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Christopher Rufo and Luke Rosiak: Trouble at the Fed
Posted: April 10, 2024 at 11:21 AM (Wednesday)

An investigation into Federal Reserve governor Lisa D. Cook’s academic record raises questions. Cook is one of the world's most powerful economists. She taught economics at Harvard University and Michigan State University and served on the Obama administration's Council of Economic Advisers before being appointed, in 2022, to the Federal ...


Desmond Lachman: Germany: From Wunderkind to the Sick Man of Europe
Posted: April 10, 2024 at 06:30 AM (Wednesday)

The last thing the global economy needs now is to have Germany, the world’s third-largest economy, go through a prolonged period of economic stagnation. Economic troubles are coming to Germany, Europe's largest economy, not as single spies but in battalions. They are also doing so at a time of domestic political weakness when the country lacks ...


Preston Cooper: Biden’s New Student Loan Cancellation Plan Is Bigger Than You Think
Posted: April 10, 2024 at 02:30 AM (Wednesday)

President Biden announced his long-awaited "backup" loan cancellation plan this week, a successor policy to the one-time loan forgiveness that the Supreme Court struck down last summer. The new scheme, which aims to cancel some debt before the November election, is framed as less ambitious than the original plan, as only certain categories ...


Steven Malanga: Earmark Madness
Posted: April 9, 2024 at 02:20 PM (Tuesday)

With a $1.8 trillion deficit looming, Congress grants billions of dollars in wasteful pork in the new budget. Bloomberg Economics made headlines last week when it disclosed that a supercomputer programmed to run millions of simulations about the trajectory of our federal debt found that, in 88 percent of all scenarios, the debt ...


Allison Schrager: The Four-Day Work Week Is Decades Away
Posted: April 9, 2024 at 07:00 AM (Tuesday)

Billionaires and Bernie Sanders agree on at least one thing: They see a four-day work week in America’s future. Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen is investing in golf courses because he anticipates a big increase in leisure time, and IAC founder Barry Diller is expecting people to be in the office only four days a week. The senator from ...


Barry Eichengreen: Why Is Europe Losing the Productivity Race?
Posted: April 9, 2024 at 06:10 AM (Tuesday)

HONG KONG – Labor productivity growth in the US has been more than double that of the eurozone for the past 20 years. A forthcoming report from Mario Draghi will recommend removing barriers to competition, which would intensify the pressure on firms to innovate, but Europe desperately needs newer ideas than this if it is to see its ...


Ed Yardeni: Live Long And Prosper!
Posted: April 8, 2024 at 09:05 PM (Monday)

American consumers are doing what they do best: They are consuming goods and services. Their consumption of services has been especially strong. So the demand for workers by several major services industries has been particularly strong. In turn, robust employment gains have boosted consumers' purchasing power and spending. We have ...


Ed Carson: Fed Rate Cut Forecasts Making A Big Shift. Here Are The Latest Odds.
Posted: April 8, 2024 at 06:34 AM (Monday)

Markets continue to push back and price out Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts, following weeks of Fed policymakers jawboning and stronger-than-expected inflation and other economic data. Investors now longer expect a Fed rate cut in June, though that it's essentially a toss-up. Meanwhile, markets are moving away from three rate cuts this year. ...


Ed Yardeni: The Economic Week Ahead: April 8 - 12
Posted: April 7, 2024 at 10:37 AM (Sunday)

This week will feature some key inflation numbers. The March headline CPI (Wed) and PPI (Mar) will get a boost from higher gasoline prices. Their core inflation rates should continue to moderate. The week starts with the FRBNY survey of inflation expectations (Mon). The pump price of gasoline jumped last month and probably boosted ...


John Tamny: Gold Is Speaking Very Loudly Now, Is Anyone Listening?
Posted: April 7, 2024 at 10:00 AM (Sunday)

Mountain Valley Spring Water is bottled in Arkansas. Roughly two months ago an unexpected snowstorm in the state briefly shut down production. Sufficient inventory meant that the production interruption didn't initially have an impact on customers, but two months later there's a very real inventory shortage that has customers ...


