Commentaries

from Rolfe Winkler:

Does Volcker give the Fed too much credit?

January 18, 2010

Paul Volcker's speech to the Economic Club of NY last week (pdf) was generally reported as the latest example of the former Fed Chairman calling for more substantive financial system reform. He did repeat those points, but the focus of his speech was about the importance of the Fed maintaining its regulatory and supervisory authority over the banking system. At a certain point, this seems the stuff of absurdist theater. If the Fed never intends to use its regulatory authority, why insist the authority be maintained?

from Rolfe Winkler:

Sprott: Is it all a Ponzi?

December 28, 2009

In his latest missive to investors (pdf link here), Eric Sprott asks if our Ponzi economy is at risk of collapse. In fiscal 2009, foreigners scooped up $698 billion of Treasuries while the Fed upped its holdings by $286 billion. But the public debt increased $1.9 trillion. So who bought all the rest? According to Treasury, "other investors" bought $510 billion, up from just $90 billion in 2008. With the Fed's printing press turned off, the question for next year is whether "other investors" can buy more Treasuries than they did this year...

from Rolfe Winkler:

Evening Links 12-16

December 16, 2009

Fed repeats "exceptionally low" for "an extended period" (Fed statement) The Fed maintains that it isn't raising rates for the foreseeable future, but repeated that it plans to end MBS asset purchases by April next year. Too bad we can't get a surprise rate hike in order to chase risk back out of credit markets...

Bernanke’s Hester Street home

October 9, 2009

The Federal Reserve may not want to crow about the half-empty giant shopping mall it now owns in Oklahoma City by virture of its hastily-arranged rescue of Bear Stearns. But at least one other commercial real estate deal that the Fed picked up from Bear appears to be in better shape.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Talking Bernanke

August 25, 2009

The title of the video is a little unfortunate. I don't think Volcker would be a realistic option, I just wish we could find someone like him.

Time for the Fed to stand up to its critics

August 20, 2009

John M. Berry is a guest columnist who has covered the economy for four decades for the Washington Post and other publications.

Bernanke: Back to Clark Kent

August 11, 2009

Having averted a disaster, cartoon superheroes typically revert to their bland civilian identities. With the recession loosening its grip, Ben Bernanke is trying a similar trick.

Easy does it on the exuberance

August 3, 2009

If it keeps going like this, Ben Bernanke will have to give an irrational exuberance speech.

Bubble, bubble toil and trouble

July 29, 2009

NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve seems to be volunteering to be top bubble burster. In a recent speech, Bill Dudley, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, overturned more than a decade of Fed orthodoxy by claiming it was the central bank’s duty to defuse asset price bombs before they detonate.

Federal Reserve – The long way home

July 21, 2009

– Christopher Swann is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own —