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MOSLER'S LAW: There is no financial crisis so deep that a sufficiently large tax cut or spending increase cannot deal with it.

Archive for November 20th, 2011

Fed’s Williams:Fiscal Policy Actions ‘Badly Needed’

Posted by WARREN MOSLER on 20th November 2011

A step in the right direction:

Fed’s Williams:Fiscal Policy Actions ‘Badly Needed’

Fri Nov 18 14:04:45 2011 EST

–The Federal Reserve’s actions have not been enough to deliver a robust recovery

–The recovery has been hurt by the decline in housing and stock prices, tightening of credit and uncertainty in Europe

–Fiscal policy actions to reduce uncertainty and stimulate recovery are ‘badly needed’

By Anusha Shrivastava

NEW YORK-(Dow Jones) — The Federal Reserve’s actions during the past four years have not been enough to deliver a robust recovery so fiscal policy actions are “badly needed”, said a central bank official on Friday.

“What would be especially helpful at this juncture are fiscal policy actions that work in tandem with monetary policy to stimulate the economy,” said John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, speaking at the Central Bank of Chile in Santiago.

Williams, who expects the U.S. unemployment rate to remain above 7% for three more years, named three “powerful currents” slowing the pace of recovery.

There has been a “massive destruction of wealth” because of the financial crisis, stemming from a housing collapse, he said.

Second, there’s been a severe tightening of credit because of the decline in residential property prices and the wave of foreclosures.

The heightened uncertainty in Europe and overall health of its financial system is another contributory factor diminishing the appetite for risk such that investors are fleeing to safe assets like U.S. Treasurys, he added.

Given the weakness in the economy and the uncertainty impeding recovery, Williams called for fiscal policy actions that work with monetary policy to boost the economy.

One example of such a policy is the recently announced U.S. government initiative to make it easier for homeowners whose houses are now of lower value than when they bought them, to take advantage of very low rates and refinance their mortgages.

“This will trim monthly payments for some households and could reduce foreclosure rates,” Williams said. “It could also eventually provide a modest boost to consumer spending.”

Posted in Deficit, Government Spending | 16 Comments »

SPR release winding down

Posted by WARREN MOSLER on 20th November 2011

This chart of West Texas crude prices vs Brent north sea crude prices was done a few days ago, with the spread subsequently narrowing further to under $10.

As previously discussed a few weeks ago, with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve release initiated by President Obama now winding down, the glut in Cushing that looks to have caused West Texas crude prices to fall to about a $25 discount to Brent crude and world prices in general looks to be coming to an end. Additionally, to help ensure it doesn’t happen again, it was announced the flow in a large pipeline will soon be reversed to allow crude to flow out of Cushing.

As a consequence the WTI price has been rising steadily and looks to me to be reconverging with Brent prices.

And seems to me, watching the news broadcasting, the increase is at best very disconcerting to the US consumer in front of the holiday shopping season.

chart

Posted in Oil | No Comments »

The turkeys have voted for Thanksgiving

Posted by WARREN MOSLER on 20th November 2011

Reader’s comment on the post on Spanish voters supporting austerity:

Adam (ak) Submitted on 2011/11/20 at 4:05pm

So in the country where the official unemployment rate is 22.6% the party promising further fiscal austerity has an unassailable lead? Awesome. The turkeys have voted for Thanksgiving.

Posted in Uncategorized | 51 Comments »

Spanish Voters Set to Throw Out Socialists in Election

Posted by WARREN MOSLER on 20th November 2011

As previously discussed, there is virtually no political support to leave the euro,
as it’s not intuitively obvious the euro is the problem.

It is intuitively obvious, however, that the problem was irresponsible govt
and so the move towards responsible govt- aka austerity- continues.

The euro economy can be easily ‘fixed’ and in short order.
The ECB can, one way or another, facilitate all funding needs and end the solvency issue.
And the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) can be modified to allow deficits sufficient to sustain aggregate demand.

Currently Germany continues to be obstructing the elimination of the solvency issue,
even as market forces are now begining to weaken German bonds.
And there are no member nations yet supporting readjusting the SGP to allow higher deficits.

So my best guess is Germany will soon recognize what most of the financial community has recently been voicing- ECB bond buying combined with austerity is not inflationary- opening the door to the ECB bond buying being an EU sanctioned policy of the institutional structure to ensure solvency.

That will trigger a massive ‘relief rally’ that will fade as the reality of the depressing nature of the
austerity takes over.

It could also sideline the discussion of Greek haircuts and default discussion in general.

Spanish Voters Set to Throw Out Socialists in Election

November 20 (Reuters) — Spaniards are expected to throw out the Socialists they blame for a disastrous economic situation in an election on Sunday and to vote in a center-right party likely to dole out more bitter medicine in the form of public spending cuts.

Opinion polls show the People’s Party (PP), led by Mariano Rajoy, has an unassailable lead over the ruling Socialists, who have led the country from boom to bust in seven years in power.

Voters are angry with the Socialists for failing to act swiftly to prevent the economic slide and then for bringing in austerity measures that have cut wages, benefits and jobs.

Yet people are now resigned to further slashes in spending on health and education in the midst of a European debt crisis that has toppled the governments of Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Italy and pushed Spain’s borrowing costs ever higher.

Posted in EU, Germany, Greece | 5 Comments »

Roubini tweet

Posted by WARREN MOSLER on 20th November 2011

interesting:

chart

Posted in Greece | 16 Comments »