Posts Tagged ‘Jerome Powell’

Notes From Underground: Could Paul Volcker Find His Inner Volcker In This Environment?

May 22, 2022

Since the Zoltan Pozsar challenged Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to find his inner Paul Volcker and raise interest rates high enough to bring the inflation expectations to heel. (He argued draining liquidity and raising rates to a NEUTRAL level OUGHT to be the medicine needed to truly render the current high inflation levels TRANSITORY.) Last week, Pozsar pushed on the theme again with a piece titled, “Ride of the ‘Volkyries'” in which the issue of financial conditions tightening is discussed in reflection to current FED policy of curbing inflation through the crushing of demand.

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Notes From Underground: Discussing Europe With Dr. Barbara Kolm

May 10, 2022

Last week the FOMC raised rates by 50 basis points, which seemed like the most likely outcome (although interest rate markets had assigned a slight probability of 75 basis point increase). The statement was nothing if not vague about the FED‘s plans, yet the last sentence left the central bank room for flexibility: “The Committee’s assessments will take into account a wide range of information, including readings on public health, labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and financial and international developments.”

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Notes From Underground: A European Discussion With Professor Polleit

May 3, 2022

Yes, Wednesday is FED day and the markets are expecting a 50 basis point increase in the FED FUNDS RATE to a range of 0.75% to 1%. The most important issue will be the size of the balance sheet unwind and whether Chair Jerome Powell is good to his heightened concerns about headline inflation means a full throttle on balance sheet shrinkage, reaching the full $95 billion a month at a quick pace. So Jerome, let’s have at it and let the markets decide the impact on myriad asset classes. In 2018, this double shotgun of QT and interest rate hikes proved too much for the highly leveraged global markets. Now that the Fed’s balance sheet is twice as large let’s see how it will affect the leverage in the global system.

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Notes From Underground: Time to Escalate and Deescalate the Fed and Putin?

April 10, 2022

There was an article in Foreign Affairs this week by Graham Allison, the dean of American political scientists, titled, “Putin’s Doomsday Threat: How to Prevent a Repeat of the Cuban Missile Crisis in Ukraine.” The piece raises an important tactical question about escalating the violence in an effort to prevent a greater catastrophe similar to what President Kennedy was threatening in 1962. It’s worth a read as it was Allison’s book, “The Essence of Decision,” that provided the understanding of the bureaucratic mindset during the nuclear age. It provoked me to think that the escalate to de-escalate seems to be the paradigm of the FOMC as complacency over zero interest and transitory inflation has given rise to policy makers’ more hawkish jawboning. Uber-doves Charlie Evans, Mary Daly, Jerome Powell, Lael Brainard have been on a mission to find their INNER VOLCKER (at least rhetorically).

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Notes From Underground: Traversing the Global Macro Landscape With Danielle DiMartino Booth

March 23, 2022

On Tuesday, I sat down with Richard Bonugli and Danielle DiMartino Booth. We traversed Ukraine, Europe, the U.S. and Danielle delved deep into the her expertise of the Federal Reserve. We discussed the recent work of Zoltan Pozsar as it has had such a great impact on the current state of global financial markets. This sets the table for Richard’s next FRA Roundtable, which will feature Mr. Pozsar, who is one of the more knowledgeable financial “plumbers.” Pour your favorite WHISKEY as the financial system is explored for potential profits involving commodities, currencies, yield curves and tangentially precious metals.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

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Notes From Underground: A Quick Hit On the State of Chaos

March 6, 2022

First, our hearts go out to all suffering in the world of insanity brought on by senseless wars that diplomacy OUGHT to have been able to prevent. The world always returns to the insanity that brought us to World War I when nobody could stop the trains once set in motion. As Phil Ochs sang, “It’s always the old who lead us off to war, it’s always to fall, look at all we won with the saber and the gun, tell me is it worth it all?” But here we are and as always the world continues to focus on the minutiae of life, including the financial outcomes responding to the high-speed headlines driven by algorithmic speed machines. There is no context to any news just manufactured volatility fabricators of the latest musings of some “news” outlets’ favorite expert. But as Hyman Roth said so clearly: “Michael this is the profession we have chosen.”

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Notes From Underground: Is It George Bailey or Henry Potter?

February 16, 2022

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey made a ridiculous comment almost two weeks ago and I’d be remiss not to mention it. Bailey issued his own FORWARD GUIDANCE on how to slow the pace of inflation. He suggested that people refrain from seeking big pay raises. It’s astounding that a sitting member of the G-7 Finance Group has the temerity to restrain the AVERAGE WORKER while promoting QE policies that have stoked a serious rise in asset prices for those who own antique autos, stocks, precious metals, art, multiple homes and any other asset class on the planet.

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Notes From Underground: The Week That Was

December 19, 2021

This past week has been the most challenging to recap because at least 20 central banks released statements about their monetary forecasts and outlooks. The most significant banks that we were watching — the FED, SNB, BOE, ECB and BOJ — performed as expected as the FED, ECB and BOJ announced the expected outcomes.

The Bank of England raised its overnight lending rate by 15 basis points as they had already ended asset purchases so a minimal rate increase was all they had to give in order to slow the rise in headline inflation. The Powell FED took the most DOVISH route possible in an effort to placate the Biden White House and its effort to stem the narrative of headline inflation and election outcomes. We at NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND had contemplated a complete end to QE but Powell (in his efforts to do something) merely doubled the pace of tapering laying the outcome to a finality in March rather than June. This is only important if the FED maintains its “forward guidance” of no rate hikes until the U.S. central bank’s BOND PURCHASES have concluded.

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Notes From Underground: Coal for Some Stockings?

December 12, 2021

If you’re only looking at the headlines from the past 48 hours, there is something major going on. First, on Friday afternoon Bloomberg reported that the G-7 finance chiefs are planning to discuss inflation as prices soar and the Financial Times followed on Saturday about the U.S. Democrats pushing the Federal Reserve for tougher action against inflation. These two stories are everything that we at NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND have been discussing since the Dems’ poor election showing last month.

The White House polls — and thus the political operatives — reflected that inflation concerns were going to be the biggest issue for all Democrats in 2022, which is why there was a sense of urgency to use SPR and release oil to drive headline energy costs down. It’s the classic political ploy to appear to be doing something. What’s next? Wage and price controls?

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Notes From Underground: A Possible Solution to the Central Bank Dilemma

November 14, 2021

It’s been. another week in which headline inflation concerns has jolted markets, particularly in the interest rate space, but not as much as many investors and traders would have expected. The yield curves in the U.S. FLATTENED as markets seem want to believe that the FED will raise rates in an effort to CURB the enthusiasm of the stickiness of recent price increases. As Peter Boockvar pointed out in his piece on Friday’s Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey, confidence declined due to rising concerns over the “escalating inflation rate and growing belief among consumers that no effective policies have yet been developed to reduce the damage from surging inflation.”

Consumers noted that the time to buy a car fell to the lowest level on record dating back to 1978. Those thinking it is a good time to buy a home was the lowest rate since 1982 when mortgage rates were far different than today’s very low loan rates.

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