Friday, June 29, 2012

How Clueless is the Fed?

I have written before on how limited some Fed economists are with regard their understanding of monetary theory, outside of a very limited Keynesian view. And, when I first noticed money supply growth dropping dramatically a few weeks back, and started reporting on it in the EPJ Daily Alert, I also called a top Fed economist to see if he could provide any background on why it was falling so dramatically, he didn't even know the drop in money supply growth had occurred. (He looked up the charts while I was on the phone with him.)

You really have to wonder what is up with these guys. The latest indication of cluelessness at the Fed comes in the form of a press release from the Fed which states:
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today announced that Brian Sack has withdrawn his resignation and will remain at the Bank as a senior advisor to New York Fed President William C. Dudley, effective June 30, 2012. As a senior advisor, Mr. Sack will provide analytical expertise and guidance with respect to monetary policy, financial markets and the U.S. economy.

Mr. Sack will step down as head of the Markets Group and Manager of the System Open Market Account (SOMA) today as announced on April 5, 2012, and in his new role, he will no longer be involved in the management of the Markets Group or the SOMA portfolio.
What's this all about? .The Markets Group oversees domestic open market and foreign exchange trading operations and the provisions of account services to foreign central banks.

In an email to me, Bob English speculates:
Suggests (i) Simon Potter might not be up to the job, and/or (ii) new LSAP of a different flavour is around the corner.
Indeed, Potter has been designated to succeed Sack, but there is nothing in Potter's background that suggests he knows anything about running a trading desk. He has been, his entire career, a research and academic economist. From his CV:
Current Employment

June 1998 to present, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Current position: Executive Vice President and Director of Economic Research

Current Responsibilities 
Member of New York Fedís Management Committee

Lead FOMC brieÖngs and preparation for Bank President

With Director of Financial Research, manage Research and Statistics Group

Construct analytical tools for forecasting and monetary policy analysis

Member of BIS Macroeconomic Assessment Group

Other Employment

April 2011 - July 2011 Senior Policy Advisor, Financial Stability Oversight Council, U.S.
Department of Treasury

Headed team producing Örst Financial Stability Oversight Council Annual Report to

September 2009 - June 2010 Visiting Lecturer, Department of Economics, Princeton University

January - May 2005 Adjunct Professor, Department of Economics, New York University

September - December 2002 Adjunct Assistant, Professor Stern School of Business, New York

January - June 2001: Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Johns Hopkins

July 1990 - June 1998: Assistant Professor of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles
Why would you put this guy in charge of the most powerful trading desk in the world? Scary, very scary,


  1. "he didn't even know the drop in money supply growth had occurred. (He looked up the charts while I was on the phone with him.)"

    LMAO! These are the great central planners, "managing" the economy/interest rates/money supply.

    So if they are preparing for another LSAP, what on god's green earth is it going to be? I can only come up Treasuries....which means bad, bad news. I suppose that can try to find a way to reinflate real estate...but they are going to burn through a lot of printed up dollars that way.

    I know a way to scare everyone out of the Federal Reserve:

    Take away their printing press and shout "Deflation!" in their building. lol

  2. Scapegoat when all bell breaks loose?

  3. It's funny that here in the uK we're hearing about Barclays and other banks being accused for falsifying interest rates in relation to mortgages. Um, isn't this what the government is in the business of? The government and BoE really deserve a trenchant expose of their hypocrisy and lying. Whenever the government accuses anyone of anything, it tends to be the worst culprit.