Recently, ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has been sounding warnings about the US economy and is now aware that his back-seat driver comments may affect the market (see end of this article). It must be irritating for Ben Bernanke to deal with a boat-rocker whom some blame for creating the problems that Ben now faces.
And what is Mr Greenspan now doing? One of his new roles is as an adviser to investment managers PIMCO - see here for their latest US report. The style of the report is an uncomfortable combination of stuffy and jazzy, but the substance is interesting. Here's a few extracted phrases:
Currently there's a "virtuous circle favoring capital at the expense of labor", which only "a global financial bubble popping of sorts, an accelerated decline of U.S. housing in the short run, or a U.S.-led trade policy reversal that could precipitate counter-attacks from Asian exporters" could stop;
there are "inflationary pressures" in the US and an "asset bubble";
if a housing slump hits the American consumer economy, "anti-trade [i.e. protectionist] legislation may or may not become a reality";
"The emphasis on emerging market currencies rather obviously suggests relative weakness of the U.S. dollar. We continue to believe that U.S. growth will descend towards the lower quartile of countries within a broad global composite. Such U.S. growth, despite relatively favorable demographic labor force trends spiked by immigration, will suffer due to reduced U.S. consumption and the need for higher savings. Even in the face of resistance by Chinese authorities vis-à-vis the Yuan and the Japanese via artificially low interest rates, this lower growth speaks to a weaker dollar and lower relative asset price appreciation in comparison to the rest of the world. PIMCO portfolios will therefore likely feature increasing international diversification in foreign currency terms.";
PIMCO thinks that "sustainable global growth with perhaps an early cyclical slowdown appears to be the likeliest outcome. Those who “own” this growth as opposed to those who lend to it will benefit."
Not hard to boil this down. But potentially rewarding for an alert and adventurous investor. And Mr Greenspan the poacher will act as your gamekeeper, if you go with PIMCO.