Monetary Policy

Yelling "Stay" In A Burning Theater - 'Simple' Janet Does It Again

The longer the Fed perpetuates today’s massive 24X bubble with soporific open mouth interventions like Yellen’s pathetic speech last week, the more violent and traumatic the risk asset implosion will ultimately be. You would think our monetary politburo might at least notice that after trading in no man’s land between 1870 and 2130 on the S&P 500 for the past 700 days, the casino is positioned exactly where it stood in 2007 and 2000. Simple Janet has attained a new milestone as a public menace with her speech to the Economic Club of New York. It amounted to yelling “stay” in a burning theater!

Steve H. Hanke's picture

Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that WikiLeaks transcripts suggested that the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) had discussed the possibility of hatching nefarious plots against Greece. Immediately, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused the I.M.F. of trying to “politically destabilize Europe.”

Global Stocks Rise, Europe Rebounds As Oil Halts Decline

In a quiet start to the week following last week's surprisingly strong rebound which followed a stronger than expected jobs report (perhaps to demonstrate that good news is once again good news), Japan stocks continued to sink as the USDJPY dropped to fresh lows, while commodities declined for a fifth day as the supply glut from crude to copper weighed on prices, dragging down commodity currencies. European equities rose, rebounding from a one-month low.

Key U.S. Events In The Coming Week

Key economic releases for the coming week include the ISM non-manufacturing report on Wednesday. There are several scheduled speeches from Fed officials this week. Fed Chair Yellen will take part in a discussion with former Fed Chairs on Thursday.

Why Silicon Valley’s “It’s Different This Time” Is Now A Broken Record

Like a broken record whenever a profit measure was asked of “Silicon Valley” (i.e., everything social or tech) as to when something would either be profitable or, begin returning investor cash with either net profits or dividends. The response was always the same “It’s different this time.” Meaning: there aren’t any now, but just you wait! Some are still waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and….

Danish Central Bank Warns Of "Risk Illusion", Fears "Fire Sale" Plunge In Asset Prices

Having slashed rates below zero and unleashed various rounds of asset-purchases, the Riksbank (Denmark's central bank) recently warned the rest of the world that "we have reached the limits of monetary policy." Now, however, Denmark's Systemic Risk Council has raised the financial system warning level to DEFCON1, warning that low levels of interest rates have led to excessive risk-taking and risk illusion among borrowers and credit institutions... and low market liquidity combijed with sudden shifts in risk perceptions may still lead to significant falls in asset prices and fire sales.

April "Fools" In March

It may be almost impossible to underestimate the gullibility of professional Fed watchers. At least Lucy van Pelt needed to place an actual football on the ground to fool poor Charlie Brown. But in today’s high stakes game of Federal Reserve mind reading, the Fed doesn’t even have to make a halfway convincing bluff to make the markets look foolish.

Weekend Reading: Bulls vs Bears - Who Will Win?

With volume declining on the rally as short-covering fades, the thrust of Central Bank actions now behind us, the focus will once again turn to the economic and fundamental data. From that standpoint, the “bears” remain firm in the commitments. With profit margins and earnings on the decline, economic data weak and interest rates hovering near lows, there is little support for an ongoing bull rally.

Who Needs Helicopters? Draghi Plans "Fool-Proof" ECB-Backed Debit Card

Yesterday’s leaks confirm the ECB’s plans will effectively give Europe’s consumer lenders access to unlimited zero-cost finance – going far further than the free money showered on them by the multiple previous TLTRO financial packages. Under the proposed scheme, European banks have the option to issue their clients a new branded European Banking Union debit card.

Worst Case Scenario: 73% Down From Here

QE3 ended 17 months ago and shockingly the S&P 500 is exactly where it was 17 months ago. How many bull markets go flat for 17 months? As John Hussman accurately points out, we are experiencing a topping formation in the third and biggest bubble of the last 16 years. It’s a long way down from here.

Maybe You're Confused By The Fed – But Wall Street Isn't

There is an inherent, overarching, problem within this now stated “international development” meme that I’m not sure the Fed. has really thought through. And it’s this... If “international developments” (i.e. China) have now taken first position over U.S. data, one can only summarize that the Fed. is now following, as well as, instituting a policy as the self-anointed mop-up team for the sins and/or consequences of spill over of a communist run economy.

Fed Levitation & The Looming Liquidity Trap

Like the “little Dutch boy,” the Fed currently has a finger stuck in every hole of the dike. The only question is how long is it before the Federal Reserve runs out of “fingers” to plug the next leak?

Goldman Admits It Was Wrong About The "Yellen Call": Offers Test To Check If It Is Finally Right

"In our “Top 10 market themes for 2016”, we argued that the ‘Bernanke put’ might gradually be replaced by the ‘Yellen call’. Recall, the ‘Bernanke put’ was the idea that meaningful declines in market sentiment would be met with aggressive monetary action, thus providing a buffer to downside risk. Our notion of the ‘Yellen call’ was the converse of this – that with labor markets approaching full employment and core PCE inflation rising towards target, meaningful rallies in market sentiment would likely be met with a more robust withdrawal of policy accommodation.... It hasn’t happened."

Gold Soars 16% In Q1 - Best Start To A Year In 42 Years

Gold's 16.1% surge in Q1 2016 ias the best start to a year since 1974. Overall, this is the best quarter since Q3 1986 and is the best performing major commodity of the year. Gold rallied this year as it cemented its status as a store of value amid financial market turbulence and concern about the global economy, which led to speculation that the Federal Reserve would pause on tightening monetary policy in the U.S. Having seen BlackRock's gold ETF halted due to inability to meet physical demand, it appears pet rocks and barbarous relics are 'worth' something after all.