201804.24
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The Science of Japanification

The term itself gives it away. They called it quantitative easing for a specific reason. Both words mean to convey substantial concepts. The first part, quantitative, was used because it sounds deliberate, even scientific. It implies a program where great care and study was employed to come up with the exact right amount. It’s downright…

201804.23 11

The Yield Curve’s Round Trip

The current US Treasury yield curve in between the 5-year and 10-year maturities is today just 15 bps. It had dropped down to this level of flat about ten days ago. When it did, it had been the first time in almost eleven years. The last time the 5s10s was 15 bps? August 8, 2007….

201804.19
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Very Interesting, These ‘Its’

Today for the first time in over a week, HKD moved. That’s not unsurprising, as we should expect that nothing goes in a straight line – even devaluation of this kind. The issue is more about why it might have moved, or what it cost to move it. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) had…

201804.17
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Still, They Get The Benefit of the Doubt Every Time

There’s a lot wrong with LIBOR, they say. Even if there is, this surely isn’t any better. The world sees them as the ideal technocrats, the best and brightest. They are, and have been, the Keystone Cops.  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday it had mistakenly included certain repo transactions in the…

201803.06
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Questions Not of Success, But of the Effectiveness of Illusion

Last week, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda unleashed a mini-controversy with remarks he now claims were taken somewhat out of context. On March 2, speaking before Japan’s parliament, the central banker sure sounded quite confident: Right now, the members of the policy board and I think that prices will move to reach 2 percent…

201801.30
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Yellen’s Final Cacophony

In late January 2012, the FOMC released an official statement confirming to the world what had long been expected. The official goal of monetary policy, or at least one of them, was to achieve price stability being clearly defined as 2% inflation (PCE Deflator). It was part of the ultimate transformation of Federal Reserve policy,…

201801.12
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Good or Bad, But Surely Not Transitory

When Federal Reserve officials first started last year to mention wireless network data plans as a possible explanation for a fifth year of “transitory” factors holding back consumer price inflation, it seemed a bit transparent. One of the reasons for immediately doubting their sincerity was the history of that particular piece of the CPI (or…

201712.14
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Inside and Outside, Market and Models Actually Agree On A Final Failing Grade For Yellen

It was another pretty embarrassing day for the Federal Reserve and its policymaking body the FOMC. The latter voted, as expected, to raise the federal funds corridor (or double floor, if you can’t get over IOER fail) by another 25 bps. The long end of the Treasury bond market, however, was bid pushing yields down…

201712.12
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Moving Toward The Right Way To Get Off The Wrong Track

Of the few economists honest about the economy, there has been a struggle to come up with an explanation for persisting economic struggles. That has led to a plethora of labels applied to the last decade. Brad Delong, for example, once called it the Lesser Depression. Larry Summers has revived Alan Hansen’s Secular Stagnation. I…