MacroScope

Hints of internal Fed divisions on Twitter?

Additional reporting by Ann Saphir. Updated with New York Fed and other details.

For a central bank that prides itself on transparency, the Federal Reserve remains cautious about adopting new ways of communicating its message. The Fed’s Washington-based board was a latecomer to Twitter. Its first tweet was dated March 14, well after its regional Fed counterparts.

Perhaps more tellingly, the @FederalReserve account follows most – but not all – regional Fed accounts. Of the 12 district banks, only the two most hawkish (and therefore likely to oppose the Fed’s unconventional monetary policy) are missing: Richmond and Kansas City. The third is New York, whose heavy influence on financial markets sometimes puts it at odds with the board. In fairness, the board does follow the Dallas and Philadelphia Feds. Its presidents, Richard Fisher and Charles Plosser, have also criticized Fed purchases of government and mortgage bonds, known as quantitative easing or QE.

The feeling is mutual, it seems. Richmond and Kansas City do not follow the board either. New York, however, does.

Are we reading too much into this? Probably. It is just a little bit curious? We think so.

from Jeremy Gaunt:

#ThingsStrongerThanTheKenyaShilling

Twitter does have some very strange Trends. These are the things that appear on the right-hand side of the page that show what people are talking about. They more they talk, the more likely it is that something will get listed.  More often than not they are about celebrities such as Justin Bieber.

But today's Worldwide  Trends was particularly unusual.

#ThingsStrongerThanTheKenyaShilling was right up there near the top.

As the graph here shows, the shilling has taken a heavy beating since the Lehman Brother collapse. This is one reason for the Twitter outburst.  "Kenyans are getting fed up," said @oreo_junkie, whose Twitter feed states it is from Nairobi.

And judging by some of the other "answers" to the trendline, it is not a matter for levity in Kenya. "Government's resolve to fight Corruption" was one;  "Stupidity of Kenyans to  reelect the same MPs" was another.