Archive for the ‘Federal Reserve’ Category

ICON LECTURE SERIES 2016 SPEAKER SCHEDULE

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016
ICON Lecture Series 1016 Speaker Schedule, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

ICON Lecture Series 1016 Speaker Schedule, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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REINING IN THE FEDERAL RESERVE

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

www.wsj.com/articles/reining-in-a-sprawling-federal-reserve-1447978230

Reining In a Sprawling Federal Reserve

The Fed’s greater powers increase the need for close scrutiny of its activities.

By
Jeb Hensarling  Mr. Hensarling, a Republican congressman from Texas, is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee
Nov. 20, 2015
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has morphed into a government institution whose unconventional activities and vastly expanded powers would scarcely be recognized by drafters of the original legislation that created it. Regrettably, commensurate transparency and accountability have not followed.
Since September 2008, the Fed’s balance sheet has ballooned to $4.5 trillion, equal to one-fourth of the U.S. economy and nearly five times its precrisis level. And after seven years of near-zero interest rates, the central bank’s so-called forward guidance provides almost no guidance to investors on when rates might be normalized. This uncertainty is a significant cause of businesses’ hoarding cash and postponing capital investments, and of community banks’ conserving capital and reducing lending.
Adding to the economic uncertainty, the 2010 Dodd-Frank law granted the Fed sweeping new regulatory powers to intervene directly in the operations of large financial institutions. The Fed now stands at the center of Dodd-Frank’s codification of “too big to fail.” With respect to these firms, the Fed is authorized to impose “heightened prudential standards,” including capital and liquidity requirements, risk management requirements, resolution planning, credit-exposure report requirements, and concentration limits. The Fed is even authorized, upon a vague finding that a financial institution poses a “grave threat” to financial stability, to dismantle the firm. The Fed, in short, can literally occupy the boardrooms of the largest financial institutions in America and influence how they deploy capital.
The Fed’s monetary policy must be made clear and credible, and its regulatory activities must comport with the rule of law and be subject to public scrutiny. To accomplish this, the Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization Act of 2015, sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R., Mich.), should be enacted. Here are the main parts of the FORM Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday.
In regard to monetary policy, the Fed must publish and explain with specificity the strategy it is following. The Fed retains unfettered discretion to choose the rule or method for conducting monetary policy. The FORM Act simply requires the Fed to report and explain its rule, and if it deviates from its chosen rule, why. Economic history shows that when the Fed employs a more predictable method or rules-based monetary policy, more positive economic outcomes result.

(more…)

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VIDEO – THE BIGGEST SCAM IN HISTORY – OUR MONEY SYSTEM

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

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WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE GOLDEN GOOSE?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

What’s Wrong With the Golden Goose?

‘Secular stagnation’ isn’t to blame for lousy U.S. growth rates. Obama’s higher taxes and regulatory assault are.

By
Phil Gramm   Mr. Gramm, a former Republican senator from Texas, is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:   Marginal tax rates on ordinary income are up 24%, a burden that falls directly on small businesses. Tax rates on capital gains and dividends are up 59%, and the estate-tax rate is up 14%. While tax reform has languished in the U.S., other nations have cut corporate tax rates. The U.S. now has the highest corporate rate in the world and the most punitive treatment of foreign earnings.

Meanwhile, federal debt held by the public has doubled, so a return of interest rates to their postwar norms, roughly 5% on a five-year Treasury note, will send the cost of servicing the debt up by $439 billion, almost doubling the current deficit.

Large banks, under aggressive interpretation of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law, are regulated as if they were public utilities. Federal bureaucrats are embedded in their executive offices like political officers in the old Soviet Union. Across the financial sector the rule of law is in tatters as tens of billions of dollars are extorted from large banks in legal settlements; insurance companies and money managers are subject to regulations set by international bodies; and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, formed in 2011, faces few checks, balances or restraints

Since the Obama recovery began in the second quarter of 2009, public and private projections of economic growth have consistently overestimated actual performance. Six years later, projections of prosperity being just around the corner have given way to a debate over whether the U.S. has fallen into “secular stagnation,” a fancy phrase for the chronic low growth seen in much of Europe.

This is just another in a long line of excuses. America’s historic ability to outperform Europe is well documented; we call it American exceptionalism. It has always been based on the fact that the U.S has had better, more market-driven economic policies and our economy therefore worked better. But, as the U.S. economy is Europeanized through higher taxes and greater regulatory burdens, American exceptionalism is fading away, taking economic growth with it. (more…)

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THE FEDERAL RESERVE’S WOEFUL CENTURY

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

 

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
THE FEDERAL RESERVE’S WOEFUL CENTURY
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve Act, the history of which mirrors the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Both acts were revolutionary, the first agenda item on each president’s to-do list, no matter that after 1912, when President Woodrow Wilson was elected, a major economic slump punctuated the economy. The Federal Reserve bill, like Obamacare, was intensely partisan. Wilson’s liberal Democrats, who held both houses of Congress, wanted a completely government-controlled system for a central bank and currency, whereas Republicans favored mostly private regulation.

