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 Ian Shepherdson - “His assertion that 'a vigilant Fed will affect the necessary alignment of the growth of aggregate demand with the growth of potential aggregate supply' leaves little room for doubt as to where interest rates are headed.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “There should be no doubt that Mr. Greenspan's view has changed he now believes the economy is turning rather than just approaching the turn,”
 Ian Shepherdson - “We doubt this can be sustained as the reality of 2.60- plus sinks in. For now, though, it looks good.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “Mr. Greenspan clearly wants to leave the door open to lower rates, but he was more explicit this time in his acknowledgement that there are risks on the other side.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “The mystery is how to square with this with both the Redbook and Bloomberg chain store sales surveys, which pointed to a huge gain, ... Maybe it will come in March, or today's numbers will be revised up. Either way, this is a brief diversion, not a change of course.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “Skeptics will argue this is just a post-war bounce that won't last, but we disagree, ... The ISM was in the mid-50s before the war, thanks to very loose policy, and there's no reason why it can't return to those levels very soon. The Fed does not need to ease again.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “We expect a big drop in September Katrina has depressed sentiment and pushed up jobless claims.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “The new Fed Chairman clearly expects to have to raise rates a bit further, but the extent of the tightening is dependent on the relative performance of the labor and housing markets.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “His testimony leaves us thinking that a June 25 easing is far from a done deal -- it will depend on the data,”
 Ian Shepherdson - “Greenspan acknowledged unambiguously that there is not yet enough data to be sure growth has slowed in a sustained way, ... But his willingness to dig deep to find possible reasons why it might have suggests he is ready to wait before raising rates again.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “The Fed's minutes do not change the near-term outlook for policy despite the strong market reaction. Clearly there is some debate as to how much further tightening will be necessary, as the minutes say the number of hikes will likely 'not be large,' but 'large' is undefined. This does not read like a Fed where everyone is looking for a reason to stop.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “Doubtless these numbers will be followed by a rash of commentary to the effect that rumors of the death of the housing market are greatly exaggerated. This would be the wrong conclusion to draw. It is not possible for sales to trend down and starts to trend up.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “We think the trend in layoff is downwards, ... but we're not yet ready to argue that all the danger has passed.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “This report indicates manufacturing is continuing to rebound from the Asian crisis, which is exactly what the Fed expects.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “The report suggests that industrial orders are trending higher as manufacturing recovers from the Asia crisis, ... There are no real signs of a slowdown.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “The report suggests that industrial orders are trending higher as manufacturing recovers from the Asia crisis. There are no real signs of a slowdown.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “It is tempting to argue that two straight months of sales nearer to the 900,000 level than one million...is evidence of a real slowing in housing. But it probably tells us more about the awful weather across much of the country,”
 Ian Shepherdson - “We have no real idea what the number next week will be, but we can be pretty sure that for the next few weeks the data will tell us next to nothing about the state of the economy across the country outside the areas hit by the storm.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “This report will leave the markets still pushing for a Fed ease...but perhaps with a bit less conviction, ... It is still not a done deal.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “The bottom line here is that the month-to-month volatility in the durable orders data is such that the true information content in a single report is very small -- there's just too much noise.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “At its current level, confidence is consistent with real consumers' spending growth of about 3 percent -- not great, but not a double-dip.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “Unfortunately, at current levels, and coupled with the extraordinarily low level of labor demand, the claims numbers are still consistent with flat or falling payrolls and a rising unemployment rate. There's no real relief in sight here yet.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “While claims at 350,000 or so would not be a disaster, they would be consistent with (monthly) payrolls trending at only about 125,000 -- not enough to push the unemployment rate any lower.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “At this level the index is consistent with spending growth of about 3.5 percent, in line with recent economic data. But watch out for a dip next month in the wake of the renewed spike in gas prices. Overall, though, quite robust.”
 Ian Shepherdson - “It is just too soon to be sure that the second-quarter slowdown will be sustained. The level of consumer confidence is still consistent with 5 percent spending growth.”

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