Posted by WARREN MOSLER on September 22nd, 2011
As previously suggested, the Fed doing anything would cause markets to believe it’s all going bad out there.
However, the US economic news still looks like modest improvement,
so I still suspect the reaction to the Fed will be temporary, and start wearing off around noon Eastern time today.
q3 still looking up from q2 which was up from q1.
And gasoline prices now moving lower help the consumer a bit more,
so q4 should be up more than q3.
With GDP sequentially better all year, makes sense to me that earnings in general will continue to grow.
Employment not doing much as there is still some underlying productivity growth
which also helps keep unit labor costs in check.
This means stocks still be in their ugly trading range, with the lower bound somewhere around current levels.
Though potential external shocks remain.
With the ECB again writing the check today by buying Italian and Spanish bonds
the current situation is in fact operationally sustainable, and I suspect what we are seeing
is the resolution. The ECB buys as needed in conjunction with imposing austerity,
and the euro zone muddles through with flat to modestly negative growth and deficits higher than they’d like.
Note too, that the ECB buys bonds are relatively high yields, and pays relative low rates of interest on the clearing balances it creates
to make the purchases. This results in a profit for the ECB that adds to their stated capital and their stated capacities.
So as long as they keep buying there’s no default and not only no losses, but rising ECB profits.
And there’s no inflationary consequences because none of this increases actual spending by the national govts.
All it does is allow them to fund their austerity budgets as dictated by the ECB.
China continues to decelerate and so far avoid reporting a hard landing,
and while the jury is still out on that score, trade and demand growth is slowing.
They know how to increase demand but are holding back due to concerns of inflation.
Commodities are finally selling off and heading towards their marginal costs of production,
just as the textbooks describe, as global tight fiscal keeps demand in check.
And with seemingly no one in any position of responsibility understanding how their monetary systems work,
and instead carrying on as if they were all operating under some sort of fixed exchange rate constraint,
the odds of an acceleration in aggregate demand any time soon remain remote.
Initial jobless claims dropped by 9,000 to 423,000 the week ended Sept. 17, as expected. Continuing claims fell by 28,000 to 3,727,000 in the week ended Sept. 10. The four-week moving average of new claims, a more reliable indicator of the labor market’s recent performance, rose by 500 to 421,000
FHFA House Price Index Up 0.8 Percent in July
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in August to 116.2 (2004 = 100), following a 0.6 percent increase in July and a 0.3 percent increase in June.