Links from JB, LLC

January 29th, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Obviously, you want catch up on the latest from JB, LLC (in which I’m a passive investor…bring on that tax cut!…JK!!), so here are some links:

–From WaPo, why Mnuchin’s comment on the weak dollar making US exports more competitive was, of course, correct; and why Treasury secretaries should be neutral on currencies, not go around pretending they always prefer a strong dollar. Because they don’t. EG, we hit a recession and the dollar falls as part of a natural corrective. Trust me, they’re fine with that.

–From WaPo, all this cheerleading about the stock market, GDP growth, and awesome impacts from the tax cuts is working my last good nerve. Obviously, I’m happy to see positive animal spirits, but we’re losing the thread here, friends. In the era of inequality, growth is necessary, but not sufficient for broadly shared prosperity.

–Two tweets for your consideration. 1) It’s not a good use of time to argue data with our president, but his claiming credit for the relatively low black unemployment rate is so over the top, I couldn’t take it without responding. For those interested, that trend is from a one-sided HP filter, estimated through 2016 and forecast through 2017. 2) Goldman Sachs has some metric of financial investors appetite for risk, and it’s apparently higher than ever. That led me to unearth this recent oped from the NYT on how this is, as per the late economist Hy Minsky, precisely the time when policy makers flip from risk aversion to risk under-pricing, and therefore, the worst time to take down regulatory guardrails.

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One comment in reply to "Links from JB, LLC"

  1. Smith says:

    For eight years the Obama justice department did nothing to punish the people who brought down the world economy. While millions of homeowners were tossed out of their homes, bankers were bailed out and got a slap on the wrist. Yes the settlements were in the billions of dollars, but this impacted profits for one year or one quarter, and nobody player central to the crisis (mortgage processors, rating agencies, banks, investment banks, insurance companies) was criminally prosecuted, most of the leadership remained intact.
    Neither did the Democrat candidate run on a program of punishing the offenders, or shrinking their industry. Yes it is true that Hillary Clinton did promote several new measures that would constrain the worst excesses. But of course prohibiting the worst just makes it easier to stretch the boundaries of the regime in place.
    If anything, the experience of the Great Recession, the bailout, Dodd-Frank, the lack of prosecutions, would all server to encourage testing the limits of the system which has supposedly been made fail-safe.
    If you understand why we allow things like bitcoin, derivatives, and hedge funds to exist, you won’t be surprised at the state of the economy.
    The only surprise is that your surprised.