Mish Shedlock: In Search of Elephant in Room, Fed Governors Come Up Empty

Fed Governor Jerome Powell says “Signs of excesses are ‘isolated’. Asset Prices ‘not broadly unsustainable’“.

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The Federal Reserve does not see “broadly unsustainable asset prices,” a senior U.S. central banker said Saturday, with financial excesses stemming from almost a decade of ultralow interest rates “isolated.”

In remarks as part of a panel discussion at the American Finance Association meeting, Fed Gov. Jerome Powell defended the central bank’s policy that has kept interest rates at historic lows since the financial crisis. The Fed pushed rates to zero in December 2008 and has only raised them only twice since, both in the past year.

The policy of low rates has helped the economy recover, and has helped strengthen the financial sector, he said. “By many measures the U.S. financial system is much stronger than before the crisis,” Powell said.

There are trade-offs, because low interest rates can have adverse impacts on financial markets in a number of ways, he said. “Low rates can lead to excessive leverage and broadly unsustainable asset prices — things that we watch carefully for and do not observe at this point.”

Missed Elephants

  1. The Greenspan Fed missed the dotcom bubble
  2. The Greenspan Fed and the Bernanke Fed missed the housing bubble
  3. The Bernanke Fed and the Yellen Fed missed the asset bubbles now in progress

The only way to not see this bubble is to be willfully blind to economic fundamentals for the sole benefit of banks and the wealthy, to the detriment of everyone else.

Source: https://mishtalk.com/2017/01/08/in-search-of-elephant-in-room-fed-governors-come-up-empty/