The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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Federal Reserve

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The story line is going out that the economic boom is weakening and the Federal Reserve has to get the printing press running again. The Fed uses the money to purchase bonds, which drives up the prices of bonds and lowers the interest rate. The theory is that the lower interest rate encourages consumer spending... Read More
President Trump’s frustration with the Federal Reserve’s (minuscule) interest rate increases that he blames for the downturn in the stock market has reportedly led him to inquire if he has the authority to remove Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Chairman Powell has stated that he would not comply with a presidential request for his resignation, meaning... Read More
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The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
As we head into 2019, leaving the chaos of this year behind, a major question remains unanswered when it comes to the state of Main Street, not just here but across the planet. If the global economy really is booming, as many politicians claim, why are leaders and their parties around the world continuing to... Read More
President Trump recently called the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes crazy. Leaving aside President Trump’s specific complaint, which is likely motivated by the belief that low rates will help him win reelection, he is right that “crazy” is a good way to describe the Federal Reserve.When not forced to use a government-created currency, individuals have... Read More
September marked a decade since the bursting of the housing bubble, which was followed by the stock market meltdown and the government bailout of the big banks and Wall Street. Last week’s frantic stock market sell-off indicates the failure to learn the lesson of 2008 makes another meltdown inevitable.In 2001-2002 the Federal Reserve responded to... Read More
One of the most insidious ways politicians expand government is by creating new programs to “solve” problems created by politicians. For example, government interference in health care increased health care costs, making it difficult or even impossible for many to obtain affordable, quality care. The effects of these prior interventions were used to justify Obamacare.... Read More
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Introduction and Transcript: Left Out, a podcast produced by Paul Sliker, Michael Palmieri, and Dante Dallavalle, creates in-depth conversations with the most interesting political thinkers, heterodox economists, and organizers on the Left. In this episode of The Hudson Report, we speak with Michael Hudson about the implications of the flattening yield curve, the possibility of... Read More
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Five Financial Uncertainties of 2018 (So Far)
Here we are in the middle of the second year of Donald Trump’s presidency and if there’s one thing we know by now, it’s that the leader of the free world can create an instant reality-TV show on geopolitical steroids at will. True, he’s not polished in his demeanor, but he has an unerring way... Read More
President Trump’s recent Tweets expressing displeasure with the Federal Reserve’s (minor) interest rate increases led to accusations that President Trump is undermining the Federal Reserve’s independence. But, the critics ignore the fact that Federal Reserve “independence” is one of the great myths of American politics.When it comes to intimidating the Federal Reserve, President Trump pales... Read More
When are America’s global corporations and Wall Street going to sit down with President Trump and explain to him that his trade war is not with China but with them. The biggest chunk of America’s trade deficit with China is the offshored production of America’s global corporations. When the corporations bring the products that they... Read More
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Making the Fed an Instrument for Disaster
Warning: What you are about to read is not about Russia, the 2016 election, or the latest person to depart from the White House in a storm of tweets. It’s the Beltway story hiding in plain sight with trillions of dollars in play and an economy to commandeer. While we’ve been bombarded with a litany... Read More
The Federal Reserve recently increased interest rates to 1.75 percent. This is the highest interest rates have been since 2008, but it still leaves rates at historic lows. While the Fed says economic growth justifies future rate increases, an honest examination of the economy suggests that future rate increases are unlikely. The Fed’s claim that... Read More
For many decades the Federal Reserve has rigged the bond market by its purchases. And for about a century, central banks have set interest rates (mainly to stabilize their currency’s exchange rate) with collateral effects on securities prices. It appears that in May 2010, August 2015, January/February 2016, and currently in February 2018 the Fed... Read More
After the extraordinary sudden loss in equity values, today (2-6-18) brought gains back to the stock indices. What happened? Did the market sneeze, cough, or was something misread and today perceived in a different light? In my opinion this is what happened: The Plunge Protection Team, as they have done on previous equity market drops,... Read More
Last week the Senate confirmed Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve Chairman by a vote of 84-13. This is in contrast to the contentious debates and closer votes over Janet Yellen’s confirmation in 2014 and Ben Bernanke’s confirmation for a second term in 2010. Powell benefited from a perception that the economy’s recovery from the 2007-08... Read More
This week President Trump revealed his final five candidates for Federal Reserve chair. Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, all five have strong ties to the financial and political establishment. The leading candidates are former Federal Reserve governor and Morgan Stanley banker Kevin Warsh and current Fed governor, former investment banker, Carlyle Group partner, and George H.W.... Read More
