Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Rate Hikes Are on Hold for Now





Investors were pleased with the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) new approach to its balance sheet.

The Fed delivered its semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress last week. The report recapped the events of late 2018 and reiterated the Fed’s intention to “…be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support the Committee's congressionally mandated objectives of maximum employment and price stability.”

In other words, rate hikes are on hold for now.

The Fed also addressed issues related to its balance sheet, which grew from $900 billion at the end of 2006 – about 6 percent of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) – to almost $4.5 trillion at the end of 2014 – about 25 percent of U.S. GDP. (GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in the United States in a given period.)

The balance sheet more than quadrupled during the past decade because the Fed began buying Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, a policy called quantitative easing, in an effort to restore the U.S. economy to health, according to The Hutchins Center of the Brookings Institute.

Friday’s report indicated the Fed will not shrink its balance sheet to pre-crisis levels, reported Erwida Maulia for Financial Times. Markets responded positively to the news:

“U.S. stocks and Treasuries were comfortably higher at midday on Friday as the Federal Reserve signaled it will hold a much larger balance sheet in the long term than it did before the financial crisis, helping ease investor concerns about tightening financial conditions.”

Investors also remained optimistic about trade talks between the United States and China. Major U.S. stock indices finished the week higher.







WOMACK INVESTMENT ADVISERS, INC. Oklahoma / Main Office: 1366 E. 15th Street - Edmond, OK  73013
California Office: 4660 La Jolla Village Dr., Ste. 100 - San Diego, CA 92122
Phone (405) 340-1717 - Toll Free (877) 340-1717 


Monday, February 11, 2019

At the Intersection of Economics and Valentine’s Day…



 Author and illustrator Liz Fosslien has thought a lot about economics and Valentine’s Day. In ‘14 Ways an Economist Says I Love You,’ she offers this advice:

“Give your loved one a nerdy Valentine and they'll be yours forever! Why? Because if you give them diamonds/cufflinks this year, anything you get them next year will fall short. Give them [a nerdy Valentine] and anything they receive next year will be a step up. It's called expectation management and is the key to a long and happy relationship.”

Fosslien suggests a variety of approaches to saying, ‘I love you,’ in economic terms. (Each is accompanied by an illustrative chart or graph at Fosslien.com/heart.) If you’re looking for a way to express the magnitude or enduring nature of your feelings, you could try:

·         I don’t think your great, / I think you’re fantastic, / For what you’re supplying, / My demand’s inelastic.
·         The monopoly you have on my heart is all natural.
·         Our risk of default is zero.
·         The S&P was in the red, / But I wasn’t blue, / Because I shorted the market, / And went long on you.
·         The marginal returns of spending time with you will never diminish.
·         Irrational, asymmetric, / Love is so foolish. / But I could not care less, / If you’re the stock then I’m bullish.

If the dismal science of economics doesn’t deliver the level of romance your relationship requires, you can always go for the cufflinks or the diamonds.








WOMACK INVESTMENT ADVISERS, INC. Oklahoma / Main Office: 1366 E. 15th Street - Edmond, OK  73013
California Office: 4660 La Jolla Village Dr., Ste. 100 - San Diego, CA 92122
Phone (405) 340-1717 - Toll Free (877) 340-1717