CNBC Stock Blog

Every Stimulus Has a Silver Lining

Everyone is looking for bargains in today’s risky economy. Jim Grant, founder and editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, is confident that money-making opportunities exist. He said that bargain hunters just need to know where to look.

“It is a world of sin and sorrow, but among these troubles there are opportunities,” Grant said explaining that the value of trees and raw land is largely overlooked.

Who said money doesn’t grow on trees? One of Grant’s greener, albeit less conventional, money-making ideas is to plant a black walnut tree. “It costs 5 bucks to plant,” he said. “With proper care and watering in 30 years you will have a nice piece of wood that could fetch up to $1,000.”

Beyond trees, Grant sees opportunity in the stock market. His strategy is to look for stocks that are unreasonably priced on the upside or the downside. He says fear is overpriced in the marketplace.

“Googlecan be argued as the most valuable company in the world,” he said. “It possesses the keys to the world’s stock of knowledge and indeed the world’s stock of misconceptions selling at market laudable.”

After closing its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola in May, Google entered the smartphone hardware business to compete with Apple and Samsung Electronics.

The Internet giant reported earnings that beat expectations, but revenue fell slightly in the second quarter.

Blackstone Group is another one of Grant’s stock picks. It's got a hand in both the private-equity and debt-salvage businesses. Grant praised Blackstone for its pricing — he said Blackstone prices things as they are and not as they might be.

While Grant is optimistic about certain stocks, he disapproves of the Federal Reserve's power over the market. He's no fan of quantitative easing .

“They want to manipulate and fix,” Grant said of the Fed. “To me, it is a terrifically unhealthful way to approach our monetary affairs.” He thinks central banks should do less in order to re-establish objective value in money.

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul said recently that he would probably pick Grant as Fed chairman if he makes it to the White House. Grant said that, as Fed chairman, his first order of business would be to open the “Office of Unintended Consequences.” This office would issue reports comparing what the Fed intends to do versus what it actually achieves.

When the Fed implements easing, Grant said its strategy is to revive animal spirits in the economy. He explained that the overarching goal often fails to be achieved. “It often inflates the wrong prices, makes Greenwich, Conn., even richer, and sets us back on the progress from adjusting to the last bout of bad monetary policy,” he said.

Grant may not like the way the Fed is run, but he is confident that money-making opportunities exist in today's market. Worst-case scenario? Plant a tree.

—By’s Madeline Laskoski

Additional News: Some at Fed Are Urging Pre-emptive Stimulus

Additional Views: Why QE3 Is ‘Inevitable’


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No disclosure information was available for Jim Grant.