Thursday, January 28, 2016

Is Janet Yellen any good?

I may be the only one to think that way, but I'm not at all impressed with her decisions or lack thereof. She's been saying “Let's watch inflation!”. I've been watching it too, in fact, I follow it every month and there's no reason to worry about this, with a CPI increase of 0.7% over this past year.

Based on this observation alone (which was easily anticipated) there was no good reason to raise interest rates, back in December. I'd be more concerned about deflation (Japanese-style) than inflation. This form of “stag-deflation” is the by-product of global oversupply and seems totally ignored by world government and politicians alike.

Faced with this, the only three steps the Fed appears able to take is change interest rates, tinker with money supply and make vague statements about an uncertain future. 
When such statements are made public by Mrs. Yellen and her six other governors, they generally send the stock market tumbling down, so this is more like a chronic nuisance created by a bunch of bureaucrats officiating at a purely ceremonial job, unless of course we had a competent and more pragmatic person in charge.

This said, who could this magician be? Bernanke and Greenspan seemed like a bunch of talking heads too. Was Paul Volker any better? I'm not even sure; if you have the answer, please chime in...

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