GLOBAL POLITICAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE™ And GLOBAL FERTILITY BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE™ Attends the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Seventh District, 37th Annual Economic Outlook Symposium At 230 S. LaSalle Street in Chicago’s Financial District
Friday, December 1st, 2023 – What a treat to be offered a hybrid (in-person and web-based) Annual Economic Outlook care of one of the world’s most watched Central Banks, The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. I parked on the “Oil Floor” of “Trader’s Garage” and made my way through the drizzle and light fog and through Chicago’s famous, yet wonky, financial corridor to 230 S. Lasalle. It had been quite a few years since I attended a business event at the Chicago Fed, and the courthouse-quality security was as stately and impressive as ever.
I situated myself towards the back of the Moscow conference room (named for the Chicago Fed’s eighth president who served 1994 - 2007) just in time to hear a choice one liner of the day – “Silicon Valley Bank collapsing looked like, woah, this could turn into something bigger, and it hasn’t,” said the Fed’s Chicago leader Austan Goolsbee.
Federal Reserve Bank Of Chicago CEO and President Austan Goolsbee followed his vote of confidence on USA banking with, “If there is a meltdown in China, if the second biggest economy in the world has a meltdown, there would be a major freakout.”
Goolsbee wrapped up with, “The Fed has a mandate to control inflation,” and “We should be sobered by history that every single time in history it’s required a recession (a severe one) to get inflation down.”
Austan Goolsbee disappeared after his Q&A with Fed SVP Regional Analysis and Community Development, Leslie McGranahan, so I had to save my burning questions for KPMG Chief Economist, Diane Swonk. It took all of five minutes to see that the Fed’s three main talking points were 1) Banking and Central Banking is fine and great. 2) Look at China and ex-USA for problems. 3) The Fed is on track for managing inflation, so don’t blame the Fed if there is a severe recession. It is remarkable how many times the main speakers pivoted to patting USA on the back for “managing inflation.” It felt like some of the speakers came with a pull string for talking points, and they kept “pulling inflation,” as if on cue.
The Fed clearly needs a 12-step program if it thinks it is managing inflation and that the USA or Global banking sector is stable. The Fed seems stuck in Step 1 – Denial. USA has seen the Prime interest rate jump 500 basis points in less than 2 years. Health insurance premiums, property taxes, mortgages, food, and medicines are surging by tens of thousands of dollars a year for families across the USA.
KPMG Chief Economist Diane Swonk headlined the Economic Outlook. My Family Office partners, and I, are used to seeing Swonk speak to a banquet hall of 1000+ at the Executive Club of Chicago Annual Economic Outlook Luncheon, so live attendance of only approximately 60-70 seemed an anomaly for Swonk. Economist Swonk let us know that she is 61-years-young and endured 11 surgeries during COVID, and that her first Fed Economic Outlook was in 1988.
Diane Swonk has the unique ability to keep things light and entertaining but ripping with profound undercurrents at the same time. December 2023 proved no different. Swonk described the Fed’s interest rates tightening as “the most aggressive tightening since the 1980s.” She describes a USA “more vulnerable to external shocks.”
Swonk mentioned that writers’ and actors’ strike in mostly Hollywood, leading to 45,000 workers unemployed. Looking ahead to 4th quarter, Swonk said, “I think the consumer will slow but not collapse.”
Throughout the years, Diane Swonk has remained passionate about the oldest Gen Z and Millennials, and often incorporates her own children into economic talks. This brings us to the second most poignant one-liner of the day, “My daughter says she is Communist adjacent,” Swonk shared, while adding that she supports her Millennial daughter and her fiancé on NYC’s upper east side, making sure we know that her daughter is “A Swifty” (Taylor Swift fan) and also highly educated.
Swonk said that one year from now, Taylor Swift tickets will go for $3K each and calls Swift “quite a woman.”
Later, Rhea Stevens, speaking on commercial real estate, throws in, “I have a son who is Communist full stop. We are not Communist adjacent.”
