PROGRAMMING NOTE: Episode 40 will be the final one for 2020. Episode 41 will pick back up in early January, ~10th.
Jeff Snider, Head of Global Investment Research for Alhambra Investments with Emil Kalinowski, cootie-free. Artwork by David Parkins.
40.2 JPMorgan CEO warns US Treasuries have Cooties
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan — America’s most important bank, “wouldn’t touch” America’s Treasury securities with a “10-foot pole”. But JP Morgan itself is likely buying the same Treasuries hand-over-fist! Why the disconnect? Politics? Malice? Or just bad economics?
[Emil’s Summary] In the middle of the 17th century, Athanasius Kircher — “one of Europe’s most successful scholars” — published “Egyptian Oedipus”, a magisterial three-volume folio on Egyptology that “presented Latin translations of hieroglyphic inscriptions”. The three-tome folio of ornate illustrations and diagrams was the product of “more than two decades of toil”; it sourced Arabic, Aramaic, Coptic, Ethiopian, Greek, Latin, Oriental and Samaritan texts. Kircher had illustrated “mummies, sarcophagi, Canopic jars, sphinxes” as well as “almost every hieroglyphic inscription known to Europeans” and translated them “character by character, into Latin prose.” It was wholly and “utterly mistaken”.
In the late 19th century, William F. Warren was “one of the outstanding figures” of education, noted his 1929 New York Times obituary. He was a charter member of both the New England Conservatory of Music and Wellesley College. He spent 45 years at Boston University, including three decades as president during which a number of progressive firsts occurred, such as America’s very first female PhD. He authored eight books, including “Paradise Found” in which, drawing on his knowledge of “the great epic folklore of the Hindus, the Celts, the Chinese, the Persians”, and footnoting in French, German and Greek, “he arrived at the inevitable conclusion: the Garden of Eden is at the North Pole.”
Are we, in the early 21st century, free of such erroneous scholarship? Was then a superstitious past and now a scientific present? If our scholarly leaders were presented with evidence, if they had inside information, if they were imbued with power to compel actors to share data would they goal-seek a result, like Kircher and Warren? In Part 1 of Episode 40 Jeff Snider reads through official Federal Reserve emails covering the final 90-some days of Lehman Brothers’ existence. It turns out our scholars are human too.
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00:05 Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity
03:42 In 2018, why did Jamie Dimon say Treasuries would fall? Was it monetary? Political?
05:23 Dimon is America’s best bank executive. Does that mean he knows shadow banking?
07:28 What is the Z1 Report / Flow of Funds / Financial Accounts say about American banking?
09:24 Might this be the most important chart shown by Making Sense in 2020?
14:55 M1, M2 and M3 measures of money surged in 2020, the Z1 Report helps explain why that is
17:20 Bank assets increased between 2019 and Q3 2020, but how and where was this increase?
19:48 Consumer loans did not increase. So, then was it government credit? US Treasuries?
Inflation HyZ1teria #2: https://bit.ly/3r41Gu2
(CNBC) Jamie Dimon says he wouldn’t touch Treasuries: https://cnb.cx/37t1mNM
Alhambra Investments Blog: https://bit.ly/2VIC2wW
RealClear Markets Essays: https://bit.ly/38tL5a7