The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 21

Friday Morning Links

What scares America’s 4 Fed chiefs – CNN/Money
Fed chiefs joke about having all that power – USA Today
Yellen, alongside Fed alum, says rate hikes on track – Reuters
Obesity Trends in the U.S. Reflect a Global Epidemic – Scientific American
Knowing how long it takes to run off a pizza might help fight obesity – Quartz
Mark Levin Rips “Stop Trump” Movement: These People are “Frauds” – RCP
Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and the coming GOP train wreck – NY Daily News
Insiders: 90 percent predict contested GOP convention – Politico
Trump rally oozes fear, anxiety, and paranoia – Boston Globe
New York Campaign Ads Are a Tale of Two Cities – New Republic
Hillary’s world collapsing around her – Salon
Anti-Trade America? – Project Syndicate

Stocks: 4 things to know before the open – CNN/Money
The end of short covering and ‘Fed put’ spells market trouble – CNBC
Treasuries Set for Two-Week Gain; Greenspan Warns of Global Risk – Bloomberg
Why there’s no better investment for your money now than U.S. stocks – MarketWatch
The Stock Market Will Get Ugly Later This Year, and Debt Cycles Are to Blame – The Street
Oil Market `Fooled’ by Freeze Talks Seen Better Off Gauging U.S. – Bloomberg
Commodities: Gold and Zinc Crush it in Q1, Energy Gets Smoked – Visual Capitalist
Gold slips as equities recover, still set for weekly gain – Reuters
Something Big Happened In The Gold Market – SRSrocco Report
Trump vs. Clinton: Who’s Best For Gold? – Vince Lanci Speaks Out – Kitco

The Deflation Bogeyman – Project Syndicate
New Magic Number for Monthly Job Growth: 145,000 – WSJ
Why the eurozone is still headed for total disaster – The Week
Two views of the EZ Crisis: Government failure vs market failure – voxeu
China’s Economy Likely Slowed in First Quarter; Green Shoots Emerging – WSJ
Panama Papers: Argentine Prosecutor Wants President Macri Investigated – Vice News
Housing Market Recovery Powers Delinquency Decline – IBD
Most Economists Expect Next Fed Rate Increase in June – WSJ
Lost Faith In Central Banks And The Economic End Game – Alt-Market
How Do Survey- and Market-Based Expectations of the Policy Rate Differ? – NY Fed


Following a lengthy discussion about the energy market (oil prices to rise this summer), at about the four minute mark Jeffrey Currie, Goldman Sachs Head of Commodities Research, reiterates his long-held bearish outlook for precious metals.

I’ve read Currie’s commentary many times over the years, but never seen him speak until this clip. Granted, his call for $1,050 gold in recent years was pretty spot-on, but, over the long-term, his record isn’t so hot (not always bearish).

More importantly, it’s not clear why someone who looks like that would wear glasses like that – I mean, we get it, you’re a PhD economist working at Goldman Sachs – is there some sort of Uber-Nerd/Uber-Dork/Uber-Douche competition going on?

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Thursday Morning Links

The Fed ‘is a god that has failed’ – CNBC
Fed signals caution on rate hikes – Reuters
How Bad Is China’s Debt Problem, Really? – Bloomberg
SocGen warns of ‘tidal wave of corporate default’ – Financial Times
The ‘Panama Papers’ Expose the Secret World of the 1% – Time
The Economist’s website is now censored in China due to one satirical cover – Quartz
Why Are Voters Angry? It’s the 1099 Economy, Stupid. – New Republic
How red America and blue America became two separate countries – The Week
Cruz Outmaneuvering Trump in Hand-to-Hand Delegate Fight – RCP
Trump Has Some Bad News for Cruz in New York – Fiscal Times
Bernie’s triumphs are starting to get to Hillary – NY Post
Bernie’s big breakthrough – Politico

Stocks: 5 things prior to the open – CNN/Money
As oil goes, so goes the S&P 500 – USA Today
Dollar sinks again after Fed remains cautious – Reuters
Why Bull Markets Make Everyone Miserable – Reformed Broker
Yen Strengthens Toward 108, Traders Deaf to BOJ Jawboning – Bloomberg
How Much Of S&P Earnings Growth Comes From Buybacks – Zero Hedge
Time to stop dancing with equities on a live volcano – Telegraph
Gold gains on lower dollar after Fed remains cautious on rates – Reuters
In 1933 on This Week, It Became Illegal for Americans to Hold Gold – EPJ
Osama Bin Laden was more than keen on gold –

