Monetary Policy

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  • Is the Fed maxed out like the ECB and BOJ?

    Maxed Out Monetary Policy

    The market has not changed its mind.  Following Brainard's comments yesterday the market had downgraded the chances, which were already modest, of a Fed hike next week.  The September Fed funds futures is unchanged on the day.  The implied yield of 41 bp matches the 50-day moving average. 

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  • Arguments for raising rates collide with those for keeping rates steady.

    Is there Room to Raise Rates?

    Our approach to Fed-watching is clear:  Among the cacophony of voices, the Troika of Fed leadership, Yellen, Fischer and Dudley provide the clearest signal. They are most often on message, and their comments have been the best indications of policy.  

    Remember at the end of last summer; Dudley said a rate hike was less compelling.  This foretold the lack of hike last September.  Earlier this year, as several regional presidents were talking up a rate hike, Yellen pushed against it. 

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  • Draghi left rates alone, as expected, but expects an inflation rebound.

    ECB Rate Policy Unchanged, but Growth Forecast is Shaved

    The shaving of 2017 and 2018 growth forecasts, recognition of continued downside risks did not prompt the ECB to adjust monetary policy.  Rates were left unchanged, as widely expected.  The ECB also refrained from extending the asset purchases.  This is somewhat disappointing.  It was the only action that investors were discussing as a possibility.  Bond yields appear to be backing up in response. 

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  • Reserve bank watchers move their collective attention to the ECB.

    ECB Grabs Central Bank Watchers' Attention

    The last two weeks have been about the US.  First, it was Jackson Hole. The leadership of the Federal Reserve, Yellen, Dudley and Fischer sang from the same songbook. They all signaled that the time was approaching to take another step in the normalization of monetary policy, without specifying precisely when.

    Then it was the US employment report, which Fischer had specifically identified as important.

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