This is quite a time in American history when we have the youngest Baby Boomers - who created the Echo Boomers and older Gen Z - now bemoaning the younger generations’ shortcomings or “shortchanged state” - and blaming the Global shutdown which the Boomers’ unnerving entitlement created.
When we let children grow up raised by hypnotic MSM and the soft, grooming caresses of Big Government, it should not be surprising when old Roman empire adages like, “Give them bread and circuses, and they will never revolt,” resurface. We have no shortage of bread and circuses in the USA at present. From Pizza to The Polls (billions of establishment dollars of luring compliant and malleable poll workers with free food) to The Eras Tour (Taylor Swift’s mind-numbing, endorphin-sucking vortex, fueled by sparkly strutting and monotonous choruses). Frequencies any lower risk pulling us all under, only to have Taylor Swift be our every-gender queen.
The Financial District felt and looked like a post-apocalyptic ghost town. Being inside the gorgeous Federal Reserve Bank, it felt like I was in some time warp / time machine. I wanted so badly for it to be busy and bustling with true Holiday cheer, but at the same time enjoyed the surreal glory of a bygone era with a few legacy financial system fixtures struggling to prove relevance while they all still have their cushy jobs.
Swonk quoted her friend, political analyst Charlie Cook, “Inflation hits everyone, unemployment only hits a few.” She calls Cook “a great economic handicapper.” Swonk bemoans the state of the world for Millennials, who got hit by the financial crisis as they graduated into the wake of the housing bust. She says they entered the workforce at a subpar time and have largely been locked out of home ownership and mortgages. “They have not been able to improve upon the living standards of their parents,” and “They have a reason to be upset,” she says.
The elephant in the room was that all humans living in the United States of America, from children to the elderly, citizens to immigrants, have been dealt the same set of human rights, civil rights, and constitutional rights setbacks due to COVID and the Global shutdown. All Americans have a reason to be upset. But the Baby Boomers will continue to frame economic problems and recovery in terms of their ego extensions, the Echo Boomers, or Millennials. We should remember that there is a reason “OK Boomer” has come to be a call out for entitlement that has run its course. But, as Swonk indicated, the younger Boomers have money (ammo), and they also have an arsenal (their offspring) by which to deploy this ammo.
Always poignantly macro, the KPMG economist Swonk closed with, “Family is amazing. But it is important to understand why we feel the way that we do (badly).” Swonk noted that Thanksgiving was more cordial than usual because, “We are all equally disgusted with politics, Republicans and Democrats have come together” and that we have “collective disgust with the divisions we have.”
“Maybe there is a way forward,” said Swonk. She talks about how we came back from the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis and that at the turn of the century, everyone was terrified of Y2K, and that never panned out, and how in 1999, we still had “the glow of the tech bubble.”
Surprisingly, in a room of 60-70, I was the only one with questions for the KPMG chief economist. I began by commenting that 1) The 45K lost writing and acting jobs have been moved to Government jobs and this endless Team Biden and Team Trump Military Industrial Complex theatre that we are witnessing. 2) Diane Swonk teased that she was not going to tell us her political leanings, but we know the Detroit girl, born and bred, is NOT “Communist Adjacent,” to which she chuckled and acknowledged that, no, she is not Communist adjacent.
My first question referenced Swonk’s opening comment that “The Treasury prints money, I wore green. Kind of thematic.” I commented that since 2017, the Treasury is not printing currency and has seriously curtailed the printing of currency, and I asked why this is. Swonk pivoted and avoided answering the question, only to say that Janet Yellen is printing money. I should have quantified my question with the reduction in currency printing, but moved on to my second question, “What is the Treasury and the Federal Reserve’s interaction lately with the Global Repository?”
Again, Swonk completely pivoted, but did note that “Composition of demand (for USA debt) has changed.” I thanked Swonk and again asked her to address current negotiations with the Global Repository. Swonk said, “I am not going to talk about that.”