Democrats prevailed, jamming the measure through the Senate by a divided vote of 54 to 34 on Dec. 19, 1913. A conference committee approved it on Dec. 22, followed by a House vote of 298 to 60, with 76 not voting. The Senate passed the conference report on Dec. 23 by 43 to 25, with 27 not voting and one vacancy. Not a single Senate Democrat opposed the conference report, only two in the House, and the president signed it the same day. (more…)

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CONFESSIONS OF A QUANTITATIVE EASER

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Confessions of a Quantitative Easer
Nov. 12, 2013

I can only say: I’m sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed’s first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.

Five years ago this month, on Black Friday, the Fed launched an unprecedented shopping spree. By that point in the financial crisis, Congress had already passed legislation, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, to halt the U.S. banking system’s free fall. Beyond Wall Street, though, the economic pain was still soaring. In the last three months of 2008 alone, almost two million Americans would lose their jobs.

The Fed said it wanted to help—through a new program of massive bond purchases. There were secondary goals, but Chairman Ben Bernanke made clear that the Fed’s central motivation was to “affect credit conditions for households and businesses”: to drive down the cost of credit so that more Americans hurting from the tanking economy could use it to weather the downturn. For this reason, he originally called the initiative “credit easing.”

My part of the story began a few months later. Having been at the Fed for seven years, until early 2008, I was working on Wall Street in spring 2009 when I got an unexpected phone call. Would I come back to work on the Fed’s trading floor? The job: managing what was at the heart of QE’s bond-buying spree—a wild attempt to buy $1.25 trillion in mortgage bonds in 12 months. Incredibly, the Fed was calling to ask if I wanted to quarterback the largest economic stimulus in U.S. history.

This was a dream job, but I hesitated. And it wasn’t just nervousness about taking on such responsibility. I had left the Fed out of frustration, having witnessed the institution deferring more and more to Wall Street. Independence is at the heart of any central bank’s credibility, and I had come to believe that the Fed’s independence was eroding. Senior Fed officials, though, were publicly acknowledging mistakes and several of those officials emphasized to me how committed they were to a major Wall Street revamp. I could also see that they desperately needed reinforcements. I took a leap of faith.

In its almost 100-year history, the Fed had never bought one mortgage bond. Now my program was buying so many each day through active, unscripted trading that we constantly risked driving bond prices too high and crashing global confidence in key financial markets. We were working feverishly to preserve the impression that the Fed knew what it was doing.

It wasn’t long before my old doubts resurfaced. Despite the Fed’s rhetoric, my program wasn’t helping to make credit any more accessible for the average American. The banks were only issuing fewer and fewer loans. More insidiously, whatever credit they were extending wasn’t getting much cheaper. QE may have been driving down the wholesale cost for banks to make loans, but Wall Street was pocketing most of the extra cash. (more…)

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ALAN GREENSPAN’S NEW BOOK – ‘THE MAP AND THE TERRITORY’

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Book Review: ‘The Map and the Territory,’ by Alan Greenspan

Alan Greenspan argues that Wall Street didn’t predict the 2008 crisis because it paid scant attention to the insights of behavioral economics.

Oct. 22, 2013

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  Bubbles and crashes will always be characteristics of free-market systems, but they need not lead to economic crises. In 1987 the stock market fell over 20% in a single day, but the effect on economic activity was minimal because holders of common stock weren’t highly leveraged. The bursting of the Internet bubble in early 2000 left only a mild imprint on the financial system and the real economy for the same reason. The crash of the housing bubble was devastating because the toxic mortgage-backed assets were held by highly leveraged institutions, and this debt was short-term rather than “permanent” and thus especially susceptible to “runs” where lenders were unwilling to “roll over” their short-term loans. “It was the capital impairment on the balance sheets of financial institutions that provoked the crisis,” Mr. Greenspan writes. In his view, the answer is not more regulation but more capital.

“The Map and the Territory” ranges beyond the market crisis and predictive models. Mr. Greenspan offers a conservative but balanced discussion, for instance, of the need to restrain the growth of entitlement spending. In his section on income inequality he emphasizes the role of globalization and the rise in stock-based compensation, as well as the failure of our education system to produce skills for the workforce that match the needs of the economy. He says that immigration reform, by loosening the requirements for H-1B visas, would allow us to draw on a large pool of skilled workers abroad and thus stabilize income inequality. At the moment, immigration restrictions protect, and thus subsidize, high-income earners from global wage competition.

The financial crisis of 2008 and the deep recession that followed forced each of us—perhaps most notably, Alan Greenspan —to question the fundamental assumptions about risk management and economic forecasting. Mr. Greenspan, the nation’s chief forecaster as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, steered the nation through almost two decades of prosperity and relative stability, retiring from the Fed in 2006 with an unparalleled reputation for prescience. And then came the economic crisis, and no one’s reputation for prescience survived.

