At the ASSA economics conference on Sunday, I attended a session on the equilibrium real (inflation adjusted) interest rate.  This topic was being discussed in particular as a metric relating to sluggish U.S. economic growth since the Great Recession. First, some presenters documented empirically that real interest rates since 1860 has had episodes, some of… Read more

The Federal Open Market Committee began its two day September meeting yesterday, where it will consider raising the short-term policy rate, or the guidance on that rate. It has been nine years since the committee has raised this rate. The prospect of higher rates has financial markets and their commentators very nervous. The rate-raising event,… Read more

Interest rate spreads are returning to higher levels, levels that indicate financial and economic instability. This could indicate that an economic regime shift may occur this year. The normalized TED, which is the 3 month LIBOR minus the 3-month Treasury divided by the 3-month Treasury, has reached a level not seen since the fall of 2008.… Read more