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Jim Rogers on Brexit

As might be expected, 73-year old billionaire investor Jim Rogers isn’t hopeful about what the Brexit vote portends for the global economy and financial markets.

It’s hard to believe that this will be “worse than any bear market you’ve seen in your lifetime”, particularly after the little episode of eight or nine years ago, but you never know.

Black Swans Anyone?

Michala Marcussen, chief economist at Societe Generale, talks about what could go wrong this summer and, of course, in the fall with a little election scheduled here in the U.S.

Yeah, black swan is a term that has been over-used and mis-used in recent years.

As Donald Rumsfeld noted, “there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones”.

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There was neither the time nor the desire for an exhaustive analysis, but it didn’t take long to turn up the chart below from the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances that seems to contradict the conclusion of former Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota (from this Bloomberg story) that, from 2010 to 2013 “the rich didn’t fare particularly well” .

I guess it just depends on how rich you are and, just speculating here, but it’s likely that the top curve above would show an even bigger divergence from the others the more you separate the richest of the top 10 percent from the rest of that group.

Interregnum Cometh

Mark Hulbert over at Marketwatch correctly points out that heightened uncertainty associated with quadrennial presidential elections isn’t a real good thing for equity markets as equity markets famously hate uncertainty in any form.

The elections of 2000 and 2008 weren’t particularly good for stocks, though it took some time for the turn-of-the-century market rout to fully develop. The more interesting example of the deleterious effect of interregnums is that of 1932, that is, when FDR took over after Hoover and, between the election results and the new administration taking charge, the financial world almost came to an end.

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Yellen and Global Uncertainty

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen appears to have said everything that folks on Wall Street were wanting to hear yesterday as she basically green-lighted a little more asset price inflation at the cost of lower interest rates for just a little bit longer.

Like previous Fed chairs Bernanke and Greenspan, “too low for too long” is not really much of a concern. See also:

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