Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Federal Reserve Notebook:October 31,2013

The Federal Reserve ended its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday,deciding to continue its QE3 stimulus program of buying bonds at a rate of 85 billion dollars a month.Fiscal policy issues were restraining growth,the Fed said,what with sequestration,the government shutdown and the debt ceiling problem hindering recovery.While the overall economy is expanding at a moderate pace,the housing sector slowed somewhat in recent months.*
I'm a human being,admitted economist and former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.I can't see farther into the future than anyone else can.I won't apologize for not being Superman.
The average annual post-war increase in stock prices is 7%,so we are at relatively low stock prices.We're just above '07 levels.PE ratios are not hugely up.
The level of construction has gone up significantly,but it's only a third of where it was pre-crisis.
Chairman nominee Janet Yellen was President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.She was on the Fed Board of Governors.She got all the briefings I did,so she knows what she's doing,Mr.Greenspan noted.
Dr.Greenspan,87,was Fed Chairman from 1987-2006.His new book is "The Map and the Territory:Risk,Human Nature and the Future of Forecasting."He also wrote the pre-crisis book "The Age of Turbulence:Adventures in a New World."*
I think it's really unlikely that Janet Yellen isn't gonna get in,said Randall Kroszner,51,former member of the Fed Board of Governors and now Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.She has a good feel for things.She's battle-tested and data-driven.There will be a lot of continuity.She comes from a similar school,always came to the meetings well-briefed.She would talk about the data and the analysis of the data.Many of the others are data-centered.
We now have a much better sense of linkages of firms and markets.At the Fed,we regularly hear from financial services executives and other financial people.Some people are more straightforward about what's going on;some just talk their book,Dr.Kroszner observed.*

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

News Notes:Tesla Motors;Caroline Kennedy

Tesla Motors has been upgraded to outperform by Webush Securities,with a price target of $240.00.Their cost structure in batteries beats the competition,said analyst Craig Irwin.I see them cutting their battery cost in half.If they can do it,they've got a winner,and that's why I'm raising it.*
Ths MSCI Asia Pacific index was up 0.80% in early Thursday trading,responding to President Barack Obama's signing of a bill that resolves the recent budget impasse and government shutdown for the next few months at least,averting the prospect of an unprecedented default.*
The trajectory for the market is onward and upward,said Andrew Economos of JP Morgan Asset Management.What we're doing is buying enough time for markets and economies to take hold.What the emerging markets are thinking is,we've got to reduce our dependence on America.
I think the dollar stays here;I don't think it gets stronger.If you have a weakening currency,you buy exporters;if you have a strong currency,you buy importers.It's a big,level one switch in assets,a re-risking.*
Caroline Kennedy has been unanimously confirmed by the US Senate to be Ambassador to Japan.It is the first time the late President John F. Kennedy's daughter,a sentimental favourite of many Americans,has held a government post.*
Tesla Motors(TSLA)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A New Era in US Coast Guard-RCMP Integration

From September 4-6,the Royal Canadian Mounted Police unit in Sault Ste Marie,Ontario and the US Coast Guard station Sault Ste Marie,Michigan conducted joint law enforcement patrols along the St.Marys River,the RCMP said.Several vessels were stopped and boarded by specially trained and designated members of the USCG and RCMP.Shiprider removes the jurisdictional roadblocks that characterise international borders.*
Criminals can no longer exploit jurisdictional weakness at the border,said Commander Ryan Griffen,US Coast Guard.The Shiprider program is another innovative partnership that contributes to enhance our efficiency and provides a better use of our mutual resources.*
Exercises such as the one performed in the past few days demonstrate that removing the maritime barrier leads to successful law enforcement and increased security for all of us,added RCMP Assistant Commissioner Todd Shean.*
The Shiprider program,officially known as the Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations,ICMLEO,was finalised in June after a pilot period from 2005-10.It involves RCMP and USCG members riding on each other's patrol boats and having arrest powers in both countries,principally to seamlessly respond to elusive smugglers of drugs,weapons and humans.It is in effect in the Great Lakes and Vancouver,British Columbia areas.
See also the companion post in my blog Extra Content.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Next Crisis:CEOs Plead With President,Congress

A group of CEOs met with President Barack Obama and Members of Congress Wednesday in an effort to educate them about what would happen if the nation defaults on its debt,a prospect that will be realised on October 17,if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling.Among those participating were Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs and Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase.
They shouldn't use the US failing on its obligation to meet its debt as a cudgel,Mr.Blankfein said.There's no precedent for default.We really haven't seen this before,and I'm not anxious to be part of the process witnessing this.*
The CEOs had a grim feeling following their meeting with Republicans in Congress.Congress is completely out of touch with Wall Street and the general economy,according to Bloomberg TV contributor Dawn Kopecki.They have no idea how bad it would be if the nation defaults on its debt.Mortgage rates will start widening.You're not dealing with business school graduates down in Washington,D.C.,Ms.Kopecki said.
The debt ceiling issue is legislatively separate from the budget impasse that has shuttered the federal government for more than two days now.It is related,howvever,by the fact that some House Republicans intend to use it as a political tactic,just as they are using the government shutdown,regardless of the harm it causes.
The chaos partly reflects the internecine conflict going on within the Republican party between moderates and the far right;and,some say,the leadership style of a president who didn't negotiate enough early on.It's resulted in dysfunction on a grand scale.

David Bowie/Pat Metheny - This Is Not America (Promo Clip)