ECB Zero? Will a 0% base rate fix anything?

There was an interesting article in which originated on Bloomberg which Nouriel Roubini said that the ECB should cut rates to 0% and increase quantitative easing to ease dysfunctional markets. I agree that a more accommodative approach would be beneficial, but a base rate of zero would likely not make much of a difference except on the margin.

The idea of a Central Bank is that they really wear two hats, there is a fiscal v.s. monetary balance to be struck, sometimes they act monetarily, other times fiscally depending on the inflation expectation. The best explanation I have seen of this so far is offered by PIMCO’s Paul McCulley where he states that ‘as the game changes so does the meaning of central bank independence’ and he is correct, if disinflation or deflation is a threat then priming the fire for some inflation is the correct approach, but you would be far better doing this with the money supply via quantitative easing than on the …

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Mohamed El-Erian of Pimco

Mohamed El-Erian talking about his opinion on where to invest in the future. He tells an interesting story in his inimitable style using language that anybody can understand. He thinks that investing in the ‘known’ is perhaps an error, this is a clear argument in favour of taking a portion of contrarian investments & perhaps going to cash.

There is some good opinion on cyclical, secular and structural aspects of portfolio management.

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Inflation in 2010?

John Brynjolfsson of Armored Wolf talks to Bloomberg about his views on inflation, he was formerly a leading fund manager with PIMCO who are the largest bond fund house in the USA, his speciality was TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities – a security which provides protection against inflation), which in my book means the guy knows his inflation!

Critically he talks about the difference between Japan [and the potential Nipponisation as advanced by economists such as Paul Krugman] of the US market, then his belief in what will happen in the mid-term future regarding inflation. He is not saying ‘hyper-inflation’ such as Marc Faber continuously talks about, but his 4-6% is still significant, in particular if it hits during a contraction in which case its real effect will be greater.

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Bill Gross of Pimco – March Podcast

Bill Gross of Pimco, March newsletter

In this mp3 Bill Gross of Pimco goes through some of his thoughts by way of a make believe congressional hearing, an interesting take on the matter, his comments are simple and yet complex, pragmatic and thought provoking.

The questions (and answers) centre around these topics.

1. Is this a recession or depression? 2. How did it happen so fast? 3. How bad might it get? 4. What can we do? 5. Nationalising banks, good or bad idea? 6. Consequences Well worth tuning into, click on the link above or on the pic to hear it.

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Bill Gross of Pimco talks about the deficit in the USA

Bill Gross, known as ‘Mr. Bond’ runs the largest bond fund in the world, in this video he talks about many of the issues facing the economy under the new Obama presidency. Bill Gross is a fascinating character who started his careers as a professional gambler I always enjoy listening to his views on the market which he does with an intersting mix of macro/micro/common sense views.

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