#FederalReserve aka #Fed Discovers Gold – Fools Gold

No.  I am NOT talking about the movie, Fool’s Gold.

foolsgold

I am talking about the Fed finding wealth and a strong economy where there is none.

Like the little boy who cried “Wolf!”,  the Fed keeps saying “The Economy is good!”

Here is the fool’s gold the Fed uses to keep saying :The Economy is good!”

1. Auto sales are up.  Well they were up until the recently released May report showed a drop of 6%.  The recent auto sales were propped up by easy credit but now they have run out of buyers.  Here are details.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-autos-idUSKCN0YN4K0

2. Home sales are up.  Well they were up until the June 1, 2016 report.  Again home sales have been boosted by easy credit and low interest rates until now. Here are details.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/01/mortgage-applications-drop-because-of-rate-uncertainty.html

3. Unemployment is down.  Well unemployment has dropped to 4.7% but the recent jobs report announced June 3, 2016 showed a shocking one fifth the average number of jobs created.  Unemployment went down because more people have given up or are retired. Here are details.

http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/03/news/economy/us-economy-may-jobs-report/

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Here are the real concerns the Fed should be looking at.

1. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  These firms have been using derivatives to hedge against interest rate changes and lost $475 million last year. Here are details.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/freddie-mac-may-need-another-taxpayer-bailout-next-week-2016-04-29

2. US Productivity.  The statistics show it went down 1% in the first quarter and now one of the Fed members says it may go down again this month. Here are details.

http://www.reuters.com/article/usa-fed-evans-productivity-idUSU8N16O051

3. Corporate Bond Sales.  These are still high and may match last year’s record in order to finance other mergers. Here are details.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-28/get-ready-for-a-big-wave-of-u-s-corporate-bond-sales-in-may

In summary, the 2008 bailout involved lower interest rates.  But the Fed should have raised interest rates in 2011 instead of maintaining the ridiculous 2% inflation target.  Here is how:

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/03/27/the-kelley-monetary-policy-rule/

Or if you want more information on whether a recession is coming or not, read this.

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/03/02/why-another-recession-is-coming/

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The Fed is chartered with controlling inflation and encouraging job growth.  One Fed member recently said they are too busy to add a third task aka improving the economy.  Well they have dropped the ball on job growth which would have improved the economy.  Here is what the Fed could have and still can do for job growth.

https://michaelekelley.com/2014/03/28/federal-reserve-can-create-jobs/

Good luck out there.

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#FederalReserve Is In A Pickle

Here is the status of the Federal Reserve Board (Fed).

bbpickle

Background

Over a year ago the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) stopped Quantitative Easing, aka the buying of securities in order to pump money into the economy to stimulate it.

Feeling the economy was stable, the Fed just raised the Fed Funds Rate.  That is the interest rate the Fed charges banks.

Today

However, several other nations continued to lower their interest rates  and some have a negative interest rate policy, NIRP.  Here is more info on NIRP.

https://michaelekelley.com/2016/01/31/japan-why-negative-interest-rates/

Now the Fed is in a pickle because the Fed will look foolish if they reverse course and lower the Fed Funds Rate.

What Is Normal?

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/02/11/fed-inflation-target-is-abnormal/

According to the above website, if the Fed wanted the Inflation Target to be 2%, then the Fed Fund Rate should be 2% plus 1.44% or 3.44%.  Then 3.44% should be the normal Fed Funds Rate.

What Are The Fed’s Options?

How does the Fed get back up to the normal 3.44% Fed Funds Rate?  It can do one or both of these:

1.  Set the long-term interest rate to set a goal OR

2.  Keep unchanged or raise the Fed Funds Rate OR

3.  Offer another round of QE.

The best option is to have another round of QE which has the most influence and least fear while leaving the Fed Funds Rate alone.

Kelley Monetary Policy Rule

The Taylor Rule involves raising the Fed Funds Rate 1 percent for each 1 percent in inflation.  We have no inflation so the Taylor Rule is of no help.

The Kelley Monetary Policy Rule states the Fed Funds Rate will be increased gradually (such as .25% each quarter) and QE will be reduced gradually to zero at a rate inversely proportional to the Fed Funds Rate.

