Archive for the ‘Fed’ Category

Notes From Underground: SIN or WIN, It’s a Generational Thing

May 10, 2021

In 1976, when I was beginning my long march toward acquiring knowledge to analyze markets Gerald Ford was running for reelection. Inflation was gaining strength so the FORD campaign was bent on making America believe that he had the fortitude to break the inflation spiral threatening the Middle Class. Campaign buttons said W.I.N. (whip inflation now). Getting inflation under control was seen as the paramount issue.

When I was wandering through a flea market in New York in 2007, I found an original WIN button that I bought for $1.25. See? Paul Volcker did whip inflation. (I gave the button to the best financial plumber, James Aitken, as a token of appreciation for all the knowledge he imbued in me about the plumbing of the short-term funding markets.)

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Notes From Underground: How To Deal With Transitory Data

March 18, 2021

First, thank you to allĀ  who filled in for me as I spent nine full days packing up my life in Chicago. Raising four children and being the repository for many of my loved ones “stuff” resulted in a drowning in memories as well as material possessions that raised questions about what the HELL was that for and why? Our last post was March 1 but I am proud to point out that there were about 74 comments on that entry, all but mine being extremely valuable. Thank you to all for the way you raised the bar for discourse even higher.

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Notes From Underground: Was It the Fool On the Hill?

February 23, 2021

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified before the Senate Finance Committee in the semi-annual Humphrey-Hawkins Testimony and Report to Congress, in which the Fed has to answer as to how the U.S. economy is performing in relation to its dual mandate. Senator Sherrod Brown, the chair of the finance committee, is very knowledgeable and in similar fashion provided strong leadership but unfortunately he cannot censor stupid questions as politicians use the microphone for political posturing. There were many types of “when did you stop beating your wife” questions as if the Senators wished to trap Powell instead of an honest assessment.

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Notes From Underground: Does the Market Care About Forward Guidance?

February 21, 2021

Forward guidance is a key tool in the Federal Reserve’s arsenal, promoted in a speech long ago by Columbia University professor Michael Woodford at the Jackson Hole Symposium. In a previous communication, the central bank said, “Forward guidance is a tool that central banks use to provide communication to the public about the likely course of monetary policy.”

This tool allows the FED to establish a time-directed path for interest rates so that the MARKET does not suffer shocks from an upward surprise move in rates.

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Notes From Underground: Central Banks Driving Us to Drink

February 18, 2021

Last week I chatted with Richard Bonugli and Europeans Godfrey Bloom and Claudio Grass. It is worth a listen — with your favorite libation, of course — as we moved from politics to the macro global picture in full. There was a great deal of discussion about the SNB with Claudio Grass and that is enough for all of us to drink.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

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Notes From Underground: Extra! Extra! Read All About It

February 11, 2021

On Wednesday, FEDERAL RESERVE Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized, yet again, that he and the FOMC believe UNEMPLOYMENT in real terms using its broad measure is about 10%. The recent release of labor statistics revealed a 6.3% unemployment rate but Powell stressed in his Q&A at Economic Club of New York that “the statistic doesn’t capture the full extent of labor market slack.” Bloomberg’s Craig Torres finally gave credence to the idea that Jerome Powell is focused on ending the present disparity between minority and white employment as Powell used FED data to clarify the black unemployment rate was 9.2% versus 5.7%.

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Notes From Underground: Have You All Lost Your Minds?

January 28, 2021

No, I am not referring to the gyrations in the realm of heavily shorted stocks and the attacks by the populace of Sherwood Forest to drive valuations ever higher.

The insanity following Wednesday’s FOMC statement and the Powell press conference leaves me contemplating the works of Kindleberger and Minsky. Complacency in financial markets relying on the kindness of strangers is setting the course for continued madness in all financial asset classes. The POWELL PRESS CONFERENCE YIELDED WHAT OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN THE HEADLINE FOR ALL FINANCIAL NEWS: FED CHAIR POWELL SAYS REAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS 10%.

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Notes From Underground: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

January 19, 2021

Say goodbye to Daddy Warbucks Say hello to Uncle Joe.

On Monday we got a preview of the Biden Administration as Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen appeared before the Senate Finance Committee. It was sad that her testimony was released over the weekend. There were the stock answers to the issue of the U.S. dollar, which falls under the auspices of the Treasury Department. Yellen proclaimed that the markets would set the value of the DOLLAR and that it would not be the policy of the Biden Administration to manipulate the currency to attain some illusionary trade advantage.

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Notes From Underground: Where Do We Go From Here?

January 3, 2021

In 2020, the entire world endeavored to smooth out a new wrinkle in the global macro landscape as the covid pandemic spurred fears of a global depression as economies shuttered to stem the virus’s spread. The FED stepped in to ensure that the global system had access to enough dollars as corporations and individuals rushed to sell assets in an effort to meet a potential economic contraction. The U.S. central bank did its best to reduce the fear of deflation by opening dollar swap lines to more foreign central banks, as well as pushing U.S. interest rates back to the lower zero bound. The huge amount of liquidity thrust upon the financial system stopped a global selloff in its tracks.

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Notes From Underground: Was Powell’s Press Conference Loaded for Bears?

December 18, 2020

Wednesday’s FOMC release and the Jerome Powell press conference provided the market with enough ammunition to power even higher and send the DOLLAR lower. There was NOTHING hawkish about the FED decision regardless of the conclusions drawn from the ridiculous forecast from the SUMMARY OF ECONOMIC PROJECTIONS, which have as much value as teats on a bull. The SEPs have been never met in all the years the FED has released them as “quality” forecasts. Why did the market resolve to take a DOVISH view?

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