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Tag Archives: QE

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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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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Deflation Returns To Japan, Part 2

Japan Finance Minister Taro Aso, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, caused a global stir of sorts back in early June when he appeared to express something like Japanese racial superiority at least with respect to how that country was handling the COVID pandemic. For a country with a population of more than 126 million, the case counts and mortality rates suggest something in the nation’s favor. Total reported coronavirus cases didn’t top 100,000 until the end of...

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Six Point Nine Times Two Equals What It Had In Twenty Fourteen

It was a shock, total disbelief given how everyone, and I mean everyone, had penciled China in as the world’s go-to growth engine. If the global economy was ever going to get off the ground again following GFC1 more than a half a decade before, the Chinese had to get back to their precrisis “normal.” In 2014, the clock was ticking but expectations were extremely high nonetheless. In September 2014, however, massive setback. Though it had been building all year by...

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Where Is It, Chairman Powell?

Where is it, Chairman Powell? After spending months deliberately hyping a “flood” of digital money printing, and then unleashing average inflation targeting making Americans believe the central bank will be wickedly irresponsible when it comes to consumer prices, the evidence portrays a very different set of circumstance. Inflationary pressures were supposed to have been visible by now, seven months and counting, when instead it is disinflation which is most evident...

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Good Payrolls Still Say Slowdown

The payroll report for the month of October 2020 was a very good one. This shouldn’t be surprising, perfect BLS publications appear with regularity even during the most challenging of circumstances. Headlines and underneath, everything looked fine last month. It wasn’t perfect, however, and it’s the same things that leave it short of perfection which are entirely too familiar for this last decade of the occasional perfect payroll publication. Meaning, yes,...

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What’s Going On, And Why Late August?

This isn’t about COVID. It’s been building since the end of August, a shift in mood, perception, and reality that began turning things several months before even then. With markets fickle yet again, a lot today, what’s going on here? What you’ll hear or have already heard is something about Europe and more lockdowns, fears about a second wave of the pandemic. No, that doesn’t fit the herdlike change in direction you can observe across many different markets (below)....

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Consumer Confidence Indicator: Anesthesia

Europeans are growing more downbeat again. While ostensibly many are more worried about a new set of restrictions due to (even more overreactions about) COVID, that’s only part of the problem. The bigger factor, economically speaking, is that Europe’s economy has barely moved, or at most not moved near enough, off the bottom. To interrupt now what has already proved to be a seriously impaired rebound should get people thinking more realistically about 2021. Once...

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Why Aren’t Bond Yields Flyin’ Upward? Bidin’ Bond Time Trumps Jay

It’s always something. There’s forever some mystery factor standing in the way. On the topic of inflation, for years it was one “transitory” issue after another. The media, on behalf of the central bankers it holds up as a technocratic ideal, would report these at face value. The more obvious explanation, the argument with all the evidence, just couldn’t be true otherwise it’d collapse the technocracy right down to the ground. And so it was also in the bond market....

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