One month ago, Donald Trump urged his followers to sell stocks, warning of “very scary scenarios” for investors, and accused the Fed of setting the stage for the next market crash when he said that “interest rates are artificially low” during a phone interview with Fox Business. “The only reason the stock market is where it is is because you get free money.”
Earlier today, speaking to a reporter traveling on his plane who asked Trump about a potential rate hike by the Fed in September, Trump took his vendetta to the next level, saying that the Fed is “keeping the rates artificially low so the economy doesn’t go down so that Obama can say that he did a good job. They’re keeping the rates artificially low so that Obama can go out and play golf in January and say that he did a good job. It’s a very false economy. We have a bad economy, everybody understands that but it’s a false economy. The only reason the rates are low is so that he can leave office and he can say, ‘See I told you.'”Continue reading »
The closed-door meeting between Obama, Biden and Yellen has concluded, and moments ago the White House released the following statement:
“The President and Chair Yellen met this afternoon in the Oval Office as part of an ongoing dialogue on the state of the economy. They discussed both the near and long-term growth outlook, the state of the labor market, inequality, and potential risks to the economy, both in the United States and globally. They also discussed the significant progress that has been made through the continued implementation of Wall Street Reform to strengthen our financial system and protect consumers.”
Of course, for the actual transcript of what was said, we will have to rely on some conscientious White House leaker putting it on BitTorrent, but here is our modest attempt at translating what was and what was not said: no market crashes allowed until November.
Three weeks ago, when the Fed and Janet Yellen shocked markets with their extremely dovish statement in which they admitted the US Federal Reserve no longer is US data dependent, and instead is far more focused on global developments and especially China’s dollar-pegged currency (which makes it impossible for the Fed to be hawkish without causing further FX instability and leading to more Chinese capital flight), CNBC’s Steve Liesman asked Yellen point blank a question which would seem otherwise completely taboo: does the Fed have a credibility problem.
Thanks to the just released February diary of Fed chief Yellen, we now know exactly when she called Bank of England Governor (and former Goldman Sachs employee) Marc Carney and ECB President (and former Goldman Sachs employee) Mario Draghi.
The stock market has regained all of its loses year to date as economic indicators continue to flash red, corporate profits continue to plunge, consumers continue to spend less at retailers, real wages continue to fall, and housing sales continue to decline. The entire dead cat bounce has been generated through corporate stock buybacks, Wall Street lemmings trying to make up for their terrible year to date investing performance, and central bankers who will stop at nothing to verbally manipulate markets higher – since their monetary machinations over the last seven years have been a miserable failure in reviving the real economy.
As John Hussman points out, the market is poised to deliver nothing over the next decade, with a 40% to 55% “dip” in the foreseeable future. I wonder how many barely sentient, iGadget addicted, non-questioning, normalcy bias dependent zombies are prepared for a third Federal Reserve generated market collapse in the last 15 years? Continue reading »
Update: DJIA FUTURES AT DAY’S LOW, FALL 361PTS; S&P -38, NASDAQ -91
* * *
For nearly one year, Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy has been Janet Yellen’s nemesis over the ongoing probe into Fed leakage of material inside information via Medley Global and any other undisclosed channels, one which has seen subpoeans be lobbed at the Fed which has been doing everything in its power to stall said probe, and which cost Pedro da Costa his job when he dared to ask questions at a Fed presser that were not precleared by his WSJ “Fed mouthpiece” peers.
Today, during Yellen’s appearance before the House Financial Services committee, Duffy finally had enough, and in a heated exchange asked Yellen what on legal authority is the Fed exerting privilege to ignore a Congressional probe into what is clearly a criminal leak, one which has nothing to do with monetary policy and everything to do with the Fed providing material, market moving information to its favorite media and financial outlets.
As the market now diligently calculates the suddenly surging odds of a December rate hike, here’s Yellen with a preview of what will happen once the rate hike cycle is aborted…
YELLEN SAYS IF OUTLOOK WORSENED FED MIGHT WEIGH NEGATIVE RATES
… just as it was aborted in Japan in August of 2000 when the BOJ also decided to send a signal how much stronger the economy is by hiking 25 bps, only to cut 7 months later and to proceed to monetize not only all net Japanese debt issuance a decade later, but to hold half of all equity ETFs.
