The Message of the June Fed Meeting: There’s a New Chairman in Charge

Jerome Powell’s policy decision was in line with his predecessors, but he made a series of changes that give him more flexibility in the years ahead

Comments: 18

  1. In other words. Pay off all your credit and refinance now because the Fed will be raising rates more often than it has for the next 3 years of this Presidency.

    Telling words -“Most people who want to find jobs are finding them, and unemployment and inflation are low.”

    Inflation will eventually rise quickly under this administration and Congress because the increase of Government debt.

  2. That's true. While the fed controls the front end of the curve, the long bond is inevitably affected. As rates rise, the debt service on $21 trillion will crush the economy but today's market doesn't care about what's coming 2-3 years ahead. Therefore, it is very similar to the Titanic which was unable to see ahead and when it finally observed the iceberg, was unable to effect a course correction to avoid disaster.
    Our situation is identical. Trump's narcissism needs constant reinforcement. It's an addiction as serious as any opioid but whereas the overdosed drug user affects only those around him, Trump affects the entire world. Just yesterday he elevated a ruthless dictator to global prominence so that Trump could be the first pres in history to meet with Kim. With leadership like Trump, a Titanic type outcome should be expected. Trump is the best thing ever for China, Russia and now NK.

  3. It would be nice if the Fed would factor in, when raising rates, the extent to which the "full employment" it now anticipates would be equally available to minority citizens (and, indeed, non-citizens who are in the process of becoming citizients or at least applying for citizienship), and not just worsen the serious racial and gender differences characteristic of our society.

  4. "Volcker raised the federal funds rate, which had averaged 11.2% in 1979, to a peak of 20% in June 1981."

    Don't despair, things could be worse. I lived and worked through those years. Tough going then. But I did have a decent paying job which carried my family through.

  5. About as reassuring as the Captain of the Titanic telling us to sleep well in steerage tonight.

    We're just scraping out of the mortgage crisis triggered by a high rate of defaults because of banks pushing easy balloon payment mortgages to unqualified buyers, which was then bundled up and sold as no-risk derivative investments. Congress recently rescinded federal banking regs put in place to prevent another bank credit crisis from happening.

    The same financial soothsayers who warned of a mortgage credit bubble have been frantically obsessing about the massive consumer credit overhanging the economy. It's near an historic high at $13.5 trillion, $900 billion of which is credit card debt. The typical US household averages $16,000 in credit card debt, with every cardholder paying an average of $1,300 in annual interest. Powell's rate increase will push credit card interest higher.

    A good application of Powell's "plain talk" would be explaining the Fed's contingency plan if there's another credit crisis and financial market meltdown. He might also explain in layperson's terms what the Fed, at the center of the financial universe, plans to do about income inequality that's toxic to a mass market economy that banks on free-spending consumers.

    He could also address the poison pill deficit the Republicans concocted and what he plans to do when Trump starts tweeting about him and the Fed when it all goes South.

    The Times might also ask Powell what he knows about icebergs.

  6. Wish we could have a beer & discuss. Exactly what I’m wondering. And excellently said.

    What do you think the historic analogy for this moment is?

  7. One wonders where are the calls to eliminate the Fed are coming these days. Anyone else notice we are hearing almost nothing from conservatives now that their own appointee is in charge and the Fed appears to be increasing, not decreasing their control by calling it flexibility?

  8. Don't worry, soon they will be blaming the Fed because their fantastical theories on tax cuts are backfiring, yet again.

  9. In other words, the Fed is now acting more like . . . guess who?
    Hint: Starts with Donal . . . . . .

  10. The Fed's basic job is to make sure the economy doesn't go downhill or heat up too quick.

    They have a few ways to do it and the same routine has been basically followed in the modern age.

    What they can't do if to protect us from what happened in 2007 with Wall Street and corporations running wild or electing an incompetent, ego maniac president like Trump.

  11. and obama let all the wall streeters and bank corporate pigs walk; not only walk, but walk away with hundreds of millions of dollars. what a sad legacy he has for that.

  12. This is what Centrally-Planned "Free Market Capitalism" looks like.

    The fact that "subtle changes in custom" can have "big implications" for "the economy" and that the economic fate of more than 320 million people hangs on which adjectives a bunch of clueless bureaucrats use in "Fed statements" is utterly and infuriatingly absurd.

    We're in the midst of the biggest economic transformation in history, by an order of magnitude, and the dinosaurs at the Fed are the last to know. They continue to use anachronistic metrics that are largely irrelevant in the 21st century.

    The Fed and economists in general are oblivious to the economic challenges before us as the Digital Revolution and Artificial Intelligence enter the exponential part of the curve, the extraordinary damage that past economic policies have inflicted on this country, and the extent of the destabilizing impact that the monumental failure of neoliberal globalization is having and will continue to have in the future.

    The West is imploding as a result of the spectacular failure of Western economists and the politicians and policymakers that were stupid/greedy/unpatriotic enough to listen to them, yet the Western economists continue to see nothing but blue skies ahead, even after the debacle of 2008, and the abysmal "recovery".

    It's surreal.

  13. The problem is that most working economists are paid large amounts of money by the rich to support policies that make the rich richer.

  14. Wow. A “plain-English” description of what the Fed is doing and why. What a revolutionary concept. Alan Greenspan would be rolling over in his grave, if it weren’t for the fact that he’s still alive.

  15. It doesn’t hurt to stop a moment and pay respect to Janet Yellen. She did a great job but will go down as the only single term Fed Chairperson. Ever. Because she is a woman. That is just wrong and we need to recognize it. I had little hope for her survival with a misogynistic president but we should all reflect on how her excellent work wasn’t enough.

  16. An uncritical report on Jerome Powell's efforts to lead the FED.

    "Oh, but why should I report critically on Mr. Powell, he's done nothing wrong?" you say.

    Indeed, it's what Mr. Powell has not done that is wrong.

    Every person with half a brain knows that winter is coming, indeed, statistically speaking it's past due.

    People with three-quarters of a brain know that 1) the volatility we've seen in the markets, 2) the unique failure of wages to increase under low unemployment, 3) the coming trade war, 4) the overheated economy due to extraordinary tax cuts, 5) the record high economic inequality, 6) the mass consumer debt, 7) the worsening ratio of GDP to national debt, 8) the projected federal budget deficits, 9) the hundreds of trillions of holographic dollars floating around in the alphabet soup derivatives universe that can disappear in one great big-bang, and 10) know the malaise about to set in just as the next baby boomer retires and is replaced by a millennial is going to make the coming winter a very hard one.

    And people with whole brains know that there is nothing the FED can do about any of it.

    The FED is powerless over the weather but speaks of how great the economy is nonetheless, leaving out the hard facts that we are in the eye of the storm that first passed in 2008. They are telling us it's great outside, and oh so sunny, as if we couldn't tell just by looking out the window ourselves.

    What's wrong is that they can't tell us the coming truth.

  17. I’m looking forward to the “plain English” briefings Mr Powell gives once this administration’s tax and economic policies have completely tanked the market and steered us into a recession.

  18. "Most people who want to find jobs are finding them....".
    ever looked into the kind of jobs, with abysmal benefits, if any at all, look like? almost every person i meet in a service-oriented job has no benefits, no healthcare coverage, no paid sick time, no chance of promotion or bonus. it needles me to read statements like this that skewer the reality of what it is really like in our country now. jerome powell is a trump man from the git-go, don't expect anything from him but protecting the wealthy.