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“The consequences of quantitatively constructed portfolios predicated on wishful thinking (e.g., ‘house prices never go down’) are so recent that we will simply note that the manager who looks the present deeply in the eye already enjoys a certain margin of safety.”

Catastrophe Insured:
Cat Bonds
Published in "The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report" November 1, 2013


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Read the Introduction
to Panderer to Power

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"The Coming Collapse of the Municipal Bond Market"

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"Chairman Greenspan: A Fiat Mind for a Fiat Age"

For speaking, interview, writing, and research requests, please contact Frederick Sheehan at info@aucontrarian.com

Insights and Analysis

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Where to Invest: With Macroinvestors or Macroeconomists?

          Stanley Druckenmiller, the justly renowned investor, spoke at the Delivering Alpha conference on Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Quoting Druckenmiller: "As a macro investor, my job for 30 years was to anticipate changes in the economic trends that were not expected by others - and therefore not yet reflected in securities prices. I certainly made my share of mistakes over the years, but I was fortunate enough to make outsized gains a number of times when we had different views from various central banks."

            Druckenmiller went on to discuss, among much else that deserves reading, how the Fed's emergency 1.0% fed funds rate in 2003-2004 defied conditions observed by him and his colleagues at Duquesne Capital. Where was the emergency? In short: "[W]e were confident the Fed was making a mistake, but we were much less confident in how it would manifest itself. However, our assessment by mid-2005 that the Fed was fueling an unsustainable housing Bubble, with dire repercussions for the greater economy, allowed our investors to profit handsomely as the financial crisis unfolded." - Read more

Monday, July 14, 2014
The Old Regime and the French Revolution

On this 225th anniversary of liberté, égalit́́e, and fraternité, Alexis de Tocqueville's The Old Regime and the French Revolution (L'Ancien régime et la revolution), published in 1856, is, if not as invigorating as La Marseillaise, a worthy reflection upon Bastille Day. Following are some excerpts from Chapter eight, which carries the subtitle: "How, given the facts set forth in the preceding chapters, the Revolution was a foregone conclusion":

            My object in this final chapter is to bring together some of those aspects of the old régime which were depicted piecemeal in the foregoing pages and to show how the Revolution was their natural, indeed inevitable, outcome.
- Read more

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
June 2014 - Noise

On June 18, 2014, and July 2, 2014, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen announced her bureaucracy will let inflation do its own thing. She is steadfast in her determination to meet the Fed's dual mandates under the Bernanke-Yellen dispensation, that is, she will not interfere with either the central bank-induced asset or price inflations.

A discussion of asset inflation will follow, with a quick note first about the June 18 press conference. Yellen stated: "Let me just say inflation continues to run well below our objective." This was not true. The Fed's measurement for inflation (Personal Consumption Expenditure) was 1.6% in May (1.8% in June, announced after this press conference.) By every other measure, inflation is above 2.0%. The all-items, PCE price index, published by the Dallas Fed, rose at a 2.8% annual pace in May. - Read more

Some Things Never Change
Old Insights Now Relevant

12/14/2010

Who am I? What is Money? The Fed is Here to Help.

60 MINUTES: "You've been printing money?"

BERNANKE: "Well, effectively, and we need to do that."
"60 Minutes" interview, March 15, 2009       Read more

Predictions and Advice

Frederick Sheehan is a regular contributor to Marc Faber’s The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report. Click here to read excerpts from some of Sheehan’s articles.

June 21, 2004: “[Americans] are caught in the pitiable condition of not being able to live on 1% interest; the disincentive to save has been energetically promoted with a short-term yield of microscopic content…. The flows have not been channeled towards productive enterprise but towards speculation.”

July 1, 2007: “The CDO and CLO markets have acted as both lubricant for structuring credit with no thought to tomorrow and as glue by which all asset classes have risen the past couple of years."

December 2012: “It is important to note, for all the talk of deleveraging, there has not been a single quarter when non-financial debt decreased. The government took over when consumer debt and investment bank leverage collapsed between 2007 and 2009…. [C]orporations increased borrowing by 6.2% in the third quarter…. [N]et capital investment by corporations during the quarter was negative. This is the death knell for companies and economies alike. …. Sufficient investment leads to profits. Profits generate more capital to invest. This cycle was propounded by J. Maynard Keynes: ‘It is investment, i.e., the increased production of material wealth in the shape of capital goods, which alone creates national wealth.’”

About Frederick Sheehan

Fred Sheehan

Frederick J. Sheehan Jr. is an investor, investment advisor, writer, and public speaker. He is currently working on a book about Ben Bernanke.

He is the author of Panderer to Power: The Untold Story of How Alan Greenspan Enriched Wall Street and Left a Legacy of Recession (McGraw-Hill, 2009) and co-author, with William A. Fleckenstein, of Greenspan's Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve (McGraw-Hill, 2008). He writes regularly for Marc Faber's “The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report,” most recently co-authoring with Joseph Calandro Jr. "Catastrophe Insured: Cat Bonds," (November 2013, GB&D Report). Sheehan and Calandro have designed a value-based, actively managed, catastrophe-bond strategy.

Sheehan serves as an advisor to investment firms and endowments. He is the former Director of Asset Allocation Services at John Hancock Financial Services where he set investment policy and asset allocation for institutional pension plans. For more than a decade, Sheehan wrote the monthly "Market Outlook" and quarterly "Market Review" for John Hancock clients.

Sheehan earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BS from the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.