Financial markets have struggled to communicate with the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and other economic sources. This is especially clear on days markets are jolted. Confusion causes pain beyond the markets when it undermines the confidence of companies to pay wages, buy and invest in the giant circular flow of the economy.
Feddashboard.com began as an outgrowth of a series of analyses and media commentaries on economics and market fundamentals. It became a public website in 2013 at the start of widespread confusion about conditions for a slowing of asset purchases.
Regarding monetary policy, our aspiration is to educate, entertain and clarify data including that:
- Economic data should be treated differently depending on critical questions.
- To understand risk, history matters.
- Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy was not invented on the fly. While never before implemented, it is based on discussion and debate going back to evaluation of the Great Depression. This was mentioned in the remarks of former Chairman Ben Bernake at his August 31, 2012 Kansas City FRB Jackson Hole Conference presentation, Monetary Policy since the Onset of the Crisis.
- Chair Yellen at the 19 March 2014 FOMC press briefing stated “This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial developments.” She reinforced this in her 22 August 2014 remarks at the Jackson Hole conference.
- The FOMC expressed a desire to better communicate with the public, but also to understand when those communications have been misinterpreted and then clarify. For example, the July 2013 FOMC meeting minutes note “Sizable increases in rates occurred following the June, 2013 FOMC meeting, as investors reportedly saw Committee communications as suggesting a less accommodative stance of monetary policy than had been expected going forward; however, a portion of the increases was reversed as subsequent policy communications lowered these concerns.” (emphasis added)
Regarding live dashboard economic measures:
- They are only a selection of the measures presented by FOMC staff as reported in meeting minutes.
- Measures are presented in time series for historical context. They are primarily aggregated thanks to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank though a jewel of a tool called FRED — Federal Reserve Economic Data.
Regarding financial markets, our objective is to help overcome investor-issuer short-termism through focus on “authentic alpha” investing based on fundamentals and business models.
As our aspiration is clarity, we simplify significantly.