While the world was focused on the content of Yellen’s Thursday speech in Amherst for clues on whether the Fed Chair would back off her disturbingly dovish outlook on the world, what was the real surprise was the delivery: as we showed previously, there was a very troubling 100 second interval at the very end of the 50 minute, 5,000+ word speech, in which the 69-year old Yellen suddenly seemed unable to read the words on the page, was rereading the same phrase over and over, paused for long stretches at a time, and then had a violent reaction that forced her to end her speech prematurely. Watch it again below.
“…the federal funds rate and other nominal interest rates cannot go much below zero, since holding cash is always an alternative to investing in securities. … the lowest the FOMC can feasibly push the real federal funds rate is essentially the negative value of the inflation rate. As a result, the Federal Reserve has less room to ease monetary policy when inflation is very low. This limitation is a potentially serious problem because severe downturns such as the Great Recession may require pushing real interest rates far below zero for an extended period to restore full employment at a satisfactory pace.“
In this special episode of the Keiser Report from New York, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the never seen before triple category four hurricanes heading for global financial markets caused by injection of too much hot air from central bankers. In the second half, Max interviews Gerald Celente about Rule 48, volatility and invasions.
“As Japan found during its quantitative easing program, increasing the size of the monetary base above levels needed to provide ample liquidity to the banking system had no discernible economic effects aside from those associated with communicating the Bank of Japan’s commitment to the zero interest rate policy.
I think my views on this mirror those that you expressed in your opening comments, Mr. Chairman.”
It wouldn’t be a first, but it would certainly be a – bigger – shock. That is to say, the Bank of England hijacked the head of Canada’s central bank some time ago, but, while unexpected enough, that would pale in comparison to the US hiring the present Governor of the Russian central bank, Elvira Sakhipzadovna Nabiullina. It would still seem to be a mighty fine idea, though.
Not that I think it will happen, not to worry if you think Yellen is just what it takes at the Fed. But Nabiullina is both razor sharp and fiercely independent. Yellen is obviously neither; she’s a cog in a machine that huffs and puffs and pumps and dumps to make sure her overlords in the blissful world of US finance make ever more profit no matter how bad things get in American society.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 »
Fed Chair Janet Yellen pushed for him to be her No. 2 in a move that was viewed as a show of confidence and strength as she prepares to lead the Fed through one of it most challenging periods, managing the wind down of massive stimulus programs put in place following the financial crisis.
Say what you want about Bill Gross, but the legendary bond investor is absolutely spot on in the following paragraph from his latest, December, investment outlook:
How could they? How could policymakers have allowed so much debt to be created in the first place, and then failed to regulate their own system accordingly? How could they have thought that money printing and debt creation could create wealth instead of just more and more debt? How could fiscal authorities have stood by and attempted to balance budgets as opposed to borrowing cheaply and investing the proceeds in infrastructure and innovation? It has been a nursery rhyme experience for sure, but more than likely without a fairytale ending.
When it comes to the second coming of the cold war, things are not looking good for the leader of the “Free World”, because for the second year in a row, at least according to Forbes editors, the person whom they have chosen as the world’s most powerful in the world…
According to the Fed’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, the top 10% of U.S. families are doing just fine, and those in the bottom fifth are essentially being kept afloat by transfer payments; but the inflation-adjusted median family income has shrunk by one-eighth since 2004. Quite simply, middle-class incomes are being gutted. Continue reading »
With no mention of the current turmoil in markets – or suggestion of QE99 – Janet Yellen’s speech this morning on “Inequality and Opportunity” in America explains how the poor can get rich. After admitting that widening inequality resumed in the recovery (and “greatly concerns” her), as the stock market rebounded (driven by Fed’s free money) and cost-conscious share buying-back companies defer wage growth as the healing of the labor market has been slow; she turns her attention to how the poor can beat the vicious cycle. Rather stunningly, she notes the 4 sources of income opportunity in America: The first two are widely recognized as important sources of opportunity: resources available for children and affordable higher education (so more student debt and servitude). The second two may come as more of a surprise: business ownership and inheritances. As she concludes, “this is how individuals and their families can improve their economic circumstances.“
As we discussed earlier in the week, Janet Yellen has released a speech this morning explaining how sorry she is about ‘the poor’ and why they need to get rich. In the speech below, she stresses, “how important it is to promote asset-building, including saving for a rainy day, as protection from the ups and downs of the economy,” despite falling incomes, rising costs, and extending credit, we assume she means. The Fed Chairman has some words of encouragement for the tens of millions of Americans who live at or below the poverty level, including that threatened with extinction class, affectionately known as “the middle.” Her message? It is important to build assets, or said otherwise… get rich and she promises to “continue to promote asset-building.”
