Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 04-19-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • Lee Kuan Yew said America will remain the world’s dominant power in the 21st century only if it is the dominant Pacific power.
  • Global stability will be shaped by how the US handles China.
  • Graham Allison at Harvard said that since 1500, war resulted in 11 of the 15 cases where a transition of power took place.
  • China is the second-largest economy, but first when measured by purchasing power parity: yet its IMF voting share is only equivalent to that of Holland and Belgium combined.
  • Washington should turn its energies, attentions, and effort to Asia.
  • Turkey will be an illiberal democracy for the foreseeable future. It is one of the strictest Internet sensors in the world and President Erdogan has called social media the worst menace to society. Erdogan has built a palace which is >30 times the size of the White House.

Henry Paulson said:

  • China will overtake the US as the world’s largest economy. China now builds more than half of the buildings on earth, consumes half the cement, half the coal, half the steel.
  • Xi Jinping wants and needs a good relationship with the US.
  • The US economy is growing but not quickly enough and with tremendous income disparity.
  • The greatest threat to US long-term pre-eminence is not China but our political inability to strengthen and revitalize our economy and competitiveness.

Larry Summers said:

  • The US economy is growing, but not creating jobs, while productivity is not rising anywhere near levels in the past. The cause is a global phenomenon of the industrial world, namely a surplus of savings due to increasing inequality, developing countries accumulating reserves, and people paying down debt versus much less demand and investment.
  • Despite record low interest rates and near-high non-employment we are investing less in infrastructure than in any time since WWII on a net basis.
  • Borrowing money at 1% or less on average to finance the federal government is not the real problem; which is not making investments that offer very high rates of return for our children – instead, we are deferring maintenance and leaving them with a large liability.
  • The US should raise the minimum wage and allow unions a way to organize, which has been unavailable due to the enforcement, or not, of labor laws for the last quarter century.
  • The fundamental objective should be to raise middle-class incomes.
  • The US federal deficit has gone from 11% of GDP to below 3% of GDP, lower relative to the economy than the average over the last 40 years.

Musta Akyol said power has corrupted the ruling party in Turkey – certainties to win the upcoming election – though President Erdogan is no Putin and Turkey will not impose Sharia law and become Saudi Arabia any time soon.

David Brooks at The New York Times said:

  • Marco Rubio is the best of the Republican presidential candidates – creative and intellectually smart. Scott Walker is very practical and very sharp and, unlike all of his competitors, was a governor.
  • We underestimate international trends and electoral tastes. Tough people are winning, including Netanyahu and Merkel.
  • 53 percent of the electorate will probably be women.
  • Politicians who have a deep inner voice, like Abraham Lincoln, are few. Most are busy all the time, lack an inner voice, and are all me, me, me.  The age we live in selects out those with an inner life.

Jeffrey Sachs said:

  • 2015 is our last chance to act on climate change. The earth is warming – 2014 was the hottest year in instrument record – and the climate is becoming more unstable.
  • The population of 800 million people in 1750 has increased to over 7 billion today, while each person now uses ten times the resources.
  • Technology can accelerate the disaster or solve it. While solar is clean and much less expensive, the fossil fuel industry is now much more productive.
  • If China and India continue to completely depend on coal then it does not matter what you and I do.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript

at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1504/19/fzgps.01.html

Buffett Says U.S. to Approach, Not Cross, Point of Idiocy – Bloomberg 10-03-13

Salient to Investors:

Warren Buffett said:

  • Congress will resolve the US debt ceiling stalemate before it seriously harms the country.
  • One second beyond the debt limit would not do us in, but if it goes a year beyond, that would be unbelievable.
  • US government bonds carry ‘the full faith and credit of the US, not ‘the full faith and credit of the US unless one political party is unhappy about some extraneous issue.’

Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs said Congress should not use the US debt ceiling for political goals.

Henry Paulson said Congress would resolve the dispute before too much damage is done to the country – “They may threaten to take mother hostage, but will never hurt her.

Read the full article at  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-03/buffett-says-congress-to-approach-point-of-idiocy-not-cross-it.html

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Henry Paulson Sees Volatility, Pain as Fed Programs Phased Out – Bloomberg 06-27-13

Salient to Investors:

Henry Paulson at the Paulson Institute said:

  • Phasing out QE will cause market volatility and pain because there is never a neat, elegant solution that is totally painless or without a cost to a big, ugly problem – some market participants are addicted to these abnormally low interest rates.
  • The US economy needs to grow faster than 2 percent and we need to deal with the deficit, and te only way you’re going to do that is bipartisan compromise.
  • China is willing to tolerate slower growth while it fixes its financial system, and the Chinese is now so big and complex that it is difficult to manage with this combination of administrative means and market means.
  • China’s leaders are committed to moving more toward markets and less toward top-down planning.
  • The credibility of Chinese economic statistics has always been an issue, and the government is doing everything they can to get more accurate numbers.

Read the full article at  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-27/consumer-sentiment-in-u-s-declines-from-six-year-high.html

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Paulson Says Harm to U.S. From Europe Crisis is Minimal – Bloomberg 06-19-12

Salient to Investors:

Henry Paulson at the University of Chicago said Europe will drag on but eventually stabilize and avoid catastrophe. Europeans are committed to monetary union, but isn’t sustainable without some political union.

Paulson said government policies is more to blame than banks because it encourages people to save too little and borrow too much. The root causes of financial crises is almost always failed government policies – more regulation is never enough to save us because you’re never going to uncover all the problems in advance.


Paulson predicts the U.S. will emerge relatively unharmed from the European debt crisis, but growth won’t be enough to make a dent in employment. 

Read the full article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-19/paulson-says-harm-to-u-s-from-europe-crisis-is-minimal.html