So, regarding my questions about lessening currency printing and current Fed and Treasury interactions with the Global Repository, I got no answers (and the Treasury question was submitted more than 2 weeks in advance too). I asked Swonk to clarify on what she noted about the Central Banks and demand for United States dollars, and she said that China is not buying debt from the Central Banks, including the Federal Reserve Bank, but that demand from Japan is picking up again.
By 11AM, and after my two straightforward questions, Moderator Thom Walstrum, Senior Business Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, immediately changed to no more live questions for the rest of the afternoon. Every time it was time for Q&A, Mr. Walstrum would melodramatically announce, “It is time for questions, and of course we are going to take them by Pigeonhole (a live Q&A hybrid conference system platform)."
Ironically, Pigeonhole is an Asian Pacific company founded in 2010 in Singapore and does big business in China. As if hiding behind big China and Asia Pacific tech is not the very thing threatening our Constitutional rights in the United States of America, now the Fed is finding comfort in cherry picking questions through an Asia Pacific technology platform. This is one of the beautiful things about a live event – the non-answers speak more than the answers. And deciding in the morning, after two straightforward questions about the Treasury’s currency printing and the Global Repository, not to take live questions and only cherry pick questions indicates that these are areas to closely watch in the USA.
I did follow up with Diane Swonk with the proof / reference for severely halted USA currency production, hoping that she could run it by KPMG, and have not heard back.
Global Friends, please see my follow up email to KPMG’s Diane Swonk below -
“Follow up from Federal Reserve Bank Meeting - Lisa Ditkowsky, Pllush Capital Management
Always great to see you and hear you speak at economic conferences! Thank you for being a headliner at the Fed Friday!
I wanted to give you a chance to comment on my two public questions and one extra question and see what you are allowed to say on the record.
I should have qualified my first question with that the United States Treasury has severely curtailed currency production (in valuation and printing) since 2017, not stopped after 2017 -
1) WHY ARE WE SEEING SUCH A SEVERE TAPERING OFF OF CURRENCY PRODUCTION?
2) WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS / INTERACTION LIKE BETWEEN THE FED AND THE TREASURY AND THE GLOBAL REPOSITORY?
3) HOW DO YOU AS CHIEF ECONOMIST SEE THE ROLE OF THE GLOBAL REPOSITORY IN INFLUENCING FISCAL AND MONETARY POLICY AS RELATES TO CENTRAL BANKING?
4) AS YOU KNOW, TO SAVE THE BIG BANKS, THE GENETIC SHAREHOLDERS ARE FACING DE-CUSTODYING OF ASSETS AND OWNERSHIP. The latest example I had as of Friday was the Li Family of Wells Fargo, and reportedly Tim O'Hara being asked by The Global Repository to de-custody the Li Family if he wanted Wells Fargo saved from bankruptcy. Wells Fargo is reportedly facing bankruptcy. Well, the Li Family did not take well to that phone call, as you can imagine. I will include some links on the Li family at the end.
JUST INTERESTED IN YOUR THOUGHTS ON DEBANKING BLOODLINE FAMILIES THAT DATE BACK TO THE FOUNDING OF THE BIG BANKS AS THE CONDITION FOR THE GLOBAL REPOSITORY SAVING THE BANKS?
I understand that KPMG audits big banks, but if they are bankrupt they are bankrupt, and if The Global Repository saves Wells Fargo or others, it will be in the 4th Quarter and Annual Reports anyway.
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR AN ALWAYS LIVELY AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING ECONOMIC FORECAST. I thought you might want the questions in writing if you must run by your compliance team. Plus, I misspoke and meant to note the currency printing severe curtailing.
