Lee’s Free Thinking

Wall Street Examiner exclusives

Bernanke – two bullets left

Drew Matus, economist at Merrill Lynch, is throwing more kaka into our forecasting potion (here is the podcast):

Q2 GDP positive, stimulus checks are fading
Q3 GDP negative
Inflation remains very elevated all this year, Bernanke is stuck with 2% Fed Funds rate
Finally, inflation is dropping sharply down to 1.6% core rate in Q1 ‘08
Bernanke’s hands are finally […]

Ben bends but doesn’t break

As interest rates jumped off the bed this week it doesn’t seem to me that Ben is trying to move them back. My personal opinion is that Fed’s power to change interest rates is very limited. Just heard a guy on the Bloomberg podcast saying that right after the war dollar made pretty much 100% […]

Twice as Bad as Mainstream Reports – WSE Pro Housing Report

While 2/3 of metro markets in the US have reached “affordable” levels by traditional metrics the problem areas of California, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona have not improved, and weakness is continuing or worsening in some key northeastern markets. These markets represent the majority of the total housing value and the total mortgage portfolio of the…

Figures Lie, Liars Figure

The National Association of Rattlers (NAR) reported today that sales of existing homes rose in November. Upon hearing the news, Steve Liesman (is that the best name ever for a financial talking head, or what?) proclaimed on CNBS that the bottom was in. Follow the money. Find the profits!Liquidity is money. Regardless of where in…

A Bad News Day For Citigroup

Yesterday wasn’t the best of news days for Citigroup. The key stories I saw were:

Citigroup has appeared to clumsily reverse course on their previous “pledge” not to support their ailing SIV vehicles (now apparently reaching about $66 billion; formerly as high as $83 billion) in the form of statements by one William Mills:

Is The Fed Flushing Out The “Excess Credit” Demons?

My summary answer to this question is “no”. The debate spurring my remarks here, which is presently raging in the Fed-skeptic/hard money camp, has splintered into the “austere Fed” vs. “profligate Fed” sub-camps. There are assumed to be important practical ramifications of the answer to this question regarding investing, trading, and the […]

Markets Are Not Math!

August 9 – The Wall Street Journal (Henny Sender and Kate Kelly): Quant funds – ‘quant’ stands for quantitative — generally operate by building computer models of market behavior and then allowing the computer programs to dictate trading. A recurring characteristic of the recent trouble in financial markets is that many lenders, funds and brokerages […]

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