Ben Bernanke hits the panic button

In fairness, the prospect of a "Great crash of 2008" isn't a particularly appealing prospect. But assuming the Fed cuts another 50 next week, you'd have to think that the dollar down bubble could soon reassert itself.


As an aside, is Macro Man the only one whose Bloomberg utterly froze for 5 minutes as soon as the announcement of the 75 cut hit the tape?
Mikey, before you pursue further political ambitions, sort out your bread and butter!
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vlade
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January 22, 2008 at 1:35 PM ×

MM, I think your TIPs should do pretty nicely... Time to get some more?
UK ZC RPIs trading at around 2.3 for the short end - maybe there would be some value in getting into that too...

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Macro Man
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January 22, 2008 at 1:40 PM ×

Obviously ruing this morning's portfolio surgery. Still, I wouldnl;t be surprised if the market opened up and then nosedived.

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CV
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January 22, 2008 at 2:05 PM ×

Yep, this is it I feel ...

Interesting to follow as an economist but as a market participant ... oh boy!

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Quarrel
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January 22, 2008 at 2:13 PM ×

.. and even with the general mood aside, BoA and Ambac can't be helping.

Of course after watching the Asian sessions, I'm amazed how well the ftse has held up.


--Q

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CV
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January 22, 2008 at 2:20 PM ×

Oh ...

Guys ...

When will Trichet and Fukui follow suit? :)

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Macro Man
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January 22, 2008 at 2:23 PM ×

Fukui won't cut rates...he'll be out of a job before he ahs the chance.

I'll stick with May for J-C, though concede it could be as early as March if markets continue imploding.

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Quarrel
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January 22, 2008 at 2:31 PM ×

I'd agree with MM on Fukui. However the WSJ thought he was saying they might move:

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"I know that market players think the outlook on [global] monetary policy is in a rate-cut direction, and there's talk that Japan also may cut rates," Mr. Fukui said at a news conference after BOJ policy board members voted unanimously Tuesday to keep rates steady. "Given the uncertain economic and financial background, we may be in a delicate stage of judging the outlook" for the economy and prices, he said.

Mr. Fukui's remarks were taken to mean that the bank may consider lowering rates if future developments, such as the slowdown in the U.S. economy and Japanese growth that is falling short of expectations, force the BOJ to abandon its basic scenario that Japan is on a sustainable growth path.
--

(see: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120100220351106215.html?mod=googlenews_wsj for full article)

Of course, they interpret that the complete opposite way to me..

Trichet is playing up inflation (or was before the Fed move) still, but I guess we'll see if the data holds up in the current climate..


--Q

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Anonymous
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January 22, 2008 at 5:06 PM ×

Speaking of freezes, Ameritrade servers crashed after market open and were down for some time. That's a lot of blocked out trading activity. Something tells me Ameritrade's going to lose a lot of customers on this one.

As an aside, the question of whether or not the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates to prop up equity markets, the existence of the so-called "Greenspan Put", has been definitively answered.

FormerlyknownasJS

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Anonymous
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January 22, 2008 at 5:37 PM ×

Definitively answered, yes. But why such brinksmanship?

Bernanke has now firmly established that he's just another incompetent poker player who bluffs too much but always folds on the river. A disappointment if you were looking for competence, but easy to exploit.

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Macro Man
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January 22, 2008 at 5:56 PM ×

I'm not sure if it's a bluff so much as he legitimately doesn't know what hand he is holding, and is merely taking his cues from the other players.

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Dr.Dan
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January 22, 2008 at 6:11 PM ×

Three questions for my go-to-man-in-collapse, MM.

a. Is this the start of the bear market ? Economy clearly is in a recession.

b. Is this a good time to sell Asian equities (india in particular) or can the relief rally bring cheer ?

c. what portion can be moved to cash right now from equities ?

btw long term SP chart is v good looking -)

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Macro Man
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January 22, 2008 at 7:12 PM ×

Dr. Dan, as the post before this one tried to suggest, while I am still not convinced that a global bear has started, I am certainly willing to countenance the possibility. I am also not convinced that the US economy is already in recession, though it is indubitably in a period of very sluggish growth.

I susepct that Asian equities will bounce hard tomorrow on the Fed news and relief that today wasn't "Black Tuesday." Perhaps the rally will carry over for a few days/percent. It would appear appropriate to lighten up, IMHO, into that rally.

Your last query depends on one's risk tolerance and return preferences; all I can say is that it's a number between 0 and 100.

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Anonymous
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January 22, 2008 at 8:26 PM ×

1) re bbg - didn't happen here! maybe those in NY get preferential treatment? ;)
2) re ecb cuts - see stark's comments to zeit ("*STARK SIGNALS ECB WON'T FOLLOW FED RATE CUT, ZEIT SAYS")

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Dr. Dan
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January 23, 2008 at 2:08 AM ×

Thanks for the answers. Very reassuring.

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