FOMC Minutes


The new improved FOMC Minutes are out here (and in PDF version)

This is the most notable paragraph in my read:

"Participants generally agreed that the available data suggested that consumer spending had been well maintained over the past several months and that spillovers from the strains in the housing market had apparently been quite limited to date. Nevertheless, a number of participants cited notable declines in survey measures of consumer confidence since the onset of financial turbulence in mid-summer, along with sharply higher oil prices, declines in house prices, and tighter under-writing standards for home equity loans and some types of consumer loans, as factors likely to restrain consumer spending going forward. Moreover, anecdotal reports by business contacts suggested a softening in retail sales in some regions of the country. Participants expressed a concern that larger-than-expected declines in house prices could further sap consumer confidence as well as net worth, causing a pullback in consumer spending. All told, however, participants envisioned that the most likely scenario was for consumer spending to continue to advance at a moderate rate in coming quarters, supported by the generally strong labor market and further gains in real personal income."

Also noteworthy: Summary of Economic Projections on pages 9 – 16


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The Panic of 1907 (Book Excerpt)

Panic_of_1907_jacketTime for another book excerpt:

I previously mentioned The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market’s Perfect Storm by Robert F. Bruner and Sean D. Carr, in a linkfest a few months ago.

I found the book, published exactly a century after the original event, to have some rather interesting parallels to today.

The significance of the 1907 Panic as an economic event went far beyond the mere crash and recovery.  It eventually led to the creation of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

There is a video excerpt from the book here.

The authors point out the following Déjà vu — 100 years later:  "War was fresh in mind. Immigration was fueling dramatic changes in society. New technologies were changing people’s everyday lives. Wall Street was wheeling and dealing . . ."

They also name 7 factors are required to develop a financial panic:  Buoyant Growth, Systemic Architecture, Inadequate Safety Buffers, Adverse Leadership, Real Economic Shock, Fear and Greed, Failure of Collective Action.

The Intro, and Chapters 1 -3 follow after the jump.






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