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Thomas Hoenig



Articles by Thomas Hoenig

Our Economy Is a Delusion | The Problem with Jon Stewart

January 26, 2022

You’ve probably heard that inflation is getting worse—and not just from your grandpa who remembers when soda cost a nickel and movies were movies. Jon talks with Thomas Hoenig, former president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, about how the Fed has destroyed everything we hold dear. Jon is joined by staff writers Alexa Loftus and Kasaun Wilson to discuss the news of the week, including Rand Paul’s TV subscriptions and the gymnastic abilities of skunks.CREDITSHosted by: Jon StewartFeaturing, in order of appearance: Alexa Loftus, Kasaun Wilson, Thomas Hoenig, Tocarra MallardExecutive Produced by Jon Stewart, Brinda Adhikari, James Dixon, Chris McShane, and Richard Plepler.Lead Producer: Sophie EricksonProducers: Caity Gray, Robby SlowikAssoc. Producer:

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The Fed’s Doomsday Prophet Has a Dire Warning About Where We’re Headed | Politico (feature)

January 26, 2022

Thomas Hoenig doesn’t look like a rebel. He is a conservative man, soft-spoken, now happily retired at the age of 75. He acts like someone who has spent the vast majority of his career, as he has, working at one of the stuffiest and powerful institutions in America: the Federal Reserve Bank. Hoenig has all the fiery disposition that one might expect from a central banker, which is to say none at all. He unspools sentences methodically, in a measured way, never letting his words race ahead of his intended message. When Hoenig gets really agitated he repeats the phrase “lookit” a lot, but that’s about as salty as it gets.
This makes it all the more surprising that Tom Hoenig is, in fact, one of America’s least-understood dissidents.

In 2010, Hoenig was president of the Federal Reserve

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Will We Go From Pandemic to Recession? | The New York Times

January 26, 2022

The scariest story I read over the holidays had nothing to do with winter wildfires, the Covid-flu combo or the threat of Russia invading Ukraine. It was Christopher Leonard’s superb profile in Politico of Thomas Hoenig, a retired central banker. Hoenig made a name for himself after the financial crisis of 2008, as one of the top members of the Federal Reserve who wouldn’t go along with then-Chairman Ben Bernanke’s efforts to float the economy on an ocean of money.For this he was treated as a scaremonger, even a crank. But what if he was right?The question is topical again because of the sudden jump in consumer prices — up by a whopping 6.8 percent for the year ending in November 2021 (or a still-dismaying 4.7 percent if you count only “core” inflation). Some mainstream economists, like

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Revitalizing Small Businesses in Post-Pandemic America

September 14, 2020

This is the fourth in a series of articles that will examine ways to help entrepreneurs who are seeking to start small businesses in the wake of the pandemic to access the capital they need. The first article in this series provides an overview of the challenges facing would-be entrepreneurs in the coronavirus economy. The second article concerns offering small businesses guaranteed access to credit. The third article examines the rules governing investors in startups.
As the United States attempts to recover from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, special attention will need to be paid to small businesses, which provide almost half of all jobs in this country. While small businesses need help from both the public and private sectors, banks—particularly smaller

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Comment on FHFA Proposed Capital Framework

August 28, 2020

I appreciate the opportunity to submit a comment to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in response to its proposed rulemaking addressing the capital adequacy of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (hereafter referred to as the enterprises). The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is dedicated to advancing knowledge about the effects of regulation on society. With that in mind, this comment does not represent the views of any particular affected party or special interest group. It is designed to help FHFA as it considers how to best implement its proposed rule. Specifically, the comment seeks to help FHFA assure that the enterprises, as private firms, are adequately capitalized, financially stable, and will not again require public bailout. By achieving these goals, it is expected that

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Emergency COVID-19 Stimulus Programs Are a Short-Term Solution

May 21, 2020

The federal government and the Federal Reserve have implemented unprecedented spending and monetary policies to combat the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies, while necessary in the short term, place an ever larger mortgage against the nation’s future income; and extending them beyond the crisis period could have significant negative unintended consequences.
The recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorizes federal spending to increase from approximately $5 trillion in 2019 to more than $7 trillion in 2020, and its budget deficit to increase from $1 trillion to nearly $3 trillion over this period. The federal debt, which was $23 trillion at the end of 2019, could exceed $26 trillion by the end of 2020—130 percent of

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The COVID-19 Crisis Will Accelerate Bank Consolidation

April 17, 2020

Crises, panic, and the flight to safe havens are the invariable ingredients that accelerate consolidation within the financial industry. This appears again to be the case with the COVID-19 pandemic and its follow-on economic and financial crisis.
A recent Bloomberg article recently highlighted the extraordinary growth of deposits at the 25 largest US banks where, from year-end 2019 to mid-March, accounts at these largest banks increased by $500 billion. Commentators have described this growth as a flight to quality. While noteworthy, this growth more accurately reflects a temporary pickup in consolidation of the US banking industry that has been underway for decades—and which will continue well into the future.
Shaping the trend are some important long-standing factors, starting, for

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