All My Best,
Pllush Capital Management
Certified Financial Planner
GLOBAL FERTILITY BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE™
GLOBAL POLITICAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE™
(included contact information)
It is a shame that Austan Goolsbee hightailed it out of there after his Q&A with Leslie McGranahan. We are at almost four years of The Fed eliminating cash reserve requirements completely for banks. Banks clearly do not want to lend, and Swonk’s friend Charlie Cook has recently called current inflation the worst in 40 years. We had Swonk bemoaning that the Millennials are priced out of the dream of home buying, and Goolsbee assuring that The Fed is on track for 2 percent inflation. Who is the realist, and who is the used car salesman in this picture? Goolsbee did continually imply that a whole plethora of external forces beyond the Fed’s control could derail this “great job” that the Fed is doing. Of course, it would not be the Fed’s fault because historically the Fed is so good at making all Americans feel comfortable and secure. Remember whose signature was on your USA stimulus checks. That was by design.
“Effective March 26, 2020, the Board reduced reserve requirement ratios on all net transaction accounts to zero percent, eliminating reserve requirements for all depository institutions. The annual indexation of the reserve requirement exemption amount and the low reserve tranche for 2023 is required by statute but will not affect depository institutions' reserve requirements, which will remain zero.”
LEAVE IT TO THE DIED-IN-THE-WOOL MIDWESTERNERS TO GIVE US THE U.S. ECONOMY COLD HARD FACTS
David Zin is the Chief Economist for the State of Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency. Zin said that Michigan lost 850K jobs and spoke of MEGA credits and budgeting being hard in Michigan. He said that Michigan’s demographic problem is that 1/3 of its population is 55 or older, and Michigan has the 11th oldest population, growing slower than the other states and among the worst in the United States.
I happened to be sitting in the same row as David and told David Zin on a break that Michigan is the only state the makes gestational surrogacy completely illegal, and if medically and socially infertile intended parents who need a surrogate cannot have a baby in Michigan, this is a problem for demographics and population growth in Michigan. It is wholly unfair to infertile people in Michigan who want to procreate with a gestational carrier in Michigan that they cannot even have their baby or doctors in their home state of Michigan. This must be changed.
Rhea Stephen is the Senior Director of Market Analysis for Commercial Real Estate at CoStar. Stephen mentioned that Chicago’s central business district being a monoculture has hampered Chicago’s commercial real estate recovery. She recently learned the term “jingle mail.” CRE tenants are sending the keys to the owners / landlords in the mail. Once again, the irony is obvious – It is December in Chicago, and instead of talking about “jingle bells,” we are learning about “jingle mail.” Stephen said, “When e-commerce came in, we had demolitions,” whereas “The suburbs can actually do something about it, they can demolish.”
The CoStar executive said, “The only property we have under construction is medical lab space…we are getting the jingle mail.”
CoStar is seeing 15–25-year leases versus 10-15-year leases. “We are looking at term rights; How easy will it be for them to get out,” Stephen asks. “If you don’t offer (creative) financing, then the deal does not get done.”
Other observations from Rhea Stevens are that “People don’t want the 4-star properties, they want the 5-star trophy properties.” She says that we are seeing more deals getting done in Chicago, rental is strong, except for office, Chicago has top infrastructure, is stable and has a lot of dry powder. Dry powder is sidelined cash / capital / uninvested “ammo” so to speak.
Stephen garnered a big laugh when she said that CRE investors used to say, “Anywhere but Chicago,” and now they are thinking, “You date Austin and marry Chicago.”
Jonas Fisher, SVP and Director of macroeconomic Research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said that with the 525 basis points Fed Funds raise in interest rates since the beginning of last year “Monetary policy remains restrictive.” Fisher warns, “The higher interest rates are going to stay for quite some time.”
Fisher tells us to “expect a slowdown,” and “everything seems in place for a soft landing, but who knows, sharks happen.”
