Friday, January 6, 2012

The Week Ahead: Fedster Mania!

The week of Jan. 9 kicks off with.... well, nothing worth speaking of, unless you're a fan of Fedster speeches. It fact, there are Fedsters all over the calendar, except for Thursday, when they will refrain from speeches and spend the day pondering the mysteries of economic theory.

The econ reports do get interesting beginning Thursday, with weekly jobless claims and retail sales, both at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

Friday also shines with the release of international trade stats at 8:30 a.m.

Practical trading: By my rules, as of Monday I can trade February vertical, calendar, diagonal and butterfly spreads, iron condors and covered calls, and April singles and straddles. Of course, shares are good at any time.

But back to the Fedsters.

The Fed's Beige Book is never a market motivator, but is always a gripping read that keeps me glued to its pages, my hands tightly clinging my Kindle Touch. It will be released Wednesday at 2 p.m. And it may well inform what the Federal Reserve VIPs have to say as they swarm, like a herd of bumblebees, around the microphones during the week.

When these folks speak, I tend to listen, because whether one is a Paulian or a new Chartalist or even a Krugmaniac, under our present system it is the Fedsters, ultimately, who determine our financial fates.

(Wikipedia: Paulian, new Chartalist, Krugmaniac.)

Here's the roster.

Federal Open Market Committee members:

Chicago Fed Pres. Charles Evans took office under President George W. Bush. He came up through the Fed system. Evans has regularly dissented, beginning in late 2011, in votes to maintain current policies, arguing that the Fed should do more to encourage growth. Some would call him an inflation dove, but I would call him an inflation atheist. He speaks Wednesday at 8:40 a.m. and Friday at 1 p.m.

Philadelphia Fed Pres. Charles Plosser also took office under Bush. His resume shows institutional ties to Chase Manhattan Bank, Eastman Kodak Co., Wyatt Co., ViaHealth Inc., RGS Energy Group Inc. and Chase Manhattan Bank, all in consulting or advisory capacities. He also co-chaired the Shadow Open Market Committee, which second-guessed the Fed’s monetary policy. One of the Gang of Three, Plosser dissented in votes last summer on expanding the money supply to encourage economic growth. Some would call him an inflation hawk, but I would call him a deflation atheist. He speaks at 12:30 p.m.

Other Fedsters:

Kansas City Fed Pres. Esther George assumed her position under President Barack Obama, replacing inflation hawk Thomas Hoenig, who was nominated for the FDIC board of directors, after rising through the Fed system. She speaks Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Richmond Fed Pres. Jeffrey Lacker took office under Bush II.  He taught economics at Purdue University before coming to work for the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank in 1989. He is alternate member of the FOMC. He speaks Friday at 12:45 p.m.

Atlanta Fed Pres. Dennis Lockhart, another Busher. His resume shows institutional ties to Citigroup (then called Citicorp/Citibank), Heller Financial and the private equity firm Zephyr Management L.P. He is alternate member of the FOMC. He speaks Monday at 12:40 p.m. and Wednesday at 9 a.m.

San Francisco Fed Pres John Williams took office under Obama. He came up through the Fed system. He is alternate member of the FOMC. He speaks Tuesday at 10 a.m.

And that's the week that will be. Too much fun!!

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