Jeffrey P. Snider

TIC Consistency in April

Chinese officials earlier this month broadcast they were ready to buy US Treasury bonds again. After selling an unknown quantity (there are different figures, none of which exactly agree) over the past few years, the announcement was clearly aimed at China’s exchange rate. Officials have taken to CNY stability as a central focus of official…

Root Monetary Behavior

Capitalism has always featured feedback mechanisms. They never were perfect, as nothing is going to ever be. Instead, market discipline was always a messy affair as it more often throughout history included periods of undisciplined behavior followed closely by mass exodus, crash, and then depression. Economists after 1929 thought of themselves as a replacement mechanism…

More Pieces of Impossible

On his company’s earnings conference call back on Valentine’s Day, T-Mobile CEO John Legere was unusually feisty. Never known for shyness, Legere had reason behind his bluster. T-Mobile had practically built itself up on price, being left the bottom tier of the wireless space practically to itself. That all changed, however, as both Verizon and…

History May Rhyme, But These Curves Repeat

What is most tragically ironic about the last decade is that the people who are supposed to have been in charge are the same people claiming it could never happen. Ben Bernanke, for example, made his career on studying the Great Depression. Using Milton Friedman’s brand of primitive monetarism as a base, he and others…

Haunting Yellen

I wouldn’t put it in the category of LBJ “losing Cronkite”, but it is at least a measure of amplified pressure (or just any pressure). This week has been utterly embarrassing for the Federal Reserve, a central bank that refuses to define clearly what it is attempting to do. It leaves questions even for who…

Renewed Questions About Housing

Housing construction has cooled off again after a small rebound in activity late last year. Total permits filed in April 2017 was estimated to have been 1.23 million (SAAR), down from 1.26 million in March. Unadjusted, permits were flat year-over-year and remain on average in the low single digits for growth. Despite a reported as…

Chinese Basis For Anti-Reflation?

Yesterday was something of a data deluge. In the US, we had the predictable CPI dropping again, lackluster US Retail Sales, and then the FOMC’s embarrassing performance. Across the Pacific, the Chinese also reported Retail Sales as well as Industrial Production and growth of investments in Fixed Assets (FAI). When deciding which topics to cover…

Defying Labels

Last month US Industrial Production rose rather quickly. Gaining more than 1.1% month-over-month, it might have appeared that the US economy once dragged into downturn by manufacturing and industry was finally about to experience its belated upturn. But frustration is how it has always gone, not just in this latest phase but for all phases…