After Fisher finished, Walstrum, as moderator announced, “It’s time for another question, and OF COURSE, that will come through on PIGEONHOLE.” The Chicago Fed really, really likes to support Asia’s technology to promote democracy, but when faced with a group of 60-70 live attendees decided that the questions might be too uncomfortable (regarding Treasury currency printing and the Global Repository). Walstrum has been with the Fed 15 years, so I did make sure to ask him after the meeting adjourned why the Treasury has majorly cut back on currency production. Walstrum feels that we are less dependent on cash, which is true based on one’s demographic, and is likely why banks are piloting Debit cards for kids and high school students.
Kristin Butcher, VP and Director Microeconomic Research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said, “Immigrants have very high participation in the labor force,” noting a high number in healthcare and home health aides. Butcher says that as the Baby Boomer turn 60-78, “We will see the societal implications of the Baby Boomers in a few years.” She also cites that 87 percent of Baby Boomers want to age in place.
Kristin Butcher also says that there are a lot of foreign-born workers in health diagnostics, such as medical imaging.
In discussing automotive, the speakers mentioned EV prices starting to quickly drop at a time when suppliers cannot go hard, so “outsourcing and offshoring come to mind, automation (to meet the higher labor costs).”
“It is a relationship business, and I don’t think there is very much relationship left after what they went through in 2022,” the economist says, as she describes everybody “adjusting to the new normal.”
MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF CHICAGO CEO AND PRESIDENT, AUSTAN GOOLSBEE
Austan Goolsbee claims that labor force participation improvements include more women, previously disabled and work from home workers. “I believe a big component is the residual credibility of the Fed – inflation expectations never went up.” Again, this type of thinking is counterproductive because inflation is rising so fast, it is up before the expectation of it going up.
Fed CEO Goolsbee is entertaining. He says with conviction that unemployment under 4 percent is not counted as unemployment, and he feels confident about unemployment numbers. Also, Goolsbee says that the fastest inflation drop ever was 4 percent in a single year (1982), under his late good friend Volcker, and that we are on track to beat that. Goolsbee did remind us that that was coming off a Fed Fund Rate of 22 percent under Volcker, so I think that anything would make Jerome Powell look slick compared to 40+ years ago. When Volcker passed away in 2019, articles were written about how Volcker made no friends in his war on inflation and “made everyone mad.” But one astute MarketWatch commenter said, “The Fed shouldn't exist, but if it does then it should be chaired by more men like him.”
Goolsbee kept repeating that inflation is on target to get to 2 percent and that goods are back to negative 1 percent inflation per year. Meanwhile, we have the youngest members of The Greatest generation describing how Clinton signing NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement (in December 1993) was like a guillotine to American manufacturing businesses, and how inflation is irrelevant if, say, you own a USA confectionary, and suddenly you must pay 40 percent more for sugar than everyone else.
Goolsbee views the “Fed’s mandate” as to manage inflation. However, the inflation benchmark is meant for debt slaves on fixed and insufficient incomes, who are mostly retired, disabled, blue collar, and inflation is a 100 percent USA target, when they want us to be a global economy.
The Chicago Fed CEO says that “if housing comes down,” we are on track to get to 2 percent inflation, “unless there are external shocks.” This is the perfect example of why our Republic has outgrown the Fed as the guardian of the economy and prognosticator of citizens' means. First, Goolsbee described how we must remove the wildcard of energy. Now, we must assume housing prices plummet too. Natural gas, petroleum, electricity, water, refuse fees, sewer fees, stormwater fees (a whopping 20 percent add on in my part of the Chicago area), health insurance premiums (up 20-25 percent again in 2024, with less covered), property taxes in Cook County, IL and much of Northern IL, and so much else is skyrocketing, and the Fed remains in complete denial because the people in charge can foot their own bills with ease. This was what Occupy Wall Street (2011) was about, but Steve Jobs died, and the OWS protestors in Zuccotti Park were treated like vagrants by law enforcement, and the movement did not spread nationally.
