The Jackson Hole gathering may end up providing at least some clarification, but not even close to the manner in which everyone seems intent on inferring. With Janet Yellen’s notable absence, there isn’t the same sort of celebrity about what would have been the media hanging upon every word; that is, after all, what the Federal Reserve has become, not an organ of stability or even expertise but a public relations effort aimed squarely at trying to convince everyone possible that it is. Given the unique circumstances at the moment, the real issue is not whether they might raise rates but just how much systemic misdirection has already been revealed even to the least attentive of people.
Every Federal Reserve Chair since 1979 has faced a notable challenge in the first 12-20 months of their tenure – something akin to capital markets “Bullies” hazing the new kid at school. Paul Volcker had the 1979-1980 Iranian oil shock/recession, Alan Greenspan the 1987 Stock Market Crash, and Ben Bernanke the 2007 Financial Crisis. Their responses shaped market perceptions about Federal Reserve priorities and set the stage for the remainder of their tenures, from Inflation-Fighting Volcker to Save-the-World Bernanke. Now, it is Chair Yellen’s turn...
The rise of populism is not just a U.S. issue. Globalization and deregulation, especially with regard to the open adoption of new technology and work structures, is increasingly being called into question. As we have discussed previously, there is increasing potential that major political and economic changes will emerge from this vote. The emergence of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is a reflection that the populists want a change in the direction of American policy. We will be watching closely to see whether any serious changes result.
"John and Volcker discussed all the pitfalls of Keynesian and monetarism and Volcker didn’t rule out an eventual collapse of the dollar and second deflationary depression. I remember Volcker asking John when he would begin dropping short term rates and John commented that rates would have to drop soon or else the economy would fall off a cliff. It’s interesting that it wasn’t long after our session that rates started to come down. John Exter spelled out his scenario for Volcker and warned him of how badly the Keynesian experiment would end if it went on for an extended period of time. Volcker just sat there and listened and showed his concern."
Do you remember when real reporters existed? Those were the days before the Clinton regime concentrated the media into a few hands and turned the media into a Ministry of Propaganda, a tool of Big Brother. The false reality in which Americans live extends into economic life. Last Friday’s employment report was a continuation of a long string of bad news spun into good news.
We would like to believe that a period of peace and prosperity lies ahead of us. Unfortunately, the facts do not support this panglossian assertion. If history repeats it is more likely that we see hyperinflation and the sharp devaluation of paper and digital currencies in the coming years, given that no experiment with money printing has ever had a positive outcome.
Paul Volcker's "policy and demeanor were very solid," explains Donald Trump in a brief Bloomberg TV interview, pointing out that the inflation-taming former Fed head is a role model for the type of central banker he would pick. While admitting he "has always done well in a low rate environment," Trumps slammed the current Fed's ZIRP for "creating a bubble.. and the bubble could explode." Trump had - as usual - plenty to say on topics from Ex-Im Bank (against it as not "free enterprise"), to campaign financing (favoring full transparency of money in politics) careful to brag - jabbing at The Kochs - that "I don't need anybody else's money."
Paraphrasing Jean-Claude Juncker, "when it gets serious, you have to lie (or deny)" and sure enough in just 30 seconds, the vehement anger Volcker shows in the following clip when 'accused' of creating illiquidity in markets due to his rule suggests the former Fed head is more than a little 'fed' up... and he should be, as we have pointed out previously - while Fink et al. are happy to blame his rule, it is HFT and Central Bank distortions that have created the illiquid disaster that so many call 'markets' today.
The rescue of AIG should not serve as a source of comfort to investors.
Many people see national finances as an impenetrable fog of numbers and acronyms, which they feel is best left up to financial specialists to interpret for them. But try to see national finances as a henhouse, yourself as a hen, and financial specialists as foxes. Perhaps you should pay a little bit of attention - perhaps a bit more than one would expect from a chicken?
Greece, Europe and the world are being crucified on a cross of Keynesian central banking. The latter’s two-decade long deluge of money printing and ZIRP has generated a fantastic worldwide financial bubble, and one which has accrued to just a tiny slice of mankind. That much is blindingly evident, but there’s more and it’s worse. The present replay of high noon on Greece’s impossible mountain of debt clarifies an even greater evil. Namely, that the central bank printing presses have also utterly destroyed the fundamental requisite of fiscal democracy. To wit, in the modern world of massive, interventionist welfare states, fiscal governance desperately needs an honest bond market.
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.
After the carnage of the 2008 crash, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker proposed a rule that would prevent banks from making short-term proprietary trades with financial instruments. In other words, no gambling allowed. This rule would become known as The Volcker Rule, and it went into partial effect on April 1, 2014. Full compliance is required by July 21, 2015. Of course, the bank lobbyists were hard at work, and numerous exceptions and loopholes were created.
As we noted in Part 1, this central bank fueled boom will ultimately be paid for in the form of a prolonged deflationary contraction. On the morning after, of course, it will be asked why the central banks were permitted to engineer this fantastic financial and economic bubble. The short answer is that it was done so that monetary central planners could smooth and optimize the business cycle and save world capitalism from its purported tendency toward instability, underperformance and depressionary collapse. In Part 2, the whole case for this sweeping and unprecedented Keynesian demand management by the monetary authorities was a crock. Accordingly, the days of the Warren Buffet economy are indeed numbered.
The highly regarded former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, has severely criticized the State Governments in the U.S. over “faulty practices” used to devise budgets which mask the true financial position of those states.