Friday, January 2, 2009

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Victor Davis Hansen comments on how different 2008 turned out to be relative to expectations at the beginning of the year. Some of the more startling changes have come in candidate Obama's views on a wide variety of issues:
Imagine the election chances of a candidate Obama in the Democratic primaries had he announced publicly in January what he just now concluded in December:

"Vote for my change and I promise you more of Bob Gates at Defense, my rival Hillary Clinton (with help from Bill) at State, Gen. James L. Jones as national security adviser, Clinton pros John Podesta and Rahm Emanuel running my transition — and the evangelical pastor Rick Warren conducting my Inaugural invocation. And what I am saying now about wiretaps, NAFTA, the Patriot Act, campaign financing, Iran, Iraq, missile defense, coal and nuclear power and taxes will have to be changed when I'm elected."
Things could certainly be worse, had Obama not changed. Let's hope for more constructive change from President Obama in 2009.


prophets said...

data source q's-

just curious what data services you use, if any? I'm building out country excel workbooks drawing on central bank data from each area (RBA/australia, IBGE/Brazil, etc.). Then trying to normalize the data by type (GDP workbook for all countries, etc.).

do you use haver analytics or bloomberg, etc.? any suggestions on world bank, oecd or IMF as a data source for country stats?

thx & happy new year.

Scott Grannis said...

I use Bloomberg and internet sources. Haver might be your best bet. IMF, WB and OECD data is usually pretty stale.

Brian H said...

Can't tell you how relieved I am that O has undergone some "Change" himself in the past year. Still, I am astounded at how quickly $1T has been laid on the table without our permission. Read yesterday that it comes to about $4000 per person. No doubt that I could put $16,000 (wife and 2 kids) to better use in our economy than Reid, Pelosi and Frank and Paulson...

Scott Grannis said...

No doubt whatsoever.

jpnmitchell said...


Read over this link if you get a chance:
and let me know your thoughts on the matter.
As much as I'd like to have hopes for some correction in the next 6 or 12 months, I fear we still have a substantial distance to fall.

Following good investment sense, now should be the time to buy stocks. Are there any other "good" investments right now? I've noticed TIPS is up a good 8% or so since you recommended.


Brian H said...

Fox News Headline - "Obama, Dems eye $300 Billion Tax Cut"

OK. I'm lost. Where is Kansas?

Scott Grannis said...

Isn't politics fun?

Scott Grannis said...

JP: I agree that Treasury yields are the next bubble to pop and in fact it is already happening. T-bill yields have jumped from -0.015% to 0.14% already. 10-yr Treasury yields are up 45 bps from their recent lows.

I think we have seen the worst of the economy and the worst of the markets. High yield bonds are up 25% from their lows.

"Good" investments are everywhere: anything that is not a Treasury bond. TIPS, high yield bonds, equities, all are still cheap.