Parrots at the FOMC

Repeat after me:

  1. “economy getting close to full employment”
  2. “inflation will soon climb to 2%”

So that you can then say:

  1. “a rate hike will take place soon”

In the not-so-distant future, people will realize that the “gradual normalization” strategy for monetary policy was a most stupid choice!

One of the reasons is that it “keeps out evidence”, in particular evidence that wouldn´t be consistent with their view of necessary “normalization”.

Two pieces of evidence available to policymakers contest their “mantra” about employment and inflation.

The Kansas City Fed calculates a Labor Market Conditions Indicator. The chart shows that for the past two years the changes have trended down and lately have turned negative.

Parrots_1

The St Louis Fed calculates a Price Pressure Measure:

Policymakers usually want to know—to the extent possible—the probability that inflation over the next four or eight quarters will exceed the inflation target.

To help policymakers, financial market participants, and others who have an interest in assessing future inflation probabilities, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has developed an index called the price pressures measure (PPM).3 The PPM measures the probability that the expected inflation rate (12-month percent changes) over the next 12 months will exceed 2.5 percent.

And here´s the chart with the probabilities since January 2012 when the 2% target became official.

Parrots_2

Contrary to what the “Parrots” chant, the probability that inflation will exceed the target going forward, has been diminutive!

Unfortunately, the “gradual normalization” strategy ignores all that!

2 thoughts on “Parrots at the FOMC

  1. We can’t take our foot off the brake, because then we might have to take our foot off the gas.

  2. The term “normalization” is really just one of the falsehoods in the Fed’s propaganda toolbox; that is not what they are doing or even attempting. Prior to 2008, we didn’t have IoR and reverse repos for the planet, and it appeared more like Greenspan tried to manage NGDP growth rather than applying inflation targeting. I’d support “normalization”, meaning that we go back to managing policy more like the in ’90s, not a normalization process that equates to nothing more than adjusting short nominal interest rates in the ivory tower vacuum while every other policy monstrosity remains the same.

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