Janet Yellen

Inflation Rises At Fastest Pace In 5 Years

It’s been some time since a Survival And Prosperity post focused on inflation.

I suspect I’ll be blogging about it more in the coming months.

Jeffry Bartash wrote on MarketWatch this morning:

Inflation rose in 2016 at the fastest pace in five years, as rising rents and medical care and higher gas prices put a squeeze on consumers.

The consumer price index jumped 0.3% in December, the government said Wednesday…

A string of sharp gains since late summer helped drive up inflation by 2.1% for the full year, marking the biggest increase since a 3% gain in 2011

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Bartash added:

For now it doesn’t look like inflation will wane soon. Gas prices rose again in January and many economists predict that aggressive stimulative measures by the new Trump administration could lead to even higher inflation

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Jeffrey Sparshott added over on The Wall Street Journal website late this afternoon:

The latest figures- driven in part by an uptick in energy prices- suggest a four-year stretch of historically low inflation could be ending

While details remain uncertain, the president-elect has pledge lower taxes and more infrastructure spending. That could lead to faster economic growth and accelerating inflation

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As to what this might mean for interest rates, Fed Chair Janet Yellen spoke to the Commonwealth Club of California this afternoon. Ann Saphir reported on the Retuers website:

With the U.S. economy close to full employment and inflation headed toward the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent goal, it “makes sense” for the U.S. central bank to gradually lift interest rates, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday…

The Fed chief said that she and other Fed policymakers expected the central bank to lift its key benchmark short-term rate “a few times a year” through 2019, putting it near the long-term sustainable rate of 3 percent

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Bartash, Jeffry. “Inflation climbs at fastest pace in 5 years, CPI shows.” MarketWatch. 18 Jan. 2017. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/inflation-climbs-in-2016-at-fastest-pace-in-5-years-cpi-shows-2017-01-18). 18 Jan. 2017.

Sparshott, Jeffrey. “U.S. Inflation Gauge Tops 2%, Supporting Fed’s Plan to Raise Rates.” The Wall Street Journal. 18 Jan. 2017. (http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-consumer-prices-up-2-1-in-december-from-year-earlier-1484746534). 18 Jan. 2017.

Saphir, Ann. “Fed’s Yellen says ‘make sense’ to gradually raise interest rates.” Reuters. 18 Jan. 2017. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-yellen-idUSKBN1522VH). 18 Jan. 2017.

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Robert Shiller On Trump, Economy: ‘He Might Do Something Good’

Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller was on CNBC TV’s Squawk Box yesterday talking about the state of the U.S. economy and the potential impact President-elect Donald Trump might have on it. The Yale University professor- who correctly called the dot-com and housing busts of the last decade- told viewers:

Well, the economy is looking strong. But at the expense of still near-zero interest rates. So it’s not normally healthy. And it relies on an institution, and Janet Yellen, that’s none too friendly with Donald Trump. So, I think it’s just a very uncertain time…

Regarding a “Trump Effect,” Dr. Shiller observed:

I think Trump is for many people an inspiration. He’s pro-business. Think big. Live large. That’s Trump. And to some extent that communicates to homebuyers as well as other investors… We’re in a revolutionary time. We don’t know what Trump is going to do. We know one thing- he’s got tremendous self confidence. And he doesn’t believe experts. Or he doesn’t just routinely believe them. So we’re going to see some big changes. It’s not just monetary- whether they raise interest rates another 50 basis points. It might be something more fundamental that comes up about how the Fed is even designed…


“Trump exciting ‘animal spirits’ in housing: Robert Shiller”
CNBC Video

Shiller also added this:

I didn’t vote for Trump. We’ve got him. Let’s hope for the best. He might do something good.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Robert Shiller: ‘There Might Be A Trump Boom Coming’ In U.S. Housing Market

Earlier this month, I blogged about Yale University Economics Professor Robert Shiller discussing a “Trump Rally” in stocks. Tuesday morning, the Nobel Prize winner- who correctly-called the dot-com and housing busts of the last decade- spoke to Bloomberg TV about a potential “Trump Rally” in the U.S. housing market. He told viewers:

