Risk? What Risk?

Fed chair Janet Yellen recently uttered what sounded to us like a stunningly clueless assessment of the potential danger the echo bubble represents. She indicated on the occasion that she was certainly in no hurry to raise the administered interest rate from its current near-zero level.

 

“I do not presently see a need for monetary policy to deviate from a primary focus on attaining price stability and maximum employment, in order to address financial stability concerns,” said Ms Yellen.

“That said, I do see pockets of increased risk-taking across the financial system, and an acceleration or broadening of these concerns could necessitate a more robust macro-prudential approach.”

[…]

“Because a resilient financial system can withstand unexpected developments, identification of bubbles is less critical,” said Ms Yellen.

 

(emphasis added)

Of course no Fed chair of recent memory has displayed even the slightest ability to recognize bubbles or to realize that they might pose a danger.

As to the remark about the “resilient financial system”, this is surely a joke. Does anyone remember how Fed officials and politicians (such as then treasury secretary Hank Paulson) were going on and on about the supposed ruddy health of the US banking system in 2007? Never had they seen the system in better shape than in 2007! By late 2008 it was close to complete collapse, but as they say, errare humanum est.

Don't get us wrong: we are not trying to dispense advice as to what the Fed should do. We would welcome its dissolution and the replacement of central monetary planning with free banking and a free market in money, but that's about it. We have no intention of recommending a “better plan”, given that we think there should be no plan at all (there are certainly different degrees of competence even among central planners, but that is beside the point; as previously noted, they are faced with an impossible task). We also certainly don't think that monetary policy should be turned over to politicians. That would be the one thing even worse than having a central bank.

We only want to point out that the capacity of monetary bureaucrats to learn anything from the events of recent years is at almost precisely the same level as the Federal Funds rate: namely zero.

We leave you with one more comment by the Chair (put the coffee down):

 

“Broad measures of credit outstanding do not suggest that non-financial borrowers, in the aggregate, are taking on excessive debt” 

 

Once you're done laughing, take a quick glance at the following charts:

 

Non-Fin corporate debtUS non-financial corporate debt – perhaps that's not “aggregate” enough? – click to enlarge.

 

total credit market debt vs. GDPThen consider the pièce de résistance – total US credit market debt vs. real GDP – click to enlarge.

 
Charts by: St. Louis Federal Reserve Research

 

 
 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke

   
 

4 Responses to “Janet Yellen Chimes in on the Bubble Question”

  • Hans:

    “Members of the Fed purposely lie to the public. They are in a conspiracy with other Fed governors, some of whom claim they want the Fed to hike sooner than later because they see potential asset bubbles and inflation problems. The whole thing is a setup to convince the public there is discord when there isn’t. They all realize there is an asset bubble, because no one could possibly be so stupid as to not see it. Yet, collectively they choose to ignore those bubbles even after the experience of the housing collapse, and in spite of what the BIS says.

    Yellen, Paul Krugman, and others live in academic wonderland, devoid of real world experience, and are incapable of recognizing asset bubbles, income inequality, and other problems caused by QE, low interest rates, and monetary printing.”

    Read more at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/#ya106VOqK9ybW8AB.99

    Mr Pater Tenebrarum, Mish, read your article with approval, may I say!

  • Hans:

    As reported in Barron’s this week.

    The BIS or Bank for International Settlements (Central Bank
    for Central Bankers) warned that the “euphoric financial markets
    have come unhinged from economic reality.”

    The Bank of Yellen response, was to reject the advice from the BIS
    to begin the rise in short-term interest rates, before an IMF meeting.

    They are going to do what previous FBR has done, wait and see and
    then react..

    They know they do not know what to do.

  • kcst1300:

    Pater, good article I wish more analysts would focus on the world balance sheet. That said, your metrics are flawed. You should use nominal GDP instead of real GDP. The reason you should use nominal GDP is the Debt is in nominal dollars therefore apples and apples. If you’re going to use real GDP then you need to inflation adjust the debt.

    Nominal GDP to nominal Debt is a metric that I keep a close eye on and even using nominal vs. nominal it’s clear that we have substantially more debt to service now that we did 30 years ago:
    1980 1.6
    1985 1.9
    1990 2.2
    1995 2.3
    2000 2.6
    2005 3.1
    2010 3.7
    current = 3.5

    All this info come from the St. Louis Fed and goes back to 1949. Between 1949 and 1980 debt to GDP was stable between 1.4 and 1.6.

    This high level of debt is OK until it isn’t and there’s no way you or anyone can predict when this will come apart, it could go on for years. We are one major world event away from a financial market melt down. The “beautiful deleveraging” that Ray Dalio is predicting may happen but I don’t think so. Stay nimble my friend.

    • Hans:

      1300, nice stats!

      I am sorry but I can not take this Chairwomen seriously
      in any fashion…

      She will be a disaster, even worse than Bank Bernank.

