Former Dallas Fed president Dick “Feral Hogs” Fisher may be worried about a major correction in a market that is “hyper overpriced“, and he may be confused and unable to grasp that the only reason “traders are lazy” is because the Fed’s Chief Risk Officer has made risk, and selling, illegal but when it comes to finding sources of funding there are no conerns or confusion at all. Because promptly after he officially resigned from the Dallas Fed, on Thursday March 19, the very next day the board of Pepsi announced that “On March 20, 2015, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of PepsiCo, Inc. (“PepsiCo”) elected Richard W. Fisher as an independent member of the Board, effective March 23, 2015. Mr. Fisher will serve on the Audit Committee of the Board, effective March 23, 2015.”
On a number of occasions this month we’ve drawn attention to the divergent fates of the 80% of American workers whose wages are declining and whose general outlook is concomitantly deteriorating, and the other 20%, whose pay is increasing and who generally feel good about their economic future. We also pointed out that with the correlation between wages and consumer spending now nearly perfect at 0.93, depressed wage growth may indeed drag on US economic output going forward. Given this, we weren’t surprised to learn that the biggest threat to traditional American society is in fact class (i.e. income inequality). This is vividly illustrated in a new work by Robert Putnam (of “Bowling Alone” fame). One key observation: race matters far less than it did in decades past and class matters far more.
There was a time when Zoltan Poszar was the most important person at the Fed (and Treasury), because he was likely the only person in the government’s employ who grasped the enormity and complexity of the then-$30 or so trillion US shadow banking system. A quick refresh of his bio from the Institute for New Economic Thinking:
Mr. Pozsar has been deeply involved in the response to the global financial crisis and the ensuing policy debate. He joined the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in August 2008 in charge of market intelligence for securitized credit markets and served as point person on market developments for senior Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury and White House officials throughout the crisis; played an instrumental role in building the TALF to backstop the ABS market; and pioneered the mapping of the shadow banking system which inspired the FSB’s effort to monitor and regulate shadow banking globally. Prior to Credit Suisse, Mr. Pozsar was a senior adviser to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he advised the Office of Debt Management and the Office of Financial Research, and served as Treasury’s liaison to the FSB on matters of financial innovation. He also worked with the Federal Reserve Board on improving the U.S. Flow of Funds Accounts.
Flashback and an absolute must-watch for all those that haven’t seen this yet.
Feb 14, 2014
America: Freedom to Fascism is a 2006 film by Aaron Russo, covering a variety of subjects, including: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the income tax, Federal Reserve System, national ID cards (REAL ID Act), human-implanted RFID tags, Diebold electronic voting machines, globalization, Big Brother, taser weapons abuse, and the use of terrorism by the government as a means to diminish the citizens’ rights.
Oil spiked 6% because “The Fed said the economy is slowing”; Stocks are up because “The Fed said the economy is slowing”; USD strength is a signal of the strength of the US economy which “The Fed said is now slowing”; Small Caps hit Record Highs because “The Fed said the economy is slowing”; and Nasdaq Tops 5,000 because “The Fed said the economy is slowing” – really only one thing for it…
Nearly 100 years after its creation, the power of the U.S. Federal Reserve has never been greater. Markets and governments around the world hold their breath in anticipation of the Fed Chair’s every word. Yet the average person knows very little about the most powerful – and least understood – financial institution on earth. “Money For Nothing” is the first film to take viewers inside the Fed and reveal the impact of Fed policies – past, present, and future – on our lives. Join current and former Fed officials as they debate the critics, and each other, about the decisions that helped lead the global financial system to the brink of collapse in 2008. And why we might be headed there again…
t is perhaps a testament to the ability of the oligarchy (that 1% which owns some 50% of all US assets), as we noted previously, to distract and distort newsflow from what really matters, that a century after the creation of the Federal Reserve, the vast majority of Americans are still unfamiliar with the most important institution in the history of the US – an institution that unlike the government is not accountable to the people (if only as prescribed on a piece of rapidly amortizing paper), but merely to a few banker stakeholders as Bernanke’s and Yellen’s actions over the past six years have demonstrated beyond any doubt. It is for their benefit that Jim Bruce’s groundbreaking movie “Money for Nothing” is a must see, although we would urge everyone else, including those frequent Zero Hedge readers well-versed in the inner workings of the Fed, to take the two hours and recall just who the real enemy of the people truly is. Continue reading »
I was shocked today by the absolute gaul of the Fed releasing a statement about Net Worth in America reaching record levels. Now I get that they are under extreme pressure to sell the story that everything is rainbows and butterflies. But surely they understand that working class Americans are going along with the story because they really don’t have any say in our nation’s policies anymore. That doesn’t mean they want it thrown in their faces that the Fed has spent 6 years now inflating the wealth of the top 10% so much that it actually lifts the total wealth of the nation’s citizens to record highs.
The ugly reality is that the bottom 80% of Americans experienced none of that gain. That’s right a big ole goose egg. And so when the Fed via its ass pamper boy, Steve Liesman, start banging on about the fact that some sliver of society is being handed extraordinary wealth while the working class has lost 40% of their net worth since 2007, well a big fuck you right back at ya bub! The Fed is very aware that the bottom 80% of Americans own less than 5% of US equity markets. And so the Fed is very aware that its manipulation of stock prices such that it creates immense unearned wealth to those in the markets doesn’t reach the bottom 80%. So why celebrate the results of the stock market price manipulation??
Last month it was revealed that former federal reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, the architect of U.S. monetary policy under four Presidents, is anticipating a significant market event as a result of the trillions of dollars that have been pumped into the system over the last several years. According to Greenspan, something big is coming.
