201806.13
2
9

Uncertainty, Or You Had One Job To Do (And It Wasn’t Dots)

As anticipated, the FOMC voted on both proposals in front of it. There should only be the one, but even routine monetary policy no longer is. Alan Greenspan’s Fed charged ahead with seventeen consecutive moves (the last few completed under Ben Bernanke) with little discussion about uncertainty in the economy (though there was, conundrums and…

201806.13
1
3

Down This Same Road Again, Only From The Other Direction This Time

The FOMC is almost certainly going to raise the federal funds corridor today. The only question is whether IOER and RRP will go up by the same amount. The issue with federal funds as an offshoot or reverberation of what really matters (offshore) should take center stage, but it won’t. Instead, the Committee will pretend…

201806.11
1
6

2018 or 2008? IOER, EFF and more Absurd Denial

Last week, it was overseas central bankers who stole the show. Many of them particularly in EM locations have had a really rough go of late, and a few in particular wanted the world to pay attention to dollars. Not any dollars, of course, as that would be far too easy. Rather, offshore “dollar” markets…

201806.08
4
1

Simple Very Complex Correlation

It’s amazing how in a world of supposedly separate, closed economies they all seem to congregate anyway toward the same events. In early 2000, the US dot-com bubble ran into its own contradictions, the rationalizations holding it together no longer so tempting to what was for years insatiable investor appetite. Not even a year later,…

201805.25
4
4

Reframing Doves And Hawks

When the minutes of the March 2018 FOMC meeting were released on April 11, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a non-voting alternate member, immediately objected to one statement contained with them. According to Bullard’s version, the notation that “all participants” agreed further rate hikes were necessary was incorrect. He was and remains opposed to…

201805.23
1
7

It’s Not The Minutes, It’s The Months and Years

It’s the kind of thing you’re supposed to overlook and not think too deeply about. Recall the basis of inflation hysteria: the economy was poised to take off and do so convincingly; that plus the ubiquitous LABOR SHORTAGE!!! meant that wages then inflation were going to break out higher; accelerating consumer prices were then to…

201805.10
Off
3

Still No Plausible Path To Hysteria

The yearlong wireless data plan nightmare is officially over. For the second month in a row, the CPI for Wireless Telephone Services, which includes any unlimited data at fixed prices, was more stable in its annual comparison. In April 2018, the index was nearly flat to April 2017; down by less than 1%. It was,…

201805.07 7

If There Was No QE, How Could There Be QT?

How big should the Fed’s balance sheet be? It’s a topic that has taken over a lot of academic discussions. Recall that before 2008 the level of bank reserves was practically nil. They didn’t play much of a role in any money market, required reserves or not (this should be a big clue). After four…

201805.03
1
6

Someone Is On Drugs, Alright

For the second straight quarter, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates US productivity growth was less than 1%. That’s not surprising given the weakening in output as measured by GDP, the data reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Productivity is the bridge between the BLS’s labor numbers and the more general economic…

201805.02
1
7

The FOMC Should Probably Cry For Argentina

Argentina was perhaps the biggest success story of “reflation.” Left for dead in global markets as the hammer of the “rising dollar” pounded down on everyone, the country elected new leadership and began taking the right steps toward modern economic integration. That’s the story, anyway. What really happened was a bit different. The country that…