Dollar Weakness

Here’s another fun quote, via the NY Sun:

"The last time the dollar was this low, Jimi Hendrix was on tour," the director of equity research at Fusion IQ, Barry Ritholtz, said.

Now, I find this quite intriguing.

Why? Well, any interview I do with print media runs pretty much the same way. I give a short answer to the immediate question, than some background for context (usually random and long-winded babbling). I always slip something in that amuses me, which almost never gets used.

Until lately. These quips — note the musical theme — seem to be increasingly finding their way into print. And I wonder why. I do the same interview pretty much each time; Missus BP will assure you that I am no wittier than before.

Has the media simply tired of boring dry discussions? Is it a bit of recessionary gallows humor? Or perhaps the economic beat reporters are younger, of the generation who grew up in an era of sarcasm and ironic detachment and The Daily Show?

Regardless, I find it an intriguing change . . .


Quote of the day: Stagflation & the 1970s–6.html

Dollar Plunges as Bernanke Goes to Hill
NY Sun, February 27, 20

Jimi Hendrix Official Site
Wikipedia entry

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. zero529 commented on Feb 27

    It’s the media showing that it’s hip to be bear

  2. Neal commented on Feb 27

    There’s risk in becoming the new Sanjaya.

    By the way, I think the recent affirmation of bond insurers was the last straw for the dollar.

    The rating action was a clear indication that the corporate/governmental lipstick application will continue until the pig dies. With all of that lipstick smeared on the lips there is no way to see the blood trickling from the mouth of the pig.

    The consensus is is that the US financial world problems are far worse than the rest of the worlds.

    Swine flu, anyone?

  3. Joe Klein’s conscience commented on Feb 27

    Regardless of the reason, I think it is great. Even if you aren’t a fan, most everyone knows when Hendrix was alive. So it puts things in a clear perspective(though scary). Everyone can relate to it.

  4. dukeb commented on Feb 27

    Like you imply, there’s now a need to inject some flavor into stories that have now been rehashed to death. Consider yourself a weapon of last resort. And it is very telling, actually. Probably also plays a part in yesterdays positive price action despite all the negative “news” which is just no longer news to us.

  5. Pool Shark commented on Feb 27

    Now I know why the US Mint hasn’t eliminated the penny yet…

    They intend to replace the penny with the dollar.

  6. bluestatedon commented on Feb 27

    While Roubini might say we could be headed for a Manic Depression, Lawrence Yun is busy making Castles Made of Sand. When Citigroup is asked about the value of its bad loans, all it says is Ain’t No Telling. If 6 Was 9 is Moody’s approach to bond insurer valuation, and all the dollar can say is You Got Me Floatin’.

  7. Whammer commented on Feb 27

    Manic Depression is a frustrating mess…..

  8. JustinTheSkeptic commented on Feb 27

    This argument that there is “no wage inflation is bogus.” We are getting wage inflation through lower productivity. You can’t have it both ways Bulls – if productivity gains help keep wage inflation from happening, then the inverse – lowering productivity helps push-up wage inflation. And the U.S. is heading toward some of the worse productivity since aka – the 70’s…

  9. Loren Steffy commented on Feb 27

    BizLinks | 2.27.08

    Oil hits a high; some in U.S. see $4 gas by spring European Union fines Microsoft a record $1.3 billion –for “unreasonable prices.” Firms Plan Refinery Partnership ($) A Regional Recession That Saves The Country? The Politics of Trade…

  10. Neal commented on Feb 27

    You’ll never see “real” productivity numbers. Productivity is massively skewed by off-shoring of work, whereby the same amount of work done by 100 US employees is now done by 4 US workers and 200 foreign workers. Massive apparent increase in productivity by US employees result because the same number of widgets is now being “made” by a much smaller number of US workers.

  11. Shane commented on Feb 27

    Ah yes . . . dollar lower and now of all times Bernanke is worried about inflation per CNN. Central Bankers you idiots . . . hmm if you drop interest and try and juice the economy of coarse you’ll get higher inflation. What you really mean Bernanke is that “well we’ve tried to prop up the housing markets and stocks, but the money just isn’t flowing to those markets”

    Inflation in housing good.
    Inflation in stocks good.
    Inflation in commodities bad.

