors in the U.S., after nine years of rampant asset inflation.  That's a stunning statistic.  If the market corrects even 15%, and stays there, it will bore massive holes in pensions.  New Jersey, Illinois, state after state, are figuring out how to close this gap.

~ Stephanie Pomboy, founder, MacroMavens, "How the Fed Will Trigger the Next Crash," Barron's, March 24, 2018

Mar 19, 2018

Reason magazine on Trump's steel tariffs

According to 2015 Census data, steel mills employed about 140,000 Americans and added about $36 billion to the economy that year, but steel-consuming industries employed more than 6.5 million Americans and added $1 trillion to the economy. In other words, for every steel-producing job that might benefit from Trump's proposed tariffs, 46 steel-consuming jobs that could be hurt.

~ Eric Boehm, “Trump’s Tariffs Will Make Housing More Unaffordable,” Reason.com, March 19, 2018

Mar 8, 2018

Francis Biddle on the Constitution and war

The Constitution has never greatly bothered any wartime president.

~ Francis Biddle, Franklin Roosevelt's Attorney General, writing in 1962

Mar 7, 2018

Wilbur Ross on the recent steel and aluminum tariffs

This is not going to be a big trade war.

~ Wilbur Ross, Commerce Secretary, as appeared on CNBC with U.S. Steel CEO, March 7, 2018

Mar 4, 2018

Fortune cookie: "life is like a dogsled team"

Life is like a dogsled team.  If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes.

~ fortune cookie

Feb 18, 2018

Jim Grant asks Jim Chanos, "Is this moment the craziest juncture in finance that you have seen?”

Jim Grant: Is this moment, considering all things, the craziest juncture in finance that you have seen?

Jim Chanos: I would say broadly yes, only because other times that we have sort of deemed the market to be "crazy," often it was in a narrow area or it was in a specific large group of businesses or stocks, and now in 2018 we are looking at a kind of global craziness, and we're looking at it broadly.  That there's debt buildup, speculation in a variety of areas, you've got low returns in lots of businesses that is being financially engineered by share buybacks and a variety of other things to prop up the businesses.  And so, yah, I think this is much broader than 1999 or '87, or 2007 even.

~ Jim Grant interview of Jim Chanos, RealVision.com, February 10, 2018

Feb 14, 2018

Financial adviser: "This pullback is awesome"

This pullback is awesome.

~ Green Alpha Advisors note to clients, "Advisors: What, Me Worry?", WealthManagement.com, February 6, 2018