Monetary Policy

Fed Admits "Something's Going On Here That We Maybe Don't Understand"

In a somewhat shocking admission of its own un-omnipotence, or perhaps more of a C.Y.A. moment for the inevitable mean-reversion to reality, Reuters reports that San Francisco Fed President John Williams said Friday that low neutral interest rates are a warning sign of possible changes in the U.S. economy that the central bank does not fully understand. With Japan having been there for decades, and the rest of the developed world there for 6 years, suddenly, just weeks away from what The Fed would like the market to believe is the first rate hike in almost a decade, Williams decides now it is the time to admit the central planners might be missing a factor (and carefully demands better fiscal policy).

How We Got Here: The Fed Warned Itself In 1979, Then Spent Four Decades Intentionally Avoiding The Topic

At least parts of the Fed all the way back in 1979 appreciated how Greenspan and Bernanke’s “global savings glut” was a joke. Rather than follow that inquiry to a useful line of policy, monetary officials instead just let it all go into the ether of, from their view, trivial history. But the true disaster lies not just in that intentional ignorance but rather how orthodox economists and policymakers were acutely aware there was “something” amiss about money especially by the 1990’s. Because these dots to connect were so close together the only reasonable conclusion for this discrepancy is ideology alone. Economists were so bent upon creating monetary “rules” by which to control the economy that they refused recognition of something so immense because it would disqualify their very effort.

IIF Warns Household Wealth Gains Will Disappear Unless Fed Normalizes Rates Soon

"Easy policy has passed the point of diminishing return and keeping it longer would only increase moral hazard and distort financial markets," exclaims the Institute of International Finance, warning that the gap between the value of Americans' holdings of stocks, bonds and other financial assets and the trend growth rate of the economy is still large and not far off the level that prevailed in 2007 before the financial crisis. "The Fed should start to normalize policy as soon as possible," removing the excess as the 'gap' "typically ends up being narrowed by a correction in the stock market."

Futures Fade Overnight Ramp After BOJ Disappoints, Attention Returns To Hawkish Fed

Back in September we explained why, contrary to both conventional wisdom and the BOJ's endless protests to the contrary, neither the BOJ nor the ECB have any interest in boosting QE at this - or any other point - simply because with every incremental bond they buy, the time when the two central banks run out of monetizable debt comes closer. Since then the ECB has jawboned that it may boost QE (but it has not done so), and overnight as reported previously, the BOJ likewise did not expand QE despite many, including Goldman Sachs, expecting it would do just that.

The Housing Bubble Is Biggest In These Cities

"House prices have decoupled most from local incomes in Hong Kong, London, Paris, Singapore, New York and Tokyo. Buying a 60-square-meter apartment exceeds the budget of most people who work even in the highly-skilled service sector. Loose monetary policy has prevented a normalization of housing markets and encouraged local bubble risks to grow"

Goldman 'Explains' This Is Not A "Low Quality" Rally, It Is "Macro-Free" - So Don't Worry

It appears even Goldman Sachs was surprised by the recent rally in US equities - especially in light of the explicit hawkishness of The Fed yesterday. In a trading note this morning, the bank says that market risks are real and rising (but are not overwhelming) as it explains, we assume with no intent at humor or sarcasm, that they "prefer to think of the recent equity rally as 'macro-free' rather than 'low quality'," reiterating their view of the cycle and of markets as "fundamentally upbeat." They do, however, admit over the last month, the likelihood of a drawdown in the US equity market further increased, and remains at mildly elevated levels.

7 Astounding Charts Show How Badly The Fed Failed The Housing Market

For generations, single family housing development was a driver of US economic growth. Today, there is no single family housing industry to speak of. These 7 charts derived from this week’s release of new house sales data from the Census Bureau illustrates just how bad things are.

The BoJ Owns 52% Of The Entire Japanese ETF Market , And Now It Wants More

Haruhiko Kuroda owns 52% of all Japanese ETFs. And now he wants more. Facing a lack of willing JGB sellers, the BoJ now faces the possibility that ramping up its easing efforts will entail expanding the bank's already elephantine equity portfolio. "At a fundamental level, I don’t support the idea of central banks buying ETFs or equities. Unlike bonds, equities never redeem. That means they will have to be sold at some point, which creates market risk."

All Hail Our New Lord & Master - The Stock Market

We're all minions now of the stock market. By cowering in terror of a stock market tantrum, the Fed has surrendered everything: its vaunted (and completely phony) independence; its duty (yes, go ahead and laugh) to the nation and the real economy - everything. The Fed is nothing but an abject slave of the market.