Inflation Rages, Americans Fume, The Fed Fumbles, Three Joes

“Inflation rate drops”, or “Inflation rate remains elevated,” choose your headline to describe a change in America’s inflation rate from 8.5 percent in March to 8.3 percent in April. This change in the number following the decimal point after an 8 is of no policy consequence. It can’t change the important fact that seven-in-ten Americans […]

The Economy Grows, Inflation Heads Up, Culture Wars Heat Up

It should come as no surprise that the abrupt end of the post-World War II geopolitical settlement calls for a reappraisal of the future of the American economy. Nor should it be a surprise that such a reappraisal is made doubly difficult when accompanied by sanctions that are disrupting markets from oil to wheat to […]

Biden Shops For Oil, Pay-Back Time For The Saudis, Powell Launches Tighter Policy

The “strong economy”, as Jay Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve board, describes it, can “flourish in the face of a less accommodative monetary policy.” True, but only if that policy, already too late, is not also too little to rein in inflation. And if it is accompanied by an energy policy that does not […]

Biden Wants More Oil, Fed Wants Higher Rates, Consumers Want Relief, Economy Hums

The oil market may be a consumer’s nightmare, but it is a green’s dream come true – prices so high that consumers are forced to reduce their use of gasoline and heating oil, while the government seeks to prevent those high prices from providing oil companies with an incentive to increase supply and bring prices […]

The Fed Prepares To Play Catch-Up

When asked whether he was concerned that Billy Conn, a faster, shiftier opponent might relieve him of his heavyweight crown, the great Joe Louis is said to have responded, “He can run, but he can’t hide.” Louis knocked Conn out in the 12th round of their 15 round title fight. Inflation Will Hit You, One […]

A New Fed Tackles A New Kind Of Inflation, Hopes To Avoid New Mistakes

“Transitory” is out, “elevated” is in. QE (Quantitative Easing) is out, QT (Quantitative Tightening) is in. Negative interest rates are out. We now know what medicine the Fed has in mind for the US economy. But we can’t be certain of the efficacy of the planned doses. Cooling a red-hot economy is no walk in […]