President Joe Biden’s latest high-profile Fed nominee is in danger of being struck down in the Senate because she is widely seen by her peers as a left-wing activist rather than a serious monetary economist, several economists told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Biden appointed Lisa Cook, a professor of international relations and economics at Michigan State University and former Obama White House staffer, on Jan. 13 to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, which regulates the banking industry. Read More
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.5% in December, bringing the key inflation indicator’s year-over-year increase to 7%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.
The CPI soared to 7% on a year-over-year basis in December, the highest level in almost four decades, the BLS reported Wednesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected the index would soar past 7.1% in December.
“There’s still a lot of scarcity in the economy. Consumers and businesses are in great financial shape, and they’re willing to pay up for more goods, more services and more labor,” Sarah House, director, and senior economist at Wells Fargo, told the WSJ. Read More
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged Tuesday that high inflation is indeed a serious threat to the U.S. central bank’s goal of helping to get U.S. employees back to work.
He also said the Fed will raise rates higher than initially planned if needed to slow rising prices, according to the Associated Press.
“If we have to raise interest rates more over time, we will,” Powell told the Senate Banking Committee, which is considering his nomination for a second four-year term, the wire service also reports. “High inflation is a severe threat to the achievement of maximum employment.” Read More
The Nasdaq Composite, a technology-heavy index of publicly-traded companies, is set to underperform the S&P 500 for the first time since 2016, according to CNBC.
The S&P 500, a stock market index consisting of the 500 largest publicly-traded companies in the U.S., climbed 28% in 2021 as of Monday, while the Nasdaq was up 23% on a year-over-year basis, according to CNBC. The S&P 500 previously beat the Nasdaq in 2016 and 2011.
The Nasdaq had a strong start to 2021, almost doubling the S&P 500 in February, CNBC reported. Trading slowed after the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines, which boosted sentiment among investors that the pandemic was ending, reducing demand for remote work technology and other tech-focused goods. Read More
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.9% in November, bringing the key inflation indicator’s year-over-year increase to 6.8%, the highest figure in four decades.
The CPI’s increase is the largest increase in four decades, up from October’s 6.2% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report released Friday morning. Experts surveyed by CNBC projected inflation would increase 0.7% in November, translating to a 6.7% gain on a year-over-year basis.
“These are frighteningly high inflation numbers, the likes of which we haven’t seen for decades,” Allen Sinai, chief global economist and strategist at Decision Economics, Inc., told The Wall Street Journal. Read More
A survey released Monday found that business experts expect prices and inflation to rise at elevated levels for years to come.
The National Association for Business Economics released the results of a survey of 48 economic experts who downgraded their growth predictions and projected elevated inflation through the second half of 2023, if not later.
“NABE Outlook survey panelists have ramped up their expectations for inflation significantly since September,” said NABE Vice President Julia Coronado, founder and president, MacroPolicy Perspectives LLC. “The core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy costs, is now expected to rise 6.0% from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to the September forecast of a 5.1% increase over the same period.” Read More
The U.S. economy added 210,000 jobs in November, marking nearly the lowest number of jobs created in a month since President Joe Biden took office in January.
November’s jobs report was well below economists’ estimate of 573,000, according to CNBC. Additionally, unemployment fell to 4.2% from October’s 4.6% figure, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The U.S. economy, still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic but now subject to uncertainty related to the Omicron coronavirus variant, appeared to slow in momentum in November, The Wall Street Journal reported. Read More
The Federal Reserve concluded that weather disasters are “not very” bad for financial institutions despite the Biden administration’s warnings that climate change is an “emerging” threat to banks.
“We find that weather disasters over the last quarter century had insignificant or small effects on U.S. banks’ performance,” the report, published in November by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, stated. “This stability seems endogenous rather than a mere reflection of federal aid.”
The report added that extreme climate events “actually boosts profits” for larger banks because of increased loan demand. In addition, smaller banks are adept at avoiding mortgage lending in flood prone areas using local knowledge of the region they are based. Read More
President Joe Biden will renominate Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to a second term leading the central bank.
