In the years since the financial crisis, central banks across the world have struggled to stimulate adequate aggregate demand. Most mainstream economists agree that this is due to inherent impotence of monetary policy at the zero lower bound, although some, including some central banks, now say that the effective lower bound, though finite, is below zero. The Swiss and Danish central banks are currently testing that idea. [more inside]
Al-Qaeda deliberately targeted the 9/11 attacks at the backbone of the world's financial system in lower Manhattan, to cripple US and world banking. That totally didn't happen and, national emergency aside, the US's (and world's) financial systems kept operating as normal, with no runs on banks and the NYSE trading at normal volumes just a week later. With the destruction of the physical infrastructure of banking and telecommunications in lower Manhattan, Alan Greenspan stranded in Zurich, and no one having any idea what was going on, how did that happen? Within 41 minutes, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson issued a short statement on Fedwire that the Fed fund transfer system was fully operational and the Fed would remain open until "an orderly closing could be achieved." Within 3 hours, the Fed issued a short statement that "The Federal Reserve System is open and operating. The discount window is available to meet liquidity needs." The financial system, the Fed declared, would not fail. [more inside]
"The body of William Sparkman Jr., a 51-year-old census worker, was found in 2009 in an isolated cemetery in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. He hung naked from a tree, hands bound, the word FED scrawled in black marker across his chest." [more inside]
The complete guide to America's jobs crisis and the failure of monetary policy using animated gifs
DEAR AMERICA: You Should Be Mad As Hell About This. Here is a helpful series of excellent visual aids that shed light on the state of our current American socioeconomy.
Ron Paul, 11-term Republican Congressman for the 14th Congressional district of Texas, original Tea Partier (warning: YouTube), libertarian presidential candidate, and author of End the Fed (Bloomberg review) today announced that he is next in line to chair the United States House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology in charge of, among other things, oversight of the Federal Reserve. [more inside]
One day after midterm elections in the U.S., Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke announces the nation's plans to purchase $600 billion in Treasuries. NPR takes Bernanke's announcement and attempts to "translate it into plain English." [more inside]
In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee... where he’s seeking re-appointment as the Fed’s chairman, Bernanke called for cutbacks in Medicare and Social Security... “Willie Sutton robbed banks because that’s where the money is, as he put it,” Bernanke said. “The money in this case is in entitlements.” [more inside]
Cancer survivor, teacher, single father, and part-time U.S. Census worker Bill Sparkman was found dead September 12, hanging from a tree with the word "FED" written on his chest. It was actually a suicide. (Previously)
Cancer survivor, teacher, single father, and part-time U.S. Census worker Bill Sparkman was found dead September 12, hanging from a tree with the word "FED" written on his chest.
A Look Inside Two Central Banks: The European Central Bank And The Federal Reserve [PDF], 2003 article comparing and contrasting their basic structure and management from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank's magazine Review (blue ribbon for Most Generic Magazine Title). Author Patricia S. Pollard is now with the IMF. [more inside]
After an historic near-collapse (p), a federal bailout to the tune of $85,000,000,000, a second federal bailout to the tune of $37,800,000,000 and one hell of a party (p), the news on A.I.G. just keeps getting better. Now: Fed arbitrage! Paying down a 9% taxpayer loan with a 2% taxpayer loan? Genius!
That 700 Billion Dollar number that everyone's talking about? They made it up.
The Fed has decided to bail out A.I.G. with an $85 billion dollar loan deal, which will result in 80% of the company being owned by the government.
In 1934, the FE Dzerzhinsky labor commune in Kharkiv began manufacturing a rangefinder camera that copied the German Leica. Though production has long ceased, FED rangefinders are still widely used and collected today. But the FED and its manufacturer have a tarnished history - some of which is due to a work force comprised of children and criminals, and some owed to its namesake: Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Soviet secret police (NSFW).
On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 0.5%. Wall Street aggressively demanded the cut to stop the sub-prime mortgage contagion from triggering a credit crisis among large US and foreign investment banks and the collapse of their over-leveraged hedge funds, which ultimately threatened to drag the US economy into recession. The market rallied this week in response to the Fed's move. But there is no free lunch. [more inside]
Alan Greenspan Takes A Bath : a profile of Greenspan
Is the currency that oil is denominated in the real reason for the Iraq War? "The Federal Reserve's greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 80 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar's steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)"
Someone we trust says something reassuring. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, arguably the most powerful man in the world, blames "infectious greed" for the recent panic-like tail-spins on Wall Street, but says that the economy is on the way to recovery. One comment held that Greenspan was finally able to let out how he feels about what's going on, without shrouding his opinion in economic jibber-jabber.
"For once he really spoke his mind. He usually tends to obfuscate things quite a bit."But really, how many of you expected Greenspan to say anything other than "the fundamentals are in place for a return to sustained healthy growth"? Does Greenspan actually feel this way? Could it be that he is actually majorly pessimistic, but is using his soothing sweet-song voice and obvious clout and earned respect to somehow buck recent trends? Bush's speech didn't do much for our faltering economy, but will Greenspan's? Can one man's mere words possibly change the course of history? Well?