Existing home sales are high. New home sales are high. There might be a Trump boom coming. I’m not forecasting that. I’m wondering…

Later, Dr. Shiller talked about home price gains going forward:

I could easily see a continuation of the trend that we’ve been having in recent years- the five percent nationwide- going on. That’s one scenario…

The other scenario is the “Trump Boom” scenario. And I just don’t know. The Fed is showing tightening. But Janet Yellen is not apparently a big Trump supporter. So there’s a little tension going on. But I think the “boom” might win out. It’s a possibility. It’s a scenario…


“Yale’s Robert Shiller on U.S. Housing Market”
Bloomberg Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 Crash Prophets, Government, Housing, Monetary Policy No Comments

Peter Schiff: Obama, Fed Presided Over Phony Recovery, Sees ‘Major, Major Currency Crisis’ Coming

This past weekend, Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, uploaded a new video to The Schiff Report on YouTube.com. Schiff, who correctly-called last decade’s housing crash and recent global economic crisis, noted that it had been a while since he released an entry to this vlog. As such, Schiff talked about a number of subjects. He advised viewers:

I think that we’re already in recession. It’s just that the Fed hasn’t acknowledged it yet. And one of the reasons that Janet Yellen is so reluctant to come clean and acknowledge how weak the economy is because number one, it undercuts President Obama, who’s going around the world claiming the United States has the strongest economy in the world when we’re, in fact, in recession. Even Europe is growing faster than the United States. Yet somehow President Obama wants to claim credit for saving the U.S. economy and producing all this non-existent growth. While the Federal Reserve doesn’t want to peddle fiction, in the words of President Obama. So it doesn’t want to basically undercut his message of an economic recovery by acknowledging that it’s over. And for the same reason the Fed doesn’t want to take the wind out of Hillary Clinton’s sails, because she wants to sail into the White House based on the prosperity that was supposedly created by President Obama. So Janet Yellen doesn’t want to undercut her message because she wants to run on four more years. And the Fed can’t admit that we’re back in recession. And also the Federal Reserve has already claimed credit for success. They want to pretend that their monetary policies created this real recovery. They don’t want to acknowledge it ended. So they have their own credibility on the line. They want to pretend that the economy is still recovering…

Meanwhile, I think it’s the United States that’s going to launch a whole new round of easing. I think they’re going to be lowering interest rates back to zero and launching QE 4. The only unknown is whether they’re going to do it before or after the election. And it depends on how quickly the economy or the markets unravel, because Yellen would rather have to come to the rescue of the economy before the election, because admitting that it needs rescuing is going to be a problem for Hillary Clinton and it’s going to help Donald Trump. And I know Janet Yellen does not want to see Donald Trump as the next President. So that is the fine line that she is trying to walk. Whether she admits the economy is weak enough and needs stimulus, or whether she puts the stimulus anyway because it’s so weak she’s worried about the economy being too deep in a recession when voters go to the polls. And in that case, the Federal Reserve simply has to come up with some kind of excuse to try and blame things on the global economy. But the problem is, the situation is already turning around in the global economy. The real problem in the global economy is the United States.

