Tasting the Forbidden Fruit of Free Money

Has anyone given credit to the coronavirus for exposing the general folly of our time?  We’ve yet to find mention of it.  Not even on the web.  Here we shall do our part to give proper credit where credit is due.

Numerous stimulus proposals are currently being cooked up in Congress.  In an election year, with unemployment going vertical, now’s the time to cash in on populist sentiments.  The three leading bills, for example, are the Automatic Boost to Communities (ABC) Act, the Emergency Money for the People Act, and the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act.

With names like that, what’s not to like?  The main ingredient for each proposal is a $2,000 monthly stimulus check.  The variance between the three is in duration and eligibility.

The ABC Act, which was introduced by Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Pramila Jayapal, is the most ambitious.  This act is centered on $2,000 monthly payments to all taxpayers – and their dependents – for a payment period that extends one year after the termination of the declared coronavirus emergency…whenever that may be. Continue reading

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Beware of Plans to Build Back Better

Central planners the world over disdain the free exchange of goods and services.  They believe they can better shape the world around them according to their wishes.  This fatal conceit compels them to intervene in destructive ways.

Some central planners, like Fed Chair Jay Powell, think they’re saving the world economy by cranking up the printing press.  Others, like AOC, could care less about the economy…so long as they can mediate the redistribution of wealth more to their liking.

The mess wrought by extreme government intervention has been magnified by coronavirus.  The central planners took a bad situation and made it dramatically worse.  They destroyed the economy so they could ‘build back better.’

First the shutdown was ordered to flatten the curve, resulting in over 33.5 million new claims for unemployment in just seven weeks.  Then the big bailouts of big business were rolled out to counteract the breakdown of financial markets.  Token checks were also sent out to the broad populace.  And that’s just the beginning. Continue reading

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Buckle Up for Economic Destruction

The S&P 500’s up over 30 percent from the March 23 closing low.  What’s more, it’s only about 18 percent from its February 19 all-time closing high.  Could it be that the market storm’s behind us and only sunny clear skies are ahead?

Why not?  Fed Chair Jay Powell’s manning the monetary levers with gusto.  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s assuaging his Wall Street pals.  And an interventionist Congress is hell bent on racking up a $4 trillion deficit.

With all the funny money flowing into financial markets this must be just the time to buy stocks…right?  The answer, no doubt, depends on if you’re feeling lucky.

Carl Icahn – a billionaire – is not feeling lucky.  Hence, he’s not buying stocks.  He thinks they’re overvalued.  And he should know.  The 84 year old has traded every stock market crash since the Great Depression.

Instead of buying stocks, Icahn is hoarding cash, shorting commercial real estate, and preparing for the coronavirus to trigger “some big downdrafts.” Continue reading

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What You Must Know About Zeros in the Years Ahead

Billionaire investor and American folk hero Warren Buffett’s been lying low.  This is a change from the 2008-09 financial crisis.  Back then he eagerly supplied cash to Goldman Sachs and Bank of America in exchange for high interest rates and warrants.  But not now.

Instead of making deals, Buffett says he’s “…drinking a little more Coca-Cola” to ward off coronavirus.  Yet is that really all he’s doing?  Buffett admirer Bill Ackman doesn’t think so.  Ackman – who’s been aggressively buying stocks – thinks the Oracle of Omaha has a few tricks up his sleeve.  When recently asked:

“Ackman said he suspected his mentor was quietly putting his $125 billion in cash to work buying stocks.  He was keeping a low profile to make sure the stocks stayed cheap while he is buying.  ‘After he invests that $100 billion and change,’ Ackman says, ‘he’ll let everybody know.”’

Maybe so.  And good for Buffett and Ackman.  If they want to put billions of dollars into stocks right now, good on them. Continue reading

Posted in Inflation, MN Gordon | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments