Shelton Again Nominated; Consensus on Asset Purchases

President Trump reintroduced the recently rejected nomination of Judy Shelton in the United States Senate on January 4th, the first day of the new legislative session. Obviously, the subsequently occurring Capitol Riot has made the prospect of success about as near-zero as it can be, even though chances were slim prior to the tragic and unsettling event.

Minutes were released from the December 15-16th Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, and while they certainly showed that the body is wary of increasing headwinds due to the worsening healthcare situation, they also showed that most Fed governors remain firmly confident of a robust post-pandemic recovery. There was unanimous consensus, a rare thing in Washington indeed, about an ‘outcomes based’ approach to curtailing asset purchases. Essentially, the Fed went out of its way to tell the public that it will do all it can to avoid a repeat of the 2013 ‘taper tantrum’. This removes the prospect of what could otherwise be a nasty downside surprise. The minutes also showed only limited support amongst committee members for purchasing longer-dated US Treasuries as the Fed did in the wake of the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis.

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