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Trump is Turning Against the White Working Class that Elected Him
SHARMINI PERIES: It's the Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The rise of stock prices in the US stock market could be an indication of economic growth and prosperity, but it could also be an indication of the concentration of wealth of the rich and powerful. Which is it? To... Read More
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen recently predicted that, thanks to the regulations implemented after the 2008 market meltdown, America would not experience another economic crisis “in our lifetimes.” Yellen’s statement should send shivers down our spines, as there are few more reliable signals of an impending recession, or worse, than when so-called "experts" proclaim that... Read More
The crooks who run the Western financial system set up the gold market in a way that lets them control the price. Gold is not priced in the physical gold market where bullion is bought and sold. Gold is priced in a futures market where uncovered contracts that are settled in cash are bought and... Read More
Several years ago when the Federal Reserve had its Fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points (one-quarter of one percent—0.25%), there was a great deal of talk, somehow presented as urgent, whether the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates. RT asked me if the Fed was going to raise interest rates. I answered... Read More
Audit the Fed recently took a step closer to becoming law, when it was favorably reported by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. This means the House could vote on the bill at any time. The bill passed by voice vote without any objections, although Fed defenders did launch hysterical attacks on the... Read More
Why did the Fed raise its benchmark interest rate when inflation is still running below the Fed’s target, workers wages have hardly budged and the economy is not even growing at 1 percent? Yellen was asked that question at a press conference on Wednesday following the release of the FOMC’s statement. Her answer helps to... Read More
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The U.S. economy is weak. Very weak. But the Federal Reserve is planning to raise interest rates anyway. Why? Here’s what’s going on: According to the Atlanta Fed the US economy is expected to grow at a respectable 2.8 percent for the first quarter of 2017 That’s not bad considering that, for the entire year... Read More
History shows that, if individuals have the freedom to choose what to use as money, they will likely opt for gold or silver. Of course, modern politicians and their Keynesian enablers despise the gold or silver standard. This is because linking a currency to a precious metal limits the ability of central banks to finance... Read More
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Donald Trump has a plan for dealing with the stock market bubble. Make it bigger. Before the election candidate Trump blasted Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen for keeping interest rates too low for too long to keep the economy humming along while Obama was still in office. The president elect accused Yellen of being politically... Read More
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Why is the Fed creating incentives for US corporations to destroy themselves? Why is the Fed pushing insurance companies and retirement funds into bankruptcy? Why is the Fed raising interest rates when inflation is still well below its 2 percent target? Things are not always what they seem. In theory, the Fed’s low interest rates... Read More
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Trump’s economic plan has sent stocks ripping higher for six weeks straight. But what’s going to happen to stock prices when Congress gives Trump’s plan a big thumbs down? Has anyone thought about that yet? And what about the Fed? Does anyone seriously think that Fed chairman Janet Yellen is going to sit on her... Read More
Former Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher recently gave a speech identifying the Federal Reserve’s easy money/low interest rate policies as a source of the public anger that propelled Donald Trump into the White House. Mr. Fisher is certainly correct that the Fed’s policies have “skewered” the middle class. However, the problem is not... Read More
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In Donald Trump’s first four years as president, he will not only choose three judges for the Supreme Court, he’ll also pick five of the seven members on the Fed Board of Governors. It would be impossible to overstate the effect this is going to have on the nation’s economic future. With both houses of... Read More
During the 2008 economic crisis, Iceland’s government froze offshore accounts held by foreign investors in that country’s currency, the krona. Recently, the government of Iceland announced it would unfreeze the accounts if the account holders paid a voluntary “departure tax,” which could be as high as 58 percent. Investors who choose not to pay the... Read More
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Here’s your economics quiz for the day: Question 1– What do you think would happen if you put $3 trillion into the financial system? Question 2– What do you think would happen if you put $3 trillion into the economy? (Via fiscal stimulus for infrastructure projects, extended unemployment benefits, food stamps, etc) If you picked... Read More
The Wells Fargo bank account scandal took center stage in the news last week and in all likelihood will continue to make headlines for many weeks to come. What Wells Fargo employees did in opening bank accounts without customers' authorization was obviously wrong, but in true Washington fashion the scandal is being used to deflect... Read More
In her recent address at the Jackson Hole monetary policy conference, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates by the end of the year. Markets reacted favorably to Yellen’s suggested rate increase. This is surprising, as, except for one small increase last year, the Federal Reserve has not... Read More
