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Jeff Miller  

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  • De-Mystifying The Central Bank Balance Sheets [View article]
    Lee -- Interesting graph, and subject to various causal interpretations. In general, if people (incorrectly) believe that central banks are directly pumping up all asset prices, and if they act on that belief, it does not matter whether it was true or not......

    Jeff
    Feb 1, 2012. 02:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • De-Mystifying The Central Bank Balance Sheets [View article]
    Stephen -- The LTRO is credited by most with reducing concerns about a systemic failure. Some go so far as to say that it eliminated that worry, so that everyone is now focused on economic growth. Jamie Dimon is a well-placed observer who made this comment.

    QE2 is playing a role in providing monetary stimulus (long and variable lead) at a time when the economy is weak. This is still having an effect, and will do so until the balance sheet is reduced.

    So the key problem is defining the counterfactual -- what would have happened -- and it is never easy.

    But if you are suggesting that a little more help from fiscal policy would have been wise, I think you are right.

    Jeff
    Feb 1, 2012. 02:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • De-Mystifying The Central Bank Balance Sheets [View article]
    Ben -- Part of the reason for the leverage is the remission of annual profits to the Treasury. For 2011 that was about $70 B. This is not like a private bank which can go under because of leverage.

    Thanks for bringing this up. I should have discussed it.

    Jeff
    Feb 1, 2012. 11:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: An Avalanche Of Data [View article]
    Rookie -- First, the Fed does not signal changes like this through the statements of one person. In the Greenspan era there was more effort to keep people "on message." That is no longer the case.

    With this in mind, I think his statement is correct. The stated expectations of the members will change with the data. If they see stronger economic growth or more inflation risk, they will change the policy.

    This new visibility will eventually be helpful, but it may take some experience.

    Good observation.

    Jeff
    Jan 31, 2012. 10:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed Role In The Economy: It's Bigger, But Is It Better? [View article]
    DD -- I still have a couple of installments left on recession forecasting. You will be able to criticize the Dieli approach more readily than the ECRI, since the elements are all open. The key feature is that it was not "tested" way back. It was developed a long time ago and has worked in real time.

    More later -- this week I hope.

    Jeff
    Jan 29, 2012. 08:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: State Of The Union, Bernanke, Earnings [View article]
    Daro -- Sometimes we are just in data-collecting mode, observing but not yet finding an investment implication. There is a knee-jerk reaction to Gingrich strength (+Obama, - markets), but I am not sure that I agree on either portion of that.

    Mostly I was just pondering about how different times are now -- how the landscape has changed and what we look for in a candidate.

    Good question, and I agree that it is way off. There will be some specific stock effects from the election at some point.

    Jeff
    Jan 25, 2012. 11:23 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: State Of The Union, Bernanke, Earnings [View article]
    Anonymous SA reader -- Let's try to frame this a bit differently:

    Would the situation be better off or worse off without the ECB action? Without the Fed swap with the ECB? Without Greek haircut/austerity? Without the IMF action? Without leadership changes in Spain and Italy? Without the progress in a new fiscal compact?

    Good luck in your investing!

    Jeff
    Jan 23, 2012. 11:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: State Of The Union, Bernanke, Earnings [View article]
    John -- Thanks to you and also to others who offer some encouraging comments. Even when you have thought this through for your own week ahead, it takes a lot longer than you would think to write it out and do the links. I'm glad you find it helpful.

    Jeff
    Jan 22, 2012. 06:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: State Of The Union, Bernanke, Earnings [View article]
    k19a51 -- Thanks for the suggestions!

    Jeff
    Jan 22, 2012. 06:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: State Of The Union, Bernanke, Earnings [View article]
    byloe -- You picked a great line from him. I hope some will follow the link and enjoy some old stories from a different time.

    Jeff
    Jan 22, 2012. 06:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: State Of The Union, Bernanke, Earnings [View article]
    flow5 --- I wasn't following him in 1980. I remember that he was very worried about Y2K problems. Like everyone else with a long record, he has had both great calls and mistakes.

    I look for ideas that have solid reasoning and good supporting data. He has an extensive database, and innovative techniques for finding and explaining relationships.

    You have a much more precise forecast for this year than I can manage!

    Thanks for joining in.

    Jeff
    Jan 22, 2012. 01:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: State Of The Union, Bernanke, Earnings [View article]
    kaziim -- I think that the IMF move is important for the reason that I have frequently cited -- progress must be measured a step at a time. The fact that the IMF sees the magnitude of the need and is taking steps is a positive to anyone watching the incremental process, as I recommend. I expect that the full amount will be raised even without any addition from the US. This bears watching, of course, but it is an important first step. BTW, I am citing the total amount, and you are mentioning the increment to existing assets.

    Your comment on this point is something that we see all of the time. If a leader does not recognize a problem, there is a chorus of complaints about "heads in the sand" or bumbling around. If the problem is recognized, then that is supposed to be cause for alarm.

    On earnings, I looked around for something that provided a good overall assessment, but did not see anything that seemed to capture the story -- which I see as mixed so far. The big news on Thursday, for example, was the Google miss, but Intel, IBM, and MSFT all had either good earnings, good outlooks, or both.

    I agree that this theme is important, and I'll continue to monitor, going wherever the data lead.

    Jeff
    Jan 22, 2012. 01:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: State Of The Union, Bernanke, Earnings [View article]
    MengXi -- You rarely see any stories about new jobs. The business dynamics data series shows that the US economy creates over 7 million new jobs every quarter, slightly more than the number that is being lost. Most pundits focus on the difference and mistakenly call the net gain "job creation" missing most of the story. You can read more here: http://bit.ly/zBrJtH

    Your question is shared by many. Thanks for joining in.

    Jeff
    Jan 22, 2012. 11:21 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best Recession Forecaster: Robert F. Dieli [View article]
    Young -- I'll have more on the indicator this week, I hope.

    There is a logic behind the organization of the series, which I think will become apparent.

    Thanks for your patience:)

    Jeff
    Jan 15, 2012. 10:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Have Big Companies Lost Their Earnings Mojo? [View article]
    pigdog67 -- Just to be clear, I said that we closed our IWM position last week with a 6% gain since Dec 19th. Those subscribing to our weekly ETF ratings know that oil (via USO) has been near the top of the list but in the penalty box. IWM still has a positive rating, but other sectors are better.

    Gas prices in the Chicago suburbs have indeed moved higher and my son forgot to fill up the tank before heading back to school!

    Jeff
    Jan 15, 2012. 09:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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