janet yellen

Chart(s) of the Week: Yellen’s Mouth Opens

By |2018-09-14T17:49:51+00:00September 14th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

It sounds a little like regret. It also leans in the direction of confirming that policymakers know they’ve messed up, big time. This has become the established pattern, for good reason. What they don’t know, to our collective downfall, is what to do about it. They’ve decided just to pretend while in office it didn’t [...]

Eurodollar University: Dark Money

By |2018-08-24T16:28:31+00:00August 24th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Deutsche Bank wasn’t the only global institution under the gun of the US Justice Department. While the German bank settled for a record fine earlier this year, RBS was also hit. Theirs was an eye popping $4.9 billion settlement. The ostensibly British bank had already set aside $3.4 billion for the anticipated civil penalty, meaning [...]

The Wage Test

By |2018-08-17T15:32:34+00:00August 17th, 2018|Markets|

In August 2014, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen described the wage dilemma in some detail. She was still relatively new to the job at that time, and there was pressure on her from among the so-called hawks to more aggressively normalize monetary policy. Ben Bernanke had taken the more cautious approach having experienced what both [...]

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 [...]