Komal Sri-Kumar: Strong Jobs, Confused Fed! - More Support For Delaying Rate Cuts
Posted: April 6, 2024 at 08:41 AM (Saturday)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave yet another speech and contributed to more confusion on the outlook for interest rates. Speaking at Stanford University on Wednesday, he seemed sanguine about inflation. "On inflation, it is too soon to say whether the recent readings represent more than just a bump," he said, reiterating his view ...


Brian Domitrovic: High Tax Rates Caused Too Much Culture
Posted: April 5, 2024 at 08:52 PM (Friday)

When we were composing our history of the income tax, Taxes Have Consequences, we kept finding evidence of corporate art purchases from the 1950s through the 1970s. Office parks and towers employing thousands were full of art, much of it modernist, the new style. Then in the 1990s, corporations sold off all the stuff, rocking the ...


Steven Greenhut: What the Biden Administration Could Learn From California's Attempt To Ban Independent Contracting
Posted: April 5, 2024 at 07:30 AM (Friday)

Instead, the White House is pushing for similar job-killing regulations on the national level. Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but I don't see a role for government in determining working arrangements beyond some basic rules governing safety and non-discrimination. In a free society with a generally healthy economy, employers and employees can ...


Amity Shlaes: The Price of Revision
Posted: April 5, 2024 at 06:30 AM (Friday)

‘The Last Conservative’ is a title Friedman himself would have rejected. Time was, the merits of Universal Basic Income were up for debate. No longer. As so many arguments on federal entitlement expansion, the UBI debate has slid over from whether to how. Or even, how many? How many undocumented migrants and Minnesotans can join the few in ...


Alexander William Salter: The Fed and Political Independence: It’s Complicated
Posted: April 5, 2024 at 05:00 AM (Friday)

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Joseph Sternberg wonders whether the Federal Reserve is too insulated from politics. The Fed clearly failed by allowing the worst inflation we've seen in 40 years. Now, however, there are worries it's veering too far the other way: "the central bank could cast the economy into a recession for no good ...


Kenneth Rogoff: Can Europe’s Economy Exceed Expectations in 2024?
Posted: April 5, 2024 at 04:56 AM (Friday)

CAMBRIDGE – Germany's ongoing economic weakness suggests that the European Union's long-term economic slump is not likely to end anytime soon. But with traditional laggards like Italy and France showing signs of recovery, and Central and East European members performing well, the bloc's economic outlook could still take a turn for the ...


Allison Schrager: Wall Street Just Doesn’t Get Retirement
Posted: April 4, 2024 at 03:58 PM (Thursday)

The goal of retirement plans should be providing income to those no longer working, not accumulating wealth for those who still are. As a retirement economist – not to be confused with a retired economist, which are rare – I often find myself talking to Wall Street types who happen to be in charge of a lot of other people's money. ...


Abigail Anthony: Princeton’s 'Inclusive Private Club’ Reverses Policy
Posted: April 4, 2024 at 12:40 PM (Thursday)

The decision is admirable, but the provided justification utterly evades accountability. In a Corner post published earlier this week titled Princeton's Nurseries, I criticized a policy adopted at a Princeton University eating club called Charter Club. An undergraduate Charter member brought conservative professor Robert P. George in for a ...


Kathleen Hays: Dudley Not Ready to Leave "Higher for Longer Camp" on Rate Outlook
Posted: April 4, 2024 at 10:34 AM (Thursday)

Former NY Fed President Sees Easing Financial Conditions Supporting Growth. Welcome to Central Bank Central. I'm Kathleen Hays. So the rate cut debate is hotter than ever. One side, of course, saying inflation is down sharply from the highs. Maybe the road down is bumpy, but it's still trending lower. Rates are too restrictive. It's time to ...


Nouriel Roubini: China Confronts the Middle-Income Trap
Posted: April 4, 2024 at 08:31 AM (Thursday)

NEW YORK – While China obviously needs to boost private-sector confidence and revive growth with a more sustainable economic model, it is not clear that Chinese leaders fully appreciate the challenges they face. The shift back to state capitalism over the last decade is plainly incompatible with President Xi Jinping's development goals. At ...


