The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts
Story 1: Up Up and Away Interest Rates Will Go — Until The Next Recession Hits — Fed Debates Use of Word Patient — It Is The Economy Stupid, Not The Stock Market and Wealth Effect — The Coming Deflation Caused By The Fed? — The Failure of Command and Control of Money’s Price — Interest Rates — Videos
Up Up and Away
Fifth Dimension – Up Up & Away , My Beautiful Balloon
Janet Yellen’s Senate Testimony in Two Minutes
The Fed is Trapped in ZIRP World
Keiser Report: Derp-like policy of ZIRP and NIRP (E613)
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen: 5.7% Unemployment Rate Paints Rosier Picture Than U-6 Rate
Yellen Says Fed Still ‘patient’ on Raising Rates
Peter Schiff on The Strong Dollar, U.S. market risk and Fed Chair Janet Yellen
Jim Rickards on Fed Chair Janet Yellen and The Strong Dollar
What is QUANTiTATIVE EASING | Federal Reserve (Central Banks)
Fed Caused Oil Crash, Stocks Next
The Fed, interest rates, and the markets
When will the Fed raise interest rates
Plosser: Deflation not a risk to US economy
Michael Snyder- Deflation then Inflation Through the Roof
ECONOMIC COLLAPSE Gold Manipulation, Wages Decline, Inflation, Deflation. Print
Milton Friedman – Abolish The Fed
Peter Schiff: Why We Should END the Fed?
Milton Friedman Explains the Cause of the Great Depression
Milton Friedman On John Maynard Keynes
Murray Rothbard on Economic Recessions
Deflation the Biggest Risk of the Economic Crisis? – Janet Yellen
Fed Reserve Janet Yellen Wont Raise Interest Rates To Fight Bubbles
The Fed and Fractional Reserve Banking Caused the Great Depression – Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman – Money and Inflation
Milton Friedman – Monetary Revolutions
Milton Friedman on Money / Monetary Policy (Federal Reserve) Part 1
Milton Friedman on Money / Monetary Policy (Federal Reserve) Part 2
Booms and Busts, Mises vs Keynes – And Religion As a Bulwark against Tyranny
NEW WORLD ORDER 2015 ECONOMIC COLLAPSE
Colorful Time-Lapse of Hot Air Balloons in New Mexico
Abba – Money, Money, Money
WHAT IT MEANS IF FED NO LONGER SAYS IT’S ‘PATIENT’ ON RATES
For the Federal Reserve, patience may no longer be a virtue.
Surrounding the Fed’s policy meeting this week is the widespread expectation that it will no longer use the word “patient” to describe its stance on raising interest rates from record lows.
The big question is: What will that mean?
Many economists say the dropping of “patience” would signal that the Fed plans to start raising rates in June to reflect a steadily strengthening U.S. job market. Others foresee no rate hike before September. And a few predict no increase before year’s end at the earliest.
Complicating the decision is a surging U.S. dollar, which is keeping inflation far below the Fed’s target rate and posing a threat to U.S. corporate profits and possibly to the economy. A rate increase could send the dollar even higher.
In a statement it will issue when its meeting ends Wednesday and in a news conference Chair Janet Yellen will hold afterward, the Fed isn’t likely to telegraph its timetable. Yellen has said that any decision to raise rates will reflect the latest economic data and that the Fed must remain flexible.
Still, nervous investors have been selling stocks out of concern that a rate increase – which could slow borrowing and spending and weigh on the economy – is coming soon.
“I think the odds are better than 50-50 that the Fed … will drop the word `patient’ at the March meeting, and that would put an initial rate hike in play, perhaps as early as the June meeting,” said David Jones, author of several books about the Fed.
Historically, the Fed raises rates as the economy strengthens in order to control growth and prevent inflation from overheating. Over the past 12 months, U.S. employers have added a solid 200,000-plus jobs every month. And unemployment has reached a seven-year low of 5.5 percent, the top of the range the Fed has said is consistent with a healthy economy.
The trouble is that the Fed isn’t meeting its other major policy goal – achieving stable inflation, which it defines as annual price increases of around 2 percent. According to the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, prices rose just 0.2 percent over the past 12 months. In part, excessively low U.S. inflation reflects sinking energy prices and the dollar’s rising value, which lowers the prices of goods imported to the United States.
It isn’t just inflation that remains below optimal levels. Though the job market has been strong, the overall economy has yet to regain full health. The economy slowed to a tepid 2.2 percent annual rate in the October-December quarter, and economists generally think the current quarter might be even weaker. Manufacturers are struggling with falling exports, partly because of the strong dollar, and consumers – the drivers of the economy – have seemed reluctant to spend their windfall savings from cheaper energy.
What’s more, pay for many workers remains stagnant, and there are 6.6 million part-timers who can’t find full-time jobs – nearly 50 percent more than in 2007, before the recession began.
For those reasons, some analysts think it would be premature to raise rates soon.
“The last thing the Fed wants to do right now is spook the markets and the economy into an even slower growth trajectory,” said Brian Bethune, an economics professor at Tufts University.
