Oh Yes, It Started Out As A Mental Health Bill

By |2018-10-03T16:43:10+00:00October 3rd, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

On March 9, 2007, Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy introduced HR 1424. At the time it was to be known as the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007. The bill contained five small sections intending to ensure equal coverage and treatment for mental health issues under insurance claims. It passed the [...]

Small Tremors

By |2018-02-06T12:22:41+00:00February 6th, 2018|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Stocks|

The current state of geological science cannot predict an earthquake. There is hope, however, that warnings might be realistically developed so that populations in danger of the “big one” can be given some sort of reasonable information about probabilities. In studying the past few devastating quakes, such as the 2011 9.0 that hit Japan twice [...]

Moscow Rules (for ‘dollars’)

By |2017-08-29T18:53:31+00:00August 29th, 2017|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

In Ian Fleming’s 1959 spy novel Goldfinger, he makes mention of the Moscow Rules. These were rules-of-thumb for clandestine agents working during the Cold War in the Soviet capital, a notoriously difficult assignment. Among the quips included in the catalog were, “everyone is potentially under opposition control” and “do not harass the opposition.” Fleming’s book [...]

August 10; Emergency Calls, Reigning Confusion, and ‘Not My Job’

By |2017-08-10T17:08:34+00:00August 10th, 2017|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

In July 2012, the LIBOR manipulation scandal broke wide and before Congress then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke used it to cleverly cover up for his crisis actions (more so inactions). He told the Senate Banking Committee that the LIBOR system was “structurally flawed” before intimating it had been that way for some time. Asked if [...]

Subprime Is Contained (and other notable statements declaring They Really Don’t Know What They Are Doing)

By |2017-08-09T18:44:37+00:00August 9th, 2017|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Ben Bernanke, then Chairman of the Federal Reserve, told Congress in March 2007 that subprime was contained. He will rightfully be remembered in infamy for that, but that wasn’t the most egregious example of being wrong. Even putting it in those terms risks understating the problem and why it stubbornly lingers. Being really wrong is [...]

The Staggering Costs

By |2017-08-09T17:52:50+00:00August 9th, 2017|Currencies, Economy, Markets|

How do we measure what has been lost over the last ten years? There is no single way to calculate it, let alone a correct solution. There are so many sides to an economy that choosing one risks overstating that facet at the expense of another. It’s somewhat of an impossible task already given the [...]

You’ve Heard of Bear’s Funds, Why Not BNP’s?

By |2017-08-09T14:40:52+00:00August 9th, 2017|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

When Bear Stearns nearly failed, made to merge, in March 2008 it wasn’t really a surprise. Yes, markets were shocked by the demise of the ancient firm, one of the bulge bracket cartel which suggested surprise over the severity of it more than that things were going bad. For more than a year, starting in [...]

Searching For 2a7 Comfort In CP And Finding Instead More Confirmation Of The Same ‘Something’

By |2016-09-28T17:10:07+00:00September 28th, 2016|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

With 2a7 money market reform only a few weeks from its full implementation, there should be by now visible shifts in all the places where such reform will directly impact. Prominent among these money spaces is commercial paper, where the ranks of prime MMF’s that once lent in this market have been reduced in the [...]

Unresolved: Nine Years Later Still No ‘Dollars’

By |2016-08-09T19:18:17+00:00August 9th, 2016|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

The fact that we are still discussing illiquidity in “dollar” markets everywhere shows just how little has changed despite so much time and effort. It is August 9 again, the ninth anniversary of the day that changed everything. Even though it has been almost a decade, it’s as if “we” learned nothing from the experience. [...]