Friday, April 15, 2011

I am so saving this one...

The always quotable Thomas Hoenig is still masterfully keeping his prediction record unblemished by accuracy. Today he coughs up this gem:

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig said that an increase in interest rates could trigger a 33 percent decline in the price of agricultural land.“If interest rates rise we could lose a third of the value of that land in a very short time,” Hoenig said today in a speech in West LafayetteIndiana.Land prices are possibly being driven by “inflationary impulses,” and “it’s also driven by interest rates” at unusually low levels, he said in a lecture for the Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics.Prices for irrigated cropland during the fourth quarter of last year rose 14.8 percent in parts of the seven states in the Kansas City Fed region from a year earlier, the bank said in a February report. The increase was 12.9 percent for non-irrigated land. A majority of rural bankers surveyed by the regional bank said land values would climb in the next few months.Hoenig, speaking later in his presentation, reiterated his view that the Fed should raise the benchmark interest rate to 1 percent and then pause. He was the lone dissenter from every Fed meeting in 2010 and has repeatedly said the Fed’s near-zero interest rates and record monetary stimulus could lead to instability in financial markets and the broad economy. Hoenig plans to retire from the central bank in October,High land prices are “perhaps where they’re supposed to be. I doubt it,” he said, noting that interest rates on loans to purchase agricultural land are far below the longer-run average of 7 percent to 7.5 percent. [More]
It does make you wonder about the FRB whenever this guy opens his mouth. Frankly, I think he just enjoys the notoriety, but even if sincere, he has a long track record of being wrong.

Won't miss him.

But in case he's right, call me first before you sell at 67%.


Chuck said...

That's my boy! My son Josh wrote the article on Bloomberg News that you referenced.

Anonymous said...

I like Hoenig in that he still views saving money as worthy behavior even if the last 25 years have shown it to be foolish. Wish he was right.

John Phipps said...


Your comment assumes money is the superior form of wealth, something I have long since abandoned.

Money is one form of wealth IMHO, and the last 25 years have shown why others have different instinctive biases.

We like money because it is easily tabulated and compared, fungible and liquid. None of these qualities is ascendant all the time.