The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 10

The latest issue of the Iacono Research Weekend Update has been posted to the website and is now available for subscribers here. There will be no changes to the buy ratings but three changes to the model portfolio as the latter subject along with last week’s Fed meeting are addressed in the following discussion topics:

The executive summary is as follows:

More violence in Iraq, signs of rising inflation, and dovish words from the Federal Reserve combined to send the price of nearly all risk assets higher, but the natural resource sector benefited more than others. Broad equity markets notched more record highs, the bond market was little changed, and the dollar moved lower as the central bank seemingly gave the go-ahead for traders to bid prices higher for everything.

Energy prices rose for the fifth time in the last six weeks but precious metals saw even bigger gains while related shares for both commodities moved sharply higher. Gold and silver mining stocks appear to have resumed the rapid ascent that started in the beginning of the year and this was a key factor in the model portfolio jumping 2.1 percent, now up 8.3 percent for the year.

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Get Ready for a New Middle East

This Atlantic report shows where Middle East international borders are probably headed as the recent invasion by ISIL (formerly known as ISIS) has most of the world thinking the “democracy and capitalism fairy dust experiment” in Iraq (I forget who characterized it as such recently, but it kind of stuck – also see Was Joe Biden Right?) has finally failed.

You know the rest of the world is a bit behind the curve on the whole Iraq mess when the media can’t decide what to call the group that is redrawing the borders, a point that is taken up in ISIL or ISIS? Why the World Can’t Decide at Quartz. BTW, how ’bout that stock market?

Friday Morning Links

MUST READS
Iraqi forces ready push, Obama offers advisers – Reuters
Why should we fight the break-up of Iraq? – The Atlantic
Energy Markets Are On The Brink Of Crisis – Alt-Market
What the Heck Just Happened to the Gold Price? – Barron’s
Have precious metals begun a new bull market? – Peter Brandt
Gold price breakout sparks massive move into mining stocks – Mining.com
Did The Fed Misdiagnose the Economic Expansion, And Kill It? – WSJ
Janet Yellen isn’t giving up on the long-term unemployed – Washington Post
International Monetary Fund Says Europe Should Weigh Bond-Buying – NY Times
After 6 Years of Central Planning, Economy Is More Fragile Than Ever – of two minds
The Fed’s Ever-Burgeoning Market Manipulation Support – Naked Capitalism
The typical household with student debt pays $160 per month -Vox
Massachusetts approves $11 minimum wage – CNN/Money

MARKETS/INVESTING
World markets struggle as Fed lift fades – AP
New highs don’t mean you have to sell – USA Today
Wells Fargo’s famous bear is turning a new leaf – CNBC
New Evidence Shows Insider Trading ‘Pervasive’, Rarely Punished – Fiscal Times
What Happens When the Fed Unwinds Their Balance Sheet? – Comstock Funds
Treasury Break-Even Rate Touches Three-Month High on Fed Outlook – Bloomberg
Gold drops, still set for biggest weekly rise in 3 months – Reuters
Gold price on insane surge after massive trade – Mining.com
Big Money Moving Into Mining Shares – SRSrocco Report
Chinese gold demand seen flat to lower this year – Reuters
Why the Big Rally in Precious Metals? – Jesses’s Cafe

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
5 reasons the Fed isn’t troubled by inflation – MarketWatch
Is the recent US CPI increase just noise? – Sober Look
Merrill Lynch: Inflation: bump up or bust out? – Calculated Risk
England’s World Cup Decline Is Good for Economy – Bloomberg
Probe May Hit China’s Imports of Copper, Iron Ore – WSJ
China Property Failures Seen as $33 Billion in Trusts Due – Bloomberg
Homeowners face £1,000 rise in mortgage bill by next year – Telegraph
Sluggish Housing Market A Product Of Millions Of ‘Missing Households’ – NPR
Housing Falters as Forecasters See U.S. Sales Dropping – Bloomberg
Federal Reserve’s Bond-Buying Fades, but Stimulus Doesn’t End There – NY Times
The race to raise interest rates – Mainly Macro
Janet Yellen the Hawk – Fed Watch

 

The Fed Has Been Wrong Everytime

Here’s a rather harsh (and well deserved) assessment of Federal Reserve policy from Sri Kumar, president at Sri-Kumar Global Strategies, who points out the central bank’s abysmal track record on forecasting economic growth and how they have a fantastic track record for “taking the punch bowl away” far too slowly.

His closing comments are interesting. Particularly after the recent developments in Iraq, 2014 is suddenly starting to feel a lot like six or seven years ago when stocks had reached all-time highs and then oil prices started rising rapidly. We all know how that turned out.

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