$1.9 trillion of crowding out, pork, and redistribution

In November of 1968, Milton Friedman and Walter Heller were pitted against one another during the seventh annual Arthur K. Solomon lecture at NYU. Walter tackled the question “Is Monetary Policy Being Oversold?” while Milton, of course, took on the other side: “Has...

Spoos and J’s

The end of the year is always a time for deep reflections – a time to step away from the myopic, day-to-day headlines and take a broader look at both markets and fundamentals. Most importantly, though, for me, it’s a time to think about past trading successes and...

Escape from New York

In the 1981 John Carpenter cult classic Escape from New York, Snake Plisskin (a 20-something Kurt Russell) is sent onto the dystopian streets of Manhattan to rescue a kidnapped POTUS. The setting is in the future, 1997, when crime across the US is rampant and...

Dammit Janet, I missed those Jell-O shots

Janet Yellen is back!! So you know what that means?? I get to stroll down memory lane and bring back a few vintage commentaries from the 2013 era, when she was first nominated to the big leagues as Fed chair in waiting. Two of my favorites from that time are Dump the...

Cement in the toilet

During the GFC, as foreclosures and evictions skyrocketed, angry homeowners began to take out their frustrations directly on their residences. Many folks never really understood the 2/28 or 3/27 pay-option ARM mortgage contracts into which they entered. And when the...

The Handoff

The price action since last Monday, after the Pfizer vaccine announcement, has offered up a courtside seat for what’s in store during the upcoming recovery phase of this cycle. Even though it will be a few quarters until the needles start pricking, forward-looking...

A hard center, an easy Fed, and a firm labor market

Here are a few quick thoughts on the election, the Fed, and payrolls: 1. While there still exists plenty of election uncertainty, the main takeaway is that radicalism on all sides appears to have been repudiated. Republicans are almost certain to keep the Senate and...

A dovish Fed backstop under any election scenario

I have refrained from writing much about the upcoming US election, given that my current trading recommendations will be largely unaffected by the outcome. I have, after all, been primarily focused on a “spoos & sigs” position since early April; and I see both of...

Fiscal Fantasyland

From late 1989 to early 1992 the Nikkei dropped from 38,916 to 14,820, or 61.9%. This pop of the Japanese stock market bubble (along with an ensuing collapse in economic activity) brought with it emphatic calls for aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus....

More dissents & more disappointments

Botched FOMC guidance last Wednesday set the tone for this recent bout of risk-off. And to add insult to injury, incongruous statements by various Fed officials this week only exacerbated the move. Since the FOMC meeting, spoos are down 150 points, gold is down $110...
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