I appreciated Leslie McGranhan’s question to Austan, “How do you rely on the boots on the ground intelligence from people like us (people in the room)?” While noting that anecdotal information is not more important than the statistical information, he said, “Of all the reserve banks, that beige book information and getting out there and talking to people makes a big difference. When you talk to people, you don’t have any lag.”
And, this is where Goolsbee acknowledged that “The gap between the numbers and statistics and what consumer say has never been bigger,” and “It’s hard to figure out what’s happening.”
GLOBAL POLITICAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE™ and GLOBAL FERTILITY BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE™ would argue that what is happening is that The Fed is failing, The Treasury is failing, The worldwide Central Banking system is failing, and it is exposing corruptions in the consumer-facing Banking, Investment Banking and PE sectors. If we, as a world, have a banking system that cannot be restored (was it ever good for the 99 percent of Americans anyway?), surrender is the only option. But intel reports state that the political administration / political teams and lawyers in the USA, are still telling the Global Repository that they want to print fake Treasury notes and keep this fraud on the USA and our Global partners going.
The idea of fake Treasury notes, not backed by anything, is an interesting conundrum for the big banks. Throughout 4th quarter, the big banks have been continually filing prospectuses with the USA Securities and Exchange Commission to raise more debt, which the investors would be told are backed by the United States Treasury, when that is at an impasse. So, investors in USA bank debt should do extra due diligence.
Goolsbee jokes that The Fed should offer prizes for people to do Fed surveys, but quickly laughs, “There’s no gambling on Fed grounds.” But, maybe the Fed's always been the Casino, and the decks have always been stacked.
Goolsbee said that the Chicago Fed had a group of 40-50 that walked in the PRIDE Parade this year and that every 500 yards, people screamed, “Lower the rates, you’re killing us!” He said, “We had some shredded money,” and were like, “Here, have some money.” Goolsbee repeated this story twice, as he found it amusing, but it isn’t. “Here, have some (shredded) money” speaks volumes.
“There is no silver lining bright enough that I cannot think of the dark cloud that will block it out,” is one of Goolsbee’s favorite lines from the late Paul Volcker, his dear friend. “The Central Banker needs to think through every dark cloud,” Goolsbee agrees. Notice that the frame of reference is a cloud to begin with. A silver lining is caused by refraction of the sunlight behind a cloud. Of course, it will never be optimal or bright enough on cloudy days.
Here is Austan Goolsbee’s second not-to-be-missed quote of the day, “The bank collapses of March didn’t pan out. There were a bunch of people saying that might spiral into something worse. It had the stench of 2008 to it.”
The banking collapses are happening, just not at the consumer level. The turmoil is at the very tops of the organizations, and the big banks are being given the opportunity to negotiate being saved by the Global Repository with support from the Global Intelligence Agency. The USA is just one country in a worldwide economic ecosystem. In most cases, USA big banks’ “genetic shareholders,” must be de-custodied and set free of ownership in the big banks before the Global Repository will save the historic big banks. A recent intelligence and news report revealed that Wells Fargo told the Global Repository it was facing imminent bankruptcy and asked for the Global Repository to save Wells Fargo. The Wells Fargo employee only fit the description of Tim O’Hara, and Mr. O’Hara refused to negotiate with the Li Family of China.
I relayed to Diane Swonk the news report and subsequent news reports about the Global Repository requiring de-custodying of “Genetic Shareholders” to save the banks. Ms. Swonk said that she could not comment, as KPMG was the biggest auditor of banks and financial institutions. Regardless, bankrupt is bankrupt, and bailout is bailout. But I looked it up with the SEC, and KMPG Ohio is an independent auditor for Wells Fargo, so obviously they know about the bankruptcy reports, and possible bailout. And, 75-year-old William M. Daley, of the Chicago Daley Family political dynasty, is a Wells Fargo stock billionaire (recently filing as to his more than 75M restricted shares) who will step down this year. The Daley family are possibly other “genetic shareholders” facing de-custodying arrangements if we are talking about removing business and political dynasties from controlling debt / credit / lending in the world financial system.
