Thursday, October 28, 2010

The PIMCO Outlook

Bill Gross runs one of the world's biggest mutual funds.  He's also anything but bullish on our collective situation.  On politics:

PIMCO - Run Turkey Run November 2010
Democrat or Republican, Elephant or Donkey, nothing much ever seems to change. Each party has shown it can add hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt with little to show for it or move our military from one country to the next chasing phantoms instead of focusing on more serious problems back home. This isn’t a choice between chocolate and vanilla folks, it’s all rocky road: a few marshmallows to get you excited before the election, but with a lot of nuts to ruin the aftermath.

And on the Fed's plan for asset purchases, QEII, which Gross calls "cheque writing:
Still, while next Wednesday’s announcement will carry our qualified endorsement, I must admit it may be similar to a Turkey looking forward to a Thanksgiving Day celebration. Bondholders, while immediate beneficiaries, will likely eventually be delivered on a platter to more fortunate celebrants, be they financial asset classes more adaptable to inflation such as stocks or commodities, or perhaps the average American on Main Street who might benefit from a hoped-for rise in job growth or simply a boost in nominal wages, however deceptive the illusion. Cheque writing in the trillions is not a bondholder’s friend; it is in fact inflationary, and, if truth be told, somewhat of a Ponzi scheme. Public debt, actually, has always had a Ponzi-like characteristic.

He ends with a pitch about PIMCO staying one step ahead of the game so I'm tempted to chalk this up as nothing more than a salesman using fear as a motivational tactic.  Something tells me though he might be on to something.

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