When then-President-Elect Joe Biden nominated Janet Yellen to be his Treasury secretary last month, the markets rejoiced. The former Federal Reserve chair was a known quantity, and investors hate uncertainty – they knew what they were getting. Even better, they liked what they were getting—a monetary dove who favors low-interest rates and supports an interventionist government and Fed. While she wouldn't be on the Fed in her new role, she still holds the same views.
Moreover, since she is Jerome Powell's immediate predecessor, and they both worked together on the Fed for several years, it was pretty much a given that the two will work closely and harmoniously together for the good of the country, as the times demand.
But the markets were also relieved that Biden did not bow to the so-called progressives on the extreme left of his party and pick someone more to their liking, instead choosing someone with safe, relatively moderate views that both parties could support – as indeed they did, by an 84-15 Senate vote. In other words, Biden wanted – and the markets demanded – an adult in the room, and that's what they got with Yellen.
If there were any doubts about whether more federal helicopter money would be falling from the sky, those doubts should have been erased by several major events that happened last week.
The latest event—which likely sealed the deal—was the December jobs report, which showed the economy losing 140,000 jobs, the first drop in payrolls since last April. If Congress needed another reminder of how many people are still suffering out there and that more help is needed, that should do it.
The second event was the Democrats prevailing in the special elections for Georgia's two Senate seats, giving the party an effective majority in that body to continue holding on the House. On paper, of course, both parties have 50 seats in the Senate. But let's not forget that Vice President Kamala Harris will hold the tie-breaking vote.
But her vote probably won't be needed in the current political environment. While the Democrat majority seems razor-thin, if existent at all, we can be fairly certain that votes in favor of more stimulus will be much greater than that and bipartisan, thanks to the riot on Capitol Hill on Thursday. In light of what happened, how many Republicans do you think will be brave enough to vote against the Democrats on just about anything, particularly more stimulus checks, which many of them already favor? Continue reading "Is More Stimulus A Slam Dunk?"→
As we speak, Republicans and Democrats are still wrestling over another coronavirus stimulus package. Everyone wants one, we’re told, and the economy needs one.
Don’t start spending that stimulus check just yet.
Despite what they claim, Democrats don’t really want a deal, no matter how big, at least not until after the election. Do you really believe that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer want to allow President Trump to play Santa Claus and send out $1,200 checks to American voters right before the election? Needless to say, the president would just love to have his name on those checks.
So don’t count on another stimulus package until after the election, if then. It’s a valid question of whether the country really needs another one. But never fear, the Federal Reserve will step in where Congress fears to tread.
At its September 15-16 monetary policy meeting – the last one before Election Day – the Fed updated and revised its prognosis upward for the U.S. economy, finally catching up with many other analysts and some of its own regional banks who are forecasting a much brighter picture than Fed Chair Jerome Powell and many other Fed officials have been painting over the past couple of months.
The Fed now expects U.S. economic growth to be negative 3.7% for this year, a big upgrade from its negative 6.5% projection in June. It also expects positive growth of 4.0% next year (down from 5.0%), 3.0% in 2022 and 2.5% in 2023. Regarding unemployment, it expects the jobless rate to fall to 7.6% this year from its June projection of 9.3%, declining further to 5.5% next year, 4.6% in 2022, and 4.0% – i.e., full employment – in 2023. Continue reading "Do We Really Need More Stimulus?"→
Yes, No... Don't Care? The new administration is tossing around billions of dollars, but are the allocations justified? Do you think that the proposed stimulus package is money worth spending, or do you think that things have gotten out of hand?
Just answer... Yes, No, or Don't Care (specific opinions optional) to be entered in a drawing for the prize below.
Winner will receive 3 DVD workshops on Taxes & Trading from our authors in INO TV and a hardback copy of "Trade Your Way To Wealth" by Bill Kraft. If your comment is drawn, your prize will be mailed to you courtesy of INO TV. No shipping, no handling, no catches.
How To Enter:
Comment on this post telling us if you think that the government's spending is out of control. Just write YES or NO, but feel free to voice your opinion... just keep it clean!
1. This contest is open until 11:59 PM on March 31st, 2009.
2. No wrong answers, any participation counts as an entry.
3. One entry per email address.
4. Winner will be picked by random integer software.
5. Winner will be contacted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 via email.