Tag Archive: Featured

The History and Structure of the Federal Reserve System

[This article is part of the Understanding Money Mechanics series, by Robert P. Murphy. The series will be published as a book in late 2020.] This chapter will provide a brief sketch of the historical context in which the Federal Reserve was founded, summarize some of the major changes to the Fed’s institutional structure and mandate over the years, and end with a snapshot of the Fed’s current governing structure.

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Instability Rising: Why 2020 Will Be Different

In 2020, increasing monetary and fiscal stimulus will be the equivalent of spraying gasoline on a fire to extinguish it. Economically, the 11 years since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09 have been one relatively coherent era of modest growth, rising wealth/income inequality and coordinated central bank stimulus every time a crisis threatened to disrupt the domestic or global economy.

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Clarida Picks Up Some Data

I should know better than to make declarative all-or-none statements like this. I said there isn’t any data which comports with the idea of a global turnaround, this shakeup in sentiment which since early September has gone right from one extreme to the other. Recession fears predominated in summer only to be (rather easily) replaced by near euphoria (again).

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FX Daily, January 15: Phase 1 Trade Deal Shifts Terrain of US-China Rivalry

News that US tariffs on China will remain until through at least the November US election and continued US attempts to stymie China (e.g., more curbs on Huawei under consideration and stepped up efforts to force it to cut subsidies to business) have taken some momentum from the push into risk assets. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index snapped a four-day advance today, with only Australian equities among the large regional markets able to sustain upticks. 

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EUR/CHF: Franc at 33-month high five years after SNB removed the cap

EUR/CHF is trading at 33-month lows near 1.0759. The US added Switzerland to its current manipulators' list. The SNB removed the cap on the euro on Jan. 15, 2015. Five years after the Swiss National Bank (SNB) shocked the financial markets by abandoning the euro cap, the Swiss Franc is trading at 33-month highs against the single currency. 

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US places Switzerland on trade ‘watch list’

The US Treasury Department has put Switzerland back on a biannual list of countries that are under observation because of large trade surpluses with the United States. Switzerland was previously included on the Monitoring List between October 2016 and October 2018, “having a material current account surplus and engaged in persistent, one-sided intervention in the foreign exchange market”.

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Signatures collected for vote on tax deduction for parents

Opponents of a proposal to increase tax deductions for parents have succeeded in collecting enough signatures to force a referendum on the subject. On Tuesday the leftwing Social Democratic Party submitted the necessary signatures required to trigger a referendum. The party is opposed to a “tax bonus for rich parents” and collected 60,000 signatures in two-and-a-half months to force a nationwide vote on the reform, approved by...

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The Many Ways Governments Create Monopolies

[From Power and Market, Chapter 3.] Instead of making the product prohibition absolute, the government may prohibit production and sale except by a certain firm or firms. These firms are then specially privileged by the government to engage in a line of production, and therefore this type of prohibition is a grant of special privilege. If the grant is to one person or firm, it is a monopoly grant; if to several persons or firms, it is a...

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Very Rough Shape, And That’s With The Payroll Data We Have Now

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has begun the process of updating its annual benchmarks. Actually, the process began last year and what’s happening now is that the government is releasing its findings to the public. Up first is the Household Survey, the less-watched, more volatile measure which comes at employment from the other direction. As the name implies, the BLS asks households who in them is working whereas the more closely scrutinized...

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Some Thoughts on the Latest Treasury FX Report

The US Treasury’s latest “Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States” report no longer considers China a currency manipulator. The underlying message is that the Trump administration will continue to use an ad hoc “carrot and stick” approach to improve US access to the domestic markets of its major trading partners.

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Will a Credit Crisis Threaten Boris’s 2020 Brexit Plans?

Boris and the Conservatives won the General Election with a very good majority. In truth, opposition parties stood little chance of success against the Tory strategists, who controlled the narrative despite a hostile media. At the centre of their slick operation was Dominic Cummings, who masterminded the Brexit leave vote, winning the referendum against all the betting in 2016.

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The Secret History Of The Banking Crisis

Accounts of the financial crisis leave out the story of the secretive deals between banks that kept the show on the road. How long can the system be propped up for? It is a decade since the first tremors of what would become the Great Financial Crisis began to convulse global markets. Across the world from China and South Korea, to Ukraine, Greece, Brexit Britain and Trump’s America it has shaken our economy, our society and latterly our politics.

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100 Years Ago, Russian Stocks Had A Very Bad Day

Russia Equity Index to 1900
In recent months, Ray Dalio seems to be undergoing a deep midlife and identity crisis, which has not only led to dramatic recent management changes at the world's largest hedge fund, Bridgewater, but also resulted in some fairly spectacular cognitive dissonance, as Dalio first praised, then slammed, president Trump.

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If It Didn’t Abandon The Gold Standard, U.S. Empire Would Have Collapsed…

The U.S. will never go back on a gold standard. The notion that a U.S. Dollar backed by gold would solve our financial problems is pure folly. Why? Because, if the U.S. Empire didn’t abandon the gold standard in 1971, it would have collapsed decades ago. Unfortunately, some of the top experts in the precious metals community continue to suggest that revaluing gold much higher, to say…. $15,000-$50,000 an ounce, would bring confidence back into the...

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Sound Money and Your Personal Finances

Sound money principles can serve to help grow the economy and restrain government. The political class, however, doesn’t particularly want to restrain itself. Washington, D.C. is addicted to the easy money policies that have enabled $20 trillion in national debt accumulation and tens of trillions more in unfunded liabilities.

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200 Russian Propaganda Sites, or simply alternative media?

The following is the list of "Russian Propaganda sites", as published by PropOrNot. Several articles by the Washington Post refer to this list. Many sites on that list are based on libertarian ideas and Austrian economics. Those are in favor of a free market economy, they reject central banks and the establishment. The rejection of the U.S. establishment is possibly the only point that are in common with Putin.

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Italian Euro Exit: Why it Might Come in some Years and Why it Will Help the Euro Zone and Italy

Italy has three options: 1. exit the euro zone and devalue the currency; 2. remain in the euro zone and devalue salaries. 3. go for Japan-like decades-long slow growth with stagnating wages, but also with falling inflation and (positive news!) falling bond yields.

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