Excuse the light posting, as the year end media onslaught shows no sign of slowing down:
After about an hour at Bloomberg — I literally jumped back into the booth to comment on the breaking Altria news — I go back to my office before running to the Nasdaq for a quick hit at NDTV. Then a meeting at UBS — a pal there took me to a terrific lunch at The Modern, the new restaurant adjacent to MOMA.
Mind you, this is on top of the WSJ on Monday and on Wednesday, Barron’s on Saturday, Reuters Tuesday, and Kudlow last and this week; Noah Blackstein was on tonite — I was sorely tempted to mix it up with him again!
Total compensation for this PR onslaught: $0.00
That’s right, you don’t get paid diddley for any of this stuff. With a bajillion people willing to do this for free, none of the channels need to pay for any of this; Hell, half of them do not even provide transport.
I am whupped. I better get a helluva Xmas bonus this year to cover the millions of dollars of PR I generated for my employer.
I am so tired, I am actually rooting for a transit strike so I can stay home Friday . . .
Category: Financial Press
The Federal Reserve, as expected raised interest rates for the
13th consecutive time Tuesday, lifting the federal-funds rate by a quarter
percentage point to 4.25%. The central bank suggested it would raise rates
again, but also hinted that it is less certain on its future rate actions than
it has been in over a year. In the accompanying statement, the Fed said growth
remained "solid", inflation excluding food and energy prices had "stayed
relatively low," and inflation expectations were contained. But it also warned
that the possibility of further erosion of spare productive capacity and high
energy prices "have the potential to add to inflation pressures."
economists and other analysts make of the changes? Here’s a sample of their
* * *
The Fed has finally taken the step that we have been
pointing to for a while, in separating the two concepts of reaching neutrality
and finishing the rate cycle. They kept "measured," as we thought they might,
but now it refers to "some further measured policy firming" as opposed to
removing accommodation at a measured rate. So, rather than being on automatic
pilot in raising rates toward neutral, the FOMC now sees itself in the second
stage of the rate hike cycle — further moves will be perceived by Fed officials
as taking policy toward a restrictive stance.
– Stephen Stanley, RBS
* * *
The message from the FOMC appears to be that barring a
major change in the tone of economic data, another 25bp tightening move will be
implemented at Chairman Greenspan’s last meeting on January 31. At that time, it
is quite possible that the "measured phrase" will be jettisoned, leaving
incoming Chairman Ben Bernanke with a clean slate for the next meeting on March
28. Our own view remains that the evidence concerning economic growth should be
sufficiently strong in coming months to spur another three 25bp tightening
moves, lifting the Fed funds target to 5.00% in the second quarter of the year.
We think that growth will then be moderating sufficiently for the FOMC to cease
tightening, even if core inflation drifts up mildly from its current
– Joshua Shapiro, Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc.
* * *
The Fed announced: "Core inflation has stayed relatively
low in recent months and longer-term inflation expectations remain contained."
Quite frankly, we do not believe them. We know that beyond the rises in food and
energy prices, nearly everything — from healthcare to building materials to
education costs to insurance to commodities — costs more. And gold, the world’s
best inflation indicator, is well over $500 per ounce. Where ever we look, we
see evidence that prices have limited stability and an upward bias.
Barry Ritholtz, Maxim Group
* * *