Once upon a time in a century far, far away, the U.S. economy was perceived by one and all as in a "Goldilocks" state: not too cold, not too hot, just right."
Three aspects in particular strike me as liable to become important in the coming years. First, while much of Bernanke's personal interest and expertise was on financial markets and monetary policy, Yellen's own focus has always been more on understanding labor markets frictions and outcomes.
Even more worrisome than the wild swings on Wall Street and many other stock markets has been the impact of tapering on major emerging markets.
Now, we get Hank: Five Years from the Brink, in which former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry "Hank" Paulson gives us a play-by-play of how he, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Reserve chairman Timothy Geithner, kept everything from collapsing while alternately massaging and challenging the various egos that ran the nation's largest banks.
Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty, the United States is still not a fair playing field for millions of children afflicted by preventable poverty, hunger, homelessness, sickness, poor education and violence in the world's richest economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $15.7 trillion. Every fifth child (16.1 million) is poor, and every tenth child (7.1 million) is extremely poor. Children are the poorest age group and the younger they are the poorer they are. Every fourth infant, toddler and preschool child (5 million) is poor; 1 in 8 is extremely poor. A majority of our one- and two-year-olds are already children of color. In five years children of color who are disproportionately poor, nearly 1 in 3, will be a majority of all children in America and of our future workforce, military and consumers. But millions of them are unready for school, poorly educated and unprepared to face the future.
For all the Yellen-watching going on, it is important to remember that the changeover is likely to be pretty subtle, especially at first.
Now that the Fed has begun to reduce its QE3 securities' purchases $10B per month in January, what will that do for growth? My answer is it's too soo...
Ben Bernanke is now defending his record as Fed Chairman. He shouldn't have to, as without the Fed's easy money policies--such as QE3--the economy wo...
In the end we didn't see a massive sell-off. Stocks didn't tank and Treasury yields didn't soar (but perhaps anticipated it over the last week). What was the dramatic shift?
I keep running into people who want to talk about this idea that faster inflation would help the economy pull out of its growth slog.
Between deficit spending and dollars created on the Fed's balance sheet, we estimate $8 trillion has been infused into the U.S. economy over the past ...
We definitely need an exit plan from quantitative easing before we become too addicted to it and it leads to a new round of economic instability.
Not tapering would have delivered an effective slap on the wrist to the market, the combination of the SEP and the forward interest rate guidance together meant 'they did protest too much'.
How are the trials and tribulations of the rupee, the Brazilian real, the Turkish lira, the South African rand and the Indonesian rupiah connected?
For decades, you could always count on the Federal Reserve to pull the plug on prosperity too soon, seeing ghosts of inflation everywhere. The Fed, responsive as it was to creditors, preferred a dose of recession to any sort of price pressures, especially wage increases. That changed with the regimes of Fed chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. Greenspan was willing to keep interest rates low because the banks kept getting into difficulty after bouts of speculative excess in the 1980s and '90s and needed the cheap money to rebuild their balance sheets. The ultimate such collapse occurred just five years ago this week, when the crash of Lehman Brothers revealed the rot in the entire system, and one over-leveraged domino after another fell. The Fed, after a somewhat anomalous run as the engine of recovery, seems to be reverting to type. Trouble is, the economy won't cooperate with this scenario. Inflation is nowhere to be seen, and the recovery continues to be weak.
Buckle your seat belts and hold onto your hats, because we're headed for a sharp curve. Believe it or not, I recommend the recruitment of one Hank Paulson for Fed chair.