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Tag Archives: Alan Greenspan

More Than A Decade Too Late: FRBNY Now Wants To Know, Where Were The Dealers?

I’ve said it all along; focusing in on bank reserves would leave you dazed and confused. It’s just not how the system works. After all, as I pointed out again not long ago, “our” glorious central bank had the audacity to claim that there were “abundant” reserves during the worst financial panic in four generations. “Somehow” despite that, it was a Global Financial Crisis that lived up to its name – global. Straight away you have to ask, what good are reserves if they are abundant...

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Gold: Big Difference Which Kind of Hedge It Truly Is

It isn’t inflation which is driving gold higher, at least not the current levels of inflation. According to the latest update from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation calculation, the PCE Deflator, continues to significantly undershoot. Monetary policy explicitly calls for that rate to be consistent around 2%, an outcome policymakers keep saying they expect but one that never happens. For the month of July 2019, the index increased 1.38% year-over-year....

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

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 Bernanke to Yellen to Powell no matter what happens. Testifying before Congress today, in prepared remarks the Federal Reserve Chairman threw cold water on what was supposed...

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Proposed Negative Rates Really Expose The Bond Market’s Appreciation For What Is Nothing More Than Magic Number Theory

By far, the biggest problem in Economics is that it has no sense of itself. There are no self-correction mechanisms embedded within the discipline to make it disciplined. Without having any objective goals from which to measure, the goal is itself. Nobel Prize winning economist Ronald Coase talked about this deficiency in his Nobel Lecture: This neglect of other aspects of the system has been made easier by another feature of modern economic theory – the growing abstraction of the analysis,...

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Curves Rhyme, Too

People have started to look back fondly upon the Asian flu. It was as global disaster, a dollar shortage which spread all across mostly Asia but not exclusively. The reason why it is talked about positively nowadays is LTCM and rate cuts. Popular myth has it that Greenspan’s Fed properly handled any economic fallout due to the former by enacting the latter. Beginning September 1998, faced with “overseas turmoil”, the FOMC began a series of only three rate cuts. According to convention, this...

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The Real Price of Inflation Targeting

While still a professor of Economics at Princeton, future Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was also a Research Associate for the NBER. In 1999, in his capacities with the latter organization, Bernanke advocated for widespread adoption of inflation targeting. At that time, only a few central banks had experimented with it and there wasn’t much evidence for its effectiveness. Publishing a paper on that topic, he would return to this theme (transparency increases effectiveness) that would...

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Where It All (Should Have) Started

It was late on a Friday night in early September 1997. Because his speech was given at Stanford University out in the Pacific Time Zone just as the weekend was about to commence, market watchers were bated with an almost frenzied anticipation. Alan Greenspan had come to be seen as more than just a monetary policy bureaucrat. He had conquered the bond market with his 1994 massacre, and was leading, nay, controlling the entire US economy with such skilled input it was the very example of simple...

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Eurodollar University: The Essential Business of Decoding Curves

It was the most common catchphrase of 2017, interest rates have nowhere to go but up. Maybe it was doomed from the start given that Alan Greenspan was among the more prominent commentators expressing this view. In his mind, the bond market was in a bubble and the party was already over. His successors at the Fed, following in his footsteps, had heroically vanquished the negative factors still lingering after a Great “Recession” nobody could have seen coming. Success at long last, total and...

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Trend-Cycle or Payrolls?

On Friday, February, 2, 2001, the BLS reported stellar headline numbers for its Employment Situation release. Preliminary estimates for the Establishment Survey suggested US payrolls had gained +268k in the month of January. To put it in perspective, that would equate to +324k in today’s population, or a bit better than the latest figure. The economic climate of the time was one of great uncertainty. Over the previous months, it appeared as if the US economy had begun exhibiting symptoms...

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COT Blue: Biggest Warning Yet

The problem, or one of them anyway, with so many glaring market warnings is that it becomes difficult to keep up with all of them. You tend to focus on those right in front of you, the more immediate and visible. Oil is everything for reflation, and therefore its untimely end, so naturally the WTI curve gets all the unlovable love. And while we pay a lot of attention to the yield curve, there is less emphasis on some of the mechanics behind it. The Treasury futures market sort of runs the...

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