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The Chairwoman and QE
November 26, 2013
With her confirmation hearing behind her, it’s only a matter of time before Janet Yellen replaces Ben Bernanke as head of the Federal Reserve.
Many people wonder: will Yellen continue her quantitative easing program when she begins her term in January?
In a recent Wesbury 101, Brian Webury, chief economist at First Trust Portfolios, argues that Yellen is in “no way ready to end quantitative easing,” especially as she calls it “a positive contribution to growth,” impacting housing, bonds and the stock market.
Wesbury disagrees with Yellen’s view and explains why. He also offers his thoughts on what else might be on the Chairwoman’s agenda when she begins her term in January.
October 23, 2013
The problem with the Federal Reserve does not lie in President Obama’s recent decision to choose Federal Reserve Vice chairman Janet Yellen to replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke when he departs in January.
As a recent article published on forbes.com points out, the real problem lies in the “conceit” of the Federal Reserve itself. Namely, the fact that the Fed is not currently bound by any monetary rule and the supply of money is not determined by market demand.
Steps toward fixing the core of the Fed’s problems would involve recognizing the limits of monetary policy and “the danger of concentrating power in a few individuals who have complete discretion to dictate monetary policy in a world of pure fiat money.”
May 3, 2012
A recent report from the Tillman Stock and Bond Hotline offers some promising data and statistics that bode well for the rest of 2012! Enjoy!
Reprinted with permission from the Tillman Stock and Bond Hotline
For: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
(800) 219-1333. firstname.lastname@example.org
A few weeks ago, some of the skeptics on Wall Street pointed at April 25 as a possible trigger point for a new bear market in U.S. stocks. That's because investors were due to digest both an earnings report from Apple (AAPL) and the post FOMC meeting statement. Not surprisingly, the bears expected both of those news events to go badly. Instead, Apple handily beat expectations and the stock gained nearly nine percent on the day - putting the shares only 4.1% below their recent lofty all-time closing high of $636.23. As for the latest news out of the Federal Reserve - the FOMC did not throw any curveballs at the market. Basically, the Fed said that the economy has been stronger than expected so far this year but acknowledged that conditions could become more challenging next year - once tax cuts expire at the end of 2012 (and certain spending cuts take place). As a result, Ben Bernanke and Company repeated the earlier pledge to keep interest rates low into 2014 or later and to offer the U.S. economy some new help if conditions call for it. With first quarter earnings running stronger than expected (so far), buying pressure overwhelmed the sellers today - sending the broad stock market up by 1.4%. The Nasdaq gained 2.3% on the day. The Wilshire 5000 is now down by only 2.1% from its April 2 multi-year high. That must be quite discouraging for the people that recently declared that a new correction is underway.
The stock market is already up by about 10 percent so far this year (basically matching our expectations for the entire year). As you know, there are plenty of people looking for the stock market to turn lower soon and enter full crash mode as problems in Europe spread to America and pull the rug out from beneath the market. The debt problems in Europe remain very much alive and well. However, what the overly enthusiastic bears seem to be doing (again) is to underestimate the ability of financial officials in Europe to handle the crisis in the near-term. The European Central Bank took steps earlier this year to provide ample liquidity to the system. Such measures have already helped to avert the kind of cash crunch that paralyzed much of the global financial system back in 2008. Here in America, the economy should do okay during 2012. Earlier today, the durable goods report came out much weaker than expected (with ex-transportation orders posting a decline of 1.1%). The headline number fell by a hefty 4.2%. It is going to take a lot more than one month of weakness in a notoriously volatile economic statistic to convince us that the economy is suddenly slipping into a new recession.
Tomorrow, we will get a look at the latest weekly jobless claims report. Many economists are looking for jobless claims to drop back by 10,000 or more from the previous week's total of 386,000. If jobless claims trend higher during the month ahead, it would be a troubling sign for the economy and the near-term outlook of the U.S. stock market. Many of the bears have been jumping the gun regarding such economic data. They have been celebrating the slightest signs of weakness and even making silly claims about how some of the recent data has been a disaster. Data regarding the housing market has been an especially popular topic of misinformation coming out of the bears' camp. The broad data on home sales and home prices have been showing stability and even some improvement. However, we have heard a number of commentators say that the recent reports on housing show that the sector is leading the economy back into recession. When analysts have to exaggerate in order to make their point, they are asking for trouble. Quite a few of the corporations that have already released their first quarter results have beaten expectations. Not so long ago, many analysts were looking for S&P 500 companies to come in with flat year-over-year earnings. With the results to date in hand though, there are indications that earnings could grow by five percent or more. That bodes well for the bull market trend remaining intact during 2012. The Wilshire 5000 closed today at 14,549.38, up by 77.08(0.5%) in the past week. The Volatility Index (VIX) closed at 16.82, down from 18.64 a week ago. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note closed at 1.98%, unchanged. More next week.
April 16, 2012
If we don’t like a product one company offers, we can instead choose to use the product of another company. This competition forces accountability for both companies. The federal government allows no such competition for currency. We’re stuck using the dollar and stuck with its value being tied to the whims of bureaucrats who manipulate it to achieve their own goals.
March 12, 2012
Government spending and Federal Reserve stimulus are not helping the economy.
January 9, 2012
Brian Wesbury, of First Trust Portfolios, explains the effects of a loose Federal Reserve policy on GDP.
December 1, 2011
Here are ten things the Occupy Wall Street protestors think capitalists really think, but are they true?
June 29, 2011
For too long legislation and economic policy has been guided through back-room deals by politicians and business men with little to no regard for how their actions will actually affect the economy, let alone you. Every attempt to shine light on their dealings has been met with resistance and subterfuge. Click here and be educated as to how Congress and the Federal Reserve have misled us.
May 20, 2011
It’s time for a little Friday Fun! F. A. Hayek and John Maynard Keynes slug it out in the ultimate battle of Keynesian vs Austrian economics. Have a great weekend everyone!
April 1, 2011
Today's floating currency system is a mess and subject to manipulation. The gold standard still matters.