Jerome Powell: what kind of Fed leader will he be?
By choosing to elevate the uncontroversial Jerome Powell to chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, President Donald Trump has scored a rare bipartisan success. Mr. Powell lacks formal training in economics, though, and while he can be expected to sail smoothly on his predecessor’s course, it is hard to foresee if he can make an effective Fed leader in more challenging circumstances.
Janet Yellen considers her last act
Janet Yellen has done what was needed to leave behind fond memories of her term as Fed chief. She waited until the U.S. economy showed vigorous signs of recovery before announcing a soft-landing solution from the excessive liquidity inherited from Ben Bernanke. In part, this was a conscious choice to do what markets expected. But it may have been governed more by a long-term pessimism about the outlook for the economy.
Opinion: Confusing statements on money and trade
Janet Yellen is not worried about another global financial crisis. Mario Draghi and even Warren Buffet bemoan “inequality.” But no one seems to be taking seriously the problems artificially cheap money is causing to the global economy. With such a fragile global financial situation, free trade could be a big help – but protectionism is on the rise. Could the upcoming G20 meeting bring substantive progress on that count?
The Federal Reserve’s exit from quantitative easing
The question is not whether but when the U.S. Federal Reserve will start to shrink its bloated balance sheet. Just as quantitative easing was a departure from conventional monetary policy, its withdrawal will be a massive economic experiment. Unintended consequences are to be expected.
Fed seeks cover in ‘natural’ interest rate
Last summer, commentators began predicting that U.S. monetary policy would no longer aim to avoid deflation and boost growth, but to keep market interest rates close to what economists call the 'natural' rate. The reasoning behind this argument – publicly voiced by Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, among others – is puzzling. That may be deliberate, as the Fed has plenty of reasons to want a free hand in coming months.
Strange bedfellows: Donald Trump and the Fed
President Donald Trump’s incoming administration is about to give the United States Federal Reserve just what it’s been asking for – a significant fiscal stimulus. The problem is what happens next, when inflation expectations, interest rates and the dollar all go up. Tempers will flare in Washington, and the international repercussions could be much worse.
What is r* and why does the Fed care?
The U.S. Federal Reserve is thinking hard about whether it needs to scale back estimates of the economy's long-term growth potential. That could confound expectations by some market observers that monetary policy will soon begin getting back to normal.
Loose monetary policy could be on its way out
In March, the United States Federal Reserve kept its main interest rate on hold, while the European Central Bank cut its main interest rate to zero. The moves confirmed what investors already knew: the American and European economies still have plenty of weaknesses. But despite appearances, the Fed and the ECB are on track to end their expansionary monetary policie...
Fed-engineered recession may speed dollar bloc’s collapse
The year has not started well for global financial markets. Undoubtedly, one reason that stocks have slumped is that the United States Federal Reserve under Janet Yellen has started to raise interest rates and signaled that more hikes are coming. The hawkish stance of Ms. Yellen’s Fed not only risks derailing the U.S. eco...
Exchange rates: a race to the bottom
Trying to predict how exchange rates will evolve during the rest of the year is a futile exercise. For different reasons, the world’s major central banks are all doing their best to weaken their own currencies. Summary <i>In the United States, the Federal Reserve is having second thoughts about resetting ...