FIRE Economy |

Interest Rates are Kinda Low

From this item at Business Insider the other day via the Bank of England and Citigroup comes the graphic below depicting just how interesting these times are, interest rate-wise.

Sourced from the Babylonian empire to Greece, the Roman Empire, Byzantium, Netherlands, Italy, the U.K., the U.S. – it’s a veritable stroll through monetary history…

It seems that those who write about billionaire Warren Buffett may have already laid claim to using the name Warren as a verb, but with any more contentious exchanges like the one yesterday with Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) may give the Oracle from Omaha a run for his money (i.e., Yellen was Warrened yesterday).

Also see:

Elizabeth Warren went full Elizabeth Warren today at a Senate hearing – Washington Post
Warren Sharply Criticizes Fed Staff Over Dodd-Frank Views – American Banker

Crude Oil Inventories, Prices

Not having looked at the graphic below that is updated weekly by the Department of Energy as part of their This Week in Petroleum publication, I was kind of shocked (for pretty obvious reasons) to have stumbled across it this morning.

Markets did a good job of signalling what was to come late last year as shown below.

Of course, that’s pretty much the end of the story…

Let’s all now watch the Nasdaq eclipse its internet bubble high from early-2000 as some foreign stock markets also notch fresh records in what can only be described as a “job well done” by the world’s central banks…

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On Root Cause

My engineering background is no doubt responsible for the discomfort that is experienced when listening to others talk about root cause (i.e., in the peer reviewed world of hard sciences, you can’t just say you’ve found the root cause) and the latest example of this comes from the White House via this Friday Funny at

Other examples in the world of economics and finance involve “the lack of aggregate demand” being the proximate cause of our recent malaise and you can take your pick of many root causes (which are highly dependent upon your world view and who signs your paycheck) for the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression that, almost uniformly, reject the view that, as so eloquently noted by Pavlina Tcherneva in this item at New Economic Perspectives, “We live in a casino economy driven by serial asset bubbles”.

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