24 December 2015

Santayana's Revenge

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

George Santayana, in "Reason and Common Sense", 1905.

Today brings a report that there's at least one Wall Street econ who is willing to pillory the Fed's interest rate move.
The historic rate move on Dec. 16 "was very, very stupid," [Mizuho Securities USA's chief economist Steven Ricchiuto] said.

While his assessment was blunt, his no-hike view had been shared by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, Nobel Prize laureates in economics Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz and noted bond investor Jeffrey Gundlach.

Noting the error made by the ECB,
Despite the slowdown in U.S. domestic manufacturing due to sluggish global demand and modest growth in consumer spending, the Fed may raise again in March or April, according to Ricchiuto, who said the Fed has set the bar fairly low to hike rates again.

"Would the data allow for it to happen? I don't know," he said.

Data are meaningless in the face of countervailing motive and incentive. That notion is at least as important as Santayana's. Nevermind that I'm not Krugman.

No comments: