I do not envy Fed chief Janet Yellen’s position of defending this economy.
There is no growth to speak of despite a $4.5 trillion balance sheet at the Fed and yet she must find the stray green shoot to celebrate. Generally speaking the green shoot she finds is only nurtured by Yellen’s own manure.
The Fed boss cited improving jobs number on Monday in a speech in Philadelphia, despite the plunging number of jobs created in March, April and May of this year.
Yes the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% from 5% in May, but not because three percentage points of Americans found jobs. No, 90% of that reduction came from people no longer being counted as participating in the labor force.
So as I said, even her Pyrrhic victories have a horrible downside.
But what is the poor gal to do? Tell the truth and the downside is much, much worse.
How can the Fed head come out and say the economy is in shambles and I have no help from the Administration or Capitol Hill to fix it?
If you told any economist or banker 15 years ago that you had an economy growing at 0.2% quarterly and you were thinking of raising rates for the second time in 6 months, you would have been laughed out of the conference room.
Janet Yellen is not stupid by any stretch, but that’s how she comes off when just two weeks ago she said that perhaps June or July were “on the table” for a quarter point rate rise.
Yellen’s jawboning is the only thing keeping the economy in equilibrium between the asset bubble crowd in stocks and bonds and the cratering class measured by gold and silver.
Talking up a growing economy is cheaper than actually implementing tax-cut plans and other measures to spur growth.
No Yellen will speak and other Fed presidents will counter her comments in the delicate tight walk that this economy is plowing through.
We will not get a rate hike this year on economic growth terms as I have been saying.
We may get a highly questionable rate rise to 60 basis points or so to rectify pricing problems in the derivative market, but you will know that is the reason, when none of the talking heads on TV can justify a hike.
So Janet keep Yellen that the economy is seeing strength and that inflation — while below trend — will move to 2% sometime in my lifetime. Our economic policy is “If you say it enough, then it will come true.”