If KMPG, Wells Fargo or any big bank is reading this, there is no such thing as forever in paper currencies. Come walk around Chicago’s 7th Congressional District and see for yourselves that we have a world financial system that only creates wealth and abundance for the 1 percent. KPMG, Ernst & Young (EY), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte, BDO, RSM, Grant Thornton, Baker Tilly, BDO, Nexia International, Crowe Horwath, and all the largest accounting firms that audit financial companies should come to terms with a failing fiat currency world financial system and reflect truth, including de-custodying bloodline shareholders (considered “genetic shareholders”) of the financial kingdom that is the USA banking system. Our world financial systems (extending to the regulatory bodies, pseudo regulatory bodies, Private Equity, Investment Banking, Brokerages, Retail Banking and Commercial Banking) now all have private and public markets fraud as their underpinnings. I have spent years doing Financial and Business reporting on PE and M&A deals and the Wash-Rinse-Repeat cycle of the uber wealthy and their charges arbitraging inefficiencies in the public markets against inefficiencies in the private markets. I have reported on global fake investment banking deals that are illegally quarantining / platforming / play penning assets for offshoring and international deals, while avoiding anti-trust laws.
Goolsbee acknowledged the contracted credit environment and said, “There was a strange moment like maybe the USA would default on its debt, and we gotta think that one through. That would have been bad. We avoided it. Our Midwest thing is, ‘there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing, and that’s what you respond to.’”
At the FOMC meetings, “The shades come down, so you can’t be spied on,” Goolsbee said, describing himself as an “econ nerd” who worked at the White House and the Fed.
Goolsbee said he was not supposed to reveal how much cash is at the Chicago Fed, but there is $40+B in cash in the vaults. “The ops aspect has been exciting for me,” he said.
McGranahan asked another great question about how the unsustainable fiscal path (deficits and debt) factors into Fed thinking. Goolsbee says that this is controversial and that he defers to Congress and has no opinion and won’t comment on fiscal. Even filtering questions through Pigeonhole lead to a question that Goolsbee, too, refused to answer. In addition to that The Fed speakers could not talk about currency printing or the Global Repository, they could also not address USA debt, deficit, or fiscal policy.
Goolsbee seems perplexed by how the vacant office space and work from home situation in Chicago will work itself out. “We still gotta wait and figure out this work-from-home. If we come back in 5 years, are people still going to work from home 2-3 days a week?” It is interesting that Goolsbee is catapulting us out until the beginning of 2029 with this problem of the vacant downtowns.
The Chicago Fed’s international concerns are great. As McGranahan wore Austan Goolsbee down with a smile on her face, the Dragon Economy (China) reared its head again, with Goolsbee offering, “If there was a meltdown in China, you are kidding yourself if you think there won’t be a recession.”
“If the second biggest economy (China) in the world had a meltdown, there would be a lot of freakout, and it would be hard for us to navigate away from a somewhat serious downturn.”
Goolsbee bookended with the ”inflation pull string” again – “The Fed’s mandate requires, in my opinion, that we get inflation down,” which he notes, “has always required s serious recession throughout history.”
Goolsbee’s Q&A should not have required a big legal pad of notes in front of him, but it did. A notecard should have been sufficient, after all, he is the Chicago Fed and worked for both the White House and The Fed. It was impossible not to notice that Goolsbee literally bookended with the “inflation pull string” and repeating what a great, on-target job he is doing, but he again closely tied the portent of failure to recession and the China economy, as if to say, “Nothing to look at here folks. It’s all good. Everything’s fine in Chicago and the USA.”