Why has the Fed created incentives for US corporations to loot their companies and drive them deeper into debt? Despite four consecutive quarters of negative earnings, weak demand and anemic sales, US corporations continue to load up on debt, buy back their own shares and hand out cash to their shareholders that greatly exceeds the... Read More
Trump and Hitlery have come out with the obligatory “economic plans.” Neither them nor their advisors, have any idea about what really needs to be done, but this is of no concern to the media. The presstitutes operate according to “pay and say.” They say what they are paid to say and that is whatever... Read More
I recently proposed that the liberty movement capitalize on Brexit with “Fed-exit”: a campaign to “secede" from the Federal Reserve. Fed-exit could be accomplished with a few simple policy changes.Passing Audit the Fed is a good first step toward Fed-exit. Contrary to the Federal Reserve’s propaganda, auditing the Fed will not reduce the Federal Reserve’s... Read More
Opponents of a central bank should take advantage of the post-Brexit vote revival of secessionist sentiments to promote a secession from central banking, or “Fed-exit.” Ending the Federal Reserve's monopoly on money is the key to restoring and maintaining our liberty and prosperity.By manipulating the money supply to fix interest rates, the Federal Reserve engages... Read More
The US economy has never been as mismanaged as it is today. Don’t take my word for it, just look at the bond market. On Thursday, the yield on 30-year US Treasuries dropped to a record-low 2.18 percent while the benchmark 10-year Treasury slid to 1.37 percent. (less than 1 basis point above its all-time... Read More
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On Tuesday, the 10-year German bund slipped into the bizarro-world of negative rates where lenders actually pay the government to borrow their money. Aside from turning capitalism on its head, negative rates illustrate the muddled thinking of central bankers who continue to believe they can spur growth by reducing the cost of cash. Regrettably, the... Read More
Late last week the markets were shocked by a surprisingly bad May jobs report – the worst monthly report in nearly six years. The experts expected the US economy to add 160,000 jobs in May, but it turns out only 38,000 jobs were added. And to make matters worse, 13,000 of those 38,000 were government... Read More
This week, President Obama and Vice President Biden held a hastily arranged secret meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen. According to the one paragraph statement released by the White House following the meeting, Yellen, Obama, and Biden simply “exchanged notes” about the economy and the progress of financial reform. Because the meeting was held... Read More
What do you think this chart means? (The post-recession economy is worse than we thought, Fortune) It means the U.S. economy is in the throes of the lousiest recovery since World War 2. “But how can that be”, you ask? “After all, hasn’t the Fed kept interest rates at zero for seven years while hosing... Read More
Zero rates and QE have stopped working and that has investors worried. Very worried. If you want to know why stocks have been taking it on the chin lately, look no further than the quote above. Mr. Valeri nails it. The Central Banks have lost their touch which is why investors are cashing in and... Read More
Last week US stock markets tumbled yet again, leaving the Dow Jones index down almost 1500 points for the year. In fact, most major world markets are in negative territory this year. There are many Wall Street cheerleaders who are trying to say that this is just a technical correction, that the bottom is near,... Read More
America’s richest investors are betting trillions of dollars that the US economy will stay lousy for years to come. Who are these wealthy investors? Bondholders. And their views on the state of the economy are reflected in the yields on long-term US Treasuries. At present, the yields on long-term debt are very low which means... Read More
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Let’s say you lend your brother-in-law, Pauli, 5,000-bucks so he can get his fledgling construction business off-the-ground. Then, you find out a week later that ‘good-old Pauli’ has shot the wad playing the horses at Long-acres and buying cocktails for his loafer-friends at Matt’s Mad Dog tavern? Would you feel like you’d been ripped off?... Read More
When the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P peaked in May 2015, investors were still confident that the Fed “had their back” and that any steep or prolonged downturn in stocks would be met with additional liquidity and a firm commitment to maintain zero rates as long as necessary. But now that the Fed... Read More
Why is the economy barely growing after seven years of zero rates and easy money? Why are wages and incomes sagging when stock and bond prices have gone through the roof? Why are stocks experiencing such extreme volatility when the Fed increased rates by a mere quarter of a percent? It’s the policy, stupid. And... Read More
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An Interview with Finnish Journalist Antti J. Ronkainen
Antti J. Ronkainen: The Federal Reserve is the most significant central bank in the world. How does it contribute to the domestic policy of the United States? Michael Hudson: The Federal Reserve supports the status quo. It would not want to create a crisis before the election. Today it is part of the Democratic Party’s... Read More
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2016 started with a thud on Monday when news from China sent global stocks into freefall. The Shanghai index plunged 242 points before a system-wide circuit breaker kicked in and trading was halted. All three major US indices followed Asia’s downward slide with the Dow Jones leading the pack with a triple-digit loss on the... Read More
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