The Federal Reserve has pursued the unprecedented monetary policy of lowering rates to zero and increasing their portfolio from 500 billion to over 4 trillion. But as the Fed reminds us, there is a cost.
While armchair and tenured economists took Trump to task last week over his reportedly "overly optimistic" GDP projections, it is worth recalling that in 2009 when Obama took office in the midst of a recession, the former president projected GDP growth of 3.5% to 4.5% for 2010-2014. He never even got above 3%.
"The worst thing he could do -- and I see this as a real danger -- would be to politicize the agencies that produce government economic data, to put people in place that will skew the numbers in his favor. If that happens, the data will be useless, and we’ll essentially be flying blind when it comes to the true state of the economy.”
"I want to believe that it was not, because the alternative, that liquidity has devolved to the point that a relatively small and formerly obscure fund can drive the entire market for days on end is quite scary as both a trader and investor."
Robots are taking human jobs. But Bill Gates believes that governments should tax companies’ use of them, as a way to at least temporarily slow the spread of automation and to fund other types of employment - such as taking care of elderly people or working with kids in schools, for which needs are unmet and to which humans are particularly well suited.
In the latest distancing by Trump administration advisors from recent statements by the President, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit on Monday to discuss the war effort against ISIS, and said that the US military is not in Iraq "to seize anybody’s oil."
In this holiday-shortened week, attention will be on the US FOMC minutes, housing data and consumer confidence. There will be GDP, PMI and inflation releases across the Euro Area as well as the latest Greek Eurogroup meeting. Look for GDP and public finances data in the UK.
Despite a calm start to European trading, with local equity bourses posting solid early gains, European political fears have returned this morning, resultin in a blow out in French government bond yields, pushing the 10y yield now higher by 5bps and 5y up 8bps, as early losses extend after latest poll shows support for anti-euro presidential candidate Marine Le Pen rising in both election rounds.
Despite US markets being closed in observance of Washington's birthday, S&P futures spiked during overnight trading, reaching new all time highs before fading some of the gains. Both Asian and European markets traded modestly higher after paring early gains.
As part of the epic, multi-year criminal investigation into the doomed IPO of Spain’s frankenbank Bankia, Spain’s national court called to testify six central bankers and one financial regulator. The previously untouchable now stand accused of authorizing the public launch of Bankia in 2011 despite repeated warnings that the banking group was “unviable.”
Concerns about a potential, and so far unsubstantiated, nuclear "incident", reportedly in the vicinity of the Arctic circle, spread in the past week after trace amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin were detected in January over large areas in Europe according to a report by a French nuclear watchdog.
"The United States is now in the extraordinary situation that the liberal/progressive/left is allied with the deep state against democracy. The liberal/progressive/left are lobbying for the impeachment of a president who has committed no impeachable offense. The neoconservatives have stated their preference for a deep state coup against democracy. The media obliges with a constant barrage of lies, innuendos and disinformation. The insouciant American public sits there sucking its thumb."
China’s move to ban coal imports from North Korea, effectively crippling the country’s already battered economy, will have two implications: it may prompt Beijing and Washington to sit deal and figure out how to "resolve" the problem, and it may risk the start of a political crisis with unpredictable regional consequences.
"Affirmative consent" is a fuzzy concept even for adults, which is why one of them taught 10th graders in California that they must say 'yes' every 10 minutes during sex or it becomes rape. The concept was enshrined in state law in October 2015, and since then California has remained the only state to legally require "yes means yes" be taught in public schools. Maryland could soon be the second...
A script advises callers to complain: "I'm honestly scared that a known racist and anti-Semite will be working just feet from the Oval Office... It is everyone’s business if a man who promoted white supremacy is serving as an adviser to the president."