The president, who was elected as a moderate, has faced pushback on Powell, who progressives feel is not tough enough on bank regulations or climate change policy.
Also in contention for the top job was Lael Brainard, who Biden will nominate to become the vice chair of the central bank’s board of governors. Read More
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said he expects the recent spike in inflation to dissipate as supply and demand imbalances ease and that future price increases in 2022 would cause problems for the central bank.
“I do continue to judge that these imbalances are likely to dissipate over time as the labor market and global supply chains eventually adjust and, importantly, do so without putting persistent upward pressure on price inflation and wage gains adjusted for productivity,” Clarida said in remarks prepared for delivery on Monday. Read More
The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would begin scaling back its monthly bond purchases in November, marking the first step towards ending its pandemic stimulus as inflation surges.
The scaling of bond purchases, more commonly known as tapering, will start “later this month,” the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said in a statement. The Federal Reserve will reduce its purchases by $15 billion each month — $10 billion less in Treasury bonds and $5 billion less in mortgage-backed securities — from the current $120 billion figure. Read More
The Labor Department’s official unemployment rate—the most well-known gauge of the labor market’s health—counts as unemployed only those who aren’t working but are actively seeking a job.
Yet there is very little that we can infer from the jobless rate about the health of the economy. The unavoidable conclusion is that the only reason investors follow the calculation is because both Washington’s politicians and the Federal Reserve are expected to react to it. Read More
The Federal Reserve said in September that it would begin taking steps to combat growing inflation in the U.S. economy, according to notes from a Sept. 21 and Sept. 22 Open Market Committee meeting first obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
The Federal Reserve will be scaling back its $120 billion monthly purchases of U.S. Treasury and mortgage securities due to the growing surge in inflation and strong consumer spending leading to heightened demand, according to minutes from a September meeting released Wednesday by the WSJ. The reduction in spending, commonly referred to as tapering, will begin in mid-November, and experts believe it could end by June, according to the meeting notes. Read More
Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard believes financial regulators should tell banks how to tackle climate change as a way to monitor threats to the overall financial system, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Brainard outlined in a speech how the central bank should prepare for climate change events like flooding and wildfires, which she thinks could deliver a shock to the markets and economy. Read More
A key economic index used by the Federal Reserve to measure inflation surged to another 30-year high in August as Americans continued to experience sticker shock.
The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index increased 4.3% over the 12-month period ending in August, according to a Department of Commerce report published Friday. The figure represented the index’s highest increase since January 1991 when it surged at an annual rate of 4.5%, government data showed.
Minus energy and food prices, which are notoriously more volatile than other sectors, the PCE index increased at an annual rate of 3.6% in August, the Commerce Department reported. That is also the highest increase in more than 30 years. Read More
Prominent economic historian Niall Ferguson said current inflation could be in line with where it was in the 1960s during the period that preceded a decade of high consumer prices, CNBC reported.
“What is interesting about disasters is that one can lead to another,” Ferguson said in a Friday interview with CNBC. “You can go from a public health disaster to a fiscal, monetary and potentially inflationary disaster.”
During the 1960s, inflation stayed low before shooting up in the 1970s, according to government economic data. Consumer prices ultimately peaked in 1980 before rapidly declining. Read More
Minorities have increased their mobility and financial standing over the last decade, according to federal data that challenges some of the narratives of the so-called Critical Race Theory spreading through schools and media.
While the Federal Reserve reports that “the typical white family has eight times the wealth of the typical black family and five times the wealth of the typical Hispanic family” it also acknowledges that African-American and Hispanic families have made significant gains. Read More
A consumer price measurement used by the Federal Reserve to track inflation spiked again in June and hit its highest level since 1991, government data showed.
The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 4% over the 12 months between July 2020 and June, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report released Friday. Excluding volatile energy and food prices, the index spiked 3.5% in that same 12-month period.
The index increased 0.5% in June, in line with economists’ forecasts, CNBC reported.
