The only reason to be bearish is there’s no reason to be bearish, Bank of America says
The Charging Bull near Wall Street is pictured in New York. Investors are so optimistic about the market that they are dumping cash to take part in the latest run to record levels, a widely watched Bank of America survey showed. "The only reason to be bearish is … there is no reason to be bearish," Bank of America Chief Investment Strategist Michael Hartnett wrote in a note to clients. Bank of America surveyed 225 mutual fund, hedge fund and pension fund managers with $645 billion under management. Fund managers' allocation to cash is down to 3.8%, the lowest since March 2013, just before the "taper tantrum" era under former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.cnbc.com
Draghi brings market savvy, gravitas to tame Italy's crises
FILE - In this Thursday, July 4, 2013 file photo, President of European Central Bank Mario Draghi smiles during a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany. Because it is Mario Draghi,’’ the deputy manager of the leading Milan Daily Corriere della Sera, Daniele Manca, said on Wednesday. He took a pragmatic approach during the financial crisis. Draghi joined the ECB as its third chief in 2011, just as Italy was engulfed in a debt crisis. The largely ceremonial role proves key in helping manage Italy’s all-too-frequent political crises, which require deft negotiations and unassailable knowledge of Italy’s constitution and institutions.
Janet Yellen wins Senate approval as treasury secretary
President-elect Joe Biden, right, listens as Janet Yellen, who Biden nominated to serve as Secretary of the Treasury, speaks at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)WASHINGTON – The Senate on Monday approved President Joe Biden’s nomination of Janet Yellen to be the nation’s 78th treasury secretary, making her the first woman to hold the job in the department's 232-year history. Yellen, a former chair of the Federal Reserve, was approved by the Senate on a 84-15 vote, becoming the third member of Biden’s Cabinet to win confirmation. Before the approval by the full Senate, Yellen had received unanimous backing from the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told Yellen that Biden’s plan represented a “laundry list of liberal structural economic reforms.”As Treasury secretary, Yellen, 74, will occupy a pivotal role in shaping and directing Biden’s economic policies.
Powell signals Fed will keep aiding economy with bond buying
Powell also stressed that the Fed probably won't raise its rate until inflation has topped 2% for some time. The speculation was fueled by comments from several regional Fed bank presidents, including Raphael Bostic of the Atlanta Fed and Robert Kaplan of Dallas. Bostic said last week that he was “hopeful that in fairly short order we can start to recalibrate” the bond purchases. And Lael Brainard, another governor, said Wednesday that the current level of bond buying “will remain appropriate for quite some time.”Some regional Fed bank presidents have signaled that any reduction in bond purchases is probably a long way off. Still, Powell also said he was quite optimistic that the economy would rebound later this year, once COVID-19 vaccines are widely distributed.
President-elect Joe Biden expected to name Janet Yellen to lead treasury
Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden's apparent choice for treasury secretary, served on the Federal Reserve's policymaking committee during the 2008-2009 financial crisis that nearly toppled the banking system. She became Fed chair in 2014 when the economy was still recovering from the devastating Great Recession. If confirmed, Yellen would become the first woman to lead the Treasury Department in its nearly 232 years. “I have never met anyone who has worked for or with Janet who has an unkind word to say about her," said Claudia Sahm, a former Fed economist. After leaving the Fed, Yellen became a distinguished fellow in residence at the liberal Brookings Institution in Washington, signaling her continuing interest in financial policymaking.
Biden says he's decided on treasury secretary nomination
WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday that he has decided whom to nominate as his secretary of the Treasury Department. Either would be the first woman to serve as treasury secretary. Both Bostic and Ferguson are Black, and either would be the first Black treasury secretary. Brainard also advised President Bill Clinton and was floated as a potential treasury secretary if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election. He says, “They all acknowledge this is going to take a massive education campaign.”Biden’s treasury secretary would lead his economic team as many businesses and Americans struggle while the pandemic continues.
Former Fed officials urge more efforts to bolster economy
Congress, which has already provided more than $3 trillion in support, is scheduled to begin negotiations next week on further support. Yellen and Bernanke, in a joint statement to a House Oversight subcommittee, said that the new measure should provide substantial support to state and local governments. Federal support should be substantial and without overly restrictive conditions on the aid, Yellen and Bernanke said in their statement. The two former Fed officials also urged Congress to provide increased support for medical research into the virus and for more testing, contact tracing and protective equipment as well as other needed hospital supplies. And they said the Fed could change some of its emergency lending programs to boost their use.
Bernanke says Fed chief Powell 'got ahead of this,' and 'going big' was right thing to do
Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told CNBC on Wednesday the central bank has acted with appropriate force to help the U.S. economy get ahead of the coronavirus and set the stage for a strong rebound once the disease abates. "I think the Fed has been extremely proactive and Jay Powell and his team have been working really hard and got ahead of this," he said. Financial markets have been under acute strain in recent weeks and have posted one of the largest sell-offs in modern times. The spike in volatility and steep equity losses have in turn forced the Federal Reserve to embark on a massive, trillion-dollar easing program to help ease stressed credit markets. The central bank announced Monday it will purchase corporate bonds and not just U.S. Treasurys, providing unprecedented support for investment-grade corporate debt.cnbc.com
Here's what happened to the stock market on Wednesday
The S&P 500 climbed 1.15% to 2,475.56. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.45% to 7,384.30 The S&P 500 strung its first consecutive gains since mid-February. Stocks jumped after the White House and Senate lawmakers struck a deal on a massive stimulus bill aimed a mitigating the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic. But stocks came off their highs after Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont threatened to hold up the bill, addressing what he called a "$500 billion corporate welfare fund." Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday the U.S. economy will experience a quick rebound after a "very sharp" recession, lifting investor sentiment.cnbc.com
Bernanke: Coronavirus disruptions 'much closer to a major snowstorm' than the Great Depression
Ben Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman who served before and after the 2008 financial crisis, told CNBC on Wednesday the coronavirus economic halt is more like a "major snowstorm" than an economic depression. "This is a very different animal than the Great Depression," Bernanke stressed. "It's really much closer to a major snowstorm or a natural disaster than it is to a classic 1930s-style depression." Bernanke's comments echoed what current St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said earlier on "Squawk Box." Bernanke said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and his team have been "extremely proactive" and "working really hard and got ahead of this."cnbc.com
Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke sees 'very sharp' recession, followed by 'fairly quick' rebound
During the financial crisis that exploded in 2008, Bernanke guided the Fed through its efforts to save the economy. He was the first central bank chairman to pull its benchmark interest rate down to near zero, and the Bernanke Fed implemented a slew of programs that have been resurrected to deal with the current crisis. While he guided the Fed through the financial crisis and accompanying Great Recession and is recognized authority on the Great Depression, he said the current situation bears only minor resemblance to those two periods. Monetary and fiscal policy can do their thing and we won't have anything like the extended downturn we saw even, I don't think, in the Great Recession, much less the Great Depression of the '30s." He praised the work being done by Chairman Jerome Powell and the rest of the current Fed.cnbc.com
CNBC's full interview with former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on coronavirus impact
CNBC's full interview with former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on coronavirus impactBen Bernanke, Brookings Institution's distinguished fellow and former Federal Reserve chairman, joins "Squawk Box" to discuss the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.cnbc.com
Ben Bernanke says the Fed shouldn't rule out using negative interest rates
The Federal Reserve should consider negative interest rates as a potential weapon to fight future economic downturns, former central bank Chairman Ben Bernanke said. In a blog post released over the weekend, Bernanke cited the benefits of at least keeping the option alive to take short-term rates below zero. "The Fed should also consider maintaining constructive ambiguity about the future use of negative short-term rates," Bernanke said in a post released in conjunction with a presentation at the American Economic Association conference in San Diego. Negative rates, he said, have been used to positive effect elsewhere in the world. In Europe, rates across the spectrum went below zero earlier this year, with about $11 trillion of sovereign debt still possessing negative yields.cnbc.com
Former Fed chairs Volcker, Greenspan, Bernanke and Yellen call for independent central bank
Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen (L to R) and former Federal Reserve chairs Ben Bernanke and Paul Volcker appear together for the first time in New York, April 7, 2016. The panel is geared toward millennials and focused on decision-making with international implications. The previous four heads of the Federal Reserve called for an independent central bank in the face of repeated attacks by President Donald Trump in an extraordinary joint commentary for the Wall Street Journal. "We are united in the conviction that the Fed and its chair must be permitted to act independently and in the best interests of the economy, free of short-term political pressures and, in particular, without the threat of removal or demotion of Fed leaders for political reasons," stated the piece, signed by Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen. The former leaders of the Fed emphasized that the Fed's powers are appropriately checked by Congress.cnbc.com
Bernanke on impact of China's slowing growth on U.S.
China’s stock market is trying to recover after its recent meltdown. Norah O’Donnell spoke with the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, who discussed the country with the world’s second largest economy and if it could pose a risk to the U.S. economy. Watch the full report this Sunday, September 27 on “Sunday Morning.”cbsnews.com
Ex-Fed Chair Ben Bernanke no fan of replacing Hamilton on $10 bill
Former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke says instead of having a woman replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, we should replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. CBSN's Kristine Johnson and Vladimir Duthiers have more.cbsnews.com