Federal Reserve Bank Of Boston

Key Events In The Coming Week

In the US focus will be on the market's reaction to the second presidential debate, FOMC Minutes but also retail sales, import and producer prices and Michigan sentiment. We also hear from various Fed speakers throughout the week, and Chair Yellen gives a keynote speech on Friday.

It's All About This Friday's Payrolls: Key Events In The Coming Week

After Friday's Jackson Hole repricing of Fed hike expectations, which made it clear that the fate of a September rate hike is now in the hands of the August payrolls number, the main risk event of the week is therefore this Friday's US NFPs for which consensus expects a reading of 180K, down from last month's 217K print. A number substantially above this will make a September hike virtually certain, and potentially risks roiling markets as good news will likely be bad news this time around.

Key Events In The Coming Week

After last week's global data deluge which culminated with the worst US jobs reported in 6 years, looking at this week’s calendar we get the usual post-payrolls data lull, punctuated by Yellen's speech today which will be the last scheduled Fed statement before the June FOMC.

Frontrunning: May 23

  • Global stocks see-saw, yields slip as investors get week off to cautious start (Reuters)
  • Bayer defies critics with $62 billion Monsanto offer (Reuters)
  • Iran has no plans to freeze oil exports, official says ahead of OPEC meeting (Reuters)
  • U.S. lifts arms ban on old foe Vietnam as regional tensions simmer (Reuters)
  • Anthem, Cigna Privately Bicker as They Seek Merger Approval (WSJ)

Boston Fed Says "Markets Are Wrong," Rates Are Going Higher, Sooner

Gold and bond prices dropped and stocks popped as yet another open-mouth operation went underway this evening from none other than Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren. Ahead of next week's FOMC meeting, and just days after another Fed president said no April hike, Rosengren spewed firth that "I don't think financial markets have it right." Of course, what this preacher means is that while stock markets are perfectly efficient (and correct), bonds and rate futures areclearly inefficient and "investor outlooks for Fed rate hikes are too pessimistic," because "the US economy is fundamentally sound."

Frontrunning: October 5

  • MOAR: Euro-Area Growth Seen Slowing in Sign More Stimulus May Be Ahead (BBG)
  • MOAR: Japan's wage growth slows in August, keeping pressure on BOJ for more stimulus (Reuters)
  • MOAR: Stocks, Copper, Emerging Markets Jump as Fed Delay on Rates Seen (BBG)
  • And yet... Central Banks Lose Bond-Market Credibility as Woes Mount (BBG)
  • World Bank cuts Asia growth forecast on China and US rates (BBC)

Two Thirds Of Gen X Households Have Less Wealth Than Their Parents Did At The Same Age

Just how badly is Generation X doing? Bad enough to turn around the entire concept of middle-class prosperity in America - one where every next generation should do better than the preceding one - on its head. "Only one-third of Generation X households had more wealth than their parents held at the same age, even though most earn more, The Pew Charitable Trusts found." And there, in a nutshell, is your so-called recovery: two thirds of an entire generation - one which is in its prime working years - doing worse than the one before them!

Austerity Strikes The Fed: Boston Reserve Bank Slashes 160 Jobs Due To US Treasury Cost-Cutting

As The Fed tapers and shifts its decision-making process away from rules-based, model-backed strategies in favor of "we'll know when to tighten when we see it" qualitative hand-waving, it seems the need to maintain teams of PhDs - to mutually masturbate over the historical back-fitted effectiveness of their models - is lacking. As The Boston Globe reports, The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston will cut nearly 15% of its workforce - around 160 jobs - in the largest layoff in over a decade... “It’s obviously a tough decision for us and the folks who are here,” Lavelle said. “It’s really about cost and efficiency.” Austerity strikes... (as it turns out the job cuts are due to losing a key customer - The US Treasury!)

Bob Shiller Warns Fed 'Fire-Fighting' Is "Not A recipe For A Happy Ending"

If we have learned anything since the global financial crisis peaked in 2008, it is that preventing another one is a tougher job than most people anticipated. Not only does effective crisis prevention require overhauling our financial institutions through creative application of the principles of good finance; it also requires that politicians and their constituents have a shared understanding of these principles. Today, unfortunately, such an understanding is missing. “Firefighting is more glamorous than fire prevention.” Just as most people are more interested in stories about fires than they are in the chemistry of fire retardants, they are more interested in stories about financial crashes than they are in the measures needed to prevent them. That is not a recipe for a happy ending.

Guest Post: Bizarre Updates From 'The New Normal' School Of Economics

Last week saw a full court press in defense of the current money printing exercise. As we have frequently pointed out, modern-day economic policy is evidently in the hands of utter quacks. It matters little to them that their prescriptions have failed time and again for hundreds of years – they do the same thing over and over again, as though they were escapees from an insane asylum.

On The Fed's Sudden Need For "Risk Managers" And "Financial Engineers"

There was a time when getting a stable, lucrative financial job meant working for a hedge fund, preferably in the risk department. It still does: the biggest and most profitable hedge fund of all - the Federal Reserve - as well as its various adjunct "all P no L" offices, and judging by the spike in recent job wanted posting by said hedge fund et al, things are looking up for those who want to manage taxpayer funded "risk." For the job seekers our there disillusioned with a 2 and 20 model that no longer works in the new central planning normal, get involved. As for why the Fed would suddenly be fascinated with risk now, after its DV01 is well over $2 billion, we have no ready answers.

Why Do Fed Officials Talk So Much In Advance Of Action?

The presidential season has started in earnest. First to hit the hustings was the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Eric Rosengren, who, true to his blue-state roots, pressed the case for an open-ended asset purchase program. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher made the red-state argument for easing off the monetary gas pedal. Increased chatter from Fed officials is a marker Morgan Stanley's Vince Reinhart has long-identified as signifying increased chance of Fed action. And we are hearing it. But why do Fed officials talk so much in advance of action? Fed officials must be disappointed by an economic outlook that falls short of both of their objectives. They individually think that policy can do better, but they cannot collectively agree on how.