When the Great Recession hit, the Fed lowered the Fed Funds Rate AND offered QE at the same time.  Why can’t the Fed raise the Fed Funds Rate AND offer QE at the same time?

This should eliminate any fear by the Fed or the financial market and get us back to normal.

Good luck.

The Kelley Monetary Policy Rule

Everybody hates rules but this is a breakthrough policy to free the fearful Fed.

fear

Background

The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) has held the Fed Funds Rate (the interest rate the Fed charges banks) below 1 percent for 7 years.  That is unprecedented.   The Fed originally lowered the Fed Funds Rate to 0.25% to counteract the last Great Recession.

When the Fed lowered its primary interest rate, it also started Quantitative Easing (QE) by buying securities in order to pump money into the economy to stimulate it.  Now the Fed has stopped buying securities via QE.

Today

The next step according to the standard Fed playbook is to raise the Fed Funds Rate, completing the unwinding of the previous actions.

Unfortunately the Fed Funds Rate has not risen to normal levels because the Fed is afraid to hurt the economy.

What Is Normal?

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/02/11/fed-inflation-target-is-abnormal/

According to the above website, if the Fed wanted the Inflation Target to be 2%, then the Fed Fund Rate should be 2% plus 1.44% or 3.44%.  Then 3.44% should be the normal Fed Funds Rate.

What Are The Fed’s Options?

How does the Fed get back up to the normal 3.44% Fed Funds Rate?  It can do one of these:

1.  Reverse QE by selling securities OR

2. Set the long-term interest rate to set a goal OR

3. Simultaneously raise the Fed Fund Rate AND offer another round of QE.

Ideally, the Fed should have raised the Fed Funds Rate while phasing out QE from 2011 to 2014.

The best is option 3 which has the most influence and least fear.

But How Fast?

A return to normal Fed Funds Rate involves small baby steps in a gradually higher Fed Funds Rate while offering a phased out QE.

If the Fed only raised the rate .25% each quarter, it would take 13 quarters or over 3 years to get to 3.50%.

Kelley Monetary Policy Rule

The Taylor Rule involves raising the Fed Funds Rate 1 percent for each 1 percent in inflation.  We have no inflation so the Taylor Rule is of no help.  The Kelley Monetary Policy Rule states the Fed Funds Rate will be increased gradually and QE will be reduced gradually to zero at a rate inversely proportional to the Fed Funds Rate.

This should eliminate any fear by the Fed or the financial market and get us back to normal.

Good luck.

Fed Inflation Target Is Abnormal

The Fed Fund Rate is at a historic low of 0.25, practically zero.  Why?

abnormal

Because the Fed has an Inflation Target of 2%.  Same as the World’s Central Bankers.

HISTORY

But that is totally abnormal when you look at the historical values of Inflation and the Federal Reserve (Fed) Fund Rate in the United States.

inflation_vs_fedfundrate

The 52 year average for the Fed Fund Rate is 5.45% and for Inflation is 4.01%.

That is a difference of 1.44%.  Notice the Fed Fund Rate is usually above the Inflation Rate.

If the Fed wanted the Inflation Target to be 2%, then the Fed Fund Rate should be 2% plus 1.44% or 3.44%.

Instead the Fed Fund Rate is 0.25% which should drive an Inflation Rate of 0.25% minus 1.44% or negative 1.19%.  That means deflation!  Oops!

For another opinion, look at this:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-sharpshooters-cant-hit-2-inflation-target-much-less-4-2016-02-18

TROUBLE

Hold onto your hats, Ladies and Gentlemen.

FYI: The Fed Funds Rate is the rate charged banks to borrow money.  The banks in turn charge us 16% to 23% on credit cards for the use of that money.  Ouch!

If you want a better deal involving 6% and no banks, see my website.

https://michaelekelley.com/tag/crowdfunding/

SOLUTION

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/03/27/the-kelley-monetary-policy-rule/

[Thanks to Tyler Durden for the abnormal idea.  Data courtesy of Federal Reserve Economic Data, FRED]

Updated 02/18/2016