Posts filed under “Federal Reserve”
“It is after a trend has been reversed that the full effect of the preceding excesses is felt.” -George Soros
For the last 5+ years we have seen a massive attempt by global central banks to prop up asset prices. The Federal Reserve has spearheaded the effort, increasing their balance sheet from less than $1 trillion in 2007 to over $4 trillion today. One of the main threats that QE allegedly posed was that printing trillions of dollars would lead to runaway inflation, the complete collapse of fiat currency. Now obviously that hasn’t happened, in fact we’ve seen almost the exact opposite. Check out the chart below which graphs Google searches for “hyperinflation.” You’ll notice that fear is abating.
Consider that in 2013, 18 of the 21 biggest economies in the world had inflation rates of less than 2%. Who could have predicted that after 3 rounds of easing and one twist, people would be more worried about deflation than inflation? Bernanke has done a masterful job no doubt; Ray Dalio has gone as far to say that America is experiencing a “beautiful deleveraging.”
The fed is now of the mind that the economy can stand on its own and Janet has begun peeling the band aid off. The market has thus far welcomed the scaling back with open arms; the S&P 500 is up ~6% since December 18 when Bernanke unleashed the Taper.
Asset prices have inflated to be certain, the S&P 500 is up around 115% since the Fed’s first round of “Quantitative Easing”, fine collectors are back collecting, and $80M diamonds are being auctioned off. A key ingredient that has been missing from this recovery is wage growth.
But alas, just last week we saw average hourly earnings increased 0.4%, more than double expectations and up 2.2% y/o/y. Check out the chart below from Deutsche Bank.
In 1987 George Soros said “It is after a trend has been reversed that the full effect of the preceding excesses is felt.” Wouldn’t it be something if we only start to smell inflation after QE has been reversed, after all the hyper inflationistas have crawled back into their cave? Markets have a unique ability to forecast the future, don’t look now you guys, but the CRB commodity index is up 10% YTD.
“The weak recovery is proof that the Federal Reserve’s program of quantitative easement does not work.” You do not understand the Counter-Factual. That is the only conclusion I can draw from what the very common criticism of the Federal Reserve policies of ZIRP and QE (above), and its inherent analytical error. The…Read More
If They Will Lend, Someone Will Spend (on Something) Paul Kasriel March 17, 2014 Upon awakening from my winter hibernation way up here in beautiful northeastern Wisconsin, I have noticed that bank asset managers have been anything but hibernating. Rather, they have been quite busy expanding their loans and securities. As shown in…Read More
Private Credit and Public Debt in Financial Crises Òscar Jordà, Moritz Schularick, and Alan M. Taylor FRBSF Economic Letter 2014-07 March 10, 2014 Recovery from a recession triggered by a financial crisis is greatly influenced by the government’s fiscal position. A financial crisis puts considerable stress on the government’s budget, sometimes triggering attacks…Read More
How Unconventional Are Large-Scale Asset Purchases? Carlo Rosa and Andrea Tambalotti Liberty Street Economics, March 03, 2014 The large-scale asset purchases (LSAPs) undertaken by the Fed starting in late November 2008 are widely considered to be a form of “unconventional” monetary policy. Although these interventions are certainly unprecedented, this post shows that their…Read More
Source: Elliot-today Earlier this week, we discussed the amount of laughter in FOMC meetings as a sign that the Fed was not fully cognizant of the coming financial storm. Today’s chart adds another component to this, overlaying Fed laughs with Case Shiller residential real estate price index, via Elliot-today. Perhaps the best way…Read More
Source: Bianco Research This month, 1,865 pages of FOMC transcripts from 2008 were released to the public. Bloomberg studied the transcripts, finding on average about 25 references to laughter per meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. This was almost half of the 45 giggles per FOMC meeting in 2007. Continues here