Bill Dudley: The Fed Is Wrong About How Low Interest Rates Will Go
Posted: April 4, 2024 at 06:00 AM (Thursday)

This time around, the market has it right. The federal funds rate will probably stay a lot higher than what officials are projecting.Financial markets and the US Federal Reserve remain in disagreement on a subject crucial to asset prices and economic growth: how low interest rates will eventually go. Betting against the Fed is a fraught ...


Mohamed El-Erian: American Exceptionalism Is on Display in the Bond Market
Posted: April 4, 2024 at 12:01 AM (Thursday)

The divergence between key fixed-income benchmarks shows the US economy is on a healthier endogenous growth path compared with Europe. Many of us have our favorite economic and financial indicators. I’m referring to those indicators that don’t get a lot - if any - attention from the television channels geared toward finance and markets and yet ...


Veronique de Rugy: Politicians Are Showering Manufacturing Companies With Crony Subsidies for 'Job Creation.' It Won't Work.
Posted: April 4, 2024 at 12:01 AM (Thursday)

These handouts will flow to businesses—often big and rich—for projects they would likely have taken on anyway. In the grand circus of politics, where elephants and donkeys alike perform under the big top, there's one act that never fails to draw a crowd: the venerable "job creation" routine. Putting people back to work, especially those ...


Ed Yardeni: 'Knock On Wood'
Posted: April 3, 2024 at 10:27 PM (Wednesday)

Fed Chair Jerome Powell spoke at Stanford University today about the economy and monetary policy. He said, "I think we've gotten to what is, knock on wood, a pretty good place." He added, "We're using our tools to try to bring inflation down the rest of the way to 2%, while all the while keeping the economy strong as well." Today's data ...


Nick Timiraos: Powell Still Sees Room for the Fed to Cut Rates This Year
Posted: April 3, 2024 at 01:46 PM (Wednesday)

Slowdown in wage growth eases worries that economy is too hot. Stronger-than-anticipated economic activity this year hasn’t changed the Federal Reserve’s broad expectation that declining inflation will allow for interest-rate cuts this year, Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday. Powell pointed to signs that labor-market conditions are less ...


Mick Mulvaney: How Biden’s regulations are driving up inflation
Posted: April 3, 2024 at 07:00 AM (Wednesday)

For the first time in a long time, talk about inflation has made its way to the kitchen tables of America.For decades, monthly inflation numbers were mostly fodder for CNBC and Bloomberg addicts. Today, it seems that ordinary Americans are also paying attention. That is as it should be, as inflation hits "normal" American in very ...


Andrew McCarthy: Big Day for Trump’s Presidential Records Act Defense in Florida Federal Prosecution
Posted: April 2, 2024 at 07:11 PM (Tuesday)

Has the former president's defense gotten some traction with Judge Aileen Cannon? Today was a big day in Biden Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith's document-retention prosecution of Donald Trump in Florida. A couple of weeks ago, Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, issued an interesting order directing the parties to ...


Kathleen Hays: Kotok Celebrates Half Century of Navigating Fed, Inflation and Markets
Posted: April 2, 2024 at 02:51 PM (Tuesday)

Welcome to Central Bank Central. I'm Kathleen Hays. Well, today we're celebrating with a very special guest. 50 years plus, more than half a century of money management, financial markets, central banks, inflation, and more. And in fact, more than a quarter century doing interviews with me. I'm talking about David Kotok. He was the CIO, ...


Dave Seminara: Inflation Figures and the Real World
Posted: April 2, 2024 at 12:46 PM (Tuesday)

Why the official numbers might not reflect the cost-of-living increases we feel when we pay our bills. President Joe Biden boasted on X last week that America's inflation rate is "among the lowest in the world." In his State of the Union address, he pronounced, "Wages keep going up and inflation keeps coming down." Inflation stood at 3.2 ...


Peter Morici: The stock market expects a ‘soft landing’ from the Fed — but that isn’t a sure thing
Posted: April 2, 2024 at 07:05 AM (Tuesday)

With core inflation at about 3%, Fed Chair Powell is taking quite a gamble talking about rate cuts. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is preparing the financial markets for an economic soft landing. Recently he testified in Congress that the central bank may soon be able to start lowering interest rates. Powell's optimism parallels ...


