Jay Powell is still not fluent in FedSpeak, but he has improved at the fine art of talking a lot but saying quite little. After announcing that the FOMC had decided to maybe take it easy in 2019 because, data or whatever, Big Jay gave an admirably vanilla press conference.
Yet, one moment did stand out to us as a little too interesting. And it was this exchange with a reporter:
REPORTER: You are now a full percentage point below the White House in your projections for growth this year. That's the largest spread we've seen since the end of the recession. Why do you see the economy so differently? Do you worry about implications for policy from that?
POWELL: I haven't seen their projection.
The CEA released the report on Tuesday, meaning that Powell would have had about 24 hours to peruse Kevin Hassett's statistically-inspired MASH note to his boss, President Trump. How did Jay not see it?
Well, we think we have an idea.
Buried at the bottom of the CEA report was this piece of dumb "comedy:"
See what's going on there? All those intern names mixed in with Superhero aliases and other pop culture characters like John Cleese, John Snow and...Jake Rosen. IT's hilarious, right? Throwing in a bunch of fake intern names at the bottom of an economic report produced by the most honest Whtie House in American history?
Well, some people on Twitter thought it wasn't the best look, so the CEA actually decided to respond:
So adorable. And yet. the Fed Chairman somehow never saw your report...
So what gives, CEA? We're pretty sure that Hassett wanted Powell to see his work, so why wasn't a cope hand delivered? Surely one of the interns could have been spared to walk one over? Or maybe there was confusion and everyone thought that JT Hutt was taking care of it?
We're not saying that the Fed never saw the White House Economic Report because the CEA assigned the task to a fake intern, but we are saying that this White House is pretty fucking dumb.