“Inflation has increased notably and will likely remain elevated in coming months before moderating,” Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell said during a press conference this week. “As the economy continues to reopen and spending rebounds, we are seeing upward pressure on prices, particularly because supply bottlenecks in some sectors have limited how quickly production can respond in the near term.” Read More
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell tried to calm lawmakers’ fears about rising inflation but also said it would probably remain elevated for months to come.
Testifying before Congress this week, Powell said the Federal Reserve was willing to step in to address the situation, but that inflation should level out next year.
“As always, in assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, we will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if we saw signs that the path of inflation or longer-term inflation expectations were moving materially and persistently beyond levels consistent with our goal,” Powell said in his prepared testimony. Read More
Republican-led states and Vermont reported the lowest unemployment rates in April, according to a new report by the U.S. Commerce Department. States led by Democratic governors recorded the highest jobless rates, according to the report.
Unemployment rates were lower in April in 12 states and the District of Columbia and stable in 38 states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
States with the highest unemployment rates in April were Hawaii (8.5%), California (8.3%), New Mexico and New York (both at 8.2%), and Connecticut (8.1%). All five states with the highest unemployment are run by Democratic trifectas, meaning Democrats control the governor’s office and both houses of the state legislature. Read More
Senate Banking Committee Republicans have expanded an investigation into regional Federal Reserve banks over their alleged “woke mission creep.”
Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee sent letters to regional Federal Reserve banks in Minneapolis, Boston and Atlanta demanding a briefing with leaders and documents related to a recent “Racism and the Economy” initiative, GOP staffers said during a press briefing Monday morning. Engaging in political advocacy is out of the Fed’s purview, the letters said.
“Of course, racism is abhorrent and has no place in our society…. I recognize the interest in studying economic disparities along demographic lines, such as race and gender,” Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey wrote in the letters sent Sunday. Read More
Top American economist Larry Summers is sounding the alarm on rising U.S. inflation, saying that it is ticking up quicker than he originally expected.
Inflation is increasingly a more concerning and larger threat as consumer prices continue to rise, former National Economic Council Director and Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told Axios on Monday. He also criticized the Federal Reserve’s policies, suggesting that its decision to keep interest rates low could harm the economy.
“Data are pointing more towards higher inflation than I expected, and sooner,” Summers told Axios. “With more inflation signs sooner than I would have expected.” Read More
The Federal Reserve is promising to use its “full range of tools” to pull the country out of a recession brought on by a global pandemic, signaling that it would keep interest rates low through 2022.
In its semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress, the central bank said Friday that the COVID-19 outbreak was causing “tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world.” Read More
Another 5.2 million Americans filed for initial unemployment claims last week, bringing the total number of jobs lost to the Chinese coronavirus and related government closures to anywhere from 21.8 million to 24.8 million jobs lost in about one month, and when added to the 5.8 million who were already jobless, produces an effective unemployment rate of 16.7 to 18.5 percent. Read More
If you own stocks, you’re probably searching for explanations about the sudden bear market. The answers you find likely start with an event: what the Fed does, what President Trump does, or what the coronavirus does. Read More
President Donald Trump praised the Federal Reserve for cutting the federal funds rate to a range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent, and restarting quantitative easing with $500 billion of U.S. treasuries purchases and $200 billion of mortgage purchases in response to the Chinese coronavirus global pandemic.
“It makes me very happy and I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve,” he said. “That’s a big step and I’m very happy they did it.” Trump has been hounding the Fed for years to cut interest rates to make the dollar more competitive against trading partners’ currencies including the yuan, euro and peso. Now he gets his wish. Read More
The coronavirus death toll in the United States hit nine on Tuesday, even as more areas around the world report infections. Read More
In his latest weekly column, our liberty-loving friend former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul says while so many people have been blaming the Russians for election meddling, we should look right here at home — at the Federal Reserve. Read More
The Federal Reserve cut interest rates on Wednesday for the first time since 2008, citing concerns about the global economy and muted U.S. inflation, and signaled a readiness to lower borrowing costs further if needed. Read More