Is a recession on the horizon? –
Presenting The Slowdown – Alhambra Partners
American manufacturing isn’t dead yet – CNN/Money
Western Mistakes, Remade in China – Project Syndicate
Venezuela Declares Every Friday a Holiday to Save Electricity – Bloomberg
German Economy, Once Europe’s Leader, Now Looks Like Laggard – NY Times
San Francisco Home Prices: “This Is Troubling” – Zero Hedge
Fed’s Global Concern Signals Barriers to Rate Increases – Bloomberg
The Fed Can’t Save Us – Mises
Dovish Minutes – Fed Watch


Though you can put up with a lot of things when you’re young, it’s hard to imagine what life must be like for Daniel Gretz as detailed in this story at the Guardian, but for the more affluent folks in the Bay Area who can afford to work there and live there, that new parental leave law must be pretty sweet.

Spending more than three hours in a car each day is not unusual for Daniel Gretz. Gretz works as a security guard in Milpitas, which is in the southern part of California’s Bay Area. Each morning, he gets in the car and drives about 97 miles up Route 101 from Greenfield where he lives with his brother’s family.

Gretz had grown up in nearby Cupertino and has over the years seen housing and rental prices sky rocket.

“There are more and more people moving outside the Bay and then commuting to work,” says Gretz. Five years ago, when he first moved to Greenfield, his commute was “an hour and 15 minutes max. Now, on a good day, it’s an hour 45 minutes. On Friday, I leave work at 4:30 and not get home until 7 o’clock.”

Trying to survive on hourly pay of $15 an hour, Gretz feels he has no choice but to make the daily trek up and down the 101. Moving closer to Milpitas and San Jose would mean renting a place that would swallow up the majority of his monthly paycheck.

As California becomes the first state to approve a proposal for $15 minimum wage, the question becomes: is $15 an hour enough?

The situation appears to be similar in New York, where $15 an hour will also become the minimum wage, it’s just that the commutes are a little shorter.

Wednesday Morning Links

The Secret Life of Panama City – New Yorker
Fallout From Panama Papers Echoes Around The World – NPR
The Panama Papers’ Sprawling Web of Corruption – NY Times
The Sharing Economy Doesn’t Share the Wealth – Bloomberg
Why oil price slump hasn’t boosted global economy – yet – The Week
San Francisco approves fully paid leave for new parents – Los Angeles Times
What does California’s minimum wage buy? A long commute and a room – Guardian
Workers in NY, California Are Guinea Pigs in a Grand Experiment – Fiscal Times
Cruz win in Wisconsin leaves Trump damaged front-runner – AP
Clinton Can Shrug Off Wisconsin. Trump Can’t. – Bloomberg
Hillary Clinton has had enough of Bernie Sanders – Politico
Trump, We Knew Ye – WSJ

Stocks: 5 things to know before the open – CNN/Money
Street to scour Fed minutes for rate clues – USA Today
This could be a historic moment in the Treasury market – CNBC
The Coming Default Wave Is Shaping Up to Be Among Most Painful – Bloomberg
Labor Department rule sets new standards for retirement advice – Washington Post
Here’s the truth about a controversial new law to protect investors – Marketwatch
Gold retreats as stock market steadies, dollar index rebounds – Reuters
NYU Graduates Seeking $11 Billion of Gold in Ransacked Mine – Bloomberg
Gold Had Its Best Quarter in a Generation. So Where Are the Investors? – US Funds
Why Goldman’s commodity chief wants investors to bet against gold – MarketWatch

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Edges Up to -10 in March – Gallup
There really are too many stores. Just ask the retailers. – Washington Post
How Can a Jobs Recovery So Historic Be So Disappointing? – Atlantic
Long-Term Trends in Employment by Age Group – Advisor Perspectives
European economies show gloomy results in the first quarter – RT News
UK jobs popular with Europeans, but Brits won’t work on the continent – Telegraph
Toronto, Vancouver housing markets continue record-setting pace – CBC
Refinance reboot pushes mortgage applications up 2.7 percent – CNBC
Biggest Banks to Face Tougher Debt Limits to End Too-Big-to Fail – Bloomberg
Janet Yellen’s caution reflects limited room for manoeuvre – FT

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