Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Bitcoin War Begins – Bitcoin Cash Rises 50% While Bitcoin Drops $1,000 In 24 Hours - Jeff_Berwick
2.Fragile Stock Market Bull in a China Shop -James_Quinn
3.Sheffield Leafy Suburbs Tree Felling's Triggering House Prices CRASH! - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Bank of England Hikes UK Interest Rates 100%, Reversing BREXIT PANIC Cut! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Government Finances and Gold - Cautionary Tale told in Four Charts - Michael_J_Kosares
6.Gold Stocks Winter Rally - Zeal_LLC
7.The Stock Market- From Here to Infinity? - Plunger
8.Ethereum (ETH/USD) – bullish breakout of large symmetrical triangle looks to be getting closer - MarketsToday
9.Electronic Gold: The Deep State’s Corrupt Threat to Human Prosperity and Freedom - Stewart_Dougherty
10.Finally, The Fall Of The House Of Saud - Jim_Willie_CB
Last 7 days
Stock Market Final Thrust is Likely - 17th Dec 17
Never Mind Tea Leaves, Here’s a Strong Signal from the Economic Dashboard - 17th Dec 17
As Bitcoin Breaks All-Time Highs Near $18,000 Its Future Has Never Been So Uncertain - 17th Dec 17
Best Time / Month to Buy a Used Car From a UK Dealer - 16th Dec 17
Relief Rally in Gold Mining Stocks - 16th Dec 17
Amid Bad Fundamentals, Gold Sector Rally May Have Begun - 16th Dec 17
Gold Bullish on US Fed Interest Rate Hike - 16th Dec 17
The LORAX Explains What Happened to Sheffield's Street Trees 2017 - 16th Dec 17
Bitcoin Trading Alert: Bitcoin Pauses – Will Appreciation Follow? - 16th Dec 17
SanDisk Ultra 128gb 100mbs Micro SD Card for Smartphone's Speed Test - 15th Dec 17
Inflation is Spiking Globally… Bond Bubble Bursts in 3… 2… - 15th Dec 17
Sheffield's 'Real' LORAX Defending the Trees From the Labour City Council Patrol Units - 15th Dec 17
Stock Market Decline Signals are Near - 15th Dec 17
Santa Is Putting Christmas On The Blockchain And Saving Billions - 14th Dec 17
The Unprotected, the Protected, the Vulnerably Protected Classes—Which Are You? - 14th Dec 17
Gold’s Upside Target - 14th Dec 17
Year-end US Interest Rate Hike Again Proves To Be Launchpad For Gold Price - 14th Dec 17
2 Charts That Might Define the Fed’s Jerome Powell Era - 13th Dec 17
UK Stagflation Risk As Inflation Hits 3.1% and House Prices Fall - 13th Dec 17
Stock Market Elliott Wave Forecasts - Is the World coming to the end? - 13th Dec 17
A Method Traders Can Use to Confirm an Elliott Wave Count - 13th Dec 17
Best Time / Month of Year to BUY a USED Car is DECEMBER, UK Analysis - 13th Dec 17
A Former Wall Street Veteran: Good Traders Are Born, Not Trained - 12th Dec 17
Buy Gold, Silver Time After Speculators Reduce Longs and Banks Reduce Shorts to Continue? - 12th Dec 17
Masters of Economic and Political Illusion – in Taxes, Debt, Government, and Markets - 12th Dec 17
Approved Used Land Rover Main Dealer Real Customer Buying Guide - Hunters, Chester - 12th Dec 17
Gold Price 100% Bullish Signal - 12th Dec 17
Epic Stock Market & Fixed Income Bubble Will Not End Well - 12th Dec 17
Bitcoin can be stolen. Although Can’t be hacked - 11th Dec 17
Have Stocks Reached A Permanently Rigged Plateau? - 11th Dec 17
Trying To Beat The System Is A Fatally Flawed Investment Strategy - 11th Dec 17
Is This The Beginning Of The Next Silver Rush? - 11th Dec 17
The Dow Gold Ratio - 11th Dec 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Traders Workshop

Why Bank Presidents Could Rule the Fed Next Year

Politics / US Federal Reserve Bank Dec 07, 2017 - 09:16 AM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Politics

There’s a possibility the Fed will shrink to three—or even two—governors next year. I wrote about this in great length in my latest Thoughts from the Frontline, and I highly suggest you give it a read.

