Jeffrey P. Snider

Weird Obsessions

People often ask why I care so much about China. In some ways the answer is obvious, meaning that China is the world’s second largest economy (the largest under certain methods of measurement). Therefore, marginal changes in the Chinese economy are important to understanding our own global situation. But it goes much deeper than that….

Follow-Up on Bills; Supply Side

Returning to the theme of the parallel evolutionary developments in the early 20th century as compared to the last decades of it, in 1908 famed Gilded Age industrialist Andrew Carnegie wrote what seems today a misplaced article for New York Outlook magazine. The steel magnate lamented the state of American banking, which he called within…

Chart of Last Week: In Need of Official Address

According to the US Treasury, the calculated equivalent treasury bill yield for the 4-week maturity was 76 bps at Friday’s close. At such a short time frame there isn’t actually a single instrument that creates the rate, more of an amalgamation (spline) of various 4-week securities staggered on their own. The bill maturing this week,…

Central

The Phelan Act of 1920 sounded simple in principle. It authorized the various Federal Reserve Banks, at that time twelve district branches operating independently, to charge progressive interest rates on the rediscounting activities at their respective windows (the discount rate was the interest charged to obtain collateralized funds from the various reserve banks). Private banks…

No Backing Sentiment

When the price of oil first collapsed at the end of 2014, it was characterized widely as a “supply glut.” It wasn’t something to be concerned about because it was believed attributable to success, and American success no less. Lower oil prices would be another benefit to consumers on top of the “best jobs market…

Committing To A World Without 3%

When President Trump nominated Congressman Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services he created a vacancy in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. After no candidate secured a majority in the first round of voting, a runoff was to take place yesterday among the top two contenders. Republican Karen Handel squared off against Democrat Jon…

Fading Further and Further Back Toward 2016

Earlier this month, the BEA estimated that Disposable Personal Income in the US was $14.4 trillion (SAAR) for April 2017. If the unemployment rate were truly 4.3% as the BLS says, there is no way DPI would be anywhere near to that low level. It would instead total closer to the pre-crisis baseline which in…

Now China’s Curve

Suddenly central banks are mesmerized by yield curves. One of the jokes around this place is that economists just don’t get the bond market. If it was only a joke. Alan Greenspan’s “conundrum” more than a decade ago wasn’t the end of the matter but merely the beginning. After spending almost the entire time in…

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…