And if you look at the action in the markets, people are just starting to figure this out. But it’s still kind of like a deer in the headlight moment. I think a lot of traders, a lot of people who are managing money on Wall Street. They’ve been getting beaten up this year. A lot of the big players are losing a lot of money because they are positioned for the wrong outcome. Everybody has believed this narrative of a legitimate recovery, where the Federal Reserve will be normalizing interest rates. I’ve known all along that that was a farce. That the economy hadn’t recovered. That the Federal Reserve had in fact prevented a recovery. That the U.S. economy is actually in worse shape now than it was in 2008. So rather than a recovery, we actually got sicker. We just covered up some of the symptoms. But we have exacerbated all of the problems. And President Obama- he’s hasn’t presided over a recovery at all. He’s presided over a bigger bubble than his predecessor. And in fact, the economic disaster that awaits his successor, is going to be much bigger than the disaster he inherited from George Bush. And he spent the entire last eight years of his presidency blaming everything bad on Bush, and claiming that he got us out of that mess. Well, the reality is, he has gotten us into a much bigger mess. And whoever succeeds him is going to have to deal with it. It will be interesting though if its ends up being Hillary Clinton. Is she going to still blame the disaster on Bush, and just forget about the eight years of Obama, and try and blame the recession she is going to inherit as some kind of leftover, residual recession from the Bush years? As if President Obama had actually nothing to do with it, when his policies simply exacerbated all the problems. He just double-downed on the failed policies of Bush. But then he added a lot of other policies that were even worse. And that is why this so-called recovery has been the weakest recovery that we have ever had. And, in fact, if the truth were known. If the numbers weren’t cooked by artificially-low inflation rates, we would have a much weaker recovery or we’d have no recovery at all. But the people who are voting for Bernie Sanders or voting for Donald Trump- they are living in this recession. This phony recovery that President Obama and the Federal Reserve want to take credit for.

Schiff hasn’t deviated from his long-held belief of a coming dollar crisis. He warned viewers:

This is going to be a major, major currency crisis. And unfortunately, the currency crisis/economic crisis that’s coming- maybe it’ll start before Obama leaves office, just like the financial crisis blew up on the last year of the Bush administration. Or maybe it will be an inaugural present for Donald Trump or for Hillary Clinton. But this crisis that’s coming is going to be much worse, much worse, on an order of magnitude, kind of like a Richter scale-worse, than the financial crisis of 2008. Because the combination of bad fiscal policy and bad monetary policy, particularly monetary policy but also things like ObamaCare- all the things that the Federal Reserve and the federal government have done over the last seven or eight years have made the problem so much worse. Meanwhile, the debt has gotten so much bigger. The leverage has gotten so much bigger. The number of players, the financial markets, are so much more out-of-whack based on a false expectation of what is likely to happen. I mean, this is worse- these are bigger imbalances than we had leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. Fewer people are prepared for what’s going to happen. And when it does, it’s going to be a major economic upheaval, much worse than what we had in ’08 from the perspective of the average American… When you have a currency crisis, when the dollar is collapsing, when the cost of living is going up, and then people start to lose these part-time jobs- you lose your job and the cost of living goes up. This is going to be much worse.


“Gold and Currency Markets Expose U.S. Recovery Myth”
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Quote For The Week

“This is an economy on a solid course. Not a bubble economy. We try carefully to look at evidence of a potential financial instability that might be brewing, and some of the hallmarks of that are clearly-overvalued asset prices, high leverage, rising leverage, and rapid credit growth. We certainly don’t see those imbalances. And so, although interest rates are low and that is something that can encourage reach for yield behavior, I certainly wouldn’t describe this as a bubble economy…”

-Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, speaking at New York City’s International House on April 7, 2015

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Citi: ‘The World Appears To Be Trapped In A Circular Reference Death Spiral’

Citi (Citigroup Inc.), the New York City-based investment banking and financial services corporation, hasn’t exactly been a torchbearer of good economic news lately. Back on December 1, 2015, Citi strategists wrote in their 2016 outlook:

The cumulative probability of U.S. recession reaches 65 percent next year…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Citi’s 2016 recession probability call was the most bearish of several recent ones I pointed out last week:

• Janet Yellen- 10%
• Societe Generale- 10% and rising
• CNNMoney survey of economists- 18%
• Bloomberg survey economists- 19%
• Morgan Stanley- 20% in a worst-case scenario
• Bank of America/Merrill Lynch- 20%
• Citi- 65%

And Citi struck again today. Katy Barnato reported over on the CNBC website this morning:

The global economy seems trapped in a “death spiral” that could lead to further weakness in oil prices, recession and a serious equity bear market, Citi strategists have warned…

“The world appears to be trapped in a circular reference death spiral,” Citi strategists led by Jonathan Stubbs said in a report on Thursday.

