Archive for the ‘FOMC’ Category

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: 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: 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: Ben Bernanke pays homage to the BLUES MAGOOS (We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet)

August 9, 2011

Today the FED let it be known that they will MOST PROBABLY be on hold until mid-2013. The best outcome of this is that it removes the FED from the election campaign of 2012 and puts the burden on the 535 posers who pretend to represent anybody but themselves (yes, there are exceptions I know). The FED has done their “work.” Now it is time to get the fiscal house in order. The markets’ daily gyrations is representative of how uncertain the world’s capital feels: ONE DAY YOU’RE UP AND THE NEXT DAY YOU’RE DOWN. From Bernanke’s perspective, we ain’t got nothing yet.

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Notes From Underground: WAS BERNANKE HAWKING A HAWKISH OUTLOOK???

June 22, 2011

I feel like I’m the odd analyst out in that Bernanke failed to impress upon me that he is a DOVE in HAWKS’ feathers. Reading the FOMC statement over and over leaves me wondering just what made the statement so strong an anti-inflation stance. The FOMC release reiterated that the FED is relying on closing the output gaps, “including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run–are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate for an extended period.” This is not the musings of an inflation HAWK.

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Notes From Underground: EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR??????

May 19, 2011

Let us hope that the FED and Chairman Bernanke are not following Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction. Today, the FOMC released the minutes from the last meeting and as widely expected the predominant interest was in the discussion of the FED‘s exit strategies from the QE2 program. It seems that FED BOARD members were pushing the idea of raising rates prior to the unloading of assets that have accumulated on the FED‘s balance sheet. There were many opinions about the significance of the various proposals that the FED is considering, but it seems that the FED itself is very uncertain about which procedure will produce what impact.

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Notes From Underground: The Transitory Nature of Harsh Rhetoric

April 28, 2011

Between every FOMC meeting we hear from Plosser, Fisher and others that the FED needs to reign in QE2 and start reversing the huge amount of liquidity that it has added to the financial system. The airwaves are filled with the dissenting voices of the “monetary hawks” proclaiming their fidelity to edicts of responsible monetary policy. However, come the scheduled meetings, the “HAWKS” become detaloned as they fall prey to the soft coos of the “doves.” It seems that entrance into the FED’s citadel requires that one must leave individualistic thought in your home district and resolve to join the consensus.

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Notes From Underground: I’M BERNANKE THE SAILOR MAN (OR WHAT HAPPENS WHEN FED CREDIBILITY BECOMES UNMOORED)

April 27, 2011

First things first. The FED released its FOMC statement at 11:30 a.m. CST and, as expected, there was no change in the FED‘s policy and the “extended period” language remained as did the use of “transitory” to describe the recent run up in fuel and food costs. The markets initially showed little reaction as the “big event” was to be 90 minutes later. In fact, the U.S. DOLLAR actually remained a little bid and the precious METALS were on the offer as it appeared the market was HOPING for some strong words from the chairman of the FED. The most hyped event since Geraldo’s look into Capone’s vault, Bernanke’s press conference did nothing to assuage the fears that the FED was losing its credibility. The more Bernanke talked, the more GOLD and SILVER rallied and the harder the DOLLAR dropped.

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Notes From Underground: A Very Slow news Weekend Unless You Are in the Middle East

April 24, 2011

The markets have been given a modicum of quiet as all ears turn  to this week’s FOMC meeting. It seems that the FOMC release will be at 11:30 a.m. CST, which is an hour and forty-five minutes earlier than usual and the Bernanke meeting with the press will begin at 1:15 p.m. CST. A great deal of importance is being place on this historic first press conference. Much is also being made about the end of QE2 but I am not one of those looking for wild action when the FED stops buying Treasury debt. It seems that the FED may not announce “new” purchases but it doesn’t mean that they won’t be rolling over expiring issues and purchasing other debt in the market with the rolled over money.

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