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Home / Tag Archives: Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy

Tag Archives: Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy

No Sharp Turns From China’s Potential

Most people can be forgiven for suffering the misimpression. Some of it is intentional, as reflation – and those selling it – absolutely require a healthy Chinese contribution to reach their strong global rebound. As we’ve documented over the last decade, it almost doesn’t matter what numbers China’s economy actually puts forward, that system is always “strong.”The only time it wasn’t was understandable. In the first quarter of last year, the world was told about COVID and the “successful”...

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If the Fed’s Not In Consumer Prices, Then How About Producer Prices?

It’s not just that there isn’t much inflation evident in consumer prices. Rather, it’s a pretty big deal given the deluge of so much “money printing” this year, begun three-quarters of a year before, that consumer prices are increasing at some of the slowest rates in the data. Trillions in bank reserves, sure, but actual money can only be missing. OK, fine. What about commodities? If the Fed’s monetary fires haven’t fed through to corporate pricing power for the stuff going out the door,...

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Consumers, Producers, and the Unsettled End of 2020

The months of November and December aren’t always easily comparable year to year when it comes to American shopping habits. For a retailer, these are the big ones. The Christmas shopping season and the amount of spending which takes place during it makes or breaks the typical year (though last year, there was that whole thing in March and April which has had a say in each’s final annual condition). The calendar being what it is – we’ve never been forced to use the French Revolutionary...

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Rising Probability For A Second Payroll Minus (and its implications)

Revolving consumer credit declined again in November 2020, according to data released by the Federal Reserve last week. Though the monthly seasonally-adjusted change was small, it still represents significant uncertainty and material mistrust of the underlying economic condition among a broad section of consumers. Those who are paying down their credit card balances, while avoiding taking on higher revolving debts, they are the very consumers Fed policymakers are counting on to lead any...

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Episode 41; Part 2: Professor Copper’s Got Other Courses To Teach

41.2 Copper Prices Signal Inflation (or something else?) [Emil’s Summary] Mary Toft had delivered a litter of rabbits – that was the news that reached the court of King George I in 1726. Obstetrician John Howard arrived at Toft’s bedside in September where he was presented with several animal parts, ostensibly from the supernatural womb. In October, she delivered nine dead baby rabbits, prompting Howard to write a letter to England’s greatest doctors and scientists, as well as the King’s...

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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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Labor Shortage Under #1 Becomes Labor Bottleneck Under #2

It doesn’t quite rise to the level of the LABOR SHORTAGE!!!! fiasco, not yet, but it’s moving up toward that territory. This, of course, had been during Inflation Hysteria #1 when at its absolute peak the unemployment rate was being used to justify expectations for not just a little more in consumer prices but a lot more. In 2018, in particular, there were widespread anecdotes, hardly a day would pass without some mainstream media story about how companies were struggling to cope finding...

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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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Being Specific About Dollar Specifics

Last week, IHS Markit reported that sentiment in Mexico’s factory sector had slipped again during December 2020. The organization’s manufacturing PMI had declined for the second straight month, having peaked recently back in October. Even then, the index hadn’t yet come close to crossing the magic 50 dividing line. The best it had managed during this global rebound was a mere 43.6.This sentiment data correlates closely enough to the Mexican government’s statistics. According to that...

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Episode 41; Part 1: At Times, Interest Rates *Do* Go Up

41.1 Has the US Treasury Bond Rout Begun? (No.) [Emil’s Summary] Mary Toft had delivered a litter of rabbits – that was the news that reached the court of King George I in 1726. Obstetrician John Howard arrived at Toft’s bedside in September where he was presented with several animal parts, ostensibly from the supernatural womb. In October, she delivered nine dead baby rabbits, prompting Howard to write a letter to England’s greatest doctors and scientists, as well...

Read More »