Category Archives: Politics in Financial Policy

A 2016 FOMC meeting (photo: Federal Reserve)

Trump Fills Two Fed Seats

June 7th, 2017 by

Last week, two out of three open seats on Federal Reserve Board were finally filled by President Trump. Two of these openings have been empty for roughly three years.

coins in jar

Here’s How Congress Might Reform Our Coins

May 22nd, 2017 by

There is a problem that has been hanging over the American coinage system like a dark pall for about the past decade. With each passing year, the scale of the problem grows worse, but philosophical traditions and interest groups have made resolving the issue a challenge for Congress. Now, two pieces of legislation aim to […]

no-sales-tax

Kansas May Exempt Precious Metals from Sales Tax

May 21st, 2017 by

With each passing month, the momentum in favor of reviving the use of gold and silver as money seems to build. An idea that has largely been panned as an untenable, fringe position when espoused by former U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul is now being enacted by one state legislature after another.

watching-yellen

Yes, Trump Could Fire Yellen

May 18th, 2017 by

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you probably know that the White House has stirred up a great deal of controversy after President Trump surprisingly sacked James Comey, the Director of the FBI. The fallout from this decision, which was seen as impeding the Bureau’s investigation into the Trump […]

sweden gold

Sweden Evasive About Gold Reserves

April 26th, 2017 by

Gold insider Ronan Manly of BullionStar recently carried out a journalistic investigation into how Sweden audits its gold reserves. He began with the broader goal of gathering information about central bank gold reserves generally—a topic shrouded in much mystery indeed.

FOMC-Fed-examination-magnifying-glass

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 […]

United_States_penny,_obverse,_2002

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 […]

Copyright: rrraven / 123RF Stock Photo

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 […]

mexico-flag

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 […]

tax

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 […]

gold-in-vault

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.

fed-dove

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.

Copyright: cooldesign / 123RF Stock Photo

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 […]

Copyright: krasyuk / 123RF Stock Photo

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 […]

fed eccles building

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 […]

Flickr|Gage Skidmore

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 […]