Category Archives: Politics in Financial Policy

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How Transparent is the Fed?

April 23rd, 2017 by

Much has been made by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her predecessor Ben Bernanke about making the central bank’s actions more open and transparent. A variety of steps have been taken toward this end, but they mainly consist of greater disclosure of Fed officials’ thinking on monetary policy and interest rates. As far as […]

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Congress Shows Some Common “Cents”

April 17th, 2017 by

For several years, one of the least controversial criticisms of the way the Treasury Department operates has been the need for a major coinage reform. For each of the last 11 years, Treasury has been subsidizing production of the one-cent penny and the five-cent nickel, both of which actually cost more to manufacture than they […]

FOMC conference room (photo: Federal Reserve)

Is the Fed Finding Its Footing?

March 15th, 2017 by

So the Federal Reserve met the markets’ expectations and raised its target interest rate by 0.25% today. (Interestingly, Wall St immediately jumped higher as the news broke right along with gold prices.) But what direction will the Fed ultimately go over the next two years? Before we dive into the rate hike, here’s a quick […]

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WGC Releases Central Bank Gold Demand Numbers

March 14th, 2017 by

The World Gold Council (WGC) publishes quarterly data about trends in gold demand around the world, from industry to investment to mining and new technologies. In February, the research group released its 2016 report on central bank gold demand. As central banks have consistently been net buyers of the yellow metal over the past five years […]

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Banxico Publishes Gold Bar List

March 9th, 2017 by

Central banks are notorious for bashing the usefulness of gold as a financial asset, dismissing the metal as a “barbarous relic” of a bygone era of backward economics. (This despite these same banks maintaining large gold reserves on their balance sheets. As former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke once absurdly suggested to former U.S. Representative Ron […]

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Battle Over Tax Reform Just Beginning

March 5th, 2017 by

President Donald Trump has promised, both while on the campaign trail and since he’s been in office, to aggressively pursue tax reform. This has been a key GOP priority for decades: the last major tax reform undertaken by Congress came under the Reagan administration in 1986. However, the squabble over how the tax code ought […]

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U.S. Mint Releases Fort Knox Audit

February 28th, 2017 by

One of the most sensitive secrets protected by the Washington establishment—more so than its surveillance programs, its nuclear arsenal, or even Area 51—is the massive cache of gold reserves held at the federal depository in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

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When the Doves Cry: Fed Edition

February 22nd, 2017 by

The doves have come out in full force. No, not at the local aviary or the park, but in the chambers of the Eccles Building in Washington, D.C.—the home of the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve.

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The Government’s New (Old) Funny Economic Numbers

February 20th, 2017 by

There has always been a class of contrarian investors who boldly believe that the economic data published by government agencies, such as the much-maligned Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is faulty. Whether this inaccuracy is through incompetence or conscious design is up to interpretation. Even though the Trump administration has wasted no time in shaking […]

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Will Trump Make Money Great Again?

February 3rd, 2017 by

The new president has trumpeted the promise to “Make America Great Again,” or simply known as the shorthand #MAGA, a central and consistent refrain of his agenda. It seems that one of Donald Trump’s first orders of business is making the U.S. dollar great again.

world economic forum

World Economic Forum (WEF) Meets in Davos

January 20th, 2017 by

The world’s financial elite, from finance ministers to central bankers to business leaders to high-ranking government officials, held their annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland this week. This year, the meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) from January 17th to January 20th was focused on how the changing political and economic landscape around the world […]

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Beware a Fickle Fed

January 18th, 2017 by

Inflation is picking up. The U.S. economy is gradually improving. The stock markets are at all-time highs. Official unemployment numbers are as low as they have been in decades. In sum, the case for the Federal Reserve to accelerate the glacial pace of its path toward interest-rate normalization is growing stronger. Yet that is hardly […]

FOMC conference room (photo: Federal Reserve)

New Faces At Fed Policy Meetings

January 11th, 2017 by

This year, three of the four rotating seats on the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee have been filled by the three newest regional Fed presidents: Robert Kaplan of the Dallas Fed, Patrick Harker of the Philadelphia Fed, and Neel Kashkari of the Minneapolis Fed.  This will be the first time any of the three have […]

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Trump Can Remake The Fed In His Image

January 4th, 2017 by

One of the many populist stances that Donald Trump took during the election was that the Federal Reserve should at least be audited and held accountable for its actions, and perhaps be abolished by Congress. Trump, who whipped up a frenzy of anti-Fed sentiment on the campaign trail, may feel he now has to follow […]

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Goldman Sachs Infiltrates Trump Administration

December 1st, 2016 by

One of the rallying cries for the successful underdog presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump was that voters needed to “Drain the Swamp” of Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, it seems a few crocodiles have still crept into the incoming Trump administration.

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Trump Is Just What The Fed Has Needed Most

November 10th, 2016 by

The Federal Reserve (and every other major central bank in the world) has been begging their government for years to implement fiscal stimulus to match their monetary stimulus, All the money printing in the world can’t reach the “real” economy if the government doesn’t help boost demand. Now, it seems that the most unlikely hero is riding […]

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Expansions Don’t Die of Old Age, They’re Murdered

November 7th, 2016 by

A number of articles have appeared recently, proclaiming that the present economic expansion is “too old” to survive, and will soon die. However, the data since WWII shows that expansions don’t die of old age, they’re murdered. So, if economic expansions die of unnatural causes, who are the prime murder suspects?

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The Zombie Economy

November 2nd, 2016 by

Since the beginning of July, the U.S. stock market has been abnormally calm. Especially given the various troubling signs in the global economy, as well as the seemingly constant twists and turns of the presidential election, a lack of volatility of Wall St comes as a fairly surprising development.