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To the readers, and--especially--potential readers, of Grant’s: This anthology of recent articles, our annual Grant’s Holiday e-issue, is for you. Please pass it along, with our compliments, to any and all prospective members of the greater Grant’s family. Not yet a subscriber? Make yourself the gift of a year’s worth of Grant’s and get two issues added on to your subscription. That’s a $200 value. We resume publication with the issue dated Jan. 9 (don’t miss it!). Sincerely yours, James Grant
America and the world are joined at the economic hip (a joint evidently in need of replacement). So the Bank of Yellen will do its duty for the world as it sees that duty. We write to refresh and reiterate the forecast that the Federal Reserve is stuck with the radical policies it has foisted on all the earthlings.
To the readers, and potential readers, of Grant’s:
This anthology of recent articles, our summertime e-issue, is for you. Please pass it along, with our compliments, to any and all prospective members of the greater Grant’s family.
Not yet a subscriber? Make yourself the gift of a year’s worth of Grant’s and get two issues added on to your subscription. That’s a $200 value.
We resume regular publication with the issue dated Sept. 5 (don’t miss it!).
Millions of people can’t predict baseball, and billions can’t predict soccer. As for interest rates, commodity prices, exchange rates, GDP growth, the weather, and equities, the cream of Wall Street can’t seem to predict them, either. On the difficulties—and opportunities—in the top-down branch of the speculative arts called global macro.
Because the federal funds rate has fallen and can't get up, the Fed is engineering a new master money-market interest rate. Herewith an inspection tour of the "fixed-rate, full-allotment overnight repurchase facility." Dr. Feelgood is alive and well in Washington, D.C.
"The food is terrible," to quote the famously ambivalent restaurant review--"and the portions are so small." Much the same can be said of today's junk-bond market. The yields are terrible--and there's not enough new supply to satisfy the clamoring demand. On the art of selling what you don't even own.
If QE made investors complacent, tapering may make them anxious. If so, the short-selling trade may yet have its day in the sun. Herewith, a bearish analysis of a company that, under the spell of monetary ease and a rising stock market, has gotten more hall passes than a high school quarterback.
"I made the mistake of selling it once before…," a major shareholder of a certain industrial supply distributor wrote to his investors last spring. "The memory of that sale is still painful." If the following analysis is on the beam, it's the memory of not having sold that will soon trouble the company's ardent fans.
What kind of inflation does the Fed wish to raise up? Each kind: The stock-market variety to foster the confidence that leads to a faster pace of consumption and the checkout-counter sort to protect against a return to the economic environment of "The Grapes of Wrath." Herewith a look at one of the central bank's warmest friends and worst enemies, all in the same ticker.
Despite the Fed's swollen balance sheet, Federal Reserve remittances to the U.S. Treasury last year fell by 12.1% to $77.7 billion. Count the Bank of Bernanke front and center among victims of repressed interest rates. Leveraged bond investment isn't the Fed's only revenue source.
As we read the new year consensus of investment sentiment, people love stocks, hate bonds and feel sorry for gold. Perhaps the trader's maxim applies: "If it's obvious, it's obviously wrong." If so, it may behoove us, aged and grizzled bond bears, to imagine a contrary scenario.
Puerto Rican financial officials responded last week to rating agency concerns about "constrained market access" by announcing plans to issue public debt by the end of February. Herewith a new look at the obligations of the tropical commonwealth that knows not the polar vortex.