    Morons run this country.

  12. JL commented on Feb 27

    “Has the media simply tired of boring dry discussions?”

    No, I think it’s more a matter of media (print, media, radio, etc) is more and more about entertainment. They’ll print/broadcast anything (quote/statement/”funny fact”) they can latch on to rather providing true insight and analysis. This combined with the fact that media companies are now, more than ever, filled with weak and incompetent ass-kisser. Content means nothing these days.

  13. Stuart commented on Feb 27

    “Treasury raised an astonishing $76 billion in new funds that settle this Thursday and Monday. They have gone extremely heavily into the cash management and short term bill market to do so. That means lots of mature and roll pressure, and dependency on foreign central banks to be there. In the last three weeks the UST has raised $141 billion in new money, far above it’s recent projections.”

    hat tip: wallstreet examiner.

    That’s why the dollar is going down. We’re getting buried in new treasuries hitting the market. Just too much supply.

  14. john jansen commented on Feb 27

    I would sum it all up with a line from the Buffal Springfield……somethings happening here and what it is aint exactly clear…….

  15. Pat G. commented on Feb 27

    I saw Hendrix at Woodstock. I guess that’s dating myself. Oh, well. He did a variation on the Star Spangled Banner. It was great! He really could play the guitar.

  16. Pat G. commented on Feb 27

    I hope everyone is watching Ron Paul drill Bernanke right now.

  17. Pat G. commented on Feb 27

    Ron Paul said that M3 was up 42% during the last two years.

  18. Michael Schumacher commented on Feb 27

    why bother to watch…….

    He’ll just sit there and say what they all want to hear and then do the exact opposite.

    Inflation hawk my ass……..

    He needs to loose his in order for reality to drive policy instead of re-election.


  19. Eric commented on Feb 27

    What exactly do you mean by “lately”, Barry? Whatever it is that changed must have changed somewhere between before “lately” and after “lately”. One candidate might be the global financial/economic situation: as the atmosphere waxes gloom-and-doomy, people rediscover their need for comic relief, and the journalists are in tune with that. They are probably getting a bit scared themselves, watching as the crazy rants grow more plausible by the hour!

    In a strong sense, it is a reversal of business-as-usual, at least at it exists in the U.S., namely: people enjoying good times have an instinct for things that scare them, get their adrenalin a-pumpin’, whether its horror flics, the local news or Nouriel Roubini. And the media makes most of its money by taking advantage of that instinct to capture eyeballs or whatever they call it.

  20. E commented on Feb 27

    To add to what Eric said, the reason your witty quips find their way into news articles is the same reason FoxNews breaks in to show any car chase. In fact, it also ties in to your earlier post, about online ad revenues. There is hypercompetition for our attention. Advertisers dearly want to reach us. The media is just a vehicle.

  21. Christopher Laudani commented on Feb 27


    The last time the S&P 500 was at this level, Britney wore panties.

  22. Big E commented on Feb 27

    There was a really interesting article in BusinessWeek this past summer on the whole productivity aspect. I can’t find a link to the original article, but I can find a couple of references to it:

    Something really interesting to consider.. the big thing that would make sense to me is it would “mask” inflation, inflation which everyone saw but was not being reported…

  23. Diarmuid commented on Feb 27

    The last time the pound was this low, BB King as starting his first tour

  24. Whammer commented on Feb 27

    Chris Laudani — come on down, we have a winner!!!!

  25. Robert commented on Feb 27

    Barry, in a world full of bullshit, it is inevitable that a voice of reason will rise in popularity. Keep up the objectively good work.

  26. David commented on Feb 27

    Barry, I was in grade school, the Vietnam war was big and the economy was in high gear. Taxes, War, Spending, and Debt were the big issues. Times don’t change, we just get older. The Fed always wins, and the dollar can only go so low, before inflation kicks in.
    “O, call back yesterday, bid time return.”
    William Shakespeare

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