Tag Archive: Federal Reserve

Evolving Thoughts on Inflation

In early 2005, Greenspan said that the fact that long-term rates were lower despite the Fed's campaign to raise short-term rates was a "conundrum." Many rushed to offer the Fed Chair an explanation of the conundrum, which given past cycles may not have been such an enigma in the first place.

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Why The Fed’s Balance Sheet Reduction Is As Irrelevant As Its Expansion

The FOMC is widely expected to vote in favor of reducing the system’s balance sheet this week. The possibility has been called historic and momentous, though it may be for reasons that aren’t very kind to these central bankers. Having started to swell almost ten years ago, it’s a big deal only in that after so much time here they still are having these kinds of discussions.

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: As Good As It Gets

The incoming economic data hasn’t changed its tone all that much in the last several years. The US economy is growing but more slowly than it once did and we hope it does again. It is frustrating for economic bulls and bears, never fully satisfying either. Probably more important is the frustration of the average American, a dissatisfaction with the status quo that permeates the national debate. The housing bubble papered over the annoying lack of...

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Fed’s Asset Bubbles Now At The Mercy Of The Rest Of The World’s Central Bankers

"Like watching paint dry," is how The Fed describes the beginning of the end of its experiment with massively inflating its balance sheet to save the world. As former fund manager Richard Breslow notes, however, Yellen's decision today means the risk-suppression boot is on the other foot (or feet) of The SNB, The ECB, and The BoJ; as he writes, "have no fear, The SNB knows what it's doing."

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The CPI Comes Home

There seems to be an intense if at times acrimonious debate raging inside the Federal Reserve right now. The differences go down to its very core philosophies. Just over a week ago, Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer abruptly resigned from the Board of Governors even though many believed he was a possible candidate to replace Chairman Yellen at the end of her term next year. His letter of resignation only cited “personal reasons.”

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The JOLTS of Drugs

Princeton University economist Alan Krueger recently published and presented his paper for Brookings on the opioid crisis and its genesis. Having been declared a national emergency, there are as many economic as well as health issues related to the tragedy. Economists especially those at the Federal Reserve are keen to see this drug abuse as socio-demographic in nature so as to be absolved from failing in their primary task should it be found...

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US Export/Import: ‘Something’ Is Still Out There

In January 2016, just as the wave of “global turmoil” was cresting on domestic as well as foreign shores, retired Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was giving a series of lectures for the IMF. His topic wasn’t really the so-called taper tantrum of 2013 but it really was. Even ideologically blinded economists like Bernanke could see how one might have followed the other; the roots of 2016 in 2013.

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FX Weekly Preview: Three Central Banks Dominate the Week Ahead

Following strong Q2 GDP figures, risk is that Bank of Canada's rate hike anticipated for October is brought forward. ECB's guidance to that it will have to extend its purchases into next year will continue to evolve. Among Fed officials speaking ahead of the blackout period, Brainard and Dudley's comments are the most important.

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Currency Risk That Isn’t About Exchange Values (Eurodollar University)

This week the Bureau of Economic Analysis will release updated estimates for Q2 GDP as well as Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) and Personal Incomes for July. Accompanying those latter two accounts is the currently preferred inflation standard for the US economy. The PCE Deflator finally hit 2% and in two consecutive months, after revisions, earlier this year.

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Two Overlooked Takeaways from Draghi at Jackson Hole

The consensus narrative from the Jackson Hole Symposium was the Yellen and Draghi used their speeches to argue against dismantling financial regulation and the drift toward protectionism. Many cast this as a push against US President Trump, but this may be too narrow understanding.

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How will Yellen Address Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy?

Yellen has identified two challenges regarding the US labor market, the opioid epidemic and women participation in the labor force. The topic of the Jackson Hole gathering lends itself more to a discussion of these issues than the nuances of monetary policy. Dynamic world growth needs a dynamic US economy, and that requires more serious thinking about these socio-economic and political issues.

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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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Real GDP: The Staggering Costs

How do we measure what has been lost over the last ten years? There is no single way to calculate it, let alone a correct solution. There are so many sides to an economy that choosing one risks overstating that facet at the expense of another. It’s somewhat of an impossible task already given the staggering dimensions.

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SNB Balance Sheet, Markets and Economy: As Good As It Gets?

Late 2014/early 2015 will perhaps be the closest to a real recovery from the Great “Recession” we shall see in this cycle.  Q1 2015 marked the peak year over year growth rate of GDP in this recovery at 3.76%. That rate compares quite unfavorably with even the feeble post dot com crash recovery high of 4.41% in Q1 2004.

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FX Weekly Preview: Moving Toward September

The technical and fundamental case for the euro has weakened. Rate differentials have begun moving back in the US favor. France's Macron and Japan's Abe have sunk in the polls lower than Trump.

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Global Stocks Rise On “Growth Optimism”, Ignore Political Turmoil; Dollar, Oil Creep Higher

S&P futures rose 0.1% on the last trading day of the month, trailing European and Asian markets boosted by China’s July Mfg. PMI, which despite declining from from 51.7 to 51.4, and missing expecations  of 51.5, saw the construction index rise to its highest level since December 13, sending Chinese iron ore futures surging and … Continue reading »

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FOMC Sticks to Script: Balance Sheet Unwind to Begin “Relatively Soon” and USD Retreats

Little new in FOMC statement. Seems consistent with a Sept announcement to begin reducing the balance sheet in Oct. USD sold off as if reflecting sentiment held in bay until the statement was out of the way.

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FX Daily, July 26: Quiet Fed Day without Yellen

By definition, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting is the highlight of the day. Without a press conference, and following last month's rate hike, there is practically no chance of a new policy initiative either on the balance sheet or the Fed funds target.

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FX Weekly Preview: Don’t Be Confused by the Facts or Why Neither the Data nor the Fed Will Alter Market Trends

FOMC is the highlight of the week. Early look at July inflation in Europe may see less pressure. Overall household consumption in Japan is rising, helped by robust labor market, but little new price pressures. The data this week is expected to confirm what many investors have come to assume.

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Fighting inflation with FX, a real traders market

The much anticipated document (press release and link to full document) released by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the Trump administration aimed to reduce the U.S. trade deficit by improving access for U.S. goods exported to Canada and Mexico and contained the list of negotiating objectives for talks that are expected to begin in one month.

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