federal reserve

Losing His Cajones

The man who made his bones about the Great Depression in writing his Princeton thesis is losing his intestinal fortitude. In his paper he summarizes that FDR could have solved the the Great Depression if only they had inflated the currency more.

Today Bernanke back tracks on his own conclusion by stating:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said today that large U.S. budget deficits threaten financial stability and the government can’t continue indefinitely to borrow at the current rate to finance the shortfall.

Even Bill Gross is becoming a skeptic of late telling listeners to diversify away from the U$D before the banks do.

Federal Reseve - Deficit Unsustainable (alternative title: zombies ate the money!)

The House Budget Committee held a hearing today with just one witness, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke.

As a consequence of this elevated level of borrowing, the ratio of federal debt held by the public to nominal GDP is likely to move up from about 40 percent before the onset of the financial crisis to about 70 percent in 2011.

A Bloomberg analysis

Bernanke’s comments signal that the central bank sees risks of a relapse into financial turmoil even as credit markets show signs of stability.

What is the Fed Worried About?

I could not resist saying something about this Bloomberg article: Fed Said to Raise Standards for Banks' TARP Repayment. In May, the Fed released the results of the not too stressful 'stress tests'. The 'stress tests' concluded that JP Morgan Chase and American Express Co. didn't have to raise any additional capital. Apparently, the Fed has changed its mind.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and American Express Co. were told they need to boost common equity, less than four weeks after being informed they had enough to withstand a deeper economic slump. Morgan Stanley was directed to raise more funds after already selling stock to cover its stress-test shortfall. One firm was told only yesterday, people with direct knowledge said.

Strip the SEC and Give Even More Power to the Federal Reserve?

Bloomberg is reporting the Obama administration is considering stripping the SEC of some regulatory power and giving that oversight to the Federal Reserve.

The Obama administration may call for stripping the Securities and Exchange Commission of some of its powers under a regulatory reorganization that could be unveiled as soon as next week, people familiar with the matter said.

The proposal, still being drafted, is likely to give the Federal Reserve more authority to supervise financial firms deemed too big to fail. The Fed may inherit some SEC functions, with others going to other agencies, the people said. On the table: giving oversight of mutual funds to a bank regulator or a new agency to police consumer-finance products, two people said.

John Taylor's Guns A'Blazing on Federal Reserve Mistakes

John Taylor, former undersecretary of the Treasury under Bush, gave a speech which said the Fed must raise rates and reduce the money supply to avoid inflation.

What is most amusing if it was not so serious is Taylor turned our favorite phrase systemic risk onto the Federal Reserve's actions.

Indeed, a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, again lays blame at the Federal Reserve (let's not name names but it begins with a Green and ends with Span).

Internal Federal Reserve Study Concludes Fed. should "Create" a -5% interest rate

You read it right, a negative 5% interest rate. The financial times is reporting an internal study by the Federal reserve came to this conclusion:

The ideal interest rate for the US economy in current conditions would be minus 5 per cent, according to internal analysis prepared for the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting.

The analysis was based on a so-called Taylor-rule approach that estimates an appropriate interest rate based on unemployment and inflation.

A central bank cannot cut interest rates below zero. However, the staff research suggests the Fed should maintain unconventional policies that provide stimulus roughly equivalent to an interest rate of minus 5 per cent.