John Barrasso and Russ Duerstine: Biden’s War on Energy Is Bad for America and Her Allies
Posted: April 2, 2024 at 06:30 AM (Tuesday)

We must stop giving our adversaries a leg up in energy markets. In 2014, former defense secretary Robert Gates wrote that then–vice president Joe Biden has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades. Joe Biden's judgment hasn't gotten any better since he became president, ...


Nikolai Wenzel: Assessing Bidenomics: The Fatal Conceit of National Commercial Policy
Posted: April 2, 2024 at 06:00 AM (Tuesday)

The advantage of being an economist is that I am utterly disinterested in partisan politics. I am, however, very interested in sound economics and respect for the limited federal powers enumerated in the US Constitution. In the past, I have chided both the Trump administration and the Biden administration for their shenanigans. The ...


Mohamed El-Erian: Financial Markets Just Delivered a Powerful Reminder
Posted: April 2, 2024 at 05:30 AM (Tuesday)

The strong rally during the first quarter showed yet again that under the right conditions equities can thrive amid considerable uncertainty. What an impressive start to the year for US stocks! Not only did the S&P 500 Index achieve its largest first-quarter gain since 2019, it did so amidst significant challenges. Despite the tragic ...


Larry Ellison and Seema Verma: It’s Time to Hand Cybersecurity Over to the Computers
Posted: April 1, 2024 at 03:23 PM (Monday)

A healthcare-industry hack shows the need for autonomous databases and operating systems. Cybercriminals are growing bolder. Once content to target the computer systems of smaller businesses, municipalities and universities, hackers are now targeting large sections of the American healthcare industry. Providers and insurers depend on ...


Brian Domitrovic: 'Shrinkflation’ And Me
Posted: April 1, 2024 at 11:07 AM (Monday)

"I've had enough of what they call shrinkflation," President Biden said during the Super Bowl in February. Who are you calling "they"? The new packet calculators of the 1970s had shrinkflation, not stagflation, to tabulate.getty In 2007, it was–I actually remember the moment I pounded out the term "shrinkflation," in the manuscript of my ...


Willem Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari: Why Have Inflation Forecasts Been So Wrong?
Posted: April 1, 2024 at 09:26 AM (Monday)

NEW YORK – To explain why forecasters at the US Federal Reserve and other major institutions missed the mark on inflation in recent years, it is tempting to conclude that they were blindsided by unpredictably large shocks. But if the prevailing models work only when variables are relatively stable, they are of little use. Last year, following ...


Danielle Pletka: WTH If Bidenomics Is So Great…
Posted: April 1, 2024 at 09:03 AM (Monday)

…And other tales of the weird White House bubble-mind that's guiding this election, and the Biden administration. So… This weekend, you may have noticed that for the Easter holiday, the Biden administration declared A Proclamation on Transgender Day of Visibility. I underscore this not in order to trigger everyone who believes Easter is a holy ...


Bill Dudley: The Bank Run of 2023 Could Easily Happen Again
Posted: April 1, 2024 at 06:00 AM (Monday)

Regulators have yet to address the system’s vulnerability to sudden depositor withdrawals. Ever since the demise of Silicon Valley Bank in March 2023, regulators have been focused primarily on increasing loss-absorbing capital at the largest US financial institutions. Much less attention has been paid to the problem that precipitated last ...


Review & Outlook: Biden’s Order: Let There Be Electric Trucks
Posted: March 31, 2024 at 05:43 PM (Sunday)

EPA’s latest EV mandate is the most costly and fanciful to date. The Environmental Protection Agency chose Good Friday to roll out its burdensome electric truck mandate, no doubt so fewer people notice. Biden officials well know the damage they are doing, but the damage in the name of climate change is ...


Komal Sri-Kumar: Powell Pivots: Yet Again, June Rate Cut at Risk
Posted: March 30, 2024 at 10:58 AM (Saturday)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell starts almost every press conference after Federal Open Market Committee rate decisions by expressing his deep concern for the pain endured by families due to high inflation. You may get emotional just watching him! But none of that prevented him from providing indications on March 20 that rate cuts ...


