Federal Reserve Bank
Evans Quote #1: "Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans on Monday reiterated his belief that the US economy will begin to turn around in the second half of this year. "We think conditions will improve in the second half of this year,"
Evans Quote #2: "The sovereign debt crisis that has enveloped three European nations and threatens to spread to others will slow U.S. economic growth, but the impact will be “minimal to modest," the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said Friday.
Evans Quote #3: Chicago Fed’s Evans comments in speech in Chicago: "economy improving quite a lot; companies seem to be in pretty good shape. Optimistic [XXXX] Will Be Year of Turnaround; US growth will be self-sustaining in [XXXX+1]"
European Union Launches Investigation Into Manipulation of Oil Prices Since 2002
We feel that now there is a Bermuda Triangle of economics - a space where everything tends to disappear without radar contact, a black hole in which rationality and science is replaced by hope, superstition and nonsense pundits pretending to understand the real drivers of the economy. The Bermuda Triangle in real life runs from Bermuda to Puerto Rico to Miami. The Economic Bermuda Triangle (EBT) one runs from high stock market valuations to high unemployment to low growth/productivity. There is a myth that the sunken Atlantis could be in the middle of this triangle. It has been renamed Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to make it suit the black hole's main premise of ensuring there is a fancy name for what is essentially the same economic recipe: print and spend money, then wait and pray for better weather. The EBT is getting harder and harder to justify - if for nothing else because the constant reminders of crisis keep us all defensive and non-committed to investing beyond the next quarter. We all naively think we can exit the "risk-on" trade before anyone else. We are due for a new crisis. We have governments and central banks proactively pursuing bubbles. A long time ago, policymakers entered a one-way street where reversing is, if not illegal, then impossible.
Read 'Em and Weep
Thanks to the handy Bloomberg surveillance tools, we know that there are 287 current members of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with access to a terminal. As of this moment an unimpressive 10% of them (29 to be exact) are signaling green (or active) with Kevin Henry still 'grey' (or untracked), although somewhat expectedly, the bulk of the active NY Fed employees are traders in some capacity. While some in the media would suggest this is somehow critical insights that the Bloomberg reporters can use to completely understand what is going on in the world, we question the usefulness of knowing whether Bill Dudley is logged in. With only 10% online - is that a buy, sell, or hold signal for Goldman or JPM? More importantly, perhaps, we would lose the ability to track the whereabouts of such 'real' Bloomberg users as Fukky Tantang, Diane Beaver, and Ludger Poos.
In a weekend dominated by discussion of the "Taper Tantrum", i.e., interpretations of what Hilsenrath "said" after the close on Friday, what the Fed wanted him to say, what the market's response to what he said or did not say would be, and what the next steps may be, we present this convenient annotation of Hilsenrath's complete recital courtesy of Mike O'Rourke from Jones Trading.
For those following Bitcoin, this interview with Gavin Andresen, the 46-year-old lead software developer for the Bitcoin project in today’s Wall Street Journal should be of interest. The chief scientist for the digital currency talks about its appeal - and pitfalls - in a world of fiat money. Politicians and their appointees are entirely cut out of Bitcoin’s monetary loop, Andresen explains, adding that "Bitcoin or a similar technology could threaten the power of not just central banks, but banks, period." It is perhaps the coder's parting words that are most insightful, "I tell people it’s still an experiment and only invest time or money you could afford to lose. If only investors could as easily follow that advice with fiat currencies."
The Fed Engaging In Quantitative Easing Until Unemployment Falls Is Like a Medieval Doctor Bleeding a Patient with Leeches ...Submitted by George Washington on 05/01/2013 18:19 -0500
In 2007 a small number of French hedge funds imploded over sudden losses stemming from highly leveraged bets made on the unstoppable subprime mortgage market. At the time, a few saw the writing on the wall; but many simply wrote it off as just another over-levered hedge fund and the subprime mortgage market was 'fine'. Fast forward six years and as we have discussed numerous times (most recently here and here) there is a bubble, potentially far bigger than subprime, in student loan debt. As one of the last remaining outlets for state-sanction credit creation, this is a big deal; but, of course, the popping of the bubble (or even a slight leak) is eschewed since there is so much 'reach for yield' and the Fed's got your back. That is until this week. As WSJ reports, Sallie Mae (SLM), the nation's largest non-government student lender just cancelled a $225 million debt offering as investors decided they simply were not getting paid enough for risk - amid rising student loan defaults. Simply put, there's a limit to what investors will tolerate.
The man who is the chief advisor to the US Treasury on its debt funding and issuance strategy was just promoted to the rank of second most important person at the biggest commercial bank in the US by assets (of which it was $2.5 trillion), and second biggest commercial bank in the world. And soon, Jamie willing, Matt is set for his final promotion, whereby he will run two very different enterprises: JPMorgan Chase and, by indirect implication, United States, Inc.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you take over the world.
If the FBI can track down two homicidal Chechen nobodies inside of forty-eight hours from their Boston bombing caper, you kind of wonder how come the Bureau can’t detect the odor of racketeering, insider trading, and wire fraud in this month’s orchestrated smackdown of the gold futures markets, including the parts played by the Federal reserve, one or more too-big-to-fail banks, self-interested big money players such as George Soros, slumbering regulators at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and tractable editors at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times... Because the smackdown organizers pulled off their operation in a panic, they probably ignored the potential further negative consequences of their stratagem, namely a worsening loss of confidence in banks generally and in the trade of abstract financial instruments in particular
Shareholders Join Bankers, Economists, Financial Experts, Regulators and the American People In Calling for a Break Up of the Giant Banks
"The crisis isn't over yet," warns Carmen Reinhart, "not in the US and not in Europe." Known for her deep understanding that 'it's never different this time', the Harvard economist drops the truth grenade a number of times in this excellent Der Spiegel interview. Sweeping away the sound and fury of a self-serving Federal Reserve or BoJ, she chides, "no central bank will admit it is keeping rates low to help governments out of their debt crises. But in fact they are bending over backwards to help governments to finance their deficits," and guess what, "this is nothing new in history." After World War II, all countries that had a big debt overhang relied on financial repression to avoid an explicit default. After the war, governments imposed interest rate ceilings for government bonds; but, nowadays, she explains, "monetary policy is doing the job. And with high unemployment and low inflation that doesn't even look suspicious. Only when inflation picks up, which is ultimately going to happen, will it become obvious that central banks have become subservient to governments." Nations "seldom just grow themselves out of debt," as so many believe is possible, "you need a combination of austerity, so that you don't add further to the pile of debt, and higher inflation, which is effectively a subtle form of taxation," with the consequence that people are going to lose their savings. Reinhart succinctly summarizes, "no doubt, our pensions are screwed."
Now is the time to think about how you would live your life if your real value was appreciated and fairly compensated.
Anyone who wants to get to the truth behind the inflationary threats to their wealth should ignore everything the Central Banks say about inflation and look instead at their actions.