I had to adjust to my jet lag from Down Under and the Far East this week, and it is going a lot better. The financial markets also seemed to have calmed somewhat after the Chinese stock market held up (and the circuit breakers are no longer used). A decent December USA job report came out : employment rose by 292,000; the unemployment rate is unchanged at 5.0%. But check out the concerns in the January 2016 investment outlook authored by Bill Gross, now working for Janus Capital Group. He went by the moniker ‘the bond king’ (maybe he still does?), back when he ran PIMCO’s $270.0 billion Total Return Fund (PTTRX).
Here’s an extract from Bill’s January 2016 news letter :
The Romans gave their Plebian citizens a day at the Coliseum, and the French royalty gave the Bourgeoisie a piece of figurative “cake,” so it may be true to form that in the still prosperous developed economies of 2016, we provide Fantasy Sports, cellphone game apps, sexting, and fast food to appease the masses. Keep them occupied and distracted at all costs before they recognize that half of the U.S. population doesn’t go to work in the morning and that their real wages after conservatively calculated inflation have barely budged since the mid 1980’s. Confuse them with demagogic and religious oriented political candidates to believe that tomorrow will be a better day and hope that Ferguson, Missouri and its lookalikes will fade to the second page or whatever it’s called these days in new-age media.
Meanwhile, manipulate (sic) prices of interest rates and stocks to benefit corporations and the wealthy while they feast on exorbitantly priced gluten-free pasta and range-free chicken at Whole Foods, or if even more fortunate, pursue high rise New York condos and private jets at Teterboro. It’s a wonderful life for the 1% and a Xanax existence for the 99. But who’s looking – or counting – even at the ballot box. November 2016 will not change a thing – 8 years of Hillary or 8 years of a non-Hillary. Same difference. Central bankers, Superpacs, and K street lobbyists are in control. Instead of cake, the 49.5% (males) will just have to chomp on their Carl’s Jr. hamburger and dream of a night with 23-year-old Kate Upton lookalikes that show them how to eat it during Super Bowl commercials. And if that’s too sexist, then Carl’s is substituting six-pack hunks instead of full-breasted models to appease the other 49.5% (females). It’s a Xanax society. We love it.