Tea Leaves Say Yellen Might Push for Looser Monetary Policy


Jon Hilsenrath reports on a new Fed study suggesting that monetary policy ought to remain loose for a very long time:

The Federal Reserve could help drive down unemployment faster if it promised to keep short-term interest rates near zero for longer than currently envisioned by officials or investors, according to a new research paper by a top central-bank staff member

….The research paper—written by William English, the head of the Fed’s monetary-affairs division and two other authors—argues the Fed’s unemployment threshold for rate increases would be more effective if it were lower than 6.5%, possibly as low as 5.5%. In effect that would mean waiting until the job market got much better before raising rates.

….As part of the exercise, Mr. English relied heavily on computer forecasting models known as “optimal control” programs. That’s notable because these programs have also been cited by Janet Yellen, the president’s nominee to lead the Fed after Mr. Bernanke’s term expires, in speeches to defend the central bank’s easy-money policies.

I guess this falls into the category of tea-leaf reading, trying to figure out what kind of policies Yellen will push if she’s confirmed as the next Fed chairman. Take it for what it’s worth.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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