from Ann Saphir:

To boldly go where no central banker has gone before

October 1, 2015

John Williams, chief of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, happens to have the same name as the guy who wrote the music for the Star Wars films. Judging from his speeches of late, the Fed’s own Williams is something of a sci-fan himself.  Thursday in Salt Lake City he borrowed from the iconic greeting of Star Trek’s Spock with a talk titled “The Economic Outlook: Live long and Prosper.” Earlier this month he riffed on Star Wars, with a speech subtitled “May the (economic) force be with you.” In July, he spoke about “The recovery’s final frontier” (see So it is quite logical that the enterprising captain of the Fed’s farthest-flung Western outpost would be keen on exploring strange new worlds. And here I don’t just mean voyaging to Los Angeles, where he was on Monday, or to Spokane, Wash., where he treks next week. Williams, like most Fed officials, believes that after nearly seven years of extraordinarily easy monetary policy, the U.S. economy is finally ready to leave near-zero interest rates behind. On Thursday, Williams repeated his view that the Fed should raise interest rates this year. Not all U.S. central bankers agree – one can almost hear Minneapolis Fed’s Kocherlakota or Chicago Fed’s Evans echoing Princess Leia’s warning, “I have a bad feeling about this.” Certainly, if the Fed can successfully raise rates without quickly needing to cut them again, it will have pulled off what several other global central banks – the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, Sweden’s Riksbank --  have tried to do, but failed. Raising rates this year, as Williams hopes and expects to, would indeed be a bold move; and if the first hike is followed by others, he would indeed be taking the Fed where no other central bank has gone before.

from Morning Bid with David Gaffen:

Under Pressure

September 25, 2015

This is a weird market we’re in. Equities spent a good part of the day under pressure, rebounded late on what was attributed to a wonky note that took an inside baseball view of the recent selloff, fell, and then rose, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen first said explicitly that the Fed plans on raising rates, and then suffered a mild health issue that gave everyone a bit of a scare before doctors said she was okay to continue with her schedule.

from MacroScope:

Yellen faces her biggest test after years of Fed coddling markets

September 23, 2015

A trader works underneath a television screen showing Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen announcing that the Federal Reserve will leave interest rates unchanged on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeThey say every top central banker faces a "test," and this may be it for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

from Expert Zone:

India Markets Weekahead: Mid-caps will be in action amid consolidation

By Ambareesh Baliga
September 20, 2015

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

A trader works underneath a television screen showing Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen announcing that the Federal Reserve will leave interest rates unchanged on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York September 17, 2015.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson  The U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to hold rates came as a relief for Asian markets, especially in India where the Nifty ended the week at 7,982, or 2.5 percent higher. However, U.S. and European markets corrected sharply on Friday due to Fed chief Janet Yellen’s comments over China’s economic slowdown.

from Morning Bid with David Gaffen:

Fed Outlook: Bet on Chaos, and All Else a Toss-Up

September 17, 2015

With great power comes great responsibility, as a wise comic-book character once said. And so the Federal Reserve's decision this afternoon bears the weight of re-establishing credibility in its ability to shift policy in more than one direction, communicate to markets its thinking, and yet - if it raises rates - to soothe investors concerned that several more rate increases are in the offing. (The Fed has repeatedly said this isn't the case, but who knows how markets interpret things sometimes.)

from Morning Bid with David Gaffen:

The Frowning of a Lifetime

September 16, 2015

With corrective action that has been seen in the last several months (and yes, this correction should accurately be dated to May), it’s good to try to start somewhere when it comes to optimism. Jason Goepfert of points out that total pink sheet activity as a percentage of the Nasdaq volume has dropped to levels not seen since the aftermath of the dot-com blowup.

from MacroScope:

Will a weak Canadian dollar really lead to stronger exports?

September 9, 2015

A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto

Canada's near two-year-long attempt to boost exports through a weaker currency so far has proved futile.

from MacroScope:

Sept Fed calls kept alive on hopes data disappointment will be revised away

September 7, 2015

U.S. non-farm payroll numbers came in well below forecast on Friday but may not have tolled the death knell on a September date for the first Federal Reserve rate hike in almost a decade.

from MacroScope:

Reuters polls dashboard of key data ahead of Sept FOMC meeting

September 4, 2015

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

As anticipation builds ahead of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee's Sept. 16-17 meeting, the decision on whether rates will go up or not rests squarely on incoming economic data, according to Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

from MacroScope:

Inventory pile underscores risk Philly Fed could go the Empire State way

August 20, 2015

Obama visits General Electric in Schenectady New York

"Nothing to see here, folks" was the reaction most analysts had to a completely shocking report earlier this week that showed manufacturing business conditions in New York State deteriorated at their fastest pace since the start of the financial crisis.