It’s now been well over a year since the two major central banks most likely to raise interest rates in the near future warned us we should pay attention to pay.
After another day of to-and-fro on Greece’s bailout, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he expected euro zone finance ministers to acknowledge next Monday progress towards a cash-for-reform deal, opening the way to easing Athens’ liquidity crisis.
We’ve heard various dates for when Greece will run out of money and some have already passed without incident but it is clear Athens’ cash position is getting increasingly desperate and it hasn’t yet managed to win over its creditors with economic reform plans.
San Francisco Fed President John Williams believes deeply that monetary policy is data-dependent, so much so that he has printed the mantra on T-shirts that he is giving away coast to coast. On Friday at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., however, he didn’t discuss the current state of U.S. economic data or the stance of monetary policy. Instead, he focused on why forcing the Fed to follow a strict monetary policy rule to make interest rate decisions would be, well, a problem (http://reut.rs/1bmCfvB). It’s a view that a number of his colleagues, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, have publicly embraced. Monetary policy — it’s independent. Sounds like something you could put on a T-shirt.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the Federal Reserve’s April statement is its brevity: at just 560 words, it’s the shortest post-Fed-meeting statement since October 2012. In saying less about its much-anticipated first interest-rate hike, the Fed is nudging markets to pay attention to other stuff. Like, for instance, the April jobs report next Friday, and the May jobs report one month later. “The Fed is data dependent,” says Eaton Vance portfolio manager Eric Stein. “They’d like to get to a world where the market will react more to numbers rather than Fed meetings and statements.”