This is Dennis Lockhart, in a speech from earlier today:
“One of my favorite movies is A Few Good Men starring Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise. I’ve seen it five or six times. It’s about the murder of a Marine private down at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and the trial of two young Marines who thought they were roughing up a slacker under orders. At bottom, it’s about a narrative that does not hold up and hang together.”
Obviously, he goes on, and while we weren’t there to hear the remarks live, it seems fairly obvious that Lockhart did the “voices” during the pivotal scenes referenced: Read more »
The economy really is back, at least in Singapore, home to the mysterious Andy Chua, non-communicative businessman and last-second eBay bidding expert, who snagged the chance to have the Oracle translate what exactly he scrawled in support of a California pension trustee’s opposition to hedge funds. Read more »
For years, the Fed’s been waiting for unemployment to get under 6.5%, so that it can stop offering money for free. This has taken somewhat longer than the central bank likely expected when the threshold was set, and now, the man who came up with the idea wants to make sure it doesn’t make the same mistake again.
The “cut rates when unemployment drops below 6.5% if inflation hasn’t gotten over 2.5%” policy is apparently called the “Evans rule” for Chicago Fed President Charles Evans. And while Paul Volcker plans to use his remaining days defending the regulation that bears his name, Evans isn’t eager to see a sequel. Read more »
It’s now considered a joke but back in the nineteen seventies, the Ford administration asked the public to “Whip Inflation Now” by, among other gimmicks, wearing “WIN” buttons. Inflation was roaring along at seven percent but the public was asked to believe that war-driven spending and an inflated money supply were not the cause of economic troubles. Instead it was magic or something, and little pins could make it go away. That didn’t work out, and it wasn’t until Paul Volker took control of the Fed and raised interest rates that inflation actually got whipped.
It looks like we’re heading back into the era of magical thinking. Plans from our nation’s capital promise to rescue the economy by sending out redistributive “tax rebates.” But the latest economic proposal, dubbed The Atlas Solution, takes wishful thinking to absurd new heights (or should that be lows?). The plan is from a New York shopping center, which is planning on giving away money to stimulate retail shopping. Of course, nothing is added or taken away from the economy by this plan—it is simply redistributed.
“Giving away $20,000 will not solve a thing. Nor would giving away $342.8 billion dollars, if every shopping center in the country was silly enough to do the same thing,” Michael Shedlock writes. (Hat tip: FT Alphaville.)