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John M. Mason  

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  • Looking At The Bond Markets: Growing Weaknesses? [View article]
    A spread of 50 basis points is different if the yield on the treasury security is 1.00 percent rather than 10.00 percent.

    If the level of rates doesn't change much then spread comparisons make more sense. If rates are bouncing around then ratios can give a better picture.

    In terms of using ratios Barron's has been computing its confidence ratio, the ratio between yields on high grade bonds and intermediate grade bonds for as long as I can remember.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Oct 14, 2015. 11:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 'Give Up On The Fed' - Part II [View article]
    Read the article...the return on shareholder's equity in many banks, especially the large ones, are below the bank's cost of capital...record net income or no. And, their performance level is at its high for the current recovery.
    Sep 29, 2015. 12:12 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Keep Fooling Yourselves With The Quarter-To-Quarter GDP Numbers [View article]
    My point! Thanks!
    Sep 26, 2015. 07:16 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Federal Reserve Must Change Its Ways In This New Economic Era [View article]
    The primary econometric model the Federal Reserve uses is built around the Phillips curve. I was amazed at all the articles by top-tier economists this summer that discussed the relevancy of using a model constructed around the Phillips curve for input into Federal Reserve decision-making.

    This summer's discussion centered around the trade off between unemployment and inflation and whether or not the Phillip's curve was a reliable measure of this trade off.

    I sensed no movement by Fed officials to change their fundamental model.

    Sep 22, 2015. 02:51 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Federal Reserve Must Change Its Ways In This New Economic Era [View article]
    The Fed still says it has only two operating goals...high levels of employment and low inflation...and investors and financial markets seem to believe this as per the local reaction to the Fed's non-action of last week.

    Until the Fed declares it has different goals or a different goal, the Fed is still operating, as far as the markets are concerned, as if the international did not exist.
    Sep 22, 2015. 12:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Federal Reserve Put Reserves Into Banking System During Week Of Stock Market Declines [View article]
    I didn't say that the Fed targeted commercial bank excess reserves.
    Aug 28, 2015. 04:22 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are The Distortions In The Stock Market And The Economy Catching Up With Us? [View article]
    That is not a criticism of the initial policy...

    Sometimes we have to make decisions that will create distortions which must be dealt with in the future. Any policy maker faces these types of decisions from time-to-time. I did.

    We make decisions which at the time seem to be the best decisions we can make at that time, given the information that is available to that time.

    Then we deal with the consequences once the need for the decision has past.
    Aug 25, 2015. 03:43 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are The Distortions In The Stock Market And The Economy Catching Up With Us? [View article]
    Once again, you have made up an issue that is not present. I do not criticize the efforts of Mr. Bernanke. In fact I quote Mr. Feldstein: "The Fed's strategy worked!"

    All I say is that these policy efforts had consequences, some of which we are dealing with today. Read the article!
    Aug 25, 2015. 01:36 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The World Has Changed But Policy-Makers Have Not [View article]
    And, I have been arguing for a long time now that this is not just a normal business cycle, that there have been structural changes in the economy and this is something that is not being dealt with. This has to do with the dramatic changes that have taken place in labor force participation and capacity utilization. The decline in capacity utilization, from business cycle peak to business cycle peak since the late 1960s has been on a secular downtrend. This cannot be explained in terms of a "normal" business cycle.
    Aug 24, 2015. 03:34 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The World Has Changed But Policy-Makers Have Not [View article]
    Notice that nothing is said in my post about China's growth rate, yet that is a major focus of the comments. What is discussed is China's proportion of world consumption of iron ore, petroleum, and copper. The role that China is playing in the world in these areas no one seems to disagree upon and certainly the evidence from the commodity-based emerging countries seem to overwhelmingly support the major role that China is playing within the world economy.
    Aug 24, 2015. 02:00 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Warning: Inflationary Expectations Fall Some More [View article]
    Craig from AZ:

    I will propose an answer to your question in an upcoming post. It is a relevant and important question that I don't think can be answered with a short, simple response.

    Aug 20, 2015. 12:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Economy Just Continues To Struggle Along [View article]
    To add more joy to this report, it was just announced that for August, consumer sentiment declined for the second month in a row. See
    Aug 14, 2015. 11:28 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Labor Productivity: Why The Optimism For Faster Economic Growth Is Misplaced [View article]
    You should take your issue up with Paul Mason who wrote the book I cite...not with me. I don't come from the same place he does.
    Aug 12, 2015. 03:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Federal Reserve Is Using Short-Run Tools To Manage Reserve Positions [View article]

    You are should be "taut". My spell check must have changed it for some reason and I failed to catch it. Also, editorial staff at Seeking Alpha failed to catch it.

    My apologies...I will take the blame.

    No comment on the Fed's "taunting".

    Aug 7, 2015. 05:49 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft Is Trying: Lessons For Today's Management [View article]
    I didn't say that revenue had not been growing through the 2000s. I said that the stock price remained roughly the same throughout this period. Investors did not observe any further increase in the value of the company during this time.
    Jul 31, 2015. 02:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment