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Tag Archives: rate hikes

Nasty Number Five, Not Hawk Hiking CBs

It’s not recession fears, those are in the past. For much if not most (vast majority) of mainstream pundits and newsmedia alike, unlike regular folks this is all news to them (the irony, huh?) Economists and central bankers everywhere had said last year was a boom, a true inflationary inferno raging worldwide. For once, CPIs (or European HICPs) seemed to have confirmed the narrative. Unlike 2018 when inflation indices kept policymakers and their forecasts out in the...

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Sorry Chairman Powell, Even FRBNY Now Has To Forecast Serious and Seriously Rising Recession Risk

At his last press conference, Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell made a bunch of unsubstantiated claims, none of which were called out or even questioned by the assembled reporters. These rituals are designed to project authority not conduct inquiry, and this one was perhaps the best representation of that intent. Powell’s job is to put the current predicament in the best possible light, starting by downplaying the current predicament. From there, to try to get the...

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Prices As Curative Punishment

It wasn’t exactly a secret, though the raw data doesn’t ever tell you why something might’ve changed in it. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, confirmed by industry sources, US new car sales absolutely tanked in May 2022. At a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 12.7 million, it was a quarter fewer than sales put down in May 2021 and 13% below the not-great level from the month prior in April 2022. Such puny results have typically been reserved for those...

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No Pandemic. Not Rate Hikes. Doesn’t Matter Interest Rates. Just Globally Synchronized.

The fact that German retail sales crashed so much in April 2022 is significant for a couple reasons. First, it more than suggests something is wrong with Germany, and not just some run-of-the-mill hiccup. Second, because it was this April rather than last April or last summer, you can’t blame COVID this time. Something else is going on. . In America, the Fed Cult is out to take credit for this brewing downturn (Jay Powell seeking his place alongside Volcker, which...

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President Phillips Emerges To Reassure On Growing Slowdown

Just the other day, President Biden took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to reassure Americans the government is doing something about the greatest economic challenge they face. Biden says this is inflation when that’s neither the actual affliction nor our greatest threat. On the contrary, recession probabilities have sharply risen as the real economy slows down given the emerging downside to last year’s supply shock. One thing we might agree on, the...

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Peak Policy Error

Another economic discussion lost to the eventual coronavirus pandemic mania was the 2019 globally synchronized downturn. Not just downturn, outright recession in key parts from around the world, maybe including the US. We’ll simply never know for sure because just when it was happening COVID struck and then governments overrode everything including unfolding history. What anyone can say for sure is that 2019 hit a rough patch where there was only supposed to have...

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‘Unconscionably Excessive’ Denial

What would “unconscionably excessive” even look, legally speaking? More to the issue, who gets to decide what constitutes “excessive?” The way the phrase has been inserted, it’s as if Congress today seeks to plant its members on some incorporeal higher plane than mere physical substance, too, diving deep into the moral consciousness of the nation and economy in order justify taking general action. Just last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill which...

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Peak Inflation (not what you think)

For once, I find myself in agreement with a mainstream article published over at Bloomberg. Notable Fed supporters without fail, this one maybe represents a change in tone. Perhaps the cheerleaders are feeling the heat and are seeking Jay Powell’s exit for him? Whatever the case, there’s truth to what’s written if only because interest rates haven’t been rising based on rising inflation/growth expectations. Quite the contrary, actually. It’s all FOMC and the...

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Who’s Playing Puppetmaster, And Who Is Master of Puppets

Cue up the old VHS tapes of Bill Clinton. The former President was renowned for displaying, anyway, great empathy. He famously said in October 1992, weeks before the election that would bring him to the White House, “I feel your pain.” What pain? As Clinton’s chief political advisor later clarified, “it’s the economy stupid.” Jay Powell is no retail politician in near the same company as Mr. Clinton. Yet, the Federal Reserve’s current Chairman is attempting to...

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China Then Europe Then…

This is the difference, though in the end it only amounts to a matter of timing. When pressed (very modestly) on the slow pace of the ECB’s “inflation” “fighting” (theater) campaign, its President, Christine Lagarde, once again demonstrated her willingness to be patient if not cautious. Why? For one thing, she noted how Europe produces a lot of stuff that, at the margins of its economy, make the whole system go. Or don’t go, as each periodic case may be: Europe in...

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