Economy | - Part 30

New Hope for the Economics Profession

Skip to about the 3 minute mark to begin watching a rather remarkable speech about finance and the global economy by former Treasury Secretary/former Fed Chair nominee Larry Summers who begins by noting that “Finance is too important to be left to financiers”.

At about the 7 minute mark, the term “secular stagnation” is introduced and it quickly becomes very interesting from there. If not for a very busy day ahead, there would be more on offer about this today, but there are some good links:

Less Christmas Cheer this Year?

For a data series such as this, it’s important to remember that Americans often say and do two completely different things, but the latest Gallup survey on consumer moods shows that the fast-approaching holiday shopping season may be less than stellar.

Consumer confidence had been rebounding quickly following another kick-the-can-down-the-road solution to the nation’s budget troubles last month, but ongoing difficulties with the Obamacare roll-out may leave confidence lower than where it was in the summer.

Of course, none of this may affect how much money Americans actually spend this year, particularly those at higher income/asset levels who have been watching the numbers on their financial statements get bigger and bigger each month.

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It’s Yellen Time

The pregrame warm-up is about done and it’s game time for Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen who, absent any Albert Brooks style perspiration problems (skip to the 4 minute mark), should be easily confirmed after appearing before the Senate Banking Committee today.

Not that it will make any difference, but the timing of yesterday’s thoughtful Wall Street Journal op-ed by former Fed money printing manager Andrew Huszar was pretty good.

This Wall Street Journal op-ed by Andrew Huszar, formerly a Morgan Stanley managing director and head of the Federal Reserve’s $1+ trillion MBS purchase program in 2009-2010, had been set aside for reading later, but, given how it’s been the subject of so much talk over the last 24 hours, it seemed worth taking a look at without any further delay.

It begins…

BernankeI can only say: I’m sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed’s first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.

That’s probably the best opening paragraph of any article I’ve read in at least a few years and it gets even better from there, something that you wouldn’t think is possible.


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