Category Archives: Quote Of The Day

Quote of the Day

“What’s the right policy toward China? They put a few trillion dollars worth of stuff on boats and sent it to us in exchange for U.S. government bonds. Those bonds lost a lot of value when the dollar fell relative to the euro and other currencies. Then they put more stuff on boats and took in ever more dubious debt in exchange. We’re in the process of devaluing again. The Chinese government’s accumulation of U.S. debt represents a tragic investment decision, not a currency-manipulation effort. The right policy is flowers and chocolates, or at least a polite thank-you note.”

— John H. Cochrane, October 26, 2010

Quote of the Day

“The upside of QE is limited. The money simply won’t go to where it’s needed, and the wealth effects are too small. The downside is a risk of global volatility, a currency war, and a global financial market that is increasingly fragmented and distorted. If the U.S. wins the battle of competitive devaluation, it may prove to be a pyrrhic victory, as our gains come at the expense of others—including those to whom we hope to export.”

— Joseph Stiglitz, October 23, 2010

Quote of the Day

“The whole idea of having a free trade area when you have gyrating exchange rates doesn’t make sense at all. It just spoils the effect of any kind of free trade agreement . . . .”

“Fixed exchange rates operate between California and New York . . . .”

“These currencies should be fixed, as they were under Bretton Woods or the gold standard. All this unnecessary noise, unnecessary uncertainty; it just confuses the ability to evaluate market prices.”

— Robert Mundell, October 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

“Since the financial panic began in 2008, global leaders have been at pains to stress their ‘cooperation’ on numerous issues—stimulus spending, new bank rules, trade. Yet they still insist on going their own parochial, self-interested way on monetary policy and exchange rates. It’s as if world leaders had consciously decided to deal with every economic issue except the most important one—the price of the global medium of economic exchange.”

The Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2010

Quote of the Day

“I’m waiting for Spain to melt down the World Cup to pay off its debts, or more seriously, real defaults from Spain, Greece and maybe California and New York. Let’s get on with it and put the structural reforms behind us. That would be a true buy signal.”

— Andy Kessler, July 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

“A currency union is strongest without fiscal union.”

— John H. Cochrane, May 18, 2010, in a terrific commentary on the Greek crisis and the European Union

Quote of the Day

“Architects of the legislation that binds the nation’s communications infrastructure in the year 2010 were born in the 1870s and 1880s. There is talk today in Washington about categorizing technologies and platforms developed in the 21st century under different Titles of legislation written by people born in the 19th century. We don’t need to jettison all the wisdom of the ancients, but perhaps there’s a better way?”

— Nick Shulz, at the Enterprise Blog, March 25, 2010

Quote of the Day

“If we determine that a dollar shall be our unit, we must then say with precision what a dollar is.”

— Thomas Jefferson, 1784, as quoted by Judy Shelton

Quote of the Day

“No moment in technology history has ever been more exciting or dangerous than now. The Internet is like a new computer running a flashy, exciting demo. We have been entranced by this demo for fifteen years. But now it is time to get to work, and make the Internet do what we want it to . . . .

“Practical business: who will win the tug of war between private machines and the Cloud? Will you store your personal information on your own personal machines, or on nameless servers far away in the Cloud, or both? Answer: in the Cloud. The Cloud (or the Internet Operating System, IOS — ‘Cloud 1.0’) will take charge of your personal machines. It will move the information you need at any given moment onto your own cellphone, laptop, pad, pod — but will always keep charge of the master copy. When you make changes to any document, the changes will be reflected immediately in the Cloud. Many parts of this service are available already.”

— David Gelernter, “Time to Start Taking the Internet Seriously”

Quote of the Day II

“Only someone who has Asperger’s would read a subprime-mortgage-bond prospectus.”

— Dr. Mike Burry, in an excerpt of Michael Lewis’s new book The Big Short.

Quote of the Day

“Rationing happens today! The question is who will do it.”

— Rep. Paul Ryan, February 2, 2010, in a terrific interview on health care reform that drills to the center of the debate.

Also see:

Quote of the Day

“The irony of the zero-rate policy, coupled with Washington’s preference for a weak dollar, is a glut of American capital in Asia (as corporations and investors shun the weakening U.S. currency) and a shortage at home. For gold and oil, the low-rate policy works, weakening the dollar so commodity prices go up and providing traders with ample funds to buy into the expanding bubble. Those markets are almost daring the Fed to try to break out of its zero-rate box.

“But for small businesses and new workers, capital rationing is devastating, spelling business failures and painful layoffs. Thousands of start-ups won’t launch due to credit shortages, in part because the government and corporations took more credit than they needed (because it was so cheap).”

David Maplass, The Wall Street Journal, December 4 2009

Quote of the Day

“O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.”