Preston Cooper: The Education Department Has Failed Its Obligations to America’s Students
Posted: March 30, 2024 at 06:30 AM (Saturday)

Caught up in President Biden’s loan-cancellation schemes, the department has neglected its congressionally mandated duties to the detriment of students. President Biden's various attempts to get around Congress to forgive student loans have been misguided and costly for taxpayers. But the attention his Education Department lavishes on ...


William Luther: Inflation Remained Elevated in February
Posted: March 29, 2024 at 04:46 PM (Friday)

When inflation picked back up in January 2024, many commentators described it as more noise than signal. The latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) casts doubt on that view. The Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCEPI), which is the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation, grew at a continuously ...


Charley Grant and Nick Timiraos: Fed’s Favored Inflation Gauge Rose to 2.5% in February
Posted: March 29, 2024 at 03:54 PM (Friday)

The overall PCE price index was in line with expectations. A key measure of U.S. inflation rose as expected in February, putting a spotlight on whether price growth will be cool enough this spring to justify an interest-rate cut by midyear. The overall personal-consumption expenditures price index rose 2.5% over the 12 months through February, ...


Chris Pope: Giving Up on Reform
Posted: March 29, 2024 at 11:14 AM (Friday)

A second Biden administration would likely have limited ambitions when it comes to health policy. Health-care policy has been a major political battleground in recent years. More than two-thirds of Americans say that the nation's health-care system has major problems. From 2003 to 2023, the average health-insurance premium paid by employers ...


Peter Earle: Biden’s 'Strike Force’ Recalls Nixon’s Economic Plan
Posted: March 29, 2024 at 06:00 AM (Friday)

It's most likely that sinking poll numbers, more than anything else, prompted the Biden Administration's latest deflective policy initiative. A "Strike Force on Unfair and Illegal Pricing," to be jointly run by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission was announced in early March, charged with pursuing "unfair and ...


Ed Yardeni: Sweet Economic Indicators
Posted: March 28, 2024 at 10:32 PM (Thursday)

Today's batch of economic indicators was mostly sweet. Q4's real GDP was revised from 3.2% to 3.4% (chart). The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model is projecting 2.1% for Q1-2024. Consumer spending was revised up from 3.0% to 3.3% despite fears that it would be depressed by the resumption of student loan payments. We disputed that notion by observing ...


Kathleen Hays: Odds of Japan FX Intervention While U.S, EU Markets Closed 'Relatively High': Chandler
Posted: March 28, 2024 at 02:27 PM (Thursday)

Officials May Be Wary of "Drawing a Line in the Sand. Welcome to Central Bank Central. I'm Kathleen Hays. The yen is one of the big stories of the day of the week and certainly the days ahead. It hit its weakest level against the dollar since 1990 overnight. Now, it has been weakening since the last BOG meeting, the decision, the big decision ...


Veronique de Rugy: Most Americans Aren't Buying Biden's Misleading Narrative That the Economy Is Getting Better
Posted: March 28, 2024 at 12:01 AM (Thursday)

The question of how best to measure inflation has no single and straightforward answer, but most people know that the president's economic claims aren't true. The economy is growing, unemployment is low, wages are up, and inflation is down. However, the American people remain grumpy about the state of the economy. This puzzle was just ...


E.J. Antoni: How the Federal Reserve created an American caste system
Posted: March 27, 2024 at 11:13 AM (Wednesday)

In 1913, Woodrow Wilson and his progressives promised that the Federal Reserve would avert both depressions and inflation, while preventing the wealthy from controlling America’s financial markets at the expense of the poor. More than a century later, it’s clear that was all a lie, and the Fed has helped create a permanent ...


Alexander William Salter: Against Inflation Revisionism
Posted: March 27, 2024 at 06:30 AM (Wednesday)

Monetary policy, not supply chains or fiscal policy, primarily drove inflation. We live in an era of inflation revisionism. Commentators blame recent inflation on everything except loose money, and they credit recent disinflation to everything except tight money. According to the new thinking, supply-chain improvements explain why ...