Archive for the ‘Federal Reserve’ Category

Notes From Underground: OBAMA GIVES THE FINGER TO MAIN STREET AND OWS

December 27, 2011

The news during the last five days has been sparse as the regular year-end news items filter through the talking heads giving prediction after prediction about what will occur next year. Everything from the break-up of the EU to the closing of the Straits of Hormuz winds its way through the markets. The only significant story is the parking of LARGE AMOUNTS OF EUROS AT THE ECB as the distressed banks of Europe seem to want to place excess reserves with the Draghi Bank rather than buy the sovereign debt of Italy, Spain and the others.

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Notes From Underground: Economy to Ben Bernanke … It’s Not You, It’s Me

September 21, 2011

THERE WAS CERTAINLY NO SURPRISE FROM THE FED TODAY EXCEPT THAT THE FOMC STRESSED THAT THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT DOWNSIDE RISKS TO THE ECONOMY. It appears that this phrase caused the markets to sell everything after the release of the most important outlook for U.S. economic policy. The market’s response must have left Mr. Bernanke wondering just what the FED could actually do to lift the “animal spirits” of the investor and business community.

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Notes From Underground: Awaiting the FOMC

September 20, 2011

The media has made the idea of a TWIST by the FED a sure thing. Okay, can’t argue with consensus, but of course that is why this blog exists: To question the thought process of the purveyors of conventional wisdom and to try to profit in a real-time world from challenging the status quo. If the FED TWISTS will the markets turn? BUT TURN TO WHAT? What will a lowering of the rate on the 10-year note do to a stalling economy with zero interest rates? Bernanke himself alluded to the BALANCE SHEET REPAIR taking place in the private sector, which was holding back consumer demand. Even though corporate balance sheets are healthy, capital investment lags as the corporations fear lackluster demand so there is no rush to create new supply.

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Notes From Underground: Six little words … “IN A CONTEXT OF PRICE STABILITY”

September 19, 2011

In Monday’s New York Times there is an op-ed piece by the GREATEST CENTRAL BANKER, Paul Volcker. It seems that the man who was shuffled aside by the Obama administration found a rather curious time to question the Bernanke Jackson Hole speech. (Especially since Obama and his economic team used Volcker to establish its “street cred” and then disposed of his giant stature by turning him into “AN INVISIBLE MAN.”)

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Notes From Underground: The European Union KICKS GEITHNER’S CAN DOWN THE ROAD

September 18, 2011

Friday and Saturday were the days that U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner was in Poland sitting in on an ECOFIN meeting to try to persuade the financial policy makers of the EU to come to some type of resolution on a bailout of the PIIGS, an increase in the European Financial Stability Facility, and, hopefully, some program of support for the recapitalization of the European banking sector. Geithner pressed the ECB and European Governments to increase the 440 billion EURO EFSF rescue fund by utilizing leverage in its buying of sovereign debt. The tone of Geithner’s message was that the U.S. has woken up to the huge threat the EU debt crisis poses for the American economy, and, of course, President Obama’s election chances. Mr. Geithner warned that the EU crisis was a “CATASTROPHIC RISK TO FINANCIAL MARKETS.” He advised that the conflict between European governments and its central bank must end.

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Notes From Underground: Cramer, The Running Dog of the Governing Classes

September 14, 2011

The potential for a big market-moving story was in the works but the usually aggressive, boisterous Jim Cramer, in his interview with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, resembled a tea party at an American Girl store. It seems that when Cramer fears being audited he goes quiet. The questions about Europe were milquetoast, leading to ridiculous answers–“I am sure Europe will be there in three years.” It proved to be worthless and provided little clarification on the issues of “THE TWIST” and how the U.S. was going to act in concert with the Europeans to help resolve the effects of the severe credit crisis that is impinging global financial institutions and certainly European economic growth.

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Notes From Underground: Marco Polo returns to Italy, Bringing Chinese Riches

September 12, 2011

Well, the media was running wild in the last hour of U.S. equity trading with a rumor of the Chinese offering to purchase Italian bondsx. Every time the Euro debt crisis comes to a full boil, rumors arise about the Chinese riding to the rescue and buying beleaguered sovereign debt. In December 2009, the rumors were that the Chinese Investment Corporation [CIC] was interested in acquiring the 25 billion euros of Greek debt that was being road-showed–that was prior to the Greek Debt Crisis and the expected rate was roughly 6.5%.

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Notes From Underground: Did I miss anything while I was away???

September 7, 2011

The unemployment report on Friday was much weaker than expected as zero net jobs were created. More disheartening was that average hourly earnings produced a negative number, which failed to confirm and support the earlier released personal consumption data. The equity markets went into risk-off mode as the economy went into the Labor Day weekend in a very fragile state.

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Notes From Underground: FOMC MINUTES … Is This a Balance Sheet Recession?

August 30, 2011

The¬†August 9 FOMC¬†minutes from were released today and there was a great deal of discussion about the issue of leaving rates at the present level for the next two years. It seems that one of the dissenters opposed the measure for he didn’t want the FED to be locked in to a decision and thought the measure should be subject to newly released data. There was much discussion about European banks and the efforts by the ECB to calm the storm and prevent a bank run. The FED did acknowledge that the biggest drag on U.S. growth was the “efforts to rebuild balance sheets and caution on the part of households facing an uncertain economic environment.”

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Notes From Underground: No Surprises From Bernanke but Trichet and Lagarde Fail to Impress

August 28, 2011

The Fed Chairman’s remarks at Jackson Hole left those hoping for QE3 disappointed. The Wall Street crowd who have grown addicted to the “Greenspan Put” and its help in sustaining the BULL in equities were aghast that Ben failed to maintain the monetary injection. Mr. Bernanke backed off of aggressive new policy and did not mention wealth effect of the PORTFOLIO BALANCE CHANNEL. While in the serene surroundings of the Grand Tetons, it seems the FED Chairman has learned that the Fed cannot be held hostage to the daily machinations of Wall Street and the markets and fiscal policy stewards are going to have to be patient in regards to further monetary support.

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