Involving: an overreaction to some meeting minutes, a leap of what-I-would-begrudgingly-call logic, and some French socialist scandal.

Good morning

The headlines:

  1. Federal Reserve minutes.

    Link: who reads them?

    The release of the minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting reveal “a lack of unified voice” – which has the general investing public scrambling to let their stock prices slump.

    Honestly – the market can be really stupid sometimes. It’s either that, or the journalist that wrote this article has a very loose understanding of causality. You know – in the sense that a day’s drop in the S&P 500 could be explained by plenty of companies in that index having a bad news day, rather than it being “OMG – board minutes released, someone objected, MUST BE why stocks in gen. slumped!”.

    That aside: I spent some of my morning skimming through the minutes (here’s the link if you’d like to be bored for half an hour), and the offensive portions are round about page 13. Where a few people argued about whether further asset purchases should continue at their current rate, or whether the quantitative easing program should vary its pace based on the economic data. All of which is sensible.

    And all of which should be positive. There doesn’t need to be a uniform view. In fact – a bit of disagreement demonstrates that at least they’re not unthinking parrots repeating “Whatever Bernanke says; Whatever Bernanke says” over and over ad plenty of nauseam.

    Everyone. Needs to calm down.

  2. Hollande and the Life Insurance Policies.

    Link: “Allons-y”

    While we’re on the topic of general tomfoolishness…

    The chairman of the French Building Federation would like the French insurance companies to use their domestic life insurance policy cash pile (all €1.4 trillion) to stimulate the french housing market.

    And he’s asking Hollande to twist their arm.

    To paraphrase: he would like Hollande to take taxpayer money and put it into an investment (residential housing) that would earn less than other investments (like commercial property). So this is a tax, is what we’re saying. Redistributing wealth from the life policyholders to the workers in the French housing market.

    And/or robbing the pensioners. Who are, after all, those most likely to cash in their life policies. To, you know, live.

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.