Tag Archive: jay powell

Peak Inflation (not what you think)

For once, I find myself in agreement with a mainstream article published over at Bloomberg. Notable Fed supporters without fail, this one maybe represents a change in tone. Perhaps the cheerleaders are feeling the heat and are seeking Jay Powell’s exit for him?

Read More »

Who’s Playing Puppetmaster, And Who Is Master of Puppets

Cue up the old VHS tapes of Bill Clinton. The former President was renowned for displaying, anyway, great empathy. He famously said in October 1992, weeks before the election that would bring him to the White House, “I feel your pain.”What pain? As Clinton’s chief political advisor later clarified, “it’s the economy stupid.”

Read More »

China Then Europe Then…

This is the difference, though in the end it only amounts to a matter of timing. When pressed (very modestly) on the slow pace of the ECB’s “inflation” “fighting” (theater) campaign, its President, Christine Lagarde, once again demonstrated her willingness to be patient if not cautious.

Read More »

Media Attention All Over FOMC, Market Attention Totally Elsewhere

The Federal Reserve did something today, or actually announced today that it will do something as of tomorrow. And since we’re all conditioned to believe this is the biggest thing ever, I’ll have to add my own $0.02 (in eurodollars, of course, can’t be bank reserves) frustratingly contributing to the very ritual I’m committed to seeing end.We shouldn’t care much about the Fed.

Read More »

Another One Inverts, The Retching Cat Reaches Treasuries

As Alan Greenspan’s rate hikes closed in, longer-term Treasury yields were forced upward as the flattening yield curve left no more room for their blatant defiance. By mid-2005, though, the market wasn’t ready to fully price the downside risks which had already led to that worrisome curve shape (very flat). While all sorts of bad potential could be reasonably surmised, none of it seemed imminent or definite.

Read More »

Consumer Prices And The Historical Pain(s)

The 1947-48 experience was truly painful, maybe even terrifying. The US and Europe had just come out of a decade when the worst deflationary consequences were so widespread that the period immediately following quickly erupted into the worst conflagration in human history.

Read More »

Houston, We Have An Oil (and inventory) Problem

If only, like in the aftermath of the Apollo 13 explosion, we could just radio Houston to get started in figuring out just the way out of our fix. Mission Control would certainly buzz all the right people with the right stuff, summoning the best engineers and scientists from their quiet divans to the frenzied and dangerous work ahead.

Read More »

For The Fed, None Of These Details Will Matter

Most people have the impression that these various payroll and employment reports just go into the raw data and count up the number of payrolls and how many Americans are employed. Perhaps the BLS taps the IRS database as fellow feds, or ADP as a private company in the same data business of employment just tallies how many payrolls it processes as the largest provider of back-office labor services.That’s just not how it works, though. In fact,...

Read More »

The Red Warning

Now it’s the Russian’s fault. Belligerence surrounding Donbas and Ukraine, raw materials and energy supplies to Europe threatened by Putin’s coiled bear. Why wouldn’t markets grow worried?There’s always a reason why we shouldn’t take these things seriously, or quickly dismiss them out of hand as the temporary product of whichever political fear-of-the-day.

Read More »

After Today’s FOMC, Yield Curve Is Already As Flat As It Was In Mar ’18 **Without A Single Rate Hike Yet**

It’s not hard to reason why there continues to be this conflict of interest (rates). On the one hand, impacting the short end of the yield curve, the unemployment rate has taken a tight grip on the FOMC’s limited imagination. The rate hikes are coming and the markets like all mainstream commentary agree that as it stands there’s nothing on the horizon to stop Jay Powell’s hawkishness.

Read More »

The Hawks Circle Here, The Doves Win There

We’ve been here before, near exactly here. On this side of the Pacific Ocean, in the US particularly the situation was said to be just grand. The economy was responding nicely to QE’s 3 and 4 (yes, there were four of them by that point), Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke had said in the middle of 2013 it was becoming more than enough, creating for him and the FOMC coveted breathing space so as to begin tapering both of those ongoing programs.A...

Read More »

Taper Discretion Means Not Loving Payrolls Anymore

When Alan Greenspan went back to Stanford University in September 1997, his reputation was by then well-established. Even as he had shocked the world only nine months earlier with “irrational exuberance”, the theme of his earlier speech hadn’t actually been about stocks; it was all about money.The “maestro” would revisit that subject repeatedly especially in the late nineties, and it was again his topic in California early Autumn ’97.

Read More »

As The Fed Tapers: What If More Rapid (published) Wage Increases Are Actually Evidence of *Deflationary* Conditions?

Since the Federal Reserve is not in the money business, their recent hawkish shift toward an increasingly anti-inflationary stance is a twisted and convoluted case of subjective interpretation.

Read More »

The Curve Is Missing Something Big

What would it look like if the Treasury market was forced into a cross between 2013 and 2018? I think it might be something like late 2021. Before getting to that, however, we have to get through the business of decoding the yield curve since Economics and the financial media have done such a thorough job of getting it entirely wrong (see: Greenspan below).

Read More »

Taper *Without* Tantrum

Whomever actually coined the term “taper”, using it in the context of Federal Reserve QE for the first time, it wasn’t actually Ben Bernanke. On May 22, 2013, the central bank’s Chairman sat in front of Congressman Kevin Brady and used the phrase “step down in our pace of purchases.” No good, at least from the perspective of a media-driven need for a snappy one-word summary.

Read More »

Lower Yields And (fewer) Bills

Back on February 23, Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell stopped by (in a virtual, Zoom sense) the Senate Banking Committee to testify as required by law. In the Q&A portion, he was asked the following by Montana’s Senator Steve Daines.

Read More »

If the Fed’s Not In Consumer Prices, Then How About Producer Prices?

It’s not just that there isn’t much inflation evident in consumer prices. Rather, it’s a pretty big deal given the deluge of so much “money printing” this year, begun three-quarters of a year before, that consumer prices are increasing at some of the slowest rates in the data.

Read More »

Consumers, Too; (Un)Confident To Re-engage

There is a lot of evidence which shows some basis for expectations-based monetary policy. Much of what becomes a recession or worse is due to the psychological impacts upon businesses (who invest and hire) as well as workers being consumers (who earn and then spend).

Read More »

Where Is It, Chairman Powell?

Where is it, Chairman Powell? After spending months deliberately hyping a “flood” of digital money printing, and then unleashing average inflation targeting making Americans believe the central bank will be wickedly irresponsible when it comes to consumer prices, the evidence portrays a very different set of circumstance.

Read More »

What’s Going On, And Why Late August?

This isn’t about COVID. It’s been building since the end of August, a shift in mood, perception, and reality that began turning things several months before even then. With markets fickle yet again, a lot today, what’s going on here?

Read More »