More ECB QE? Perhaps best when the Fed raises

October 22, 2015

Those clamouring for the European Central Bank to ramp up its 60 billion euro per month stimulus programme will have to wait until December.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Does the Bank of England really follow the Fed?

July 21, 2015

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“Daft” is how outgoing Bank of England policymaker David Miles described the idea that Britain’s central bank would have to wait for the U.S. Federal Reserve before hiking interest rates.

As Fed’s statement shrinks, data looms larger

April 29, 2015

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.”

U.S. growth outlook snowed under yet again

April 29, 2015

SFor many years in a row, since a form of feeble recovery began from the worst financial crisis in more than 80 years, a similar pattern of déjà vu has set in for the U.S. economy.