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Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Snake oil sellers in the stablecoin world

 It's been evident for some years now that those selling risky crypto products to risk-averse investors like to have federal branding on their snake oil. Tether claimed to have 100% actual dollar backing for its stablecoin. Various exchanges and platforms claimed that customer deposits were FDIC insured. The New York Attorney General showed that Tether didn't have 100% dollar backing or anything like it. And now the FDIC has sent cease & desist orders to FTX, Voyager and several other...

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Tether’s smoke and mirrors

Tether has issued what it calls a “breakdown of its reserves”. It actually consists of two pie charts. Here they are:Seriously, this is all Tether has seen fit to reveal.  Furthermore, the pie charts only purport to show the breakdown of Tether’s reserves on the 31st March 2021. We do not know whether Tether’s reserves still have the same composition now. Nonetheless, the crypto world took these charts as an indication that Tether was, if not fully cash-backed, at least mostly. “76% of its...

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Pandemic economics: the role of central banks and monetary policy

Below are the slides from my presentation at Beyond Covid on 12th June. The whole webinar can ve viewed here.The pandemic seems to me to resemble the "nuclear disaster" scenarios of my youth: hide in the bunker, then creep out when the immediate danger is over, only to find a world that is still dangerous and has fundamentally changed in unforeseeable ways. Rabbits hiding from a hawk is perhaps a kinder image, though hawks don't usually leave devastation in their wake. And I like rabbits. So...

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Pandemic economics: the role of central banks and monetary policy

Below are the slides from my presentation at Beyond Covid on 12th June. The whole webinar can ve viewed here.The pandemic seems to me to resemble the "nuclear disaster" scenarios of my youth: hide in the bunker, then creep out when the immediate danger is over, only to find a world that is still dangerous and has fundamentally changed in unforeseeable ways. Rabbits hiding from a hawk is perhaps a kinder image, though hawks don't usually leave devastation in their wake. And I like rabbits. So...

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Much Ado About Nothing

The Fed's interventions in the repo market are attracting considerable comment. A lot of people seem to think the Fed has embarked on another QE program without Congressional approval. And the usual suspects are complaining that the Fed is pumping up stock prices and debasing the dollar.  Stocks are indeed heading for the moon - though so is the dollar, which rather undermines those who think it is being debauched. But the Fed's interventions in the repo markets have nothing to do with stock...

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Much Ado About Nothing

The Fed's interventions in the repo market are attracting considerable comment. A lot of people seem to think the Fed has embarked on another QE program without Congressional approval. And the usual suspects are complaining that the Fed is pumping up stock prices and debasing the dollar.  Stocks are indeed heading for the moon - though so is the dollar, which rather undermines those who think it is being debauched. But the Fed's interventions in the repo markets have nothing to do with stock...

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The blind Federal Reserve

Ever since the secured overnight repo rate (SOFR) spiked to 10% in September, there have been dire warnings that these exceptional movements show the financial system is fundamentally broken. The story goes that the post-crisis financial system is so dysfunctional that it is unable to operate without continual injections of money from central banks. The Fed's attempt to reduce the $4.2tn of reserves it added to the financial system in three rounds of QE has dangerously destabilised the...

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The blind Federal Reserve

Ever since the secured overnight repo rate (SOFR) spiked to 10% in September, there have been dire warnings that these exceptional movements show the financial system is fundamentally broken. The story goes that the post-crisis financial system is so dysfunctional that it is unable to operate without continual injections of money from central banks. The Fed's attempt to reduce the $4.2tn of reserves it added to the financial system in three rounds of QE has dangerously destabilised the...

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10 years after – and nothing has changed.

The following is an interview with Yena Yoon – a financial journalist with Chosen Ilbo “the largest newspaper in South Korea” conducted on 12 February, 2018, but still relevant. What is the most remarkable change in financial market after 2008 global crisis do you see? Why do you think so? The most striking outcome from the global financial crisis of 2007-9 was that there was no structural change to the international financial architecture/system – the system that was at the heart of the...

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The BBC’s Cassandras of the Crash

On Wednesday, 19th September and again on 22nd September, the BBC broadcast an interview in which I participated. It was called Cassandras of the Crash. The programme is available on the BBC’s Radio 4 website, with the following introduction. “Ten years ago, in autumn 2008, the world watched as the biggest financial meltdown in history unfolded. The crash plunged the world into recession, lost millions of families their homes and its shadow still hangs over our politics today. And when the...

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