Category Archives: Federal Reserve

Obama, Treasury Pushing Back Against Troika Grexit Threats; Bernie Sanders Presses for Fed to Prod ECB

The Administration realizes the risk of Grexit is real and is trying to fend that off. But even if they succeed, don’t expect that to add up to much in the way of relief for Greece.

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Is Syriza About to Score a Tactical Win Against the Troika?

Those who were hoping that Syriza would be cowed by the ECB’s aggressive moves to shut Greece out of bond markets and Eurozone finance ministers’ unified resistance to the new government’s proposals are no doubt frustrated by its refusal to capitulate. On Sunday, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras gave a rousing speech reaffirming Syriza’s plans.

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Why is Yellen Supporting the ECB Attack on Greece?

As we describe in our earlier post today on Greece, the ECB’s hit job on Greece is an continuation of the destructive and ultimately self-defeating practice of letting the pet needs of banks trump those of governments and social orders. The ECB is willing to turn Greece into a failed state out of what looks like sheer brutality, with the apparent rationalization that punishing Greece will serve pour decourager les autres, meaning the other periphery countries, and potentially even France, that are calling for relief from failed austerity policies.

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Ed Harrison: Why Quantitative Easing and Negative Interest Rates Will Fail

While most NC readers are skeptical about quantitative easing and negative interest rates, those reactions are often aesthetic: they are so far away from any normal operation of financial markets that something has to be wrong with the idea. The problem is that while that instinct may be (and we’d argue is) correct, policy wonks who have drunk the Fed’s Kool Aid will treat those who have visceral negative reactions as simply having a case of novelty aversion, which means they can be ignored.

Ed Harrison provides comparatively short and accessible explanation of why QE and negative interest rates are bound to bomb. I encourage you to send his post to friends and colleagues who’d like to be able to discuss in a more rigorous manner why these approaches are deeply flawed.

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Fed Testimony in AIG Bailout Trial: If It Walks Like Perjury and Quacks Like Perjury…

One of the most striking things about the testimony in the AIG bailout trial is the degree to which Fed officials play fast and loose with the truth. And I don’t mean the normal CEO version of having no memory of events that are inconvenient and very detailed recollections of things that boost their case. I mean statements that are flat out false.

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Slimin’ Jamie Dimon Tells Howlers About Persecution of Banks, “Fortress Balance Sheet”

Jamie Dimon seems to think if he can tell his Big Lies long enough, he’ll be believed. In reality, the only ones who will buy his blather are his fellow members of the elite banker looting classes and their hired help.

Dimon’s latest opportunity to play Ministry of Truth came in an analysts’ call last week, when he tried presenting JP Morgan and banks generally as “under assault”. This was so patently ridiculous that it quickly elicited the scorn it deserved.

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MMT Versus the CBO: Replacing the Budget Constraint with an Inflation Constraint

Yves here. MMT, or Modern Monetary Theory, is in the process of becoming vastly more visible by virtue of leading MMT advocate, Stephanie Kelton, becoming Chief Economist on the Senate Budget Committee on behalf of ranking member Bernie Sanders. And that means, as this post demonstrates, that MMT has gone through the “first they ignore you, then they ridicule you” stages and is now in the “then then fight you” phase. And one of the chief strategies of MMT opponents is to misrepresent it.

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The Fed’s and Republicans’ War Against Dodd Frank and How That Preserves the Greenspan Put and Too Big to Fail

A new story by Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times highlights how the Federal Reserve and the Republicans* are on a full bore campaign to render Dodd Frank a dead letter, with the latest chapter an effort to pass HR 37, a bill that would chip away at key parts of Dodd Frank. But the bigger implications of this campaign is how these efforts serve to limit the Fed’s freedom in implementing monetary policy. In other words, Fed general counsel Scott Alvarez is undermining the authority of his boss, Janet Yellen.

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The CBO’s Bad Math: Putting $7 Trillion of Notional Value of Derivatives in Taxpayer-Backstopped Depositaries Will Cost Zero

So why did Elizabeth Warren lose her battle last month to stop banks from continuing to park $7 trillion notional value of risky derivatives like the credit defaults swaps in taxpayer-backstopped depositaries?

One of the less well-recognized reasons is that the CBO’s dubious analysis said it would not cost taxpayers a dime.

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Fed Holds Fire on Disinflation Threat

Yves here. This post will not doubt give readers some grist to chew on in the ongoing debate as to whether the Fed is a very very clever bank stooge or not all that smart (and therefore a bumbling bank stooge, by virtue of cognitive capture). This discussion of the Fed’s blindness on disinflation, when commodities prices have fallen, oil is continuing its downward slide, and Europe has tipped into deflation, strongly suggests that the Fed is so desperately in need of believing in its own virtue that it will ignore any contrary evidence. That refusal to look at reality and to learn, particularly after how the central bank’s past ideologically-driven policies helped drive the global economy into the ditch, is a form of stupidity that seems to be drummed into orthodox economists.

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“Summer” Rerun: Quelle Surprise! Hank Paulson and Goldman CEO Talked to Each Other a Lot!

As I like to say, I started out on Wall Street when it was criminal only at the margin. The unseemly coziness between Goldman and keygovernment agencies in critical episodes during the crisis illustrates how much standards of conduct have deteriorated.

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