janet yellen

Denying The Curve? Show Your Work

By |2019-08-16T17:14:56-04:00August 16th, 2019|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

One of the primary reasons Economists go unchallenged is because they’ve made the subject matter dense and complex. Needlessly so, in many cases. Anyone in the financial media or the public who wishes to challenge Jay Powell (well, maybe not Powell) on any economic concept is as likely to get a lecture on regressions and [...]

Weakening Labor Market Now In All The Data

By |2019-08-06T12:10:20-04:00August 6th, 2019|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

The JOLTS series had always been a seemingly superfluous set of labor numbers for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The agency wanted to go deeper into employment when it originally presented these other series in 2002. The unemployment rate seemed accurate enough, but it came at the labor market solely from the view of [...]

As Chinese Factory Deflation Sets In, A ‘Dovish’ Powell Leans on ‘Uncertainty’

By |2019-07-10T12:24:25-04:00July 10th, 2019|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

It’s a clever bit of misdirection. In one of the last interviews he gave before passing away, Milton Friedman talked about the true strength of central banks. It wasn’t money and monetary policy, instead he admitted that what they’re really good at is PR. Maybe that’s why you really can’t tell the difference Greenspan to [...]

When Verizons Multiply, Macro In Inflation

By |2019-06-12T16:06:28-04:00June 12th, 2019|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Inflation always brings out an emotional response. Far be it for me to defend Economists, but their concept is at least valid – if not always executed convincingly insofar as being measurable. An inflation index can be as meaningful as averaging the telephone numbers in a phone book (for anyone who remembers what those things [...]

Global Doves Expire: A Hundred Years of US IP Give Bond Market Another Win

By |2019-05-15T16:34:54-04:00May 15th, 2019|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

The Federal Reserve has been maintaining statistics on American industry for nearly as long as there has been a Federal Reserve. The first entry in the data series on Industrial Production is for the month of January ’19. Not 2019 but 1919. With over a hundred years of relatively consistent data, matching up very well [...]

Federal Funds Rate Is Communicating (Again)

By |2019-04-22T12:27:20-04:00April 22nd, 2019|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

It is the shadows what really matter. A big enough problem in them would affect pretty much everything, including far off, out-of-the-way places like federal funds. Thus, if we observe weird things going on there we can infer more serious issues back where it does mean something. In 2013 and 2014, the Federal Reserve was [...]

Inflation Is (Still) Not About Consumer Prices

By |2019-04-10T12:36:19-04:00April 10th, 2019|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

To most people, this inflation business seems pretty silly. There are those who argue that any inflation index whether the CPI, PCE Deflator or some other approach yet to be devised can accurately capture the concept. And they are absolutely right to question the enterprise. Most people feel inflation in the things they do most; [...]

What Is Missed Inflation

By |2019-03-12T12:34:44-04:00March 12th, 2019|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

As an alternate member of the FOMC, Lorretta Mester has been sounding off on inflation. When the payroll report for the month of August 2018 was released early in September, Mester as President of the Cleveland Fed was widely quoted for her “hawkish” stance. Referencing the highest wage growth in a decade, speaking in Boston [...]

The Deeper Red of The (False) Dawn

By |2019-03-06T11:38:33-05:00March 6th, 2019|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

The concept of an economic “false dawn” was almost entirely unfamiliar to the postwar US experience. We came close in 2002 and the first half of 2003, but eventually the housing bubble era took over. The dot-com recession was mild, sure enough, somehow, though, recovery seemed so elusive for a longer period than the contraction [...]