Feb 3, 2014

Welcome, Janet!

Janet Yellin has just been sworn in as the chief of of the American mimeograph machine.  To celebrate, the American equity markets crashed again. (DJ IA down a couple hundred points.) The heaviest investors seem confused about how much free money she'll be printing for the banks to loan them for purposes of speculation.

Only a despicable hard-money crank would suggest a causal relationship between Janet's ascendancy to Ben's old seat  and the roiled markets.*  After all, she she was against the tapir before she was for it.

So far, the  tapir  isn't working too well despite the public relations efforts of the country's best-oiled spin machines.

It was supposed to push interest rates up a tad, not much, just enough to make  the  aforesaid cranks shut up about Wiemar. It is working the other way. Interest on government insecurities is still trickling down -- a few minutes ago the 10-year at 2.6 per cent and the 30 at a little over 3.5.

If you don't  follow numbers like that, no problem. Their meaning is simple.  Your bank will continue paying you effectively nothing on your CDs, large and small, for a while, anyway. In due course, though, we'll probably have to pull a Turkey where the Ankara version of  the Ben and Janet show has just been shoved into reverse and lending rates were tripled to 12 per cent for overnight loans.

(I won't be putting money into Turkish CDs, though, because one of the effects will be oh-crap price hikes. A respectable working stiff's hookah, no brass filigree, plain plastic tubing,  at 38 zillion lira?)

It's all confusing, but I suppose a guy should just think back to Ben Bernanke when he cut the Kwee from 85 billion to 75 billion thin-air FRCs per month. He was careful to promise the too-big-to-fails that it was all sort of a joke. Lend away, Boys and Girls.  Vee haf other vays of making all the marks -- wait, I mean dollars of course , ha-ha -- you'll ever need.


*When a writer is too chicken to predict whether the markets will go up or down,  he is permitted by long tradition to wimp out with "roiled."

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