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Christopher Whalen

Christopher Whalen is an author and investment banker who lives in New York. Read more about Christopher here.


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Washington & Wall Street: The Question Nobody Asked Janet Yellen

In her first appearance before Congress this week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen achieved the primary goal of any new Fed chief and avoided any obvious land mines. But what was lacking in the dialogue, both from Yellen and the media, was a serious discussion of what's next for national economic policy. Feb 14, 2014 7:02 AM PT

OPINION: Washington & Wall Street: Obama Executive Order Threat Recalls FDR's Fascism

“The question for everyone in this chamber, running through every decision we make this year, is whether we are going to help or hinder this progress,” Mr. Obama told lawmakers as he reminded them of last year’s damaging government shutdown.  Of course, the shutdown of the government was only damaging if you are a liberal Democrat.  For most Republicans, shutting down the federal government was cause for joy.  My friend Brian Wesbury of FT Advisors puts the heroic tendencies of American liberals in context: Jan 29, 2014 8:06 AM PT

Washington & Wall Street: Income Inequality Starts with Inflation and Public Debt

John Maynard Keynes, we should all remember, was a conservative man who understood and operated in the financial markets during awful economic times. He expected governments that ran deficits (or printed fiat money) in bad times to pay back the debt in good times. Unfortunately, American liberals never studied that section of the macroeconomics textbook. Jan 25, 2014 3:58 PM PT

Washington & Wall Street: Is Quantitative Easing Really Helping the U.S. Economy?

George Orwell wrote in his classic book Nineteen Eighty-Four that “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” You need no better example of this than the way in which the Federal Reserve Board dissembles in its statements to the public about its policy moves and their impact on the US economy. Jan 16, 2014 2:46 PM PT

Washington & Wall Street: Janet Yellen's FOMC Puts U.S. on Path to Deflation

Last week’s job numbers suggest very strongly that the Obama Depression may be accelerating. Economists of all stripes are trying to pretend that the numbers were not as ugly as they well and truly are, but some of the realists are pointing out the obvious, namely that the US economy continues to shed jobs and workers. Jan 12, 2014 4:25 PM PT

Washington & Wall Street: Is Bitcoin Money or a Movement?

So what is a bitcoin? First and foremost, it is a way for the globally astute to flee the financial destruction of the established fiat currencies. The financial repression being waged against savers in the US and around the world by the low interest rate policies of the Federal Open Market Committee has convinced many people that the dollar is doomed. So it is natural for people to look for alternatives. But is bitcoin a form of money in the classical sense or merely just another valueless means of exchange on a par with the weary greenback? Jan 8, 2014 9:19 AM PT

Washington & Wall Street: Income Inequality and Financial Repression

This past Friday, watching Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke laugh his way through what is likely to be his last press conference as a Fed official, we ought to be reminded of the numerous times that President Herbert Hoover called the economic recovery. "Prosperity is just around the corner" is what he said to businessmen in 1932 when things were just about to get a lot worse. Jan 4, 2014 9:33 AM PT

Washington & Wall Street: Too Big to Fail and the Detroit Bankruptcy

In the days before Christmas, Mary Williams Walsh of The New York Times wrote several important news stories about the bankruptcy of the City of Detroit. She described how the nation’s largest banks have used the bogey man known as “systemic risk” to gain advantage over the other creditors in that case. The two reports “’Safe Harbor’ in Bankruptcy Is Upended in Detroit Case” and “Detroit Wins $55 Million in Concessions From 2 Banks” deserve your close attention. Dec 27, 2013 8:05 AM PT

Washington & Wall Street: 'Bitcoin Economy' Surges, Real Economy Deflates

Even with interest rates near zero and the Fed monetizing most of the Treasury’s debt issuance, the only accomplishment of the Federal Open Market Committee has been to create financial bubbles in everything from single-family homes to the ersatz currency known as Bitcoin. Dec 22, 2013 1:58 PM PT

Washington & Wall Street: Regulation Likely to Slow Housing Market Recovery in 2014

As the year draws to a close, it is worth returning to the US housing sector to see what some of the better analysts are saying about home prices in 2014 and beyond.  Generally speaking, most observers believe that US home price appreciation peaked at the end of the second quarter of 2013.  This does not mean that home prices measures such as the Case-Shiller index are going to stop rising immediately, but it does mean that the momentum behind the much discussed housing recovery is slowing. Dec 17, 2013 10:00 AM PT

Washington & Wall Street: The Death of Money

My friend and fellow monetary historian James Rickards has written an important new book, “The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System.” Jim and I both worked together at Tangent Capital Partners in New York and we frequently discuss the evolution of the global financial system. As students of political economy and people familiar with the workings of Washington, I always enjoy his perspective. Dec 10, 2013 7:24 AM PT

Washington & Wall Street: Jobs Numbers Suggest Time for Fed to Change Policy

Earlier this week I published an interview on Zero Hedge with my friend and mentor David Kotok, founder of Cumberland Advisors, entitled “Bagehot & Deflation: Interview with David Kotok.” The discussion generated a large amount of comment in the financial community, particularly regarding whether Fed Chairman Janet Yellen and the other members of the Federal Open Market Committee understand that the zero rate policies of the past five years may be accelerating deflation rather than expanding the economy. Dec 6, 2013 9:34 AM PT

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