Banks Siphon Bernanke’s Stimulus While Tightening Credit On Middle Class

By: Monday December 24, 2012 9:42 am

While many former homeowners will be spending the holidays in the streets, it is good to know the bailed out banks are making some nice profits… off the American taxpayer. Fed Chairman Bernanke’s continual leveraging of the national credit card via buying mortgage-backed securities to stimulate the mortgage market has done little for the mortgage market and a lot for Wall Street’s bottom line.

What the Housing Market Actually Looks Like

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 8:30 am

This week brought more good statistical news for the housing market. Existing home sales rose at a decent clip in November, nearing post-bubble highs not seen since the artificial spike from the homebuyer’s tax credit (I’ve noted that the end of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act could be giving the same spike). Inventory fell [...]

Unemployment Problem, Not a Deficit Problem, Cont’d

By: Thursday December 13, 2012 12:30 pm

I touched on this yesterday, but with the release of the Federal Reserve’s economic projections, we can say just what a catastrophe the past several years of policymaking has been. Here’s Paul Krugman: What struck me is that the Fed expects the unemployment rate to be well above its long-run level even in the fourth [...]

Fed Cracks Down on New Mergers at the Biggest Banks

By: Thursday December 13, 2012 9:15 am

I do go on about the lack of regulation at the big banks. But I’ll have to grant the Federal Reserve a modicum of credit for this action: The Federal Reserve is pushing large U.S. banks to forget about all but the smallest acquisitions for a while amid a raging debate over the risk big [...]

Fed Announces Game-Changing Inflation and Unemployment Targets for Monetary Policy

By: Wednesday December 12, 2012 10:45 am

The Federal Reserve adopted an innovative tactic in its latest Federal Open Market Committee report. Instead of merely identifying a target federal funds rate, or giving guidance that rates will remain low for a certain period of time, the Fed now specifically targeted both an unemployment rate and an inflation rate, and said that their [...]

Bernanke: Economy Still Weak, No Time for Austerity

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:55 pm

Ben Bernanke’s speech on the economy today offered no new information. It was more of an overview on the state of the economy, and it hit on many very familiar themes which Bernanke has expressed for a long time now, including the need to loosen lending standards in a type of reinflation of the housing [...]

Bernanke Wants Looser Lending Standards In Bubble Reinflation Effort

By: Friday November 16, 2012 6:15 am

I don’t know why I felt so insulted by Ben Bernanke’s housing speech yesterday, but it really stuck with me. Probably because he managed to give an entire speech on housing – one that at points implicitly blamed homeowners for their predicaments – without mentioning the word “fraud.” Or saying “I’m sorry.” It was very [...]

Janet Yellen’s Game-Changing Speech for Monetary Policy

By: Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:00 pm

The President opened his press conference by designating the top two priorities as jobs and growth, and then spent the next 60 minutes answering questions about David Petraeus and Susan Rice and tax rates and Benghazi and deficit reduction. And Obama didn’t seek to break out of that constraint and suggest actual near-term job creation [...]

Leading Fed Inflation Hawk Now Thinks Central Bank Not Doing Enough

By: Wednesday October 31, 2012 9:15 am

It wasn’t so long ago that Narayana Kocherlakota, the President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, was the leader of the coalition arguing for tighter monetary policy, even in the middle of mass unemployment. He claimed that unemployment was structural in nature, and that we risked runaway inflation with ultra-low interest rates. Just a year or [...]

Fed, Treasury Refuse to Take Libor Out of TARP Programs

By: Friday October 26, 2012 6:17 am

The Special Inspector General for TARP, Christy Romero, has recommended that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department stop using LIBOR, the benchmark interest rate derived in such a slipshod way that it was rigged for years. But the Fed and Treasury aren’t taking Romero up on the request. The Treasury and the Fed should [...]

Short-Term Economic Performance Does Not Equal Fixing Long-Term Structural Economic Problems

By: Wednesday October 24, 2012 1:26 pm

The Federal Reserve stood pat today, determining that they would continue with QE3 despite the relative improvement in economic performance. This clears one hurdle lingering in the minds of some observers: would the Fed have the resolve to stay the course, even if the economy strengthened, which would probably lead to an uptick in inflation? [...]

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