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Time For Powell To Go

At some point Congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve should result in a careful examination of the central bank’s error-strewn record under Chair Jay Powell. Below is a roadmap for discriminating legislators willing to conduct a critical review of the Fed’s serial mistakes.  Above the Fed’s twin mandate of seeking maximum employment with stable prices […]

The Coming Squeeze On Bank Deposit Rates

An Op-Ed in the Washington Post last week suggested that unrealized losses on fixed income investments are likely much higher than the $640BN on held to maturity MBS. It was written by Sebastian Mallaby, who wrote about hedge funds in More Money Than God and has published several other finance books. Mallaby relies on two […]

Banking Crisis Means More Inflation Risk

Investors have reacted to the aftermath of Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) failure by assuming tighter credit conditions. This makes sense over the near term. The US banking system has been increasing duration risk, and while SVB was more reckless than most they were not alone. Piling into long term government bonds and mortgage-backed securities required […]

The Fed Pivots To Financial Stability

Commercial banks have long benefited from depositor lethargy regarding rates. Although we now have a de facto guarantee of all commercial banking deposits, not just those up to the $250K threshold, customers are likely to pay a little more attention to return and risk, which will force banks to be more competitive. On the asset […]

Fed Catches A Few Gullible Bankers

Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB) succumbed to poor risk management in holding long term bonds funded with demand deposits. If that’s all there was to banking we wouldn’t need many banks. But at a strategic level, Quantitative Easing (QE) as pursued for too long during the pandemic created the conditions for poor decisions. Central bank strategy […]