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Tag Archives: QE

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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Inflating Inflation Expectations

Rising prices feature in many economic forecasts for the US.  It is seen as part of the reflation meme as the vaccines roll out.  There seem to be three threads to the discussion.  The first is practically mathematically certain.  Economists refer to it as the base effect.  As the pandemic struck and the economy shut down, prices fell.  Headline CPI fell by 0.4% in March 2019, by 0.8% in April, and another 0.1% in May.  The PCE deflator, which the Fed targets, fell by 0.3% in March and by...

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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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Messing Gold

They really got carried away, though in the context of that time there seemed any number of legitimate reasons for this. Gold investors were bidding up the precious metal like there was some kind of shortage, the price in dollars making a new record high (LBMA morning fix) on August 7. The way it was reported in the mainstream, this was more confirmation of Jay Powell’s flood of money printing making its way into every last corner of the financial world driving gold bugs nuts in the process...

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Consumers, Too; (Un)Confident To Re-engage

There is a lot of evidence which shows some basis for expectations-based monetary policy. Much of what becomes a recession or worse is due to the psychological impacts upon businesses (who invest and hire) as well as workers being consumers (who earn and then spend). Once the snowball of macro contraction begins rolling downhill, rational prudence dictates some degree of caution on all parts (pro-cyclicality).Bathed in the unearned glow of the Great “Moderation”, central banking’s greatest...

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Saving Jobs Won’t Save Us From Jaws

Mario Draghi’s sunset retirement festivities weren’t supposed to have gone off this way. Celebrated for his July 2012 “promise” to save the euro, he instead spent the entirety of his eight years as President of the ECB chasing inflation and recovery, the very things meant to accomplish the euro’s saving, without success. By the end, his final act in September 2019 was to restart QE all over again, putting him like Europe right back at the start.It’s why, when it comes to “stimulus” like QE,...

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QQE To The Moon, *Deflation* Returns to Japan Anyway

If it shows up at the Federal Reserve, you can pretty much bet everything you own that it was tried out at the Bank of Japan first. And if it was the brilliant brainchild of someone at the BoJ, then you’re guaranteed it failed spectacularly. Which means, obviously, the “ideal” technocrats at the Fed intentionally copied something they knew had already proved ineffective and useless. QE is hardly the only example of this. More than halfway through the year 2016 when nothing was going to...

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Six Point Nine Times Two Equals What It Had In Twenty Fourteen

It was a shock, total disbelief given how everyone, and I mean everyone, had penciled China in as the world’s go-to growth engine. If the global economy was ever going to get off the ground again following GFC1 more than a half a decade before, the Chinese had to get back to their precrisis “normal.” In 2014, the clock was ticking but expectations were extremely high nonetheless.In September 2014, however, massive setback. Though it had been building all year by then – CNY abruptly falling...

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