His comments were shared by well known resource analyst Brien Lundin, who joined Greenspan for private discussions at last year’s New Orleans Investment Conference. In his latest interview Lundin further clarifies Greenspan’s private thoughts on current economic and monetary policy and sheds light on the former Fed Chairman’s suggestion that ‘something big is coming.‘
Greenspan made some good points to me… He was concerned about inflation… He was specifically concerned in relation to the outstanding, or excess, reserves which are close to three trillion dollars being held on the Fed balance sheet now… That money is just hanging over the U.S. economy like a big water balloon of liquidity and it’s just searching for a pin.
In fact, Greenspan referred to it as a tinderbox of explosive inflation looking for a spark.
We are witnessing a profound secular sea-change: the failure of expanding debt and leverage to lift the real economy of wages and household income.
When push comes to shove, you only need one chart to predict the future: debt and wages ( credit and compensation). This chart displays debt and wages as a ratio: debt/wages. What it reveals is the endgame of financialization: creating more debt no longer pushes wages higher.
I have broken the past five decades into easily recognizable economic periods. During the organic growth of the 1960s that many view as the ideal–what I term the pre-financialized economy, the line is almost flat, as debt and wages expanded in a balanced fashion.
“The Fed is out of control,” exclaims David Stockman – perhaps best known for architecting Reagan’s economic turnaround known as ‘Morning in America’ – adding that “people don’t want to hear the reality and the truth that we’re facing.” The following discussion, with Harry Dent, outlines their perspectives on the looming collapse of free market prosperity and the desctruction of American wealth as policymakers “take our economy in a direction that is dangerous, that is not sustainable, and is likely to fully undermine everything that’s been built up and created by the American people over decades and decades.” The Fed, Stockman concludes, “is a rogue institution,” and their actions have led us to “one of the scariest moments in our history… it’s a festering time-bomb and we’re not sure when it will explode.”
When it comes to the future of the dollar status as the world’s reserve currency, the most important chart may be the fact that the US is now so woefully buried in debt that another global military conflict appears inevitable…
… or that it now takes virtually unlimited monetization of the debt shown above to preserve the illusion that the US is not bankrupt, pushing the S&P to record highs in the process…
… or that the marginal impact of every additional dollar in new debt generates increasingly less economic growth? Continue reading »
Janet Yellen is very alarmed that some members of Congress want to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve for the first time since it was created. If the Fed is doing everything correctly, why should Yellen be alarmed? What does she have to hide?
During testimony before Congress on Tuesday, she made “central bank independence” sound like it was the holy grail. Even though every other government function is debated politically in this country, Yellen insists that what the Federal Reserve does is “too important” to be influenced by the American people. Does any other government agency ever dare to make that claim?
But of course the Federal Reserve is not a government agency. It is a private banking cartel that has far more power over our money and our economy than anyone else does. And later on in this article I am going to share with you dozens of reasons why Congress should shut it down. Continue reading »
Confirming last year’s warning, The Fed’s Monetary Policy Report has sent a broad message to the markets in what may be Yellen’s Irrational Exuberance 2.0 moment: “Overall equity valuations by some conventional measures are somewhat higher than their historical average levels, and valuation metrics in some sectors continue to appear stretched relative to historical norms… price-to-earnings and price-to-sales ratios are somewhat elevated, suggesting some valuation pressures… with heightened leverage that is close to levels preceding the financial crisis.”
With the Federal Reserve printing trillions upon trillions of dollars to keep the economic system afloat, many investors and financial pundits have surmised that the fundamental economic problems facing the United States during the crash of 2008 have been resolved. Stocks are, after all, at historic highs.
But the insiders know different. And if there’s any single person out there who understands U.S. monetary policy and its long-term effects on domestic and global affairs it’s former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan. As the head of the world’s most powerful central bank for nearly two decades he’s privy to the insider conversations and government machinations that have brought us to where we are today. Continue reading »
Every two weeks or so on average, we ask ourselves: why do central bankers only tell the truth after they have quit their post (rhetorically, of course). The last time it was the BOE’s former head Mervyn King, who said that “more monetary stimulus will not help the world economy return to strong growth.” This took place long after the BOE, under his watch, unleashed its own QE back in the early days of the great financial crisis. Another example: back in November, the Fed’s own former head, the person who single-handedly unleashed the great moderation and led to the current terminal financial state where the global economy bounces from one bubble to another even bigger bubble or else everything implodes, Alan Greenspan said “Gold Is Currency; No Fiat Currency, Including the Dollar, Can Match It.”
It was another statement by the maestro that has caught the world’s attention, this time opining on Greece, when he told BBC Radio’s the World This Weekend that “Greece will leave the Eurozone. I don’t see that it helps Greece to be in the Euro, and I certainly don’t see that it helps the rest of the Eurozone. It’s just a matter of time before everyone recognizes that parting is the best strategy.… At this stage I don’t see any people who are willing to put up the funds for Greece… All the cards are being held by the members of the Eurozone.” Naturally, this is just what anyone with a functioning frontal lobe (which immediatley excludes all tenured economists) would have said 5 years ago. Continue reading »
Three months ago, we wrote “How The Petrodollar Quietly Died, And Nobody Noticed“, in which we explained in painful detail why far from the simple macroeconomic dogma which immediately prompted the macro tourists to scream that “oil prices dropping are good for US consumers“, the collapse in the price of crude is not only a disaster for oil exporting nations – one which will lead to a series of violent “Arab Springs” across the oil-producing developed world – but far more importantly, have a massive impact on capital markets as a result of the plunge in the most financialized commodity in history. Continue reading »
The head of China’s Dagong Rating Agency, Guan Jianzhong, had some very blunt words for the world’s investors and policymakers overnight. As ITAR-TASS reports, Jianzhong warned , “the world economy may slip into a new global financial crisis in the next few years… that is even worse than in 2008.”Continue reading »