After it met in December, the Fed said for the first time that it would be “patient’ about raising rates. Yellen said that meant there would be no increase at the Fed’s next two meetings. And in testimony to Congress last month, she cautioned that even when “patient” is dropped, it won’t necessarily signal an imminent rate hike – only that the Fed will think the economy has improved enough for it to consider a rate increase on a “meeting-by-meeting basis.”
Some economists say the Fed may tweak its policy statement this week to signal that a higher inflation outlook would be needed before any rate hike. And they expect the Fed to go further in coming months to ready investors for the inevitable.
“The process is going to be glacial,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago. “They want to prepare the markets for change, but they don’t want to scare them.”
Though Swonk thinks the Fed will drop “patient” from its statement this week, she doesn’t expect a rate hike before September. Even then, she foresees only small increases in its benchmark rate.
Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University, suggested that the Fed’s strategy in beginning to raise rates won’t be to slow the economy. Rather, he thinks the goal will be to manage the expectations of investors, some of whom weren’t even in business in 2004, the last time the Fed began raising rates.
“The Fed is just trying to send a message that the world is about to enter a new age after a long period of low interest rates to a period of rising rates,” Sohn said.
The End of “Patient” and Questions for Yellen, by Tim Duy: FOMC meeting with week, with a subsequent press conference with Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Remember to clear your calendar for this Wednesday. It is widely expected that the Fed will drop the word “patient” from its statement. Too many FOMC participants want the opportunity to debate a rate hike in June, and thus “patient” needs to go. The Fed will not want this to imply that a rate hike is guaranteed at the June meeting, so look for language emphasizing the data-dependent nature of future policy. This will also be stressed in the press conference. Of interest too will be the Fed’s assessment of economic conditions since the last FOMC meeting. On net, the data has been lackluster – expect for the employment data, of course. The latter, however, is of the highest importance to the Fed. I anticipate that they will view the rest of the data as largely noise against the steadily improving pace of underlying activity as indicated by employment data. That said, I would expect some mention of recent softness in the opening paragraph of the statement. I don’t think the Fed will alter its general conviction that low readings on inflation are largely temporary. They may even cite improvement in market-based measures of inflation compensation to suggest they were right not to panic at the last FOMC meeting. I am also watching for how they describe the international environment. I would not expect explicit mention of the dollar, but maybe we will see a coded reference. Note that in her recent testimony, Yellen said:
But core PCE inflation has also slowed since last summer, in part reflecting declines in the prices of many imported items and perhaps also some pass-through of lower energy costs into core consumer prices.
Stronger dollar means lower prices of imported items. The press conference will be the highlight of the meeting. Presumably, Yellen will continue to build the case for a rate hike. Since the foundation of that case rests on the improvement in labor markets and the subsequent impact on inflationary pressures, it is reasonable to ask:
On a scale of zero to ten, with ten being most confident, how confident is the Committee that inflation will rise toward target on the basis on low – and expected lower – unemployment?
Considering that low wage growth suggests it is too early to abandon Yellen’s previous conviction that unemployment is not the best measure of labor market tightness, we should consider:
Is faster wage growth a precondition to raising interest rates?
I expect the answer would be “no, wages are a lagging indicator.” The Federal Reserve seems to believe that policy will still remain very accommodative even after the first rate hike. We should ask for a metric to quantify the level of accommodation:
What is the current equilibrium level of interest rates? Where do you see the equilibrium level of interest rates in one year?
A related question regards the interpretation of the yield curve:
Do you consider low interest long-term interest rates to be indicative of loose monetary conditions, or a signal that the Federal Reserve needs to temper its expectations of the likely path of interest rates as indicated in the “dot plot”?
Relatedly, differential monetary policy is supporting capital inflows, depressing US interest rates and strengthening the dollar. This dynamic ignited a debate of what it means for the economy and how the Fed should or should not respond. Thus:
The dollar is appreciating at the fastest rate in many years. Is the appreciating dollar a drag on the US economy, or is any negative impact offset by the positive demand impact of looser monetary policy abroad? How much will the dollar need to appreciate before it impacts the direction of monetary policy?
Given that the Fed seems determined to raise interest rates, we should probably be considering some form of the following as a standard question:
Consider the next six months. Which is greater – the risk of moving too quickly to normalize policy, or the risk of delay? Please explain, with specific reference to both risks.
Finally, a couple of communications questions. First, the Fed is signaling that they do not intend to raise rates on a preset, clearly communicated path like the last hike cycle. Hence, we should not expect “patient” to be replaced with “measured.” But it seems like the FOMC is too contentious to expect them to shift from no hike one meeting to 25bp the next, then back to none – or maybe 50bp. So, let’s ask Yellen to explain the plan:
There appears to be an effort on the part of the FOMC to convince financial markets that rate hikes, when they begin, will not be on a pre-set path. Given the need for consensus building on the FOMC, how can you credibly commit to renegotiate the direction of monetary policy at each FOMC meeting? How do you communicate the likely direction of monetary policy between meetings?
