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10 27 2015 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks

What are Janet Yellen’s strengths as the FED Chair?

Janet Yellen’s strength as a FED Chair comes from her reputation as a consensus-builder.

Unlike then FED Chair Greenspan (who is known to take naps when staff economists present their materials), Yellen actively seeks out inputs from Federal Reserve Bank Presidents and members of the Board of Governors before policy meetings, and she is known for her meticulous meeting and speech preparations.

Additionally, Chair Yellen’s FOMC press conference (speaking on behalf of the FOMC) is generally representative of divergent views within the Federal Open Market Committee.

Then President Yellen of Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco also warned others about the risk of housing bubble in 2005 in Update on the U.S. Economy

In addition to the uncertainties raised by higher energy prices, there are downside risks to economic growth relating to the housing market. This sector has been a key source of strength in the current expansion, and the concern is that, if house prices fell, the negative impact on household wealth could lead to a pullback in consumer spending. Certainly, analyses do indicate that house prices are abnormally high—that there is a “bubble” element, even accounting for factors that would support high house prices, such as low mortgage interest rates. So a reversal is certainly a possibility.

[rising long term interest rates] might take some of the “oomph” out of the housing market. My bottom line is that while I’m certainly not predicting anything about future house price movements, I think it’s obvious that a substantial cooling off of the housing sector represents a downside risk to the outlook for growth.

Next article10 25 2015 | by Victor Xing | Capital Markets

What are examples of policy-induced financial distortion?