*YELLEN SAYS FIGURES ON POOR AMERICANS’ ASSETS IS `SOBERING’ (indeed! but not the rich eh?)
*YELLEN SAYS HOUSING CRISIS LEGACY STILL HURTING POOR AMERICANS (need another bubble)
*YELLEN: HOUSING IMPROVING, WILL STAY KEY FOR FAMILY ASSETS (as homeownership tumbles)
*YELLEN SAYS AMERICANS NEED MORE DIVERSIFICATION OF ASSETS (buy stocks too)
*YELLEN SAYS FED WILL `CONTINUE TO PROMOTE ASSET-BUILDING’ (count on the Fed to lift prices)
*YELLEN: CRISIS SHOWED VULNERABILITY OF LOW-ASSET HOUSEHOLDS (poor people should save more!)
Earlier this week Bloomberg published a devastating chart showing real hourly wage growth for the first 60 months of every cycle going back to 1949. The 11 cycle average gain was 9% and the largest was 19% a half century back.
Fast forward to the 60 months of ZIRP and QE since the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, however, and you get a drastically different picture: Real hourly wages have risen by just 0.5%, and in the great scheme of things that’s a rounding error.
Surely the above chart is also flat-out proof that massive money printing doesn’t work. After all, reflating wages, jobs and incomes is what the monetary politburo claims it’s all about. Indeed, the Fed has insouciantly cast a blind eye to the massive bubbles building everywhere in the financial system, and has kept money market rates relentlessly at zero for six years running on the grounds that it is not yet done “stimulating” the labor market.
So why does this abysmally failed and dangerous experiment continue unabated—as Yellen will undoubtedly confirm at Jackson Hole? Self-evidently, it is irresistibly convenient to both Wall Street and Washington. The former gorges on a massive diet of carry trade gambling windfalls thanks to ZIRP and the Greenspan/Bernanke/Yellen “put”; and the latter gets a fiscal get-out-of-jail-free card owing to the Fed’s massive repression of interest rates. Indeed, with the public debt now topping $17.7 trillion, the implicit (and fraudulent) debt service relief from current ultra-low interest rates amounts to upwards of $500 billion per year. Continue reading »
During yesterday’s Senate hearings, Janet Yellen was asked by Senator Bernie Sanders if the U.S. was a capitalist democracy or has morphed into an oligarchy. While readers of this site already know the answer to this question, which was recently proved empirically by a Princeton and Northwestern academic study, it was still stunning to note her unwillingness to answer the question.
I will give her some credit for not flat out lying about it. She inherently understands that the U.S. is a corrupt, shameful oligarchy, but as head of the institution most responsible for this transformation she simply cannot tell the truth. It is incredible that things have fallen so far that a U.S. Senator felt compelled to ask such a question, and even worse that such a powerful official couldn’t vehemently and decisively deny the claim.
Where I take exception with Sanders, is that he appears to live under some strange sort of hypnosis that makes him think only Republican oligarchs are problematic. Of course no sane person should draw any serious distinction between establishment Democrats or Republicans. Furthermore, he also makes the mistake of focusing on the 1%, when the real problem resides in a far smaller 0.01%, which I described in my post: Where Does the Real Problem Reside? Two Charts Showing the 0.01% vs. the 1%.
Ben Bernanke may be gone from the helm of the world’s most centrally planned economy, but his ample cluelessness remains. David Einhorn, president of Greenlight Capital, better known for comparing QE to jelly donuts and who recently confirmed what we have been saying for a long time that the second dotcom bubble is here, spoke with Bloomberg TV covering a wide range of topics, but what caught our attention was his synopsis of a private dinner he had with Chairsatan-emeritus Ben Bernanke, on March 26.
While Janet Yellen fell back on the ubiquitous central banker statement that she “would do all that [she] can” it was Dallas Fed’s Richard Fisher who raised the most eyebrows yesterday. In a speech in Mexico City, the central banker said he was concerned about “eye-popping levels” of some stock market metrics warning that the Fed must monitor the signs carefully to ensure bubbles were not forming. While other Fed members have paid lip-service to bubbles, Fisher explicitly discussed stocks in the context of the dot-com boom of the late ’90s warning of “the ghost of ‘irrational exuberance'” and worried about corporate bonds too.
In his speech in Mexico City, Fisher said some indicators like the price-to-projected forward earnings, price-to-sales ratios and market capitalization as a percentage of GDP, are at levels not seen since the dot-com boom of the late 1990s.