Finally, as we move closer to policy normalization, the Fed should be rethinking the “dot plot,” which was initially conceived to show the Fed was committed to a sustained period of low rates. Given that the dot-plot appears to be fairly hawkish relative to market expectations, it may not be an appropriate signal in a period of rising interest rates. Time for a change? But is the Fed considering a change, and when will we see it? This leads me to:
Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester has suggested revising the Summary of Economic Projections to explicitly link the forecasts of individual participants with their “dots” in the interest rate projections. Do you agree that this would be helpful in describing participants’ reaction functions? When will this or any other revisions to the Summary of Economic Projections be considered?
Bottom Line: By dropping “patient” the Fed will be taking another step toward the first rate hike of this cycle. But how long do we need to wait until that first hike? That depends on the data, and we will be listening for signals as to how, or how not, the Fed is being impacted by recent data aside from the positive readings on the labor market. http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/fed_watch/
Patient’ is History: The February employment report almost certainly means the Fed will no longer describe its policy intentions as “patient” at the conclusion of the March FOMC meeting. And it also keep a June rate hike in play. But for June to move from “in play” to “it’s going to happen,” I still feel the Fed needs a more on the inflation side. The key is the height of that inflation bar. The headline NFP gain was a better-than-expected 295k with 18k upward adjustment for January. The 12-month moving average continues to trend higher:
Unemployment fell to 5.5%, which is the top of the central range for the Fed’s estimate of NAIRU. Still, wage growth remains elusive:
Is wage growth sufficient to stay the Fed’s hand? I am not so sure. Irecently wrote:
My take is this: To get a reasonably sized consensus to support a rate hike, two conditions need to be met. One is sufficient progress toward full-employment with the expectation of further progress. I think that condition has already been met. The second condition is confidence that inflation will indeed trend toward target. That condition has not been met. To meet that condition requires at least one of the following sub-conditions: Rising core-inflation, rising market-based measures of inflation compensation, or accelerating wage growth. If any were to occur before June, I suspect it would be the accelerating wage growth.
I am less confident that we will see accelerating wage growth by June, although I should keep in mind we still have three more employment reports before that meeting. Note, however, low wage growth does not preclude a rate hike. The Fed hiked rates in 1994 in a weak wage growth environment:
And again in 2004 liftoff occurred on the (correct) forecast of accelerating wage growth:
So wage growth might not be there in June to support a rate hike. And, as I noted earlier this weaker, I have my doubts on whether core-inflation would support a rate hike either. That leaves us with market-based measures of inflation compensation. And at this point, that just might be the key:
If bond markets continue to reverse the oil-driven inflation compensation decline, the Fed may see a way clear to hiking rates in June. But the pace and timing of subsequent rate hikes would still be data dependent. I would anticipate a fairly slow, halting path of rate hikes in the absence of faster wage growth. Bottom Line: “Patient” is out. Tough to justify with unemployment at the top of the Fed’s central estimates of NAIRU. Pressure to begin hiking rates will intensify as unemployment heads lower. The inflation bar will fall, and Fed officials will increasingly look for reasons to hike rates rather than reasons to delay. They may not want to admit it, but I suspect one of those reasons will be fear of financial instability in the absence of tighter policy. June is in play.
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END FED: Oil Prices Rise Due To
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CNN/Opinion Research Corporation: “69 percent of Americans favor increased offshore drilling”
WASHINGTON – Earlier today, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was released, further underscoring the fact that an overwhelmingly clear majority of Americans support the responsible development of homegrown oil and natural gas offshore. According to the poll, “69 percent of Americans favor increased offshore drilling.” According to CNN’s polling director, Keating Holland, “Although support for increased drilling in U.S. waters is highest among Republicans, a majority of Democrats also favor it.”
Barry Russell, president and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), issued this statement regarding these findings:
“America’s independent oil and natural gas producers play a leading role in responsibly producing the homegrown energy resources critical to meet the nation’s growing demands. In fact, according to a recent report, independents drill 95 percent of America’s onshore and offshore wells. Equally clear, as confirmed by this new survey, is the American people’s support for the responsible development of job-creating offshore energy exploration and production.
“Our economy is struggling, and many remain out of work along the Gulf Coast as a result of misguided Washington policies that continue to discourage access to reliable oil and natural gas supplies offshore. And with gas prices on the rise, hampering our economic recovering and stretching family budgets to the brink, the Obama Administration and leaders in Congress must act boldly and swiftly to streamline access to taxpayer-owned oil and natural gas resources offshore. Shirking this critical responsibly will only further weaken our nation’s energy security. The American people have spoken clearly. Inaction is not an option.”
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Obama Lift’s Moratorium on Offshore Drilling Part 2 – 4-01-2010 Democracy NOW!
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||Gross Debt in Billions undeflated
||as % of GDP
||Debt Held By Public ($Billions)
||as % of GDP
|2010 (2 Nov)
||93.2 (3rd Q)
||62.0 (3rd Q)
Note: 2010-2014 are projections
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