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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The World Is Upside Down: CIO Of Buffett's GenRe Issues Direst Warning Yet -- By Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge

A world, in which former permabears David Rosenberg, Jeremy Grantham and now Hugh Hendry have thrown in the towel and gone bull retard, and where none other than the Chief Investment Officer of General Re-New England Asset Management - a company wholly-owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, has issued one of the direst proclamations about the future to date and blasts the Fed's role in creating the biggest mess in financial history, is truly upside down.

While the topic of CIO John Gilbert is Twitter, and specifically the investors in the second coming of the irrational exuberance bubble, about which he says that "following such a crowd is an excellent hedge against ever being financially independent. Gravity wins in time"... what Gilbert is really talking about, is the Fed. To wit:
It should be obvious to everybody by now that such stock market largesse is made in Washington. The specific address is the Eccles Building on Constitution Avenue, home of the Federal Reserve. In fact as citizens and U.S. taxpayers, we think it would be an expression of gratitude if Twitter were to take a little pressure off of the Fed and buy some Treasury bonds themselves.

...

We may be seeing the leading edge of a wave of credit problems among corporate borrowers in emerging market economies. Lest one think it does not affect the U.S. and other developed market countries, recall the Asian crisis chronology. Thailand devalued its currency in the summer of 1997 and few outside of Thailand cared. But contracting Asian demand reduced demand for oil, and Russia (whose exports are 80% oil) defaulted in August of 1998. Risk spreads widened, and five weeks later, Long Term Capital Management was insolvent. That was a systemic event and caused disruption in markets in general, and a stock market decline. So for those who believe that they are protected from loss by central bank behavior, a little history is in order. As usual.

...

This is a major component of the downside to the Fed’s program. They have created a systemic risk in the world financial system for which they take little or no responsibility, because that which happens outside the U.S. is not their assignment. But as custodians of the reserve currency, it ends up that way.
Since we obviously agree with everything the GenRE CIO says we can only assume with absolute certainly that he does not speak for his ultimate employer: the man who according to many has benefitted the most from the Fed's largesse: Warren Buffett.

Full letter below (pdf)

History Ignored, Again

It would seem fair if Twitter were to share. The company’s initial public offering was a staggering success, of course. Priced at $26, the stock closed its first day of trading at $45 per share. The company was thus endowed with a market capitalization of $25 billion. The company has no earnings, but who cares. Adding back non-cash charges to produce earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, then adding back the financial value of non-cash employee compensation, the company can be regarded as profitable. Such a number for 2013 may approximate $50 million or so. The company is valued at 500 times such results, which exclude expenses that do have economic value. Correctly accounted, the company makes not a dime. But who cares when circumspection is the investment equivalent of tuberculosis.

It should be obvious to everybody by now that such stock market largesse is made in Washington. The specific address is the Eccles Building on Constitution Avenue, home of the Federal Reserve. In fact as citizens and U.S. taxpayers, we think it would be an expression of gratitude if Twitter were to take a little pressure off of the Fed and buy some Treasury bonds themselves. But that is not our remit, the company would reply. We are here to, well, Twitter.

Happily, not all members of the U.S. government are as pleased as the central bank to induce investors to behave foolishly. On the eve of Twitter’s IPO, Mary Jo White, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, offered cautionary remarks on investing in complex or inchoate technology businesses. The stock market ignored her, but her comments were well chosen. 

 We have seen this all before and it ends badly.

 (Click link below to read more)
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