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Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Monetary policy as a system of connected lakes (a post for John Hussman)

I always like reading fund manager John Hussman because he writes very well, but I feel like he's dug himself into a bit of an intellectual rut—a situation that happens to all of us. For a number of years now Hussman has been accusing the Federal Reserve of setting off a massive bubble in equity markets. But if you ask me, his claim really doesn't square with the observation that we haven't seen a shred of consumer price inflation over that same time frame. Let's explore more.Hussman...

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The Lowdown on U.S. Core Inflation

By Yasser Abdih There was a time when U.S. central bankers worried that inflation was too high, and they tried to bring it down. Now the opposite is true: the Federal Reserve is concerned that inflation has remained stubbornly low, and it’s trying to boost prices. The reason: persistently low inflation raises the risk that prices will actually start to decline, a dangerous condition known as deflation. That’s bad news because it makes people less willing to borrow and spend—anticipating lower...

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US Negative Interest Rate Bets Surge To Record Highs

As the “deflationary supernova” sweeps across the world, dragging bond yields to zero-and-beyond, even the almighty omniscent Federal Reserve has been forced to capitulate as the ‘cheapness’ of Treasury bonds lures the world’s yield-hunters dragging it ever closer to the negative rate realities of Switzerland, Japan, and Germany. As rate-hike odds collapse, along with The Fed’s credibility, so investors are...

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Three Weird Consequences Of NIRP

Submitted by Patrick Watson via MauldinEconomics.com, Negative interest rates are all the rage at central banks, a symptom of the deflation that is slowing spreading worldwide. The Bank of Japan, European Central Bank, and Swiss National Bank already peg rates below zero. Even if the Federal Reserve doesn’t formally join them, US rates are solidly negative in real terms. Explicit or not, negative rates have odd and counterintuitive consequences. Imagine the entire banking system trying to...

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Three unintended consequences of NIRP

Submitted by Patrick Watson via MauldinEconomics.com, Central bankers use low or negative interest rates so that it leads to more investment. For them interest rates are a consequence of the currently very low inflation rates. Patrick Watson argues in the exactly opposite way: Falling prices are a consequence of low interest rates and not the opposite: We see reasons why this can be true: High, maybe excessive investment is happening in China (alas not in Europe). Cheap costs of...

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The Twilight Of The Gods (aka Central Bankers)

The current financial market volatility increasingly reflects loss of faith in policy makers. Celebrity central bankers are learning that they must constantly produce new miracles for their followers. First, the measures implemented since 2009 created an artificial stability and an asset price boom in many markets. But the absolute rate of GDP expansion and level of price changes is inadequate to solve global debt problems. Second, new initiatives seem the risky response of clever...

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Negative Rates: Jim Bianco Warns “The Risk Of An ‘Accident’ Is Very High”

In an interesting interview with Finanz und Wirtschaft, Bianco Research president Jim Bianco discusses a variety of topics such as negative interest rates turning the entire credit process upside down, bank balance sheets being even more complex and concentrated than before the financial crisis, energy loans being an accident waiting to happen, the markets having veto power over the Fed, and gold having more room to run. * * * Mr. Bianco, negative interest are causing a lot of stir at the...

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With Wall Street Bitten by the Blockchain Bug, How Do We Admit the Truth About the Technology’s Disruptive Potential?

I attended a panel discussion on private blockchains in banking at UBS in NYC last night. There were two overarching misconceptions that appeared to permeate the discussions: Counterparties can be trusted, hence you can build reliable systems with trusted parties, and; Capital markets are, and always will be predicated upon the legacy, highly centralized hub and spoke model that we know today. Basically, the influential gatekeepers that control access to a centralized, authoritative...

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Swiss Politicians Slam Attempts To Eliminate Cash, Compare Paper Money To A Gun Defending Freedom

As we predicted over a year ago, in a world in which QE has failed, and in which the ice-cold grip of NIRP has to be global in order to achieve its intended purpose of forcing savers around the world to spend the taxed product of their labor, one thing has to be abolished: cash. This explains the recent flurry of articles in outlets such as BBG and the FT, and op-eds by such "established" economists as Larry...

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Swiss Politicians Slam Attempts To Eliminate Cash, Compare Paper Money To A Gun Defending Freedom

As we predicted over a year ago, in a world in which QE has failed, and in which the ice-cold grip of NIRP has to be global in order to achieve its intended purpose of forcing savers around the world to spend the taxed product of their labor, one thing has to be abolished: cash. This explains the recent flurry of articles in outlets such as BBG and the FT, and op-eds by such "established" economists as Larry Summers, all advocating the death of cash, a process which would begin by...

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