Macro Updates

Another interesting week...

While things have not been AS crazy this week compared to last week, it still has been "interesting."  The Fed decided to raise interest rates by 25 bps which has many of us scratching our heads.  The repeated question is simply: what is the Fed thinking?  Campbell Harvey from Duke sums things up nicely in this LinkedIn post:

If you are interested in a more detailed dig into what the Fed is doing and the dangerous position it has put us in, PBS Frontline has a new documentary out entitled  "Age of Easy Money."

While the documentary is well done, if you have seen previous Frontline documentaries you will see they have "recycled" some material from previous documentaries.  I wish they had not done this, as it makes it seem like they are rehashing already covered material.  Maybe they did it for cost savings?  I am not sure.  I just wish they had stuck with new material.

Which gets me to the second "negatives" of the documentary.  At almost two hours long, it is probably too long.  I think they could have made their point and been more impactful if it was closer to 90 minutes instead a full two hours.  

Despite these "negatives" I still recommend watching it (maybe in two sittings).  

The Fed, especially Neel Kashkari (the current President of the FRB-Minneapolis), does not come off well in this documentary.  Kashkari, who basically failed in running the TARP, failed in running for Governor of California, pretty much fails in trying to repeat his "talking points" without admitting the mistakes the Fed has made.  He clearly has learned from his mentor Henry Paulson at Goldman Sachs and then at the Treasury, to never accept criticism and always blame others when things go wrong.  Kashkari looks like this eyes are going to pop out of his head when he is asked some pretty straight forward questions.  His body language tightens, he forgets to blink, and those eyes...the only worse is his "non-answers."

Other than Kashkari the documentary does a pretty good job of following the history of the Fed's easy money policies and the implications that it has. In the end the documentary claims that it was mainly driven by the political divide in this country that has led to the inability to have any type of meaningful fiscal policy.  I am not sure I agree with this, but it is an interesting take on what has happened.

Click here to watch the new PBS Frontline documentary " Age of Easy Money."

Let's see what next week brings.

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Thursday, 22 February 2024

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