janet yellen

Why Hysteria Died, In One Day

By |2018-08-01T16:02:53+00:00August 1st, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Why did inflation hysteria die? The answer is surprisingly simple. Proponents way oversold the thing. They kept claiming that the labor market, via a truly booming economy, would force the Fed’s hand. Wage growth was about to explode, therefore monetary policy couldn’t afford to be complacent. Aggressiveness was about to become Jay Powell’s go-to position. [...]

Already Back In The Red?

By |2018-06-28T17:35:33+00:00June 28th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

In July 2014, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen testified before Congress. It was the usual Humphrey-Hawkins stuff, except in this instance at that particular time there was every reason to suspect things were finally changing. The unemployment rate, in particular, was sinking like a stone dropped in a pond. Some additional economic indicators signaled perhaps [...]

Moving Past The Oily Path of Least Resistance?

By |2018-04-25T15:45:00+00:00April 25th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

On April 6, the Trump administration announced a new round of sanctions imposed upon certain Russian officials, persons, and businesses. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced their purported purpose in a letter: “The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites.” Russia’s currency, the ruble (RUB), fell sharply after the announcement as [...]

Inflation Hysteria Takes Another Big Hit

By |2018-04-11T11:58:01+00:00April 11th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

As it turns out, those “transitory” inflation factors were worth only about 25 bps on the core CPI rate. This isn’t at all surprising and was as usual entirely predictable. But when you don’t have any answers there is a lamentable tendency toward denial or deliberate evasion, even if that leads toward the ridiculous. Base [...]

Payroll Time

By |2018-04-06T13:37:15+00:00April 6th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Never get hung up on one payroll report, good or bad. The Establishment Survey series, seasonally-adjusted and statistically smoothed as much as humanly possible, is still incredibly noisy. It didn’t used to be this way, which is an important clue that “something” has changed. The lack of consistency in the monthly measurement is as the [...]

The Blind Interviewing The Blind; Or, Bubble Time

By |2018-03-20T19:30:51+00:00March 20th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Stocks|

At the end of last month, the Brookings Institute hosted a conversation where one of their most distinguished current scholars introduced and interviewed one of their newest. The former was former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke welcoming the latter, former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen. Listening to them talk was a total delight (thanks T. [...]

Really Looking For Inflation, Part 2

By |2018-03-07T12:45:14+00:00March 7th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Continued from Part 1 What these unusually weak productivity estimates lean toward is, quite simply, the possibility the BLS has been overstating jobs gains for years. In early 2018, there is already the hint of just that problem in a 4.1% unemployment that doesn’t lead to any acceleration in wages and labor income. What it [...]

Really Looking For Inflation, Part 1

By |2018-03-07T12:45:48+00:00March 7th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Most people have been looking at Jerome Powell’s Chairmanship of the Federal Reserve as continuity, a comprehensive extension of Janet Yellen’s (and therefore Bernanke’s). This would by nature include all the nasty habits Chairman Yellen had picked up during her one term. At the top of that list is the word “transitory”, particularly how it [...]

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