The beginning of the academic year is always a bit hectic. Plus I was on a job search committee this year. While I was out in Philadelphia there were some really interesting papers presented that I will be following up on here. One looked at the future of oil in the US and their outlook was very pessimistic. It was especially skeptical of the profits from hydraulic fracturing. A different session had papers on Social Security and the macro consequences from the program. One of my favorite sessions examine infant mortality. One of the papers in that session examined infant mortality differences due to hydraulic fracturing proximity. Really interesting stuff! Stay tuned for updates.

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This is something of a non-news item (article). Three Republicans on the banking committee supported her making it very likely there would be 60 votes for her in the Senate which would negate any procedural moves to delay her appointment. Fed policy is entering a transition period as extraordinary policy measures such as asset purchases are in line for phase out. The timing of these events is very important because, unfortunately, financial markets depend on these measures right now. Fed purchases are supporting prices and keeping yields low, impacting individual asset allocation decisions. When the interventions end we will see changes in yields, and therefore changes in those asset allocation decisions. As a result you will see increased volatility in financial markets, which matters for individual retirements, college savings and so on.

Continue reading Yellen Nomination Moves Forward

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The grilling of Janet Yellen as the nominee to be the next Fed Chair is sure to raise some interesting fodder. I will comment as appropriate but I have a presentation on Friday so it may take some time for me to get the posts up. I will suggest the following though: the nomination of Yellen is a status quo pick. She is an insider and has been present through the QE policies and so understands the rationale behind current Fed policy. This makes here unlikely to undertake drastic immediate change. This is in contrast to a Summers nomination. Summers ego was likely to get in the way and he would need to change policy simply to put his stamp on events.

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