SOME POST FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF CHICAGO ECONONMIC BANTER WITH MICHIGAN ECONOMIST DAVID ZIN AND SOME OTHER IMPRESSIVE ATTENDEES
Hanging around at the box lunch closing event, I joined a few men questioning state of Michigan economist David Zin. David has always been a champion debater and debate coach, and it was refreshing to hear some candor about the USA political and financial climate. David said to the group of us, “It’s a bleak world getting to 2040, 2050 (regarding the national debt and the “crowd out effect on other (national) budgetary expenditures”).”
David Zin defined the elephant in the room that Goolsbee said he would not answer and that Swonk said that we need to understand why we all feel badly, while refusing to blame anyone. The National Debt is insurmountable, and our younger generations and workers in their prime working years were born into a pit that is impossible to overcome without both financial systems and governments restructuring. I met the Weinbergs many years ago and was immediately enthralled with their macroeconomic views of the world. Sheila Weinberg runs the not-for-profit, Truth In Accounting and reveals that the true USA National Debt is more than 4 times the published National Debt - https://www.truthinaccounting.org/ This just proves David Zin’s points.
“Everyday voters are not experiencing enough of the economic fallout to support a solution,” said Zin. “The problem right now is that people aren’t feeling enough pain to make any solution palatable,” he said.
If three years of Global shutdown, masking mandates, remote learning and remote business, vaccine mandates, vaccine cards, small businesses shuttering in droves is not pain enough, then let us wait for the fear bigger than the fear itself. It seems that the world reverted to survival mode and that human beings are incredibly resilient and adaptable. As citizens’ loved ones dropped like flies and became ridden with cancers and weakened immune responses, people still didn’t feel the pain (at least the live ones). So maybe pain isn’t the answer, and pleasure is, and the winners will be those who can deliver pleasure.
David Zin told the group of us that “Voters are only supporting all or nothing,” and “It’s easy to view the world in a binary lens.”
“Everyone thinks that they are doing OK, but everyone else is doing badly,” Zin says, noting that meanwhile their country is “going to hell.” Zin blames this on “basic political ignorance” and that the world has “just become this big miasma of government.”
David Zin said that he sees that “duopoly market” in politics as “interested in colluding.” This is where we get the term “uniparty,” and why we are witnessing factions of the USA Military industrial complex against each other, and the financial system supports this funneling up to the elite. He makes a good point by saying that if there were only two car manufacturers, we would be in trouble. Zin says that we are missing civic education in America and that the average voter does not “understand the difference that the senators at the state level are different than the senators at the federal level.”
David Zin reminded us that there are 435 House of Representatives seats, and only 17-20 of the seats are competitive. “It’s all about the money,” Zin says.
It is all about the money, indeed. The money is tied directly to positions of power, and how most of the average Americans will do almost anything for money and those in power. Remember, Swonk could not discuss “the money” or the ultimate Global money authority. Goolsbee, except for mentioning his $40B+ in printed paper currency in the Chicago Fed vaults, and how fun it was to throw shredded money at the LGBTQ population in Chicago’s PRIDE parade, refused to talk about the debt / deficit / fiscal policy. Yet, “It’s all about the money.”
If I had an artist to draw cartoons / animations of the 37th Annual Chicago Federal Reserve Bank Economic Outlook, I would start with CEO Austan Goolsbee counting his $40+ Billion in the Chicago Fed vaults and then throwing shredded money at the LGBTQ population screaming, “You’re killing us. Lower interest rates,” at the Chicago annual PRIDE parade.
My cartoons would also include Taylor Swift and “Satoshi Nakamoto” dancing their way out of the stuffing cavity in Diane Swonk’s Thanksgiving turkey. And the third would be David Zin giving a basic civics lesson to the House of Representatives, 415 of the 435 melded to their seats and playing with their iPhones and not listening.
At Pllush Capital Management, GPBI™, and GFBI™, my Family Office team, colleagues, and I were grateful to be able to attend the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Seventh District, 37th Annual Economic Outlook Symposium in-person and remotely. We got the message loud and clear – Expect the worst but hope and pray for the best. Happy Holidays, USA, and Global Friends. #LetUsBegin