The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 40

They’ll Probably Ask About This…

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen just released her semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress and will soon trudge up to Capitol Hill where, based on the chart below, she’ll have some ’splainin’ to do.

Question number one for those elected officials who aren’t otherwise preoccupied with such things as auditing the Fed will likely be, “Do you regret raising interest rates two months ago?”, for which Yellen will surely have an eloquent prepared response.

Wednesday Morning Links

Yellen’s task: Soothe market’s frayed nerves – USA Today
Five questions Janet Yellen must answer – MarketWatch
Yellen faces tough sell on Fed rate hikes in Congress – Reuters
Deutsche Bank shares soar 11% on bond buyback speculation – BBC
How the Bank Debt That Everyone Is Talking About Works: Q&A – Bloomberg
Stung by Low Oil Prices, Companies Face a Reckoning on Debts – NY Times
Cheap oil may trigger a new era of OPEC dominance, warns IEA – MarketWatch
The rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying moment in American politics – Vox
Republicans Need To Treat Donald Trump As The Front-runner – Five Thirty Eight
Why the Working Class Is Choosing Trump and Sanders – Fiscal Times
Sanders Scorches Clinton in New Hampshire – Real Clear Politics
Who’s Winning the Presidential Delegate Count? – Bloomberg

Dow futures up 100 points, Yellen to speak – MarketWatch
Bull Markets vs. Bear Markets – A Wealth of Common Sense
Japan stocks close at lowest level since 2014 – MarketWatch
Banks lead Europe shares higher, oil up before Yellen – Reuters
Why investors are freaking out over European banks – CNN/Money
Emerging-Market Currencies Rebound With Oil Before Yellen Speech – Bloomberg
Stock market rout intensifies amid fears central banks are ‘out of ammunition’ – Guardian
Gold retreats from 7-1/2-month high on shares, eyes US rate guidance – Reuters
Gold Hits a Wall at $1,200 With First Two-Day Slide in a Month – Bloomberg
Something Has Changed in Gold Stocks – GoldSilverWorlds

The Great Economic Task Ahead – Alhambra Partners
Fiscal Policy Has Failed the US Economy – Pragmatic Capitalism
Five Wacky Notions Believed By Many Economists – Cafe Hayek
Founding members say European Union is in bad shape – Reuters
Lagarde Says Ukraine Must Reform or Risk IMF Program Failing – Bloomberg
Germans buy everything with cash, and the government thinks that’s a problem – Quartz
Jingle mail rears its ugly head in Alberta again – CBC News
No One Wants to Be Fed Chair Janet Yellen This Week – Wall Street on Parade
Central banks can cut rates well below zero, says JP Morgan – Reuters
This Is What Central Bank Failure Looks Like (Part 2) – Zero Hedge


Put a Fork in Him

Didn’t know that former Daily Show regular Samantha Bee had her own late night show, one that debuted last night on TBS, but if this little segment is representative of the work being done there, setting up the DVR to record might be a good idea.

It really is time for Jeb to go, but it’s not really his fault. In another election year, he might have been just what GOP voters want, but not with the mood of the electorate as it is and loud mouthed front-runners offering simple solutions for all their grievances.

Tuesday Morning Links

Investors dump stocks – Reuters
European banks face major cash crunch – CNBC
Global Bond Rally Near `Panic’ Level With Japan Yield Below Zero – Bloomberg
Treasury Yield Curve Flattens To Lowest Since Jan 2008 – Confounded Interest
IEA Raises Estimate of Surplus Oil Supply on Higher OPEC Output – Bloomberg
New Hampshire poised to deny GOP an alternative to Donald Trump – Politico
Trump and Sanders are doing so well because they tap into the same anxiety – Quartz
Hillary Clinton won’t rule out Wall St. Treasury Secretary – CNN/Money
Michael Bloomberg Tells FT He’s Considering Run for President – Bloomberg
Bloomberg run would break up the two-party tyranny – Boston Globe
Why conservatives are attacking Beyoncé – Vox
The Math Revolution – The Atlantic

U.S. stock futures buffeted by global selloff – MarketWatch
Don’t expect oil prices to rise soon, IEA warns – CNN/Money
Nervousness About Global Banking Giants Intensifies – NY Times
Will A Market Selloff Turn Into Worldwide Recession? – ALT-Market
How Bottom-Up Stock Pickers Endure Bear Markets – Reformed Broker
What the ‘Chart of Doom’ is saying about a global recession – MarketWatch
Whiff of Panic? Global Bear-Market Progress Report – Wolf Street
Inflows of gold-backed ETF make biggest jump since 2011 – Reuters
Goldman No Believer in Gold Rally as Fed to Hike Three Times – Bloomberg
Gold bulls keep smiling — metal price pushes past $1,200 mark –

Three Reasons to Be Worried About the Economy – Mises
The World’s Economy Soared Last Year (or Plunged) – NY Times
Will the Economic Recovery Die of Old Age? – San Francisco Fed
Greek protests escalate over refugee-camp plans – Marketwatch
Abenomics Fails Miserably As Japan’s Workers “Get Nothing” In 2015 – Zero Hedge
Why India’s GDP numbers need to be taken with a generous helping of salt – Quartz
North Korea’s Rocket Launch Could Screw China in a War Against the US – Vice News
The Surprising Problem That’s Holding Back the Housing Market – Fiscal Times
Central Banks Make Global Economy Vulnerable, OECD’s White Says – Bloomberg
5 Questions for Janet Yellen – Bloomberg


Echoes of the 2008 Financial Crisis

I’d have titled this “Explaining the 2008 financial crisis in one commercial”, as one individual in this article at CNN/Money characterized the QuickenLoans Super Bowl commercial below that makes us all think of ten years ago, but that title was too long to fit.

I mean … nice commercial and everything, but QuickenLoans was one of the worst offenders during the era of mortgage madness, giving the unwashed masses more than enough rope to hang themselves vis-a-vis tapping their home equity and such.

I’m repeatedly amazed to see that they’re still around, given the role they played.

There were these comments too: “Thanks Rocket Mortgage for thinking the ‘08 housing crisis needed a sequel” and “Correct me if i’m wrong, but the last time mortgages were this easy there was some sort of global meltdown, right?”

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