On Tuesday, new Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen went before Congress and confidently declared that “the economic recovery gained greater traction in the second half of last year” and that “substantial progress has been made in restoring the economy to health”. This resulted in glowing headlines throughout the mainstream media such as this one from USA Today: “Yellen: Economy is improving at moderate pace“. Sadly, tens of millions of Americans are going to believe what the mainstream media is telling them. But it isn’t the truth. As you will see below, there are all sorts of signs that the economy is taking a turn for the worse. And when the next great economic crisis does strike, most Americans will be completely and totally unprepared because they trusted our “leaders” when they told us that everything would be just fine.
It is amazing how deceived people can be. Just consider the case of 56-year-old Brian Perry. He is a former law clerk that has applied for nearly 1,500 jobs since 2008 without any success. But he says that he is “optimistic” that he will get another job soon because he believes that the economy is recovering:
Trends Forecaster: Proof the Markets are Rigged. At least five top level bankers have “fallen” to their deaths from high-rises in just the last two weeks. Are the worlds Stock Markets, Currency Exchanges and Interest Rates all rigged? Gerald Celente brings the facts from the news to the table.
Just in case you had any lingering doubt about how hopelessly screwed the world’s monetary and financial system really is, all you have to do is learn that in a series of ceremonies (because that is so appropriate with a record number Americans on food stamps) celebrating Ben Bernanke in recent days incoming Fed head Janet Yellen likened Bernanke to Obi-Wan Kenobi, the wise, experienced Jedi Knight mentor to his protégé Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars” movies.
There’s nothing that makes you feel more warm and fuzzy inside than the recognition that the soon to be most powerful person in the world thinks that printing trillions of dollars and giving it to criminals at zero interest qualifies as attributes of a intergalactic Jedi Master.
A classicial economist… and Harvard professor… preaching to the world that one’s money is not safe in the US banking system due to Ben Bernanke’s actions? And putting his withdrawal slip where his mouth is and pulling $1 million out of Bank America? Say it isn’t so…
Update: the final vote came out to 56 Yes and 26 No, after supposedly someone moved from the No to the Yes pile. It also seems that quite a few senators missed the final vote due to the weather, which means Bernanke’s record of 30 No votes stands untouched for now.
With the critical 50th Yes vote just being cast, Janet Yellen has officially become the first woman to head the central bank in its 100 years of existence. The vote continues, and the only question now is whether the current tally of 27 No votes will surpass the Bernanke record of 30 objections to the central bank head. Continue reading »
I know and admire the wisdom of Stanley Fischer, apparently to be appointed Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank. Fischer will add a serious complement of experience to maintain stability of the nation’s monetary policy as he understands only too well the absolute requirement of avoiding another meltdown. This appointment will strengthen the positive attitude of financial markets as Fischer is a strong asset for Yellen, and influential with other local Fed presidents as well as Finance Ministers and Central Bankers around the globe. Just recently, Larry Summers and a passel of other influential economists saluted Fischer with keenly read papers at the IMF to honor his influence in economic circles. And I know that Fischer has a very high regard for the former Treasury Secretary.
I believe his record as MIT Professor supervising Ben Bernanke’s thesis on the depression in 1979, his time at the IMF as chief economist, a few years at Citigroup and then a spectacular success steering the Israeli economy to superior economic growth at the Bank of Israel will be seen as a valuable counterpart to Janet Yellen’s huge challenge of easing us out of quantitative easing.
WASHINGTON — Stanley Fischer, the former governor of the Bank of Israel and a mentor to the Federal Reserve’s chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, is the leading candidate to become vice chairman of the Fed, according to former and current administration officials.
The White House is close to nominating Stanley Fischer, the former governor of the Bank of Israel, as vice chair of the Federal Reserve, various media outlets reported on Wednesday.
Fischer, 70, headed the Israeli central bank until earlier this year. He is a former head of the economics department at MIT, former number two official at the IMF and former chief economist at the World Bank.
Among his students during his 20-plus years teaching at MIT were outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and former presidential advisor Greg Mankiw.
