201509.20
3
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Financial Anarchy

The Federal Reserve left interest rates at 0 after their 2 day policy meeting this week. Less concerning, they lowered the forecast for future rates. We have red and green street lights. Why? Because society finds it beneficial that people using our streets aren’t speeding through an intersection from both directions at the same time. We…

201509.07
2
0

Raise the Rate and Stop Punishing Savers

For the past 7 years we’ve listened to the so-called “experts” bemoan the “extraordinary” Fed policies. They called them dangerous, untested, experimental. Now all of a sudden there is a change of heart? Don’t raise the rate?? It is too risky?? It would be irresponsible and dangerous?? The markets and the economy couldn’t possibly bear an interest rate above…

201409.08
4
0

The Depressive Tale of Nominal Yields

It is easy to get carried away with modern finance, diving into the immense flourishing of finance that has taken place. Conceptions have become far more complex, sometimes unnecessarily so, leading to impairments in distinguishing forest and trees. In credit markets, we focus narrowly on spreads and curves because that is where the “action” seemingly…

201408.18
3
0

The Jackson Hole Spin

As is usual at this time of year, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and FOMC will gain inordinate attention due to the upcoming Jackson Hole assembly. Ben Bernanke in his stint made use of the PR to first introduce his ideas about coming intervention and manipulation. Janet Yellen may or may not do…

201407.09
Off
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The Dustbin Of Post-Panic History: QE Finally Joins The ‘Stimulus’ Bill

The FOMC policy statement confirms without much doubt that there has been a major shift in conditions and outlook. To reiterate in what cannot be overstated, the purpose of implementing QE was to create economic conditions that conformed to the historical understanding of economic growth. If not so much 1995, Bernanke’s FOMC wanted to return…

201406.17
1
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Home Construction Not Buying Supply Explanation

When home sales rose M/M (slightly) in April for the first time in 2014, the NAR theorized it as the turnaround signal. Their reasoning for it was strange in the context of basic, intuitive economics (meaning non-textbook). Rising prices on too few available homes for sale was supposed to signal more construction, as this shortage…

201405.07
5
0

Turning Japanese; Credit Looks East

In looking at policy expectations, I continue to believe the shift in the Fed is both dramatic and durable. On the one hand, QE without Bernanke is toast, as the growing consensus appears to be that the economy is running here and now at or above “potential” (explaining in an orthodox manner why the unemployment…

201405.02
2
0

Official Contrast to Payroll Euphoria

There are subtle shifts underway in policy expectations and perceptions. Some of it is related to the change from Bernanke to Yellen, as there seems to be a different philosophy regarding mostly QE. Chairman Bernanke was nearly unequivocal in his belief that monetary policy both should and could return the economy to a state more…

201404.16
4
0

Intentions On Housing

I speculated in May last year that the introduction of the taper concept was in large part due to what Jeremy Stein articulated in February 2013, namely the idea that certain “markets” were becoming overheated in the “reach for yield.” In essence, it amounted to an attempt to “talk down” assets, chief among them the…

201404.15
6
0

Low Inflation Taper Theory

There was considerable attention given to Janet Yellen’s appeal toward “optimal control” language in prior speeches and toward her confirmation. The idea is such that the newly committed 2% inflation target does not need to be a “rule.” Under optimal control, the FOMC may tolerate an inflation rate above that target if it allowed unemployment…