Former Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher recently gave a speech identifying the Federal Reserve’s easy money/low interest rate policies as a source of the public anger that propelled Donald Trump into the White House. Mr. Fisher is certainly correct that the Fed’s policies have “skewered” the middle class. However, the problem is not specific Fed policies, but the very system of fiat currency managed by a secretive central bank.
A rally in global risk that started during last night's first presidential debate on the market's take that Hillary came out on top fizzled, following news that the DOJ is assessing how big a criminal fine it can extract from Volkswagen (-3.8%) over emissions-cheating "without putting the German carmaker out of business", while Iran's oil minister Zanganeh told reporters Iran is ununwilling to freeze output at current levels. Deutsche Bank dropped to a new all time low while its default risk hit fresh record highs.
We currently face a monumental dilemma. How do we extract ourselves from all this excessive debt without crashing the world economy? It’s basically a “one time” get out of jail card for the world economy.
Will she, or won't she? That is the question everyone wants answered regarding whether Yellen will hike rates in two weeks time. To be sure, historical precedented is not on the side of the hawks: as Bloomberg's Daniel Kruger reminds us, "Last September in ambiguous circumstances Yellen opted to stay on hold. Three years ago in September Ben Bernanke chose not to taper QE3 bond purchases."
Federal Reserve Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer made a couple of controversial statements this week regarding negative interest rates. Fisher stated negative rates “seem to work” while admitting they are bad for savers but they “typically they go along with quite decent equity prices.” There are two problems in play. The first is an explicit admission that the Fed sponsors wealth inequality. The second problem is Fisher does not understand how markets even work.
With home prices in San Francisco beyond the reach of all but the elitest of the elites, it appears the "just well off" are migrating to Oakland in search of affordable properties. Despite being the second most dangerous city in America, Bloomberg reports that Oakland’s housing market is still soaring even as growth cools in San Francisco as the East Bay city had California’s highest annual appreciation of home values and the biggest rent growth of the 50 largest U.S. cities.
The tragedy of Venezuela continues unabated, but that doesn't mean the government of President Nicolás Maduro has stopped trying to fix problems. Maduro has reportedly instituted a policy of fining bakeries that allow lines to stretch out their front doors, according to PanAmPost, claiming the lines aren't a true indicator of a severe shortage of bread, but rather, a political "strategy of generating anxiety."