Archive

Posts Tagged ‘wall street’

Wall Street, Ben Bernanke and Illusions

August 24th, 2011 Comments off

 Today the Dow Jones rose by more than 300 points. This was not due to positive economic news; to the contrary, negative news drove the NYSE up. How is it that the cascading torrent of appalling economic data would raise cheers on Wall Street? In the bizarre economic and financial world of today, the computer program traders and investors on Wall Street are convinced that the worsening economic situation globally will compel Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, to unleash a third bout of quantitative easing. In the myopic universe of the Wall Street crowd, this is considered the most wonderful  thing that can happen on our planet.

The two bouts of quantitative easing already engaged in by the Fed have been, by consensus of most credible economists, ineffectual. What this mad money printing did accomplish was to inflate commodity prices, creating a drag on the global economy. But if at first you don’t succeed, try again, so say the Wall Street oligarchs. And so when the central bankers convene for their annual conclave in Jackson Hole, Wyoming the Wall Street oligarchs will be hoping and praying for QE3.  Only a clique infused with short-term greed and distorted illusions could believe that bad economic news leading to Bernanke unleashing another round of printing money will end the global economic crisis.

 

 

 

                 

 

 

 

2011 Economic Forecast: I Predict 2011 Will Be A Bummer Of A Year Economically

December 19th, 2010 Comments off

There is an imponderable dichotomy between the economic forecasters on Wall Street and the ugly reality on Main Street. With the Dow Jones having surged more than 60% since the lows that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the onset of the global financial and economic crisis in the fall of 2008, there is increasing banter by Wall Street talking heads that the rally in equities reflects a logical analysis of the economic health of America and the conviction that the Great Recession is truly over and a return to robust economic growth is just around the corner. Call it the Street’s version of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s proverbial “green shoots,” laced with steroids.

That is Wall Street’s prediction of where the U.S. and global economy is headed. As for myself, I will stick with my own look into the economic future, found in my book, “Global Economic Forecast 2010-2015: Recession Into Depression.” The essence of my forecast was that 2010 would give an illusory impression of an exit from the Great Recession, fueled by a massive explosion in public indebtedness, the so-called stimulus spending engaged in by most major advanced and developing economies. However, I also forecasted that unemployment would remain at historic highs; that and the rising level of public debt in many advanced economies would lead to a worsening sovereign debt crisis in 2011, culminating in a catastrophic collapse in public finances in major economies, especially the United States. This, I surmise, will transform a recession into a global depression.

So we are left with two contradictory views of the economic future, with no room in between. According to Wall Street, 2011 will be a bumper year for the global economy, with impressive levels of quarterly growth in the United States. As for myself, I believe that 2011 will be an “Anus Horibilis,” as the Romans would say during the years of decline of their empire; a truly appalling bummer of a year in terms of global economic health.

 

Wall Street Is A Ticking Time Bomb

March 16th, 2009 Comments off
Webster’s Dictionary offers the following definition for a ticking time bomb: an explosive device connected to a timer that will set it off at a given moment; any potentially destructive state of affairs. I believe that this is an accurate definition for the current state of Wall Street. Despite last week’s “sucker’s rally,” there can be little doubt as to the fragility of The Street in the wake of the raging Global Economic Crisis.

Since the onset of the global financial and economic crisis, there have been a number of these fool’s rallies on the stock markets of the world, led by Wall Street. These rallies have not been based on market fundamentals, but rather largely on the political prowess of Wall Street in its ability to intimidate decision-makers in Washington, compelling them to cobble up whatever stratospheric amounts of money have been demanded by them to “repair” the financial system.

Back in October, former Goldman Sachs chairman and then current U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson warned Capital Hill that unless Congress immediately allocated $700 billion to bailout Wall Street, the entire global economy would collapse, literally within hours. Congress, however, voted down Paulsen’s TARP boondoggle. In response, The Street mobilized its lobbyists, and pressured Congress into “reconsideration” of its vote. Congress conducted another TARP vote, and Wall Street got its $700 billion bailout. However, the rally from the initial losses incurred by rejection of TARP was short-lived and shallow. That has also been the pattern with similar rallies as the Global Economic Crisis has accelerated in its devastating impact.

The most recent sucker’s rally that elevated the Dow Jones from its depressing lows was sparked in large part by “leaked” memos from the CEOs of Citigroup and Bank of America, claiming that these insolvent institutions, only still in existence due to massive infusions of taxpayers bailout money, had actually returned to profitability in the first two months of 2009! It seems some creative bookkeeping went into that calculation.

The facts remain unalterable; American and global macroeconomic data points to massive demand destruction, rapidly rising rates of unemployment and the collapse of world trade. Enron-style accounting can only postpone the inevitable, not stop it. Since the Dow Jones hit its peak in October 2007 of just over 14160, it has lost approximately 50% of its value. This collapse in equity prices mirrors the Dow Jones contraction experienced during the Great Depression. However, with much worse economic data likely to emerge over the next several months from all corners of the globe, further massive losses on Wall Street are not only likely; they are a metaphysical certainty.

Wall Street has perpetuated a myth that it is a manifestation of market rationality, rather than a man-made construction infused with irrational exuberance, Machiavellian greed and outright manipulation. Despite all the bailouts Wall Street has secured for itself, at the expense of intergenerational debt that will burden the American taxpayers far into the future, it is heading into the abyss. Wall Street is indeed a ticking time bomb, set to detonate with full destructive yield. Don’t expect Timothy Geithner or a thousand leaked memos from American CEOs to disarm this financial time bomb.