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • Canada: Risks of a Parliamentary Democracy
      A Vulnerable System Parliamentary democracy is vulnerable to the extremely dangerous possibility that someone with very little voter support can rise to the top layer of government. All one apparently has to do is to be enough of a populist to get elected by ghetto dwellers.   Economist and philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe dissects democracy in his book Democracy, the God that Failed, which shines a light on the system's grave deficiencies with respect to guarding liberty. As...
  • Federal Reserve President Kashkari’s Masterful Distractions
      The True Believer How is it that seemingly intelligent people, of apparent sound mind and rational thought, can stray so far off the beam?  How come there are certain professions that reward their practitioners for their failures? The central banking and monetary policy vocation rings the bell on both accounts.  Today we offer a brief case study in this regard.   Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari attacking a block of wood with great zeal. [PT] Photo credit: Linda Davidson...
  • Thoughtful Disagreement with Ted Butler
      Too Big to Fail?   Dear Mr. Butler, in your article of 2 October, entitled Thoughtful Disagreement, you say:   “Someone will come up with the thoughtful disagreement that makes the body of my premise invalid or the price of silver will validate the premise by exploding.”   Ted Butler – we first became aware of Mr. Butler in 1998, and as far as we know, he has been making the bullish case for silver ever since. Back in the late 90s this was actually a...
  • On the Marc Faber Controversy
      Il n'y a rien à défendre - by Vidocq   Dr. Marc Faber, author of the Gloom, Boom and Doom Report Photo credit: Michael Wildi / RDB     Il n'y a rien à défendre - There is nothing to defend Personne n'a lu ce qui a été écrit. - Nobody read what was written. Personne n'a pensé avant d'agir, comme la plupart des gens de nos jours. - No one thought before acting, like most people nowadays. L'homme que tu pends est l'homme que tu as fait, pas l'homme que...
  • Donald Trump: Warmonger-in-Chief
      Cryptic Pronouncements If a world conflagration, God forbid, should break out during the Trump Administration, its genesis will not be too hard to discover: the thin-skinned, immature, shallow, doofus who currently resides in the Oval Office!   The commander-in-chief - a potential source of radiation?   This past week, the Donald has continued his bellicose talk with both veiled and explicit threats against purported American adversaries throughout the world.  In...
  • The Donald Can’t Stop It
      Divine Powers The Dow’s march onward and upward toward 30,000 continues without a pause.  New all-time highs are notched practically every day.  Despite Thursday’s 31-point pullback, the Dow is up over 15.5 percent year-to-date.  What a remarkable time to be alive.   The DJIA keeps surging... but it is running on fumes (US money supply growth is disappearing rapidly). The president loves this and has decided to “own” the market by gushing about its record run. During...
  • Precious Metals Supply and Demand Report
      Fat-Boy Waves The prices of the metals dropped $17 and $0.35, and the gold-silver ratio rose to 77.  A look at the chart of either metal shows that a downtrend in prices (i.e. uptrend in the dollar) that began in mid-April reversed in mid-July. Then the prices began rising (i.e. dollar began falling). But that move ended September 8.   Stars of the most popular global market sitcoms, widely suspected of being “gold wave-makers”. From left to right: Auntie Janet...
  • 1987, 1997, 2007... Just How Crash-Prone are Years Ending in 7?
      Bad Reputation Years ending in 7, such as the current year 2017, have a bad reputation among stock market participants. Large price declines tend to occur quite frequently in these years.   Sliding down the steep slope of the cursed year. [PT]   Just think of 1987, the year in which the largest one-day decline in the US stock market in history took place:  the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by 22.61 percent in a single trading day. Or recall the year 2007,...
  • Stocks Up and Yields Down – Precious Metals Supply & Demand
      Where the Good Things Go Many gold bugs make an implicit assumption. Gold is good, therefore it will go up. This is tempting but wrong (ignoring that gold does not go anywhere, it’s the dollar that goes down). One error is in thinking that now you have discovered a truth, everyone else will see it quickly. And there is a subtler error. The error is to think good things must go up. Sometimes they do, but why?   Since putting in a secular low at the turn of the millennium,...
  • Tales From a Late Stage Bull Market
      Pro-Growth Occurrences An endearing quality of a late stage bull market is that it expands the universe of what’s possible.  Somehow, rising stock prices make the impossible, possible.  They also push the limits of the normal into the paranormal.   This happens almost every time Bigfoot is in front of a camera. [PT] Cartoon by Gary Larson   Last week, for instance, there was a Bigfoot sighting near Avocado Lake in Fresno County, California.  But it wasn’t just...
  • The 2017 Incrementum Gold Chart Book
      A Big Reference Chart Collection Our friends at Incrementum have created a special treat for gold aficionados, based on the 2017 “In Gold We Trust Report”. Not everybody has the time to read a 160 page report, even if it would be quite worthwhile to do so. As we always mention when it is published, it is a highly useful reference work, even if one doesn't get around to reading all of it (and selective reading is always possible, aided by the table of contents at the...
  • The Falling Productivity of Debt
      Discounting the Present Value of Future Income Last week, we discussed the ongoing fall of dividend, and especially earnings, yields. This Report is not a stock letter, and we make no stock market predictions. We talk about this phenomenon to make a different point. The discount rate has fallen to a very low level indeed.   We add this chart to provide a slightly different perspective to the discussion that follows below (and the question raised at the end of the article)....

Support Acting Man

Top10BestPro
j9TJzzN

Austrian Theory and Investment

Archive

350x200

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com