For whom the bell will not toll: Fed ditches old-school tech in policy release

March 20, 2013

It’s had a good run, and will remain in use for the purposes of alerting reporters that “Treasury is in the (press) room.” But when it comes to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions, which are also released out of Treasury, the central bank is ditching the old ringer.

Beware: UK services PMI is no crystal ball for QE

March 5, 2013

Take with a pinch of salt economists who say Tuesday’s strong UK services PMI  might persuade the Bank of England to hold off from restarting its printing presses this week.

Bernanke’s Senate tone not that of Fed Chairman seeking third term

February 26, 2013

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may be keeping quiet about his future plans, but he sure doesn’t sound like someone planning to seek Senate support for a third term at the helm of the U.S. central bank.

Bullard weighs in on his colleague’s challenge to the ‘Bernanke doctrine’

February 26, 2013

Earlier this month, Fed Governor Jeremy Stein made waves that are still rippling with a speech on the risks of credit bubbles. The policymaker said that the U.S. central bank could use interest rates, as opposed to the more conventional tool of regulation, to cool overheating in junk bonds and other markets.

A Stein in Bernanke’s shoe: Is there a bubble in corporate bonds?

February 25, 2013

Financial markets are again on edge about the direction of Fed policy following the surprisingly hawkish minutes of the January meeting released last week, even if most still expect the central bank to keep buying bonds at the current $85 billion monthly pace at least until the end of the year.

Fed stimulus benefits still outweigh risks, Lockhart tells Reuters

February 20, 2013

The Federal Reserve is cognizant of the potential costs of its unconventional policies, but the economic benefits from asset purchases are still far greater than the potential costs, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart told Reuters in an interview from his offices.

The fallacy of Fed ‘profits’ (and ‘losses’)

February 20, 2013

Richard Fisher, the Dallas Fed’s colorfully hawkish president, enjoys touting the remittances that the central bank makes yearly to Treasury, earned, circularly enough, mostly on the returns of the Treasury bonds the Fed holds. Here’s Fisher in September 2010:

Show and tell: Fed’s balance sheet not as big as you thought

February 15, 2013

Size matters, and Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is not as big as shrill critics of QE3 would lead you to believe.

Don’t fear inflation boogeyman: BofA’s Harris

February 13, 2013

Worries about potential side-effects of unconventional monetary policy on financial markets are at least exaggerated, if not a near figment of the imagination.

QE3 debate kicks into high gear: Get ready for an assembly line of Fed speeches

February 8, 2013

Is it full steam ahead for the Fed’s QE3 or is the U.S. central bank having second thoughts? Next week’s veritable assembly line of speeches from Fed officials could help answer that question. Vice Chair and possible Bernanke successor Janet Yellen kicks off the week with remarks to an AFL-CIO conference. She is followed by numerous regional Fed presidents, the bulk of them with hawkish tendencies: Esther George, Jeffrey Lacker, Charles Plosser and Dennis Lockhart on Tuesday, St. Louis’ James Bullard on Wednesday and Thursday, and finally, Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto Friday. Oh, and the Fed’s regulatory point person, board governor Daniel Tarullo, testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. The topic is a now-perennial one: “Wall Street Reform.”