Output Gap

Old Economic Thinking Is The Problem, BIS Warns

Notwithstanding everything that has been done since the Great Financial Crisis, it is not at all safe to go back in the water. Indeed danger of financial fragility is greater now than a year ago. The danger this time comes, interestingly, not so much from the banks as from the policymakers, who persist in using empirically discredited pre-crisis thinking as a guide to macroeconomic policy. The problem, in a nutshell, is that “a monetary policy focused on managing near-term inflation and output may do so at the cost of higher fluctuations in credit and asset prices than in the past.”

Why Ronald Reagan Is Rolling In His Grave: The Keynesian Putsch At The Fed

Ronald Reagan is surely rolling in his grave. He is credited for much that he didn’t actually accomplish on the economic front, but his most singular real victory - decisive repudiation of the Keynesian macro-economic policy model that had produced stagflationary havoc for more than a decade - overshadows all his fiscal failures and the urban legend that he actually tamed Big Government. Needless to say, however, that 35-years ago repudiation has now been itself completely repudiated by the keynesian apparatchiks who presently rule the Eccles Building. This week Janet Yellen was at it again, displaying outright contempt for the Gipper’s crowning achievement.

Dollar Tumbles After Fed Whiffs Again; More Cracks Appear In Chinese Stock Bubble

All those saying the Fed will never be able to raise rate are looking particularly smug this morning, because if the market needed a green light that despite all the constant posturing, pomp and rhetoric, the US economy is simply (never) ready for a rate hike, it got it late last night when Goldman is pushing back its forecast for the first Fed rate hike from  September to December 2015 saying that "in large part this reflects the fact that seven FOMC participants are now projecting zero or one rate hike this year, a group that we believe includes Fed Chair Janet Yellen. We had viewed a clear signal for a September hike at the June meeting as close to a necessary condition for the FOMC to actually hike in September, but the committee did not lay that groundwork today."

This Is The Fed's "Second Biggest Nightmare" According To Citigroup

Two weeks ago, Citigroup presented what it thinks is the biggest nightmare for the Fed: it said that the FOMC’s "biggest worry is not lift off and its market and economic implications, but what happens if the economic recovery dies of old age without the Fed having done anything to tighten." And, according to Citi's FX strategists, "if this were to occur, the USD would probably fall faster than it rose from July-March." A precursor to loss of faith in the Dollar's reserve currency status perhaps. Today, Citi's Steven Englander lays out what is the Fed's second biggest nightmare: a rebound which is so fast, the Fed's entire carefully planned renormalization schedule collapses.

The Fed's Computer Model Of The US Economy "Sees Little Slack" (And A Big Clue From Gartman)

Even without a double seasonal adjustment, the Fed may very well surprise with not only a September, but even a June hike. After all recall that to Yellen stocks are now clearly overvalued, and the cornered Fed Chairwoman is between a rock and a hard place - keep failing to rase rates and risk another bond tantrum as all the shorts are squeezed leading to even more illiquidity and volatility, or slowly take the air out of the stock bubble (good luck with that).

Despite Weak Economic Data Overnight, Futures Slide On Rate Hike Concerns

The big news overnight was neither the Chinese manufacturing PMI miss nor the just as unpleasant (and important) German manufacturing and service PMI misses, but that speculation about a rate hike continues to grow louder despite the abysmal economic data lately, with the latest vote of support of a 25 bps rate increase coming from Goldman which overnight updated its "Fed staff model" and found surprisingly little slack in the economy suggesting that the recent push to blame reality for not complying with economist models (and hence the need for double seasonal adjustments) is gaining steam, and as we first suggested earlier this week, it may just happen that the Fed completely ignores recent data, and pushes on to tighten conditions, if only to rerun the great Trichet experiment of the summer of 2011 when the smallest of rate hikes resulted in a double dip recession.

Albert Edwards On What Happens Next: "More QE - Everywhere!"

"The Q1 US GDP data was a major disappointment to the market as business investment declined due to the intensifying US profits recession. Only the biggest inventory build in history stopped the economy subsiding into a recessionary quagmire. The US economy is struggling and the Fed will ultimately re-engage the QE spigot. Talk is growing that China will soon be doing the same as local authorities struggle to issue debt. But this week we want to focus on Japan, having just made my fist visit to that fine nation for over a decade! Japan, the third largest economy in the world, is also in trouble (see chart below) and will soon be increasing its off-the-scale QE programme to an out-of-this-world QE programme." - Albert Edwards

'Unpatriotic' Goldman Dares To Suggest "Buy Russian Bonds"

On the scale of 'unpatriotic' things to suggest, there is only one thing worse than a tax inversion for an American to do... suggest something positive about Russia, Russian markets, or Russia's economy. So it perhaps ultimately ironic that none other than Goldman "doing God's work" Sachs suggests Russian bonds are both cyclically and strucuturally under-priced.

Goldman Pours More Crude On The Fire: "Oil Prices Can Go Lower For Longer"

Slowing the rebalancing and creating further downside risk is a very strong consensus view that this pull back is temporary and that oil prices will quickly rebound as they did in 2009. According to a recent Bloomberg survey, the median WTI forecast for 2016 is $86/bbl (even we forecast it going back to $80/bbl). All of these forecasts are based upon now outdated cost data that is shifting as fast as the price. It is precisely this strong view for a rebound in prices and the behavior it creates, that not only suggests that oil prices can go lower for longer, but also that the new normal is far lower than we thought just one month ago. Instead of optimizing against a lower price environment, many oil producers are trying to position themselves for the rebound in prices

Despite Rate Hike, Russian Ruble Slumps To New Record Low

Despite a 100bps rate hike this morning, Russia's Ruble has slipped lower and now trades 55.47 to the USD - a new record low. The initial surge in the Ruble was quickly sold back as the hike, while in line with surveyed expectations, was below FRA-market-implied levels of 200bps. Goldman believes this will not slow the decline and calls for 'other tools' like unsterlized intervention. Russian default risk continues to rise (though still low) back to the highest since April 2009.

B-Dud Explains The Fed’s Economic Coup (Or Why Every Asset Price Influencing Monetary Policy Transmission Is Now Manipulated)

The Fed can do only do two concrete things to influence these income and credit sources of spending - both of which are unsustainable, dangerous and an assault on free market capitalism’s capacity to generate growth and wealth. It can induce households to consume a higher fraction of current income by radically suppressing interest rates on liquid savings. And it can inject reserves into the financial system to induce higher levels of credit creation. But the passage of time soon catches up with both of these parlor tricks.