“Stronger U.S. dollar, weaker oil/commodity prices, weaker world trade/petrodollar liquidity, weaker EM (and global growth)… and repeat. Ad infinitum, this would lead to Oilmageddon, a ‘significant and synchronized’ global recession and a proper modern-day equity bear market.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

All hope is not lost though, said Stubbs. Head on over to Barnato’s article here to read all about it.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Source:

McGeever, Jamie. “CITI: There’s a 65% probability the US goes into recession next year.” Reuters. 2 Dec. 2015. (http://www.businessinsider.com/r-watch-for-us-recession-zero-interest-rates-in-china-next-year-citi-says-2015-12). 5 Feb. 2016.

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Latest U.S. Recession Forecasts

To wrap up Tuesday’s focus on financial matters, I thought I’d take a look at the latest recession forecasts being made on various mainstream media outlets. From a Reuters.com article last Friday:

A recession is typically defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. The U.S. economy ground to a virtual standstill in the fourth quarter of last year, according to many estimates, and the manufacturing sector is already in recession.

Earlier this week, economists at Citi said the risk of a global recession was rising, Morgan Stanley put the probability at 20 percent in a worst case scenario, and French bank Societe Generale said it was 10 percent and rising

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’ll get back to Citi’s eye-opening forecast in just a minute. From a different Reuters piece that was also published on January 22:

World stock market losses are approaching $8 trillion so far this year and investors last week poured the most money into government bond funds in a year, suggesting they fear the global economy could tip into recession, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch said on Friday.

The bank’s U.S. economists also said on Friday that the likelihood of the world’s largest economy entering a recession in the coming year has risen to 20 percent from 15 on percent…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

From Bloomberg.com Sunday:

The median probability for a U.S. recession in the next 12 months stood at 19 percent in this month’s Bloomberg survey of economists. While that’s the highest since February 2013, the median response of 36 economists put the likeliest year for a contraction as 2018, unchanged from the previous two months…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Finally, there’s this from the CNNMoney website this afternoon:

America’s economy is not in a recession, but fears of one are growing fast.

The chance of the U.S. sinking into a full-blown recession now stand at 18%, according to a CNNMoney survey of economists this week.

That’s nearly double what the nation’s top economic policymaker predicted only a month ago.

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen put the probability of a recession in 2016 at about 10% during her December press conference after the Fed raised interest rates for the first time in years.

She has said repeatedly that she thinks a recession is not on the horizon…

Citigroup predicted a 65% chance of a U.S. recession, a call that was so eyebrow raising that Yellen herself felt the need to swat it away, calling it “absolutely” wrong…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

To recap all those predictions regarding the chance for recession in 2016:

• Janet Yellen- 10%
• Societe Generale- 10% and rising
• CNNMoney survey of economists- 18%
• Bloomberg survey economists- 19%
• Morgan Stanley- 20% in a worst-case scenario
• Bank of America/Merrill Lynch- 20%
• Citi- 65%

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“Nearly $8T wiped off world stocks in Jan, US recession chances rising: BAML.” Reuters. 22 Jan. 2016. (http://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/22/probability-of-us-recession-rises-to-20-pct-baml.html). 26 Jan. 2016.

Leong, Richard. “Morgan Stanley still sees 20 percent chance of U.S. recession.” Reuters. 22 Jan. 2016. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-morganstanley-idUSKCN0V01ZZ). 26 Jan. 2016.

Jackson, Anna-Louise and Wang, Lu. “Worried About a U.S. Recession? You Shouldn’t Be.” Bloomberg. 24 Jan. 2016. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-25/deeper-dive-into-market-monsoon-shows-recession-alert-on-mute). 26 Jan. 2016.

Long, Heather. “U.S. recession cries get louder.” CNNMoney. 26 Jan. 2016. (http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/26/news/economy/us-economy-recession-chance/). 26 Jan. 2016.

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Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 Banking, Federal Reserve, Recession No Comments
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