Everyone expects Janet Yellen to be a rolling over, inflationist stooge just like they did Ben Bernanke. Bernanke came on board after Alan Greenspan had taken the Fed Funds rate up to around 5% if I remember correctly. Inflationists and gold bugs thought they had it in the bag when 'Helicopter Ben' assumed control.
Indeed, Bernanke did what he was supposed to do (per the 'Helicopter 'Ben' script) as systemic stresses began to gather in 2007, addressing that pesky Funds rate, culminating in December, 2008's official ZIRP (zero interest rate policy). Here again is the chart showing the S&P 500's 'Hump #3' attended by this most beneficial monetary policy.
As noted again and again, the much trumpeted 'taper' of QE is not only not a negative for the economy, we have made a strong case that its mechanics are actually a positive, in the near term at least. But putting ZIRP on the table would be a whole different ball of wax. Continue reading "ZIRP Up Next?"
What do you think would be the "perfect caption" for this photograph of Fed Chairman, Janet Yellen, and President Obama?
Here's my caption:
"Mr President, it's not my job to create jobs."
For a good chuckle, be sure to read some of the captions from previous Fill In The Caption pictures.
The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate last quarter, sharply less than first thought, in part because consumers didn't spend as much as initially estimated.
Severe winter weather is expected to further slow the economy in the current quarter. But as temperatures warm, most economists think growth will rebound beginning in the spring.
The Commerce Department on Friday reduced its estimate of economic growth in the October-December quarter from an initial 3.2 percent annual rate. The revised estimate of 2.4 percent annual growth is the weakest quarterly showing since the first quarter of 2013.
A key reason for the downgrade was that consumer spending is now estimated to have expanded at a 2.6 percent annual rate, below the initial estimate of 3.3 percent though still the strongest quarterly spending by consumers in nearly two years. Continue reading "U.S. Economic Growth Lowered To A 2.4 Percent Annual Rate"
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen noted Thursday that some recent economic data have pointed to weaker-than-expected gains in consumer spending and job growth. She said the Fed will be watching to see whether the slowdown proves only a temporary blip caused by severe winter weather.
Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee that the Fed will be alert to upcoming data to make sure that the economy keeps strengthening.
"We have seen quite a bit of soft data over the last month or six weeks," Yellen said. "We need to get a firmer handle about how much of the softer data can be explained by the weather."
Responding to a question, Yellen repeated the Fed's assurances that its pullback in stimulus for the economy is "not on a preset course" and could be modified if there was a "significant change" in the Fed's outlook. The Fed is gradually reducing its monthly bond purchases, which have been intended to keep long-term loan rates low to encourage spending and growth. Continue reading "Is The Recent Economic Slowdown Temporary?"
By The Associated Press
In 2008, as they faced imploding financial markets and a staggering economy, Federal Reserve policymakers occasionally lightened their mood with references to Monty Python, "Desperate Housewives," "Star Wars" villains and plastic surgeons in San Francisco's East Bay.
They also sketched sometimes varying pictures of the financial crisis, with Janet Yellen, now the Fed chair, among those who most accurately grasped the depth of the crisis at hand.
The Fed on Friday released transcripts from its 14 policy meetings during 2008, six of them emergency conference calls. It was a frantic year in which officials rescued investment bank Bear Stearns, bailed out insurer American International Group and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and allowed the venerable investment bank Lehman Brothers to fail in the biggest bankruptcy, in American history.
The documents offer some revealing behind-the-scenes looks at the Fed in action: Continue reading "Transcripts Show Fed Officials Easing Tension With Jokes"