26th February 2024

This week, we get to listen to from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell twice – tomorrow within the Semiannual Financial Coverage Report back to Congress earlier than the Senate Banking Committee and the following day within the Home Monetary Companies Committee. We are able to anticipate a sequence of ineffective questions, posturing for sound bites, and self-aggrandizing speeches that faux to be questions.

And as poor because the questions are, the Fed chief works very laborious to say something in any respect.

All of this can be a disgrace as a result of proper now can be a good time to get some solutions about FOMC coverage, what the Fed does (and doesn’t) consider, and different actual points. A considering member of Congress ought to pose particular queries about broad topics, one thing alongside the road of those subjects:

12 Questions for Jerome Powell

1. No two inflationary cycles are ever precisely alike, however the 2020-2023 model appears to be particularly uncommon. How does the current inflationary cycle examine to earlier eras of worth instability in america? The place is it completely different? What are the similarities?

2. We had very low rates of interest for greater than a decade – 2010 to 2020 – and inflation remained subdued. Why did costs abruptly enhance post-pandemic?

3. Is the FOMC attempting to create a recession?

4. If low charges didn’t trigger inflation, why must you anticipate excessive charges to carry inflation down?

5. Egg costs have skyrocketed primarily attributable to avian flu; power costs are manner up, pushed largely by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Semiconductor shortages despatched automotive costs up; meat processing labor shortages raised beef costs. How will elevating charges assist to carry these costs down?

5. The Fed set a 2% inflation goal, and CPI rose via that in March 2021. Why did the Fed wait a full yr beforee you started elevating charges till March 2022? Why didsn’y you start elevating charges sooner and maybe extra regularly?

6. There’s a scarcity of staff throughout many industries and positions. What influence will increased charges have on firms attempting to fill these positions? Are you attempting to extend unemployment? If elevated wages is the one manner these companies can appeal to new hires,, what different influence wil rising charges have?

7. Wages lagged inflation for a lot of the previous Four a long time; in truth, they had been Deflationary. Why are rising wages now so problematic? Why is the Fed inserting the burden of inflation on those that are lastly starting to see their requirements of residing rise?

8. Dwelling costs have skyrocketed, however we nonetheless appear to have an inadequate provide of single-family properties on the market, which some estimate at 2-Three million properties. Given this stock difficulty, what is going to the impact of ongoing FOMC charge will increase be on the true property market? Would possibly increased charges slowdown the constructing of extra homes?

9. Within the Client worth index, the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes use of “Homeowners Equivalency Hire” to measure housing costs. Isn’t rising FOMC charges chasing extra can be some patrons into the rental market? Does that imply the FOMC inflicting CPI inflation?

10. Why does thge Fed focus a lot on surveys of inflation expectations? Do you truly consider surveys reveal something greater than what simply occurred to the surveyed?

11. Wanting on the information on costs like delivery containers, oil, condominium leases, and many others. it seems like inflation peaked final Summer season. How far behind actual world costs are the fashions that the Fed depends upon?

12. Why does the Fed care about inventory market costs a lot? 10% of the nation owns ~90% of shares and bonds – doesn’t that reveal the so-called wealth impact is simply correlation-based nonsense? FOLLOW UP: Why did the Fed ignore the market indicators of that the 68% rally off from the Covid lows in March 2020 via the top of that yr?

That’s 12+, however these reveal the sorts of questions which may truly generate attention-grabbing solutions…

Beforehand:
What the Fed Will get Incorrect (December 16, 2022)

How the Fed Causes (Mannequin) Inflation (October 25, 2022)

Why Is the Fed At all times Late to the Get together? (October 7, 2022)

Transitory Is Taking Longer than Anticipated (February 10, 2022)

Wealth Impact Rumors Have Been Drastically Exaggerated (November 16, 2010)

10 Questions For . . .

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