In prepared remarks before a congressional hearing a month after Lehman’s September 2008 bankruptcy, Mr. Greenspan declared: “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity (myself especially) are in a state of shocked disbelief.” He was hardly alone in failing to predict the economic tsunami. Equally clueless were government officials, Wall Street practitioners and professional economists. In “The Map and the Territory,” Mr. Greenspan tries to explain what went wrong and offers suggestions for how we can do a better job. (more…)

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BOOK REVIEW – THE FIVE STRUCTURAL BARRIERS TO AMERICAN STRENGTH AND PROSPERITY

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

 

If you are looking for a good, easy to read book on why the U.S. recovery has been so painfully slow, Frank Roche’s new book, ‘The Five Structural Barriers to American Strength and Prosperity’ will lay out  the 5 main reasons that are holding our country back. 
  The policies that our government have been following since the 1960’s and 70’s just might have something to do with it.  Frank Roche discusses  our immigration policy, fiscal policy, U.S. international trade policy, regulatory policy and the U.S. education policy.     Nancy

THE FIVE STRUCTURAL BARRIERS TO AMERICAN STRENGTH AND PROSPERITY

  BY FRANK ROCHE,  Market Economist,  Adjunct Professor of Economics and capital markets expert

May 28, 2013

The weak cyclical recoveries from America’s first two recessions in the 21st Century are exposing a long camouflaged and ignored truth. That is, bad public policy as practiced by elected and appointed officials at the state and federal level since the 1960’s has engendered serious structural problems for the U.S. economy reducing potential real GDP, with cascading effects on employment, income distribution, and national savings while inducing higher levels of dependency on government for basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter. The structural damage done by too much immigration, too much debt, too many imports, too many laws, rules & regulations, and not enough quality education over the past 35-40 years has finally been revealed in the below potential performance of the U.S. economy. The empirical evidence is clear; the underlying U.S. economy is getting weaker not stronger.
Frank Roche takes several important issues facing America; gives you the data, graphs, and curves; pulls no punches; and lays out the problems in an easy manner to follow . Frank takes the heady stuff and explains the why. The writing style is friendly and conversational – which was totally unexpected. This is a good book and a great read for all of us who want the facts.
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VIDEO – THE MONARCHS OF MONEY – THE UNPRECEDENTED POWER OF THE CENTRAL BANKERSS

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

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FORMER HEAD OF BB&T GIVES CAUSES OF 2008 FINANCIAL MELTDOWN

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

 

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

DECKER: 5 Questions with BB&T’s John Allison

‘It’s easier for government to control a few large institutions’

By Brett M. Decker– Brett M. Decker, former Editorial Page Editor for The Washington Times, was an editorial page writer and editor for the Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong, Senior Vice President of the Export-Import Bank, Senior Vice President of Pentagon Federal Credit Union, speechwriter to then-House Majority Whip (later Majority Leader) Tom DeLay and reporter and television producer for the legendary Robert

Friday, May 11, 2012

  • http://www.washingtontimes.com/multimedia/image/b1-john-a-allisonjpg/
  • John A. Allison is the former chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation, where he started working in 1971. Under Mr. Allison’s leadership, BB&T grew from $4.5 billion in assets to $152 billion, becoming America’s 10th largest financial services company and earning the bank’s chairman a spot on Harvard Business Review’s list of top 100 most successful CEOs in the world. Currently a distinguished professor at Wake Forest University’s School of Business, Mr. Allison is also a leader for Job Creators Alliance, a group of entrepreneurs who promote pro-growth policies to support small business. You can find out more at jobcreatorsalliance.org.

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE: Allison: If you want to centrally manage an economy, control the allocation of capital. Dodd-Frank is a dramatic move toward statism (i.e., crony socialism) as government bureaucrats can practically decide which industries, companies and consumers have available credit. Dodd-Frank encourages more consolidation in the banking industry and instead of eliminating “too big to fail,” makes this practice a permanent public policy. It is easier for the centralized government authorities to control a few large institutions than many small companies.

Decker: You told me you couldn’t create your company in today’s environment. That’s quite a startling statement about such a successful business. Why not?

Allison: BB&T grew through local decision-making and personalized service focused on small businesses and the middle market. The current regulatory environment not only imposes extraordinary cost on smaller financial institutions, it makes it difficult to treat each customer as a special individual. Personalized service is now considered by the regulators to be “disparate” treatment. Small-business lending is part science and part art. It is extraordinarily difficult to execute a personalized value proposition with bank examiners micromanaging every decision.

Decker: Banks are used as whipping boys to impute blame for the collapse of the housing market, but government played a central role in the mortgage crisis. Can you explain how Washington intervention manipulated the market with such disastrous results?

Allison: Government policy is the primary cause of the financial crisis. The Federal Reserve “printed” too much money in the early 2000s to avoid a mild recession, which led to a massive misinvestment. The misinvestment was focused in the housing market due to the affordable housing (subprime) lending policies imposed by Congress on the giant Government Sponsored Enterprises (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), which would never have existed in a free market. When Freddie and Fannie failed, they owed $5.5 trillion and had $2 trillion in subprime loans. Because Freddie/Fannie had such a dominate share of home-mortgage lending in the United States (75 percent), they drove down the lending standards for the whole industry. (more…)

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