Among other things, the missing governors could have an enormous impact on monetary policy.  But before we delve into the implications again, I must explain the Fed’s Byzantine organizational scheme.


How the FOMC Works

Monetary policy—interest rates and the like—issues from the Federal Open Market Committee. The FOMC comprises:

• All seven Board of Governors members

• The president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank

• Four of the other 11 Fed Bank presidents, who rotate through one-year terms.

So on this committee of 12, the politically appointed governors have seven votes, outweighing the five privately appointed bank presidents. Except when there aren’t seven governors, as is the case now and probably will be well into 2018, at least.

In practice, this voting edge rarely matters because Fed chairs work hard to build consensus on the FOMC. They don’t like dissenting votes. I can’t recall any situation where the Board of Governors and the bank presidents seriously disagreed.

But it could happen. And if it happens in 2018, the bank presidents will have the upper hand.

A Looming Clash Between Academics and Business Leaders

Just to make the situation even murkier, two of the five bank presidents who will be on the FOMC in 2018 are currently unknown.

New York Fed President William Dudley will be leaving by mid-year. The other four will be the Atlanta, Cleveland, Richmond, and San Francisco presidents; and the Richmond post is presently vacant.

My good friend and fishing buddy Bob Eisenbeis of Cumberland Advisors, a former Fed economist, pointed out in a recent analysis that once Yellen leaves, the Board of Governors will have only one doctorate-holding economist, Lael Brainard (who will quite likely be leaving the board within a year – see below). Marvin Goodfriend will be another when he is confirmed.

Goodfriend is often cited as a conservative economist. I am not sure how that squares with his open support of negative interest rates. Bob Eisenbeis also just penned a piece on Marvin Goodfriend. There is no question Marvin is qualified. Here’s Bob:

He [Goodfriend] brings a lot to the table. First, he is a first-rate economist with a truly international reputation. He has held visiting, consulting, and evaluative positions at numerous central banks and international organizations including the Riksbank (Sweden), Bank of Japan, De Nederlandsche Bank (Amsterdam), Bank of India, Norges Bank (Norway), Swiss National Bank, ECB, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, and IMF, just to name a few. Additionally, he has been actively involved with the Federal Reserve System itself since joining the faculty at Carnegie Mellon in 2005 and has been a member of the Shadow Open Market Committee. So he knows central banking and the workings, culture, and staffs of the Board of Governors and the Federal Reserve system more generally; and he has participated in policy evaluations of the performance of several non-US central banks.

Second, his academic credentials are extensive. He has published in the best journals in both the areas of monetary policy and international trade. He has served on the editorial boards of most of the major economics journals and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Third, when it comes to policy, he understands the models employed. During Marvin’s long tenure at the Richmond Fed, the policy positions taken by then President Broaddus evidenced a concern by both men for inflation and keeping it low. This belief is also reflected in some of Marvin’s writings and transcends his time at the Richmond Fed. However, as was noted in a recent WSJ article summarizing his likely approach to policy, there are also times when one must also be concerned about deflation and how policy might best be conducted in a world where interest rates are zero or perhaps even negative. For example, Marvin proposed policy options for dealing with the so-called “zero lower bound” problem in 2000, long before it became a real issue in the wake of the financial crisis.

Back to the FOMC. The Atlanta, Cleveland, and San Francisco banks all have economists at the helm. Eisenbeis thinks the New York and Richmond Fed Banks will appoint economists as well.

How Does That Two-Way Split Matter?

So we are setting up a situation where the 2018 FOMC will be split along two axes: governors/bank presidents and economists/non-economists.

As I have mentioned before, the economics profession hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory in the wake of the financial crisis.

Briefly, I think academic economists have become too enamoured of their models, which fail to account for the modern economy’s vast complexity and the often-irrational decisions people make.

I would much prefer to have the Federal Reserve System led by experienced business leaders and others with more practical experience in the economy the Fed helps manage. I think we would all be better off.

Join hundreds of thousands of other readers of Thoughts from the Frontline

Sharp macroeconomic analysis, big market calls, and shrewd predictions are all in a week’s work for visionary thinker and acclaimed financial expert John Mauldin. Since 2001, investors have turned to his Thoughts from the Frontline to be informed about what’s really going on in the economy. Join hundreds of thousands of readers, and get it free in your inbox every week.

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2018 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife