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Home / Tag Archives: Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy

Tag Archives: Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy

Consumers, Producers, and the Unsettled End of 2020

The months of November and December aren’t always easily comparable year to year when it comes to American shopping habits. For a retailer, these are the big ones. The Christmas shopping season and the amount of spending which takes place during it makes or breaks the typical year (though last year, there was that whole thing in March and April which has had a say in each’s final annual condition). The calendar being what it is – we’ve never been forced to use the...

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If the Fed’s Not In Consumer Prices, Then How About Producer Prices?

It’s not just that there isn’t much inflation evident in consumer prices. Rather, it’s a pretty big deal given the deluge of so much “money printing” this year, begun three-quarters of a year before, that consumer prices are increasing at some of the slowest rates in the data. Trillions in bank reserves, sure, but actual money can only be missing. U.S. CPI Services Core Fed, Jan 1985 - -2020 - Click to enlarge U.S. CPI Services Core percentile, Jan 2009 - 2020...

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They’ve Gone Too Far (or have they?)

Between November 1998 and February 1999, Japan’s government bond (JGB) market was utterly decimated. You want to find an historical example of a real bond rout (no caps nor exclamations necessary), take a look at what happened during those three exhilarating (if you were a government official) months. The JGB 10-year yield had dropped to a low of just 77.2 bps during the depths of 1998’s Asian Financial Crisis (or “flu”, so noted for its regional contagious dollar...

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There’s Always A First Time

Is it a race against time? Or is it trying to set aside today so as to focus entirely on a specific kind of tomorrow? It’s easy to do the latter especially when today is what it is; you can’t change what’s already gone on. You can, however, think that today won’t impede or even impact a much better tomorrow yet to be determined, especially when the heavy hand of government is anticipated to intervene after sunset. On the one side, more fiscal “stimulus” is purported...

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Seizing The Dirt Shirt Title

In mid-December 2019, before the world had heard of COVID, China’s Central Economic Work Conference had released a rather startling statement for the world to consume. In the West, everything was said to be on the up. Central banks had responded, forcefully, many claimed, more than enough to deal with that year’s “unexpected” globally synchronized downturn. This view had been punctuated by Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida, among many others, who in early January...

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Consumers, Too; (Un)Confident To Re-engage

There is a lot of evidence which shows some basis for expectations-based monetary policy. Much of what becomes a recession or worse is due to the psychological impacts upon businesses (who invest and hire) as well as workers being consumers (who earn and then spend). Once the snowball of macro contraction begins rolling downhill, rational prudence dictates some degree of caution on all parts (pro-cyclicality). Bathed in the unearned glow of the Great “Moderation”,...

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What Did Hamper Growth ‘In A Few Months’

Over here, on the other side of that ocean, the US economy can only dream of the low levels Chinese industry has been putting up this late into 2020. At least those in the East are back positive year-over-year. Here in America, manufacturing and industry can’t even manage anything like a plus sign. Summer slowdown extends in Industrial Production. According to the Federal Reserve, the outfit which has kept tabs on this economic sector for more than a century, the...

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This Global Growth Stuff, China Still Wants A Word

Before there could be “globally synchronized growth”, it had been plain old “global growth.” The former from 2017 appended the term “synchronized” to its latter 2014 forerunner in order to jazz it up. And it needed the additional rhetorical flourish due to the simple fact that in 2015 for all the stated promise of “global growth” it ended up meaning next to nothing in reality. Oddly the same for 2017’s update heading into 2018 and 2019. If currency wars are the...

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Inflation Hysteria #2 (Slack-edotes)

Macroeconomic slack is such an easy, intuitive concept that only Economists and central bankers (same thing) could possibly mess it up. But mess it up they have. Spending years talking about a labor shortage, and getting the financial media to report this as fact, those at the Federal Reserve, in particular, pointed to this as proof QE and ZIRP had fulfilled the monetary policy mandates – both of them. A labor shortage would’ve meant full or maximum employment, the...

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Inflation Hysteria #2 (WTI)

Sticking with our recent theme, a big part of what Inflation Hysteria #1 (2017-18) also had going for it was loosened restrictions for US oil producers. Seriously. Legacy of the 1970’s experience depending too much on OPEC, subject to embargoes, American oil companies had been prohibited for decades from exporting oil. Not that it would have mattered before 2014, the country never producing near enough to have ever done so. Export limitations removed, shale boom...

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