The U.S. Federal Reserve Has A Huge Problem

The Federal Reserve’s old moniker of “lender of last resort” is no longer relevant. Its policy of holding its federal funds rate above levels seen anywhere else in the developed world and borrowing near these rates has made it the “borrower of first resort.” This is problematic. Read Here – The National Interest

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Is Politics Getting To The Fed?

In the early 1980s, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, was able to choke off runaway inflation because he was afforded the autonomy necessary to implement steep interest-rate hikes. Today, the Fed is clearly under unprecedented political pressure, and it is starting to show. Read Here – Project Syndicate

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The U.S. Economy Is Great, Really, For Now

Trump haters may be tempted to conclude from all this that he is about to lead America into a sudden decline, but that is not the point. This American decade started under President Obama, continued under Mr. Trump and survived congressional gridlock throughout, showing that the economy often rises above politics. The economy is driven […]

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Trump Must Tread Carefully With His Asian Bankers

As Donald Trump angles to make America’s debt burden great again, he has some finessing to do with his bankers. No, not Russia in this case, but China and Japan, both by far the biggest holders of U.S. Treasuries with a combined $2.3 trillion. South Korea’s $95 billion stockpile also has folks in Seoul curious about […]

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The Battle Of Three Centuries

Twenty years ago next month, the British government gave the Bank of England the freedom to set interest rates. That decision was part of a trend that made central bankers the most powerful financial actors on the planet, not only setting rates but also buying trillions of dollars’ worth of assets, targeting exchange rates and […]

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China Has Lots of Treasuries, Not Much Leverage

During the last U.S. presidential election, an editorial in a Chinese state-run newspaper declared that if Washington insisted on flouting Chinese interests (by selling arms to Taiwan, for example), Beijing should “use its financial weapon to teach the U.S. a lesson.” Three years later, America owes even more to China than the $1.16 trillion it owed then. […]

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Emerging Asia Can’t Just Rely On China

If you think Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is stressed, spare a thought for Agus Martowardojo. On Tuesday, the governor of Indonesia’s central bank had to choose between cutting interest rates to support growth or hiking them to prop up his currency. He ultimately decided to split the difference and do nothing. Martowardojo’s dilemma is emblematic of […]

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