The most important chart that nobody at the Fed seems to pay any attention to, and certainly none of the economists who urge the Fed to accelerate its monetization of Treasury paper, is shown below: it shows the Fed’s total holdings of the entire bond market expressed in 10 Year equivalents (because as a reminder to the Krugmans and Bullards of the world a 3 Year is not the same as a 30 Year). As we, and the TBAC, have been pounding the table over the past year (here, here and here as a sample), the amount of securities that the Fed can absorb without crushing the liquidity in the “deepest” bond market in the world is rapidly declining, and specifically now that the Fed has refused to taper, it is absorbing over 0.3% of all Ten Year Equivalents, also known as “High Quality Collateral”, from the private sector every week. The total number as per the most recent weekly update is now a whopping 33.18%, up from 32.85% the week before. Or, said otherwise, the Fed now owns a third of the entire US bond market.
Jim Rogers hope-driven wish is that the politicians were smart enough at some point to say (to the central bankers), “we’ve got to stop this, this is going to be bad.” He adds, on the incoming QEeen, “she’s not going to stop it, first of all she doesn’t believe in stopping it, she thinks printing money is good.” However, Rogers warns in this excellent interview with Birch Gold, “eventually the markets will just say, “We’re not going to play this game anymore”, and we’ll have a serious collapse.” The world is blinded by central bank liquidity, and as Rogers somewhat mockingly notes “if everybody says the sky is blue, I urge you to look out the window and see if it’s blue because I have found that most people won’t even bother to look out the window…” Rogers concludes, “everybody should own some precious metals as an insurance policy,” because as he ominously warns, when ‘it’ collapses, “there will be big change.
Rachel Mills, Birch Gold Group (BGG): This is Rachel Mills for Birch Gold, and I am very pleased to be joined today by Jim Rogers, legendary investor. Thank you so much Jim for joining me.
Jim Rogers: I am delighted to be here Rachel.
BGG: So today I wanted to talk a little about stock market highs and Quantitative Easing and inflation and a little bit of Federal Reserve and when is the taper is going to happen and currency wars. But there is one question that I don’t have to ask you, which you get asked a lot, I know, and that is what your secret to being so prescient in the marketplace?
“…if everybody says the sky is blue, I at least urge you to go and look out the window and see if it’s blue because I have found that most people won’t even bother to look out the window…”
JR: As far as I know, I’m not quite sure. I do know that I have learned over the years, always, when nearly everybody is thinking the same way that means somebody’s not thinking that means we got to start thinking about it and see if there’s not another way, another approach. Because if everybody says the sky is blue, I at least urge you to go and look out the window and see if it’s blue because I have found that most people won’t even bother to look out the window. If they see on the television or in the newspaper or something that everybody says the sky is blue, I at least urge them to look out the window. I find that most people don’t want to do their homework, that’s the first problem that many people have, is just doing simple homework.
“…no matter what we all know today, it’s not going to be true in 10 or 15 years…”
If you believe that there is high inflation in the United States, you are just imagining things. That is the message that the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve would have us to believe. You might have noticed that the government announced on Wednesday that the cost of living increase for Social Security beneficiaries will only be 1.5 percent next year. This is one of the smallest cost of living increases that we have ever seen. The federal government is able to get away with this because the official numbers say that there is hardly any inflation in the U.S. right now. Of course anyone that shops for groceries or that pays bills regularly knows what a load of nonsense the official inflation rate is. The U.S. government has changed the way that inflation is calculated numerous times since 1978, and each time it has been changed the goal has been to make inflation appear to be even lower. According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the inflation rate was still calculated the same way that it was back when Jimmy Carter was president, the official rate of inflation would be somewhere between 8 and 10 percent today. But if the mainstream news actually reported such a number, everyone would be screaming and yelling about getting inflation under control. Instead, the super low number that gets put out to the public makes it look like the Federal Reserve has plenty of room to do even more reckless money printing. It is a giant scam, but most Americans are falling for it.
Meanwhile, the prices of the things that most Americans buy on a regular basis just keep going up. The following are just a few examples of price inflation that we have seen lately: Continue reading »
In this exclusive interview with Birch Gold Group, former Congressman Ron Paul shares his opinions on a number of topics, including investing in physical gold and silver, the future of the U.S. dollar and the role of the Federal Reserve.
Rachel Mills for Birch Gold Group (BGG): This is Rachel Mills for Birch Gold Group. I am speaking with Ron Paul today. How are you, Ron Paul?
Ron Paul (RP): I am doing very well. Nice to talk to you Rachel.
BGG: It’s good to talk to you again, and by the way of information for Birch’s audience, I was your last press secretary on Capitol Hill in Congress and I worked for you for the 5 years. So I may be cheating a little bit because a lot of your answers to my questions I maybe have a pretty good guess at what you might say. Continue reading »