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Tag Archives: Deflation

What Might Be In *Another* Market-based Yield Curve Twist?

With the UST yield curve currently undergoing its own market-based twist, it’s worth investigating a couple potential reasons for it. On the one hand, the long end, clear cut reflation: markets are not, as is commonly told right now, pricing 1979 Great Inflation #2, rather how the next few years may not be as bad (deflationary) as once thought a few months ago. On the other hand, over at the short end, yields are dropping toward zero again. This steepening isn’t quite the “good” version....

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Two Seemingly Opposite Ends Of The Inflation Debate Come Together

It’s worth taking a look at a couple of extremes, and the putting each into wider context of inflation/deflation. As you no doubt surmise, only one is receiving much mainstream attention. The other continues to be overshadowed by…anything else. To begin with, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that US import prices were up on annual basis for the first time in some time. Rising in January 2021 by 0.9% year-over-year, this was actually the fastest increase in almost three and a...

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The Endangered Inflationary Species: Gazelles

Nevada is, by all accounts and accountants, in rough shape. Very rough shape. An economy overly dependent upon a single industry, tourism, in this case, is a disaster waiting to happen should anything happen to that industry. Pandemic restrictions, for instance.Nevadans cannot afford the government spending they “have” without a gaming industry attracting visitors at full throttle. Desperate, the state’s governor Steve Sisolak announced last week that officials would explore setting up...

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Hey Bill, *What* Is It?

There are those people who will remain convinced forever forward that the Federal Reserve is run by capable technocrats absolutely skilled at maintaining for the free peoples of the United States their financial freedom. At a general level, they are thought to do so by signaling to market and economic participants just how these should respond to monetary policy inputs. To create and sustain such signals, those central bankers are said to exhibit a high level of on-the-ground proficiency by...

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The ‘Cs’ Both Stand For ‘Clown’; YCC ‘Lite’ Hits Europe (allegedly)

The ECB wants everyone to know that it is in control, and therefore has everything under control. Through an almost certainly carefully placed leak, European central bank officials have let it be known current monetary policy is practicing a kind of yield curve control. Not just the usual QE in terms of bond buying, but tailoring specific parameters within the program in order to achieve what policymakers are saying adds up to more complete financial command. They just aren’t ready to call...

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Suasion, Sure, But Is It Really Moral?

One of the concepts educators sort of snuck into the curriculum was something they called “moral suasion.” This term has meanings outside of Economics, but within the discipline it refers to one key element to the monetary policies of central banks. Basically, persuading markets or economic groups to act in the way officials want using rhetoric or threats without having to resort to overt and explicit means. If central bankers have walked softly all these years, the so-called big stick they...

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The Fundamentals of the Bond ‘Bubble’

They were never very specific to begin with, even in Ben Bernanke’s infamous November 2010 Post op-ed covering the start of QE2. Officials like to keep it purposefully vague as a kind of dry powder, a margin for error. If bureaucrats become too specific, the public would reasonably hold them to their own standard being laid out. The point behind Alan Greenspan’s infamous fedspeak was, most of all, wiggle room. QE is going to help boost the economy. How, you naturally ask? Don’t say. Keep it...

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They’ve Gone Too Far (or have they?)

Between November 1998 and February 1999, Japan’s government bond (JGB) market was utterly decimated. You want to find an historical example of a real bond rout (no caps nor exclamations necessary), take a look at what happened during those three exhilarating (if you were a government official) months. The JGB 10-year yield had dropped to a low of just 77.2 bps during the depths of 1998’s Asian Financial Crisis (or “flu”, so noted for its regional contagious dollar shortages). Having backed...

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The Summer Slowdown Collides With The Summers Acceleration Theory

You’d think Larry Summers would know better. Not that he stepped in it, again, but rather why he did this particular time. Making a big deal out of inflationary aggregate demand when he’s been practically the lone mainstream Economist to look at the post-2008 economy in an honest and serious fashion to then somehow failing to incorporate that view into our current place. What got Summers in hot water a few days ago was a rather careless throwaway surrounding his usual partisan politics....

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Evidence Only For Hysteria

The people who believe they are the Federal Reserve’s biggest critics are actually Jay Powell’s most vocal supporters right now. Rather than being bothered by all the “Weimar” memes and printer-go-brrrrr jokes, US central bank officials welcome such free press (pun intended). Anything that contributes to the idea there will be inflation – a little or a ton – helps current monetary policy achieve its objective.And let’s be perfectly clear as to what that objective is: not inflation itself,...

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