Monday, May 06, 2013

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 05/06/13

There is a cure for nonsense in the business world.  My sarcasm makes everything better.  Central bankers need to hire me so I can liven up their currency-destroying meetings.

The EU's economics honcho is jawboning the French to get back on the austerity wagon.  Didn't he get the memo?  Austerity is so passe this season, what with the Reinhart-Rogoff thesis discredited after a couple of Excel errors.  This season's fashion trend is all about renewed profligacy.  Eurotrash are determined to paint the town some new shade of pastel before the euro is dissolved.

Warren Buffett assures us that all will be well after he steps down from running Berkshire Hathaway.  Making his son the chairman is a good way to ensure the culture he created continues for a few decades.  His rules for success are pretty simple:  stay with what you understand, figure out if something has a durable advantage, buy at a discount to its intrinsic value.  His managers seem to get this but most of Wall Street doesn't.  That's why Wall Street doesn't deliver value like Berkshire.

Bond investors must be seriously stupid if they think the Fed can unwind its bond purchases without hurting their investments.  That would require an even bigger fool than the Fed to buy all those junk securitizations, and I don't see any UFOs full of alien investors landing in Washington with cash in hand.  The simple math that expanded supply (once bonds are dumped on the market) leading to reduced prices if demand stays constant is the kind of thinking that many bond investors just can't handle.  Bond portfolio managers can't handle it either but they'd rather not spook their clients and lose their careers.

The headline screams "US unemployment rate down" but nobody reads the fine print.  The fastest growing job sectors are low-paying hospitality and retail.  People are working fewer hours and their take-home pay is shrinking.  We're becoming the "dollar nation" I alluded to in one of my recent posts.  Dude, where's my recovery?

Last week I got the chance to impress some people with my genius and wit at a San Francisco social event.  I shocked them with my recollections of Notre Dame alumni as snobs who refused to give me career advice.  I will continue to spread the word about the worthlessness of a Notre Dame diploma.  I'd be happy to discuss my views on NPR's Marketplace.