— William Shakespeare

Quote of the Day

“I hope that they (government regulators) leave it alone . . . The Internet is working beautifully as it is.”

— Tim Draper, Silicon Valley venture capitalist, who along with many other SV investors and executives signed a letter advocating new Internet regulations apparently unaware of its true content.

Quote of the Day

“The Americans have not had to deal with a true economic rival since the British more than half a century ago. America today is as unaccustomed to global economic competition as the British were at their apex. The U.S. often seems lumbering and ill-suited to the demands of economic rivalry.

“The only way to avoid Britain’s fate and meet the challenge of China is to reinvigorate economic life. This is a multiyear endeavor that must be done primarily through innovation, not legislation. America needs to retool its domestic economy to build on the global success of many U.S. companies. It must focus on inventing new products and generating new ideas, rather than defending the rusty industries of yesterday. Fights over health care and climate change are the cultural equivalent of fiddling while Rome burns.

“China thrives because it is hungry, dynamic, scared of failure and convinced that it should be a leading force in the world. That is why America thrived a century ago. Today, such hunger and dynamism seem less evident in American life than petulance that the world is not cooperating.

“The U.S. is in danger of assuming that because it has been a dominant nation on the world stage, it must continue to be so. That is a recipe for becoming Britain.”

— Zachary Karabell, The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2009

Quote of the Day

“TANGIBLE COMMON EQUITY, n. unknown origin. Definition unknown; purpose unknown; how it’s calculated, unknown; what federal regulators think it means, unknown. Usages: “Macbeth,” Shakespeare, W., Act II, Scene (i): “Is this TCE which I see before me…I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.”

“TARP, n. acronym. 1. A synthetic device designed to cover up an unsightly mess, or to protect perishable goods (firewood, banks) from the ravages of the elements, typically costing somewhere between $12.99 and $700 billion. 2. Prime example of how governments use otherwise anodyne acronyms, abbreviations and sports metaphors to disguise matters of controversy. See also TALF, TLGP, TURF, FHFA, BACKSTOP, WRAP, OFHEO and SPECTRE.”

— example entries from the “Devil’s Dictionary: Financial Edition,” by Matthew Rose, The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

“In the end, perhaps the most misleading claim of the peak-oil advocates is that the earth was endowed with only 2 trillion barrels of ‘recoverable’ oil. Actually, the consensus among geologists is that there are some 10 trillion barrels out there. A century ago, only 10 percent of it was considered recoverable, but improvements in technology should allow us to recover some 35 percent — another 2.5 trillion barrels — in an economically viable way. And this doesn’t even include such potential sources as tar sands, which in time we may be able to efficiently tap.

“Oil remains abundant, and the price will likely come down closer to the historical level of $30 a barrel as new supplies come forward in the deep waters off West Africa and Latin America, in East Africa, and perhaps in the Bakken oil shale fields of Montana and North Dakota. But that may not keep the Chicken Littles from convincing policymakers in Washington and elsewhere that oil, being finite, must increase in price.”

— Michael Lynch, New York Times, August 24, 2009

Quote of the Day

“When George W. Bush nominated Ben Bernanke to be Federal Reserve Chairman in late 2005, we wrote that there was ‘at least rough justice’ in the fact that Mr. Bernanke would have to clean up a monetary bubble that he had helped to create. Alas, that was truer than even we feared, and yesterday President Obama rewarded Mr. Bernanke for his efforts by nominating him for a second four-year term.

“One request: This time around, could he make the mess and clean-up a little less bloody?

“A striking fact of the last two years of financial trouble is how accountability has differed in the public and private spheres. On Wall Street and across the country, decades-old firms have failed, fortunes have vanished, and some former captains of finance face jail or fines. In Washington, meanwhile, most regulators and Members of Congress remain on the job, often with enhanced power.”

The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2009

Quote of the Day

“The flow of capital away from the U.S. is broad, deep and long-term. Investors can buy 20-year debt denominated in Brazilian reals or Chinese yuan, a monumental shift in the allocation of long-term capital. U.S. companies are shifting operations offshore in order to build and innovate more profitably. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is trapping billions of tech dollars — the lifeblood of innovation — offshore through an excessive repatriation tax. This is blocking much-needed industry consolidation, because an acquirer is forced to pay for the offshore cash without getting access to it.”

— David Malpass, August 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

“There’s also no denying that these distribution deals have benefited consumers. More than 30 devices have been introduced to compete with the iPhone since its debut in 2007. The fact that one carrier has an exclusive has forced other companies to find partners and innovate. In response, the price of the iPhone has steadily fallen. The earliest iPhones cost more than $500; last month, Apple introduced a $99 model.

“If this is a market malfunction, let’s have more of them. Isn’t Washington busy enough re-ordering the rest of the economy?”

The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2009

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