The Fed returns to the shadows

At the end of August, the Standard & Poor’s 500 reached another new milestone, closing above 2,000 for the first time ever. And even the NASDAQ, at nearly 4,600, is now within striking distance of 5,000, a mark it set almost 15 years ago. The fact that the stock market continues to rise in the […]

Fed policy and your retirement portfolio

Originally published in MarketWatch.com http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-policy-and-your-retirement-portfolio-2014-08-07 At the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Chairwoman Janet Yellen reiterated that the economy is improving and deflation risks are disappearing. The Fed is planning on ending its QE, or quantitative easing, program in October and hasn’t signaled that it will begin raising rates before next summer in […]

Why You Should Worry About Monetary Policy

Monetary policy in the U.S. is now a drag on real economic growth. Big business now concentrates more on financial manipulation than on production and sales. The Fed’s policy of financial repression has negative consequences, not only for investors needing fixed income, but on the economy’s productivity. In addition, contradictory policies, government lawsuits, and regulatory […]

This is not your father’s Fed

First published at RGJ.com http://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2014/05/30/robert-barone-fathers-fed/9728075/ The tools available to monetary policy have large impacts and affect wide swaths of the financial terrain. This has always been acknowledged in the financial community, and, as a result, monetary policy has not been used to target social issues. Until now. Labor markets Fed Chairwoman Yellen has made it […]

Awash in Liquidity, Part 2: The Long-Term Consequences of Falling Interest Rates

First published at Minyanville.com http://www.minyanville.com/business-news/the-economy/articles/Awash-in-Liquidity-Part-2-The/5/28/2014/id/55108 There are going to be unintended effects that we can’t yet discern, but there are some issues that we already know about. In the first installment of this two-part series (Awash in Liquidity, Part I: Why Interest Rates Are Falling), I discussed how the world has come to be knee-deep […]

Is There a Social Agenda in Yellen’s Monetary Policy?

Recently released Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes (special strategy meeting) leaves me with the impression that there is not unanimity of thought among the participants that there is significant labor market slack.  In many Fed districts, labor markets appear to be tight.  Anecdotal evidence collected in these districts indicates that businesses are finding that […]