Tag Archive: Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy

Inflation Isn’t Just The Outlier, The Inflation In It Is, Too

Following the same recent pattern as the BLS and its CPI, the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s (BEA) PCE Deflator ran up hotter in May 2021 than its already high increase during April. The latter’s headline consumer basket rose 3.91% year-over-year, its fastest pace since August 2008.

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Sure Looks Like Supply Factors

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be inflationary overheating. Or not? As more time passes and the situation further evolves, the more these recent price deviations conform to the supply shock scenario rather than a truly robust economy showing no signs of slowing down.

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The FOMC Accidentally Exposes Itself (Reverse Repo-style)

Initially, the dots got all the attention. Though these things are beyond hopeless, the media needs them to write up its account of a more fruitful monetary policy outcome because markets continue to discount that entirely.

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Copper Corroding PPI

Yesterday, lumber. Today, copper. The “doctor” has been in reverse for better than two months now, with trading in the current session pounding the commodity to a new multi-month low. Down almost $0.19 for the day, an unusual and eye-opening loss, this brings the cumulative decline to 9.2% since the peak way back on May 11.

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Another Round of Transitory: US Retail Sales & (revised) IP

Same stuff, different month. We can basically reprint both what was described yesterday about supply curves not keeping up with exaggerated demand as well as the past two months of commentary on Retail Sales plus Industrial Production each for the US. Quite on the nose, US demand for goods, anyway, is eroding if still artificially very high.

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The Inflation Emotion(s)

Inflation is more than just any old touchy subject in an age overflowing with crude, visceral debates up and down the spectrum reaching into every corner of life. It is about life itself, and not just quality. When the prices of the goods (or services) you absolutely depend upon go up, your entire world becomes that much more difficult.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Nothing To See Here. No, Really. Nothing.

The answer to the question, “What should I do to my portfolio today (this week, this month)? is almost always nothing. Humans, and especially portfolio managers, have a hard time believing that doing nothing is the right response….to anything…or nothing. We are programmed to believe that success comes from doing things, not not doing things.

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Rechecking On Bill And His Newfound Followers

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury has obtained some bids. Not long ago the certain harbinger of bond rout doom, the long end maybe has joined the rest of the world in its global pause if somewhat later than it had begun elsewhere (including, importantly, its own TIPS real yield backyard).

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Real Dollar ‘Privilege’ On Display (again)

Twenty-fifteen was an important yet completely misunderstood year. The Fed was going to have to become hawkish, according to its models, yet oil prices crashed and the dollar continued to rise. Both of those things were described as “transitory” by Janet Yellen, and that they were helpful or positive (rising dollar means cleanest dirty shirt!), but domestically American policymakers’ clear lack of conviction and courage about that rate hike regime...

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Spending Here, Production There, and What Autos Have To Do With It

While the global inflation picture remains fixed at firmly normal (as in, disinflationary), US retail sales by contrast have been highly abnormal. You’d think given that, the consumer price part of the economic equation would, well, equate eventually price-wise.

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Looking Past Gigantic Base Effects To China’s (Really) Struggling Economy

The Chinese were first to go down because they had been first to shut down, therefore one year further on they’ll be the first to skew all their economic results when being compared to it. These obvious base effects will, without further scrutiny, make analysis slightly more difficult.

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JOLTS Revisions: Much Better Reopening, But Why Didn’t It Last?

According to newly revised BLS benchmarks, the labor market might have been a little bit worse than previously thought during the worst of last year’s contraction. Coming out of it, the initial rebound, at least, seems to have been substantially better – either due to government checks or, more likely, American businesses in the initial reopening phase eager to get back up and running on a paying basis again.

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What Gold Says About UST Auctions

The “too many” Treasury argument which ignited early in 2018 never made a whole lot of sense. It first showed up, believe it or not, in 2016. The idea in both cases was fiscal debt; Uncle Sam’s deficit monster displayed a voracious appetite never in danger of slowing down even though – Economists and central bankers claimed – it would’ve been wise to heed looming inflationary pressures to cut back first.

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Deja Vu: Treasury Shorts Meet Treasury Shortages

Investors like to short bonds, even Treasuries, as much as they might stocks and their ilk. It should be no surprise that profit-maximizing speculators will seek the best risk-adjusted returns wherever and whenever they might perceive them.

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There’s Two Sides To Synchronize

The offside of “synchronized” is pretty obvious when you consider all possibilities. In economic terms, synchronized growth would mean if the bulk of the economy starts moving forward, we’d expect the rest to follow with only a slight lag. That’s the upside of harmonized systems, the period everyone hopes and cheers for.

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Three Things About Today’s UST Sell-off, Beginning With Fedwire

Three relatively quick observations surrounding today’s UST selloff.1. The intensity. Reflation is the underlying short run basis, but there is ample reason to suspect quite a bit more than that alone given the unexpected interruption in Fedwire yesterday.

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Nine Percent of GDP Fiscal, Ha! Try Forty

Fear of the ultra-inflationary aspects of fiscal overdrive. This is the current message, but according to what basis? Bigger is better, therefore if the last one didn’t work then the much larger next one absolutely will. So long as you forget there was a last one and when that prior version had been announced it was also given the same benefit of the doubt.

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For The Dollar, Not How Much But How Long Therefore How Familiar

Brazil’s stock market was rocked yesterday by politics. The country’s “populist” President, Jair Bolsonaro, said he was going to name an army general who had served with Bolsomito (a nickname given to him by supporters) during that country’s prior military dictatorship as CEO of state-owned oil giant Petróleo Brasileiro SA. Gen. Joaquim Silva e Luna is being installed, allegedly, to facilitate more direct control of the company by the federal...

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What Might Be In *Another* Market-based Yield Curve Twist?

With the UST yield curve currently undergoing its own market-based twist, it’s worth investigating a couple potential reasons for it. On the one hand, the long end, clear cut reflation: markets are not, as is commonly told right now, pricing 1979 Great Inflation #2, rather how the next few years may not be as bad (deflationary) as once thought a few months ago.

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Eurodollar University’s Making Sense; Episode 46; Part 3: Bill’s Reading On Reflation, And Other Charted Potpourri

46.3 On the Economic Road to NothingGoodVilleRecent, low consumer price inflation readings combined with falling US Treasury Bill yields are cautionary sign posts that say this reflationary path may not be the road to recovery but a deflationary cul-de-sac.

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