"There is something profoundly and depressingly self-serving in the arguments that the price of saving the little people and wider economy from rampant speculation in and irresponsible selling of financial instruments (exotic and vanilla) is to save, also, the prime instigators of the problems."The logical conclusion (or maybe simply ‘next stage’ if you are Mr Bernanke) to this theme arrived when Jeremy Grantham’s quarterly letter whizzed through the mailbox late Friday night. Entitled “Immoral Hazard” (log in required) it is, fairly or not, a knife-job on Alan Greenspan. An elegant multi-stabbing, but still a knife-job. The pick of several choice quotes for this scribe is:
"Greenspan came onto my radar screen in the late sixties as a seller of economic and financial advice to the investment industry… His high point in most memories, certainly mine, was a famous call in January 1973 that, “it is rare that you can be as unqualifiedly bullish as you now can,” a few days before a market decline of over 60% in real terms… This was one of the first of a long line of terrible prognostications for which he has remarkably not been remembered, except by a handful of us amateur historians."Mr Grantham eventually withdraws his knife from Mr Greenspan long enough to make several striking observations that anyone wondering about the Through the Looking Glass quality of US equity markets lately will enjoy.
Concluding, he unsurprisingly advises cash and the shorting of both sterling and UK property. Far more intriguing is his passing remark suggesting that emerging nation land is "generally attractive".
An entertaining read though he be classed by many a perma-bear.
NB: Yes, it's shopped